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What would you do different in cycle wreck?


dharnie

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What would you do different in cycle wreck?

 

My boss called to check up on me to see how I was coming along. I told him that since my lay-down 4 weeks ago, I have had plenty of time to think & watch cycle mishaps on "you tube", watch safety equipment demos and read up on latest safety gear. He asked me, "What would you have done different?" . . . and I told him.

 

But I am interested to know, did you learn anything from your mishap and "What would you have done different?" . . . if you have had a lay-down, motorcycle mishap, accident, wreck.

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Well, this one I learned from my most dramatic wreck:

Don't trust a friend to help prep. your race bike, no matter how good a wrench :eek:!

This was some 40 years ago and, to this day, I still service/maintain all our vehicles. The few instances I HAD to take it to a dealer (warranty issues), I checked their work.

 

My main mantra is :

At all times, try to ride "ahead of the bike"....this is true on both the road the track. Part of this is to not exceed your own OR the bikes limitations.

 

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My last "lay down" (poorly worded*) wreck was about 17 years ago when I locked the brakes on a Kawasaki KZ1000-P to avoid a red light runner at an intersection. I learned to never enter an intersection without looking both ways first..even if the light is green. I also learned to threshold brake better. Not applicable with modern ABS of course.

My best advice is in my signature.

 

* Never intentionally "lay down" a perfectly functioning motorcycle to avoid a collision. The coefficient of friction with the road surface is far greater with tire contact as opposed to control lever/foot peg/handlebar/Tupperware/valve cover contact with the road surface.

 

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I had a tip-over in early August. I now realize I probably need to practice low speed manuvers more, expecially on uneven pavement. I should have hit the gas when I instead let myself come to a stop on a slope without footing on one side.... guess which side I leaned towards? I was tired, impatient and allowed myself to be distracted while trying to manuever a bike loaded with a passenger and luggage.

 

When faced with a steep hill on a narrow road with a sharp turn at the top of the hill, have a clear plan off attack and execute the turn even when your passenger says "why are you going that way?".

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Well.....I dumped my bike this morning on the way to work. I hit a little patch of black ice while leaving my development. I'm fine, my knee hurts a little but its just a little tender. Bike is fine except for a little scratch on the mirror and engine guard. I was only 4 blocks from the house when I went to pull out from a stop sign turning right. I think the front wheel clipped the ice, and the next thing I knew I was on my side.

 

What would have I done differently? I should have driven the truck this morning. I know the spot well, There is water/ice there all the time due to a dip in the pavement. I realize now that I saw the ice......I guess it just didn't register. I guess I was being lazy and it bit me. I was busy watching traffic when I should have been looking at road conditions.

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I got hit going to work several years ago. I was going straight through an intersection and a guy coming the other way in a car wasn't paying attention and turned left in front of me. The interesting thing was that he had an RT at home. He was very apologetic and acted humiliated that he had hit another motorcyclist.

 

Thus, I try not to ride in town. People just don't see motorcycles as readily as cars especially if they are in their morning "fog" or talking on their cell phone. I ride with my BMWMOA friends in rural areas. I figure that I reduce my risk of accident by at least half this way but still can enjoy the bike.

 

Not trying to be overly dramatic here but someone was looking over me - there was probably a reason the accident happened. A routine full body scan revealed a cancerous growth on my colon. They clipped it out and I am as good as new. If it had gone another year or two (there was no pain) I might have been toast! I'm now suggesting to everyone that will listen that they really need to get their colonoscopies! I know this is a subject us guys do not like to consider but you really need to do this! The first one should be when you are 50 and then every 5 years after that. Have you had yours? I'll now get down off my soapbox. Thanks for listening.

 

Gael

 

 

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My "fall" was due to [most likely] a new front tire on roads that were wet [slick] after the first rain in many weeks. I would of put miles on that tire before my ride instead of on the day of. Even though I was very careful, didn't slam on the brakes, was looking way down the road at the red light I had to stop for - I lost control and fell over.

 

I probably wouldn't of pussed out and called the ambulance. My ribs were hurting and I couldn't breathe [i got the wind knocked out of me]. Very expensive ride to the hospital [they didn't even turn on siern :P], hassel with the insurance company [they wanted my auto insurance pay some of the medical- MC insurance paid right away]. It all turned out for the best - lesson learned: It doesn't matter what you do, you can't fight against gravity :)

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Ouch.

