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"Laying it down"?


Woodie

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I've been reading a course book on assessing and treating motorcycle crash victims. Several times in the text, the manual referred to "Laying it Down" as one of four "types of crashes".

 

Head On, Angular (sideswipe), Laying the Bike Down, and Ejection.

 

I do NOT feel comfortable with that terminology, and would prefer to use something else. (Low-side, Intentional crash, stupid rider, f-up, ...)

 

What is the currently accepted (professional) terminology for "laying the bike down"?

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I've been reading a course book on assessing and treating motorcycle crash victims. Several times in the text, the manual referred to "Laying it Down" as one of four "types of crashes".

 

Head On, Angular (sideswipe), Laying the Bike Down, and Ejection.

 

I do NOT feel comfortable with that terminology, and would prefer to use something else. (Low-side, Intentional crash, stupid rider, f-up, ...)

 

What is the currently accepted (professional) terminology for "laying the bike down"?

Since the description does not necessarily imply the lay-down was on purpose, I would substitute "low side". Also for ejection I would substitute "high side"

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Sounds like generally odd terminology.

 

I wonder how often there "head on" without an "ejection"

 

I agree that "Laying the bike down" is a poor choice of wording. The term is so commonly used that it's a fair synonym for "Lost control of the bike".

 

Granted, there may be some stunt rider who will lay a bike down to scoot under a tractor-trailer (and maybe come up on the other side), but that's probably not statistically significant.

 

Maybe the term is used in the book because so many riders who do crash tell the investigator "I had to lay the bike down in order to avoid hitting the xxxxx"

 

Short of avoiding going over a cliff, it's likely that "laying a bike down" is not a good way to avoid much of anything. Keeping the bike on its tires and steerable certainly would be my choice.

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Rocket_Cowboy
What is the currently accepted (professional) terminology for "laying the bike down"?

 

My terminology ... "rider needs proper training"

 

Laying the bike down isn't a collison avoidance technique, yet so many riders think it's the right thing to do in some instances to "avoid" an accident. It's an intention crash, and not the same (IMO) as a legitimate low-side, high-side, etc.

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In describing types of crashes, "Rider needs proper training" isn't a proper replacement for "laying it down". Lots of very well-trained riders "low side" or "lay it down" when confronted with an unexpected loss of traction.

 

Consider the description of the crash in this thread

 

 

Last Wednesday, on my normal commute to work, I decided to avoid the main road works on the 'straight line' route, and took another more scenic trip. There is a roundabout on this route, which cambers the wrong way anyway, and which I normally take at about 40k/h for that reason, I noticed some shiny black stuff on the road about 1/3 the way round. Rolled off throttle, stood bike up straight heading for grass/gravel verge, probably doing about 20 k/h by this stage, but not slow enough. Bike falls away under me, hit ground, slide, many expletives. go to bike, on side in gravel, turned off ignition (funny, I thought they had auto cutout), try to pick it up, and notice there's something funny with my right shoulder (I later found out it was dislocated, and stayed that way for 5 hours before they could manipulate it back in - also slight fracture of the glenoid I think). A couple of truckies helped me pick the bike up.

 

While there is no question that the rider "laid it down" or "lowsided", I would certainly argue that from the description "rider needs more training" isn't particularly applicable.

 

I agree that if done intentionally to avoid a collision with an immovable object or if done accidentally by overbraking the rear wheel in a panic stop, "rider needs more training" is an appropriate description, but in the context of the OP, describing types of accidents "lowside" is a much more appropriate synonym.

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In describing types of crashes, "Rider needs proper training" isn't a proper replacement for "laying it down". Lots of very well-trained riders "low side" or "lay it down" when confronted with an unexpected loss of traction.

 

Davis--I think Charlie wrote what he did somewhat tongue-in-cheek. He was referring to those riders who maintain that "laying it down" is an effective crash avoidance technique, and suggesting that someone who believes that needs training. Right, Charlie?

 

Charlie . . . ?

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Rocket_Cowboy
While there is no question that the rider "laid it down" or "lowsided", I would certainly argue that from the description "rider needs more training" isn't particularly applicable.

 

Point of clarification ... the rider in the quoted accident didn't "lay it down" at all. He simply lowsided.

 

The two terms ("laying it down" and "lowside") aren't interchangeable, as one indicates a conscious decision by the rider to crash, where as the other is a type of reaction a bike will take as a result of loss of traction.

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Rocket_Cowboy
He was referring to those riders who maintain that "laying it down" is an effective crash avoidance technique, and suggesting that someone who believes that needs training. Right, Charlie?

