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 Roadcraft
 Roadcraft, an introduction
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Nigel A
Male Junior Member
68 Posts


TAUNTON, Somerset
United Kingdom

(None)

Formerly BMW 80RT

Posted - 05/28/2009 :  2:46 AM
rioguy wrote:

'I developed this method of passing as I've always driven small cars with small engines. I've found it is very efficient. On a wide open road, passing is similar to an interstate pass, just a little faster. Consider this an area with restricted visibility.

If I hang back 2 or 3 seconds, I start to accelerate as I come out of a curve and suspect there will be an opportunity to pass. If it's not clear, I just slow and reestablish my spacing. If it is clear, I've already done most of the acceleration in my own lane and I can go right around.

By hanging back farther, it gives me a better opportunity to examine the road ahead for things like cross traffic and deer because I'm not quite as vulnerable if the person ahead of me slows. I'm still in a much better position than those who try to pass from a tailgating position and accelerate after they pull into the opposite lane.

The time you are at a disadvantage is if there is a vehicle behind. Then you have to be careful they don't decide to pass you while you pull out.'

Yes, this method does take practice and careful attention. But it minimizes the time one spends in the opposite lane. (For those with high powered bikes, I can see doing it differently.'

This is moving towards what might be called the UK police approach to overtaking where you go to the off-side of the road (in two-way traffic) to fully examine the situation before committing to passing the target vehicle. So being on the off-side of the road is not necessarily a committment to 'go' and, again allows a return to the nearside position - the hold-back behind the target vehicle if necessary. You made the point about restricted vision from behind the target vehicle and that is, of course, spot on. The other point is about acceleration. As you know that is most safely done in a straight line, (as is braking, of course). And the other thing is that if you accelerate and then apply steering you are building forward energy which, in principle, makes it more difficult for the steering to be effective and therefore potentially developing some level of understeer. This is the start of what is often called over here the sling-shot approach to overtaking. In this you accelerate from behind the target vehicle, then apply steering to move to the off side of the road which involves a weight transfer and also potential for the aforementioned understeer, a further weight transfer to straighten off prior to passiing the TV, overtake the vehicle and then swereve back to the nearside, with another two weight transfers (for you that would be one to the right and another to the left (to straighten out once one is back to ones own side of the road). Whew! There is alot going on there!

With the UK police approach you have none of that. You ease out to check the view (potental hazards and whether there is anything the TV is approaching which might cause it to deviate), and if it is a go you have a straight line acceleration back to the nearside. None of this swinging out and swinging back again and all the weight changes that involves. Again when you look at the Thames Valley motorcyclist viewed from a helicopter it is very smooth with no swinging about.

A slight variation to that is that if you have the long view (such as you probably often do in the States with your freeways) then you can make a decision to go from a following position rather than the normal closer contact position preparatory to an overtake, sometimes called the hold-back position. In this you are positioned up to the centre-line to maximise view down the offside and may even be three to four seconds back from the target vehicle. You start your acceleration when the opposing vehicle is same distance from the TV as you are. You will then find that you are going to the off-side nicely on an opening gap. Final (off-side) check and then firm straight line acceleration back to the nearside. This (on the High Performance Course (a civilian driving course, by the way (http://www.hpc.org.uk/))was often called the Rule of the Triangle. I have a full article on overtaking with an illustration on the Rule of the Triangle. However, within all of this of course never forget the use of the mirrors and the shoulder (safety) checks at appropriate places.

A potential downside of this technique, which has already been referred to, and which might happen more readily in the States than over here, is that when you go to the off-side the one behind might close the gap on the nearside and potentially block your opportunity to return to a hold-back behing the target vehicle is a a safe overtake is not on.

Edited by - Nigel A on 05/28/2009 2:56 AM
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rioguy
Ex-Member

Posted - 05/28/2009 :  8:06 AM
At some point in a long driving/riding lifetime, the vehicle ahead of us will likely use threshold braking completely unexpectedly. Almost certainly, out of every group of 10 riders it will happen to at least one of them.

So, I propose this as a test riders would be required to take to keep their license after having say 10,000 miles of riding experience.

