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  1. #51
    Ricardo Cabeza
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustTooBig View Post
    I'd like a motorcycle too, but for completely different reason. I'd love a '70s or '80s cafe style bike for motorpacing on quiet back roads. But a lot of the bikes of that style and vintage have been trashed or modified for racing.
    here's a cool one on Ebay

    Yamaha Yamaha | eBay
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    SuperAndy's Garage

  2. #52
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    I've bounced off the pavement once through very little fault of my own... oh how I love Houston traffic & jacktard drivers.

    Motorcycles are inherently dangerous but I love, love, LOVE riding them. That said, after my son was born last summer I sold my last motorcycle, a Buell Ulysses, because I was scared to death of it.

    Do not get a 600 sportbike as a first bike. A motorcycle that can go from 0-60 in less than a block is not "beginner friendly". My first bike was a Vulcan 750 that I bought for $1,000 and sold for a little more than that. Then I moved up to an SV650 for a couple years before getting the Uly. I also had a dualsport/supermoto bike along the way.

    An SV650 / Ninja 650 is the high end of "beginner friendly". The Ninja 250 is a great beginner bike that you can sell for the same you buy it for in 6 months. The Ninja 500 is pretty much the same.

    Or, get a dualsport / supermoto bike. DRZ 400, DR 650, XR 650L, KLR 650, any of the newer 250's. They are a BLAST for ride and that take drops very well if you slap on some armor.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty2Hotty View Post
    But I'm not a douche. I'm awesome.

  3. #53
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    Bikes are a lot of fun. They also suck total @ss.

    We'll assume you're gonna take the MSF class, and that you'll be smart and always wear a helmet and at the very least, long pants, boots, gloves, an armored jacket and a full face helmet. Because you aren't an idiot.

    Now, imagine it's July. It's 95 degrees and 80% humidity. And you are stuck in traffic on your bike. Basic stop and go traffic, driving through town. And you're wearing your jacket, gloves, helmet, etc. And you are sitting on top of your engine, which is probably kicking out about 200+ degrees of heat. And the cars around you are belching exhaust. They've got their windows up and the AC on, they don't care. Unpleasant is an understatement. On a bike, cooling comes from speed and if you can't get over 25mph, you roast in the summer.

    That's the less sexy reality of riding. In the rain, you get wet. When it's hot, you roast. When it's cold, you freeze. There's nothing between you and the elements except your clothes, and chances are, at least once a month, you are gonna bring the wrong clothes.

    When the weather is perfect, bikes are great. THey are amazing, They are everything you'd ever hope for. When the weather sucks, bikes suck.

    Riding a bicycle in the rain can be kinda fun, kind of invigorating. Riding a motorcycle in the rain hurts. At anything over 40 mph, rain stings when it hits you. Your shield fogs up, you can't see and your brakes are compromised. Yay. Actually, your brakes work fine, it's just that your tires run out of grip a lot faster.

    And then there's everyone else on the road, who doesn't care that you aren't in a car. Other drivers are inattentive. Minivans will come right into your lane because they're distracted. You will notice people running red lights more, running stop signs more.

    Bikes can be amazing. But they can also suck. If you're properly prepared for the sucky parts, you'll enjoy motorcycles a lot longer.
    Quote Originally Posted by JustTooBig View Post
    Your Logical-to-Dumbass ratio is way out of kilter, buddy

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lotophage View Post
    Bikes are a lot of fun. They also suck total @ss.

    We'll assume you're gonna take the MSF class, and that you'll be smart and always wear a helmet and at the very least, long pants, boots, gloves, an armored jacket and a full face helmet. Because you aren't an idiot.

    Now, imagine it's July. It's 95 degrees and 80% humidity. And you are stuck in traffic on your bike. Basic stop and go traffic, driving through town. And you're wearing your jacket, gloves, helmet, etc. And you are sitting on top of your engine, which is probably kicking out about 200+ degrees of heat. And the cars around you are belching exhaust. They've got their windows up and the AC on, they don't care. Unpleasant is an understatement. On a bike, cooling comes from speed and if you can't get over 25mph, you roast in the summer.

