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Mirrors position and flat vs convex

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by ptb, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. I've got a Honda VTR250 and I think the rear vision is shit however I know nothing to base it against.

    I'm a bit bigger/fatter than the typical bloke and when I try to view the lane behind me, I just see my shoulders and arms. If I bring my elbows right in, I can just see the lane marks on either side. To be able to see behind me, I have to angle the mirrors to view the side lanes at quite a sharp angle, then move my head about 30-40cm towards the mirror and then I can see if someone is behind me.

    I've noticed some bikes have mirrors lower than where Honda put them on this bike. I've also read the mirrors on the edge of the handlebars thread, and think that might solve my problem.

    I guess the question is, what is the correct technique to monitor what's behind me and the correct mirror position?

    Also, I'd like to buy convex mirrors to replace the flat mirrors which I completely hate. My german cage has side rear view mirrors with the outer 1/3rd convex and they are completely awesome. Does such a product exist for bikes?
  2. I move my left in to see behind me, then the right to see the lane next to me. This is because you are less likely to be overtaken on the left so the need to check there is less, but a quick overtake to the right may be necessary.

    Convex is risky because it distorts distance, not saying dont do it just be aware.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. ^smart
  4. and you can get extensions for mirrors. just need to make sure you get the right threads to suit.
    i'm not searching for them for you though. i just cleaned my computer of filth.
    the other option would be to use more throttle to clear mirrors of traffic.
  5. There is no hard and fast rule as to what constitutes the best mirror position (as opposed to the correct adjustment, which is a different matter), but it's obviously better if you can get a good field of view of what is behind you without having to move around more than necessary. This generally means having the mirrors as widely spaced as possible to get outside your elbows etc.

    As MT1 said, it's often possible to get mirror extensions. These can be an extended stem for stem type mirrors or spacer block thingies for fairing mounted units.

    Another option is to look at other OEM mirrors that may fit. For example, I've got V-Strom mirrors on the DR which are bigger than the DR mirrors, which were rubbish, and have longer stems, placing them further outboard. They cost me $20 the pair in excellent condition and screwed straight on. As you have a Honda, have a look at other Honda models. Mirror stem mountings tend to be universal across a manufacturer's range. They're often interchangeable between manufacturers too, but sometimes they're not.

    Of course, wider mirrors have their disadvantages. They can get in the way when filtering in tight traffic and they are more vulnerable in a drop. You pays yer money and you takes yer choice.

    Aftermarket mirrors tend to be expensive for good quality stuff that won't look tatty too quickly. However, for bar ends, aftermarket is your only feasible option so go with personal recommendation from someone who's had a pair for a while.

    Convex is legally OK as long as it's not too extreme. From a functional point of view I love them, but then, I've been used to such things since driving (light) trucks 25 years ago so I can deal with the distance distortion OK. The Strom mirrors have a bit of a bow to them and they're fine. However, I assume that, from what you say about your car, you're talking more about something like the more sharply curved blind-spot eliminators. I like these too, on big mirrors which still have a fair area of flat or lightly curved glass as well. I'd be less keen to have them on smaller bike mirrors and I'd suggest that they serve less of a function on a vehicle which allows a full, clear view behind with a combination of flat mirror and head-check.
  6. When I bought my bike, my mirrors hand the small rectangle convex mirrors stuck to the outer top corner. These ar like those small blind spot mirrors.

    Once you get used to them, they work surprisingly well. The way my normal mirrors work, is that they will show what is behind me. I sometimes have to lightly move my elbows, but they usually are ok. And then the blind spot ones can help me with who is in my blind spot.

    But nothing should ever replace the old head check....
  7. lol yes
  8. Yep. VC has it right.

    If you are on a bike with fairing mounted mirrors, you may wish to twist them on the verticals axis (so the mirror ends point maybe 10-15% upwards.
    This is done so that as you are leaning over a bit through a corner, your mirror view will be closer to level, and give a little better view.