The test would take place on a 2 lane road where the speed limit is 65 mph. It would take place over a 30 minute period. The rider would be required to maintain 2 second spacing. At some randomly predetermined time known only to the examiner, the examiner in the lead car would use threshold braking. Prior to that, the examiner would drive normally.

At the time of the threshold braking, the rider won't get to choose the surface to avoid things like tar strips or a small patch of gravel. They won't get to choose the following distance of the vehicle behind. The won't get to choose if it's a truck with a longer stopping distance and they won't get to choose if it's in a curve.

This test would be repeated on the interstate at 75 mph and on city streets.

For those that feel this test could be conducted without a large number of crashes, then 2 seconds is fine.

There would be a second part to the test. The rider would ride the same roads and wait until a random driver is 2 seconds behind them and then brake at .65g's. They would pass the test if the driver behind doesn't hit them.

In my opinion, the only ones who should be passed on this exam are those who refuse to take it.

As a transient condition, 2 seconds is fine. As a static position sustained for long periods of time, I can't agree with it.
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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17295 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 05/28/2009 :  9:06 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
I think this concept has been worked to death here and is not adding much in the way of value beyond personal opinions now.

The thread is, after all, about Roadcraft, not the 2-second rule.

In any event, as a summary, the 2-second rule is designed to provide a relatively safe MINIMUM following distance, not a stopping buffer. It is NOT a recommendation to maintain a 2-second following distance. Rather, it is admonition to avoid anything less than a 2-second following distance as less would NOT be a relatively safe following distance.

By 'relatively safe', it is meant that good reflexes are sufficient to allow a motorcyclist to begin a stopping or avoidance maneuver BEFRE reaching the point in the roadway at which the leading vehicle began to be a threat so that if your vehicle is at least as capable as the one it is following, it can avoid colliding with that vehicle unless avoidance is simply impossible.

Rioguy presented a test that demonstrates that about one in ten times these assumptions are incorrect and an emergency stop results in about a zero mph collision with the leading vehicle so he proposes a longer following distance. There is NO ARGUMENT with that. That is, a 3-second following distance (minimum) IS safer than a 2-second following distance. Under the test conditions Rioguy proposed there might be a near zero mph collision perhaps one time in 30 emergency stops. Motorcycle riding is NOT SAFE. Using a MINIMUM of 2-seconds or 3-seconds of following distance merely improves your odds. Using less than a 2-second following distance destroys your odds altogether.

*YOU* decide what following distance you want to maintain. The 2-second rule merely tells you not to chose a distance that is closer than 2-seconds.

Now, shall we get back to the topic intended? Shall we see if there are things we can learn from what Roadcraft teaches?
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gymnast
Moderator
4260 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 05/28/2009 :  10:00 AM
Ok, marching onward. Nigel A. What do you find to be the best "take-a-ways" (lessons learned, skills enhanced) as a result of a riders participation in the "Roadcraft" experience?

Second, while I agree, subjectively, with what I see as the benefits to be gained from participating in the "Roadcraft" experience, has there been an objective validation of the benefits of the program in the form of research to validate the programs effectiveness in reducing crashes, injuries and deaths using matched samples of "Roadcraft" trained riders and riders who have not taken the course?
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Nigel A
Male Junior Member
68 Posts


TAUNTON, Somerset
United Kingdom

(None)

Formerly BMW 80RT

Posted - 05/28/2009 :  10:36 AM
Briefly, gymnast, (because I am just on my way out of the door) regarding the validation of RC.

The validity is essentially in its proven track record. Mini-bio (indeed very mini-bio). The Met (The Metropolitan Police - the main police force for the London area (there is also the City Police)), for one, had an awful accident record in the 1930s and something had to be done. Hendon was started, as the first police driving school, in 1935 but for two years they still were'nt really getting anywhere. Then, when the Advanced Wing was started, Lord Cottenham was invited to be 'civilian advisor' and within 18 months of him introducing his methodical approach the force accident rate went from 1:8000 miles to 1: 38,000 miles. Such was the impact that a major expansion of police driving schools happened after WWII (the schools (Hendon, Cheltenham and Preston)) were closed during the war.

Such, therefore, was the already proven safety standard in police driving and this was refined and improved with time so that by the early 50s the government put it into the public domain as an aid to improve the public standard of driving. The 'launch' (to use modern terminology) effectively consisted of the publication of Roadcraft together with a new version of the Highway Code and simultaineously the launch of the Institute of Advanced Motorists (where the examiners were all police advanced ticket holders) and a big government sponsored publicity campaign.