    That's the less sexy reality of riding. In the rain, you get wet. When it's hot, you roast. When it's cold, you freeze. There's nothing between you and the elements except your clothes, and chances are, at least once a month, you are gonna bring the wrong clothes.

    When the weather is perfect, bikes are great. THey are amazing, They are everything you'd ever hope for. When the weather sucks, bikes suck.

    Riding a bicycle in the rain can be kinda fun, kind of invigorating. Riding a motorcycle in the rain hurts. At anything over 40 mph, rain stings when it hits you. Your shield fogs up, you can't see and your brakes are compromised. Yay. Actually, your brakes work fine, it's just that your tires run out of grip a lot faster.

    And then there's everyone else on the road, who doesn't care that you aren't in a car. Other drivers are inattentive. Minivans will come right into your lane because they're distracted. You will notice people running red lights more, running stop signs more.

    Bikes can be amazing. But they can also suck. If you're properly prepared for the sucky parts, you'll enjoy motorcycles a lot longer.
    That's a good poast right there.

    Honestly, if I couldn't lane-split and filter and buy back so much commuting time I wouldn't bother...partially because sitting still in the summer with moto gear on is a pretty severe form of self-punishment, and partially because I don't see how it would be any better than doing so in a comfy car.
    C'est dommage que je sois un ignorant, car je vous citerais une foule de choses ; mais je ne sais rien.

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  5. #55
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    Thinking about getting one myself. Mainly for commuting and a little for having fun since I haven't had a sports car in a while. I drive over 70 miles a day and my gas bill would get cut in half on a bike. Selling my jeep and I should be able to pick up a decent 600 with the cash.

    Yes there are a million stories of people getting hurt, but you don't hear the stories of people riding bikes all over the place and surviving haha. Sure its dangerous, but so is road cycling. I figure its an experience I'd love to have at least while I'm young. Not married and no kids so I can get it out of my system now. When I have kids, I'll probably ditch the bike and get a sports car to be 'safer' and because I'll have more money.

    I don't know why people still post questions like these. You just get every story about someone's brother's father in law dying on a bike or getting hit by a car. Yes, it happens. A ton of people die in cars too, but everyone still drives a car without worry. Tons of stories of people getting hit by cars on bicycles, but that doesn't stop anyone here from cycling.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ibashii View Post
    That's a good poast right there.

    Honestly, if I couldn't lane-split ....
    Lane splitting. Now *there's* a means to a very quick end. You gotta have a death wish to lane split.
    "I'm tired of people not treating me like the gift that I am."
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    What type of tang does it have?
    Quote Originally Posted by bigrider View Post
    The ones I made had a poo tang.

  7. #57
    hold my beer n watch this
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    Vanson Vent Max 4 for hot weather. +eleventy

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyTooBad View Post
    Lane splitting. Now *there's* a means to a very quick end. You gotta have a death wish to lane split.
    Have you ever done it? Its a pretty amazing thing when 100% of the people that can/have lane *shared* endorse it. It makes entirely too much sense to *not* do it.

    Just like riding a bicycle in traffic, there ARE skills you need to learn, but overall, its safer than sitting in traffic.

    Re weather: you'll be hot. You'll be cold. Rarely is it 'perfect' out. Rather its rare that you get your layering just right and are comfortable across your entire ride. DAMHIK

    If you're wearing All The Gear All The Time (ATTGATT) you're less likely to need a ride in the meatwagon if/when something happens. Since I use(d) my MC as a 2-wheel car, I'm usually MOTTGATT (Most of the gear...) I'll dress down to Draggin Jeans or heavier cotton/canvas pants and accept the leg/knee road rash in the case of an off.

    The biggest upside is the biggest down side to a MC: size/maneuverability. You can get out of the way of the cages, but they don't see you. Think of em like a herd of blind elephants. They're not out to trample you on purpose, but they're big, heavy, and don't see you so its up to you to get out of their way.

