Monday, March 26, 2012

Riders are like Family

Do you remember the last time you saw a friend of yours just passing by? Whether it's on foot at school or in your car at a stoplight most of us feel the urge to say hello by generally offering a kind wave or "Hey whats up?"as passing by.  This is exactly whats its like on a motorcycle with every other cyclist out there on the road. We all have something in common, the fact that we ride on two wheels rather then four.  If you've ever seen two motorists passing by each other --like the following picture--with this kind of hand signal now you know what they're saying... "What's Up!"

This small hand gesture basically means that your part of the club and anybody in the club deserves at least a hello.  This is the most basic of cyclist language, just like different dialects this is the "slang" of the road when your on a motorcycle.

Riding has its own different kind of "Slanguage" - A website of another rider's blog pretty much captures all of the hand motions that we use, Signals, but the four that set us apart from any cars on the road are the following.

1.)Hand down (usually peace symbol sent out)(See pic above) - means, "Hey, Whats Up?!"

2.)Patting on top of the head = Careful, Cop ahead.

3.) Hazards ahead- Kicking out with the feet left side for a hazard on the left and right leg kick if it's a hazard on the right.

This language has saved me more than once, including a trip to school only a few weeks ago.  I was avoiding the freeways with tend to be cluttered with a lot of bad drivers and decided I would take the Lake Merced Route.  A long straight path stared down my face and with nothing but sunshine I had to pull back on the throttle a little bit.  Another rider passed me patting his head, and I immediately slowed my pace to the speed limit and as soon as I passed the Welcome to Daly City sign I found that a motorcycle cop was just sitting there with his radar gun.  If I had even been the pace I was moving at I would have been cited for speeding at least 10 over.  He had just saved me at least 300 dollars by a quick pat on the head, and that's why our language is so special.  How many people in cars are going to tell you there's a cop waiting for you ahead?

Helping One Another

If you can't already tell, we have each other's backs, from the police and in situations of need.  I just had a post about how I helped some poor cyclist that had crashed right in front of me.  I was able to stop traffic with my truck (much safer then no car behind) and help him pick up his bike so he could regain himself.

Another good short story about how we motorcyclists help each other out is when my cousin and myself went down to the races in Monterrey at Laguna Seca for Moto Gp.  My cousin was riding a 1000cc motorcycle and I was on a 600cc.  My next post will talk about gas consumption but right now let us just believe the bigger cc motorcycle utilizes the most amount of fuel.  We left straight for the races from Belmont in San Mateo so we were driving for a good hour and a half and didn't want to stop to refuel because the races were starting soon.  We made it to the races and left but on our way to the gas station his bike ran out of gas.  I didn't know what to do I was going to have to buy a gas tank and fill it to bring to him? How was I going to carry this gas tank once I got it?  The questions were racing through my mind when a gentleman came up behind us with a trailer full of motorcycles and a water bottle full of gasoline.  He said to us "It happens every year and I like to be able to help all you guys out."  This guy seriously just gave my cousin a dollars worth of gas but that was going to allow us to get to a station to allow us to fill up.  No AAA or any kind of service needed, just a kind heart in the right place at the right time.

Moto GP Family-

I have followed Moto Gp for about 5 years now and up until this year I never thought the riders talked much to each other.  I figured they had some kind of interaction but I had no idea how much.  By creating a Twitter account I have been able to follow all of my favorite riders in Moto Gp.  At first I was against the idea of Twitter and everything it stood for but now I can see that when you follow people of your interest it can actually be very enticing.  I would notice how each rider would comment on each other like "feeling sore" after another rider had a wicked crash, or "see if you can best my time here at Jerez- a testing location for the Moto Gp riders-"  This gave me the sense that they were their own small community with friends and foes alike.  There are different teams within Moto Gp but just like football and baseball these rider's contracts end and then just like free agents they can be picked up by any other team.  They joke with each other and this tells me that besides all the sponsorship that they're just friends that ride with million dollar motorcycles, the Elite group that travels and competes together.  This makes me extremely happy to know that these guys known for being so aggressive on the motorcycle are really just laid back people that like to joke with one another.  But when it comes time for business the guys still have to compete for their sponsorship.


I like being part of something bigger and by owning a motorcycle it's almost as if you get the right to be a part of a larger group which can be an amazing feeling.

When I first bought my motorcycle I wanted to ride it everywhere, so my cousin and I decided to run through the mountains and this is where we found "Four Corners"  along with 300 other bikers.  This was my first experience riding with others and I immediatly fell in love.  I was with 300 fellow bikers and we took up just about every lane on the freeway.