It used to be the case at Hendon that if any instructor came back with a dented vehicle there would be an investigation and if it was found (which was almost invariable the case as far as I can gather) that the driver (which may have been instructor or student) was not driving according to Roadcraft they were admonised or even removed as an instructor. The principle was that there was never a reason for having crashes; humans create them and therefore humans can avoid them.

And it has all gone on from there. It is apparently a statistic that members of IAM (i.e taken and passed the test) are four times less likely to have a crash than the average driver. And just going back to Hendon, for a moment; in 1979, for example, the accident rate in the Met force area (that was for all classes of drivers (1 to 3 being traffic and 6 being the very basic acceptable level for police driving (non-emergency van driving for example)) was 1:40,000 but at Hendon it was 1: 230,000! which to my mind shouts just how good all that was taught there really was. Don't forget that, for example, every day Advanced Wing cars (maybe up to six) were out going full tilt on open road conditions for a whole day. Then that was up to between 120 and 130 mph, and yet they still had that amazingly low accident rate. Speaks volumes, does it not?

Such was the reputation which Hendon developed that when I was going there in the 1970s there had already been instructors from some sixty police forces around the world coming to learn what is generally known as The Cottenham System. Plus, more recently, as already mentioned in this thread, there was apparently a US police officer who was seconded to Hendon for six weeks and what he implimented in a training programme (pardon the extra 'me'!) caused a dramtic improvement in the accident (really 'crash') rate in his police force (you call them departments, do you not?).

Speaking personally I have used this system and mind-set for over thirty-five years (and I have often not been hanging around either) also on the High Performance Course, and so far as I have come I can only say that without that learning and patience from the police driving instructors I was so fortunate to develop associations with I really might not be here now. I have also taught it to many other people and taught tutors and have yet to find fault with it, as such.
So, yes, for safety on the road I really would not be without it. I know that particular bit is subjective but hope it helps in some way.

All I can say on the other point about those who have not done any further training (which would all be based on Roadcraft) various police motorcyclists are actively involved in better riding programs because they believe that what they have to offer significantly increases the rider's safety factor on the roads. Road Safety people desperately want motorcyclists to get more training (again without hesitation it would be RC based) and so it goes on. Almost invariably the ones ending up in a heap are those who have done no training over that needed for the basic (government) riding test by which people obtain their licence.

Edited by - Nigel A on 05/28/2009 10:52 AM
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Nigel A
Male Junior Member
68 Posts


TAUNTON, Somerset
United Kingdom

(None)

Formerly BMW 80RT

Posted - 06/04/2009 :  12:54 AM
gymnast, you asked what I feel are the best 'take-away's with Roadcraft.

Overall the best take-away I feel has to be the mind-set. The reason is that there are really two aspects to this. One is the mechanical side; what you physically do with the vehicle or bike to control it - turn the throttle, apply the brake, steer it, what to look out for etc. and this is what a lot of books and information concentrate on. But what really matters is the application - how the mechanical bits are put into action. In my book the mind controls the actions and therefore mind-sethas to be the top of the tree.

Of course you can have the right mindset without the knowledge of the mechanical aspects in RC, i.e System, Positioning, (which are really the two core items) and that will obviously generate a higher safety level, in my view. But if you really want the best package you put the whole lot together and have the highest safety level possible then you combine the proven (mechanical) aspects of Roadcraft together with a well developed mindset.

Now the probem is that to do it well takes effort. The self-discipline and restraint bits, take effort and this seems to put a lot of people off. But if you going to do anything well it takes effort and practice; that's just par for the course.

When I started being involved in advanced driving I got with a police advanced driver and (in the nicest way) he took me right back to basics. It took me nine months or so to raise my standard so that I would have a reasonable chance of passing the BSM High Performance Course. (That was three days of intensive road driving) Having completed that successfully I was then aware that to achieve the coveted HPC Gold standard would take approximately another two years of hard work together with some additional drives with the HPC instructors (they are actually called co-drivers). Alot of that, of course, is not learning the mechanical skills, it is developing the right-mind set, consistently in all conditions and at all times. I know that might sound rather rigid and as though that takes the fun out of it, but it doesn't if you go about it the right way. I still get immense enjoyment out of my driving. And if I was back on a bike that would be even better.

