Hey, How’s it going people, BrownBrady here
and thank you for tuning in to my channel.
One of my viewers named Gordon wrote: “Please
consider doing a series on practical motorcycle
tips, your observations and insights. Thanks!”
I have not had enough riding experience yet, but I
do consider myself a defensive rider, so I will give
it a shot in this video. So Gordon, thank you for
your video request and this one is for you.
Last year, I was so excited to finally get my M2
from the ministry and with that, I was allowed to
ride at night, ride 2 up, and more importantly, ride
on the 400 series highway.
Here in Ontario, these highways have a maximum speed
limit of 100 kilometers per hour but in Toronto
drivers routinely cruise at 10 over, and even more
the further east you go... making it intimidating to
The part of highway 401 that passes through the city
of Toronto is ranked amoung the busiest highways in
the world, and also among the most dangerous.
Needless to say, there are more distractions inside
cars that I must be vigilant while riding my
And I was surprised to find out how many
drivers were texting and talking on their mobile
phones, putting on makeup, and eating while driving.
And one of the best ways to remain vigilant is by
maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles.
So if you’re a new rider getting ready to hit the
streets, I think you’ll benefit from these tips that
I’m about to go over with you.
And so without further
adieu, here are 8 Spacing Techniques for Motorcycle
Number 1. Follow at a safe distance.
A safe distance from the vehicle ahead of me is 2
seconds or more and an easy way to measure this is
by waiting for a vehicle to drive over a point of
reference and then count "one one thousand, two two
thousand..." I should ride over that same reference
point after I say "two two thousand..."
This gives me
enough road for emergency braking and it also allows
me to look over and beyond the vehicle ahead of me.
Number 2 is to let tailgaters through.
I like to check the vehicle behind me once every few
seconds. In fact, this question appeared in the M1
If they are following too closely, I will switch
lanes and let them through.
A vehicle following too closely poses a risk of
rear-ending me in case I have to make an emergency
Number 3. Ride in the outermost lane
On a 3 lane road, riding in the middle lane has the
benefit of giving you 2 lanes to escape to: one on
the left and one on the right obviously, but at the
same time, you now have to worry about vehicles from
both sides. I stay in the rightmost or leftmost
lane, whichever I feel is more uneventful. This
means there is only 1 other lane I need to worry
about giving me half as much vehicles merging, blind
spots, or falling objects or debris.
Number 4 is to plan an escape path.
I will also choose the lane that offers at least 1
escape path. In my head, I rehearse what I would do
incase of an emergency right at this moment. I even
anticipate my counter-steering or braking, the
direction of my swerve, and the positions of the
cars around me, incase an object, like a torn off
tire tread or a couch, appears in front of me. The
escape path is always changing as traffic and road
conditions change and if I find that there are no
escape routes, I will double my following distance.
Number 5 is to stay out of blind spots.
Surprisingly, I noticed that half of the drivers on
the road don’t do a head check in their blind spots
before changing lanes.
Sometimes, they are so
distracted that they are lane departing so it’s a
good idea to always stay out of their blind spots.
Once in a while, I will notice that they will check
using that mirror giving me a bit of an assurance
that I have been noticed. Staying out of their blind
spot also ensures that I am not blocking their
Number 6. Cruise in the blocking position.
If you’re not a rider yet, a blocking position is
the tire track closest to the next lane.
This is why
you will notice bikers almost never ride in the
center of a lane. They are always riding in one tire
I stay in the blocking position of my lane so that I
am more visible to drivers in the next lane. At
first, this was nerve wracking because I knew that
me and my bike cannot really ‘block’ a car.
All I can do is put my faith in the other drivers
that as long as they see me, they will avoid me.
And in contrast, if I were to ride in the non-
it is more likely for another vehicle to merge into
my lane because they didn’t see me.
Number 7. Use the far tire track when passing.
When traffic in my lane starts going faster than the
other lane, I wait for the next spot ahead to become
Then, I switch to the far tire track, accelerate
through the blind spot, and then back down to the
flow of traffic until I reach the next available
and then back into my blocking position.
This makes my bike more audible while passing,
it also limits the time I spend in the blind spot,
and gives the vehicle in the other lane more room in
case it makes an unsafe lane change.
Number 8 is to have an escape route while stopped.
I stay a half car length behind the car ahead of me
at a stop light.
And I try to make myself more visible by stepping on my rear brake.
And if the approaching vehicle appears to be going
too fast, I will have enough room to maneuver out of
the lane, or ditch the bike.
Looking back during my first commute on highway 401
was in mid summer of last year during morning rush
And by that time, I’ve already had 2 months of seat
time riding to and from work on the streets
developing good riding habits.
And it did pay off when I finally rode on the
Luckily, school was out, so that first ride was
No one cut me off, no sudden stops, and there were
no accidents. I would like to think that my
defensive riding had a lot to do with it.
Anyway, all of this to say that I want as much
reasonable space as possible all around me.
Overall, I feel that my riding habits are defensive
enough, but if you’re an experienced rider, I would
like to hear from you so go ahead and share your
thoughts in the comments section.
And if you liked this video, please hit that like
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I’ll see you in my next video.
As always, ride safe and thanks for watching.