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My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

  1. #26
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short


    What I've been learning here and from other competent sources is, anything you can do to increase the visibility of your bike is more of a good idea than a bad idea. It all depends on what you do and how you execute it.

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  2. #27
    Senior Member AEG's Avatar
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    Human eye is very good to record even a smallest movement. You don't have to weave line to line to get noticed

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  3. #28
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    Quote Originally Posted by klp View Post
    Yeah I didn't watch the whole video - once I saw him wobble his bike out of the shed I was about done.

    My commute from Andover to S Lawrence includes 43782993 intersections, am I supposed to weave the whole time?
    No, obviously don't do it all the time; just when your judgment and experience tell you that there's someone whose attention may need to be gathered. I'd expect that most of those on our commute are lights rather than stopsigns, so the cars go when the light says, not when the driver thinks it's clear. So you generally don't need to weave for those unless the cross street is "left turn yield on green" with eager left turners at it. It's the ones where there is a car waiting to go, and he can go any time he thinks it's safe, that you have to watch for. Also, as mentioned above, a full weave is not always needed. I usually just wiggle the handlebars a bit so that my headlight beam moves in his field of vision.

    PhilB

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  4. #29
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilB View Post
    No, obviously don't do it all the time; just when your judgment and experience tell you that there's someone whose attention may need to be gathered. I'd expect that most of those on our commute are lights rather than stopsigns, so the cars go when the light says, not when the driver thinks it's clear. So you generally don't need to weave for those unless the cross street is "left turn yield on green" with eager left turners at it. It's the ones where there is a car waiting to go, and he can go any time he thinks it's safe, that you have to watch for. Also, as mentioned above, a full weave is not always needed. I usually just wiggle the handlebars a bit so that my headlight beam moves in his field of vision.

    PhilB
    In my opinion, a (rare but greater) danger over traffic at stop signs and traffic lights is the driver who fails to use turn signals, needs to make a U-turn, pulls off to the right side of the roadway, then when the vehicle directly behind him passes, he pulls a left turn directly in front of you without full looking and seeing.
    For my next bike, I'm strongly considering a bright colored bike with a fairing to help improve visibility.

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  5. #30
    Lifer jasnmar's Avatar
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    I've not seen any evidence that shows bright colors do anything to alleviate saccadic masking, which I believe to be the primary problem with drivers not seeing riders.

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  6. #31
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    Saccadic masking - Wikipedia

    Alleviate means to lessen, make less so.

    Class dismissed!

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  7. #32

    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    Lots of good tips here.

    My only addition is to reinforce the 2 second following rule (minimum). I am baffled by how many new riders / drivers know nothing about this... or at least don't practice it.

    "close calls" will magically become few and far between.

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  8. #33
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    Quote Originally Posted by klp View Post
    I don't care what that old British bastard says weaving is a bad idea. What if your weave trajectory leaves you aimed towards the car whose attention you are after and the car starts to pull out? Now you are turning/leaning and pointed in the wrong direction.

    Pure shite.
    Been doing it since the 1985, after people kept cutting me off coming out of side streets when I was commuting home from Beverly to Marblehead. Started doing it out of desperation.

    Didn't know why it works until I saw that video. But the idea that if the background behind the driver's head isn't moving, you're not moving relative to his point of view is valuable and you offer nothing better.

    Quote Originally Posted by jasnmar View Post
    I've not seen any evidence that shows bright colors do anything to alleviate saccadic masking, which I believe to be the primary problem with drivers not seeing riders.
    There's a study showing that people pay most attention to riders that look like cops.

    Part of the value of high viz has to do what it does (shift some light wavelengths into the visible band) but perhaps the fact people aren't sure you aren't a LEO might be as valuable. Some say it is not effective.

    Having been riding in and out of Boston since 2006, I need every edge I can get!

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    Last edited by Garandman; 10-30-16 at 02:35 PM.
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  9. #34
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    There's a study showing that people pay most attention to riders that look like cops.
    Does a big white fairing and white bags look like a cop, head on?
    I know cops frown on using flashing lights.

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    Last edited by commuter; 10-30-16 at 09:18 PM.

  10. #35
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    people pay most attention to riders that look like cops.
    Hmm, maybe getting hit isn't so bad then.


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  11. #36
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    Saw a cop in traffic (Medford) this morning almost rear end the car in front of him. He was talking on his cell phone while driving. Ugh.

