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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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
 

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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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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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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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Surgery

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:confused::confused:
 

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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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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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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.
 

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The most important thing for me, rule #1, is the road and surrounding conditions. Everything else comes in second. The things that come in 2nd place get me set up for the ride, but where the rubber hits the road determines everything.

Trust, but verify....
 

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Head on a swivel is exactly how you should be riding. Especially in high volume traffic. You have to know what's going on a half mile down the road and who's behind you at all times. Vehicles sitting at intersections not controlled by a light are a real treat because you just never know what they're going to do. I always ride leaving at least 3 car lengths in front of me and I always try ride at least 5 to 10 miles over the speed limit as to keep the cars behind me behind me. I only have one functioning eye so I have to be extra vigilant as to vehicles trying to hide in my blind spots. I check my mirrors at least once every 5 seconds and like DJ I play a mental game of who's going to kill me. I've been doing this for 52 years and have witnessed more motorcycle wrecks than I care to remember. Just about all of them were rider error, going to fast, riding in the wrong lane, passing at the wrong time and place, etc, etc, etc. Through all of this, amazingly, we all think riding motorcycles is fun. All I have to say is don't exceed your abilities or the bike's and ride safe out there.
 

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I take the view that you need all available information in order to make the best decision. As to the twistys, everytingI come out of one I glance at the sat nav to where the next one is and how tigh it is. I use that info along with everything else when I get to to it. IPSGA.
 

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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
And that makes total sense, as umpteen studies have shown that mental exhaustion causes people to feel physical fatigue as well. While everyone else seems to be echoing my thoughts that the road ahead is the priority, but you have to maintain other awareness as well to a lesser extent (GPS "snapshot" showing you a curve ahead, peeking behind to be sure no one's in the blind spot, etc.), what you just posted indicates another HUGE, related issue.

When you're mentally tired, stop for the day, regardless of how you think your body feels. When you start making mistakes or zoning out, it's time to head home if very close, or find a hotel, whichever applies. At minimum, if both of those are impossible, get some coffee.
 

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Absolutely a well planned day is worth a lot on the road know when and where to stop could help avoid many troubles I am in construction and know what a hard day feels like that be said I have never felt like I was going to doze off on the bike but the truck can be a challenge late in the day driving into the sun
 

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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 you are saying in a nutshell is being totally aware of your surroundings; in front, behind and all around. I cant imagine why anyone would argue with that!
 

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Pilots have to be able to touch all switches with a blindfold on so that they are mentally able to know exactly where everything is in case of an emergency. This training ensures that they are aware, without thinking, of the position of each switch. they practice over and over until they can do it.
Your eyes in the case of a rider, have to be the same. You need to know exactly where everything is and be able to quickly scan in milliseconds so as not to defer from your road sense. If you find yourself searching to find whatever it is you are looking for, you have failed this step and need more practice.
Keep your eyes on the road, that's where problems arise.
 

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The critiques of your original post about the GPS were silly. Not like you would be fixated on the GPS, or relying on it to determine your entry, apex, or lean angle. A quick glance can provide an extra bit of information when entering an unknown blind curve. I do the same thing.

It's not different than glancing at a road sign for a bit of information.
 

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I've put a small piece of bright tape on the speedo to indicate 70mph, rather than peering at it and trying to guess my speed (those digits are just too small and crowded).


So with just a glance, I can tell if I'm above/below 70mph. One less distraction at speed . . .
 

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I've put a small piece of bright tape on the speedo to indicate 70mph, rather than peering at it and trying to guess my speed (those digits are just too small and crowded).


So with just a glance, I can tell if I'm above/below 70mph. One less distraction at speed . . .
Is there a reason that you are not using the digital display?
 
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