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Cylinders save legs


SnowDog

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Saved mine.

 

Riding home from work last Tuesday, doing 40MPH on the outskirts of town. It was dark, traffic was heavy as it was the commuting hour on a two lane road. I was the last in a line of cars. A car was stopped ahead in the opposite lane waiting to turn left onto a side street.

 

I didn't think too much about until "WHAM". My first thought after I realized something bad had happened was how I was going to position myself for the landing. I somehow landed on the bike, which is now sliding down the road on its side. I was nearly kissing the front fender with bars poking my chest. I fall off and slide on my butt into the stone curb and onto a lawn.

 

I got up and began to piece what happened together. I see a Hyundai, the car waiting to turn left, at an angle in the road stopped about 4 feet into my lane. The front left was decimated and the fender was pealed back beyond the front tire. I was thinking at that point, "Wow, my bike did that?!?" Then I see my bike on it side bleeding on the road. A quick inspection of the GS (once I got up, walked over and picked it up) showed my crash bar bent back about 5 inches and my valve cover fractured. Otherwise, not much else was obvious.

 

I made out well. I have a significant bruise where I hit the curb and a few muscle strains but will be fine.

 

Then I thought about what would have happened to my left foot/leg if that cylinder wasn’t there to take the impact. I shudder at the thought.

 

-Paul

 

PS: The bike ended up having a bit of frame damage but the motor starts and runs fine. I think it will be totaled though. :cry:

 

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Pretty crazy! yes, it could have ended another way.....glad it was no worse than that. The rest of the story? Police issue a tix? What was the reconstruction of the MVA?

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I think many of us have experienced that same scenario with either a similar result or a "near miss". What is surprising is that it was dark and a single headlight usually is sufficient to get noticed. They can't tell if it is a motorbike or a Mack truck with a headlight out.

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I think many of us have experienced that same scenario with either a similar result or a "near miss". What is surprising is that it was dark and a single headlight usually is sufficient to get noticed. They can't tell if it is a motorbike or a Mack truck with a headlight out.

 

The problem with bike headlights in the city, especially if wet, is that they merge into the background. They can get lost against the front of a car further behind, the mix in with the building lights. If I see a car waiting to turn I do a "weave" to separate me from the background. I also position myself, planning an evasive manoeuvre.

 

Andy

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.....glad it was no worse than that. The rest of the story? Police issue a tix? What was the reconstruction of the MVA?

 

Thanks for all the good thoughts all.

 

It was dry out. Just a nice warm November evening.

 

I have no idea why the young woman didn't notice me and pulled left right into me. She was a bit shaken and stated that she did understand why she didn't recognize me and proceeded to turn. She recalls seeing the headlight at the last second and was freaked when she realized it was a motorcyclist. She screwed up and felt bad. I felt no purpose in being angry at her. She is insured and I'll deal with that.

 

The most frustrating part of the accident was my cell phone got crushed. It was in my lower right jacket pocket. It made it annoyingly difficult to make arrangements to get to bike and myself home.

 

The car was stopped at about a 40 degree angle and about 4 feet across the yellow. She did get a summons. I assume for failure to yield. From what it appears, she missed my front tire and fork but drove at an angle square into my left cylinder and crash bar. I nearly went clear over the bars and this showed in the fact that both handlebar controls were rotated so that the mirrors were straight forward as opposed to being up. The bike was knocked off its wheels and onto its left side. The bike and I ricocheted of the car at about a 45 degree angle and slid about 25 feet.

 

I was ATGATT.

 

 

 

 

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Scooterbrained

Glad you walked away, Paul. Faired better than most with turn left in front encounters. A friend of mine nearly lost his leg. Multiple surgery and therapy. Walks again but will never be the same.

 

As Andy said, I do a weave towards the curb for more clearence just in case. Even if no turn lane but oncoming car is slowing down with no blinker I try to be suspicious.

 

Marty

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As Andy said, I do a weave towards the curb for more clearence just in case.

 

That is NOT what Andy said....