That's me the silver and black bike behind the guy spreading his legs. But anyhow if you have ever been a part of something bigger such as a race or gathering you'll know what I mean to fully enjoy being with people of the same interests.

This is my Family
Johnny 5-

Different ways to Ride

Some people only ride for the thrill, some do it for recreation, others for transportation and some ride professionally.  This post is to address the different kinds of styles or genre's that people tend to partake in.  With these different kinds of styles of riding come different bikes.  Here is a Wiki link describing what we actually see out on the road,  Different types of Motos.  These categories can overlap, I myself belong to the track rider, commuter and recreational rider.

Street Rider/ Commuter-  This is where a majority of people are, people commuting to and from the city and around town riding.  Motorcycles are extremely convenient because they're great on gas and parking is easy no matter where you go. Your going to find all kinds of different motorcycles in this genre: scooters, sportbikes, ratbikes- bikes that were built up from spare parts-, Harleys, Enduros, dual-sports, and supermotos.

I feel that a majority of people fall into this category because it's the most versatile, you can basically ride anything on the street providing it has the correct legal equipment (mirrors, lights, plates, etc).  Now that gas prices are going up I've found that many people are turning their short commutes into short rides on a scooter or small 250cc engine motorcycle.  These scooters and small engine motorcycles are a luxury in the city, not only do we get to park just about anywhere but we get 50 mpg!

The downside to riding these small bikes around the city are things like trunk space and being subjected to the elements.  No matter how you dress i.e. full rain gear, leather and pads, there is no stopping mother nature and we have to take what she gives us.  This "should" make us prepare for the weather, I say "should" because the guy I dubbed "Fraiser" in my previous post was not dressed for the occasion and ended up injuring his ankle.

One thing that I have noticed about living in San Francisco and seeing all the different motorcycles and scooters I've noticed that the owners hardly care about the cosmetics of the bike.  Many are left outdoors to rust in the street and ridden only occasionally on their short trips wherever need be.  I've done a lot of reading and many people suggest to at least keep the chain lubricated every 300 miles to keep the gears inside the engine from rusting over.  This comes down to maintenance and what it means to actually drive one of these bikes.  I like keeping my bikes pretty and clean so leaving the chain to rust is a big "no-no."

On to the track riders: Dirt bikes, dual sports, supermoto, sportbikes fall into this category and I find that these are the bikes that require the most attention from individual owners.  They have to be prepared to go to the track, each track-day sponsor gives riders a checklist about how to prep the bike for the track.
Below is the list taken from Keigwin a California Track-day Sponsor.
Prepared bike:

  • Remove or tape mirrors
  • Disconnect brake light, or remove bulbs/fuse, or completely tape brake light lens (no bleed-through!)
  • If the event is at Laguna Seca you will need a two-digit number on the front and right side of your bike -- 6" tall. This is so the noise-police can identify you to give you a bad time (factory stock mufflers are required for Laguna and NO EXCEPTIONS will be made). Duct tape works fine. Infineon track days do NOT require a number. Sound limits are liberal and very, very few bikes have ever been flagged off the track for a violation.
The following preparation is optional:
  • Taping or removing headlights and/or turn signals
  • Safety wiring (this is welcome but not required)
  • Draining antifreeze and replacing it with pure water (Redline's Water Wetter™ additive is recommended2).

Recreational Rider- This section is for those that like to go on weekend joy rider, for those of us that just like to go out for a cruise when there's nothing else to do.  I've noticed that people that fall in this category are the friendliest of riders, whenever I pass by one they wave the low hand signal saying "Whats Up?!" as if saying "Hey we both ride and that makes you part of the club!"  Everyone likes to say hello to each other from time to time, and it's especially nice when your ride with people of the same genre, meaning sport-bikes or cruisers etc.

Professional Riders have it the easiest in terms of bike maintenance but they are competeing against one another for a championship.  These guys have a team dedicated to fixing their motorcycle to the exact specification that they feel is necessary.  If the suspension feels a bit loose all the have to do is tell the mechanics and boom they dial in the bike to its ideal point.  I feel that there is a whole lot that goes into making a bike work for a particular rider, because they're all different both riders and bikes.  Each rider has their own style and each bike has it's own characteristics, that being said, Casey Stoner said in a video interview that his Ducati tended to slide a bit more then his Honda when riding for them.  Ben Spies- a personal favorite of mine- said that it's not always making the bike work for you but rather working with the bike to gain its full potential.

