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Thread: Motorcyclists Are Dangerous

  1. #1
    BMW MOA co-founder bmwdean's Avatar
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    Motorcyclists Are Dangerous

    There is a radio that came on my 2015 R1200RT. I never use it when riding. I wouldn't use it unless the bike was stopped, turned off, and I was dismounted. That is my personal preference.

    There is a lot of talk on this forum about riding while using radios, music players, telephones, etc.

    Below is a letter that appeared in Motorcycle Consumer News. It encapsulates my feelings about using electronic devices while riding motorcycles. I think it discusses something all motorcyclists should think about with respect to their riding activities.

    Jeff Dean − BMW MOA Co-founder (1972)
    '15 R1200RT, '15 R1200R, '07 R1200RT, '67 R60/2, '55 R67/3, '54 R51/3, '54 R68, '49 R24

  2. #2
    Cal
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    Agree.
    Cal Garcia
    Suches, GA

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by bmwdean View Post
    Though parts I agree with I don't buy this statement as anything but another unsubstantiated opinion and a most likely a false one at that, 'a rider distracted by X is as dangerous as a driver texting on a cell phone'. I don't think so! Perhaps you're thinking, the rider was distracted, but then the comment is in essence a tautology so doesn't say anything about reality.

    Music engages a different part of your brain than does texting, talking, or even listening to speech. I am hyperaware as a rider, OCD so, strive for absolute perfection in defensive riding practices, and yet listen to music quite regularly. OTOH, the last speeding ticket I got, which was the 3rd of 3 speeding tickets over 45y of driving cars, happened as I was intently listening on NPR to a podcast of interest and drove thru a true speed trap at 15mph over the posted speed and got nailed in my car. I am generally less aware as a car driver than as a motorcycle rider. I won't listen to speech, nor answer phones, etc while riding motorcycles.

    The bulk of most Dangerous Motorcyclists are almost always squids and aging squids in metropolitan areas. The SF Bay Area gets on average about 8 motorcycle crashes daily which is phenomenal when you think about it. Sport bike and other riders who ride as if they are invincible, lane splitting on the freeway at 20-50mph over ambient traffic, etc etc ad nauseum. Go and google 'Motorcycle Road Rage Compilations'. You will find a recurring theme of younger riders who are incensed that someone didn't see them coming (read, racing towards them) in an intersection, and sometimes failing to take note of them during a lane merge. Incensed to the point of tracking the cager down to teach them a lesson! Then there are those who assume it's all good to jump in front of a line of cars no matter what the circumstance. I do when it seems respectful to do so. I like to be an ambassador for respectful motorcycling. And those who decide to pass on double yellow lines barely making it back into their lane around a string of cars. Guess what, it's not just you a_hole! Others take on risk when for example you make the unsafe pass and fail to note the Great Dane rushing out right before you pull back in your line causing a big crash of more than just you! I thought of that because indeed that happened to me on a boulevard a Great Dane raced out from behind a parked car directly towards me while I was riding about 45mph.

    Disrespecting the rest of traffic pisses others off royally myself included, and leaves a bad taste in certain motorist's mouths, leading to the kind of retaliatory lashing out by a_holes like the old guy in Texas who swerved into a young sports bike rider who was passing on a double yellow line, and caused him to crash.

    These sorts of antics create dangerous motorcycling conditions for all, whereas the music I listen to, not so much.

    Reading David Hough of late I can't help but see how it happens--as you age it finally starts really dawning on you just how dangerous motorcycling can be, especially for you the old person. I think that is so because we are aware the older we get, not only may reflexes and strength not be quite there, but if you crash, you will be more vulnerable to severe injury and bad outcomes--which comes with bone and muscle loss, impaired wound healing, and all of the other fun things to look forward to!
    Last edited by ncpbmw1953; Today at 12:11 AM.

  4. #4
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    That letter is one person's opinion. Period. We're all different. Maybe someone can't listen to music and ride safely, maybe others can. And I'm not one who thinks he can. But I recognize there are others who can do it perfectly safely.

  5. #5
    Registered User patm's Avatar
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    I don't know. Music tends to help me stay focused on the task at hand.
    Since I don't have a radio on my bike, you should hear me sing in my helmet.
    Pat

    Ride Safe!

  6. #6
    Same. Music provides an underlying soundtrack that helps me focus. Just did a solo trip of four days and seven States on secondary roads, following the US side of Erie then the start of the Ohio River Valley in Pittsburgh, following the Ohio River down past Cinci.

