Dead Biker Riding (Video)

HOW DO YOU, PERSONALLY, DEAL WITH THE RISKS OF MOTORCYCLE RIDING?

Do you think it’s bad karma to talk about motorcycle crashes?

Do you even contemplate the possibility that you might get killed riding?

Or do you simply not think about it at all?

Yes, I have my own opinions on the matter, as you can experience in the video.  But since this isn’t a topic I’ve spoken with many other riders about, I’m more interested in what goes on in your noggin regarding your own while-you’re-riding concept of motorcycle safety.

Please add your feedback below where it says “Leave a Reply” (scroll to the bottom).

237 thoughts on “Dead Biker Riding (Video)

  • I have been riding for over 45 years and been all over this country on a bike. I ride with a helmet and all safety gear. I also ride never being in a hurry and giving everyone a lot of space. Have never really given dieing on a bike any thought and I agree with you, that when its your time its your time and there is nothing you can do about it. You seem to have a good attitude towards riding, so keep it up and continue to ride smart, because you are invisible.

  • When I was learning how to ride I watched every crash video for the simple fact I wanted to see what was the cause how or if there was a possibility to have avoided it. I ride with my brain and take in all possible scenarios, and always in heavy traffic have my escape route in mind which changes by the second. You have to ride like you are invisible. Still watch crash videos you can really learn a lot from them I am a realist. When it comes down to it if it’s your day to leave this world it’s not going to make a difference if you are on your bike or sitting at home, when it’s your day you will leave this earth so ride walk skydive but take precautions the other side of myself believes you can avoid that day a little while longer if you play it smarter.

  • I am fortunate to live in the Czech Republic right in the center of Europe. Here we have to face diffrent driving habits which change depending on which country you are touring in. Luckily here in CZ the car drivers are resonably biker aware and will move over to let you through or to pass, but if you go to Italy where everyone is racing around you are are on your own and must think for every driver what will he do next. Austria is so strict that you have to ask permission to sneeze.
    I run an expat bikers club here in Prague and we go out on rides or touring there is a full awareness briefing and “what if ” session. I allways ride with that thought. The moment you stop thinking and being aware of your surroundings is when you will have an accident.
    The other danger is the “red mist ” effect when someone pisses you off and you get mad and start to think of ways to retaliate putting yourself and others at risk.
    Dressing in the correct clothing is a must even when the weather is hot I still wear my full leathers as it provides the best protection and a good helmet everytime. Last year a good friend of mine went under a Volvo estate car and was run over from front to back it was only his leathers and good helmet that kept him in one piece and he lived to ride again.
    So the moral is buy the best safety gear you can afford, ride defensivly but thoughtfully, you do not own the road there are idiots so expect the worse but above all enjoy your riding and always ride within you own limits.
    If you get exhausted stop have a break and drink lots of water not coffee or alchohol.

    Ride safe , be safe!

  • I have been riding for over 40 years and have tried to follow all the rules for safety, gear, etc. I continually read articles in various magazines about riding, safety, etc. and have taken courses in skills and safety. I mainly ride long distance and have been all over the country, I also ride by myself or take my wife with me on occasion. I like being on my own schedule. I have had close calls with inattentive drivers, dogs and wild life running across the road (I once hit a flock of geese). The one that got me was about two years ago coming back home from a 300 mile run and about a mile from my house when a deer ran into the side of me when I was in a curve with my wife. I didn’t drop the bike, however, he did damage to my windshield, crash bar on the right and my front end. I rode home with a little pain in my right leg. When I got off the bike I yelled at my wife to get the car. Once at the emergency room I found out that my lower leg was shattered and I ended up in a leg brace for 4 months. All the years of riding and this stupid incident had to happen. Deer have to be the dumbest animals on the planet. Moral to the story, I killed the deer and have never dropped my bike. Just got back from a weeks ride out to the Black Hills and planning to head out east in the spring. I will ride until I get too old to hold up the bike,Ha!

  • The thought of crashing crosses my mind every time I go out, but I don’t obscess over it. The next thing that flashes in my mind is “Be careful out there. Stay alert and don’t do anything stupid.” I don’t ride when I’m tired. I don’t drink before or during a ride. I don’t ride at night if I don’t have to. I don’t ride if I’m in a hurry to get someplace and I don’t ride in bad weather if I don’ have to.

    I only want to go out and enjoy the ride

    BTW before I go out I always check my brakes, signals, horn, handlebars, oil and tire pressure. Takes about 30 seconds.

    Here is one thing that I have done that others may not: When I read of a motorcycle fatality in my area, I’ll take a ride out there in a day or so and see what happened. There will usually be a shrine or flowers or a picture at the exact spot, so it’ll be easy to find. Looking at the spot and the circumstances, it’ll usually be apparent. The guy was going too fast for this curve or someone on a cell phone made a left hand turn in front of the biker. I try to learn somethIng from this tragic scene.

    Ride safe everybody and enjoy the road.

  • A very thought-provoking video! I’m an ER nurse/EMT and I drive a 750 Honda. One of the wisest things I’ve heard regarding motorcycling came from our head trauma surgeon, who says: “Dress for the fall and not for the ride”! “Karma” isn’t going to save your brain, your skin, or any other body parts. Education and preparation, ATGATT and defensive driving would be the smart choices!