However no matter which group you belong to, there is a home for every rider.  This being said all riders that are part of one household can be considered a family.  This loosely bonded family extends to wherever there is a road, and this is one of the most amazing parts of motorcycling.  I'll continue my next post with what it means to be apart of our "family."

Johnny 5-

Sunday, March 25, 2012

And "Down goes Fraizer!!!"

You may know the title quote from the famous fight between Muhammad  Ali and Joe Frazier where Ali knocked Frazier down in the first round of the first minute.  Well today I witnessed a rider go down right in front of me and I could almost see it unfolding in front of me.

Don't Ride in the Rain if you don't have to
I've only ridden in the rain a handful of times but one time on a drive from San Francisco to Santa Barbara where I rode in the rain for a total of 3 1/2 hours.  Just to put it out there, that's the most miserable I've ever been in my entire life.   I was freezing to death, soaked to the bone, trying to go 90 mph just to get through the clouds.  When I arrived in Santa Barbara my friends said "It just started raining!"  I knew that I had been under the cloud the entire time I was traveling south. That was enough for me to say I was never going to ride in the rain again.  If you don't know what the weather is going to hold in store for you, your better off driving or waiting it out.  I had one experience on that same trip where I hydroplaned on my bike --officially one of the scariest moments of my entire life-- and I wouldn't want that to happen to anybody else.  "According to testing cited by the NTSB (National Transportaion and Safety Board), the speed at which hydroplaning can be expected to occur in a vehicle is 10.35 x square root of the tire pressure."  I was lucky to make it out of that trip nothing short of being cold and miserable but the extent to what "could" have happened may have been a lot worse.
How To Ride in the Rain if you have to
Why not follow advice from the fastest people on the track, they know how to ride under extreme conditions both wet and dry.
I have a few movies of a few random Moto Gp seasons and they race when it's wet so I thought it best to take their advice when approaching a wet day at the track to riding on the street.  Valentino Rossi (6 time World Champ) explains it as, having to be the smoothest possible, not making any abrupt changes that will make you fall.

 Today in the bay
 So if you live in the bay area you all know it's been raining a lot lately and today it was especially hard.   After swearing to never ride in the rain again I chose to ride in my truck to drive the truck to school and work.  I was waiting in traffic as I saw a motorist splitting lanes and approaching me pretty quickly, I could already tell he wasn't prepared because of his sneakers he was wearing.  Motorcycles + Sneakers + Rain = newbie (new rider) or just plain under-prepared.  As I posted before the safest thing for our feet are boots, they support and protect our ankles in the event of a crash.  This motorist wasn't the best at splitting lanes and tried to cut into the left lane a little too abruptly.  Mind you, this happened right in front of me, I watched his front tire wash out as he tried to steer too quickly, he shook the bike to try and keep upright and the bike tossed him up and over the side at a speed of 10 Mph.  I pulled behind him when I noticed he was limping and shaken up.  I put my emergency flashers on and got out to help him pick up his motorcycle and move it off the road. He was still able to walk fairly well so I believed his ankle wasn't broken but I knew that he did tweak it to some extent.

I think that by having some knowledge of how to operate motorcycles at extremely high speeds while wet can be extremely helpful and perhaps if this young chap that I met today would have known the same thing and been better prepared with boots he might have walked away unscathed.  To the rest of us, be prepared mentally and physically!

-Jon 5

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Interview with Casey Stoner

Casey Stoner is the top Moto GP (Motorcycle Grand Prix) rider in the World right now, and this is some of his insight as to how the start of his 2012 season has begun.

I would like to share that in 2011 the riders in Moto GP were all riding 800 cc engines, and this year in 2012 they changed the rules to go back to the 1000 cc engine.  The 800 cc bikes favor the smaller riders, so my favorite rider, Ben Spies weighs in at about 5'10" 175 lbs, while Casey Stoner is shorter and lighter by about 4 inches and 20 lbs.  Just like a Jockey the horse can be exactly the same but the riders weight is going to play a pivotal role.

Riders changed teams this year in 2012 as well.  Casey Stoner went from Ducati to Honda, and if you remember from my previous post a Ducati is a V-twin and the Honda is an inline 4 engine.

Nicky Hayden (another larger rider) went from Honda to Ducati.

Valentino Rossi (about the same size and weight as Casey Stoner) went from Yamaha- Crossplane Technology- to Ducati

Below is some insight to how Casey has been feeling about the differences in style of bikes.