And how many times has all this effort paid off? Possibly, say, once in every few years there is a situation which but for the training and discipline I might have ended up seriously injured or even dead. Is it worth it? Without doubt it is. Do I still enjoy all that it entails to drive well at that level? Yes, obviously I do. I hope this helps to answer your question, gymnast. Sorry it's a bit late being put on the forum but I have been very busy lately.
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gymnast
Moderator
4260 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 06/04/2009 :  9:34 AM
Nigel A, thank your for your description of the benefits of the "Roadcraft" program. Excellence in any endeavor is something to aspire to and leads to improvement regardless of the level one ultimately reaches. Motorcycle safety and rider training efforts in the US under the guidance of the organizations involved in setting policy and administrative guidelines have instituted something less than "excellence" and have been more concerned with conformity to a minimal program than aspiration to excellence. While some individual instructors and program administrators have demonstrated significant achievement in carrying out their individual efforts, innovation and excellence have a very low priority in terms of national program efforts in the USA. The depth and breath of instruction as compared to the "Roadcraft" Program is minimal in the US. In the one case of the one local "Roadcraft" program that is in existence in the US, very little is known to the wider community of motorcyclists. One may hope that it becomes a catalyst for change rather than disappearing as an temporarily funded demonstration.

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aidanspa
Male Advanced Member
1739 Posts
[Mentor]


Omaha, NE
USA

Harley-Davidson

Road King

Posted - 06/04/2009 :  4:36 PM
Nigel A, I agree 100 percent that well-developed mind-set is the most important piece of the puzzle. Since civilian Roadcraft training is voluntary, do you find that students have the necessary "student" mind-set from the beginning? Since these drivers/riders want to improve and become safer on the roads, that they are open to the idea of developing a "Roadcraft" mind-set?

I'm wondering how effective Roadcraft would be if it was required in order to obtain a drivers license or m/c endorsement. Is Roadcraft successful because it's voluntary?
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Nigel A
Male Junior Member
68 Posts


TAUNTON, Somerset
United Kingdom

(None)

Formerly BMW 80RT

Posted - 06/04/2009 :  4:59 PM
Thank you, gymnast. You have reflected, as far as the US goes, what I feel is probably the case. There is one other item, integral with mindset, which is also top of the tree, in my view, and that is what we simply call observation. Forward observation, looking as far ahead as possible, is obviously a key key part of information gathering. But not only that, it is actively looking for potential threats to one's safety as well. I have a saying that 'what you can't see can hurt you'. What this also means is that the more closed the conditions the greater the possibility that something (that is really someone - in vehicle or on foot, apart from the critters!) might jump out infront of you. If you have blind areas (primarily to the front and the sides) they can harbour horrors. So the observation has to be tied with an alertness; having a perception of where dangers are likely to come from. Someone once said, 'you look but do you see?' Good point. There is no good looking way ahead if we are not actually taking in and registering what we are seeing. The further ahead we can see the earlier we can plan, and also plan alternatives if plan A doesn't work out, for example.

I am hopeful that we might get some response on positioning because I suspect that in many ways this might be a new thing for many people in the States. Not to say that positioning does not take place, I am sure it does. But it makes a lot of difference when the underlying principles are well understood and integrated with the rest of Roadcraft.

I have mentioned the British School of Motoring's High Performance Course, as it was then. And I would recommend Tommy Wisdom's book High Performance Driving for You. Now well out of print but I am sure the odd copy will appear.

Likewise, having had a discussion with rioguy on what you call delayed (or late) apex cornering the principles of what I call the deep entry, shallow exit to bends can be explored. To explore some of this further I recommend Honneger's book (again out of print) The Theory and Practice of High Speed Driving (http://www.alibris.co.uk/search/boo...er,%20Walter)

Then we could move to looking at overtaking. There is much more to this than meets the eye. Good overtaking is a refined and practiced art which happens very smoothly and almost effortlessly, if done very well. And if it isn't done well then it is potentially dangerous.

I hope some of these ideas might stimulate further exchanges and they offer the possibility of differnt threads as well.