    Just like on a bicycle assertive riding seems to net me fewer problems than defensive riding. Especially in traffic. Don't just sit back and take it. You have to actively plan your 'moves' thru traffic to keep yourself out of blind spots/danger areas. Its like chess, but unlike chess, you don't quite know what the pieces are going to do till they do it. You get pretty good at recognizing certain signs: faces in mirrors = they're about to do something. Tires move before the car does. etc.

    All in all, I feel safer on a MC when I can get out of the way vs a bicycle where you're at the mercy of the people coming up on your 6.

    Good luck!

    M
    I've moved back to NoVA. PLEASE change the weather!

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcorn View Post
    Thinking about getting one myself. Mainly for commuting and a little for having fun since I haven't had a sports car in a while. I drive over 70 miles a day and my gas bill would get cut in half on a bike. Selling my jeep and I should be able to pick up a decent 600 with the cash.

    Yes there are a million stories of people getting hurt, but you don't hear the stories of people riding bikes all over the place and surviving haha. Sure its dangerous, but so is road cycling. I figure its an experience I'd love to have at least while I'm young. Not married and no kids so I can get it out of my system now. When I have kids, I'll probably ditch the bike and get a sports car to be 'safer' and because I'll have more money.

    I don't know why people still post questions like these. You just get every story about someone's brother's father in law dying on a bike or getting hit by a car. Yes, it happens. A ton of people die in cars too, but everyone still drives a car without worry. Tons of stories of people getting hit by cars on bicycles, but that doesn't stop anyone here from cycling.
    Knowing what you are getting into isn't a bad thing.

    Thing is, motorcycles are more dangerous than cars. Knowing that is what keeps you safe on a bike. If you ride fearless, you're gonna get hurt. It's something they drill into your head in your MSF class. Your safety relies on your speed, maneuverability and awareness of your surroundings. Compromise any one of those things and it goes downhill fast.

    Again, bikes are great. But they're kinda like owning a bear, to paraphrase jeremy clarkson...- the second you get careless with one is the second it takes your head off.
    Quote Originally Posted by JustTooBig View Post
    Your Logical-to-Dumbass ratio is way out of kilter, buddy

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcorn View Post
    Yes there are a million stories of people getting hurt, but you don't hear the stories of people riding bikes all over the place and surviving haha.
    Sure you do. It is called Adventure Rider.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty2Hotty View Post
    But I'm not a douche. I'm awesome.

  11. #61
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    Couple of things. You never have to "lay a bike down" using your brakes properly will stop you long before sliding on it's side will. Also, I find it amusing that people stop riding or other "dangerous" activities when that have a child or get married. You're life didn't mean anything before that so you weren't careful until then? Sheesh.
    "I felt bad because I couldn't wheelie; until I met a man with no bicycle"

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOky View Post
    Couple of things. You never have to "lay a bike down" using your brakes properly will stop you long before sliding on it's side will. Also, I find it amusing that people stop riding or other "dangerous" activities when that have a child or get married. You're life didn't mean anything before that so you weren't careful until then? Sheesh.
    Not that my life meant nothing before, it's just that it means three times as much now. Before, my life was only me. Now, my life is intertwined with two other lives, both of which are as important to me as my own, both of which would be seriously damaged if I were gone.

    Also, a couple serious scares took the fun right out of it.

    The last one, I almost got t-boned at an intersection by a D-bag in a BMW who ran a stop sign. In some ways, it was partly my fault- I was more concerned with setting myself for the next turn and I wasn't paying attention to the stuff not in front of me. I saw him, he saw me, we both skidded to a stop.

    He leaned out his window and berated me for... who knows. I sat there, stunned for a second or two as he drove off, then I drove off.

    I realized that history is written by the winners. And sometimes, the winners are angry BMW driving D-bags who run stop signs.

    Had things gone badly and I had been hit and killed, The story he told would be that "this crazy biker came out of nowhere and gosh darn it, if only I'd had time to stop (sob), why do these hooligans throw their lives away so carelessly." The article in the paper would have mentioned that I was wearing a helmet.

    And that would be that. He'd go unpunished, I'd be dead and that would be that.

