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 Motorcycle Safety
 Contrary Opinions
 Putting it in neutral at stop lights
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6884 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 05/30/2008 :  10:30 AM
quote:
Originally posted by dogfish

When your clutch is all the way disengaged [...], then the only stress is the actual linkage.

And the throwout bearing. I had one of those fail last December.

Those of us with "modern" motorcycles have hydraulic clutches so the only "linkage" parts would be the clutch lever pushing the plunger into the master cylinder and the slave cylinder pushing the rod that goes to the throwout bearing.

(In case any of you wanted to know...)
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VulcanV2K
Starting Member
9 Posts


Huntington Beach, Ca.
USA

Kawasaki

Vulcan 2000

Posted - 06/02/2008 :  10:29 AM
It is personal preference and if it makes you feel safer to keep the clutch engaged at a stop you should go ahead and do it. But there are real practical reasons that holding the clutch in for any longer than necessary is a wasteful practice. While the clutch is disengaged several components, such as the throw out bearing, clutch springs and clutch cable (if so equipped) are under maximum stress and will wear out faster. In the wet clutch application found in most motorcycles there are several sets of friction disks that spin in relationship to each other when the clutch is disengaged. Even though there is no spring pressure on these disks when the clutch lever is pulled, they are in very close contact and do rub together to some extent for the whole time the clutch is disengaged. This rubbing does create some heat and glazing of the friction material and does result in premature wear of the clutch disks.
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bigninja
Male Starting Member
2 Posts


kalispell, montana
USA

Kawasaki

zx14

Posted - 08/11/2008 :  7:11 AM
Hey all-I'm new here. This forum is great!! Anyway,I think I'd take my chances on dropping the bike and physically getting clear than running into opposing traffic on my bike!!!Up here in Montana-the risks of cutting across an intersection to avoid a rearender are just too much.Stay safe ya'll.(in other words,I USUALLY sit in neutral)

Edited by - bigninja on 08/11/2008 7:17 AM
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Misty Trane
Junior Member
88 Posts


nyc, ny
USA

Indian

Posted - 08/27/2008 :  4:01 AM
I'm curious if any of you actually turn around at a stop to see directly what's happening behind you.

I've been rear-ended twice while driving a car. #1 was in the rain, stopping at a light turning yellow. It was night, and I never saw his headlights in my mirror, possibly because he was so close.

#2 was by a motorcycle, at a stop sign. I was fully stopped at a 4-way stop, when I heard a screech behind me and looked in my rearview mirror just in time to see the bike leaning left and sliding down. No damage to biker, bike, or car.

I almost rear-ended a van with my car, just about three months ago. I was distracted, and noticed the van nearly stopped in front of me. I stomped the brake, the abs kicked in, I realized I wasn't going to make it, and I got off the brake and did a perfect swerve onto the right shoulder. I continued into the parking lot there to get a close look at the thing that had distracted me - a custom painted Harley :)

I'm glad all three happened, good experience to have behind behind me for motorcycling I believe. Plus #1 made $3000 for me, when the other driver's insurance paid that much more for the car than I'd paid for it. It was totaled; not because of extensive damage, but because it was so cheap to start with. These are my only car wrecks and near-misses, in 35 years of driving.


Wherever you choose to swerve to get out of the way, if you do, - be aware that the driver coming up on you may swerve as well, like I did.


Edited by - Misty Trane on 08/27/2008 5:19 AM
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twc
Male Advanced Member
836 Posts
[Mentor]


Fort Collins, CO
USA

Harley-Davidson

Electra Glide Ultra

Posted - 08/27/2008 :  10:29 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Misty Trane

I'm curious if any of you actually turn around at a stop to see directly what's happening behind you.
Without fail.

