Motorcycle

Two wheels and a motor ... or mobile life

Near Valemount, British Columbia

Another successful motorcycle tour is part of history. We traveled more than 3,700 miles experiencing smoke from fires all around the west.

A group of seven riders--including my 11-year old grandson--set off from Paso Robles, CA headed for the Canadian Rockies. Our group also included my wife on (in?) her Slingshot. After two fun days of backroad riding, we added two additional passengers flying into the airport in Boise, ID.

The following principles for sane street riding were written by Nick Ienatsch and originally published in Motorcyclist Magazine in November, 1991. Their relevance and importance is undiminished by the passage of time.

  1. Set cornering speed early. Blow the entrance and you'll never recover.
  2. Look down the road. Maintaining a high visual horizon will reduce perceived speed and help you to avoid panic situations.
  3. Steer the bike quickly. There's a reason Wayne Rainey works out - turning a fast-moving motorcycle takes muscle.
  4. Use your brakes smoothly but firmly. Get on and then off the brakes; don't drag 'em.
  5. Get the throttle on early. Starting the drive settles the chassis, especially through a bumpy corner.
  6. Never cross the centerline except to pass. Crossing the centerline in a corner is an instant ticket and an admittance that you can't really steer your bike. In racing terms, your lane is the course; staying right of the line adds a significant challenge to most roads and is mandatory for sport riding's future.
  7. Don't crowd the centerline. Always expect an on-coming car with two wheels in your lane.
  8. Don't hang off in the corners or tuck in on the straights. Sitting sedately on the bikes looks safer and reduces unwanted attention. It also provides a built-in safety margin.
  9. When leading, ride for the group. Good verbal communication is augmented with hand signals and turn signals; change direction and speed smoothly.
  10. When following, ride with the group. If you can't follow a leader, don't expect anyone to follow you when you're setting the Pace.

  • Why are you selling?
  • Are you the original owner? If not, how long have you had it, and how many miles have you put on it?
  • What type of riding do you do with the bike?
  • How often do you ride it?
  • Where do you get it serviced?
  • What service work do you perform yourself?
  • Where do you buy parts?
  • What aftermarket parts have you installed on the motorcycle?
  • How long have you been riding?
  • What other motorcycles have you owned?
  • Would you ever buy another bike like this one? Why or why not?
  • What else do I need to know about this bike?

Findings from the Hurt Study

A motorcycle accident study that offers a wealth of information about accidents and how to avoid them.

The Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures, is a study conducted by the University of Southern California (USC). With funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, researcher Harry Hurt investigated almost every aspect of 900 motorcycle accidents in the Los Angeles area. Additionally, Hurt and his staff analyzed 3,600 motorcycle traffic accident reports in the same geographic area.

Reprinted here for your information and use are the findings. The final report is several hundred pages. If you would like to order this document, the order information is:

Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures
Volume 1: Technical Report, Hurt, H.H., Ouellet, J.V. and Thom, D.R.
Traffic Safety Center, University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California 90007
Contract No. DOT HS-5-01160
January 1981 (Final Report)

This document is available through:
The National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia 22161