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Road Positioning Caused Close One With Right Turning Car...

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by Keenaviator, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. A couple of weeks ago I was cruising along fat dumb and happy (complacent) late in the afternoon with the sun setting behind me. I was travelling east on Princes Highway near Tynong in what should normally be the safest position on the road - the left wheel track of the right lane. There were some cars about 100 metres or so behind me. I wasn't going very hard, about 110 in a 110 zone.

    A car travelling the opposite way turned right in front of me. I braked very hard with both ends locking momentarily, got off them enough to maintain control and maximise braking, moving left away from the approaching car and accepting that if he didn't stop I was going to collect his front driver side mudguard (and thinking how I was going to get off the bike without leaving my legs behind on the handlebars?!). Fortunately the driver saw me at the last moment and stopped. He was well into my lane but I got around him to the left.

    What I got out of this immediately was that I was very surprised at how relatively easy it was to lock both ends of the M50 with its crappy single front disc and rear drum brakes. Secondly when I unlocked I was very surprised at how little retardation I was getting at maximum braking - very hard tyre compound perhaps and maybe the long wheelbase and steering geometry affecting things. By the way when I applied the brakes it wasn't a snatch but a squeeze (weight shift to the front causes a larger footprint and normally you can brake as hard as you like then without locking resulting in maximum retardation).

    When I later diagnosed this incident later (as you do or should do) I realised that that my positioning ahead of other traffic probably caused me to visually blend into the traffic behind - the car driver thinking there was nothing closer than a hundred metres or so. He did appear to be in a hurry though as he entered the right turn lane on his side of the road so I should have reacted sooner to the threat.

    The fix:
    • possibly a couple of strips of day running LED lights to make the bike look different so as not to blend in with other traffic.
    • just being aware of the importance of road positioning in relation to other vehicles where you can effectively be camouflaged.
    • get a bike with decent tyres, braking and handling (hence a new GSX1250FA is on its way!!):)
  2. Have you considered weaving gently when you see oncoming traffic threatening to turn in on you? It's been widely covered on this and other forums.
  3. As you can see I'm new to this forum.

    No, weaving is not something I have considered but sounds like an excellent tip.

    Never too old to learn!
  4. Stand in front of a wide mirror, wave your left hand from side to side whilst moving your right hand forward towards the mirror, which hand do you notice first?
  5. Got it.
  6. It's also good counter steering practice. You can weave harder at lower speeds, it's saved me on more occasions than I can remember.
  7. If you can't weave-try knitting.
    • Like Like x 3
  8. Nah, do crochet, that way you can keep one hand on the 'bars.
  9. Wankers can countersteer with one hand.
  10. Whilst knitting?
  11. with one needle
  12. This needs to be quoted for the sheer batshit crazy bullshit it is. I mean - WTF?
  13. well at least on the bandit you'll be long gone by the time he initiates the turn.
    M50 ha what a heap of shit.
    don't look directly at the car. look at your gap and go hard for it. around the back of the car if it's clear. a gap is a gap. those painted lines you see down the middle of roads are for cars and trucks to observe. cars do remarkably dumb shit in these situations stop go stop go stop go. but they don't reverse.
    braking at 110, bit late for that.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. I wouldn't go as far as saying the M50 is a heap of shit - if used only on its named roads (Boulevard) it's a beauty but I have lost confidence on its safe operation at highway speeds. The M90 and M109 are a different kettle of fish, proper disc brake systems and tyres. (The M50 has weird tyre sizes, 16" front and 15" rear which really limits tyre selection).

    It was the closest I've been ever to a major prang. As I said, I've learnt from the incident. I've also note up a tip that has some merit - although driving down the road weaving to get other road user's attention doesn't seem too practical to me - a couple of flashes of high beam would be quicker (or/and a strip of day running LED's to gain attention).

    True, look at where you want to go and that's where you will go. Conversely, looking at the risk almost guarantees a disastrous outcome.

    Braking at 110 - My aim at the time was to wipe off as much speed/energy before the impact. The TAC people tell us 'Speed Kills'. That's not true - 'Speed at Impact Kills'. I know that on a decent bike I can stop within 25 metres at 80 k's.
  15. Actually, it's not as batshit crazy bullshit as you might think.

    I better example would be to have someone stand roughly 100m away from you. Now look away for a couple of seconds and have them take 3 steps directly toward you. Could you really tell if they were any closer?

    Now have them do the same thing but take a couple of sideways steps as well, I'll bet you'll notice they've moved.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Left hand wheel track of the right lane at 110kph? Were you overtaking a vehicle at the time?

    If not, probably should have been in the left lane!
    not sure of the details of this incident, but sounds like you were very lucky.
  17. Practice practice practice.
    If you locked up initially on the Ebrake I would bet considerably that the second attempt was nowhere near braking capacity.
    Good work on spotting the hazard, that's 90% of the work, everything else is lizard brain.
  18. Which hand do you hold the mirror in? The one with the glove?