2 lane road, high spot to go around?

4 lane road?

If not :dopeslap:.

Hope your kneeasles get better. :wave:

 

2 lane quiet neiborhood street that T's into a main 2 lane road. Here is a link to the intersection (HERE). I come down Locust St and make a right onto Cool Springs. The inside of the turn has a pretty ugly dip that collects water, leaves, ice, small children....etc. I usually hug the middle of the road and take the corner a little wide to avoid it. This morning I didn't. Result is a sore knee and a scuffed up mirror. Totaly my fault for not paying close enough attention to the details.

 

 

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I wish I had had my Motoport Cordura pants on at the time. Scrapes on my knees. Denim jeans are totally worthless when you go down on the street.

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In 2003 on the last day of a 44-day cross-Canada tour (and one day from home) my new Honda ST1300A went into a high speed tankslapper.

 

I totalled the bike but luckily walked away unscathed.

 

I did some research post-crash and found I handled the tankslapper incorrectly - when the tankslapper started, I intuitively gripped the handlebars harder trying to physically dampen the movement of the handlebars AND decelerated.

 

I now know that most expert riders (mostly racers) recommend LOOSENING one's grip on the handlebars and either holding the throttle constant or easing off the throttle very gently - things that are counter intuitive.

 

Tim

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30 years ago I was visiting my uncle, and having a few drinks. I left to go home on my 750 Honda. There as a sharp right turn at the bottom of a steep hill on a wet road. I grabbed too much front brake and slid down the wet road in my leathers and watched my bike slide hard into a curb.

 

The lesson is obvious.

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Lots of good advice already given. Each accident is a unique set of circumstances converging at a particular moment in a particular place, therefore hard from which to generalize.

 

That being said, ATGATT is the #1 generalization. I wrecked a bike and everywhere I was well protected I was unscathed and everywhere I was wearing just regular clothes (think jeans and fingerless gloves) I was injured. #2, as your post suggests, you accept responsibility for your choices. That's a big deal in my book. I am dismayed by how many people attribute bad things exclusively to the choices other people make. I believe until a person accepts responsibility for their own decisions, they see life through the eyes of a victim. #3 Replay (first in your mind and then on the same route with a car and a motorcycle) over and over again and IN SLOW MOTION, every choice you made leading up to the accident. Scrutinize your decisions until you have isolated the "wish I had..." issues" Then practice the better choice(s) over the same route on a bike over and over again. Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent that which is practiced.

 

Hope you heal up just fine and ride again with new competencies and confidence.

 

 

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What would I have done different?

1. Practice panic braking

2. Pay attention to the condition of my brakes

3. Practice braking some more

4. Look farther ahead. i.e. several cars ahead of me and not just the one directly in front of me.

5. Better not forget to mention to practice braking. :dopeslap:

 

I rear ended a pickup truck a couple of years ago on my Honda. There were 3 main factors that contributed to my NOT stopping in time.

a. The truck rear ended to truck in front of it, which allowed it to stop much faster than it normally can (and I was not looking ahead enough to notice that they were all stopping).

b. I hadn't realized that my brake line was spungy. In most cases I two finger the brake and the clutch. In my panic stop, I should have used all 4 fingers (mainly to get them out of the way), which would have allowed more braking ability.

c. My rear brake locked up and I ended up puting too much focus on regulating the rear brake and not focusing on the brakes that really stop you, the front.

 

The road surface was clean and dry, perfect for stopping fast. I just hadn't practiced.

 

In the end, I was virtually inscathed. A little bruised on the knees where they hit the handle bars on the way up and over. I landed on my feet right beside the truck with my arms leaning on the truck bed. Anyone that saw me would have thought I walked up to the truck and leaned on it with my arms folded accross my chest.

 

With help from this forum, I've become a much better rider.

 

Thanks to you all.

 

Ralph, in Oklahoma

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30 years ago I was visiting my uncle, and having a few drinks. I left to go home on my 750 Honda. There as a sharp right turn at the bottom of a steep hill on a wet road. I grabbed too much front brake and slid down the wet road in my leathers and watched my bike slide hard into a curb.