Best Regards

Nigel





Good observation is aided by good positioning. Remembering that the keys to positioning are Safety, View and only then Stability. Although there is discussion amongst some motorcyclists about whether it should actually be Safety, Stability and View I think that may reflect a lack of understanding. The stability bit is that you can only choose the cleanest and most efficient line (minimising lateral forces on the 'vehicle') when safety and view have been cleared up first. Changing position to avoid a bad bit of road surface, for example, is primarily positioning for safety, although if it done late then there may be some effect on stability. But that is not what Stability is about in the general context of positioning.

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rioguy
Ex-Member

Posted - 06/08/2009 :  8:39 PM
I just got my copy of The Police Rider's Handbook to Better Motorcycling (the Roadcraft book.)

I'll try to apply this to the rear end at the light situation in the other thread. Nigel can correct me as he knows the system. These are NOT quotes from the book, but applying the information to a particular situation as I understand it. I'd suggest buying the book. Please do not take this post as the final word.

The system focuses on five factors in any situation:

1. Information
a. Take
b. Use
c. Give

2. Position
3. Speed
4. Gear
5. Acceleration (I'm assuming this means positive or negative.

1. Information

Take: Strictly considering the rear ender at a red light, I'd look for traffic in my mirror well before I approach the light. I want to know how far behind me the traffic is and what speed they are going.

Other information I "take" is escape routes I can use after I stop.

Use: If the traffic is far behind me and I expect to get the red light, I will slow early and allow them to get close enough so they can see me. Not tailgating close, but contact close.

Give: If traffic is behind is close enough, flashing a brake light is useful. But this step doesn't start on the bike. A white or light colored helmet and a safety vest can let people know you are there. At night a little bit of reflective tape helps a lot.

2. Position: Before I stop, I will determine a position for a good escape route. I'll stop angled slightly towards the escape route. If the lane I'm in does not provide one, I'll consider changing lanes if it doesn't cause a different problem. Be sure to stop far enough back from the vehicle ahead to allow for an escape maneuver.

I know that if I position myself in a certain area of traffic, I'll not have to stop for red lights. This involves planning several blocks ahead. The general rule is that if one is about 4 seconds ahead of the pack behind, you will go through the green light as a solo rider. I don't ride in traffic conditions that allow for a blocker often. This takes practice and is probably best done in the cage until you get the hang of it. A good part is it involves looking several lights ahead.

3. Speed: If there is traffic far behind me, I know the light red as I'm likely too close to the cluster ahead of me. If this is the case, I tend to slow early so the traffic behind me approaches and can see me while I'm still moving. If someone is going to rear end me, I'd prefer to have the closing speed be less. I feel if I'm moving, I have better options. Once traffic gets contact I'll speed up a bit, then slow at the expected point and rate.

4.Gear: I ride a scooter, so I don't have to worry about this, but when I road a motorcycle, I'd downshift through the gears in a way that would leave me in a low enough gear to have good acceleration throughout the slowing phase. When stopped, I'd be sure I was in first gear.

5. Acceleration: I'm assuming this also includes braking. I think I've covered this in the other parts.

For those wanting to participate in the Roadcraft discussion, I'd suggest waiting for a response from Nigel. Then they can pick a hazard such as a left turner, a car at a stop sign to the right, a pedestrian waiting to cross in the crosswalk or anything else and go through the process.

This is a system. What I attempted to explain is my application of the system to one situation. I suspect the more one practices it, the better one can apply it to a new situation.
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Nigel A
Male Junior Member
68 Posts


TAUNTON, Somerset
United Kingdom

(None)

Formerly BMW 80RT

Posted - 06/09/2009 :  9:43 AM
aidenspa wrote: 'Since civilian Roadcraft training is voluntary, do you find that students have the necessary "student" mind-set from the beginning? Since these drivers/riders want to improve and become safer on the roads, that they are open to the idea of developing a "Roadcraft" mind-set?

The simple answer is, 'No. Not always'. The reasons, in my view, are 1) people don't always go for advanced driver training for the right reasons and 2) not all trainers (IAM call them observers and RoADAR ones are tutors) themselves have the right minds set. This might seem a rather curious thing to say so I will briefly expand.