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  12. #37
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    my hair never looks as in-place as Ponch's when I take off my helmet

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  13. #38
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    Quote Originally Posted by commuter View Post
    I know cops frown on using flashing lights.
    Technically, they frown on flashing blue or red lights. Some people who really strive for every possible edge use a headlight modulator, which alternates between high and low beam repeatedly. Usually older guys on goldwings. State law might vary, though I believe they all cite a federal regulation that specifically allows it. It has the drawback of potentially pissing off drivers, or attracting unwanted police attention so it's up to you whether you think it's a good technique.

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  14. #39
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    Quote Originally Posted by aldend123 View Post
    Technically, they frown on flashing blue or red lights. Some people who really strive for every possible edge use a headlight modulator, which alternates between high and low beam repeatedly. Usually older guys on goldwings. State law might vary, though I believe they all cite a federal regulation that specifically allows it. It has the drawback of potentially pissing off drivers, or attracting unwanted police attention so it's up to you whether you think it's a good technique.
    I was kidding about the flashing blue lights. They are illegal. Flashing blue = cops. Flashing red = fire. Then there are school buses and emergency vehicles that use yellow/orange. I think a clear strobe on the front *might* work to raise my visibility, but haven't tried it. Seems to work for bicyclists. I see them pretty well, when strobing or flashing lights/LEDs are used.
    I personally don't like using flashing high beams or blowing the horn, because they mean different things to different people. For example, if I'm in slow moving traffic, I will use my flashing lights or a tap on the horn, to wave a car waiting for a break in traffic, to move in place ahead of me. You can see how that could send the wrong message to someone, if I didn't want them to move in front of me. Real dilemma. I am interested, though, in what works for others.
    Still, have you ever wondered how "old guys on Goldwings" got to be that old and still be riding?

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    Last edited by commuter; 10-31-16 at 12:21 PM.

  15. #40
    Lifer jasnmar's Avatar
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    Quote Originally Posted by aldend123 View Post
    Technically, they frown on flashing blue or red lights. Some people who really strive for every possible edge use a headlight modulator, which alternates between high and low beam repeatedly. Usually older guys on goldwings. State law might vary, though I believe they all cite a federal regulation that specifically allows it. It has the drawback of potentially pissing off drivers, or attracting unwanted police attention so it's up to you whether you think it's a good technique.
    The headlight modulators (discussed much by Goldwing guys) technically don't switch between high and low, but "modulate" one of the beams between 100% and something like 25%. "Flashing" of lights is technically not allowed, but modulation is. The company that is most popular for these is signal dynamics, and they address the federal statute on their website. Frequently Asked Questions

    The fact that they are federally legal won't necessarily keep you from getting a ticket for using them (plenty of Goldwing guys have received tickets for them, and end up having to go to court to get out of it).

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  16. #41
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilB View Post
    You shouldn't be weaving when you get close enough to the car that which way you are pointing matters, and the video does not advocate that. They recommend a weave while you are further away and still blending into the background, as a way to stand out and not blend into the background. Which is a good idea, and makes excellent sense.

    PhilB
    During my ride home at dusk last night, while I could see where the headlight was shining, I used just a little motion side to side and saw the headlight move across the road. Don't need a full weave, just enough side to side motion to make the headlight appear to modulate to anyone looking in your direction. The steady light coming at you might not get your attention (particularly in daylight) as much as a headlight that appears to move side to side. I think getting some movement in the headlight besides a solid steady oncoming view is a good thing.

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  17. #42
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    Quote Originally Posted by commuter View Post
    During my ride home at dusk last night, while I could see where the headlight was shining, I used just a little motion side to side and saw the headlight move across the road. Don't need a full weave, just enough side to side motion to make the headlight appear to modulate to anyone looking in your direction. The steady light coming at you might not get your attention (particularly in daylight) as much as a headlight that appears to move side to side. I think getting some movement in the headlight besides a solid steady oncoming view is a good thing.
    Agreed. This has been mentioned in this thread already -- "... a full weave is not always needed. I usually just wiggle the handlebars a bit so that my headlight beam moves in his field of vision."

    PhilB

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  18. #43
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    I think people are missing the key [physiological] purpose.

    If the background behind the driver is not moving, it means the background is not moving behind you. Appearing suddenly and up close is usually referred to as "looming" but we are really dealing with what is more commonly called "Motion Camouflage."