 

Charlie . . . ?

 

Correct.

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I once had to intentially lay it down. AND I am using this term deliberately.

 

Senerio is as follows.

 

2 lane residential.

Cars parked on both sides.

I am heading north at 30 mph

Parked car to my right iimmediately becomes "unparked" and quickly juts out from it's parked status.

 

I have 2 choices. Ride into the drivers door and be ejected up and over or swerve to my left.

I went to the left, as I did this, there was a on coming car!

 

I layed it down on the bikes left side. The bike slid to a stop right under the on coming cars bumper. I was in the middle of the street just past the left turner and back from where the bike ended up.

 

I guess you can call it a low side but I intentioally layed it down.

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"Laying it down" was a valid action many-many years ago when you were riding on 3" wide tires that had very little traction in the wet, and you had almost no brakes. You probably had as much stopping power with your butt on the pavement than the tires on a wet road and sliding into a obstacle is usually better than hitting it head first. Also remember, in those times nobody wore helmets, except may be racers - and I wink.gif

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Calvin  (no socks)

Laying it down. Isn't that when you can't maintain an ejection?....... There is a pill for that....isn't there?

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Laying it down is so intertwined with a negative connotation of purposely crashing that I would never use that term. From my dirt bike days if you didn't low side, high side, flip or endo you had a “get off" which was a more nonspecific way to describe that you crashed.

 

And yes I know endo is the new term for stoppie with the street stunt riding crowd. I actually like the morph of this term as it seems that eventually a street stunt rider turns a stoppie into an endo thumbsup.gif

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I guess you can call it a low side but I intentioally layed it down.

 

Try it... you'll like it!

 

No thanks. I'll stick with maximum braking via hydraulically activated discs attached to fat rubber tires.

In the moment of crisis (that is, when crashing) we do what we think's best; so, I'll respect your decision but it's not mine.

 

Wooster

 

BTW, do you call the two horizontal plates which afix the front fork's down tubes to the steering head triple trees ?

 

Say Tony, Please forgive my holier than thou attitude. I wasn't there and you avoided being someone's hood ornament which is the main thing. Jon

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"laying it down" always brings back happy memories to me. One of the great joys to be had in mid winter in minnesota was my brothers and I riding our Yamaha 80cc around on the frozen slough on our farm. "laying it down" involved getting the motorcycle up to your own personal speed limit and sliding it full tilt on its side into a large snowbank. The experience of that giant "whoosh" of snow and the laughter of your brothers has to be experienced. I learned a tremendous amount about bike handling characteristice on that slough. Riding in the summer is far easier and even rain doesn't bother too much. clap.gif

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As noted years ago in the "Hurt Report", braking errors are a primary cause of crashes. Overbraking on the rear and sliding the bike into a lowside is of little use in avoiding a crash, with a few notable exceptions.

 

IMHO, a bike will stop in a shorter distance on the rubber tires than on steel, aluminum, or plastic. And, if you keep it on the rubber, you still have control over direction. Once you've dropped it, the bike does whatever it wants to.

 

Common braking errors include not using the front brakes aggressively, overcooking the rear brake, and snapping the throttle closed (see overcooking the rear). Let's note that a sliding tire has less traction than a rolling tire, so there is actually a penalty in sliding a tire in an attempt to stop quickly.

 

Personally, I don't subscribe to practicing "emergency" techniques, because in a pinch most humans resort to habits first, and think about it afterward. I do subscribe to practing "good" skills all the time, including such tactics as attacking twisty roads, smooth throttle/brake transitions, front braking in turns, and aggressive braking when sight distance closes up.

 

However, there are exceptions to the "keep it on the rubber" rule: As a cop once noted, if someone is shooting at you, it might be best to lay it down.

 

The same cop--who happened to be a police motor instructor, also mentioned that "laying it down" was taught in motor officer training, and there were a great many injuries during those practice sessions. IOW, dropping the bike on the low side isn't a simple maneuver that doesn't involve possible injury. The biggest hazard of a low side is the sudden high side flip that occurs if something happens to dig in.

 

I suspect that many riders who "lay it down" didn't do it on purpose. It's very likely they stomped on the rear brake, slid the bike sideways, let up on the pedal, and crashed. Afterwards, would we expect the rider to say the crash was a matter of low skill level?

 

pmdave

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ShovelStrokeEd

Personally, I don't subscribe to practicing "emergency" techniques, because in a pinch most humans resort to habits first, and think about it afterward.

