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 Motorcycle Safety
 Sharing of Lessons Learned
 Make them see you
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wmcooper
Male Junior Member
33 Posts


perry, ga
USA

Honda

shadow aero

Posted - 12/08/2015 :  6:43 PM                       Like
So another newbie experience. I was stopped in a turn lane on a main two lane road about to turn left onto a side road just waiting for oncoming traffic to pass by. At the same time a truck was on the side road waiting to turn left onto the main road. So I was on his right and he was to my left. I looked at his face. He didn't see me, he was looking left in the direction he was preparing to go. I think technically I would have the right of way in that situation wouldn't I? What do you think happened next?

I knew he was unaware of me so I cranked my throttle. He turned and looked at me.

It's a Shadow 750 that I bought used. The previous owner drilled some holes in the back baffle of the pipe so it's louder than stock but not ear blasting loud like a Harley.

I just wanted to share this since there is some debate on whether loud pipes save lives. In this case it got me noticed.




bricksrheavy
Male Standard Member
130 Posts


Europe
Croatia

Yamaha

FZ6

Posted - 12/09/2015 :  1:31 AM
I would say in this case situational awareness saved your life, the loud exhaust was just a tool or a tactic you used.
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bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2266 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 12/09/2015 :  10:33 AM
Was that throttle blip instinctive or did you think it a better tactic than using the horn (assuming the bike has a working horn) ?
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commonground
Male Standard Member
155 Posts


Windsor, PA
USA

Yamaha

V Star 1300

Posted - 12/09/2015 :  4:07 PM
Anything that you can do to get their attention and recognize that you are there, whether it be loud muffler, blowing your horn, flashing your lights, waving your arms, or yelling, should be in your arsenal.

Be conspicuous and have the situational awareness to see a problem developing.

Edited by - commonground on 12/10/2015 3:37 PM
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wmcooper
Male Junior Member
33 Posts


perry, ga
USA

Honda

shadow aero

Posted - 12/10/2015 :  7:02 PM
That's a good question. It does have a working horn but oddly it didn't cross my mind to use it. Maybe that would have worked just as well as the throttle. Nothing is very instinctive yet as I'm still very new. Only have been riding since August so about 3 months but I do parking lot practice to build some muscle memory. Had I not got his attention I would have waited to see if he started pulling out rather than risk turning in front of him.
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wmcooper
Male Junior Member
33 Posts


perry, ga
USA

Honda

shadow aero

Posted - 12/21/2015 :  6:50 PM
I used my horn today, that works too! :) fumbled for it a little bit though so I need to get it's location into muscle memory.
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bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2266 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 12/22/2015 :  12:09 AM
quote:
Originally posted by wmcooper

I used my horn today, that works too! :) fumbled for it a little bit though so I need to get it's location into muscle memory.




When I asked the following;

quote:
Originally posted by bachman1961

Was that throttle blip instinctive or did you think it a better tactic than using the horn (assuming the bike has a working horn) ?



I did so thinking it might lead you to discover or think about that very issue.... horn location and practice using it. It sounded to me like you were substituting the rev of the motor for the horn. I just wasn't sure why....

I didn't want to assume or sound accusing though. I use mine so little, I might be in the same situation.
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6890 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 12/22/2015 :  9:25 AM
quote:
Originally posted by bachman1961

It sounded to me like you were substituting the rev of the motor for the horn. I just wasn't sure why....
Umm....

Because the engine is louder than the horn?
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SkootchNC
Male Advanced Member
1063 Posts
[Mentor]


raleigh, north carolina
USA

Harley-Davidson

road glide

Posted - 12/22/2015 :  12:27 PM
I prefer my nautilus to my pipes....
Modern cars are wrapping their occupants in a steel, insulated cocoon with music,communication/entertainment,and the probability of precious cargo all distracting the driver.. 138 db of "oh my GAWD where is that angry truck driver"

"Loud Pipes save lives" was MAYBE true in my youth... motorcycles were often used only in the summer, and cars did not have Air Conditioning, so their windows were rolled down. Yes, I am ready to concede the 150 people who will relate how they were ALMOST hit by a car, but their "quick thinking" saved the day by revving their engine.
I ask you.... :if the pipes are such a safety device??? why did the driver almost hit you in the first place?

Continuing along with my politically incorrect past... I bid you all, a Merry Christmas...Solstice, Hanukkah, or whatever tickles your fancy

Frank

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bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2266 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 12/22/2015 :  1:48 PM
quote:
Originally posted by scottrnelson

quote:
Originally posted by bachman1961

It sounded to me like you were substituting the rev of the motor for the horn. I just wasn't sure why....
Umm....

Because the engine is louder than the horn?



Oh youuuuuu !
He did mention the loud pipes though, and he DID get noticed .. .. lol.