    Kinda took the thrill out of riding for me. Never really enjoyed it much after that. I rode for another 4 or 5 years after. Rode after I got married, rode after I had a kid. But then things changed, it became harder to ride to work and I stopped. and I really haven't had any desire to start again.
    Quote Originally Posted by JustTooBig View Post
    Your Logical-to-Dumbass ratio is way out of kilter, buddy

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOky View Post
    Couple of things. You never have to "lay a bike down" using your brakes properly will stop you long before sliding on it's side will. Also, I find it amusing that people stop riding or other "dangerous" activities when that have a child or get married. You're life didn't mean anything before that so you weren't careful until then? Sheesh.
    No, you have other very important people counting on you so you try to eliminate some of your more risky behaviors. Plus, I want to better my chances of seeing my kids grow up. Plus, it just makes you look at life a bit differently after you have some kiddies.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lotophage View Post
    Bikes are a lot of fun. They also suck total @ss.

    We'll assume you're gonna take the MSF class, and that you'll be smart and always wear a helmet and at the very least, long pants, boots, gloves, an armored jacket and a full face helmet. Because you aren't an idiot.

    Now, imagine it's July. It's 95 degrees and 80% humidity. And you are stuck in traffic on your bike. Basic stop and go traffic, driving through town. And you're wearing your jacket, gloves, helmet, etc. And you are sitting on top of your engine, which is probably kicking out about 200+ degrees of heat. And the cars around you are belching exhaust. They've got their windows up and the AC on, they don't care. Unpleasant is an understatement. On a bike, cooling comes from speed and if you can't get over 25mph, you roast in the summer.

    That's the less sexy reality of riding. In the rain, you get wet. When it's hot, you roast. When it's cold, you freeze. There's nothing between you and the elements except your clothes, and chances are, at least once a month, you are gonna bring the wrong clothes.

    When the weather is perfect, bikes are great. THey are amazing, They are everything you'd ever hope for. When the weather sucks, bikes suck.

    Riding a bicycle in the rain can be kinda fun, kind of invigorating. Riding a motorcycle in the rain hurts. At anything over 40 mph, rain stings when it hits you. Your shield fogs up, you can't see and your brakes are compromised. Yay. Actually, your brakes work fine, it's just that your tires run out of grip a lot faster.

    And then there's everyone else on the road, who doesn't care that you aren't in a car. Other drivers are inattentive. Minivans will come right into your lane because they're distracted. You will notice people running red lights more, running stop signs more.

    Bikes can be amazing. But they can also suck. If you're properly prepared for the sucky parts, you'll enjoy motorcycles a lot longer.
    A lot of that is true, except riding in the rain isn't nearly as bad as you make it out to be. I have an anti-fog insert in my helmet and I have waterproof rain gear, so unless I'm out in deluge for a long time, I stay dry. The only thing that sucks about riding in the rain is the inconvenience of it (including riding more slowly due to safety concerns). Of course, I'm on the west coast where the rain is predictable.


    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyTooBad View Post
    Lane splitting. Now *there's* a means to a very quick end. You gotta have a death wish to lane split.
    It's not as bad as you think, and this is one place where all those years of driving experience definitely pay off. In my year and a half of riding I've done a lot of lane splitting, and I've only been surprised and had to quick-stop once.


    Quote Originally Posted by nOOky View Post
    Couple of things. You never have to "lay a bike down" using your brakes properly will stop you long before sliding on it's side will. Also, I find it amusing that people stop riding or other "dangerous" activities when that have a child or get married. You're life didn't mean anything before that so you weren't careful until then? Sheesh.
    Your life is more important when you get married, and it's even more important when you have kids.

    Of course, I went the opposite way. Part of why I got the motorcycle is so I could be home earlier and spend more time with my baby boy.
    "He groaned when we hung the rope over the tree but was relieved to see the white pinata."
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  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrSmile View Post
    and all my friends who ride motorcycles have been crippled...
    wtf?

    All of them?