"Specifically, how is the 1000 different from the 800 on corner entry, mid-corner, exit?

Well, the only thing I think, not so much from the 1000 to 800, but just an improvement that we've made with Honda, is braking stability. 
The wheelbase is maybe a little different and when we go on the brakes we've, of course, got a bit more stability as we're going into the corner. The rear's not wanting to hop up as much. So we can actually sink our hands into the brakes a lot harder. So it's actually changing the braking points by a little bit less than what we'd expected, because our bike has improved quite substantially in that point. I'd say corner entry is exactly the same. Everything from that point on is very similar. I think it's mainly just chassis-wise that we've improved. The weight of the bike is exactly the same, the way it's going to react is very similar, if not the same.

The weight's the same?

Now we've gone four kilos, but that was quite recently that they decided to add that. The bikes were designed and built and then they go, Ah yeah, we're going to add four kilos. So I don't think that's really the right way forward. And I hope they fight it. I hope they fight it and win because you don't make rules and change it at the last minute when the bike's already developed. So I think the extra four kilos isn't changing anything like that anyway. It's more or less the same weight. If it was 20 kilos difference in the bike, it might be a bit of difference. At this point it just feels very similar to the 800. The only thing that's different for us is the way the chassis feels. Like I said, I think we've made some improvements with that. And just corner exit, we're able to use that power a lot better, we're able to get a more torque out of the engine, have a lot more control with the engine because it's not so peaky. And actually I've found a lot more traction. Because of the extra torque and control, it wants to drive out of the corner a lot longer before it spins.

Can you be less precise with the 1000 and still get away with it?

I'd say no. In a small way I think maybe, because of that extra torque you've got you can just square the corner off then and shoot it out. But the 800s already had a lot of power. And especially by the end of their time they already had a quite substantial amount and too much. You're still spinning up everywhere. So I'd say, no. I think you've still got to ride them in a very similar way. Try to ride them very accurately and everyone's just trying to massage out the bugs at the moment.

If you make a mistake, is it less forgiving than the 800?

No, I think it's very similar. The 800s, maybe you were carrying a little bit more corner speed. Because you didn't have the same power on the 800s then you didn't have the same problems with wheelies. The 1000s, of course, especially on a small track with a short gearbox, is just going to want to wheelie quite a lot, so that's going to be something you'll have to think about. So they did turn a little bit harder and you keep a little bit more throttle in the middle of the turn really. But such a minute amount. You can still ride them in exactly the same way. I was watching some of the lines out there of everybody today and looking at some of the black marks. They're using the whole track still. I'm using less and less of the track, because I'm happy with that extra bit of torque. But in general you can still ride them in both ways."

I suppose you have to know a bit about motorcycles in order to completely grasp these concepts but if you comment on this post I'll be sure to answer any questions as thouroghly as I can. 

Johnny 5-

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Why Ride?

I was having a meal outside on the street trying to think of what to write everyone today.  I've had a post on safety and the mechanics of motorcycles but nothing on what actually drives us to ride them. The very second I was finishing this thought a group of motorcyclists roared up to the street light I was closest to. Without missing a beat I noticed that two were on newer model GSXR 600's, another on a Kawasaki and the other on a Ducati.  The GSXR's had some kind of aftermarket exhausts and the rider on the Kawaskai was wearing a mohawk on his helmet. Nothing special but there's something I can't ignore, the fact that riding a motorcycle isn't for the faint hearted.  Motorcycles are dangerous by nature, but why is this appealing? What is it about the ride that fuels our need for adrenaline? Is it: Danger? Thrill? Sounds? Smells? Looks?


I already assessed in my last post what it takes to be physically safe but I never talked about exterior dangers of being on a bike.  Of course I'm talking about our good old friends the Police. Whenever the boys in blue get behind me, my heart sinks because all I can think about is that this going to cost me hundreds of dollars.    While this deters many people from riding fast there's always going to be the few that decide stopping isn't an option.  The following link is a Youtube video that may get your heart moving. Cop fails to pull over bikes.  As you can see from the video, riding in a pack of people isn't the safest to begin with especially when there's a guy trying to "stunt" his bike down the freeway.  But then a policeman gets involved and all of a sudden I start to feel sorrow for this guy. Here he's having fun and entertaining a group of people and then we see a cop try and pull them over but one thing shines through, the remark-ability in riding with a group of people and the anonymity it can provide.  They can't pull us all over, so forget it and keep moving.  It's obviously not the safest of conditions but this is the danger that some people strive for.

