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New Bike and Increase in Near Misses

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by Eddo, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. Hi everyone

    Have been a member before but lost all of my login stuff so here I am again.

    Recently bought a new black CB400. After months of procrastinating I decided all I needed was a bike for a 60km daily commute to work of which includes approx 50k of freeway riding. The cb 400 has been the perfect choice and I ordered it with a megacycle can and ventura luggage system.

    I have been amazed at the number of near misses I've had since I bought the cb400. My riding style hasn't changed (which is sensible) and I've taken the same route to work for the past 12 months. The bike is way louder than my previous bike and all I can put down to the run of near misses is either;

    Having bought a black bike
    Less light in the mornings and evenings at this time of year

    So 2 weeks ago I bought a safety vest. All was good until this morning when I nearly got cleaned up again by a driver behaving badly. All of my misses have been quite different but have one thing in common....drivers not being able see me.

    So the next plan is high beam on all of the time.

    I am interested in finding out if any other riders notice an increase in the number of near misses in the winter months?

    Thanks for reading my post


  2. No more than normal. I wouldn't do the high beam riding if i were you, could make more problems than fix.

    Just stay on your toes.
  3. I think it's just people telling you hondas suck j/k

    I think you have just come across more bad drivers then before.
    I think you have simply been unlucky
  4. You might want to look at how you are positioning yourself on the road and how far ahead you are looking.
  5. Look into headlight modulators. They flash your high beam very rapidly, and are completely legal. Lots of people think your a cop and move over :p

    Aside from that, your always going to be invisible. Dont put yourself in situations where you can be hit, or deal with them (ie, accelerate out of blind spots).
  6. Interesting correlation EddoHawk.
    My guess like yours would be external factors - time of year (cold, bad weather), time of day at which you're riding. No doubt there are some interesting stats out there on such things.
    Also - what was your "riding state" before the CB400 - what bike, how often, what time of day?
  7. Is it the freeway riding that you are having issues with or the 10km in suburban areas?

    If it's the freeways just keep in mind your speed of approach and your positioning to other cars. Doing 120 is no issue but faster than that and you really need to be prepared. At freeway speeds i find drivers in general struggle to estimate how fast others are going.

    If it's in the 10km suburban riding, maybe you are having bad luck. I haven't noticed any difference.
  8. Problem found, i speed, change lanes rapidly and take off as quick as i possibly can.

    Gets me noticed, keeps me away from traffic, always have an updated view on whats around me.
  9. lol Zealt, i also sit on that side of the line
    I'm sure some believe slow, conservative riding will always be safer (I haven't searched but I can imagine pages on pages of debate)

    but, at least subjectively, I feel a lot safer and have better vision if I ride assertively into spaces, move through traffic instead of having it move around me.

    I'm still on Ls .... would be interested to hear experienced thoughts on this ... time for that search :]
  10. From memory when it was discussed, most who commute ride in a manner as you describe.

    From my experience:

    *Positioning whilst in moving traffic is key.
    *Read the traffic well in advance. Look through the car in front and have an escape route planned. This is so bloody important and i see this as the biggest mistake riders make whilst commuting. A LOT of riders cannot read traffic well, leaving things to the last minute which gets them into strife.
    *If you stay put there is a good chance people will merge or turn into you.
    *If you filter/split, there is a slim chance of you clipping a car.
    *When filtering/splitting, there is a small chance you will get yourself into sh1t. Hence you should of stayed put LOL.

    I ride aggressively when commuting and sedately in traffic on weekends. Is it safer when commuting? I couldn't honestly say but it keeps me more alert and focused which is a good thing.

    I think a damned if you do, damned if you don't approach is probably ideal.
  11. My guess like yours would be external factors - time of year (cold, bad weather), time of day at which you're riding. No doubt there are some interesting stats out there on such things.
    Also - what was your "riding state" before the CB400 - what bike, how often, what time of day

    Hello again

    I'm inclined to agree with you regarding the time of year . Before the cb I was riding a VTR250 doing around 20k each year, commuting every day rail hail or shine, leaving home at 7 and home at 6.30, but not during June/July until this year.

