Head on a swivel vs target - BMW K1600 Forum : BMW K1600 GT and GTL Forums
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post #1 of 17 Old 09-09-2019, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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Head on a swivel vs target

Hi guys,

As my last comments turned out to be so incredibly controversial I just thought I’d ask for a little more opinion.

For some, a glance at the GPS was noted as a concern as it distracted from an ‘eyes on the road’ approach. This was seen as the priority when in the tight mountain twisties. The greater focus being on the road surface, conditions, obstacles, animals, etc. The postulation was that this is the safer approach.

In contrast, my comments were that whilst a focus on the road was an obvious priority, it is far from the only priority. I also keep a focus on mirrors, dash, over left and right shoulder, GPS (if applicable), road signs, oncoming traffic, sun position, etc... I see no difference in the value that these information sources provide regardless of the difficulty or skill level the road may present. I also implicitly trust my ‘spider sense’...

What is the consensus? I’d love to hear the opinion. I’m off the bike for a few months after surgery so I’ve plenty of time.

Thanks

Donna
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Last edited by Donna; 09-09-2019 at 03:14 AM.
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post #2 of 17 Old 09-09-2019, 05:14 AM
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I agree with your approach to riding, in that there's lots of things to look at. Most things that aren't watching the road are just a glance, really - even the GPS. I gotta tell you, when you're riding the Vosges Mountains Route des Crêtes or the B500 in the Black forest of Germany, a quick glance at the GPS can tell you the extent of the severity of the bend. Is that a 90 degree, third gear bend, or a 180 degree, second gear one?

Each to their own, of course.
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post #3 of 17 Old 09-09-2019, 05:39 AM
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Almost fell off a cliff on Gavia Pass (near Stelvio pass-Italy), as I was looking at the scenery around, and did not realize sharp turn in the road. Quick glance at the GPS screen showed exactly that. If I glanced at it, perhaps would realize a problem before facing it. So, both for me, I would say 80-20 in favor of the road.

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post #4 of 17 Old 09-09-2019, 07:06 AM
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Creating the habit of forming a mental image, not staring, not even really 'looking' but taking a mental snapshot as you glance at the mirror, gps, is a vital skill for the open road. I think of it as processing the changes. I don't really care what kind of car is coming up on my left, only that there is one. In that same theme, I don't care what's on the GPS, only that it is 'not straight' ahead. I am not reading the GPS, nor am I trying to recognize that car. A quick glance, and practicing the mental snapshot is all you are after.

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post #5 of 17 Old 09-09-2019, 07:37 AM
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Surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna View Post
Hi guys,

As my last comments turned out to be so incredibly controversial I just thought I’d ask for a little more opinion.

For some, a glance at the GPS was noted as a concern as it distracted from an ‘eyes on the road’ approach. This was seen as the priority when in the tight mountain twisties. The greater focus being on the road surface, conditions, obstacles, animals, etc. The postulation was that this is the safer approach.

In contrast, my comments were that whilst a focus on the road was an obvious priority, it is far from the only priority. I also keep a focus on mirrors, dash, over left and right shoulder, GPS (if applicable), road signs, oncoming traffic, sun position, etc... I see no difference in the value that these information sources provide regardless of the difficulty or skill level the road may present. I also implicitly trust my ‘spider sense’...

What is the consensus? I’d love to hear the opinion. I’m off the bike for a few months after surgery so I’ve plenty of time.

Thanks

What surgery do you undergo??

Best,

Doc
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post #6 of 17 Old 09-09-2019, 08:08 AM
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I find after a day of riding ( non slab) I usually am mentally tired from just keeping focused , cars ,people on their phones, road conditions ,plus all the bells and whistles on the K keeping me tuned in to the bike even the pillion experiences fatigue after a good day of riding. Just can’t take the guard down to much out there to much to loose
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post #7 of 17 Old 09-09-2019, 08:53 AM
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This is a classic argument; that too much stuff (perhaps in the form of farkling) is a distraction. It can be - if the pilot allows him/herself to be distracted. So can gas, rain, animals, etc. To me it is not a matter of minimizing distraction, rather it is the discipline to process them properly.

My head is always moving. I glance at my instruments, not to process them, but to "take a picture" that my mind processes while I am on to the next target. I actually keep an internal cadence to keep my eyes moving; one thousand one, one thousand two, next target.

I also play a mental game as I ride; I make it a game to recall the cars in my blind spot. I grade myself on my ability to recall color, driver, and plate. I beat myself up when a vehicle makes it to my blind spot without my knowledge - this is a noob mistake.

I play a lot of mental games on the road.
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post #8 of 17 Old 09-09-2019, 09:32 AM
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What surgery do you undergo??

Best,

Doc
I'm guessing plastic.
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post #9 of 17 Old 09-09-2019, 09:34 AM
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After three marriages, I know when to stop asking questions. I am thinking about you Good-N-Plenty (@Donna).
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post #10 of 17 Old 09-09-2019, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna View Post
In contrast, my comments were that whilst a focus on the road was an obvious priority, it is far from the only priority. I also keep a focus on mirrors, dash, over left and right shoulder, GPS (if applicable), road signs, oncoming traffic, sun position, etc... I see no difference in the value that these information sources provide regardless of the difficulty or skill level the road may present.
^ This.

Focusing solely on the road ahead is a recipe for disaster when riding on public roads. There isn't much in the way of information that can be deduced from good observation that isn't of use. Experience gives us the skill required to reliably assign the appropriate level of priority to the information we see, and to adjust our scan timing and sequence to the prevailing conditions.

Bottom line is that if I don't have enough time available to routinely scan and process observable information then I'm riding too fast for the conditions.

Phil
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