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My Daily Commute

Posted February 19th, 2012 at 08:25 PM by gfloyd2002

A video of my daily commute, taken on my Contour Roam. If you are interested in Barbados or riding conditions in Barbados, take a look.

Link to original page on YouTube.

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Motorcycle-Related Hearing Loss

Posted June 17th, 2011 at 04:45 AM by gfloyd2002

At a recent trip to the ENT doctor, I was diagnosed with moderate hearing damage to the hearing in my right ear. The doctor believes that the damage may be related to years of riding.

The irony is that I'm wearing earplugs for the first time on my ninjette, for about 6 months before my diagnosis, after riding for a number of years on other bikes without. Apart from protecting my hearing, the difference in my riding is marked. Noise is stressful, and I ride more relaxed. I was really surprised at how much more enjoyable riding is with the earplugs. Here is a study on it if you are interested: Noise Induced Stress. My previous fears of not hearing the road, other traffic, emergency vehicles were without basis - you hear them fine - better with earplugs than you do inside a car without earplugs. The plugs just take the edge off the wind/traffic/exhaust noise. I use the Moldex PuraFit 6800 disposable. Dead cheap at $20 for a box of 200, and they get good reviews. And...
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What I Wear and Why

Posted June 13th, 2011 at 06:37 AM by gfloyd2002
Updated April 15th, 2012 at 02:45 PM by gfloyd2002

My gear selection is based on two things - I want to be safe, and I want to be cool. Not like Fonzie, like an ice cube. I live in the tropics, and my daily riding - even in Winter - means sweltering humidity. So I've chased breathable gear that is maximally protective, and in a lighter color to help with the heat. I think I've come up with a good combination of gear. And while I've got more gear than I list here, this is my normal commuting get up.

Helmet: I wear an Arai Vector in Ninja green, with a smoke visor. I used to hear an HJC IS-Max flip up, which was very convenient with glasses, but I found that the Arai worked well for my glasses. And there is a reason you don't see Snell-rated flip ups -- they can't take the shot to the chin. 19.4% of all impact on a helmet is to the area vulnerable on a flip up. So, I moved to a full face helmet. Now that I have the Arai, I can't even put on the HJC. The interior is so soft on the Arai, and the fit is fantastic....
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What I've Done to My Ninjette and Why

Posted June 12th, 2011 at 06:05 AM by gfloyd2002
Updated July 25th, 2011 at 06:03 AM by gfloyd2002

I'm going to use this entry to track the modifications I've made to my Ninjette, and list the ones I hope to make in the future. I'll comment on my experiences with the changes, new changes as they are made and on my goals going forward, so it will be edited from time to time. Here is what I've done to the Ninjette so far and why:

Pro Grip 719 Grips. As a result of my tall frame on the small bike, I'm naturally pushing down on the bars a bit despite best efforts to ride with loose arms. The result is a bit of buzzing of the hands. The Pro Grips have been a good upgrade for me, making long rides a bit more comfortable. For a good DIY on installing the Pro Grips, see (insert link).

Pro Grip Tank Pad When I lean forward, I noticed that my zipper sometimes hits the tank. Also, I've got a tank bag that is marking up the tank. To protect the tank, I added the Pro Grip pad. Easy to install, is unubtrusive and looks good (I got the clear) and I support the...
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Which Material is Best for Gear? Abrasion Resistance Tests

Posted May 26th, 2011 at 04:03 AM by gfloyd2002

There are many choices when selecting motorcycle gear, and we hear things about which materials provide best protection against road rash. I thought some research might benefit those looking for gear, or people who sometimes don't wear all their gear. The following comes from manufacturers, individual tests from advrider.com and various other sources, but they should provide some good points for discussion and probably offer good rules of thumb. Please note that abrasion resistance is only part of the story, you should also consider stitching quality and impact protection. If you have good abrasion resistance, but the stitching fails, you may end up using skin as your abrasion resistance. Also, if you have a poor fit of you gear, it may shift, making abrasion resistance worthless. Please also note that there are a couple of studies that show that price and protection aren't necessarily linked. You have to check quality, not the brand.

I'll edit this blog as I finish...
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50 Ways to Save Your Life - Motorcyclist Online Article

Posted February 24th, 2011 at 03:47 AM by gfloyd2002

A very good article from 2008, linked here: Motorcyclist Online.

