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I have not seen much info geared towards safety on this forum so I will start.

First off, I'm a commercial driver. I have not ridden a motorcycle since 1982. I drive Motorcoaches all over the country, I see alot of motorcycles on the highway. I see who the safe operaters are and who the potential organ donors are. My local newspaper today has a story citing the raw statistics of the increasing# of deaths and increasing #s in ridership in my state (PA) and district. It stands to reason that this is normal, based upon the increase of riders.

I'll go on record right away as I think motorcyles are dangerous simply because of the speed, weight and balance factor. Mix in a rider that does not respect this and you see where this is going. So who do I see out on the road that is unsafe? Bullet bikes riding in groups. That "I gotta show off in front of the boys" group mentality. Harley heads riding double file(why do they do that?). The occassional middle aged Harley rider(and that is who seems to own those) operating like an azzhat, flailing the bike around in and out of traffic with his fat SO in tow. Helmetless riders. Fully agree it is up to the individual to operate safely within the safety envelope.

Now comes the Spyder. The balance thing is reduced. Brakes are centralized to one pedal. On board computer to limit potential tip overs which I think in the Spyder would be catastrophic for the rider. This is what has me interested in the vehicle.

So those who have alot of riding experience on the Spyder, what are the safety concerns that I am missing?

And helmets. I have seen prices all over the place from $100 to whatever you can afford. I see the same thing in bicycle helmets ($40-$250, all meet the minimum safety requirements) What are some features I should look for, venting? padding? I want full face shield, are some made better than others? Scratching, etc?
 

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I'll give you my take on helmets.

Some people mistake the modular helmets as full face helmets. They really aren't. When they are down they give the same protection from flying road hazards (rocks, bugs, etc.) and wind, but if you ever have an accident and land on your face, the modular helmets do not protect your lower face. They break off. They even have this warning on the helmets themselves. I was tempted to get one since I live in Vegas and it would help at lights with the heat - but I decided I valued my face too much to have it added to the pavement if I was unfortunate enough to crash.

I have a Shoei RF-1000 helmet. I like it because it has good ventilation, it is light, and both DOT and snell approved. Easy to change the visor (from clear to smoke) and mid-price ranged. The things to balance out are weight (heavy=fatigue), vs ventilation (more ventilation = more noise, less noise=less ventilation) and price. For me it was a good choice because the ventilation is important given where I live.

As for the safety of the spyder, I think road conditions (oil, sand on the road, grooves in the road, etc.) are less of a problem, and because you can't lane split, you can't be tempted to lane split (I don't do that on the virago and think people are dumb to do it a lot of the time). One bad thing is because of the perceived safety of the spyder, I think a lot will be tempted to not wear the gear they should be wearing all of the time. The thing I try to remind people of is the gear you put on to get on the bike is the same gear you will have on when you fall off/thrown off the bike. A little discomfort (when hot, etc.) is worth the protection if the worst happens.
 

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Three tires!

Do not underestimate the safety that having three tires gives.

I had a flat on my "old fashioned two-wheeled cycle" yesterday. God was kind to me, I was just leaving a parking lot (not at speed in a turn) when I lost all pressure on the rear tire. I had run over something that tore hole in the flat of the tread.

A flat on the Spyder would be more like a flat on a car..... a BIG safety plus.

A quick air loss on a front motorcycle tire at speed can be deadly... with two fronts it would be much, much better on the Spyder. I have been meaning to ask BRP if the electronics jumps in during a front flat or not...
 

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look at me..

I find that the spyder has alot more visability than other bikes.
I see the lookie-loos in both directions and I think that is great.
the more we see as ryders the more I think others see us.
Everyday, I see many riders that are looking to donate their organs, and for some reason they are of the hot headed crotch rocket mental peeps.
Please don't misunderstand me, I would say most all cycle riders practice safe driving habits, but those few make it tough for the rest of us.
Yes I wear a helmet, but some helmets prevent the other vehicle noise that is important to me as a rider, I think eyes, ears are equally important.
 

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Safety...

Overall the Spyder is definitely safer than a bike given road surface and visibility. The helmet decision comes down to personal opinion/preference as long as the helmet meets DOT requirements. A true full-face helmet is the safest type out there, but the new modulars with the flip-front are running a close second. I have been wearing a Nolan N-100 for about a year and am overall pleased with it. Open face aka 3/4 helmets don't protect the face and all it takes is one good bee strike to learn that lesson the hard way. Shorties, aka pudding bowls protect only the upper cranium. Sound/hearing is a major point with some people wanting to "hear everything". That sounds pretty good, but I hope to "hear everything" as I get older. That's why I wear at least a modular helmet and then add ear plugs if I'm riding over about 30 minutes.