  • I BELEIVE ANY POSTS OF THIS NATURE IS VERY HELPFULL AND INFORMATIVE. I HAVE BEEN A MOTORCYCLE ENTHUSIAST FOR 40 YEARS, THE WAY I DO IT IS TO STAY FIT, ALERT, DO NOT RIDE IMPAIRED, AND USE COMMON SENSE AND DRIVE ALERT AND DEFENSIVE. I BELEIVE WHEN YOUR TIME HAS COME IT IS INEVITABLE. BUT DONT RUSH IT . I ENJOY READING THE POSTS, EVERYONE IS INTITLED TO THEIR OWN OPINION, BUT I HAVE MADE MANY FRIENDS AND AQUAINTSENSES OVER THE YEARS. BE SAFE MY FELLOW RIDERS AND LETS BE SAFE TO RIDE ANOTHER DAY. HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL DENNIS

  • I do go along the karma thing to a certain extent. I’m a fatalist and believe that when your number is up, your number is up. Now that doesn’t mean taking untoward risks. I wear the protective gear. I actively learn about defensive riding (I hope to go back to BMW again next spring). I concentrate and try to be alert. I keep my speed down to what I believe is safe.

    I ran over a squirrel the other day. I was very upset, because I hate doing anyone any harm. But what if it had been something bigger?. A dog, a child, a cyclist suddenly appearing from nowhere, debris blowing off the side of the road. I wasn’t able to stop. That was the bottom line. i was under the national speed limit, I was wide awake and alert, and I have a bike with good handling and ABS. The point is that some things are outside your control, however careful you are.

    You might not even get killed on a bike. One day you might be ambling along and simply step out in to the road without thinking. Bang, that’s you gone. You can never cheat death, and when it does come, it will, by definition, be when you’re least prepared.

  • A well followed comment line – Morbid interest or genuine concern? It matters not. Riding is a skill learnt with varying amounts of trepidation, which explains why most people do not ride bikes. I have heard many by lines, such as “No chain no gain” from the speed heads to “It’s better to leave the scene of the accident” (refering to flying over the top of a car when you hit it) from the fatalists. Obviously, nobody wants to experience an accident but there are certian rules to observe – 1. Don’t drive irresponsibly, 2. Watch your front but have a good regard for you rearview mirrors, 3. Reduce your speed and extend your judgement in bad weather and where visibility is poor. The only thing a biker has almost no cotrol over is the stupid idiot who tries to fit up your exhaust.

  • Well, Karma is superstitious bunk so I don’t worry about that. But, for some reason one of my favorite search on YouTube is for motorcycle crashes. So, not only do I think about them I like to watch them. Weird, huh?

  • +1 on what KalahariOzzie says.
    You can’t rely on people seeing you, no amount of hi vis is going to change that.
    What keeps you alive is all happening between your ears..
    You just can’t trust anything else. 110% concentration and being prepared to foresee and react to all kinds of dumb, crazy, reckless stuff that cage drivers do.

  • I believe that you may as well face the facts and deal with them.
    We all know that riding a motorbike can be a risky business. However we all get enjoyment from riding and so we do it.
    I also commute to work on a bicycle and feel a lot more vulnerable on it, as I can’t keep up with the flow of traffic. I therefore feel a lot safer and more in control when I am on my motorbike.
    Basically you do what you can do to reduce the risks, I wear all the protective gear, helmet, neck brace, gloves, boots, kevlar blend riding suit.
    I have done a couple of advanced riding courses and believe that they are a worth while exercise.
    At the end of the day we are all going to die of/from something. I would prefer to depart this world doing something that I love, so I don’t dwell on the risks.

  • I have been riding since I was 14, that is 34 years now. Rode through Africa, Australia, Europa & SE Asia. Had two crashes, both my own fault, one on very wet mud road in South Africa and another riding dead tired on a mountain pass in northern New South Wales Australia.
    My (our) alertness on the riding / road situation is the only thing that counts. hi Viz vests/jackets /helmets and yellow bikes are all just BS, sorry. It only makes bureaucrats feel better about themselves. If a car driver cannot see you with your headlights on, that 15% more yellow on your skin will make no difference. For me there are a few rules (i) never ride after consuming alcohol, not even one beer (ii) never ride when very tired (iii) ride as if your motorcycle is invisible to all else (because most Gen X & Y drivers are busy texting/watching a You Tube movie or playing a computer game while driving) and (iv) try to not ride at dusk as most people are on their way home, tired.
    I love rideing, and I have been on quite a number of “safe riding” courses, all in South Africa ran by BMW. Was absolutely fantastic and worth every single cent. Pity the courses here in Australia is about obeying the rules and not about surviving the ride.

