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Old 10-18-2012, 11:39 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I generally don't encourage people to ride motorcycles because so many of them need the extra safety margin of a car. Perhaps the narrow 4 or 3 wheelers for one or two occupants will be good for them. But as poorly as many people do driving in a car, they really really don't need to be on a bike.

I've been riding for 40+ years, but it has almost all been dirt or racing. I've probably got under 5K miles on a street bike though I've usually got a least one or two registered (but non-op'd project) street bikes. Here in the SF Bay Area I can't say that the way many people drive gives me much encouragement for doing more street miles. Even driving my car/van is something I tend to avoid; it is just too much of a zoo.

"abrasion is rarely life threatening"

Yeah, but it sure can put your life on hold/in agonizing pain for a year or more:

Rock The Gear

I'm a firm believer in dressing for the crash, not the ride. If it is too hot to wear all the protective gear, it is too hot to ride.

I can't make up my mind on being belted in. It makes a lot of sense to stay inside a protective structure and let it take the punishment, but then the structure really needs some competent engineering to ensure that it does the job to justify staying inside it. Yes, there are probably some cases where you'd be better off getting out and away (and hopefully not tumbling along shedding limbs as you go). But that makes me think of all the people who didn't want to wear seatbelts in their cars because they wanted to be able to jump out at 60mph to escape being in the accident looming on the horizon. I think there's a lot of evidence over the last few decades that staying in a properly (safety-)engineered vehicle can lead to a lot more "walk away" kinds of accidents for four-wheelers.

There's a lot of difference between when a MotoGP rider falls off at 120mph and s/he's on a "built to be safe" track where everyone is going the same direction/speed, there are gravel traps, and usually a lack of street furniture to impact (and if it is there they've hopefully got AirFence in front of it) vs falling on the street at 50mph and being run over by the Chevy in front of/beside/behind you and then hitting a guard rail/parked car.

NASCAR drivers seem to be able to survive amazing high speed multi-vehicle crashes without a scrape. But they got that way by mandating pro-active safety.

It may be that street bikes should be going towards a Carver-style narrow three wheeler. From what I've heard from an owner they are a hoot to drive so while they may give a different ride (as would an Ecomobile) they still give you a "tilt the horizon" thrill.

I'm looking forward to eventually getting my FF project on the road. It won't be enclosed, but they do offer some possibilities for passive safety features that may make it worth staying longer with the vehicle in a crash before bailing at a much lower speed.

cheers,
Michael

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Old 10-19-2012, 06:26 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I wonder what it would be like to be strapped in to a motorcycle when it high sides?
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=9mOCPOQNQsI

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Old 10-19-2012, 09:01 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Probably somewhat similar to an SUV during a "high CofG, what does that mean?" rollover.



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Old 10-20-2012, 09:50 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
When I ride, I feel like I am part of the landscape, if only for a moment before moving on to the next landscape. In the spring, I enjoy the different smells of flowers and other vegetation. Evenings bring cool pockets of air as I dip into a valley and then warm air as I rise out of it. This is completely lost in a car.

Cages always feel like I'm driving them, but a motorcycle feels like it's part of me; an extension of my own body, almost as if it responds to my thoughts.



I have been rear-ended in a Subaru, and my girlfriend was recently rear-ended in her Pontiac. It seems these sorts of accidents are not uncommon, and very difficult to avoid. Ride long enough, and your chance of being hit by another vehicle approaches 100%. Motorcycles will not be safe from other vehicles until automatic brake assist, lane departure warning, etc become the norm. With ever increasing distractions for drivers, safety is in jeopardy.
If that where true I would have won the lottary by now!
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:38 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redyaris View Post
Because when a side wind hits the motorcycle it roles up wind and the "training wheel" would serve no purpose...
Only if the trail is sufficient and the other factors such as the side center of pressure doesn't get too high above the cg of the roll axis. It is easy to get everything pretty high with a streamliner based on a sit up position and stock seat height.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:14 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Finite element analysis, carrying over the load to the other side or other parts of the vehicle, designed crumple zones , ...
These things are not within reach of the hobbyist or barn manufacturer.[/QUOTE]

I disagree with that statement. There are FEA programs within the price range a hobbyist could afford, but a lot of the design work is actually readily available. An engineer might be able to tell you how to build it with the least amount of materials, but an intelligent and thoughtful builder can have access to the same information. Crumple zones, framing and structures that will direct impact forces around occupants rather than through them, energy absorbing restraint systems and the like are not difficult concepts for someone with the intelligence and inclination to utilize them.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:27 PM   #27 (permalink)
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It is impossible to design a vehicle that will protect you in every conceivable situation. Your big SUV head-on against a fully loaded semi-truck at 70 mph? Probably not going to walk away from that one. It is, however, possible to design a small three-wheeled or even two wheeled vehicle that would protect a rider/driver from serious injury in a reasonably forseeable accident or collision. Modern composite materials, thoughtful design work and careful construction are the keys. I ride a motorcycle 70 miles a day back and forth to work, and want to build a vehicle that would be a cross between TREV and the California Commuter so that the winter months are a little more comfortable.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:48 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I think the trikes are ugly, and all that extra frontal area doesn't help it avoid an accident. It seems like when safety improvements are made, that they are immediately marginalized by less attentive drivers. This is silly, make better car drivers (with training and stricter consequences), problem solved. Make everyone who can, spend some time on a bike and they will know first hand how and why they should start seeing them.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:55 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Until you can remove the human element entirely, you are not going to "make" a better driver. An inattentive bus or truck driver will ruin your day whether you are in an Excursion or a Yugo (I know this from personal experience - I witnessed a Jeep Grand Cherokee head-on a tour bus; the Jeep driver was killed instantly, bus driver had a broken leg and some other injuries). The M/C safety rules cited in an earlier post will serve you well. whether you are a driver or a rider.
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:02 AM   #30 (permalink)
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I feel safer riding my motorcycle than my car. Safety is much more of a pressing issue on a motorcycle and has me "on edge" (in a good way) at all times. Reading every situation you are in, looking for ways out of situations if they were to happen, being engaged, etc. I have commuted on motorcycles for years and years, some years all year round in sleet and pouring rain on dual sports, sport bikes, standards, etc. I have raced at an amateur level on race tracks and done the track days many times so I know the limits of the bikes I have owned.

When I drive my car I get lazy. I don't concentrate as hard on the task at hand. I feel less safe, more because of my complacency than anything.

That being said, while I may feel safer on my motorcycle I recognize that I am obviously less safe than in my car. While the chances of me causing an accident are probably lower with my motorcycle, the chances of getting hurt by other motorists are much, much higher.

Just my $0.02.

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