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Old 10-12-08, 04:21 PM   #1
jboyd
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Somebody Explain to me (Motorcycle ?)

This morning my wife and I went to breakfast at a local state park about 15 miles from home. i took the bike to ride back.

First 7 miles were park and rural country, but I had about 5 miles of shoulder along U.S. Hwy 51. This has happened to me several times, and that is the reason for the question. Anyway, I am riding along the shoulder and there is a motorcycle coming towards me. Big Harley Fat-Boy Hog, and the rider has his left foot literally on top of the center-line. This in turn makes the car that is about to pass me have to veer right and take part of the shoulder. I swear I felt the plastic from the side mirror of the car This was a really wide shoulder (car width), and I was way right.

So my question is; Why do motorcycles, do this? I have seen this hundreds of times. Bikes come down the road and are just inches from the center line. I have heard that they do this to be seen by oncoming traffic, but he doesn't need to be on the line for me or anyone to see, it's just plain stupid and dangerous. I noticed this yesterday on another ride the same thing happened. The cycle rode the line, and the approaching car eased right. It is just survival nature to move over and not risk the possible hit.

Now I have my own theory, and I am sure it will get pounded. I think that these blowhard jackass's are overcompensating for some shortcoming. I think they have a Napolean complex of some sort and feel the need to be bigger then life in the real world.

Just move it the center a little, would ya?

Ok, I feel better
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Old 10-12-08, 04:33 PM   #2
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That car should've slowed until the bike passed, then safely passed you. In Florida the law states that cars must give bikes at least 3 feet of clearance.
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Old 10-12-08, 04:57 PM   #3
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Ok, I understand that and agree, but it still does not answer the question. Why is it that a car that is 7ft wide can run in it's respective lane and be 3-4 feet from the center line, and yet the motorcycles that I speak of are 3-4 feet wide and run within inches of the center?

I am not a road engineer, but I think that the normal two lane highway is capable of 3 car widths from white line to white line. They may be touching mirrors, but that is 3 car widths.

Jay
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Old 10-12-08, 05:09 PM   #4
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I rode motorcycles safetly for 28 years.
I never rode that close to the center line, but I rode to Be Seen at all times.
It gives you more visiblity for drivers coming onto the roadway from the streets on the right side of the highway. Remember that motorcycles move as fast as cars but lack the same size for proper visibility.
I enjoy my road bicycle. 8700 miles this year.
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Old 10-12-08, 05:12 PM   #5
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some motorcyclists may do it from habit of riding staggered in groups...not smart or right by any means, but may be some of the defective reasoning behind it.

or they simply have no idea how big their feet are?
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Old 10-12-08, 05:13 PM   #6
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Another question. Why do groups of motorcycles ride in alternate one to the left near the center and one to the right on the shoulder? I've almost been brushed by motorcycles because they aren't in the center of the lane.
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Old 10-12-08, 05:16 PM   #7
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Another question. Why do groups of motorcycles ride in alternate one to the left near the center and one to the right on the shoulder? I've almost been brushed by motorcycles because they aren't in the center of the lane.
They do that for safety from bumping into each other at the Fast Speeds that they travel.
Take a 70 mph ride on the back on motorcycle sometime.
You will learn much.
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Old 10-12-08, 05:33 PM   #8
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I just re-read my first post and realize that it sounds like I don't like motorcyclist. Please know that is not the case. I just don't like the ones who hog the middle of the road and think they are the second coming of Peter Fonda in Born to be Wild.

Here is another observation, and as I write this is sounds prejudice, but I don't see the hogging when it is a Honda, kawasaki, or BMW. It is always those big fat, laid back, arms extended, no-helmet (Illinois) Harley's, and the rider looks like he has either crashed through a leather tannery, or is on the way to a "Dead" concert.

Ok, I am getting nasty again. Sorry

Jay
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Old 10-12-08, 05:36 PM   #9
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I ride motorcycles, and try hard to avoid the OIL and other debris in the middle of the road that makes it slick. I travel in the left tire track part of the lane, unless there is oncoming traffic and then will move to the right side of the lane.

No, motorcycles that are hanging over the centerline are not good riders. No, they are not compensating, but some of them also drive their cars that close to the center lane.
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Old 10-12-08, 05:37 PM   #10
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I just re-read my first post and realize that it sounds like I don't like motorcyclist. Please know that is not the case. I just don't like the ones who hog the middle of the road and think they are the second coming of Peter Fonda in Born to be Wild.