  • Speed kills. Speed thrills. Yes. The mindset of those who believe the idea of a motorcycle as a vehicle that transports a rider to a destination more quickly than in your ford pick up, is a midset of either a young rider, or an old rider without life experience needed to mature into a confident, intellectual rider, who both understands the risk involved with a motorcycle, and takes pleasure in the pure enjoyment of miles of highway just over your windshield..perhaps most interstates are not the place to relax your senses, and country roads are even less so.. its that rare time when its just you and the ribbon of asphault, with meadows, and canyons.. farms and houses that look as though they may have graced the cover of house and garden.. the little lake, with a couple of kids under sail.. a sunset that commands a stop to worship the artistry of the G-d of creation.. and give thanks for all the blessings of our lives..including the moment, and the amazing technology of modern motorcycles.. having found those places, and having stopped to gaze into a place in time where i have arrived on my machine.. the risk of what we do for that moment becomes distant, yet we should be even more grateful for all things beautiful in our lives.. our brides of how ever many years, children regardless of their ages.. maybe even grandchildren like mine.. and that amazing harley that takes me to moments more often than it will ever take me to places.. if we dont, for some reason find it in our heart to be as aware of what we do at that moment, the reality that what we do is not the most safe thing on the planet to call a passion.. to take a minute to recommit ourselves to becoming better at our chosen craft of piloting a motorcycle to the next moment in time.. to make very sure we arrive home safely to tell of our most wonderful experience with our friend, our bike… make every ride a training mission..work on something.. be aware.. and dont forget to breathe.. and no reason to be in some big hurry…life is in a huge hurry for us.. we can never out run the speed of life.. and the bike is not the place to even try to..

  • Car driver: “I didn”t see Him/Her”

    Bike rider (if and when they can speak again): “I had my headlight on”.

    Moral: More lights, hivis wear .modulating headlight etc. -be seen. be seen, be seen.

  • I think of crashing ALL the time. Everytime I go out, I get butterflies in my stomach b/c it’s heavy city riding. I don’t get those butterflies when I’m headed out to the country. I try to get as much info on every bike crash that happens in my city and go on You Tube and watch and study those crashes as well. I’m kind of obsessed about analyzing why this or that crash might have happened and what I can learn from them. I have avoided a couple accidents by quick brake usage. I, too, ride like the drivers aren’t paying attention to me or the signs and arrows. Especially, when I go through intersections, I don’t just barrel on through, but pause and then proceed when I’ve looked in all directions. I especially love learning from the veteran riders who contribute to this website. Thank you!

  • Although I’ve only been riding full street bikes for 5 or 6 years, I’ve ridden trail bikes for over 45 years. I have had a few trail bike crashes over the years, early years due to inexperience, then unwarranted overconfidence, perhaps? Then I lost the function in my left eye about a year ago due to an irreparable retinal detachment; – that has been a contributing factor in some more recent trail bike crashes that were probably due to a foolish amateur mistake that found me looking too close to my front end toward ruts and obstacles for just too darn long! The kind of stupid mistake a beginner has to learn to overcome. For 20K miles, I haven’t ever had any kind of wreck or tipover on a road bike,(yet). I am fully aware of the added risk I am assuming by continuing to ride both varieties of bikes,yet I do believe that both styles do tend to compliment each other and both bring some lessons to the table. One thing I learned right away on the road bike is that whatever I can learn from my mirrors is all the information I’m gonna have to act and operate on, since I can’t turn my head far enough in either direction to re-verify before any lane-changes or passing. Fortunately, living in Montana doesn’t mean (usually) more than 2 lanes each way, and in Yellowstone Park- where I frequently ride, only one lane in each direction. Obviously, one of the most important things I can do is to always wear the high vis clothing as an essential part of my safety gear. I sure hope the bison don’t dislike the bright yellow-green…!

  • I have ridden and enjoyed my ridind on the highway since 1964. I have had a couple of bad accidents and thought about the consequences but maintain that with practice, training and common sense one can reduce the chances of his demise. But as you say, If you are worrried on every corner and every time you get on the highway it’s time to stop.
    I have aquaintences in our local MC chapter that probably should either stop riding or because of thier fears , never started. I had one person tell me last night that they did not need to learn how to ride through a corner faster or more efficiently because of the fear he had. I tried to tell him if nothing else I want him to ride with more confidence and less fear so if I am behind him I wont get tangled up in his riding. I dont plan on stopping riding but I will if it starts to worry me about what could happen.

  • Greetings !
    Your words are becaming wiser and wiser.
    My point of view about safety is:
    1. be prudent
    2. be allert
    3.drive diffensively
    and riding can be a joy.

  • Dave Leader, I agree with you. We all take calculated risks (and uncalculated) everyday. I do try to minimize the risks of riding by not drinking, not going out after dark, wearing leathers & good helmet….but when it comes down to it, there’s only so much you can do.

    When I go out, I have to know that I just might die that day…which makes me ever more vigilant and careful. This is why I’ve written a will and a letter to my son…saying, if I die in a bike accident, I was doing what I loved. I don’t EXPECT to die…but I have to realize that even veteran riders (which I am most definitely NOT) die every week in this big country because of inconsiderate or distracted cagers.

    What I don’t get is how you can SEE if someone is bearing down on you from behind and using their cellphone. By the time you REALIZE that someone is ‘bearing down’ on you at a stop light (or wherever), isn’t it too late to maneuver out of his/her way? I don’t know how I’d be able to judge that situation in my mirrors when things are a bit distorted anyhow (appear closer than they are or is it the other way around??) SO…that’s one thing I DON”T worry about when I’m riding. If it happens, it happens. I DO think about everything else, though.

