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Red Mist: When to pull your head in.

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Viator, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. Hi guys

    I've been riding for a few years now and my body position is pretty good but every now and then I don't "pull my head in" when I should.

    Last night I let myself get a bit hot headed when some old guy gunned it past me in my lane when I was taking off from the lights. Like a light switch, the cave man in me awakened and took control of my wrist to show the guy I was on a big sportsbike too. There was no way someone with a Givi top box was going to beat me! In the dark and traffic filled conditions, he tried to get away from me by applying generous throttle and some lane splitting at speed. I kept up with his 130 odd in the 80 zone for 10kms or so before he turned left but by that time the cave man had conquered and common sense had left the building.

    As my competition turned left, the lights ahead of me went amber. Without thinking I opened the throttle right up. As Murphy’s law would have it, at that same moment I stopped thinking, a car ahead pulled out at one of those ‘turn left with care’ signs and into my lane. At this point I was probably doing 100kmph more than the car. My immediate thought was “here comes my first crash” but my riding experience kicked in and saved me. My instincts took hold of the brakes and then released with enough just time to arc a high speed swerve around the car in front before accelerating off into the distance.

    I was lucky I have developed the skill needed to get me out of that situation, but if I simply pulled my head in when that motorcyclist went past, I could’ve avoided risking my life altogether. In my opinion, decision making is the biggest contributor to your safety. What do you think?

    Have you had to stop and change your attitude? Maybe you’re slowly developing a bad attitude like me? Maybe you’ve let yourself get carried away and ended up stacking?

    • Like Like x 3
  2. Re: Body position: When to pull your head in.

    i pull mine all the time
  3. Re: Body position: When to pull your head in.

    I have a policy:

    Accelerate as much as i like until i hit the speed limit.

    Once i hit the speed limit, i then have to make a conscious decision as to whether the break it or not.

    This applies particularly to if there are other riders around (who may be "hooning" more than myself).

    For a 20y/o, i have very good self restraint when it comes to not racing off with other riders, probably in some large part owing to knowing that i will probably lose (because i'm a big girl like that).
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Re: Body position: When to pull your head in.

    20year olds dont have self restraint ;)
  5. Re: Body position: When to pull your head in.

    Well!...aint YOUR head in the wrong place!

    A major part of riding is making the right choices and more importantly, when.
    I'm a bad boy sometimes, but it's always a decision. NOT a reaction.
    Ride your ride, not someone elses, or you will pay the price, one way or another.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Re: Body position: When to pull your head in.

    I did this other day,

    I was doing laps of a road that goes up a mountain to telsta tower in canberrra (perhaps your famillier) i ride this road and drive it VERY often, i know it off the back of my hand as its only about 2 kms long, and then you turn around at the top and go back down.

    Anyway, i was driving around the carpark at the summit to go back down, and a huge patrol was crusing very slowly, as many people do as they check out the view etc, and instead of being a little bit patient, i went to over take, he was only doing 30 or so, and i overtook in the wrong gear. out of lazyness, and at the point when i was at this drivers door he swerved into me to park his car on the right.

    I was impatitent because i was jacked up on adrenilen from riding hard, and then i was too lazy to change down / was not used to the insane rev range of my bike, and didnt realise i was out of the power band.

    becuase my head was in the wrong space, and i was lazy, and i thought i could relax as i was no longer riding hard and fast.
    i was inches from getting taken out by a huge patrol, and possibly run over and killed, as i would have fallen under his car from the angle of incidence.

    Check yourself before you wreck yourself
  7. Re: Body position: When to pull your head in.

    That's a good example of one type of trouble we can find ourselves in.
    You get a little frisky...have a little 'play'...finish and relax. Trouble is...it's easy to also drop your guard, as you relax.
    And it gets ya! Gotta watch that! :)

    Glad you dodged the proverbial bullet. :)
  8. Re: Body position: When to pull your head in.

    Not that Netriders speed or anything....

    ... but if they did I am sure thewiser ones would choose the time and place they did having regard to both the risk of crashing and the likelihood of getting caught and/or losing licence.

    Choosing to speed on the basis of someone with a givi box passing you seems like a poor choice to me. At least from the the OP you you appear to have realised it in this circumstance.

    Unless you are the world's fastest rider, from time to time people are going to pass you. Hell, from time to time people are going to pass you anyway. Big deal.

    And slighty off topic but a special note to learners, since they read this forum a lot - Always, always, always ride your own ride. If the rider in front is slower feel free to pass if you wish. If the rider in front is slower, let them go. Trying to keep a with a fster rider is a good way to get yourself killed.
  9. Re: Body position: When to pull your head in.

    I learnt this the hard way, trying to ride faster and ride without my head screwed on properly.................literally head in the clouds, like riding while stoned.

    Ive learnt that lesson so well that im more than willing to let scooter riders pass me if my head isnt in it....................Mav can attest to this, he was riding with me at the time and wondered why I let a scooter rider through :).

    The price on a motorbike is way too high.
  10. Re: Body position: When to pull your head in.

