Cars Breeding Motorcycles? That’s Just Wrong!!!

by geno on November 17, 2012

(Photo & Caption courtesy of MSNBC)

wreckedbikeThe impact of a car driven by a 21-year-old woman landed the motorcycle driver in the bed of the pickup truck that was parked in front of him at a stoplight. There were no serious injuries.


Hello Folks, Geno here.

I’ve been thinking about writing this article for a while, and after my ride home from work last night, I think it’s about time.

Have you ever been on your motorcycle after dark, on a crowded freeway that resembles a parking lot more than a thoroughfare, red tail lights stretching out of sight in front of you – and as you slow down to assume the position of drudgery in the line, you hear the screeching sound of tires right behind you?

Yeah , well, that was me last night!

I can sympathize with the driver in the truck behind me. I’ll even take some of the heat for the near miss. It was night-time, my motorcycle is black, it was cold and I was wearing leathers (black), and I have one small tail light that blended into an ocean of red lights in front of us.

However, I didn’t make a sudden stop – it was a slowing stop. It was very obvious that traffic was backed up and moving slowly. I think the dude in the pickup behind be just wasn’t slowing fast enough. We’ve all heard that same screeching sound in our automobiles.

Anyway, I gained something from the experience. I usually remain pretty thoughtful of how a car may try to give it to me up the rear. So there are a couple of things I try to do that will give me a little edge, maybe.

As bikers, we already know that we aren’t as visible as our 4-wheeled counterparts. So, we should always try to have an escape route in case the need arises.

The first thing to remember is to always give yourself enough room for an out if possible. The best way to do that is to keep enough distance between you and the vehicle in front of you so you can get out of the upcoming breeder’s way.  The truth of that proved itself to me last night when I was able to quickly throttle forward several feet, and allow the guy behind me to stop without customizing me and my bike.

I immediately turned on my emergency flashers after the screech to be more visible, but moving forward, I think I’ll turn them on a little sooner as I approach slowing traffic. And because my bike only has a single tail light, I intend to install a lighting kit that transforms my turn signals into running lights. If you want even more night-time illumination, you can always put a set of “Lizard Lights” on your bike. Contact Josh in our parts department and he can fix you up.

Lastly, traffic lights and stop signs are another place to pay close attention to what’s going on behind you – day or night. Remember, it’s always best to stop short of the vehicle in front of you. And if you will also line up on one side or the other of the vehicle in front of you instead of directly behind it, you will have an even better option for a quick get-a-way.

I hope this helps. Happy Trails!


Please leave a comment . . .

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brad November 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I’ll add a little more and say that you should always remember to downshift appropriately WHILE you are coming to a stop and not afterward, even if you intend to hold in the clutch the whole time (as opposed to downshifting and engine braking to a stop). If you come to a complete stop and your bike is not already in first gear, you are increasing the chances of getting rear ended by not being able to throttle up if you are still in 5th or 6th gear from a dead stop.

I personally have been saved on a couple of occasions by doing just as Geno did and leaving space in front of you, and quickly moving forward when you realize someone isn’t going to be stopping in time. Had my bike still been in a higher gear I likely wouldn’t have had enough engine to get me ahead in time.

Great article Geno. This is all very important for keeping people save and visible on these crowded freeway.

-Brad Edwards

2 Geno November 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm

VERY good point Brad!

3 Daniel November 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Besides downshifting and leaving space, repeatedly squeezing that front brake with the clutch in might get their attention. I had the lighted passenger footrests installed and turn them on evenings with them up. This gives me a little extra side-lighting.

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