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Thread: Top 10 Tips for Starting out on the roads

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Top 10 Tips for Starting out on the roads

    Hi all,

    I am very new to motorcycles and am in the process of purchasing my first bike. Got all the gear already, and have gone for the beginners training course at SRA. Learn't a lot of the basics that could very well be overlooked or forgotten so this was great. Will definatley be going back in a few months for the intermediate and advanced courses. I am relatively comfortable on the bike while riding around in the urban areas, but I have no idea what to expect on the highways, or what the "tips and tricks" are today for riding on the roads of Johannesburg.

    I hope that someone can give me some advice on what the "best practice" is on the roads of today's times? Maybe a top 10 list of "to-do's" etc.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Nuon Fangirl

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    1. Training!

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    crash test dummy


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    2. Ride at the same time each day so traffic start to get to know you there
    3. Learn to lane split, DO NOT RIDE IN THE SUICIDE LANE
    4. Try have some extra reflective or HI VIZ to make you more noticeable.
    5. Don't ride aggressively, but rather defensive.
    6. Don't target fixate, keep checking your surroundings.

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    Hooligan Biker
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    Have a look at Hein Jonkers website https://www.msi.org.za/
    You are bound to find something that will answer a lot of your questions.

  5. #5
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    7. Pace yourself, rather get there safely, than not at all.
    8. Watch driver behaviour and eventually you will be able to predict when a driver is going to change his/her lane.
    9. When splitting keep to either side of the white lines (do ride on the line, there is little to no traction)

  6. #6
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    Highway riding is not really that daunting. Highways are part of my daily commute and often at different times when I either contend with heavy congested traffic flow, or moderate to easy flow. Your safety on the highway will naturally depend on the kind of bike your ride, traffic conditions and, of course, weather conditions. I can't speak with the authority of a marshal or instructor, but I can share a few tips with you about highway riding from my own riding experience. (1) Heavy slow moving traffic is the safest for me, as my riding is then also at low speeds. I simply make my way to the "biker's lane" as soon as circumstances permit and edge past the slow moving cars interchanging between the 1st and 2nd gears. Moderate traffic is the most dangerous for me as I am riding at a faster pace. I again use the "biker's lane" to pass the tail-end of the cars CAREFULLY - I first match the speed of the vehicles and pass them slowly and, once the road opens up, I then increase my speed until I hit the next tail-end and then it becomes a matter of rinse and repeat. Light traffic is much of the same for me, save that I prefer owning the far right hand lane for as long as circumstances allow me to. Make allowances (by reducing speed if necessary) for cars rapidly switching lanes - this usually happens when you reach the tail-end of traffic, or an on/off ramp (2) Lane-sharing or lanesplitting to pass slower vehicles is a privilege, not a right. I prefer not to move in between moving traffic when traffic is already doing 80km/h plus, unless there are only a few cars in front and its safe to speed ahead between them to reach open road. (3) I do not indulge in excessive speed (for me 130km/h plus) on any roads that I am not familiar with. (4) I do not dice other vehicles (5) Watch lanes merging with your lane from off/on ramps - USE your mirrors and your head to look! (6) Whenever I feel uncomfortable in traffic, I reduce speed and position myself safely in a lane and chill out. For example, I found myself in extreme windy conditions once traveling on a stretch of a 4 lane carriage way where I found more comfort chilling inside the left lane until conditions improved. (7) Sometimes you will have an issue with a tailgater. I get out of the way as soon as it is safe to do so, otherwise I use hand motions and swerve left to right inside the lane to get the fcker to back off. ( I ensure to keep a safe following distance in moderate to light traffic and I position myself on the right side of the lane I am using so that the driver in front of me has a clear view of me in his mirrors. (9) I try to avoid night time riding, but the odd times that I do - I wear my Hi-viz vest. I also have strips of proper reflective tape across the back of my backpack. People laugh at my neon-green helmet, but at least everybody spots me miles away. (10) I always ride with a proper kit to deal with flat tires, a rain suit (recently acquired from Builders Warehouse on the kind recommendation of one of the marshals here) and dog tags on which all my emergency particulars are engraved. Those are my tips for highway riding. To be honest, the most dangerous part of my journey is a main road in Parkview where mammas in their SUV's are (without exception) on their cell phones rushing their kids to all the neighborhood schools. They emerge from side roads like rockets; they disregard traffic circles; they pay NO attention to motorcyclists. I found it best to travel no faster than about 40km/hr in the middle of the main road so as to avoid a t-bone collision with a mamma.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all of the feedback. It is really useful hearing what more experienced riders have to say and I really appreciate the input I also found another thread on the forum that was helpful. https://forum.thinkbike.co.za/showth...muting-by-bike.

    A couple more tips I found online were:
    1) Lane Positioning: Keep to either the left or right of a lane (depending on which lane you are in) and do not drive in the dead centre of the road (where the road is a slightly darker colour) as there could be small amounts of oil/petrol/diesel on that section of the road making it slippery. This should also allow you to see further ahead of you if a car is in front of you.
    2) Awareness: Constantly keep an eye on ALL traffic around you and predict any potential hazards regardless of how small the hazard might appear to be in the moment.
    3) Blind Spots: Make an effort not to ride slightly behind a car where you could be in their blind spot.
    4) Painted Lines: Can be very slippery especially when wet. Try and avoid the lines.

    Thanks again all

  8. #8
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    Seeing you're also an Albertonner, perhaps we could meet up sometime for a chat.

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    Sounds good Bloufieterjoel! Thanks. Ill PM you shortly.

  10. #10
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    Now we just need that other Albertonner, AlexJ, to agree to having a beer with us. No excuses, castle now comes with 0% alcohol

  11. #11
    crash test dummy


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloufieterjoel View Post
    Now we just need that other Albertonner, AlexJ, to agree to having a beer with us. No excuses, castle now comes with 0% alcohol
    Agreed, name the time or the place just not this week, eish work is killing me

    Sorry for hijacking

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexJ View Post
    Agreed, name the time or the place just not this week, eish work is killing me

    Sorry for hijacking
    25.9.2018 at 18h30-19h00 at 9th hole, 2nd Ave Spar centre, Verwoerdpark, Alberton

    Sent from my X9 Mini using Tapatalk

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