On (1) there is the curiosity cum ego approach. This is where someone just wants to show that they have 'passed the test'. So once they have 'the badge' they have, as it were, 'ticked the box'. There are many in that category. Never the less it is generally reckoned that those who have taken the trouble to take the test are probably some four times less likely to have an accident (we now just call them crashes). In the same category are the ones going for cheaper insurance. Advanced driving is often promoted on the basis that with that 'ticket' insurance companies will offer cheaper insurance. Again the goal (and motivation) is transient and not very durable.

Like all things worthwhile, as already mentioned, getting good takes effort, persistence and consistency. It's more than alot of people are prepared to give so I am afraid I have little sympathy for those who 'can't be bothered' and get involved in crashes. Some of these are working to the lowest common denominator; what is the minimum perceivable effort I need to make to do this or that.

Unfortunately whilst the work of voluntary observers and tutors is core to the development and maintenence of advanced driving in the UK there are many (and I have been training officer for some four groups plus run advanced courses and advanced skid courses, for example) there are many who need to go 'up a level or two' in their understanding of the subject. This, in once sense, can be illustrated by that fact that many will teach 'associates' to pass the advanced test. For me that is the wrong mind-set. First and formost you are raising peoples safety factor on the road by reducing their vulnerability to crashes, primarily those which would be generated by other people. Then, when you have helped someone reach a certain standard they can validate that by taking a test. In real terms it is comin in from the other direction, as it were.

In many instances we are faced, as I believe you are, with this 'instant tick-box' mentality, which goes back to if it takes effort that removes the fun from it. So, in truth, there is not always the drive to keep practising and keep learning.

You then asked:
I'm wondering how effective Roadcraft would be if it was required in order to obtain a drivers license or m/c endorsement.

Basically the elements of RC have been adopted by the DSA (HM Government's Driving Standards Authority) and, in principle, are taught by the professional driving instructor cadre. But not really the mindset bit; largely the mechanical parts, but in simpler form and certainly not lateral positioning. The ADIs, ((Government) Approved (i.e licenced) Driving Instructors) at that level, quite rightly, keep students to the centre of the road.

My feeling is that the better driving skills aspect should be promoted as a development after people have been driving on a full licence for around six months to a year; that the standard driving test should merely be considered as a first base, and no more than that - and should be promoted as such.

then:
Is Roadcraft successful because it's voluntary?
[/quote]
No. I don't necessaryily think that it is successful because it is voluntary. There is probably something in the English psyche which basicially wants to do things well and there has been a lot of involvement and inspiration (certainly in years past) from practicing police traffic officers in advanced driving groups. British police driving standards have been admired arould the world and I think that the British public (or certain parts of it) have been proud of the standards set by traffic patrol drivers. As just one example I was tremendously fortunately to have developed really good relationships with numerous advanced police driving instructors and some of those at Hendon in its heyday. In fact I had a phone call from Derek Van Petegem this morning.
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Nigel A
Male Junior Member
68 Posts


TAUNTON, Somerset
United Kingdom

(None)

Formerly BMW 80RT

Posted - 06/09/2009 :  9:50 AM
rioguy wrote:

I just got my copy of The Police Rider's Handbook to Better Motorcycling (the Roadcraft book.)

I'll try to apply this to the rear end at the light situation in the other thread. Nigel can correct me as he knows the system.'

Of course, you are quite right, and the System, in a way is the core mechanical part. But always remember that the fundamentals of being safe on the road come down to just position and speed; the only two things which you can change with a moving vehicle. When you look at System you will see that these are the core building blocks and that everything else (in the System)supports these two key elements. I have just completed an article I was asked to do on 'Understanding Sytem' and will happily forward a copy to anyone who wants one.

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aidanspa
Male Advanced Member
1739 Posts
[Mentor]


Omaha, NE
USA

Harley-Davidson

Road King

Posted - 06/09/2009 :  10:35 AM
NigelA, thank you for your considered reply. I suppose even a student of Roadcraft with a less than "training for excellence" mind-set will still come away a safer rider by learning the mechanics of the System. Beyond that, like for all training, it is up to them.

I will PM my email address to you. I would be happy to receive any articles you have mentioned, including Overtaking (Rule of the Triangle) and Understanding System. Consider me a "Yes" when you mention your articles in the future.