    While people may be fed up with ole' Duncan, there are other articles on the topic:

    Combating Motion Camouflage While Riding Your Motorcycle |

    Motion camouflage is a dynamic type of camouflage by which an object (you the motorcyclist) can approach a target (auto) while appearing to remain stationary from the perspective of the target. The way it works is while the approaching object remains on the same line of travel between the target and some landmark point – so it seems to stay near the landmark point from the target’s perspective. The only visible evidence that the attacker is moving would be its angle and its “looming”- the change in size as the attacker approaches.

    http://pure.rhul.ac.uk/portal/files/...r_Vehicles.pdf

    and others.

    Motherfuckers still be tryin' to kill you....

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  19. #44
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    I think people are missing the key [physiological] purpose.

    If the background behind the driver is not moving, it means the background is not moving behind you. Appearing suddenly and up close is usually referred to as "looming" but we are really dealing with what is more commonly called "Motion Camouflage."

    While people may be fed up with ole' Duncan, there are other articles on the topic:

    Combating Motion Camouflage While Riding Your Motorcycle |

    http://pure.rhul.ac.uk/portal/files/...r_Vehicles.pdf

    and others.

    Motherfuckers still be tryin' to kill you....
    Nobody is missing that. That's exactly what we are all talking about, along with ways to combat it by moving relative to the background, as seen by the driver.

    PhilB

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  20. #45
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilB View Post
    Nobody is missing that. That's exactly what we are all talking about, along with ways to combat it by moving relative to the background, as seen by the driver.//
    KLP ain't buyin' it, I thought he had a posse....

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  21. #46
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    KLP ain't buyin' it, I thought he had a posse....
    He made one post about not buying it, with a lame reason. Got responded to, and dropped the subject.

    PhilB

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  22. #47
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    You can all choose to weave, modulate your headlights, or anything else you think makes you safer.

    Riding safely is not rocket science and cannot be reinvented IMO. I have stayed safe by sticking to the basics - lane position, speed control, using experience to make decisions on the fly. Most here know the drill. Riding safely is more than it seems on the surface. Can you brake, swerve and accelerate to your bikes maximum ability? I can, and practice often. This alone can get you out of some ugliness.

    I have had several close calls over the years, all were from me going too fast. I choose my go fast spots a lot more wisely these days.

    I still think the technique is shite. How many safety courses advocate this? Anyone besides geriatric Brits pushing it? Stick to the basics people.

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  23. #48
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilB View Post
    Agreed. This has been mentioned in this thread already -- "... a full weave is not always needed. I usually just wiggle the handlebars a bit so that my headlight beam moves in his field of vision."

    PhilB
    This won't do a thing on a bike with a fixed fairing.

    I am not trying to be right here or needing a posse to support me - do what makes you feel safe. If there is some science behind it and you want to geek out about saccadic masking and study all sorts of other minutia, you can do that to.

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    Last edited by klp; 11-05-16 at 03:42 PM.

  24. #49
    Lifer PhilB's Avatar
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    Quote Originally Posted by klp View Post
    This won't do a thing on a bike with a fixed fairing.

    I am not trying to be right here or needing a posse to support me - do what makes you feel safe. If there is some science behind it and you want to geek out about saccadic masking and study all sorts of other minutia, you can do that to.
    Sure, wiggling the handlebars a bit to move the headlight across the driver's vision won't do anything on a bike with a fixed fairing, since the headlight isn't on the handlebars. But that was just my suggestion, from what I do on my bike, which has no fairing at all. Weaving the bike, as recommended in the video, and as dissed by you, DOES move the whole bike relative to the background, and thus will have some effect regardless of your fairing design.

    Gathering some idea of how things actually work is not "geeking out on minutia"; it's figuring out how to be effective. Knowing how the eye-brain system works enables us to take advantage of the helpful aspects, and to know why this is such a problem in the first place.

    I've heard this same counter-argument in discussions about countersteering. There's always a contingent that thinks knowing how countersteering actually works is geeking out on minutia, and they are always willing to spend hours arguing that knowing this doesn't help you ride better, and that it's a waste of time to think about this stuff when you could be practicing your riding. But I disagree -- knowing how thing work, understanding what you are doing and why, helps with the process, for me and for some others.

    If you don't feel that grasping this stuff is worthwhile, you are free to ignore it. I've never quite grasped what anyone gets out of spending time telling other people that what they are doing isn't worthwhile.

    PhilB

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  25. #50
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    Re: My experience at the Harley Davidson New Rider Academy Course - short

    I never said it wasn't worthwhile, just worthless to me. I don't use geeking out in a negative way - I immerse myself in levels of detail on things that would bore most. And it does.

    Weave away, I am out.

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