Still, something about that story invited me to inquire on the knee-jerk reaction to rev the motor (if indeed the horn was functional). Knowing what our 'Go To' plan is or any knee-jerk response when riding or faced with a threat is a good opportunity to take inventory though.

Someday, he'll be following a car piloted by a cute woman that has a bumper sticker on it; "Honk if you think I'm cute". Now wouldn't he just feel silly revving his motor instead ?
Yeah, I fixed that.
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Safe N Smiling
Male Junior Member
33 Posts


On a Bike Somewhere, Here and There
USA

(Unknown - Other)

Several Bikes

Posted - 12/25/2015 :  10:04 AM
Whenever I'm in a situation like the OP described I give the the truck driver a friendly wave.
It works 99% of the time and when that does not work .. such as when the driver looks away right when I wave I toot my horn.

Raving the engine instead of using your horn is a bad habit to develop. It does not send a precise message. It is not as directional as people think.

Regarding your horn I highly recommend a screaming banshee. It is an air horn that works as a secondary horn that fires with your main horn but with a fraction of a second delay.
IF you already have a loud horn and still have your stock horn somewhere you can also buy just the screaming banshee control box. It's a very easy install. It takes the signal from your stock horn that goes into the control box. The control box powers the secondary loud horn directly from the battery. This is really good because it will not overload your horn button(switch) in your left hand switch cluster. Both horns are operated with your stock horn button.

One great advantage of the screaming banshee is that you keep your stock horn. This
gives you to advantages. First you have a redundant system. If one horn fails the other still works. The second and most important is you can make you stock horn a wee bit quieter so that you can generously use it in traffic without startling or annoying people. It makes it a sort of "hi I'm here" kind of thing.

Actually there is a third. When you blow the horn by keeping your finger on the horn button first the stock horn comes on and then the secondary loud horn kicks in. This dual tone sounds more official and has a remarkable way of making people behave as it sounds somewhat like the start of a siren or the horns of some official truck or car.

Going back to raving the engine... it's a bad habit to pick up because it takes away from brake control and you have to pull in the clutch at the same time. This changes your traction requires both hands, sends a confused message.

As for getting them to see you... there is a lot that can be done that is far more effective than raving the engine. Most effective things are:

HiViz jacket and helmet. Black or grey are the least effective.
Headlight Modulator. This is a device that makes your headlight dim up and down fast.
It is a privilege. Motorcycles are the only civilian vehicles that are allowed flashing headlights like police cars and fire engines. It is really sad to see how few motorcyclists use a headlight modulator.

Edited by - Safe N Smiling on 12/25/2015 10:10 AM
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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17292 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 12/25/2015 :  10:20 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Though I've mentioned it a few times, readers here seem to not believe it is a good idea. Nevertheless, I've found that there are times when all I had to do to get attention was stand on my pegs.

Contrary to what some think, this does not reduce your 'control' in any way - you are as stable while standing as when your backside is on the saddle.

I agree with the others that revving your engine is a bad idea as it sends mixed messages - one of which is "wanna race?".
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wbrownell9
Male Junior Member
60 Posts


New Castle, DE
USA

BMW

R1200RT

Posted - 12/25/2015 :  5:36 PM
quote:
Originally posted by James R. Davis

... I've found that there are times when all I had to do to get attention was stand on my pegs...

Agreed, however that only works when you're moving. The OP said he was stationary.

I know I have a little meep-meep horn but I confess that I seldom use it and know I would have to (a) remember that I have one and (b) look for the button.
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Doc
Male New Member
13 Posts


LAS VEGAS, NV
USA

Suzuki

GSX650F among others

Posted - 02/13/2016 :  9:36 AM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
I'm not one who worries about sound, as that only makes people look around and try to figure out where it's coming from, but by then it may be too late. Moreover, there is no legal requirement to hear when driving, as totally deaf people can drive, not to mention super quiet vehicle cabs. I've long stopped worrying about what someone else should or should not do, and instead concentrate on where I am in relation to everyone else. A truism of riding is that they can't hit you if you're not there.
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magnaman
Male Standard Member
107 Posts


lake bluff, il
USA

Honda

Magna 700

Posted - 03/07/2016 :  6:45 PM
Now I know it has been a while since I have been on this site due to not riding for the last 4 years due to life happening, but I'm pretty sure standing on your pegs while stopped at a stop light might not be such a great idea. Lol Although it may attract all the right attention when under way, I have not tried it.
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wmcooper
Male Junior Member
33 Posts


perry, ga
USA

Honda

shadow aero

Posted - 03/09/2016 :  7:15 PM
Also it's hard to stand on your pegs when they are way out in front of you. I wanted a sport bike but got a cruiser
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