Here is another observation, and as I write this is sounds prejudice, but I don't see the hogging when it is a Honda, kawasaki, or BMW. It is always those big fat, laid back, arms extended, no-helmet (Illinois) Harley's, and the rider looks like he has either crashed through a leather tannery, or is on the way to a "Dead" concert.

Ok, I am getting nasty again. Sorry

Jay
I just read #8. You Don't Like Motorcycles.
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Old 10-12-08, 05:44 PM   #11
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Flip: Thanks. The left tire track makes sense and is understandable.

10 Wheel: Sorry, I got hateful again I am really just having fun with the post and poking a little. I say we all just need to get along.........................................and the motorcycles need to stay in their lane

Crap, there I go again

Jay
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Old 10-12-08, 05:45 PM   #12
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Flip: Thanks. The left tire track makes sense and is understandable.

10 Wheel: Sorry, I got hateful again I am really just having fun with the post and poking a little. I say we all just need to get along.........................................and the motorcycles need to stay in their lane

Crap, there I go again

Jay
I don't like Loud mufflers.
You might like this one.
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Old 10-12-08, 05:50 PM   #13
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OK 10 wheels now you are just showing off your titanium membership posting a video...
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Old 10-12-08, 05:54 PM   #14
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All that was missing was some lose gravel on his turn He sure showed those bikes (again, over compensation).
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Old 10-12-08, 07:20 PM   #15
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I always ride in a tire track. If I'm in the left lane and there are lanes to my right I ride on the right side of the lane. Otherwise, I'm in the left tire track. The choice of tire track is so I'm not riding through all the grease and oil dropped by cars. The choice of which track is a combination of making me the most visible to cages, and providing me the most escape routes from the cages.
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Old 10-12-08, 08:00 PM   #16
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I Ride my motorcycle in the left wheel track because 1) the center has all the oil and grease in it and 2) if i ride in the right wheel track, idiots in cars will try to pass me in my lane, just like I was on my bike. I can't answer for the guy you saw. He is probably lacking some brain cells or he would not be hugging the yellow line. Motorcycle vs. car is just as bad as bicycle vs. car. Probably worse because of the much higher speed.
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Old 10-12-08, 08:05 PM   #17
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I always ride in a tire track.
Always in the tire track and almost always in the left one unless I'm riding with other motorcycles in the aforementioned staggered positions.

As to 'why', several reasons have already been stated and, in fact, the Motorcycle Safety Institute's guidelines... which have been adopted by many states as part of their motorcycle training / licensing curriculum -- includes things like the following:
Lane Position

Because of a motorcycle’s size, its position within a lane of traffic will change
as traffic conditions change.

THE MOTORCYCLIST should choose a position in the lane to be seen.This
often means you will ride in the left portion of a traffic lane.This position
gives him/her a better view of traffic and the road ahead, as well as making
the motorcycle more visible to other traffic in most situations.
As a motorcyclist, you should change position within your lane as needed to
maximize distance from potential hazards. Lateral movements within a lane
may be necessary at times to increase your chance of being seen.Avoid riding
for any length of time in a driver’s blind spot. Experienced riders realize that
the best position within a lane of traffic is dictated by the situation.
Same thing goes for Group Riding: http://www.msf-usa.org/downloads/Group_Ride.pdf

As an example, these MSF guidelines have ended up in Georgia's Motorcycle Handbook: http://www.dds.ga.gov/docs/forms/MotorManual.pdf

P. 13 = Lane Position
P. 35 = Group Riding

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Old 10-13-08, 05:02 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by jboyd View Post

Here is another observation, and as I write this is sounds prejudice, but I don't see the hogging when it is a Honda, kawasaki, or BMW. It is always those big fat, laid back, arms extended, no-helmet (Illinois) Harley's, and the rider looks like he has either crashed through a leather tannery, or is on the way to a "Dead" concert.