 

 

The problem with bike headlights in the city, especially if wet, is that they merge into the background. They can get lost against the front of a car further behind, the mix in with the building lights. If I see a car waiting to turn I do a "weave" to separate me from the background. I also position myself, planning an evasive manoeuvre.

 

Andy

 

This "weave" is to create side to side to side to side motion of your headlight so as to catch the eye of any motorist that otherwise may not see you.

 

Also note that....

I was the last in a line of cars. A car was stopped ahead in the opposite lane waiting to turn left onto a side street.

 

This means that Paul's headlight may not have been visible from afar to the left hander unless Paul was to the far left side of his lane.

 

Paul, Im pleased that you made out as well as you did but hope you will handle these situations differently in the future.

I speak (write) from experience having survived a cross street mishap in my early years of riding

 

I didn't think too much about until "WHAM".

 

Sounds suicidal to me. But I'm a sissy......

 

Stan

 

I think that Stan's point is that as a motorcyclist we have the responsibility to know that in certain situations we are difficult at best to be seen & must act accordingly.

We must be ever vigilant of just such scenarios as the one you found yourself in.

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Glad to hear that you are all right after this accident, it could have ended worse. Ask your insurence carrier about rites of salvage. I had an R100/7 that was totaled and I was able to buy it back for almost nothing and was able to buy the frame and forks to put it back together again.

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Got to love those horizontally-opposed cylinders.

 

One of my buddies lost his R1150 to a similar accident. Fortunately, his left leg was protected by the cylinder.

 

Although I ride other bikes, I realize that nothing on two wheels will provide the same "lateral protection" as a boxer.

 

Glad it worked out for you.

 

Bob

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I didn't think too much about until "WHAM".

 

Sounds suicidal to me. But I'm a sissy......

 

Stan

 

Very poor choice of words. Sorry.

 

Let me insert a much more detailed phrase in place of the reckless and ‘off the cuff’ statement:

 

So as I was about 5 car lengths behind the last car of a line of cars while rounding a gradual right hand bend (see attachment), I see a car waiting to turn left. Due to the bend, this car did not come into my visual range until the last car in the line was just passing the oncoming car that was stopped. Thinking back, I estimate given the speed and distance that from visual contact to the point where I was at the intersection and the car was a ‘little over a second’. I quickly evaluated to turning threat by looking the see if there was any perceptible move of the vehicle. I felt that this was the only information I was as it was dark and I could not see the driver or the position or movement of the front wheels. Given the appearance of the static nature of the car right after the last car in the line had passed I ‘did not think’ that the car was going to turn as most would proceed right after the last car in line. I was poised to react if that was going to be the case. The car did lurch forward and left only maybe 8 feet and about 4 feet into my lane right at the moment that I was about to pass by. By the time I perceived the movement I simple did not have time to react before impact. I think I started to lift my left foot to get it out of the way and started to reach for some brake but that impact happened and not my mind shifted gears to how I was going to brace myself for the fall.

 

 

Since the conversation seems to have shifted to analysis the ‘things I could have done’ and to the ‘quick’ judgments made above, I would like add a few comments:

 

1) Though I can be in a bad mood sometimes, I don’t think I am suicidal. Really, if you would get to know me, you may draw the same conclusion.

 

2) I do take riding and my safety seriously. I try to take as many steps to mitigate risks in this somewhat dangerous activity when I can.

 

3) I believe the amount of time between visual recognition of the stopped vehicle and the time of impact was too short to do any movement to announce my position. Subtracting my visual recognition time and her decision time to turn, I don’t think I could have executed more that a quarter of a weave. My PIAAs may have made difference if the were on but they blind the remaining oncoming traffic.

 

4) Staying to the right may have changed the impact point but would have reduced the visual contact time.

 

5) HINDSIGHT ALERT: In ruminating about the whole event, think only practical thing I could think of that made a difference would have been to leave a bigger gap between the last car in the line and myself, or be part of the pack. I could see the girl, who just got off work, tired, not thinking sharply in the dark conditions just visually fixating on the line of cars and not really looking down the road. The last car goes by and her tired brain just failed to register the unfamiliar shape of a single headlight and a jacket with reflective stripes in time. Besides, her visual time was less that mine as she was very much near the line in a low car and was masked by the oncoming line of cars.