1. Assume you're invisible
Because to a lot of drivers, you are. Never make a move based on the assumption that another driver sees you, even if you've just made eye contact. Bikes don't always register in the four-wheel mind.

2. Be considerate
The consequences of strafing the jerk du jour or cutting him off start out bad and get worse. Pretend it was your grandma and think again.

3. Dress for the crash, not the pool or the prom
Sure, Joaquin's Fish Tacos is a 5-minute trip, but nobody plans to eat pavement. Modern mesh gear means 100-degree heat is no excuse for a T-shirt and board shorts.

4. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
Assume that car across the intersection will turn across your bow when the light goes green, with or without a turn signal.

5. Leave your ego at home
The only people who really care...
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Summary of Rider Conspicuity and Injury Study

Posted February 21st, 2011 at 06:00 PM by gfloyd2002

In a 2003 study, a group of public health researchers from Auckland and Sydney Universities investigated whether the risk of motorcycle crash related injuries is associated with how conspicuous the rider's gear was. It reviewed approximately 500 riders involved in crashes, compared with a control group of about 1250. (I should check this - too lazy atm.) The study found that:

•Crash related injuries occurred mainly in urban zones with 50 km/h speed limit (66%), during the day (63%), and in fine weather (72%).
•Drivers wearing any reflective or fluorescent clothing had a 37% lower risk than other drivers.
•Compared with wearing a black helmet, use of a white helmet was associated with a 24% lower risk.
•Light coloured helmet versus dark coloured helmet was associated with a 19% lower risk.
•Three quarters of motorcycle riders had their headlight turned on during the day, and this was associated with a 27% lower...
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Summary of MAIDS Study

Posted February 21st, 2011 at 05:48 PM by gfloyd2002

In my ongoing attempt to keep thinking about safety and make sure we use facts to back up our discussions, I've been trying to post on the main motorcycle safety studies every month or so. In The Cause and Effect of Motorcycle Accidents thread, I listed the conclusion of the Hurt Report following the USC study of accidents in the LA area in the early 80's. In Cause and Effect (Part II) thread I discussed the conclusions of the 2007 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study on fatal two-vehicle motorcycle accidents. This thread will discuss the concusions of the 2004 MAIDS (Motorcycle Accident In-Depth Study) study of European motorcycle accidents. Keeping in mind that the study methods have come under some scrutiny, and that cultural differences may not make the findings completely applicable here, in context of the other two major studies, there are still some good takeaways. The study reconstructed 921 motorcycle accidents during 1999 and 2000 in France, Germany, Italy,...
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Summary of NHTSA Statistical Study

Posted February 21st, 2011 at 04:31 PM by gfloyd2002

In the The Cause and Effect of Motorcycle Accidents thread, I listed the Hurt Report conclusions. Dated, but still useful information about motorcycle safety. This post will list the conclusions of the 2007 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study on fatal two-vehicle motorcycle accidents. The report doesn't contain much analysis other than reporting the statistics, but the theme is pretty clearly that motocyclists are culpable for the majority of fatal motorcycle accidents.

In only 30 percent of two-vehicle accidents resulting in motorcylist fatality did the car driver receive a violation for contributing to the accident.
Alcohol involvement among motorcycle operators killed was almost 2.5 times the alcohol involvement of the passenger vehicle drivers involved in these crashes. Of the alcohol involved (BAC .01+) motorcycle operators killed in these crashes 69 percent had BACs of .08+, which is above the illegal limit in all States.
...
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Summary of Hurt Report Findings

Posted February 21st, 2011 at 04:30 PM by gfloyd2002
Updated February 21st, 2011 at 06:05 PM by gfloyd2002

The following comes from a detailed University of Southern California study of motorcycle accidents in the LA area. It is very instructive about how we can ride to stay safe. In short -- get miles under your belt, take a safety course, wear protective clothing always, don't drink and drive, and when all else fails, keep your insurance up to date.

Key findings:

1. Approximately three-fourths of these motorcycle accidents involved collision with another vehicle, which was most usually a passenger automobile.

2. Approximately one-fourth of these motorcycle accidents were single vehicle accidents involving the motorcycle colliding with the roadway or some fixed object in the environment.

3. Vehicle failure accounted for less than 3% of these motorcycle accidents, and most of those were single vehicle accidents where control was lost due to a puncture flat.

4. In the single vehicle accidents, motorcycle rider error was...
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Motorcycle Safety Foundation

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