Whats inviting about riding around the track 130 mph?  Is it the fact that I'm setting new goals to beat my fastest lap time? Possibly but how about the fact that my knees are willingly being slid along the pavement like antennae feeling how close the ground is.  Pictured above is my favorite Moto-GP rider Ben "Elbowz" Spies.  Ben has an extremely distinct style where he rides to the point where his elbows are dragging on the ground.  Forget about the knee, getting an elbow down means your close enough to kiss the pavement but at the same time you have to have enough control to bring the bike back to it's next turning position.  To many of us seeking speed this is the ultimate goal: To control my bikes speed in the corners to actually allow me to perform a maneuver such as this without having an accident.

 I love the sounds motorcycles make, every time I hear one I have to see what kind of bike it is thats responsible for that type of noise.  Most sportbikes are inline 4 cylinders with the exception of Ducati's and Harley Davidson's which have two very large pistons that form a V hence the name, V-Twin.  The Ducati's are always very distinct with their V-twin engines and dry clutch,  I can hear the Ducati's clutch above the other bikes "Clack Clack Clack Clack Clack Clack" is the sound the dry clutch makes free spinning at a stoplight.  Here's a video to show the sound of a "dry clutch" free-spinning and engauged.  It's invigorating to hear these sounds, something about them gets my heart to go pitter-patter.

Below are a few videos that I comprised that show differences between different types of engines.
Inline 4 cyclinder exhaust 05 Yamaha R1- stock inline 4 cylinder

Yamaha recently took their technology from the track and brought it to the street.  All inline 4 cylinder engines fire two at a time, but with Yamaha's "Crossplane technology" each piston fires in sequential order giving the power band a much more linear curve when plotted on a graph.  The following link is a video to show an example of Yamaha's Crossplane technology  09 R1 crossplane.

Everyone know's when a Harley is coming down the street, their extremely loud with their V-Twin engines and straight pipes.  The following link is a Harley with a screaming eagle exhaust.  Loud Pipes Save Lives

Some people like the smell of gasoline, but I personally love the smell of racing gasoline.  Walking up to the track you can smell the difference in exhaust.  The high octane that they use gives off a very distinct smell when flying by on the track, and to people like me, this is like the cologne of motorycycles.  The higher the  octane rating the more compression the gas can withstand before combusting.  Ergo the piston inside the engine recieves more of a push rather then an explosion blowing the piston backwards.

Bikes all have their own Genre, sportbikes look sleek while Harleys take on the rugged look.   Bikes in general all have their own personality's, whether it's a bad-ass blacked out Harley or a sleek looking Ducati they each have their own characteristics that are appealing to different kinds of riders.

Whether it's the danger, speed, sounds, smells or looks we all ride for a reason these are just a few of my own personal interests.

Johnny 5-

Thursday, March 8, 2012

You have to take it apart to learn it

I would like to stress the importance of knowing how to take apart each and everyone of my motorcycles.  Once again I found out the hard way by purchasing a dirt cheap motorcycle with a heaping amount of problems.  I had to replace a lot of parts and in doing so I saw the purpose of the mechanical side. 

By taking my bikes apart I get to learn all of their differences and similarities.  Knowing how the motorcycle works is one of the most important part of riding because there's more then just going fast. I want to be able to control the horsepower I sit on hence the suspension tuning.  You want to be able to stop well, so tires and brakes become a factor.

Horsepower-  To maximize the power-band on my Suzuki Gsxr 1000, I had it Dyno tuned at a shop to where it was reaching 170 hp.

Brakes-  I Changed my brakes from the standard Tociko brakes and replaced them with the Yamahas brakes and a steel braided brake line.  My front brakes went from squishy to hard and firm.

Suspension-  I had my suspension dialed into my weight by having a specialist check the rebound and sag while I sat on my bike in riding position.  Before I had it tuned the front forks were really bouncy- making it great for wheelies- but not for turning and speed.

Before going out on a Ride just wash the bike, it will allow you to cover everything you may catch some leaking fork oil or a missing bolt on the exhaust.  It's better to be safe then sorry.

Johnny 5-

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Riding with Speed and Safety

One thing stands out above on all on a motorcycle, there is nothing between yourself and the road except for what we put there.  A car is a big steel frame which we sit in and are surrounded by a metal barrier.  On a motorcycle the only thing we have to protect ourselves against the pavement is the gear we wear.  This of course is a last resort because nobody honestly wants to go down, but if you do have a motorcycle or are thinking of getting one you have to expect your going to drop your bike sooner or later and it's only a matter of time before it does.  In order to prevent this we can take preventative measures like defensive driving and not driving in certain conditions to avoid this as much as possible.  This post is my "how to" guide on not to fall, and if you must there are certain ways to protect yourself.