    Yeah, good post. I think decision making makes more and more contribution to safety as you become a more skillful rider. For noobs, training and experience would be playing a much bigger role. Talent and coordination, and the cognitive abilities that contribute to it might be after that. And, way behind that, maybe ATGATT contributes something. (Put that in specially for Chef)
  11. Re: Body position: When to pull your head in.

    I always have this song going on in my head when I start to feel the caveman take hold.

    "...chickity-check yo self before you wreck yo self..."

    Thank you Ice Cube.
  12. Re: Body position: When to pull your head in.

    10 years ago me & my mates used to all ride 250s cbrs, zx2r, fzr's, rg's....we used to race each other & anything sporty that pulled up at the set of lights, hell we even did burnouts & wheelie's in the middle of traffic, we were idiots....i got bit once cause i tried to race an nsr250 at a set of lights 5am on a sunday morning....wheel spun & crashed in front of about 20 piss heads...got lucky & came away with a bruised ankle.

    10 years later & wiser I feel proud that i can sit at a set of lights with a wrx next to me & not give a shit as to whether he get away from me at the lights quicker.

    If they want to race then they are probably a douche & i rather keep douches in front of me where i can keep an eye on em'
  13. Re: Body position: When to pull your head in.

    Such a small piece of advice can be applied to so much we do on the bike...
  14. Re: Body position: When to pull your head in.

    Many years ago I had a hotted up Commodore. One day, with the wife and kids in the car, I got baled up by three teenagers in a clapped out 120Y. So I shut them down. A few hundred meters further, they raced past and waved 'loser' signs out the windows, so I shut them down again. After about the 4th time, I realised they weren't going to quit or concede, so I stopped trying. If I hadn't, one of us would have ended up hitting something.

    Point is, even with a famously slow vehicle, a nutbag can go faster than your comfortable everyday speed, and if they're prepared to take stupid chances, they can cover the ground quite quickly. Would you run a red light at 100+ km/h in broad daylight to beat someone? Then you're probably not a nutjob, but three teens in their mum's 120Y? No problem.

    There are races it isn't worth winning.
  15. Re: Body position: When to pull your head in.

    The other day a mate of mine pulled up beside me on a Hayabusa gunned the engine and we were ready to race. The lights turned green and he was in front, then he he lifted the front wheel in second and was gone and we very quickly reached the speed limit, I am 46 and should know better and can't afford to lose my license he is about 23 years younger than me and should live to see 46 years of age. We all have brain snaps from time to time but it does get better with age.
  16. Re: Body position: When to pull your head in.

    It's not hard to get sucked on the odd occasion. Trouble is, i always feel like a tosser when i do!.
    Dragging from lights just does'nt do anything for me any more. Probably too old.
  17. Re: Body position: When to pull your head in.

    If your squeezing the crap out of your grips your out of your comfort zone.
    That's when you really need to assess the situation and accept the possibilities.
    And make your choice.
  18. Re: Body position: When to pull your head in.

    would have been first and last
    zero chance of survival.

    thanks for your good honest post though. all riders should be that honest with themselves and stop and have a think. very easy to get into bad habbits in traffic. playing with cars, showing off etc.
    no denying i'm guilty of it. more riders are getting back on the roads here as the weather warms up. after months of hardly seeing any and finally having some grip, the temptation to entice them to carve up some traffic is hard to resist.
    so it's a two edged sword i think.
    both pull your head in; and don't show of around other riders if you do come across them. because it's nearly that time of year when most of them are novice riders ogling your big capacity bike.
    set a good example instead.
  19. @ Unconnected - I do know the road (Black Mountain?) so it made it easy for me to imagine what happened. Thanks for sharing. I think your encounter was similar to mine in that your mental state changed and you forgot to assess what was happening before it happened.

    I think it's important to be honest with yourself when you've been a muppet like I was. I take pride in being responsible with my powerful bike so I think it's important to admit some of my mistakes along the way. To ride your own ride is easier said than done so it helps to be reminded. Thanks all.
  20. *nods* this thread couldn't be more on the ball with my current mindframe...went for a run down the backroad past yellowrock lookout in blue mountains earlier today...and i love it as there are countless parts lil stretches where i can actually open my bike up (as much as it's lil 250 heart can take) ...absolutely loved it...seen a bunch of riders along the way ...but at the end of it...

    i couldn't help but reflect on my riding the past few days...even brought it up with the olds about how i need to pull my head in ...as i'm currently a tad too trigger happy with the throttle ....had abit of fun with a rider on a cbr(pretty sure it was a 1000) up until he stopped playing around and demolished me at a set of lights..

    i'm still fresh meat to the riding world and i aim to be a capable and respected rider in time...not a F#$%wit of a rider that will either quickly lose his license or end up in a accident and hurting/killing myself or possibly someone else (granted i always limit my speed when i have anyone infront of me)
    but still...i have a fiance' that wants to shortly purchase a bike and start the occasional ride with me...i dont want to set a bad example for her ...and i want to actually be around to enjoy cruising happily along the roads with her

    apologies for the rant as always - my 2 cents.