 

The lesson is obvious.

 

It sure is.

 

Front brakes are dangerous.

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30 years ago I was visiting my uncle, and having a few drinks. I left to go home on my 750 Honda. There as a sharp right turn at the bottom of a steep hill on a wet road. I grabbed too much front brake and slid down the wet road in my leathers and watched my bike slide hard into a curb.

 

The lesson is obvious.

 

It sure is.

 

Front brakes are dangerous.

Ummm. No.

The lesson is close your eyes. No one wants to see their bike trashed....

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If you find yourself sliding or rolling down the road, should you try to curl up in a ball or is it better to stick your arms and legs out and try to stop? Even if you had pre-planned, would you have the time or physical capability to to carry out the plan?

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If you find yourself sliding or rolling down the road, should you try to curl up in a ball or is it better to stick your arms and legs out and try to stop? Even if you had pre-planned, would you have the time or physical capability to to carry out the plan?

 

MotoGP riders keep their legs together and straight, with their hands clasped together and held against their chest to limit flail injuries. These guys crash a lot and the position has been learned form hundreds of get-offs.

 

BTW, I do not like the term 'lay-down', it implies you deliberately crashed the bike instead of riding it all the way. Bikes stop and steer much better with the rubber down.

 

The lessons I learned from my last crash was to think about the road conditions - I used too much throttle on a roundabout in Spain. At home there would have been no problem, in Spain however the road surface was polished and dusty, leaving very little grip.

 

Andy

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"It all turned out for the best - lesson learned: It doesn't matter what you do, you can't fight against gravity"

 

Well, you fight it your whole life; in the end, you lose by about 6 feet :/

 

Okay, so the lesson I learned from my "Slyding" (hense, the name) incident, witnessed by many on this board, is to make better choices on lane positioning while cornering. Sounds simple, and a lesson I had learned years ago cutting my riding teeth on Angeles Crest Highway in California. In this case, I got a bit complacent riding in a group and was more concerned with keeping group lane position versus riding my own ride. The Hill country road was prety darn slick, but had I positioned myself better for the left turn over the moss-infested-buffalo-snot-feeling surface, I would have made it through fine. Instead, as soon as I made the turn input to the handlebar, I was instantly transformed from rider to slyder watching my first RT slide away from me, over the bridge, off the side of the road, high side and land on her opposite side. Totaled my RT; walked away with a minor scrape on my left elbow where my jacket padding failed.

 

I have since fixed all this by moving to NW Florida. Since there are no curved roads here, the only turn I get to enjoy now is the one into my driveway:dopeslap:

 

Slyder

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Is the question what would we have done different to avoid the wreck in the first place, or what would we have done different after it occurred?

 

A number of good answers on the former already, to which relative to my most recent one I’ll add only the obvious – slow down more going in (to the curve).

 

I think the later interpretation of the question is a good one to though. My biggest do-over on that front would be – go to hospital regardless of how you feel or what the responders say.

 

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1) If you're leaned over too far at a gas station, moving 3mph, putting your foot down is unhelpful.

 

2) Wear a helmet. I high-sided a dirt bike many years ago and picked gravel out of my scalp for days.

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Great question and unfortunately I have serveral responses! While riding in CA this summer on a friend's guzi I was going too fast over a blind hill and didn't make the 180 degree turn at the bottom of the hill. Lesson learned..never outride your vision and knowledge of the road! BTW the bike was totaled I was bruised but not broken the gear did its job. Two months later riding on my new 12S a riding buddy rear ended me when I was almost stopped while making a right turn. Bike, gear and accessories were totaled, I was very bruised and fractured a rib. Lesson learned.. know who you are riding with, put the rookie in front where you can keep an eye on him and always watch your six even when a fellow rider is behind you! Last and not least while riding with a member of this board 2 weeks ago on a cool day on my replacement 12S we stopped for lunch and about 10 minutes later rolled into a left hander at about 35 mph and both wheels let go at the same time, low sided, I was not hurt gear again did the job except my damaged ego and pride! Minor damage to the bike I rode it home. Lesson learned.. tires were cold too much psi in tires and I didn't allow enough time after lunch for tires to warm up. Also crashing is expensive and can happen in a blink of an eye and to anyone and it takes the joy out of riding!

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