The single most important thing a rider can do to not become a statistic is to take a rider education course. The main one is taught by the MotorCycle Safety Foundation in just about every state. Here is their web site: http://www.msf-usa.org
They will of course teach you how to ride, but they will also teach you how to minimize the risk. They go over helmets and other riding gear. Before my two sons came along, I was an instructor. One of the main statistics I learned was that 90% of all fatalities have no "official" training.

Good luck!
 

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"Ride like a Pro"

This fellows DVD's have lots of good safety tips:

https://www.ridelikeapro.com/Shoppingcart/shopdisplayproducts.asp?search=yes&bc=no

I don't remember where I learned it, but one of my favorites I use driving cars or bikes is to watch the front wheels of a car at a stop sign or intersection as you come on it... you can see the wheel moving before you would notice the vehicle is moving, and have more time to react.
 

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May I suggest to you the book, Proficient Motorcycling. It's written generally for the two-wheeled motorcyclist, but has lots of information that's applicable to three-wheelers as well. Check out the reviews at amazon.com.

I have a Spyder primarily for the stability of three wheels, but have over a million miles on both two and three-wheelers over 40+ years. Let me offer the opinion that safety (risk management) is found more between your ears. It's imperative to learn typical crash scenarios and how to avoid them.

The big advantage of the Spyder is that the footprint is not very susceptible to surface hazards.

pmdave
 

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One thing you can do is to make yourself more visible the cagers by adding HID headlights and fog lights. Also good for earlier detection of deer!

Don't sell safety cheap. Buy good gear especially the helmet. They can repair my broken bones but brain damage is another thing entirely. I have seen riders buy inexpensive helmets yet they pour a lot of money into their Spyder with aftermarket mods. WTF? First priority...the fit. If you can wiggle it on your head, it's too big and may come off in a crash. Second is padding. Last is comfort (i.e. ventilation) I have a Givi X01 and I love it. Very well made and excellent tests results using European standards (which test at higher velocities than DOT). It is a TRUE modular helmet...has two different chin bars...winter and summer. Also has two different sets of vents (same a chin bar). It also has a sun shield that can be used with or without the full face shield down. The helmet uses a ratchet type chin strap instead of D rings...much easier to put on and take off

Use your head! I passed a two-wheeler yesterday and the guy was fiddling with what I think was his radio. He had no idea what was ahead of him!! There's a lot written lately on people dialing cell phones or texting while driving. It is even worse to do it on a motorcycle.
 

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I'll give you my take on helmets.

. . . but if you ever have an accident and land on your face, the modular helmets do not protect your lower face. They break off.
Not necessarily. I was wearing a modular helmet (made by Schuberth for BMW) when an SUV attacked my bike. Down hard, slid across the pavement ON MY FACE. Helmet worked just like it was supposed to. Great souvenier what with the scapes and scratches (and good teaching tool).
 

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You can read about helmets here Motorcycle Helmet Design, Helmet Standards and Head Protection - Motorcyclist Online

You'll see that more expensive isn't necessarily better.
Better is the helmet that's comfortable and fits well. Try a bunch.

Wear ear protection. The noise goes way up at 70mph! And noise can be tiring so you are not at your most alert.

Wear appropriate clothing like an armored jacket and good gloves and boots.
 

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Too quite...

When it comes to safety the only problem that I have with my Spyder is that it is not loud enough, especially when comparing to my 2 wheels bike... It's just too quite. :confused:
 

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Yes, I thought of it as soon as I drove it out of the dealer's showroom. :D Hey, any advice on loud, good looking, and no too outrageously priced one? I found some on tailgunnerexhaust.com... :confused:

Thanks!!
 

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really , i have some information on safety that might help you relatedness, When we are watching the television and heard a news anchor who says like this: “another motorcycle rider is dead due to accident by hitting a tree while driving” or sometimes “another motorcycle rider broke his leg and will be handicap for life due to the accident he had while driving”. Due to the increasing numbers of motorcycle accidents a lot of causes have been determined to find appropriate remedies. Many causes has been listed by the law officers including driving under the influence of alcohol, over speeding, inappropriate overtaking and many other more including wearing the appropriate motorcycle gears.
In the other countries, wearing at least a helmet is an ASAP to all motorcycle riders, but to other country a complete gear is very much important. For those people who values life this gears will help them to at least decrease the risk of being handicap or dead. Tourmaster, a well known motorcycle apparel manufacture offered this gears that will make you and your bike safer. Their products have been tested by numerous numbers of consumers. As an example is their jacket with light reflector so the rider will be easily distinguish at night.
A helmet, leather jacket and jeans, elbow and knee guards, are the things needed by an ordinary rider. For them a simple jeans, or even a short a piece of helmet and a good fitted sneakers the rider is on the go. But to think of it are we forgetting the motorcycle boots? Boots is also important the same with the helmet for it gives protection to our feet which are nearest to the hot exhaust pipes that gives them the risk of being burned.
Gaerne is also a well known manufacturer of the finest quality of sophisticated Motocross Boots for off-road biking. Gaerne boots has many types depending on the consumer’s personality or the bike they are using. Despite of all the gears a rider must have, may it be complete or incomplete, expensive or inexpensive, durable or not, a good, disciplined and patient driver is more important than anything else.
 