  • I think a possible accident is always in the back of someone’s mind when they go out to ride otherwise they would have zero fear and that would be an accident waiting to happen anyway. I just a friend who unfortunately lost his left leg below the knee because he hit a car at a standstill during road construction. Its ironic that when I heard the news that I really wasn’t surprised. He broke many of my cardnial rules for riding, which at least to minimize the chance of something happening. Of course no one can ever apredict accidents, but you can minimize some eliminate some external factors that will reduce the chances Below are my rules that I follow.

    1. Weather – Of course there are times when the weather changes on you and you just have to make do, but I watch the weather and if the road conditions are going to be wet or the wind is blowing at 50 mph, I probably won’t go out.

    2. Work – I will ride to work occasionaly, but I do not use my bike as a commuter. Operating a motorcycle as a commuter means you are riding during rush hour. That also means you are riding in the height of road=rage as well. during rush hour cage riders and everyone else are frustrated and will sometimes make illegal or risky moves to try and get home earlier.

    3. Holiday traffic – This is very similar to rush our, those Friday before a three day weekends and the monday before everyone comes back are again usually high road-rage stress days that would probably be best not to be on the road ways.

    4. Interstate – Unless absolutly necessary, plan a route away from the interstate.

    5. Body – Make sure you are alert and rested to ride, you can have a perfect riding day with all of the other risk minimized, but if you are tired or not alert, you are still at risk for being in an accident.

    6. Finally Maintenance / Gear – Maintaining your bike properly and riding with the appropriate gear are pretty much self explanitory, yet seem to cause accidents over and over again.

    Back to my friend who recently lost his leg; he was commuting 150 miles a day which ment he was working a 12 and a half hour day. He road through an area that had heavy road construction although there were 3 othe routes available including the interstate. He was doing 20 miles over the speed limit, and riding on bald tires, So if you add up the risk factors on my list, he had poor maintenance, fatigue, decreased alertness, commuting, and a poor choice in route, that is at least f risk factors that caused his accident not to mention the 20 miles over the speed limit. That is why I stated earlier that I was not surprised when I heard the news and wish him well in his recovery which I am sure will be life changing.

  • There is something to be learned on every motorcycle incident whether minor or catastrophic and deadly. I’ve always felt that the number one safety factor it to always, ALWAYS be alert! One of the reasons I so enjoy having my wife ride behind me, besides she always feel so good up close and personal, but that extra set of bright blues eyes always on the look out is very beneficial and has saved us several times.

    When ever we are up close to one of our riding friends that has an accident we make it a point to find out all the information as to what happened and how the rider feels it could have been avoided. None have ever refused to share their information with us.

    I do admire those riding clubs, that make a point of reviewing any accidents they know about and passing out or covering the information to their members readily.

    We always believed in Loud Pipes, Lots of Lights, a Killer Loud Horn and top of the line tires and maintenance. I’ve seen many riders go down due to poor maintenance.

    I also always, ALWAYS assume the driver in the car or truck next to me is going to do something stupid and dangerous.

    Good Topic and God’s Speed.. THANKS for sharing.

    BOOMER & SPANKY FORD, Atascocita, TX (Humble/Houston)

  • British Columbia on major highways have signs suggesting things like Watch for M/C`s Share the road , Rocks, Wildlife etc. The best one is Slow Down Keep your Distance.
    The speed limit is for a reason. Showing respect for the law and enjoying the scenery is just not fair for some riders.

  • Not only is it not bad Karma but it is essential to know as much as possible about motorcycle accidents . Much of what occurs can be incorporated in ones mind for future reference . I have lost many a friend and aquantaince and I know exactly how their stories went down . One actually needs to visualize going down to have a healthy fear each and every time they hit the road. I take the time to re -read the PA crash study and although it is like 67 pages, it always reminds of the top reason we go down . Not a day goes by where some cager does not try to take me out in a “new ” way .

  • I do my best to minimize my risk by being as conspicuous as possible. Hi Viz helmet (full face, of course), Hi Viz padded jacket, yellow bike, headlight and tailight modulators. Adding extra headlights and tailights soon.

    I live in Harley-Land (Wisconsin), and the number of unprotected riders I see boggles my mind. I know it is your choice to ride that way, I just hope you never have anything go wrong.

    My first bike was killed by a cager who coasted though a stop sign (on his cell phone – looking at the van behind me -I mis read his face, thought he was looking right at me). As I made the left turn in front of him with my daughter on the back, he coasted through the stop sign, hitting my left leg and dumping us towards him, then pushing my bike 6 feet further on the pavement. Because we were wearing safety gear, we were both fine, just my leg was sore from being the impact point. My bike was totalled.

    I didn’t get another bike right away (wife issues), but when I returned to riding a few years ago, I decided to be visible and careful. I took the MSF course, and I ride maybe too cautiously, but I’d rather be home or at the campground safe – not sorry.

    Yeah, I look like a Key Lime on a banana – but I don’t care if the HOGs laugh, in my riding circle we have a saying ATGATT – All The Gear -All The Time!

  • I do NOT believe it is bad karma to talk about the ills of motorcycling. Mild ot tragic. Buck up an dWELCOME to the REAL world. Face the facts. Talking abt and becoming more aware, keeping the downside of riding at the forefront of your thoughts can only help u to take riding more seriosuly and be safer.

    I almost nvr contemplate abt getting killed. Thought abt it. My “affairs are in order” and I am up in age so most of my life is behind me.

