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Looking back, it's all black

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by MattCPC, May 8, 2016.

  1. Some of you that saw my recent post will note that I have purchased a beautiful Honda CB500FA. I took the streets yesterday, joining the Netrider group at the Homebush learner day, before heading out on the group ride.

    Taking plenty of advice from this forum, I am working on one of my main rider deficiencies, looking behind me. My problem is that whilst I have my OEM mirrors set up to view only a small piece of shoulder each side, I am really struggling to see what is directly behind me (other then the fellow NR Ninja 300 rider who kept getting a bit too close during the ride).

    I am interested in what others feel is an appropriate amount of lane / vehicle to be seeing behind me, and whether alternative mirrors might help solve my issue. Note that I do not believe I have weirdly wide shoulders.

  2. You need to move your head around a bit to get a decent glimpse.
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  3. You can get mirror extenders for most bikes that position the mirrors a bit wider.
    Road position can help. If you're in the right or left wheel track you get a better view behind than if you're in the middle of the lane.
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  4. I've got the CB500F. Even with mirror extenders it's a bit hard to see behind you. For a good glimpse I tend to tuck my elbow the side i'm looking down.
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  5. As Chillibutton said move your head and shoulders around to get a view behind you and twistngo's suggestion that you move around in your lane to get a better view. Moving in your lane is a good practice anyway, it makes you more visible to other road users and you can position yourself with the best escape path from the perceived danger areas. Mirrors are not everything and you should be head checking as well.

    Regarding your point on the fellow Ninja rider. You may be right and they may be making poor decisions on clearance space. Alternatively, often less experienced riders can believe the space is unsafe where a more experienced rider knows it is OK. If they are making you uncomfortable then speak to them at a stop. You don't need to be critical about it, just say you are still a new rider and get nervous with bikes around you and can they give you some more distance until you get more confident. You can also wave them through to being ahead of you then you can make your own decision on clearance.
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  6. As you grow in confidence and less of your mental capacity is spent trying to clutch and brake etc, your awareness of the vehicles around you will improve. If you keep scanning the areas you can see in your mirrors and around you you build up a 'mental image' of al the vehicles around you.

    Practice, practice,practice
    • Winner Winner x 1
  7. I however am one that seems to have freakishly large shoulders, so although I don't share your bike, I do have issue getting my mirrors wide enough. I conteract this a bit by being very conscious of my mirrors and if necessary, shifting my body to one side or the other by a little just so I can get a different angle with my head.

    But as I say, I am constantly mirror checking
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  8. I set my mirrors to see the rear three-quarter view (both sides) rather than what is directly behind. That means I have to keep moving around to view 6 o'clock, which is a good habit to get into. Was talking to a police solo recently and he said the biggest mistake noobs make is going for lane changes without a head check. It's important not to sit still and rely just on what you can see from that fixed point.
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  9. Thanks for the feedback. I did find that when I was in either wheel track I had a much better view behind and I did have to relax the arms a bit to clear the shoulder. I guess I just didn't know what is considered normal. Does anyone really use mirror extenders?

    My fellow Netrider ninja was mocked by others on the ride that he was getting a bit too close. As a learner himself he should have known better although I am not certain he took the constructive criticism.
  10. What extenders do you have?
  11. I set the mirrors up so I see myself a bit, then move my head and arm to see directly behind me.
  12. Just tuck your elbow in for a split moment. Especially as you are coming to a stop to make sure no one is too close behind you thus avoiding a rear ender.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. All of the above comments are good. Another thing that can come into it is your riding position. A lot of new riders tend to sit very upright with their arms fairly straight down to the bars. If you arch your back and tuck in a bit more, (which also gets your arms more bent which is better for steering as your hands are pushing more forwards and less down), you will probably find your head is that bit further forwards too which can help with the view in the mirrors.

    [Edit] I tend to adjust my mirrors out a bit more, I'm more interested in what's coming up beside me than what's directly behind me in my lane. As mentioned by others, I can still check my six by moving the bike over in the lane or moving my head.
  14. I'm still waiting for my bar end mirrors, but what I do is have them titled slightly out and I tuck my elbow when I want to see. Also lane positioning helps.
  15. I find on my 300 I can't see behind me at all. I can see either side but not behind. I have my mirrors setup so I see only the last 2 knuckles on my gloves. I find I usually have a good look around to know what is behind me. Only time I have had an issue is when a bike is behind me, then I have to move to see them.
  16. Get a Skully AR1 :p

    To be honest mirrors on quite a lot of bikes seem to be plain useless, hence the reliance on head checks. I'm not sure you can realistically see directly behind you without reaaally wide mirrors or getting into a full tuck position.
  17. What a great idea but at 1500USD they might take a little while to go mainstream.
  18. Are Skully's legal yet?