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Do you ride at night? is it safe?

  • no, i don't need to

    Votes: 4 4.2%
  • no, it's unsafe

    Votes: 3 3.2%
  • yes, but it's uncomfortable

    Votes: 30 31.6%
  • yes, it doesn't bother me

    Votes: 58 61.1%

  • Total voters
    95
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Recently I had a conversation with a rider, he told me that he prefers not to ride at night. Personally, I don't mind when it's dark: there are less cars.

if you choose 2 or 3, I'd like to see your comments on why do you think it's uncomfortable or unsafe and a type of your bike.

EDIT: "no" means that you PLAN your ride to be done by night time or use a different transportation if it's dark.
 

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I generally ride to work at 5am.. I have no problem with it being dark on normal roads but technical roads I won't ride at night.
 

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A lot depends on where you ride.
I don't like to ride after dark much anymore because car lights bother me,I just don't see as well as I did when I was younger but my biggest concern out here in the mountains where I live is the large animals that come out at night.
There is no way to see them till it's too late no mater how good your lights are,if they run out of the woods into the road you're screwed even at moderate speeds.
Deer are a major problem here but even a Porcupine or Racoon could be a big problem rounding a bend in the road at night.
The Elk are especially scary,they can kill you even in a big car.
We even have bears and big cats crossing the road at night along the river near my house so you never no what might suddenly be in the road.
If I do end up getting home after dark I ride real slow,I've hit two deer already and don't want to make it three.:madd:
 

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It generally doesn't bother me to ride at night especially if it's on roads that I'm familiar with. Obviously on roads that I'm unfamiliar with there is always the "what's around the next bend" factor.

Something someone taught me very early on was to not "outdrive" your headlights. I always use the two - three second rule. If I see something in my headlights and it takes me two - three seconds to get there, then HOPEFULLY that'll give me enough time to react.
 

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I agree with Y2K but would also like to add that it's also harder to see road hazards such as sand & oil after dark, in town I have no problem riding after dark, in rural areas I go quite a bit slower.
 

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I've hit two deer already and don't want to make it three.:madd:
Holy crap! Twice? I am sure it wasn't too bad since you are around to tell us about it, but what was the scenario (speed, your gear, did you drop the bike, etc.)?. I live out in the country and there are plenty of deer and elk here; even wolves make an appearance from time to time.
 

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Holy crap! Twice? I am sure it wasn't too bad since you are around to tell us about it, but what was the scenario (speed, your gear, did you drop the bike, etc.)?. I live out in the country and there are plenty of deer and elk here; even wolves make an appearance from time to time.
Well the first time I was only cruising about 40-45mph,it was along the river on my way home one hot summer night just about dark.
The bugs were out and I was on an old Harley Ironhead with no windshield so I was getting peppered with them pretty bad,it was lucky for me that I was going slow because of the bugs when that buck jumped out from behind a big fir tree into my path.
I just saw a brown blur and wham!
I hit him while he was still in the air,he jumped from my right and I hit him in the left rear quarter which spun him off to the center of the road.
I guess my old dirt riding instincts kicked in because with my eyes closed I did a perfect handstand on the handlebars but didn't let go,I opened my eyes as I came back down on the seat and my feet bounced off the pavement.
I grabbed the clutch & brake and came to a stop in the wrong lane with the engine still running and the bike still upright,a quick look back saw the deer flailing about in the road,looking forward again and lucky that no cars were coming I pulled off the road and shut her down.
The deer managed to get up on three legs and hobble into the woods,it took me a few minutes to get my composure together enough to kick start the bike and ride it home,the only damage was the front fender was bent and deer sheet was all over the bike.
The second time I was on a 6 lane freeway East of Portland Oregon heading for the pass on highway 26 that goes over Mt.Hood.
Just 50-60 miles from home heading out for a two week vacation with the wife on board the big Electraglide a deer runs out into the crowded freeway on a Friday night rush hour,cars were locking up the brakes all around us at 70 mph,we were in the center lane with cars in front and behind us as well as on both sides basically boxed in.
A pickup truck clipped the deer and it flopped into our lane right in front of us,I actually gassed it rather than braking,old instincts again I guess as everything was in that slow motion mode that happens when you get in a wreck.
I hit the deer right in the head with my front wheel,I still remember seeing it's eyes just before we hit it.:madd:
The bike actually jumped it,we both came off the seat but we came down with the bike and kept going,by some miracle we didn't make contact with any cars and managed to get off the road safely with no damage to the bike except for a wiring harness that got pulled loose from the frame when a zip-tie broke.
Lots of blood guts and hair all over the bike but no real damage,I had zip-ties in my bags so I fixed the wires and we went on our way shaken but unharmed.
 

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Well, I get off work at 1:30 a.m. so I ride at night every night I can. I do take much more care with my speed, cornering and looking out for hazards such as really big rats with horns.
 

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Wow. Those are some episodes. Can't believe you were able to keep the bike upright both times. Nicely handled!