    I'll chime in here as someone who has recently joined the moto crowd late-ish in life (40's). I looked at a lot of bikes, thinking I'd go the vintage route, then ended up on a Suzuki DRZ400SM "motard". I love being upright and its a perfect city bike! Nimble and tourque-y. One of the big pros around here is creating your own parking spot in packed parking lots. In some ways its so much less stressful than driving when you're not victim to rush hour gridlock, no parking spaces or other situations cars stack up for and can't get out of.

    and I'll also agree on Roebuck's take that I wish I woulda done it sooner, but I'm glad to have years of urban cycling skills under my spandex waistband. That makes a huge difference in anticipating and reacting to what's ahead. Whether its already happened or about to.

    I haven't had any close calls (yet) but have yelled, honked and flashed high-beams plenty. We all here know that drivers are clueless. You just gotta pull out into it knowing that. Every time.

    as for the rest:
    • take a safety course.
    • always wear boots, gloves & armor. Muscle shirts and cargo shorts are f-ing stupid on a moto.
    • under 600cc starter bike.
    • get insurance with high coverage.



    If the driving force here is to "go fast!!!!!" then I'd reconsider or stick to the track as someone mentioned.

  16. #66
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    I most definitely would NOT start out on anything bigger than a 650 or so in a crotch rocket. Yamaha's FZ6 is a good starter sport bike, as is an old Suzuki SV650.

    Do NOT listen to the people you know who say stupid **** like "loud pipes save lives" and "the sissy bar is a good place for your helmet." I have found that the "conventional wisdoms" in motorcycling is almost always moronic. Take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course (and the insurance discount that goes with it!) and wear a full face helmet at all times with jacket and gloves. I don't care if it's 100+ degrees outside, I always wear helmet, gloves and jacket -- and I'm on a cruiser.

    The first mistake a motorcyclist makes is to worry about how they look.

    Finally, don't be a squid.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaeP View Post
    I've been thinking of a motorcycle as well. I'm thinking of a cruiser much along the lines of a Honda Shadow or Yamaha Star. I'm 6'2" and 235 lbs. Does my height and weight determine what kind of motorcycle I can ride?
    I have a VStar 950 and love it! It was my first street bike after years on a dirtbike.

    BTW, I think a dirtbike is an awesome way to learn how to ride. You're in a safer environment (the woods), you're not going to fast (hopefully) so when you do wreck (I did twice, being stupid), you can usually just jump off unscathed.

    It also teaches you low speed, technical riding skills which is way more important than knowing how to cruise along on the interstate. My MSF instructor said it best, "Once you're at speed, these things can drive themselves. It's when you slow down that you have to really pay attention to what you're doing."

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyTooBad View Post
    Lane splitting. Now *there's* a means to a very quick end. You gotta have a death wish to lane split.
    Sorry, but that's crap.
    C'est dommage que je sois un ignorant, car je vous citerais une foule de choses ; mais je ne sais rien.

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  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ibashii View Post
    Sorry, but that's crap.
    If you live anywhere other than the west coast, it's kinda dangerous.

    In the midwest, it's illegal. And there are jacktards who will try and hurt you. Folks in the midwest who aren't used to traffic jams get pretty pissed at anyone who thinks they don't have to wait their turn.
    Quote Originally Posted by JustTooBig View Post
    Your Logical-to-Dumbass ratio is way out of kilter, buddy

  20. #70
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    I'm not gonna tell you what to do, as I'm not a rider myself. I do have a story to tell, though:

    A family member of mine (with wife and kids) was riding his motorcycle to work 35 years ago when somebody pulled out in front of him. He was wearing a helmet. What would've been a fairly minor collision in a car left his brain bleeding and permanently paralyzed on the left side of his body. He spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair, and the family was obviously affected in a major way forever.

    We all need to get from point A to point B, but there are safer ways and there are more dangerous ways. Please consider not just yourself but your family members when making your decision.
    What's the Matter with Kansas?