 

-Paul

4091.jpg.63c475643932f99727b40bc67bacfe10.jpg

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3) I believe the amount of time between visual recognition of the stopped vehicle and the time of impact was too short to do any movement to announce my position. Subtracting my visual recognition time and her decision time to turn, I don’t think I could have executed more that a quarter of a weave. My PIAAs may have made difference if the were on but they blind the remaining oncoming traffic.

So glad you're basically alright, Paul but very sorry to hear about your bike. Thanks for the very interesting, thought provoking and generous post. One of the reasons Leslie and I have the amber Motolights mounted is just to avoid this sort of "confrontation".

 

They are:

 

1) amber so they contrast against the white headlight

2) 50W of brightness so they stand out fairly well

3) 12* spread so they point fairly straight down the road and less into the eyes of oncoming traffic

4) mounted down low and spread apart so they do not blend in with the single headlight

 

They have many advantages not the least of which is conspicuity. We can run them at night without getting flashed by oncoming traffic and I definitely notice a difference in "close calls" when riding in traffic. They also turn with the forks (helpful during low speed turning) and being mounted low tend to highlight irregularities in the road surface as they cause shadows to be highlighted. With the RT's fog lights and SignalMinder running light mod we look like freight trains coming down the road at night! :grin:

 

They're also awesome for clearing out the slow pokes in the #1 lane on the freeway or lane splitting here in CA! [insert pic of Moses doing that "parting of the Red Sea" move] :grin:

 

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[quote=SnowDog

Then I thought about what would have happened to my left foot/leg if that cylinder wasn’t there to take the impact.

 

One of the first major injury accidents I worked on as an adjuster was a motor cop on escort duty who got hit. Crash bar folded back on his lower leg and trapped it there between the bar and the engine case of the inline 4 for a bit (before a secondary impact - it was ugly)

 

It's something I like about the boxer design, the cylinders being out in front of my lower legs.

 

Glad you were relatively unhurt in this one.

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The EXACT same thing happened to me a few years ago.

 

I was even doing 40 mph, like you. A car turned left into my left cylinder (and my ankle, somewhat). You can see in the picture the black marks on my valve cover. The black marks are from her bumper cover (it was an older Toyota Celica if I remember correctly).

 

I wonder what shape I would have been in if I didn't have that wonderful Boxer engine to protect me. :wave:

 

1112081432bf6.jpg

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I'm glad you're OK! A similar situation happened to me three years ago but the driver swerved at the last second and went just barely behind my left side bag. It was at dusk and I had only my normal headlight with no fog lights or running lights. After that near miss I bought a headlight modulator and extra driving lights, which I mounted under the oil cooler. Since making those two modifications I haven't had anyone turn left in front of me over the past two years. The modulator really gets their attention in daylight and the extra driving lights catch their eyes at night---plus they light up the ditches.

 

I also weave side to side a little when I see someone that looks like they might try to turn in front of me. It seems to help.

 

Glad you are in good shape. It would be good to ask your insurance about salvage rights if they total the bike. You may be able to pick it up very cheap and fix it yourself.

 

Terry :Cool:

 

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I thought I would chime in about what I added to my R1150R after my accident...

 

-- Headlight modulator.

-- Hella FF50 driving lights on RCU brackets.

-- Brake! Brake light modulator.

-- Signal Minder (keeps the running lights on full-time)

-- Stebel dual tone airhorn.

-- Reflective material stuff (I forget what it's called) on the saddle bags.

-- Reflective material stuff on my helmet.

-- Bright yellow jacket.

 

I also ride much more defensively (similar to what others have described in this thread).

 

All of the above and I have had maybe 2 people cut me off in the past 3 years.

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All of the above and I have had maybe 2 people cut me off in the past 3 years.

 

Yep, thats the thing about trains with all those extra lights & such.....

 

Some pepole still don't see them & worse yet, some try to race them :eek:

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