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I have read the previous posts and agree, never be complacent when riding..Whether it is 2 or 3 wheels..A rider needs to dress for the road, not the ride.
I have 1st hand experience with both dropping my bike and crashing the bike..Without the proper gear on each time I'm sure I would not have walked away with road rash and then contusions and a rib fx...My helmet saved my skull when I slid on the road. I am a firm believer in safety and good helmets..Being an RN I can say there are many patients who have benefited from a riders crash..
So the saying goes ATGATT ...No shorts, flip flops, sneakers or even capris should be worn when traveling on these machines! Helmets always!
Just my opinion...:O)
 

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Ohema is right... ATGATT = All The Gear, All The Time. Your survival could depend on it; if not survival, then quality of life. I'm a firm believer, as its saved my skin.

Taking the MSF course is important, if only to impress the safety reasons on a person and give them a basis in good training to ride.

I agree with you, OP, that you can tell which riders are acting responsibly and which are just hopping on to go. There's a lot more responsibility for your own safety when you ride on the outside of your vehicle.
 

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MSF is a must. Not only does it prepare one to ride safely, the knowledge beat into this thick skull transfers well to my cage driving and CDL work. I became more aware of my surroundings while riding my bike and driving my car and bus after taking the course.. I think I drive more defensively because of the course. I paid for my sons to take the course because it assists in narrowing your focus to staying alive on the road.

Be visible, visiable...be seen. With all of the damn distractions out there, i.e. cellphones, GPSs, multimedia dash boards, etc, it pays to be seen by wearing high vis riding gear. I ride with an ICON hi vis military spec vest, especially on my way to work in the am.

Of course riding a Spyder is like driving a red sports car....people do take notice. :eek:
 

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So true regarding hearing protection. I have tinnitus 24/7 and it is so incredibly annoying, losing sleep, etc. Regarding helmets: my buddies said they never saw anyone kiss a guardrail as nice as I do, that was in New Hampshire - no helmet required. I was wearing one ; ) Regarding Stability; I just bought my first Spyder n that's because my two-wheeled MC fell on my while I was parking it and broke my hip. I have a new hip. I'm 79 n love to ride but it was time for 3 wheels.
 

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The biggest risk and the biggest safety factor are the same item, and located in the one place - the riders head.

There is an interesting post on visibility on one of the other forums. On it I point out that as an ex-firefighter, we are driving a big red truck, laced with flashing lights and very loud sirens with multiple tones. If we hit someone under lights and sirens its our fault - for not paying sufficient attention to our surrounds. You especially realize this when you have to respond silently. The riders ability, skill (there is a difference), attention to their environment, the condition of the bike and their gear all play a part. And riding slowly everywhere isn't necessarily safer either - think Volvo drivers (sorry Spyder riding Volvo owners)

I also pointed out that at rider training they indicated we need to treat everyone as idiots and that they are trying to "take us out"

Now safety concerns about the Spyder:
- the habit of the Vehicle Safety System (VSS) deciding to straighten the handlebars mid corner directing you into the oncoming traffic is at the top of my list. You don't even have to be going a hot pace to enjoy the exhilaration of this one
- the poor co-ordination/collaboration between the systems that comprise the VSS - if one is askew others will act independently making life "interesting"
- poor quality OEM tyres, some will disagree, but replace them with anything else and you'll soon see why
- too much gimmickry that distracts the rider - the radio is one example. Music is nice but you wont be listening to "Jon Bon Jovi' Down in a Blaze of Glory" if your environment has sounds and noise that will alert you to impending danger, the same goes for riding a motorcycle.
- their nervousness when they get into rough stuff mid corner, BRP haven't done enough homework here, but perhaps the 2021/20 models may be different. Even my wife who is my touring pillion has learnt to read the Spyder and predict if VSS isnt happy in this situation - the feedback is there so its important to read it.
 
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