    The following are a few comments outside the parameters of the original question. I apologize if it is inappropriate but it is somewhat in the same vein and I hope it will be of benefit to others.

    Inlight of the general subject matter and along with staying safe:

    1) When I ride, I am ALWAYS, ALWAYS playing the “What If ___.” game. What if this driver did this or that driver did that BEFORE they do it.

    2) ALWAYS leave yourself an escape route.

    3) ALWAYS monthly or everyother month practice Brake & Evade and emergency stopping.

    4) Take the advance riding course.

    5) Get the Jerry Palladino Ride Like A Pro V DVD. I do not make any money for saying this but Jerry is an ex-motorman and teaches u in 3-4 hours how to truly Ride Like A Pro. YOUR skill level and confident will go up immensely making you a MUCH safer rider. <– I strongly suggest that. If nothing else, MASTER RIDING YOUR BIKE simply becuase your life depends on it. And others too possibly.

    I too will now get off my soap box.

    BuzzCap7

  • Yes I like to talk about it. I really like to watch motorcycle crashes to try an see what happen. Sometimes its a mystery and does not look like there should have been a crash but mostly its people doing stupid things they will get hurt eventually. You can clearly see how people do get hurt and killed riding the way they do but Some people are just dumb I have a buddy new to riding its obvious to me he’s more worried about look at me im cool shi* on the bike.

  • Some very good observations amongst these posts. I’ve been riding since 1965 and have had only one bad crash; a woman driver crossing 4 lanes of traffic to go into a shopping center ’cause the sign on the front of one of the stores said “Sale”. She hit me head on and I took the hood ornament off her car with my left knee as I flew off the bike. (It was not a flexible ornament like today’s cars.) The girl riding with me broke her leg in four places. That was in 1968. I’ve had several close calls since then, but because I learned to anticipate what others might do, then made sure did my best to not be in front of them when they did it, I’ve had no further collisions. Slowing at intersections, covering the brakes, listening as well as looking, turning my head to look rather than just relying on mirrors, expecting people to not see me, contemplating constant “what if” scenarios…all of these have kept me upright and happy to be riding. I just completed a 7600 mile M/C vacation hitting 19 states and 4 Canadian provinces. My closest call was maneuvering through a small herd of Pronghorns on Highway 6 in Utah. I rounded a corner and there they were. I didn’t have time to stop, so I just slowed and zigzagged between them. I like seeing wildlife on my trips, but not quite so close.

  • I just want to shout out Hell Yeah to David Leader.

    I think you have hit upon something that I have long felt true. There is something in the human brain that reinforces certain behaviors. Some folks do drugs, some gamble, some do crime, some play around.., some drink and get in fights. Some get into motorsports, some like to spend time at 6 flags rollercoasters and some ride motorbikes.

    In most cases folks couldn’t even tell you why they do it. Dealing here with basic primal human motivations. So like you, I don’t judge folks for what they have determined to be an acceptable level of risk. I am always processing for myself, the general and specific level of risk.

    I ride every day. I ride with protective gear and 100% awareness with the assumption that there is someone on the road who is going to kill me if I do not proactively protect myself with a defensive riding attitude..

    And everytime I get off the bike I notice I have a big smile..

  • I ride on constant alert. Thousands of miles a year. ATGATT and all that. I never assume that people in cages respect my right of way. Right of way is only important when it’s time to figure out who’s fault it is that someone died. I talk with my friends and family about this regularly.

    That said, I feel that danger is part of the allure of motorcycling. We all take risks. We eat and drink foods that are bad for us. We drive and ride in cars and swim in the ocean. Some of us dive off rocks into murky waters. Therefore, I find it hard to judge riders who hop on their bikes in summer clothes and flip-flops – as dumb as I think that is. I hate seeing riders without helmets, but we each choose our own level of acceptable risk.

    Some of us will die motorcycling, but more people will die of obesity and diabetes. Those problems are just as preventable.

    Dave Leader, DMD

  • I don’t have any insightful observations to add, just reiterations. I agree it is wise to discuss this topic. Never forget your vulnerability out there, wear all the gear all the time. Keep your head on a swivel, do what you can to make sure you’re seen with lane positioning. Don’t ride too close behind a tall vehicle. Vehicles approaching from the opposite direction who want to turn left won’t see you, etc. Cover your breaks in situations where someone could pull out in front of you. Expect the unexpected. Check your mirrors when coming to a stop, have a way out if someone who’s texting is bearing down on you.
    Remembering all of these things would seem to take the fun out of riding, but once you’ve been practicing this kind of defensive riding for long enough, it’s automatic.
    Be confident in every move you make, don’t gamble with unnecessary risks. I don’t mean ride like a little old lady. You can raise a little hell, just be smart about it.

  • First of all it’s good to see so many older riders on this forum. It’s also good to see [other] older riders out there when I go riding. It speaks well of their years of riding and learning.
    I got my first bike, an 80cc Yamaha, back in 1965 and now ride a 1600cc Victory. Over the years I have had 12 accidents, mostly during the first ten years of riding. At least one of them could have been avoided if I had acted on my suspicions and slowed down before the car pulled out in front of me. I saw it coming and didn’t react in time. Now, I slow down if there’s any doubt. I also try to stop on the right side of the lane at intersections where people will be crossing in front of me and might cut the corner while turning. I figure I’ve avoided being run over at least three or four times by doing that.
    Learning to counter steer has been a blessing, although it seemed unnatural and was not in my bag of tricks when I started riding. It was hard to learn to do it right because of my previous experience taught me that counter steering was a quick way to crash. Now I practice the technique as much as I can by dodging man hole covers, etc. I plan to go back for a more advanced MC Skills training course.

