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Motorways (M4) dangerous for learners at night?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Nug-Nugget, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. Hi all,

    I'm thinking of taking the M4 from Concord to Parramatta home from work tonight. I've taken this route a hundred times in my car from work, but my friend warned me not to take it on my bike at night because it's really dark and you can't see the surface of the road. The alternate route would be Parramatta Rd then Liverpool Rd/Hume Hwy which sucks ass! I took the M4 from Parramatta to Concord this morning and I had so much fun. From experience in my car the road surface generally seems good. What do you guys think?
  2. i've done it plenty of times since i picked up my bike 2 weeks ago. i've even done it in the rain, at 1am, and run out of petrol without any dramas (switch to reserve good for another 50kms). i say go for it as long as you are comfortable doing it.

    +1 for working in parra
  3. Very much doubt it. The road surfaces on the motorways are usually of very high standard.

    That said there's always a few blown out tyres, debris on the road you should be aware of and take necessary precautions. Never ever follow a car any closer than 5 seconds on motorways or freeways, it it's wet (good possibility of it happening later tonight) add even more. You will surprised how long it takes to stop from 100 or even 80. I was once on the way to the Old Pacific Highway on the F3 when a huge PVC pipe (talking 1 metre in diameter) fell off the back of a ute. Would've been messy if I had hit it, but since I was so far behind it was very easy to avoid. Keep an eye out on the surface of the left hand lanes as this is where heavy vehicles go and usually over time this degrades the road surface much quicker than other lanes (this is particularly evident on the F3 where b doubles drive all day and night).

    Also, probably best to avoid doing 80 if there's a lot of traffic around. Much safer to do the speed limit and not become a chicane.
  4. You'd be suprised, I believe the great western Highway has a bus lane for that whole length and it can be faster for a bike rider. I travel the other way every day and the m4 is chockers heading west at peak hour.

    The road surface isn't spectacular, theres a lot of slippery cracks near the tolls that get quite slippery in the wet. In fact that part is probably one of the worst freeway stretches ive been on.
  5. Thanks guys, that's what I wanted to hear.

    smileedude, I travel to and from work at 1230pm and 1200am so traffic isn't really a problem.
  6. I tend to avoid dark highway stretches, my headlight is nowhere near as good as on the car.
  7. No problem then, it's not the best surface for a freeway but you shouldn't have any troubles.

  8. nope, only from parra to Wentworthville
  9. i no this is not right but when iam on the bike i have my head light on high beam 24/7, if iam right up the ass of a cage i will go back to low beam (like when iam in a built up housing area where every one is doing 40-50).

    i find that the high beam on the bike dont bother cars and if it does they dont complain (ive talked to a few riders who do this as well).

    it makes you easier to be seen and for you to see easier.
  10. Depends on the type of road I guess, but I seriously doubt high beam at night would not bother cars on roads with no lights.
    Oncoming vehicles with very bright lights/possibly high beams are horrible things to deal with on country roads.
  11. agreed mate, specially when you get some drunk moron with a rack of HIDs on the top of his truck :(

    All ya can see is white for nearly a minute afterwards.
  12. Not to deter you but bloody oath the m4 is dangerous. I used to ride it from prospect hwy to king georges rd and it was quite dodgy due to all the merging. I used to go down the side which is illegal (currently suspended for it actually) and you get nails in your tyre because they've never heard of a street sweeper. The push bike riders cop it badly too.

    But that's the wonderful world of commuting on a bike! just no matter how boring and repetitive it gets never let your guard down..
  13. Two things come to mind:
    1. Just be careful, most people tend to think that the 3 second rule is for pussies and tend to enjoy seeing how you look as a bonnet ornament.
    2. The other major problem (as as an L plater, you'll probably spend most of your time in the left lane ;)) is people who dart across from the right hand lane(s) when their exit is upon them. Be mindful when approaching exit ramps - watch out for the "late exit-er".
  14. One screw in rear tyre, most likely from m4 shoulder = just arriving to work 3 hrs later than I expected and $149 lighter than I exepercted.

    Boo to Mondays!
  15. Yeah there are some pretty shocking drivers there. I notice a lot of people holding up traffic in the right lane going 10kms under the limit, then when its time for them to exit they just dart across without even looking.

    smileedude, that sucks I was just on the M4 about an hour ago. Fortunately it was smooth sailing.
  16. I find this interesting as we were specifically taught not to use the left hand lane on freeways for this reason (and when I am on the freeway I tend not to).

    However, I find the left hand lane of freeways often have some of the least predictable drivers anyway - so I never really feel comfortable in it - bike or car.
  17. In Vic you guys when on restrictions are allowed to do the full motorway speeds so your lane choice would be dictated by traffic, speed and your safety.

    In NSW the L (and P) plate is a speed limiter which makes 100kph and 110kph highways and motorways another level of dangerous... There really is no safe place for a L/P rider in NSW on open roads unless they are willing to do 100/110 (which is what I do/have done both times I've been on a 110 motorway.).

    Fun Ha!
  18. You lucky Victorian bastards!
  19. Oh I forgot about that.... 80 on a freeway is downright dangerous. Im surprised NSW havent had any deaths because of it and reversed that law. Car or bike. Hell, even on Car Ls in WA we could do the speed limit (100 limit from mem - Ps was unrestricted)
  20. Got to Sydney about an hour ago via the F3

    I refuse to do 80km/hr on the F3. Usually hang at about 100km/hr. We know its dangerous, and when on my L's (for the cage) my parents always had us doing 90-100km/hr

    Although, i drifted to 80 tonight on a couple of occasions, given the heavy rain and little traffic. Got fairly soaked, just hope my jeans and gloves are fairly dry tomorrow for the ride to uni :D

    good fun