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Mirror position

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Leighbus, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. Went for my second ride today and it occurred to me when wanting to change lanes that my mirrors might not be positioned properly as I couldn't really see much into the next lane at all however I can see behind me fine. The bike is an 07 vtr 250 and currently the mirrors are positioned so when riding I can just see the entire width of my arm on each side.

    Should they be angled out more? Sorry if it seems like a stupid question but I'm new to all this.

  2. On some bikes the mirrors are almost useless, you sometimes have to move your arms and shoulder to see properly. You may need to adjust them though. Get someone to help you by standing at a diagonal roughly where a vehicle would be in an adjacent lane when you are sitting on the bike. Then adjust the mirrors.

    Always do a head check, don't rely on mirrors.
  3. +1 on the head check.

    I would find a carpark or similar and try them further out and see how they go. I tend to adjust mine fairly regularly, just because I want them slightly different most times I ride. Also, hanging helmets off them can put them out of alignment.
  4. #4 SevenSins, Nov 10, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
    Get someone to stand behind you about the distance a car might be..
    then re-position your mirrors whilst you have the bike upright.
    If you don't have any friends and no strangers will offer to stand behind you, pick a spot behind you and re-position your mirrors.
    You should be able to see the road behind and lanes to left and right if your mirrors are set up. (although as bikes are different some may be a bit more restricted.)
    Yours should be good though with some shifting around.

    It's typical for riders to move their head a bit and body position, upper body, elbows etc to get a good view of whats going on around them whilst on the move..

    head check goes without saying.. but we'll say it anyway. I've been on the bike coming out of a slip lane with trucks in my blind spot.. you would never see them without a headcheck, so that's the difference between getting squashed by objects in your blind spot.. as mirrors are good, but no substitute for the whole scenario.
  5. If you pull up at lights in a multi lane road you can often use the cars in the lane next to you to adjust mirrors effectively. Also lets you work out exactly what your mirrors aren't showing.

    And definitely worth repeating, always, always head check.
  6. Motorcycle mirrors are pretty pathetic in comparison to car mirrors. This is mainly due to not being able to sit them on either side of a lane. If you're sitting in the right wheel track you are not going to see much next to you to your left in any bikes mirrors. This is why head checks are drummed in so hard.
  7. Depends on the bike. Mine work well as did my previous bike 's mirrors but they need to be set wide to do that. Mirror extenders may assist.
  8. I use my mirrors so that the lanes behind me are visible, I can see virtually nothing beside me in my mirrors, much like a car. The primary use of my mirrors is to see what is approaching me from the rear, not what is already there, that's what my head checks are for.

    It is true that some mirrors can be positioned so that you can see what is beside you to the rear, on a bike, or in a car, however, it is far safer to assume that your blind spot starts at your ears and continues the length of your vehicle and then the length of your vehicle again behind you.

    If you can position your mirrors so that you can clearly see *approaching* traffic in your lane and the next lanes, you've done a good job.

    Think of all the car drivers who glance in their mirror, and fail to look out their drivers window, relying on their mirror to have magical properties that can't be achieved with mere glass and physics.

    EDIT: I will attempt to find and post the blind spot diagrams I drew up some time ago. No promises.
  9. FWIW I have my left mirror looking more behind and my right more to the next lane.
  10. Three mirrors on a car, centre for lane behind, wings for next lanes. Correctly adjusted they will each show only the one view, not two or three. Two mirrors on a bike, do we want to view next lane & lane behind on both mirrors, making headchecks @ every lane change kind of necessary? If the answer to either of these is yes you may be able in the future to explore other options if you fail to remain convinced by that notion. So what are the other options? Ok, R/mirror view up to half lane behind, some body/head movement may be necessary during urgent R/H lane changes. L/mirror, NO view lane behind at all, blind spot only , & ensuring no other movement but for the eyes to the mirror is necessary. This formula works for me as I find urgency, when it's required is substantially more with L/lane changes. I am in my 60's, rarely do headchecks, & trust my mirrors absolutely, when riding/driving & shaving.
  11. Regarding the obligatory head check...and I say this only because the OP is a noobie and he may be doing this already, but it can't hurt to say it if he's not. :)

    When you head check, you need to drop your head a bit and pivot your shoulders to really get a good view, rather than just turn your head. I've seen L platers merging onto freeways and they turn their head multiple times because they aren't getting a good enough view of what's behind/next to them because they don't do the old head drop and shoulder pivot.

    If you drop your head a bit and pivot your shoulders, you will get a much wider view of what's there and you should only have to do it once. Increasing how much you can see when you head check will increase your awareness of traffic movement and will increase your confidence and safety.

    And OP, if you are in any doubt...next time you're in your driveway do this quick experiment. Turn your head only and pinpoint the furthest object you can see behind you. Then dip your head and swivel your shoulders and you'll be surprised how much more you can see.
  12. Thanks everyone, yes I have been doing shoulder checks but didn't think I was turning my head enough so I will give that a try next time monkeyboy666. Will also try adjusting mirrors out more.
  13. Mirrors suck - except for use when shaving.

    Visibility from your mirrors will depend entirely on body position (individual to the rider/bike) and the position of the mirror (bike-specific).

    On a fair number of bikes over more years than I care to mention, I have found mirrors useful for a glancing view of what is approaching from behind, but as noted by a number of posters, the only way to check before changing lanes is head-check.

  14. I concur.

    Not much point in seeing your arms, just adjust them out until you just see the edge of what ever is blocking them.
  15. Me too. If I want to see directly behind me I always look into my left mirror. Also I found mirror raisers made visibility 10 times better. The standard position of my mirrors were almost useless.
  16. Mirrors actually work best in a turn, left turn left mirror etc. You need a part of your arm in you mirror as you ride straight, but always check, check on curves as above when comfortable but head check when changing lanes always. Answer is when comfortable, look front, mirrors and know where cagers are. Riding is absolute fun, but tune your sensors up up up to be aware of all that is going on, and expect the unexpected! Riding is so much better than caging.
  17. Im new to riding myself, and Ive discovered that the best I can do is get a good view of whats behind me, except for my elbows and a little bit of my chest. I just tuck in the elbows and do a head check like everyone else.
  18. I have both my mirrors angled symmetrically, more facing back than sideways and head-checking helps with sneaky cagers hiding in blindspots...:ninja:

    Out of curiosity @twinstngo, whats the logic behind picking the right mirror to show more of the side lane & left mirror, behind you??

    I get you are looking to eliminate the blind spot, but keen to understand the L vs R thinking??
  19. #19 twistngo, Dec 27, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
    I tend to be in the right wheel track and it just suits me. Escape route is to the right so I can keep an eye on it. Plus its more like the centre mirror in the car.

    edit. when you tuck in the angles change and if its wide sitting up its very wide tucked in. so the straighter one works tucked in. so you know something, maybe suspicious, is coming from behind.
  20. I'm a fairly new rider but I found the ideal position on my bike is to just have the top of my hands in the bottom right/left corner of each mirror respectively. It allows me to see behind me if I straighten my arms and gives me a wide view so I can see both lanes if I am on a 3 lane rd

    Hope this helps!