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Introducing myself along with 2 near misses to rant about

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by cli37, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. Hi netriders,

    This is probably a weird place to introduce myself, but I've been silently lurking the forum for some months now, and decided its probably a good time to officially say hi, along with two interesting experiences.

    I've only just recently got my P, been riding around 3 months, clocked just past 7000kms on my 2015 Ninja 300 (non-Abs).

    My first fright was just before Christmas (on my Ls), riding back to Warrnambool from the Grampians. It was 9pm at night, which most experienced riders would know..... bad idea. Anyway, I was following my girlfriend's car, 3 seconds behind her. It was already pitch dark, so I can't really see much towards the side of the road. The plan was to have my girlfriend plow through any wild animals that hops onto the road so that I don't have to run into them. Wellll... the plan wasn't perfect. All of a sudden, I see from the corner of my vision (to the right), a behemoth of a kangaroos jumped onto the road, hopping through in between my gf's car and me. I went onto the brake, (was doing 110km/h), and soon found my front wheel starting to skid. Having no choice, I gradually eased off the brake at little, at the time I was still going 80km/h. And there I see the Kangaroo right in front of me... eyes staring at me. I was fully geared, and as the road was clear, in the back of my head, I got a gut feeling that I have a good chance of surviving this. So I wasn't quite fearing for my life... the thought was quite literally... "fk the insurance premium gonna be shit next yr". Anyway, as that thought was flying through my mind, next thing I know, the Kangaroo disappeared towards the left, with its tail within arms reach from my left arm. So yeaaaaah, lucked out big time. Srsly guys, don't ride in the country side a night.... wild life here are out to get us.

    My second near miss was couple of days ago, Sunday afternoon. Was going on a short ride along the Dandenong mountains... aaandd this happened, just look at the video:

    You may see me steering right and then finally towards the left when I was braking. That was me fish tailing. I did not steer towards the left in the end with the intention to dodge the car. At that time, the rear of my bike was swinging to the left, and I was just steering into the slide..... lesson learnt, ease off on the the rear brake.

    To sum up:
    - Was I speeding? Yes, I instantaneously sped by like 4km/h for a few milli-seconds. I'd say if you take the average, I was below the 60km/h speed limit. I try not to speed there as I have been booked by a hidden radar gun before. :/ Not proud of it.

    - But was I travelling fast? Well that's kinda relative. If you compare to the speed limit, I guess I was? Since I was sitting on the speed limit. I generally try to travel at a speed that I can fully stop within the visible length of road in front of me. Judging from the experience, I was pretty spot on. If you compare to everyone else on the road..... well cars all tend to tail gate me.... other bikes over take me.... Im probably the slowest dude on two wheel in the mountain. I shit you not, two cyclist was going about the same speed as me for a good while.

    - In the future, maybe ride a bit slower, and better brake control.

    - The woman driver yelled something along the line of "fu#ken slow down", but man seriously, if my cyclist speed riding is having trouble not hitting her.... someone else coming around the corner would have T-boned her. All drivers out there man... if you have a massive blind spot on your right... why are you turning right? Can't you turn left, so you get onto the road quicker and safer? Then do a U-turn later?

    Anyway guys, now that I have my Ps, and have clocked a decent amount of Kms on my bike. I am thinking of joining one of the weekend rides in Victoria. Maybe start with the Sunday new rider session. Oh, did I mention, I live in south eastern suburb, lol.

    Let me know, if there's anything else I could've have done in the above two scenario to improve.


  2. Welcome to the forum!

    Sadly near misses are fairly frequent as bikes are hard to see. I always thought motorists who hit bike riders were ignorant....... until I started riding on the road. I've literally seen a car stop at a give-way sign, the driver look both ways, not see me, and drive through the intersection!

    That second one was close but more front brake and less rear and you'd have dropped enough speed it wouldn't have even been that close. It does take some balls to grab a handful of front the first time.

    Chalk it up as experience and keep putting k's on that ninja!
  3. In the video you were too close to the left. Limits your's and the drivers vision. Car didn't have much chance to see you. Roadcraft is about anticipating what could happen and being in a position to minimise the consequences. You know about vanishing points?
    • Agree Agree x 4
  4. Welcome and well done for avoiding an incident however you manage it. My only comment, as well as the above advice, would be to say that maybe if you had entered the corner a bit wider you might have seen each other a bit sooner, maybe, maybe not.
    Edit: twistngo beat me to it :)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. I'll add that the 'set-up and squeeze' method of using the front brake does wonders for preventing lock-up and increasing brake performance. Don't just grab a fistful of lever.
  6. yeah, you might have got a half second or so more warning by being wider on the bend, but she's already started to pull out before you come into sight so there's not much more you could have done. We are always told to ride at a speed where you can stop within the distance you can see, but we'd all be going faster walking in most cases if we all did that. Was it a private driveway she was coming out of or a road? Does the yellow bend sign have any indication of a junction on it? they often do.
  7. Even if it was a private driveway, shouldn't the road have 'Concealed Entrance' signs if so?
  8. Hey guys,

    Thanks for all the input!