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOky View Post
    Couple of things. You never have to "lay a bike down" using your brakes properly will stop you long before sliding on it's side will. Also, I find it amusing that people stop riding or other "dangerous" activities when that have a child or get married. You're life didn't mean anything before that so you weren't careful until then? Sheesh.
    I didn't stop because my son was born... I stopped because I became afraid of the motorcycle and having my son was a big part of that. Before he was born my life wasn't worth what it is now.

    I rode an average of 15,000 miles per year for about 5 years. I commuted on a bike, rode for fun on the weekends, camped on a bike, even took week long vacations all from the seat of my motorcycle.

    One of the last rides I was on was a short jaunt through the country. As I was passing a house I saw a young boy, about 4 on his front porch. Not a big deal, until I saw his dog, some sort of wirehaired pointer mix, go running across the yard. I got on the brakes hard, locked up the rear wheel, rode out the skid (luckily) and ended up stopped about six inches from the dog who was standing his ground. I'd have nailed him doing 55 mph, killed the dog & gone flying over the bars ending up with some sort of injury of varying seriousness.

    That got me thinking of all the close calls & what-ifs. That was it for me... my son was born a few weeks later and the bike gone a few weeks after that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty2Hotty View Post
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  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lotophage View Post
    If you live anywhere other than the west coast in the United States, it's kinda dangerous.

    In the midwest, it's illegal. And there are jacktards who will try and hurt you. Folks in the midwest who aren't used to traffic jams get pretty pissed at anyone who thinks they don't have to wait their turn.
    FIFY.

    Lane splitting and filtering are part of the urban landscape in Europe. If done legally and/or cleverly, it's much safer than sitting in dense traffic waiting to be rear-ended or cut off by someone who doesn't see you.

    I certainly didn't mean to suggest that lane-splitting was a good idea in places where it isn't legal (which, if I get it right, is almost everywhere in the US except Cali), or that it's a good idea to, say, weave between cars at 90 mph when traffic is flowing at 75; I was objecting to the idea that lane-splitting is inherently more dangerous than not doing so, which is absolutely not the case.

    And you're totally right about American righteousness regarding "waiting your turn." This is a big part of why I wouldn't probably participate in motorized two-wheel adventuring in the States: too many people can't handle "being passed" even when your doing so doesn't affect their wait time in the slightest.
    C'est dommage que je sois un ignorant, car je vous citerais une foule de choses ; mais je ne sais rien.

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  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
    I haven't had any close calls (yet) but have yelled, honked and flashed high-beams plenty. We all here know that drivers are clueless. You just gotta pull out into it knowing that. Every time.

    [...]
    Funny, I have a whole different take on moto-ing: I leave the road rage at home and only take it out with me when cycling. No matter what anyone does, no matter how stupid or dangerous or even aggressive towards me it may be, I don't react. I just do what's necessary to avoid the wreck and move on.

    OTOH, when I'm on a bike I'll go apesh1t on a crappy driver, no problem. I don't know what the difference is and maybe it's stupid, but I just decided early on that it was more important to stay calm and focused when there's an engine involved.
    C'est dommage que je sois un ignorant, car je vous citerais une foule de choses ; mais je ne sais rien.

    --Hugo

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  24. #74
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    So Dr Smile what say you?

  25. #75
    Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
    Reputation: DrRoebuck's Avatar
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    May 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ibashii View Post
    Funny, I have a whole different take on moto-ing: I leave the road rage at home and only take it out with me when cycling. No matter what anyone does, no matter how stupid or dangerous or even aggressive towards me it may be, I don't react. I just do what's necessary to avoid the wreck and move on.

    OTOH, when I'm on a bike I'll go apesh1t on a crappy driver, no problem. I don't know what the difference is and maybe it's stupid, but I just decided early on that it was more important to stay calm and focused when there's an engine involved.
    I play games with people when I'm driving, but cutting off a car for payback when I'm on a moto just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. So yeah, I'm a lotion mellow. Still use occasional hand gestures, but rarely engage. Besides, usually the other party is usually history within a few seconds so nothing I can do will be as bad as them sitting in their car watching me get on with life.
    "He groaned when we hung the rope over the tree but was relieved to see the white pinata."
    -- Gut
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