    Anyway, I always try to look ahead and see the potential for accidents before I ride into them. When I hear of an accident involving a motorcycle I try to study it to see what I can learn from the other rider’s mistakes. I’m always trying to learn more and have decided that there is no substitute for experience but it doesn’t have to be your own. You can learn from other people’s mistakes.
    Ride safely and happily.

  • I am a new rider in my late sixties. I am a ATGATT rider. Before I get dress for riding I always pray and ask God to take care of me and help me to have a safe and plesant ride. When I get back I always thank him for my ride. I usually ride in places and at times when the traffic is light. I usually think about how I would respond to hostile drivers when I am in my pickup and seldom worry about crashing when I am on my bike. Everybody have a safe and plesant ride.

  • One of my greatest fears is deer. The wife and I hit a buck a couple of years ago. It came up out of the ditch and it’s head hit my crash bar and broke it’s neck. Kept the bike upright and hardly a scratch. We got really lucky. I don’t care to ride at dusk/dark anymore. You have to be aware of the dangers associated with riding but remember “A life without risk isn’t worth living”.

  • I love this website. And subscribing to this site had even helped me be a better rider. I learned to operate motorcycle since i was in 4th Grade, back home in Philippines growing up with motorcycles , it was easy then coz we own a family business of Tricycles used as a public commuter very common up until now. Balancing was’nt a big issue, the only thing you have to worry is mastering the mechanics of clutching, gearing, shifting…all at once. Learning the traffic roads and hazards and all that. To me i had a very good and extensive training up until i was in high school and some of my college years. Imagine driving in a third world country(its crazy outthere!)…and how much more RIDING!
    So in other words my confidence is solid. BUT…
    …here is the big BUT…i say whenever you ride, you never…ever let your guard down. Its almost like a feeling of like they say “never blink an eye”…you are constantly doing this “S.E.E.”…i never know this acronym until recently…coz i never attended any riders course. But this habit of doing the S.E.E. …is always been an automatic habit everytime i ride. It feels like you tryin’ to survive out there, its like u keep on swimming or else you sink(thats how i learn how to swim btw…when i was 2nd grade my older cousin just throw out on a deeper water and made me swim…lol…and i did). Anyhow, back to riding YOU HAVE TO CONSTANTLY STAY ALERT, PAYING ATTENTION TO YOUR SURROUNDINGS…so many cagers outthere that dont really pay attention to us riders. YOU ALWAYS ANTICIPATE, to what these A..H…. will do, believe me it saved me alot of times.
    …but I love to ride…i live to ride…and i ride to live. As a mc rider, yes we lose against a cage. But I never get scared…just four years ago I started riding fulltime again. The absence was due to having family and focusing on my profession…with persistence and i think the “middle age crisis”… I GOT MY FIRST HARLEY:) its been my passion, so i told myself and my wife…im gonna get back to riding…so got what i want…and enjoying every ride i get. It never scares me…coz i loved to ride. You just have to be vigilant, PAYING ATTENTION!!!…

  • I am 61 years young, have been riding 2 wheelers all my life so far.
    I always ride like I am invisible.
    I had one bad wreck in Texas, lady pulled out in front of me.
    If I had not had my helmet on I would not be here now. I was a kid in college then.
    I say, get out there and ride, and be careful, that is about all you can do.
    The MSF courses are good, all you instructors, keep up the good work!!!!

  • I’ve been hit twice by cars turning left into my lane. Once on the way to work, and once, on the way home. I’ve always believed that every intersection, is an opertunity for a mishap, and every driveway is an intersection. I rode for thirty + years, accident free. Had both accidents in a span of a year and a half. You never know when it’s going to happen. I had a hunch when the second one happened. Not much I could do about that. I was “invisible”. I used to be an occational helmet user. Destroyed two good helmets and consider them, money well spent. Got an eight inch gash on my lower leg and not even a nic on my chaps. I cringe when I see people riding with short pants. Rebuilt the bike twice and almost sold it the second time. Wife wouldn’t let that go down. Bless her heart. Ride on / Be safe!

  • You know, I have never really thought about dying while riding. I have been on two wheels since the early 60’s, had my spills and scrapes even got run over by a Ford 250 last year. Of course I ride with caution, am very dilligent and watch everyone. All; I can really say is the time will come and untill then I will enjoy every ride I can muster. there really is no sense in worrying about something that may happen next year, ten years from now, or, maybe even today. I have reached the age where if bad happens it just makes the good even better, and all I have to answer to is God and me.

    have a glorious day
    superdave s/d

  • The rules I live by are the same ones my pop used…ride like you’re invisible…and ride 50 yards ahead of yourself. Expect people in other vehicles to make boneheaded moves and always…always…always respect your machine. I have had my share of incidents, and accidents. From the mundane of forgetting to put up the kick stand and trying to turn left…embarrassing…to being impaled by my Bultaco Alpina into a pine tree while riding solo on a trials run. Some have been my fault…when I let my attention waver, to thinking I was in complete and total control of the machine in strange terrain…which…I didn’t…I lost respect…I got pinged….and others have been other drivers doing something other than driving….like drinking coffee…eating…texting…

    I’m 61 now…and still riding…and expect that I will ride till the day I assume room temperature. These days I ride a Ural Patrol and stay off the super slabs, staying on the blue highways enjoying the scenery and the putt putter of the airhead.