Defensive Driving
Defensive driving is the first thing we can all do as drivers to avoid collisions and close calls.  This means trailing the car in front of you with plenty of room to stop and staying out of drivers blind spots.  Above all don't go speeding into corners and roads where you cannot see around.  I almost lost my life in Lake Berryessa because of a small mistake one fine summer day.  I was flying through the roads on the way to go camping at Lake Berryessa for the weekend and I was loving it, coming close to dragging my jeans on the road on every turn.  I had some funny feeling like I should slow down and I listened to my instincts when a Semi pulled around the next turn all the way into my lane, if I had even been in the turn I would have been all over the front of that Semi's grill.  Camping that weekend I heard how another motorcyclist lost his life the weekend before because of the same reason.  I don't want to be a statistic so to this day I don't fly into corners or roads that I can't see into.

There is no way to forsee a driver running a red light but as we approach intersections, making sure cars are stopped in both directions is very important. Page 18 of the Dmv Motorcycle Handbook states "Over one half of motorcycle/passenger vehicle collisions are caused by a drivers entering a riders right of way."   For this very reason intersections can be one of the most dangerous places for a motorcycle.  The safest place for a motorcyclist is on the track where everybody is going the same direction.  This may seem contradictory because a track is supposed to be where you go at breakneck speeds.  Realistically it's safer because when a rider goes down it's off of the track and usually into dirt or soft barrier rather then a metal guardrail.  --When going at these kinds of speeds it's important to tuck the arms into the chest as to avoid breaking any bones in the hands or arms.-- In order to protect us further we and out bikes need to be equipped with the best gear we can afford.


I had one accident where I wasn't properly geared up.  This happened when I highsided my Yamaha R6, check out the picture to get a better idea of what a highside is...  Instead of sliding out under the motorcycle, the bike catches and throws you over the top.

 I was only wearing my helmet and jeans, needless to say after the accident I was missing a majority of the skin on my palms and a good portion from my back, along with 2 broken ribs.  If I had been wearing my jacket and gloves I might have saved my hands and back. As a result I could not get out of bed for a few weeks.
I have had lowsides (where the bike slides out from underneath you-see pic below) where I was wearing my gear, boots gloves and jacket and there was no harm to me at all.  I was a little shaken up but still able to pick up my bike and continue on to my destination.  As you can see from the picture below why it's so important to wear the proper boots!

If you didn't notice the guys involved in the crashes above are fully geared with leathers, helmet and most likely a spinal guard.  Wearing the right gear can save your skin and keep your body intact.

Tires and Bike Equipment
Another thing to note is to get your bike set correctly with a good set of tires and tire pressure to make sure your contact with the road is good.  As my friend so elequently put it, "Get good Rubbers!"  I have personally tried three different kinds of tires for my sport bikes and the ones I tend to have the most confidence with are my Michelins.  They have two different compounds in their tires making the sides of the tire softer so when leaning into a turn the softer rubber is in contact with the ground providing a stickier patch between your bike and the road.  Michelin Pilot Power Pures 2Ct provides us with a moving diagram that we can see the bike roll onto these contact areas.
Good tires means nothing without the correct tire pressure in them.  It's important to check tire pressures regularly and at consistently at the same temp, whether hot or cold.  I've noticed that when my steering feels sluggish that I usually need about an extra pound or two of air pressure in the front tire.  Something as simple as this can help maneuver the bike to avoid possible accidents.
Another saying is "Loud Bikes Save Lives!" and I find this completely true. That Harley Davidson sitting next to you may sound ridiculously loud and obnoxious but the fact is, you hear them and therefore are forced to recognize their presence.  This makes drivers aware of their surroundings and usually yield to the bikers.

So there you have it by following these simple few steps we may have enlightened a few minds.
-Defensive driving- make your presence known
-Wear the correct gear- no tennis shoes (they wont save your ankles)
-Make sure your bike is properly equipped-tire pressures, oil and brakes are all up to par.

If all else fails I may have given some insight as to how I feel about riding a motorcycle.  You might be saying I don't ride a motorcycle this doesn't apply to me, but it does.  If we all follow these same rules there would be a lot less accidents.  We have to make drivers aware of their actions on the road and if everybody made their own driving actions a little more conscious we might have a safer place to drive out there.

Johnny 5 -