 

OK, but if you practice "emergency" techniques, they will become the habit to which you resort in that pinch. That is the reason for the practice.

 

When you get to crunch time, you will not do what you habitually do, you will do what you have trained to do.

 

Considering the cogent content of the rest of your post, that sentence just glares out as a contradiction.

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OK, I'll admit to being a little tongue-in-cheek.

 

I used to practice and teach "emergency" maneuvers such as swerves, and quick stops. I no longer believe these are useful, because in a true emergency you'll resort to habits. The unconscious part of the brain will pull some habits out of the hat and send signals to the muscles.

 

If that's the case, then the only skills worth practicing are what you do on every ride. Roger Wiles put this in a very enlightening way in his "Mentoring A Novice" article in the February 2007 ON.

 

"Our instinctive reflexive reactions are nothing mroe or less than the physical 'muscle-memory' habits we've built..."

 

So, forget practicing "emergency swerves." Go out and ride twisty roads as aggressively as you feel comfortable. When you are faced with a need to "swerve" around something you'll just do it, and think about it afterward.

 

When it comes to maximum effort stops, I seldom practice quick stops from 20 - 0 or 30 - 0, but I do use the front brake for every stop and for every quick slowdown. One way to "practice" quick stops is to brake aggressively whenever sight distance closes up.

 

IOW, focus on doing things right, every time. For instance, always transition from throttle to front brake when slowing for a curve, even if you can easily slow the bike without using the brake. And follow a delayed-apex line through every corner, including those that you can see are not decreasing-radius or off-camber. DO brake on the front in curves and learn how to do that without sliding out.

 

pmdave

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ShovelStrokeEd

Yeah, I can see that. What I do find useful is practicing quick slow downs rather than stops. 50 or 60 to 30 and then a swerve. That, or dodging manhole covers or shadows or going fog line to yellow line and back again at speed on a straight section of road, using my body position to complement the directional change.

 

I don't have the luxury of having any twisty roads within reasonable distance so I have to make do. My favorite practice tracks are the perimeter roads around the shopping malls we have here. Hit 'em at 0600 or first light and you can usually get a couple of laps in before the shop owners and service trucks start showing up, or worse, the local LEOs. Only time I ever got "caught", I was working on low speed stuff in the parking area and not on the perimeter road. I was able to explain myself and they just asked me to leave before people started to show up.

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russell_bynum

So, forget practicing "emergency swerves." Go out and ride twisty roads as aggressively as you feel comfortable. When you are faced with a need to "swerve" around something you'll just do it, and think about it afterward.

 

coughTRACKDAYcough

 

grin.gif

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"Laying it down" = CRASHed

 

When a rider did not have the technical ability, foresight to recognise a hazard early enough to properly avoid it, anything but saying "I was stupid and crashed" or "I crashed due to my own fault".

 

Improper cornering, overuse of the rear brake etc...panic and dump "crash" the m/c in order to avoid a crash?!

 

My .02

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Yep. I think track days help prepare you for quick swerves in traffic. Cornering is cornering. A swerve is just two sharp corners in quick succession.

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Paul is right. In current police motorcycle operators courses they teach that : "laying it down" is forcing the crash ahead of when it should happen. The biggest killer in a crash is how much speed you have on impact with whatever you are about to hit. Stay upright, stay hard on the brakes properly and you'll still probably crash but at a much slower speed. The bike and you have less drag factor on the side. There is such a big difference hitting anything at 20 mph than at 10 or less.

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Paul is right. In current police motorcycle operators courses they teach that : "laying it down" is forcing the crash ahead of when it should happen. The biggest killer in a crash is how much speed you have on impact with whatever you are about to hit. Stay upright, stay hard on the brakes properly and you'll still probably crash but at a much slower speed. The bike and you have less drag factor on the side. There is such a big difference hitting anything at 20 mph than at 10 or less.

The force of impact isn't a linear thing as speed goes up. It is calculated using this formula:

 

E = (1/2) mass × speed2

 

that is speed squared, E is the energy at impact. So staying upright, on the bike, and scrubbing off as much speed as possible is always the way to go. Besides you might just weasel your away around the obstacle. thumbsup.gif

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So, forget practicing "emergency swerves." Go out and ride twisty roads as aggressively as you feel comfortable.

 

coughTRACKDAYcough

 

grin.gif

 

Well, track days will help build your cornering skills, but it might be advantageous to ride a series of corners that you haven't memorized.

 

pmdave

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