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Old 4th July 2009, 00:46   #46
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Default Blind Corners

I have been bitten by the touring bug big time. I plan to buy a Enfield ( Machimso 350 ) after the rains and go around the country. But before I do so I have a few concerns.
Dangers of Riding on the Highway. I will break it up for you.
1)Top on the list . Blind corners ! How do you negotiate them ? How often do you get opposing traffic overtaking on these corners, and are surprised by these oncoming vehicles .
2)Being bullied by larger vehicles. Is this a huge concern ?
3)Completely idoitic drivers. How often are they a problem ?
4)Generally how much riskier is Highyway riding compared to City riding ?

I plan to ride safely , wear necessary gear, but there is very little I can control.
Experienced tourers please let me know
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Old 4th July 2009, 08:32   #47
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Originally Posted by alter.e.go View Post
1)Top on the list . Blind corners ! How do you negotiate them ? How often do you get opposing traffic overtaking on these corners, and are surprised by these oncoming vehicles .
Just don't take any chances. Yes quite often you will have two vehicles overtaking each other on a corner blocking your path. Its best to expect this at every blind corner.

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2)Being bullied by larger vehicles. Is this a huge concern ?
There's always the risk of being run off by a truck. Also truckers have the habit (I guess they need to?) to swerve hard when they wish to over take. If by any chance you are just beside the truck attempting to overtake it you'd get taken in by surprise. Always leave a huge margin around any truck. There's no telling what they'll do

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3)Completely idoitic drivers. How often are they a problem ?
Always assume every other driver on the road is a complete lunatic. Expect them to perform the most inane manuevres and come right in your way

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4)Generally how much riskier is Highyway riding compared to City riding ?
The added speeds and the fact most surfaces are new to you on highways makes it riskier. But that said when you ride with zero chances its quite safe and above all most enjoyable.
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Old 6th July 2009, 01:15   #48
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alter.e.go,

The fact that you've raised these concerns here shows that you will be safer than most others on the highway.

To add to what DKG has said, i have one solution to help with your points (1) and (2) if you plan to do a lot of highway touring - get a LOUD horn.

- Using it around blind corners will give the offender fair warning.
- Using it will scare larger vehicles who might try to bully you (the sound of something larger besides or behind them does have its own psychological effect).

Ride safe,
R
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Old 6th July 2009, 13:14   #49
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so many rules where is the fun in riding anymore?

best is to follow that thing called common sense: keep a safe distance from the person in front so as to avoid tailgating, each person try to keep the person immediately behind him in his rear view mirror and slow down when he is not visible for some time.

Guys without this basic common sense are exposed within the first hour of the ride and can be kept out of future rides.

Zimble really.
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Old 8th July 2009, 15:08   #50
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Default Rolling fortress

I was talking to a friend who has done some highway riding.
His remendy for blind corners is deceptively simple.
Find a large vehicle who is going at about the speed you can match and then trail it at a distance of about 10 - 15 meters (distance depends on the speed). As the speed reduces the distance can also reduce .
That way you have a rolling fortress in front of you in a blind corner and you are also riding in reduced air resistance (because of the wake created by the larger vehicle).
Also prevents you from being bullied by oncoming vehicles.
To me this seems like a very good idea,
I almost had a eureka moment when he told me this.
Can any of you find a chink in this armour ?
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Old 8th July 2009, 15:52   #51
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Originally Posted by alter.e.go View Post
Can any of you find a chink in this armour ?
Am afraid there's only chinks no armour !!!

First of all the assumption that the vehicle ahead is your shield is quite illogical. I actually see it as suicidal to tail a vehicle treating it as a shield. One mistake he makes and thats two of you going into the same accident.

At highway speeds the distance you need to maintain between the two of you renders any perceived protection non existent.

Oncoming traffic assume only the car they see and plan their move accordingly. No one bargains for someone tailing just behind. Chances are you will expose yourself to more accident situations as scooterists, pedestrians etc turn across the minute the first vehcle passes. In you come at the same speed without a clue of what your shield never had to encounter !!

Chinks galore???

BTW your friend is on a deathwish if he rides in the wake of trucks and cars at highway speeds - reduced air resistance?? - 10-15 meters ! I see reduced bone to plup!

Last edited by DKG : 8th July 2009 at 15:58.
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Old 8th July 2009, 15:58   #52
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Originally Posted by alter.e.go View Post
Can any of you find a chink in this armour ?
+1 to DKG
That is one of the easiest ways to get into a nasty accident.

The vehicle in the opposite side might have a tail as well.
When two tails meet, heads may break.
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Old 8th July 2009, 23:44   #53
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Originally Posted by alter.e.go View Post
Can any of you find a chink in this armour ?
To add to Dkg's post, can you even imagine the amount of dust, loose road surface the tires of the fairly large vehicle will keep flinging at you.
Car or bike, I feel claustrophobic if do not have a clear sight of the road ahead of me.

manson.
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Old 9th July 2009, 03:02   #54
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Interesting !!!
DKG - you burst my bubble.But its better to have the bubble burst now then you head burst later. I appreciate the detail in your replies.
Also this thread that you have kicked of here is a very good initiative, kudos!

bblost - I understood the "The vehicle in the opposite side might have a tail as well" But am a little perplexed by "When two tails meet, heads may break." It sounds nice though.