Well, I don't actually turn around, but I do watch in the mirrors to gauge the closing rate of the car behind me and the cars behind it. If someone seems to be approaching a little too hot, I'm already tickling the friction zone and ready to go -- just in case. I don't really relax until there are several cars stopped behind me. The other thing that I do, also without fail, is to stop at least a car length behind the car ahead of me. That makes it really easy to start and swerve between lanes if I have to.

I think a basic survival instinct is involved.

UPDATE: You can conclude (accurately) from this message that I'm an "in gear at stop lights" person.
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6884 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 08/27/2008 :  10:35 AM
quote:
Originally posted by twc

If someone seems to be approaching a little too hot, I'm already tickling the friction zone and ready to go -- just in case.

If someone seems to be approaching me too quickly from behind, I'm busy flashing my brake light to try to get their attention. I'm ready to quickly put it into first if necessary, but so far I've never had to move out of the way of anyone like that.

It also help to wear brighter colors so that I'm less likely to blend in with the surrounding scenery.
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twc
Male Advanced Member
836 Posts
[Mentor]


Fort Collins, CO
USA

Harley-Davidson

Electra Glide Ultra

Posted - 08/27/2008 :  10:40 AM
quote:
Originally posted by scottrnelson

...so far I've never had to move out of the way of anyone like that.
Scott,

For the record, neither have I.
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Misty Trane
Junior Member
88 Posts


nyc, ny
USA

Indian

Posted - 08/27/2008 :  7:46 PM
quote:
Originally posted by scottrnelson

If someone seems to be approaching me too quickly from behind, I'm busy flashing my brake light to try to get their attention....

It also help to wear brighter colors so that I'm less likely to blend in with the surrounding scenery.



I agree, but I respectfully remind us that the thing I nearly rear-ended with my car was a van ;) But the first thing I remember seeing when I "snapped to" was its brake light.

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ColoRexer
Male Advanced Member
616 Posts
[Mentor]


Castle Rock, CO
USA

Kawasaki

ZX14

Posted - 08/27/2008 :  10:18 PM
quote:
Originally posted by twc

quote:
Originally posted by scottrnelson

...so far I've never had to move out of the way of anyone like that.
Scott,

For the record, neither have I.




For the record, some poor rider in Denver was run over by a truck while waiting at a light in the last week. Just in case you were getting too comfortable with your experience...
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twc
Male Advanced Member
836 Posts
[Mentor]


Fort Collins, CO
USA

Harley-Davidson

Electra Glide Ultra

Posted - 08/28/2008 :  10:28 AM
quote:
Originally posted by ColoRexer

For the record, some poor rider in Denver was run over by a truck while waiting at a light in the last week. Just in case you were getting too comfortable with your experience...
I don't think I'm at risk of taking things for granted, but I appreciate the reminder. I hadn't heard about this accident and, prompted by your response, searched but was unable to find any information about it. The reality is that lots of accidents happen -- and lots of people die -- with very little fanfare.
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Misty Trane
Junior Member
88 Posts


nyc, ny
USA

Indian

Posted - 08/28/2008 :  11:39 AM
The words denver motorcyclist brought it up in the google news tab. 24, male, stop light at off ramp, driver of truck held for vehicular homocide. Another story about motorcyclist running a red light, another story about one who went wide in a rural curve, another story about hitting a deer...
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ColoRexer
Male Advanced Member
616 Posts
[Mentor]


Castle Rock, CO
USA

Kawasaki

ZX14

Posted - 08/28/2008 :  12:11 PM
I had found it while contributing to the accident tabulation thread, it is in there. Truck basically ran right through the red light, without regard for the rider who was waiting at it. That is a local road of mine. :(

So, here's to reality checks:

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_10177501

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Texasphotographer
Male Advanced Member
896 Posts
[Mentor]


Copperas Cove, Texas
USA

Honda

2006 GL1800 Trike

Posted - 08/28/2008 :  4:07 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Jerry Godell

Solo riding, your choice.
Group riding, keep in gear.
I don't have to make a choice, always in gear!



