I'm going to do it anyway.

Cagers... I seriously think I might go on an all-out, Grand Theft Auto IV-style killing spree at some point, but in the meantime I'm going to keep myself out of prison and instead make it easier for me to communicate to mindless drivers exactly what I think of them and their mothers. 

No, I'm not going work on riding one-handed in order to tell them I think they're number one - I'm going upgrade the horn on my bike to something that will break glass, make their ears bleed and, if there's a just God, poop their pants.

Enter the Stebel Nautilus motorcycle horn.  This 18 amp, air-compressor horn is just slightly more powerful than any stock horn (insert sarcasm), belting out 139 ear splitting decibels.  If you don't know how loud that is, it's roughly the volume of a commercial jet engine at 100ft away during take off - a volume level that some safety organizations suggest you NEVER experience, even for one minute, of a given day without hearing protection.

That will wake them up.


Target fixation is a problem that we, as riders, need to recognize and deal with every time we get on the bike.  Like most of you, I've assumed that target fixation only becomes a problem when your balls get just a bit too big and you go hot into a corner that maybe you shouldn't have, or when one of nature's precious beings darts out in front of you, or when that gravel patch surprises you in a blind corner.  We all know what happens - you lock a stare onto the threat and, inevitably, the bike heads for where you're looking.  If this is a cigarette butt on the interstate it doesn't matter much, but if you're losing composure through a turn and that big telephone pole is what has your attention, the consequences could be problematic for the longevity of you and your machine.

Take a look at this rider - he makes a lot of mistakes including entering the turn on the inside of his lane and locking up the rear wheel in a panic, but watch his helmet.  All of his issues stem from the fact that's locked onto the part of the guardrail that's already smashed in.  He assumed his only option was to slow down, when in fact all he needed to was move his eyes through the turn and lean the bike over.  He was going plenty slow to make the turn safely, but unfortunately not slow enough to stop safely if going in a straight line (and even less so with poor braking technique).

The solution is quite simple in theory, but hard in practice.  Look where you want to go, and your chances of heading there are much better.  Spot the gravel, then move your eyes to the safe path of travel - that gravel isn't going anywhere, I promise.

Now, what's new to me and hopefully and eye-opener for you guys is that target fixation is also a problem when just riding normally as well.  Take a look at this little animation provided by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and see what I'm talking about.  I'm sure everyone is a little different and while the notes on the animation say the yellow dots disappear at "surprisingly slow speeds", I found that they'll even fade in and out when the animation is stopped.

Obviously we can see why this is a danger - we can't have things vanishing on us.  Seems mother nature built this feature in back in the caveman days and we've been slow to update to our current world.  Thankfully, the remedy is simple - keep your eyes moving.  Even blinking will make those dots come back.  Really, you should be scanning all of the time, anyway, so hopefully this solidifies that practice.

Something else to think about is this little dot-disappearing phenomenon is not unique to motorcyclists - that inattentive driver who may be zoned out and staring at the license plate of the car in front of him can suffer the same lapse in visual accuracy, and a motorcycle is not exactly a large target to conceal.  Be on the look out, anticipate the worst, always have an escape route and ride defensively.