    My bike is my only source of transport…and doubt that I will ever own another car or truck…bikes have been and always be my life, rain or shiner, snow or heat…it’s the best way to live life to it’s fullest!

  • Threat Zones. Experience as an officer of the Bresino Fallen Biker Foundation between M/C accident scene investigations and our Rookie-Ride-Along program confirmed repreatedly the importance of increasing rider awareness of threat zones and “listening.” Audio input is 360 degrees, and when riders are trained to listen to the audio input from their surroundings, it gave them an edge; in the form of extra mili-second slices of time. The “time” needed to “catch” whatever threat may be moving from the “Outer Threat Zone” into the “Intermediate threat zones” before visual acquisition of threats was obtained. Same for Intermediate threat zones to Immediate, however, there are fewer Intermediate to Immediate because visual input of threats is usually acquired about the same time and at about the same rate. When the processes of this style of viewing the landmines of the conveyor belt of the riding landscape for bikers was taught to the more experienced riders who staffed the Rookie-Ride-Along rides, survivability by avoidance habits were formed and then eventually sharpened to quite a fine set of new habits. New skills learned in practice drill actually started to find a balance; what we came to call the “sweet spot” or “threat neutral area” of the environment. That was later refined to be viewed as a rider naturally gravitating toward that “sweet spot” on the road that was the most threat neutral place in the flow of the ride. It worked. 67 new riders brought into the Rookie-Ride-Along program to date with approx. 1,005,000 miles total, no fatalities and minor accident incidents have not resulted in anything more than one ankle surgery, one knee injury that required ongoing physical therapy with the rest all involving equipment damage incidents. Bottom line is, the “experienced” riders got better as they learned to focus on teaching the rookies, while the rookies “learning curve” time spent “paying-their-dues” to get past that black veil of the first 6 months, had fewer of everything and less seriousness in the boo-boos they did experience. [statistically a rookie riding alone for their first 6 months, has a 700% higher chance of dying if he or she rides alone, than if they ride in a group with more experienced riders who are willing to shepherd them along; guarding them through situations that might otherwise have killed or maimed them. The process becomes symbiotic after awhile when the egos are thrown away and a group security factor emerges, almost by osmosis. Not totally scientific or actuarially quantifiable, but a very workable process for increasing rider survivability.

  • I grew up on a motorcycle. My dad took me everywhere on the back of his and I learned to drive on an RD 350. After more than 45 years on a bike I have never had an crash, though I have had some close calls. Most of these close calls were when I was younger and felt I was superman!! My dad is 88 and still riding, but he has had several crashes. He has always been a preacher of wearing leathers even when it is too hot. I continue to see young riders in shorts with a muscle shirt and no gloves. My wife laid her bike down over 5 years ago while on a hoilday in Montana and the state trooper said is was a blessing to see a rider live from a crash. He said she was the first he had seen not either die or end up with brain damage. She was dressed head to toe in leather and had steel toed boots on. Her bikes tank had a round dent the size of her boot toe in the side of the tank but her foot was fine. We had to buy her a new full face helmet, jacket, and chaps. While she received a cracked tail bone and a concussion she still rides. Since that crash she has noticed several things about the way I drive that keeps us safe. I always make sure I have an escape path when sitting at a light or when following a car. I try to never get stuck behind a car or truck I cannot see over and if I do I back off at least 7 to 10 car lenghts. She also noticed that at times I am either aggressive or very passive as a driver and that most of the time I will take the passive way to keep us safe. But if needed I do not hesitate to use the braking or power of my Kawasaki concours to get us out of a unsafe situation. Also the more you ride the more you and the bike become one and you start to react to situations more automaticlly. At speed if you have to think to much it is too late. You need to be able to react fast and see things before they happen. Other dirvers usually give hints of what they are going to do or might do and you have to learn to read these to stay safe. I also never assume another driver sees me or will give me the right of way. Assume they will hit you or do not see you and then you will not be surprized.

  • After 35yrs in the saddle, my biggest fear out there is new riders, on bikes to big for them. When I started my first street bike was a 185 susuki. Then a 250, 500, 750, 900, 1100 then my Harley. I have had respect for the traffic around me, but do not fear crashing. New riders take a weekend course and feel they are ready to ride a 800lb bike. They have not learned how to control a bike, how to get out of trouble, or even how to park in some cases. I feel rides need to start small and learn how to handle a bike……….that will save your life. Most new riders do not realise that the trottle is your friend, not the brakes. Talking to riders with years of experience can only help. We can all say “been there done that and lived to talk about it”. Misshaps happen with 4 wheels as well as 2. Talk, learn, be safe. And allways remember……..keep the rubber on the road…………

  • I agree with everything in this vidio.I have been riding for 36 years (raced for 8)and have had my share of accidents.has nothing to do with bad karma.Most people like to bury there head in the sand on subjects like this but it will only bite them in the future.There is no such thing as not being able to not learn more about riding.I will keep wearing my helmit(i have broke 3 so far)even thrue you do not need to anymore here in Michigan.I will also take safety courses to help keep me alive and refresh me.Me and my wife ride alone because there are way to many fools on 2 wheels out there.