BTW - Is there a Indian version of the MSF course. Its amazing to think that there is no formal institute where you can learn how to ride. Learning to ride is like the blind leading the deaf.
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Old 13th July 2009, 15:04   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alter.e.go View Post
Can any of you find a chink in this armour ?
DGK and others have commented extensively on this. Also in some of the countries where the driving standards are more advanced and regimented, tailgating is an offence worth few black points.

The instructerd here drill in to us the "3 Count" rule.

When you are behind a vehicle in a highway/freeway select a fixed land mark like a lamppost or some thing ahead of you and the vehicle in front. When the vehicle in front passes the mark start counting (slowly) and if you reach the same mark before you count 3 then consider yourself as tail gating the one in front.

Tailgating is one of the worse things you can do on two wheelers especially and I have learned the hard way about 32 summers ago.

Take care & ride safe

Ram
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Old 17th July 2009, 18:46   #56
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alter.e.go,

There are cases in which the "rolling fortress" concept might save you.... ie. two ST busses overtaking on a blind turn on a ghat section and you're going towards them....

However, as other people mentioned, there are also a lot of disadvantages that come with it.

(And forget about the "aerodynamic advantages" - chances are there will just be more dirt and muck thrown up on you instead.)


However:

I guess using the "rolling fortress" principle, but with a small vehicle (car) and following at a very safe distance is a good way to go. This way there isn't a huge vehicle infront of you blocking your view, as well as blocking others' view of you.
The advantage are :
1) Around blind corners etc you can see the car's behaviour, ie swerving, braking etc - which serves as a forewarning for you if dangers lurk ahead.
2) In low visibility conditions it could help to follow a pair of taillights
3) Greatly prevents the possibility of two ST busses overtaking each other and running you off the road!
etc

cya
R

PS - the "3 count rule" mentioned by r_nairtvm above is also commonly known as the "2 second rule".
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Old 18th July 2009, 18:19   #57
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Default 'rolling fortress'

Yes Rehaan,
The 'rolling fortress' concept is only for blind corners, Not for the rest of the journey and keeping safe braking distance is mandatory.

For the others let me elaborate
Scenario : You are taking a blind corner and to your horror you see 2 ST buses coming your way.
The overtaking one ( driven by a moron ) is blocking your whole road
If you are lucky you will just be run off the road if you are not so lucky there may be contact, not very nice !
Now imagine you are watching all this happen in front of you a few car lengths behind.Where do you feel safer ?

The only danger in a blind corner is not knowing what is there around it. The best way around it would be a person standing at its apex telling you whats coming , in the absence of this person I feel the car ahead can definitely be used as a probe.

Don't get me wrong I am not pig headed,I am still learning and am willing to changing my line of thought in the interest of safety but only if there is a strong logic backing that up.
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Old 19th July 2009, 02:24   #58
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Originally Posted by alter.e.go View Post
....Now imagine you are watching all this happen in front of you a few car lengths behind.Where do you feel safer ?.....

I think you will FEEL safer and more importantly, you will BE SAFER.

Why :
1) Worstcase > If a car gets hit by a ST bus at 50km/h(x2) its far less fatal than if the same happens to a biker. Right?
2) If the overtaking ST driver sees a bike, he doesn't let off, as there might be enough place for the bike to squeeze through or ride off-road for a bit. If he sees a car, he will back off as there probably will not be enough space to allow the same for a car.
3) If there is a car ahead of you, chances of the ST driver seeing it / seeing it sooner are higher, as compared to a bike.

This thread just popped up a day after my earlier post, very similar topic : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...ver-night.html

cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 19th July 2009 at 02:27.
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Old 21st July 2009, 14:28   #59
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Samurai in one of his early threads has discussed his method of following a pace car while driving through a highway. He would lookout for a vehicle being driven in a pattern similar to his, one he could keep up with without an effort, and safe to follow from a reasonable distance.
I have often seen myself use the same technique while on Sunday morning rides. But it is very important that you select the right pace vehicle to leady your way, or this is a sure recipe to get yourself into trouble.

In the case of blind corners, on an empty stretch I usually move to the opposite side of the corner. For e.g. if the road is tilting towards the left, I move to the right side of the road to get a better view of the road ahead. I'm sure most people use the same technique on an empty stretch, but don't remember it in theory.

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Old 21st July 2009, 14:46   #60
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Hey,

Are you talking about the middle line approach. This is usually taught at advanced level (somebody may correct me later), where one is advised to keep closer to the road's divider line in paint-marked carriageways for maximum visibility. Then, when you approach a turn, whether left or right, it gives max open view compared to driving on the sides and also best chances of spotting on coming vehicles from a good distance earlier.

I am looking for some links which show these very nicely. Will post them whenever I find them.

Till then, I found this on honda site. Very nice articles on general riding basics.

Getting Started - Honda Powersports

Riding Technique: Four Ways to Steer a Motorcycle

Riding Technique: Four Ways to Steer a Motorcycle - Experience Powersports - Honda Powersports


Quote:
Originally Posted by manson View Post

In the case of blind corners, on an empty stretch I usually move to the opposite side of the corner. For e.g. if the road is tilting towards the left, I move to the right side of the road to get a better view of the road ahead. I'm sure most people use the same technique on an empty stretch, but don't remember it in theory.

manson.
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