I would appreciate continuing onto the underlying principles of Positioning if nobody objects. You had said in an earlier post:
quote:
Good observation is aided by good positioning. Remembering that the keys to positioning are Safety, View and only then Stability. Although there is discussion amongst some motorcyclists about whether it should actually be Safety, Stability and View I think that may reflect a lack of understanding. The stability bit is that you can only choose the cleanest and most efficient line (minimising lateral forces on the 'vehicle') when safety and view have been cleared up first. Changing position to avoid a bad bit of road surface, for example, is primarily positioning for safety, although if it done late then there may be some effect on stability. But that is not what Stability is about in the general context of positioning.

Care to expand?
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Nigel A
Male Junior Member
68 Posts


TAUNTON, Somerset
United Kingdom

(None)

Formerly BMW 80RT

Posted - 06/09/2009 :  10:53 AM
aidenspa wrote; NigelA, thank you for your considered reply. I suppose even a student of Roadcraft with a less than "training for excellence" mind-set will still come away a safer rider by learning the mechanics of the System. Beyond that, like for all training, it is up to them.

Exactly

I will PM my email address to you. I would be happy to receive any articles you have mentioned, including Overtaking (Rule of the Triangle) and Understanding System. Consider me a "Yes" when you mention your articles in the future.

OK. Will do. It will be a pleasure. If there is sufficient response I don't know whether James can provide a location where such documents can be placed so that anyone can access them.



I would appreciate continuing onto the underlying principles of Positioning if nobody objects. You had said in an earlier post:
quote:
Good observation is aided by good positioning. Remembering that the keys to positioning are Safety, View and only then Stability. Although there is discussion amongst some motorcyclists about whether it should actually be Safety, Stability and View I think that may reflect a lack of understanding. The stability bit is that you can only choose the cleanest and most efficient line (minimising lateral forces on the 'vehicle') when safety and view have been cleared up first. Changing position to avoid a bad bit of road surface, for example, is primarily positioning for safety, although if it done late then there may be some effect on stability. But that is not what Stability is about in the general context of positioning.

Care to expand?
[/quote]
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Nigel A
Male Junior Member
68 Posts


TAUNTON, Somerset
United Kingdom

(None)

Formerly BMW 80RT

Posted - 06/09/2009 :  10:57 AM
aidenspa also wrote:

I would appreciate continuing onto the underlying principles of Positioning if nobody objects. You had said in an earlier post:
quote:
Good observation is aided by good positioning. Remembering that the keys to positioning are Safety, View and only then Stability. Although there is discussion amongst some motorcyclists about whether it should actually be Safety, Stability and View I think that may reflect a lack of understanding. The stability bit is that you can only choose the cleanest and most efficient line (minimising lateral forces on the 'vehicle') when safety and view have been cleared up first. Changing position to avoid a bad bit of road surface, for example, is primarily positioning for safety, although if it done late then there may be some effect on stability. But that is not what Stability is about in the general context of positioning.

Care to expand?

My suggestion is that most of what you need to know is is the S.V.S The Principles of Positioning item and when you have gone through that please let me have any questions which arise. That item comes directly from the D12 Manual so it is part of a progession of the training programme.
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Nigel A
Male Junior Member
68 Posts


TAUNTON, Somerset
United Kingdom

(None)

Formerly BMW 80RT

Posted - 06/09/2009 :  4:55 PM
There have been some requests for the articles and, for starters I have sent to those forum members, Understanding System, S.V.S The Keys to Positioning and, the one on overtaking.