  • ATGATT. But remember, helmets are tested from a drop height of 10-12 feet, equivalent to a crash of about 18 mph. What this means (the bad news) is that you cannot expect armor or helmet to save you if you’re about to do an imitation of a bug on a windshield. The good news is that the armor and helmet will protect you from road rash and attenuate the forces of a fall or high side from bike to pavement or curb.

  • BTW, the most efficient braking technique is to use both brakes to the maximum, that is, without locking either one up, and having them slip at about a 10-15% rate, In that way, the most kinetic energy is used up by converting it to heat to be dissipated by the brake discs, and by using it rub away some tire rubber. When all the kinetic energy is gone, you are stopped.

  • I am an MSF instructor. Everybody perceives risk differently and has a different idea of priorities and how to handle risk. But I think the MSF says it best with their SEE (Search Evaluate Execute) acronym taught in all their motorcycle safety courses. MSF offers a Basic Rider Course, an Experienced Rider Course (or BRC 2) to practice Basics with your motorcycle, and an Advanced Rider Course-Sportbike Techniques course. The aim of the first two courses is to teach proper fundamentals to prevent people getting into trouble, the ARC-ST course uses sport bike and track techniques to get you out of trouble should you screw up.

    I see bad riders on the road every day, and I meet them everywhere I go. The ones who are sure they don’t need to courses are usually the worst riders, sometimes with decades to practice their bad habits. Sometimes their girls buy them a training class as a present. They tend to give we instructors a hard time at first, but when they realize what they didn’t know, they are usually very grateful. At that point, they know what they didn’t know. But there’s still a larger set of skills they don’t know about.

    I urge everyone to get as much training as possible. Not the convenience or “show off” skills performed in a parking lot, but life saving skills such as: counter-steering, quick braking, swerves, braking in curves, multi-apex turns, swerving in turns, brake and turn, turn and brake, hook turns, how to recover from a skid, power slide, etc.

    I’ve personally taken all the street based courses the MSF offers in CT, and the California Superbike School and can recommend both. Be aware that one has a defensive riding bent, and the other a track bent. The skills from the track can be useful on the street, but it takes thought and foresight to remove the speed orientation and replace it with a safety orientation.

  • As you can guess by my nickname, this is definitely a topic that is on my mind every time I ride. Granted, the nickname came from only one crash, but it was a bad one that nearly took my life. I came out of it with a fractured skull and a cracked C1 vertebrae. That was three years ago.
    Today, I think about my life every single time that I start my engine, but I am still a full time rider. I live in Las Vegas where the weather permits riding at least 350 days per year, and I take full advantage of that. However, anyone who has ever ridden in Las Vegas knows that these are not safe streets to be on. People come here to party, making a dangerous situations for those of us who live our daily lives here. I always keep this in mind and I stay fully aware of my surroundings at all times. It only takes a split second to wind up in a deadly situation on a motorcycle, which means that you can’t afford to forget that for even a moment. I always assume that I am invisible to everyone else and I know that assumption has kept me alive many times, because it causes me to react as if they don’t see me, and they usually don’t.
    I want to come home every single day of every single week. I am a dedicated rider, but when I die, I don’t want to do it on my bike. I want to be an old man with great memories of soul strengthening rides.

  • Wow lots of good responses on here.If we’re honest all of us with any kind of self awareness have thought about the risk.I agree the ones who don’t ( most are the “kids” on the crotch rockets but not all) are dead me riding.
    For me I hadn’t ridden a bike in over 25 yrs when I bought my Vulcan custom last summer at age 52.The first thing I realized is how completely free of fear I had been as a kid.Now as a middle age guy I have total respect for the reality of what I do.It is dangerous but if you’re smart about it,stay in the Zen here and now and ride aware of the danger but not consumed by it you can keep the risk factor low.

  • Wholeheartedly agree with discussing topics like this. I learned when I was 16 that to think of everybody else on the road as an idiot was a good yardstick to start with. At that age you still feel invincible and immortal. A couple of slides down the road with the wrong gear on and the gravel rash that goes with it brings you part way towards fear, but not that you were lucky you only slid, not hit something, or it hit you and you could be dead. At that age you have no idea what your parents go through every time you tear off round the corner at the speed of light.
    The day does dawn eventually, that the brain kicks in as you get older and you realise we don’t actually bounce that well and then the kids you knew who got killed on motorbikes.
    The real settler for most is when your own kids start drooling after motorbikes and you find yourself telling them it is much better to wait and get four wheels which is safer and then you realise what fear is and that you did know it all along. It was common sense and awareness that was lacking. Some never get there in spite of their age.
    As the video says. Awareness and fear are no bad thing. Dress properly. Nothing can take the chance of death away, but there is a lot you can do to put the odds on your side
    I don’t personally subscribe to Big G looking after me, but I do respect that some do.

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