    Going in wide and exiting narrow is something I still need to be consciously aware of, working on it.

    This is the first time my rear wheel slid during emergency braking, the other times, like the Kangaroo incident, it was the front that locked. This might also be due to I have a different set of tires now. During the kangaroo incident I had the stock IRC, now I am running michelin pilot road 3. But yeah, more practice on the set up and squeeze is needed.

    In regards to the conceal drive way sign. There are quite a lot of them around on mount dandenong, but I don't know why there wasn't one for this one. The yellow sign that I passed in this video was just a left curve sign. Yea, a concealed road sign would have been helpful.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. welcome aboard :)
    any time you can ride away / on is well done.
    plus you learnt from it.
  10. FWIW here's one of my videos in the same part of the world. You need to be alert up there!

    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. Welcome mate :cool:

    A good thing about near-misses is that you get to reflect and learn, even on the ride home I bet you were more conscious of side roads and your position on the road.
  12. Yea, I'm ultra conscious/paranoid about invisible side roads now.

    Just a side question, I've read that some people puts a small bubble in their rear brake line, to dampen their rear brake force. Has any one here done that? Is that something safe and practical?
  13. Doesn't sound safe or practical.
    If you don't have abs using the rear in emergency braking is hard! I don't use it and focus on the front. Two reasons. First is that holding the front at maximum braking without skidding takes all my concentration and secondly at full braking the rear is pretty much off the ground anyway.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Re: Skippy, you need to leave more room than 3 seconds between you and lead vehicle as roos tend to jump behind the lights - into the side of the vehicle or behind it straight into the path of anyone following. My sister lived in the heart of the Grampians for 30 years and drove at night with the interior light on so roos would jump behind the car, not an exact science but it worked most of the time
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Regarding the bubble in the brake line???? I wouldn't try that. (I've never heard of anyone doing it either)

    I guess if the 'bubble' thing worked, then the design engineers would include them with the bike, then charge a little extra :sneaky:

    As I'm out in the country, Kangaroos are just part of the riding deal, as you said..... try to avoid 'skippy hour' (dusk/dawn), then once it is dark..... still try to avoid riding; however, if you must, then never tail gate another vehicle. I understand your theory (using their headlights and running them as a plough), as I have tried this myself, behind a semi-tractor..... only then do you realise, that trucks just don't slow down when a mob of roos appear, and they fit nicely under all axles and come at you like meaty rockets.

    Additionally, if you don't follow another vehicle, you can use your headlight to maximum benefit on highbeam.

    Your video post: I'd agree with others here, sit out a bit , right wheel rut is good, gives you options if a 'roo' bounds out, also, 'enter wide, exit tight', will give you more forward vision.

    Great to see your learning and improving, keep up the good work. Plus, nice footage, we don't get that sort of country up here.

  16. One trick that I have used on 2 bikes over the years to lessen the abruptness of the rear brake,it still works as strong,just takes more effit to move it, is finding and fitting a stronger return spring, that takes a bit more effit to activate the rear brake. Do this at your own risk and make sure it doesn't fowl the pedals action and the brake light still works.Modding brakes can be dangerous,think about this a lot. Thats the external spring that pulls the foot lever back up,.
  17. Welcome cli37cli37
    Hopefully things will get better for you as you develop your skills.

    As said by a few already, roadcraft is something to be worked on.
    Not just for entering and exiting corners, but being in the best position on the road as often as possible.
    Being wider (right hand wheel track) rather than over on the left might have meant she never pulled out on you at all.

    As for night riding, there's no hard and fast rules here.
    Animals will come out wherever and whenever they feel like it. All you can really do is keep an eye out.
  18. Yea, i think im just gonna avoid roo hours from now on. But at least i can tell tourists that roos becomes savage at dawn/dusk, and that i nearly died to one. :D

    And like you all said, messing with thee brakes probably not the best idea, just practice my braking.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. other thing you can do is change the angle of the brake lever. point it down a bit more so you have to extend your foot a bit more to press it.
    • Agree Agree x 1