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Looking behind you - mirror positioning?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by bluemetal77, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. Hi Guys ..
    Am a new rider - about 2 weeks old and having done 100kms on the bike since my licence.. still riding n learning ..

    I wanted to know if its just me or when on a bike .. you don't get to see whats directly behind you? .. i don't think i can position my mirrors (on the Ninja 250) in a way where i can see the car behind me .. only when i have stopped at lights or have done a 90 degree headcheck do i know that there's a car behind me .. cars on the side/blind spots are fine as they come in your peripheral vision and also when doing headchecks ..

    When i rode at night, it was still better as i could see the car lights behind me but in day light its not like that ..

    So .. is it normal what i have observed or there is some mirror position to help it .. or can i do something else to know what's behind me .. or do i NOT need to know what's behind me and assume the car is playing it right on the road ..

    Any help would be great .. cheers!

  2. I move my arm and sometimes head/body to get better view when I need to. But usually seeing just a part of a car is enough.
  3. I think if I was commuting I would get one of the new reeevu helmets with the inbuilt mirror. Would be v helpful in traffic.
  4. I tried it at the motorcycle show.
    Was very distracting. Took a bit of time to refocus on mirror and back to the road.

    Could be just me, but don't buy it blindly anyway.
  5. Try not to rely on just the mirrors. That's a lesson I have learned over many years and it has saved me many times. A head check always shows more than just a glance in the mirror.
    I set mine up so I can see directly behind, because that's the place most difficult to see with a head check. You definitely need to know what the cars behind you are up to (see my thread about being rear-ended this week ;) ). Fortunately I have very wide bars so that's not a problem for me.
    I think your problem is that the width of the mirrors across your bike is just not enough to give you a clear view. Unless you find some aftermarket mirrors with longer stems, the only thing you can do is physically move around so you can get a view behind you every so often. Not a bad habit to learn.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. How's your posture? Remember what they told you in pre-learner. But of course don't forget the head checks.
  7. I'm a bigger guy on a zzr250 (still on lams) so positioning my mirrors took some time. I generally ride in the wheel tracks and have set up my mirrors accordingly.

    With just a small movement of my arm I'm able to see the car behind me, don't have to take hand off the bar or anything. I simply open up a small gap between my arm and waist.

    Also, if I'm in the right wheel track, the left mirror see's the car behind, and vice-versa. Also gives me the advantage of seeing well into the other lane by adjusting my head slightly, and as I move across the lane (say im in RWT, going to merge to the left lane), gives me a good view of that lane.

    It's not perfect but it's the best method I've found so far. With that and a good head check I haven't had any surprises so far.
  8. Setting the mirrors on a bike can be tricky and sometimes completely pointless.

    I've ridden some bikes where adjusting the mirrors only changed the view from my armpits to my elbows. On other bikes even if adjusted so I can see what's behind me at stand still, once on the move the mirrors vibrated so much as to render them useless.

    However, as a general rule I adjust my mirrors so between them I can see what is directly behind me and I head check.
  9. I'm with Titus on this. I found that rear view on the VTR was abysmal, but is much better on the Z which seems to have a wider bar/mirror position.
  10. the first mod i did on my bike was bar end mirrors.

    the standard mirrors on the Z were almost useless. depending on how i positioned them. i was either able to check if my arms were still attached or see if there was a car 3 lanes away (maybe a slight exaggeration...)

    i put my bar end mirrors on and i can see 3 lanes in each while still checking to see if my arms are still attached (behind and and next two lanes on respective side)

    if anyone is interested these are my mirrors:
  11. On the VTR250 I've got the mirrors adjusted so I can just barely see the edge of my arms when I'm sitting stationary on the bike. This gives me a decent view of what's behind me and then I use head checks to see what's on either side for changing lanes (but also consider that if there was something directly beside me that I wasn't aware of, then I wasn't paying enough attention to what's around me and how it got there).
  12. In the pre-learner course they told us to adjust the mirrors so that it has part of your shoulder in view and everything else to its side as much as can be adjusted ... now i do remember the bikes used in the course had high/wide mirror stems so wasn't a problem then .. but the Ninja's mirrors are quite low and if i adjust it to look over the shoulders ... the image shoots up from the shoulders and would miss the car as its low .. so are we suggesting here that i should actually have it angled so it peeks through my arm and waist .. ? I'll try that tonight when i go home ..

    Yes i'm not forgetting the headchecks :D
  13. I have my left mirror adjusted so I can see as much as I can behind me...

    I have the right mirror adjusted so I can see as much of the 'blind spot' to my right as possible

    And I headcheck EVERY move....
    • Like Like x 1
  14. My Wee has a bit of the "look at the shoulders" problem. I will be shortly buying some mirror extenders from http://www.adventuretech.biz/mirror-extenders.html as soon as I get around to it. Maybe someone makes aftermarket mirrors, or extenders like these for your bike?
  15. This is more or less how mine is adjusted. With elbows tucked in, the inside part of the mirror is focused towards my inner elbow region, while the outer part of the mirror allows me to see to my left. Slight movement of my arm opens up the gap between my elbow and waist, and the inner part of the mirror allows me to see behind.

    It may not be the correct method, and I probably look like a chicken flapping it's wings, but it's the only way that I've managed to work for me, that gives me good visibility all around(utilizing both mirrors depending on lane position).
  16. It's a bit hard to know what to advise without seeing you on the bike. It could be a posture thing ie sitting up too much for that style of bike, or you could be some humungous dude with really broad shoulders :D Mirror extenders could help if it's the latter.
  17. Tried one this morning. Seemed great !
  18. that's why the ninja is a chicks bike :bolt:

    Seriously though if its bothering you, just get some other mirrors to put on.
  19. At every start up you should adjust your mirrors. They never stay where you leave them.
    You want to see the very corner of your shoulder when your sitting on a flat surface. Better still you should see your shoulder with a slight movement of your head.
    If I have a long down hill run I will change my mirror position to suit, same goes for uphill. Yup I am constantly adjusting my mirrors to suit the road!
    And as Titus said .... Nothing will save your life like a head check! Whether your in a car or riding, do your bloody head checks. If not for you, then for the rest of us poor slobs on the road.
  20. Extremely sweeping statement; virtually ANY mirror can be tightened up to the point that even a decent bump should not move it out of alignment.....