    Is it the freeway riding that you are having issues with or the 10km in suburban areas?

    Freeways have generally been ok, suburban streets have been the main concerns. Perhaps I am to much of a citizen. My positioning in lanes etc should be ok, I position myself on the right hand side of the left hand lane to increase my visibility to drivers in side streets and avoid travelling in the centre lane. I lane spit occasionally on the freeway and on arterials but as a rule only when cars are stationary or crawling along. My misses have been things such as drivers attempting to turn right in front of me, drivers changing lanes without looking, pedestrians crossing against red lights in bumper to bumper traffic and believe it or not a police car who nearly cleaned me up chasing a bloke who shouldnt have been in the transit lane.

    Perhaps it is just a run of bad luck and the time of year. Maybe my concerntrations slipped due to being a bit more preoccupied with having a new bike? The safety vest should help although I wonder why more riders
    dont wear them.

    Anyway a few near misses in a short period does result in a rider reassessing things.
  12. Eddo - Can you take the car a couple of days a week? Or perhaps bus/train it to work?

    Perhaps, step back a little and ride a couple of days a week until your concerns fade away? My opinion is if you don't feel safe, don't ride. Honestly i think those negative thoughts greatly hinder as it distracts you from focusing on the important things. It's the same as the 'dont drive whilst angry' rule IMO. Take care!
  13. Some riders don't feel the need to wear them.

    I have four golden rules, and (touch wood), in the past few years all "unexpected" merges I saw before it happened. (Not that i'm suggesting a "Final Solution", despite being half german.)

    1) You are invisible
    2) Position yourself accordingly - stay the hell out of the blind spots, always fang through the blind spots and back off when you're safe
    3) If your concentration is waning, verbalise a monologue, tends to "snap" me back into the zone (whe I haven't had enough sleep)
    4) You are invisible

    I also ride conservatively, but I'm not afraid to give it a blat if I feel uneasy about a situation.
  14. Eddo, I wouldn't run high beams but what I would do is raise the height of your low beam so it is at the position where it flickers into the drivers vision when riding (technically too high to be ideal). This is more eye catching than having it set solid at eye height. Kev. :wink:
  15. I noticed the same thing today!

    I almost never commute before 9am (uni student) and this morning I left home at about 7am for an exam, in the cage.

    I was pretty horrified at the other cagers in the early morning, worst driving I've seen in a long time.

    I'm fairly certain its something to do with the daylight hours being shorter and it being so cold in winter as mentioned by someone above. In fact I noticed I am less inclined to take the bike to uni and instead take the cage solely because I feel 'too tired' regardless of whether I've had a good night's sleep just because its so damn cold and miserable!

    I don't think your conspicuity would be so much of a problem... esp. with the fluro vest.
  16. sorry but if you're eperiencing alot of near misses, i reckon either you're having an amazingly rotten spell of shit luck, or you're riding style was lacking in the first place, and you were lucky to begin with. i'm going to side with the latter, as you can always im prove :wink:

    i know it's courtious to be in the left lane, on multi lane roads, but i almost always sit in the left wheeltrack of the right lane, on a double lane road. gives traffic from side roads slightly more view of you, and if they pull out, its usually into the left lane, not your lane. you also have more time to react if they pull out.

    as others mentioned, its all road positioning, and reading the traffic, having an escape plan. keep working on it, and you can reduce the near misses yourself, without any change from other road users :)
  17. Hey which is less likely to get you killed,
    riding in the right wheel track of the left lane or vice-versa?

    Subjectively, seems to me vehicles turn in to roads equally from both sides.
    Especially divided roads, where they're often waiting in the middle edging forwards, edging edging, mofos
  18. On highways cars only merge on from the left. I usually sit on the far right of the highway, keeps me out of trouble for the most part. In the city it depends on the road, just gotta be alert about intersections ahead and position yourself as appropriate. Regularly tying yourself to one side of the road on the argument that it's safer is just silly imho.
  19. Very true legion, very true