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Riding And Driving


Jaybird180
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The other day I was wondering what the accident rate is for an experienced motorcyclist while driving an automobile. It was commented to me that I drive in similar style to how I ride. My choice of vehicle has been influenced by my riding.

 

So, thinking in numbers I wonder if an insurance company would be willing to adjust the rates for my auto premium because I participate in motorcycle related schools and events. It couldn't hurt, right? I'm a better driver than the guy in the Mercedes next to me who can't hold his line, right?

 

So I got to thinking, an insurance actuary could provide data in 4 categories, off-road rider, high performance track rider, street-sport rider, and cruiser rider, whom I suspect will have the smallest change in accident rate.

 

In theory, the high performance track rider would have the safest driving record, followed by the off-road (dirt) rider and then the street rider, followed by the cruiser with an auto accident rate similar to the general non-motorcycling population.

 

So, until we get an insurance actuary to chime in, I propose in this thread we discuss our subjective evaluation of our own driving habits and how motorcycling has or has not helped us in that area.

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Well, my vehicle choice has been influenced by my motorcycling. I enjoy the feedback that my car provides and the cornering ability it has. It doesn't have monster HP, but the feel and handling is superb. It's Rear-Wheel drive, so I remind myself to get on the power immediately after turn-in, and I try and feed it in, while feeling the grip and the turning forces.

 

I drive my car and often practice the 2-step drill (Pickup doesn't work so well).

 

I think I'm safer than I was before, because situations that would have caused me to panic does not. It's just part of the game. I pride myself on some of the sticky situations I've avoided from keeping a cool head and thinking ahead of the situation AND having situational awareness.

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Interesting. I believe that I am a safer driver for having ridden a motorcycle but not for the same reasons you mentioned.

 

When I drive, I don't feel the need to have fun or anything. I used to enjoy zipping around but now I just drive like an old lady.

 

I think that I just get all my speed needs fulfilled on the track and when I take to my car on public roads I just can't be bothered to hurry.

 

I compare it to if I eat fillet mignon every night at 6:00, it's 4:30 and I'm hungry but all that's available is a dry chicken breast. Do I eat it because I'm hungry? NO. I will wait an hour and a half because I'm spoiled.

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Insurance companies build their policies based on stereotypes and prejudices. Of course they will say it's from statistics but they can slice and dice the stats however they want based on their prejudices. This is why Progressive will charge a young guy on a katana 10 times more than a bandit, even though the two bikes use the same engine, and even if the guy has a clean driving record. So if they knew you were a track rider, they'd just assume you were a bonehead thrillseeking moron who is guaranteed to crash his brains out. Even though, in my opinion, riders that go to the track are demonstrating responsibility, and riders who routinely go the track are probably that ones that put a lot more thought into their riding.

 

But I do think that riding a motorcycle on a track and taking superbike school has made me a safer rider on the street. For starters, after spending a little bit of time going over 150mph with the front end shak'n around a bit, almost anything that happens at 60 just doesn't seem like that big of a deal. Of course 60 can still be very dangerous but what I mean is, I'm a lot less likely to panic at street speeds. And after spending time with my knee on the ground on the track, nothing I do on the street seems as extreme. Most of what ya learn in superbike school has to do with learning how to let the bike take advantage of it's own natural stability, which is a tremendous help in the street given the greater number of surface obstacles we encounter there. The visual skills are also very useful given all the different things to keep an eye on and be distracted by in a street environment.

 

And I agree that riding a motorcycle makes me a safer car driver, mostly because I'm so accustomed to predicting the moves that other drivers are going to make in traffic. Sometimes I know what another driver is going to do before he knows he's going to do it.

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Well, my vehicle choice has been influenced by my motorcycling. I enjoy the feedback that my car provides and the cornering ability it has. It doesn't have monster HP, but the feel and handling is superb.

OK, I'll bite- what are you driving?

 

I think we both have or had the same bike, a CBR600F4i. I drive an '06 Mini Cooper, manual- what a hoot! I had a chance to take it to a track a month ago (not the same one I used for the bike though) and got to push it a lot harder in corners than I do on the street. That was a good experience to find where the limits really are. I do agree there's a synergy in riding and driving.

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Well, my vehicle choice has been influenced by my motorcycling. I enjoy the feedback that my car provides and the cornering ability it has. It doesn't have monster HP, but the feel and handling is superb.

OK, I'll bite- what are you driving?

 

I think we both have or had the same bike, a CBR600F4i. I drive an '06 Mini Cooper, manual- what a hoot! I had a chance to take it to a track a month ago (not the same one I used for the bike though) and got to push it a lot harder in corners than I do on the street. That was a good experience to find where the limits really are. I do agree there's a synergy in riding and driving.

 

I should have known that was coming:

 

I drive an '04 BMW 530i Sport (E60) w. SMG (Sequential Manual Gearbox). With your Mini, you have an idea what I mean by the handling.

 

My 02' F4i has custom built forks and an Ohlins rear on Michelin Pilot Powers.

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  • 1 month later...
My 02' F4i has custom built forks and an Ohlins rear on Michelin Pilot Powers.

Have you done anything with the foot pegs? I had a track day last Saturday and I'm scraping the feeler pegs more often although it doesn't spook me and make me want to stand the bike up and go wide. Two options- take them off (cheap) or get other rear sets (expensive).

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I never had peg feelers on. I have been able to go knee down without a clearance issue (only on the upgraded suspension, never tried on the stock stuff, but probably would have dragged hard parts). I have aftermarket rearsets now.

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My 02' F4i has custom built forks and an Ohlins rear on Michelin Pilot Powers.

Have you done anything with the foot pegs? I had a track day last Saturday and I'm scraping the feeler pegs more often although it doesn't spook me and make me want to stand the bike up and go wide. Two options- take them off (cheap) or get other rear sets (expensive).

 

You could also working on getting more off the bike. Learn the limit with your knee once you're all the way over.

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