I do not want to have more than one way of doing something. Since I like riding with groups and they require riders to be in first gear when stopped, I will do that automatically when I am alone. Just like "muscle memory" at my age, I want to have a constant brain memory.

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Texasphotographer
Male Advanced Member
896 Posts
[Mentor]


Copperas Cove, Texas
USA

Honda

2006 GL1800 Trike

Posted - 02/03/2009 :  9:35 PM
For about $10.00 I bought a Rotating pulsating rear light which flashes quite brightly when I apply either brake. That gives me some additional visibility when stopped at a light. I liked the bulb so much I bought two more for my son and another rider I have known for a long time.

About this topic. If I know the light is going to be red for a long time, I often put the bike in neutral to rest my left hand. It does not take long to put it in first and go however, I keep the front brake applied to alert the driver behind me. Personal choice.
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Tecpatl4
Male Senior Member
394 Posts


Columbus, OH
USA

Triumph

Bonneville

Posted - 02/04/2009 :  5:48 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Texasphotographer

For about $10.00 I bought a Rotating pulsating rear light which flashes quite brightly when I apply either brake. That gives me some additional visibility when stopped at a light. I liked the bulb so much I bought two more for my son and another rider I have known for a long time.




Could you share where you got it? My commute involves about a 10 mile stretch of lunatics.

Thanks
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Texasphotographer
Male Advanced Member
896 Posts
[Mentor]


Copperas Cove, Texas
USA

Honda

2006 GL1800 Trike

Posted - 02/04/2009 :  5:12 PM
I bought them on line on ebay.

On the package it says

DC 12V

Rotating Pulsating Red Led
540A #1157 Bayonet Base.

What is does is

Rotating reverse direction with 6 times alternately.

I rode behind my son last weekend and even in broad daylight could see his rear light a good distance away. People whom have ridden behind me have commented how distinctive the light is.

Saw an ad for them a couple of weeks ago. Think the price has gone up a bit.

Just googled that phrase and here is what I got

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ROTA...cmdZViewItem
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greywolf
Male Moderator
1484 Posts
[Mentor]


Evanston, IL
USA

Suzuki

DL650AL2

Posted - 02/04/2009 :  8:04 PM
I like the way they look and command attention. Your local police may not like them so much.
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kenneth84
Male Junior Member
74 Posts


Fort Worth, TX
USA

Yamaha

R1

Posted - 02/05/2009 :  11:16 AM
I like to put her in neutral when at a light. If the light is short, I hold the clutch, but if it just changed to red, I will create my comfort zone (making sure cars stop behind me and I stop with a distance in front of me) and go to neutral to stretch. I watch the cross lights so I make sure to shift back to first before the light turns green. I do notice a slight urch forward when I shift, but with the buffer zone I create, I have no worry about that.

I have been rear-ended before in my car, so I make it a habit to have a few feet in front of me so I have some place to move to if I hear screeching tires. I don't want to be involved in a multi-vehicle pile-up unless I have the same amount of steel as a M1 Abrahms. Haha.
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Robus
Male Senior Member
293 Posts


Chicago, IL
USA

BMW

R1200RT, HD FLTRU

Posted - 05/17/2009 :  3:02 AM
Depends on the situation. I do leave myself an escape route and keep an eye on traffic closing from behind. We had a reminder of the need for that in my area last week when a rider was run over by an inattendive driver who was painting her fingernails at the wheel (story made national news). However, if conditions are such that a rear-ender is unlikely (a line of cars stopped behind me, no traffic coming on), I might shift to neutral for a longer red light.

Likewise with one foot down or two. Usually only the left for a brief stop, both feet for a longer one. But that might change depending on conditions(slippery pavement, road camber).
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KLS
Ex-Member

Posted - 05/17/2009 :  4:24 PM
Is there a recommendation of where to wait behind a car?...far right in the lane, or far left, or...? To the far right seems a good choice to give the biker an easy escape route and to give the motorist a straight shot at rearending the car in front.
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