OP, sorry for going OT.

Well the first time I was only cruising about 40-45mph,it was along the river on my way home one hot summer night just about dark.
The bugs were out and I was on an old Harley Ironhead with no windshield so I was getting peppered with them pretty bad,it was lucky for me that I was going slow because of the bugs when that buck jumped out from behind a big fir tree into my path.
I just saw a brown blur and wham!
I hit him while he was still in the air,he jumped from my right and I hit him in the left rear quarter which spun him off to the center of the road.
I guess my old dirt riding instincts kicked in because with my eyes closed I did a perfect handstand on the handlebars but didn't let go,I opened my eyes as I came back down on the seat and my feet bounced off the pavement.
I grabbed the clutch & brake and came to a stop in the wrong lane with the engine still running and the bike still upright,a quick look back saw the deer flailing about in the road,looking forward again and lucky that no cars were coming I pulled off the road and shut her down.
The deer managed to get up on three legs and hobble into the woods,it took me a few minutes to get my composure together enough to kick start the bike and ride it home,the only damage was the front fender was bent and deer sheet was all over the bike.
The second time I was on a 6 lane freeway East of Portland Oregon heading for the pass on highway 26 that goes over Mt.Hood.
Just 50-60 miles from home heading out for a two week vacation with the wife on board the big Electraglide a deer runs out into the crowded freeway on a Friday night rush hour,cars were locking up the brakes all around us at 70 mph,we were in the center lane with cars in front and behind us as well as on both sides basically boxed in.
A pickup truck clipped the deer and it flopped into our lane right in front of us,I actually gassed it rather than braking,old instincts again I guess as everything was in that slow motion mode that happens when you get in a wreck.
I hit the deer right in the head with my front wheel,I still remember seeing it's eyes just before we hit it.:madd:
The bike actually jumped it,we both came off the seat but we came down with the bike and kept going,by some miracle we didn't make contact with any cars and managed to get off the road safely with no damage to the bike except for a wiring harness that got pulled loose from the frame when a zip-tie broke.
Lots of blood guts and hair all over the bike but no real damage,I had zip-ties in my bags so I fixed the wires and we went on our way shaken but unharmed.
 

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My night vision sucks, even in a car. The on-coming lights really mess with me. I will ride at night, but don't like to.
 

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I do ride at night...but prefer to ride on 4-lane highways only. That gives me a little more clear area to see a deer or something else coming out of the woods. Plus the 4-lane 55 mph highways here have a lot of reflectors and make it easy to see.
 

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Same hear, too many deer, bear, and possums coming at you. I do ride at night a bit but usually not by choice
 

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Riding at night can be fun especially friday night downtown where everyone is bar hopping and stuff. I like to turn on my engine accent lights and make some noise once in a while. Like its been said above about animals and road hazards, you must be careful. I'm very cautious on country roads at night. I ride at night about 1-2 times a week.
 

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Like its been said above about animals and road hazards, you must be careful.
A little common sense goes a long way.

Like when other "unusual" hazzards are present, like rain, fog, etc. just SLOWING DOWN can accomplish a lot to ofset the additional danger.

Likewise, staying OUT of situations where the traffic flow won't allow you to slow down without creating a bigger danger is also wise.

I don't ride in the rain on purpose or at night either but sometimes it is unavoidable and it is best to be prepared by scheduling both kinds of rides as part of your "new rider" training.
 

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i absolutely love riding at night... one of the best time to ride really.

I'm not sure why i love it... with the cruiser i had the PIAA's and the highbeam on, and music on high. loved it. i could really concentrate on riding, no scenery, no cars, no distractions... just the ride.
 

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The worst animals out late at night are two legged ones that can't pass a breathalizer test. Most of them are in motor vehicles, which makes it worse.

But riding in the moving cone of a high beam headlight with nothing else out there is one of the more hypnotic things you can do on a bike.
 

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Anyone having problems seeing at night, and with peripheral vision off the side of the road, I recommend you look at installing HID Xenon lighting. Most bikes can be retrofitted with HID lighting and it makes a huge difference.

 

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First off, I can't put different lighting on my bike, because EU regulations don't permit it. Secondly, since my bike is "old school", Xenon is not an option because it would ruin the "traditional" look of the bike. Finally, that wouldn't help much - my headlight is mounted on the front of the bike, so the light shows where the bike is pointing, but not necessarily where I'm looking. I have had the most problems riding at night on twisty, curvy mountain roads - the bike is pointing up the street, but I'm looking 90° over my shoulder around the next hairpin ... into total darkness.

When I was younger, I could definitely see much better at night. I've noticed in the past few years (I'm 46) that my eyes are no longer as sensitive as they used to be - it takes a few seconds longer to adjust when going from light to dark (riding in the forest in the afternoon when there are lots of shadows) and later in the evening.

I can still ride at night, but I prefer not to. If I have to ride at night (like riding home after dinner), I'll take it slower than I would during the day, or I'll look for a route that doesn't have as many curves.
 
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