Crash Chronicles (Crashes and Near Misses)
One of our members - Tim Bro - sent a PM to me suggesting that we consider a new subforum for crash reports, and advice on avoiding crashes. While an excellent idea - the moderator team is hesitant to create too many subforums since that tends to fragment information, making it less likely to be spotted by our members. We decided to try making a sticky in "Just Riding" - and see if there is enough interest and input to it that would justify making a subforum for this rather specific topic. So - this is that sticky thread.
Here is TimBro's description:
Motorcycling = FUN - Risk
Each of us use the above formula to define our motorcycling experiences. To maximize the fun, we take measures to reduce the risk, i.e. ATGATT, Experienced Rider Course, ABS equipped bikes etc.
Each of you also has a wealth of mental risk aversion knowledge accumulated over years of motorcycling that were formulated after crashing or experiencing a near miss on your motorcycle.
This sticky is designed to share the invaluable strategies members have learned from crashes or near misses. The overriding goal is to share a learned strategy with the group that can be assimilated and hopefully prevent other members from crashing and minimize the number of near misses.
If even one crash is prevented after learning from the mistakes/experiences of other members, this sticky will be well worth the time, effort and consideration you took to post.
It's all about looking out for our fellow members. [/quote]
Please join in this thread in the spirit that it was suggested and created in - helping other riders to improve their possibilities of avoiding road incidents! Negative, razzing or nagging postings will be summarily deleted - but I really don't expect we'll have any of those to concern ourselves with.
Enjoy! And safe riding! :thumb
2009 Crash in the round-a-bout (rotary)
I was picking up my serviced 1985 K100RT from my dealer in Monticello, MN when the service manager told me the same thing he had told me dozens of times before: "Be careful on that new front tire."
I nodded and thanked him with the sage look of a motorcycle veteran I thought I was. I started the bike and started the trip back home. Outside temperature was 40 degrees F and the roads were dry.
About a mile away from the dealership, I came upon the new roundabout that had just been installed the previous fall. This one was made of concrete; nice, smooth, new, concrete.
Traffic was light, and I love to blast through these roundabouts doing the weave to the right and back to the left. My speed was 25-30 MPH.
I made the weave to the right, on the asphault approach but when I made the weave to the left on concrete to set up my exit, my bike went down amazingly hard and fast on the left side. It happened so quick, I swore I had hit a patch of ice.
They say that it takes a healthy adult 3/4 of a second to react to a situation in front of them. The bike must have gone down much quicker than that because I did not have a chance to even ponder the thought of going down. Reflexes took over, I did a combat roll on my left shoulder and landed upright on my feet.
I then watched in slow-motion agony as the K100 slowly rotated 360 degrees on her left side and then crashed into the curb around the perimeter of the roundabout, fairing first.
The left side mirror popped off and the curb inflicted a 3 inch diameter bruise/crack on the fiberglass fairing. A passing motorist graciously stopped and helped me right the K100.
I then headed back to the dealership to drop off my bike to have them perform a post crash inspection and service.
What I did right: Due to the low ambient temperatures, I was wearing my First Gear Kilimanjaro jacket and pants, boots, full face helment and gloves. Injury was a sore shoulder that took a couple months for all the pain to go away.
What I did wrong: (Stupidity broken down into the following 3 points)
1. Totally forgetting that I had a new motorcycle tire on the front of my bike. New motorcycle tires are very slippery, (ride with care for first 100 miles).
2. Not exercising caution on cold motorcyle tires, also very slippery until they warm up, which will take a very long time on a 40 degree F day.
3. Riding too fast for conditions through a newly constructed, (very smooth surface) roundabout.
It is amazing in the weeks following that crash how alert and careful I was when riding. With that crash in my memory I was on "red alert" for the next month or so, continually analyzing potential threats and taking corrective actions. It was like I was experiencing a partial, continuous adrenalin rush each time I rode in the weeks following the crash.
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, crash memories fade over time and while I am still careful, most of the time, that adrenalin rush feeling is gone.
My hope is that I will not be experiencing that adrenalin rush while riding anytime soon.
'85 K100RT; '90 K75RT; '91 K75RT; 2005 R1200GS
Accident on Beartooth Pass
I was on my way to the 2008 national MOA rally in Gillette when my K75RS (lovely mod by the previous owner) bought the farm. If you don't know the road, it is over 100 miles long, narrow, twisty, but on this day abolutely free of potholes or gravel and with ONLY ONE passing. When I crested the hill and saw those two lanes approaching me I also had another lane appear to my right for a pull-off spot.
What got my attention though was the sight of another motorcycle rounding a curve in the passing lane (yes, it started on a curve) and his back tire sliding into my lane. What I did was aim for the right side of my lane, brake hard, and then glance back at the bike. His back tire swung back into his own lane, hooked up, and he came shooting into my lane. We had both slowed by then but the left cylinder of his GS was so close that, on a parallel course, the left cylinder of his GS hit my radiator before deflecting to the crash bar. We both went over on our right sides, bikes no more than 10 feet apart on the ground. Body damage was limited to a couple sprained fingers for him and sore leg for me that took months to quit hurting.
The actual cause of the accident was a thin layer of winter sand (almost invisible) which covered ONLY THE PASSING LANE. While the other guy's insurance thankfully covered most of my cost, there is no way I blame him for the accident. We shared a rental car ride to Montana and a motel room before we caught our flights home and had lots of time to to talk. An experienced rider with dirt bike experience, he held a steady throttle when his tire slid, countersteered, and would have been OK if his back tire hadn't contacted some bare pavement at exactly the wrong moment. Neither of us were speeding.
If it had been a motorhome rather than my bike approaching, he would be dead. The cop who finally responded to this call, hauled us into the nearest town, and arranged for the tow of our bikes was great. Then. When I tried numerous times to contact him by phone or email to find out who was responsible for the sand removal on this stretch of road - no response. I finally let it go. And prayed someone really did clean up this "accident waiting to happen again."
So what could I have done differently? Spent many hours asking myself that question. Hindsight tells me the only thing I could have done WORSE was braking a little harder in the same line. (Head-on collision.) Probably should have swerved to that new lane open to my right and then braked hard. If the original slideout became a lowside, I should have stopped before it. I've forgiven myself.
BTW, it was at least a half hour after we had hauled the bikes to the side of the road before I wondered if I had conked my head. Yep. Schuberth ruined. Head just fine.
RT Rider Trying to Become a Statistic...
I got the shock of the day today (5/7) when a guy riding an R1200RT (NY Plate ...no hard luggage), came zooming along lanesplitting on I-95 in Wellesley, MA. Heavy thunderstorm was underway at the time, plenty of lightning, thunder and a road covered with lots and lots of water and bumper-to-bumper traffic. He was between my pickup and a gigantic Wal-Mart Semi. Makes you wonder...