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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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Old 20 Aug 2004
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Is it more dangerous to cruise at lower speeds?

Hi all,

Thinking of traffic flow, is it more dangerous to ride at lower speeds? Or to put it another way, is it less dangerous to go at speeds that would allow you to keep up with other vehicles, or even to take them over? What if I can't do more than 70 or 80 kms? Or do I have to own a bike which can do 100-110 km?
A lot of questions, sorry.

Thanks all.
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Old 20 Aug 2004
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IMHO it depends on many variables that can't be addressed. At times travelling lower than the speed of traffic it can be dangerious. On the other hand if traffic is very fast and you try to keep up with them with full panniers, pillion etc you may be going to fast for the suspention of the bike and or yur abilities. Never ride faster than your skill level. Other factors come into account as well.

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Old 20 Aug 2004
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In many places its all you can do anyway..just stay off the Autobahns in Europe...plus the smaller roads are much better, cow pats aside.
Close to Antarctica and a long way from reality
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Old 25 Aug 2004
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Why don't you ask the guys at www.honda50.cc/ they are touring the americas on Honda 50cc bikes.
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Old 25 Aug 2004
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I was tickled to read that the UK importers have agreed to limit the bikes to 300kmh/186mph. when I left last month, the speed limit was still 70mph, but I'm all for riding around at more than 2.5 times the limit.
more importantly, its also mach 0.25. COOL!
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Old 30 Aug 2004
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One of the basic principles of road safety is that you are at greater risk if you are travelling at a speed that is significantly different to the general speed of the other traffic. However, slower is much safer than faster. My rule for riding slower bikes is either ride well out of the way OR take up as much road as possible to force other vehicles to wait until the way is clear.


Nigel in NZ

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Old 31 Aug 2004
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Traffic is a flow of different vehicles. Anything in the flow that acts different (slower, faster, not staying in it's lane,...) becomes a hinder to other vehicles on the road. The more difference, the more danger you pose to yourself and other vehicles.

One specific thing I really wonna point out is that if you're as slow (or as fast) as trucks that you end up riding inbetween them. Problem is that your brakingdistance is mayby a fifth in comparision with a fully loaded truck-lorry combination.
So keep an eye on you mirrors and don't hit the brakes if there's one behind you.
Even if you have to pass a traffic light on orange or red (at low speed).
We had a guy severly injured recently. The traffic light went orange, he hits the brakes but didn't see the truck behind. The driver didn't survive the accident and there was not much the truck could have done to avoid the accident. He was riding the correct speed (60 km/h) was standing on his brakepedal... Blocked all wheels for about 15m.

If you are slow, stay away from highways and check your mirrors frequently!!! You are not alone out there.
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Old 31 Aug 2004
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<font face="" size="2">there was not much the truck could have done to avoid the accident. He was riding the correct speed (60 km/h) was standing on his brakepedal... Blocked all wheels for about 15m.[/B]</font>
I don't agree: if he hit the vehicle in front of him then he was travelling too close.

None of this matters in the third world, though...

Salut from Southern France, the bikers' paradise,


Europe to NZ 2006-10
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Old 3 Oct 2004
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The truck driver got the blame for the fatallity, but I can't say I agree fully with this.
The fact that there were 15m braking marks means that he was riding at least 20m behing the other car. There is a shared responsebility

Speaking out of experience.
You can try to keep your distance and correct speed. And everyone should do so. But the problem is that some get in between you and wathever is in front of you.
Guess you know what the situation is on the French 'nationals' with cars getting inbetween every truck even if there is no place at all.
Was a nightmare crossing France while riding up from Spain to Belgium after our trip in Spain.

Personally it is my main concern, when I riding with 30+ tons behind me, how I can safely stop when a car sqeezes inbetween me and the truck in front off me. Or on some trafficpoints simply how to go with the traffic at least in some way, without getting cut off all the time, and still making sure that I can stop in time.

If a small car hits the brakes flat out doing lets say 50k's per hour the truck, riding 20m behind (wich is almost twice his own length) will barely be able to come to a full stop in time.

By the way: you are (in Belgium) only, and only, allowed to cross an orange light if you can't stop safely. And hitting the brakes in front of a heavy truck for a light tat just turned orange is, in my eyes, not safe nor smart.

If you are in the traffic you are surrounded by others and you have to keep that in mind and act consequently.
I find people who don't quite stupid.
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