Jay
On this I will have to argue, I see this with Gold Wing riders, BWM riders, Sport bike, Sport Touring, Naked, and just about anything. I have also seen this with the same person pulling a motorcycle trailer which is wider than their BMW and not knowing that their trailer is actually in the other lane. Some people never use their mirrors, so they never know where their trailer is compared to the lines in the road.
It has nothing to do with the BRAND of the motorcycle, it has to do with the rider of that particular motorcycle. And no, I don't own or ride a H-D. I own Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, KTM, Yamaha.
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Old 10-13-08, 05:06 AM   #19
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I just read #8. You Don't Like Motorcycles.
I don't understand motorcycle hatred. Then again I don't understand car hatred either.
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Old 10-13-08, 10:23 AM   #20
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I don't understand motorcycle hatred. Then again I don't understand car hatred either.
I think it comes down to the actions of the operator, if the operator of said motorcycle or car (or bicycle even) is operating it in a manner that compromises the safety of others, they get annoyed. Unfortunately, this is the one you will notice. You could get passed by 800 motorcycles, and only notice the half dozen acting in an unsafe manner. Same thing applies to cars, it applies to those electric scooters, it applies to the person on the bicycle who is going 20km/h down a crowded sidewalk, buzzing pedestrians.
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Old 10-13-08, 10:53 AM   #21
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Center-line-hugging in the name of safety makes no sense to me. Around here, the roads are curvy and when you come around a curve, you're quite likely to meet Farmer Brown coming the other way on a tractor towing a harrow/disk plow/some other wiiide piece of equipment that's just that little bit over the center line. Imagine what you'd look like if you rode a motorcycle into a harrow. Yeesh.
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Old 10-13-08, 11:23 AM   #22
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I don't understand motorcycle hatred. Then again I don't understand car hatred either.
Hatred is merely the most extreme emotional response that someone can have when they are confronted with something that doesn't conform to their way of thinking.... or acting.... or beliefs.... OR can sometimes come from envy.

For example, I've been riding motorcycles since I could ride a bicycle but I have a hard time with anyone who stunts, street races, rides a twin with open exhaust, or who otherwise rides in a way that I find in appropriate for the street. When I'm riding my motorcycle -- an 1100cc stock sportbike that I use as my daily commuter and that I ride in full gear -- I simply shake my head when one of my 'bretheren' does something I find disagreeable, e.g., a wheelie on the street, speeding, going WOT, or parking on the sidewalk or a hashed area. Put me on my bicycle around one of these jokers who has decided to have some perverse type of 'fun' at my expense and it's a short trip to wishing some type of wrath upon him.

Now, to be fair, there are a lot cyclists who ride in ways that I find inappropriate too... but I ain't going there.

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Old 10-13-08, 12:04 PM   #23
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I would have to say the motorcycle has every right to be anywhere in their lane, period. Thats the law. Now because you live in Illinois. You have a 3 foot rule that cars have to maintain. Also because your considered traffic. The car passing you has to yield for traffic conditions. From your description. The only person doing anything wrong here was the car. Now I have a few suggestions. I ride Iowa and Illinois roads along the Mississippi River. Some have heavy traffic. I rarely have problems. I ride in the right wheel track and hold that line. Motorist do not realize we hear them way before we see them. That is of course if you keep those dam Ipod ear buds out of your ears. Also use a rear view mirror. Anyhooo, if I think oncoming traffic is going to coincide with the vehicle approaching from my rear. I move towards the center of the lane. This forces the car approaching to yield most of the time. If the car approaching from the rear is still lining up to pass. You then have more room to move right just before they pass. You have to develop a comfort level to ride in traffic. You have to be more aware of your surroundings. You have to give yourself room for evasive action. Riding on the right edge gives you no room. Motorist then feel they have room to pass you when theres oncoming traffic. If something happens your only choice is the ditch or gravel shoulder. If there is even a shoulder. When riding in groups. Drop into a single file line when traffic is approaching from the rear. That is required both in Iowa and Illinois. Now about those motorcyclist. Those dudes always wave or give a thumbs up to me out on the road. Especially the HD folks. I stop in biker bars from time to time. Never had one problem. I've gotten ribbed a bit about the Lycra. But its all in fun. If your ever up by Savanna, IL. Stop into Poopy's. HD riders from around the country ride there just to say they been there. To most bikers 2 wheels are 2 wheels.

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Old 10-13-08, 12:26 PM   #24
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The only motorcycles that I hate are the ones that are loud to make them "safe". There is nothing more annoying than to be pedaling up a mountain in the Cherokee forest and have a bunch of straight pipe Harleys blow past.

Then you get t he ones who think that it is cute to act like they're pedaling as they go past.
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Old 10-13-08, 12:29 PM   #25
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I would have to say the motorcycle has every right to be anywhere in their lane, period.
"He was right, dead right, as he rode along..."

You know how that one ends, correct?
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