There are some neccessary and therefore important provisos to make and they are the general reason why (particularly with overtaking) these techniques are not seen in books or videos. As you move up the scale in ability there develops a higher responsibility to apply what has been learned sensibly and therefore with complete safety. What you learn in positioning and overtaking can certainly (and even measurably) improve safety but done the wrong way you can become measureably less safe and even downright dangerous. That is particularly so with the overtaking technique. Done properly it is by far the safest way to set-up and complete an overtake. Done wrongly and a rider or driver becomes more dangerous than they would otherwise be. The difference is, obviously, in the application. And, as we have already discussed, the application comes down to the mind-set. With overtaking it is absolutly paramount to have what might best be described as a neutral mind-set. That is not, of course, the mind in neutral but that it is in the state where it can impartially and completely unemotionally weigh up in an instant all the relvant factors and make the decision whether it is 'go' (totally safe) or 'no-go' (where there is any doubt at all about safety). The problem is that the average Jo can not be trusted to do this and is often the product of different agendas which can adversley affect judgement. With overtaking that can have fatal results. So, for those who are interested, by all means read the article. Study it and understand it well. Practise carefully (developing the technique) gradually and make sure that every overtake is always 100#% safe with no risk attached. However, on the positive side, you will end up surprised just how many more overtakes you can complete and how easy, effortless and flowing they become. But good overtaking is a developed art and is certainly not a tick-box thing. Firstly study and understand well the principles of positioning. For those who have had the article on overtaking I shall look forward to hearing how you feel this works for you in the States. In principle it should work exactly the same way as over here.
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rioguy
Ex-Member

Posted - 06/09/2009 :  8:41 PM
Today, I read all of Motorcycle Roadcraft just for an overview and hoping I'd find one thing I could go practice.

The think that looked like fun is "limit point analysis" in curves. So, I studied it and went out and tried it.

Sometimes the simple things are never said so they are never learned.

Unless one is riding in a flat area where the grass is cut short, the limiting factor around most curves is visibility. Being able to stop in the distance one can see usually demands a lower speed than physics. And for more experienced riders, a lower speed than the rider's comfort speed.

A definition: The limit point is the point at which the road disappears. The two sides of the road appear to intersect. One should always be able to stop in this distance.

One quickly gets a feel for how much of the curve can be seen before the limit point in curves for which a certain speed will be used.

Watch the limit point during the curve. If it moves closer, slow down, if it moves farther speed up. Ideally, one would enter a curve where slowing down isn't necessary. But in a decreasing radius curve it's possible. At speeds well below the physics limit, very minor changes shouldn't be an issue.

The place it really helps is coming out of the curve when the limit point first starts to move away. At this point, one can gradually start to accelerate and straighten up with the curve.

This is my impression of how it works and Nigel might correct me. However, when I tried it, it was difficult for awhile as it changed my normal crosscheck.

I used commentary. "Limit out" and "Limit in." After awhile, I found the words became connected to the throttle and my throttle changes became much smoother and more appropriate.

It's hard to describe, but some may like it if they try it for awhile.
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gymnast
Moderator
4260 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 06/09/2009 :  9:04 PM
Rioguy, I believe I can follow what you are saying, contextually, and it is one of the great difference between riding on a racetrack and riding on the road. When you do what you describe, you are in control. Limit in, limit out and ones speed must always be "within" limits to be "in control" should conditions require speed or position correction. Please correct me if I have misunderstood the concept.
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rioguy
Ex-Member

Posted - 06/09/2009 :  9:43 PM
quote:
Originally posted by gymnast

Rioguy, I believe I can follow what you are saying, contextually, and it is one of the great difference between riding on a racetrack and riding on the road. When you do what you describe, you are in control. Limit in, limit out and ones speed must always be "within" limits to be "in control" should conditions require speed or position correction. Please correct me if I have misunderstood the concept.



Gymnast,

I'm not at all sure that what I posted will be interpreted as what I meant to say unless the person goes out and does it.

My feeling is that we spend a lot of time talking about turn procedures that are appropriate when one is approaching traction limits. On the road, the limit is generally braking in the distance one can see. So things like a little less or more throttle in the curve will not have a critical effect on stability.

The benefit of this method is that it makes one more aware of when the braking limitation changes and one can adjust smoothly to that. The downside is it does take some away from the scan for debris on the road, but I suspect that will go away with practice.

For a person racing through curves, this method would likely be a recipe for disaster.

As we get into these things, it might be helpful for people to have the book.
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gymnast
Moderator
4260 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 06/09/2009 :  10:22 PM
"Being able to brake within the distance that one can see" in constant and particularly in decreasing radius curves is an important guideline to keep in mind in any case particularly if "two up". Practice, practice, practice. There are several places that come to mind where this is a good idea, Mulholland Highway, the Angeles Crest, and the Lolo Pass for three.

Edited by - gymnast on 06/09/2009 10:28 PM
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