    Music was going the whole time on my Sena BT except for a 2 hour period one afternoon of a low battery. I was FAR more fatigued from that one evening and my mind would wander too much in the silence of the road. So, yeah. Music helps me focus.

    I've taken a couple of calls after first getting the Sena but have since stopped... a conversation *does* distract me. I imagine intercom might do the same.


    Still, different strokes and "whatever ya believe, ya might be wrong."
    '95 R1100GS, '99 R1100RT

  7. #7
    Ed Kilner #176066
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    Sorry, I like music and communicating with other riders.

    I don't know the reason for the original post.

    It is not going to change my liking of listening to an Irish Jig while riding some twisty road.

    Without the radio, my 2015 RT has an info screen that is more distracting than my GPS or audio, at least until I am fully understanding of it.

    I think I am there now, but it took at least 5000 km.
    Ed
    2015 R1200RT; 2011 R1200RT RIP; 2000 Triumph 900 (sold)
    http://triumphantsblog.blogspot.ca/

  8. #8
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    I feel that GPS assistance while riding is a good thing in that it allows you to make navigation decisions well in advance of "decision points," especially those oddball situations where you need to take a "left" exit. It's very helpful to know that and be advised which lane to be in well in advance to position yourself properly and not have to make any sudden moves that might be dangerous.

    Harry

  9. #9
    TravelsWithBarley.com
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    Part of being situationally aware is knowing what you personally find distracting. I find music and phone calls distracting, so my personal decision is not to use either while riding. Ditto with the intercom, as my wife's screams of terror on mountain roads can be quite distracting. But the GPS is a great tool that allows me to keep my eyes on the road, especially when passing through towns and cities that have far more threats to my safety than rides in my very rural part of the country. I have it mounted high, so with just a brief glance I can see cross streets coming up long before they are visible to me, can verify that the curve ahead is not as sharp as the DOT nanny sign would have me believe, etc.
    '12 R1200GSA for solo rides
    '10 R1200GSA with Hannigan dual sport sidecar for rides with Tulliver

  10. #10
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Music as background white noise is fine by me. Many of us here are old enough to remember the benefits of Muzak in those large cubical barns.

    Now, where you have problems, in my opinion, is how do you deliver that white noise to the rider while simultaneously isolating the rider from the ambient (i.e., wind) noise. Based the British noise studies, rider sound power levels (SPL_dBA) exceed the "no damage" 85 dBA threshold level at 37mph. In addition, those measurements for the 37 to 75 mph speed range, indicated a 12 to 20 dbA rise, depending on helmet type and conditions. Since the lowest rise, 12 dbA, indicates an exponential velocity dependence of only 3.5 (dB ~ V^3.5), I would suggest those results are biased to the low side. The measured 20-dBA rise corresponds to a velocity dependence of V^5.3 which is similar to traditional noise models.

    Now, assuming that the 20 dBa rise is the most reliable estimate and the best possible ear plugs, which have a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 26~30, are properly installed, the rider doesn't have a whole lot of "level" margin for music at high-way speeds.

    So, be careful, that your music isn't damaging your hearing.
    Cave contents: 16 R12RS, 13 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & SawStop PCS175

  11. #11
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    You may want to consider spitting out that gum before walking as well then if music distracts you that much.
    2015 R1200RT San Marino Blue

  12. #12
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    I sing to scare off the bugs and critters.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by mohuck View Post
    You may want to consider spitting out that gum before walking as well then if music distracts you that much.
    Steve

  14. #14
    BMW MOA co-founder bmwdean's Avatar
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    Looks like a stirred up a bit of a hornet's nest here. Just focus your attention on operating the motorcycle safely without distractions. Same for operating your car.

    If you are traveling 70 mph, you will go 102 feet in just one second. At 80 mph you go 117 feet. What can happen to you by not focusing fully on the road in front of for just one second? Double that for two seconds. Normal perception-reaction time is only 1.5 seconds. Remember that braking distance is not linear. It takes much more than twice the distance to stop from twice the speed. Factor in to that your perception-reaction time used before you even start braking.

    Jeff Dean − BMW MOA Co-founder (1972)
    '15 R1200RT, '15 R1200R, '07 R1200RT, '67 R60/2, '55 R67/3, '54 R51/3, '54 R68, '49 R24

  15. #15
    TravelsWithBarley.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by mohuck View Post
    You may want to consider spitting out that gum before walking as well then if music distracts you that much.
    Thank you for that wonderfully mature contribution to the topic.
    '12 R1200GSA for solo rides
    '10 R1200GSA with Hannigan dual sport sidecar for rides with Tulliver

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