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Thread: Don't Drop the Bike

  1. #16
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Getting the details

    It finally occurred to me why there were not more responses to the question "what stupid thing did you do to drop the bike?" It's one thing to admit that you have had to pick up your bike after doing something truly dumb. It's something else to describe in detail that dumb thing for all the world to read. But that detail is EXACTLY what people need to read to avoid doing the same thing themself.

    My suggestion is that someone(s) who is widely known and trusted (and I know I am not - I've probably never met any of the posters personally, and my number of posts is a small percentage of many) VOLUNTEER TO FORWARD ANY PM'S MARKED "DON'T DROP THE BIKE" TO THIS FORUM.

    So, we need the volunteers offering this service. We probably need one to tell us how to send a PM (personal message) and the assurance that the PM will be sent on to this thread as a quote with NO identification attached.

    I hope my intent is clear - lots more information about this topic without personal embarrassment to anyone. Your better ideas are most welcome.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  2. #17
    I'm from M.A.R.S. From MARS's Avatar
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    BC, I'm probably as close to an "expert" on low-speed drops as anyone as I've dropped a K75C, K12RS, R100GSPD, F650GS, and R100R. You want details? Okay, here goes.

    First off, at 5'7"/30"inseam/140lbs, I'm a little guy, but wiry and pretty fit. My size accounts for most of my drops since any loss of bike balance is amplified by the lack of counter-balancing bodyweight and leg length leverage.

    The K75C was a fairly tall, top-heavy bike; especially since 90% of the time, I had my 110lb wife riding pillion and full bags. The most memorable drop came when we pulled off a paved road onto a gravel driveway. We were riding outside of our area and didn't know that, where we were, it had rained the day before. Almost as soon as the front tire came off the pavement, the dry-looking rocks gave way to an inch of soft mud. The front tire slid out; we went down. It happened so fast, my leg was trapped under the bike, and the exhaust burned a hole in my riding suit. Ouch! From that drop, I learned to look for tale-tale signs of soil conditions before leaving the pavement.

    The K12RS was dropped several times. Most were in the usual places like unpaved parking lots, wet grass, etc. and I think a lot of those were caused by my fear of dropping the bike; I was hesitant to apply throttle for fear of spinning out the rear tire. So instead of over-reacting, I under-reacted. One of the other drops took place when I had parked on a slight incline and the bike was not leaning as far as usual. My right pants cuff caught the footpeg as I climbed on. The most enlightening drop of the K12 came down in Texas. It was really windy with gust to 50mph. As I was pulling out of a rest area across a paved parking lot with a little gravel on it, a gust of wind hit me from the right side. When I leaned into it, the rear slid out. I learned that leaning is leaning and should be avoided when on reduced traction surfaces.

    The R100GSPD, which I rode off pavement quite a bit, provided numerous learning experiences. Most were associated with reduced traction of either the tires or my foot (there was no way for me to get two feet flat on the ground) A little mud or cow manure on the bottom of my boot, get a little off balance, and down we would go. Some had to do with putting the sidestand down when there wasn't enough clearance for the stand to extend without leaning the bike to the right. Once, again down in Texas, I thought my right foot was stepping down onto solid ground, but the grass was covering a slight depression; it doesn't take much extra lean to get overpowered by the weight of the bike. I learned that R-bikes are easier to right than K-bikes.

    The F650 was only dropped once, and I wasn't even on it. I had it on the centerstand giving it a bath. The attention to detail I was putting into the washing clouded my perception of how much water was soaking into the ground. A little extra pressure on the right side resulted in the bike laying over. I learned to put a piece of plywood under the center stand before soaking the ground.

    Now I have the R100R. It was dropped on the ride home. I had stopped on a backroad in AR being careful to park on a fairly flat surface with plenty of clearance to extend the sidestand and making sure there was no mud or manure to step in. There were small (1")rocks, but all in all, a pretty secure parking place. The pant legs on the riding suit were velcroed tight against my boot, and I could get both feet flat on the ground. After my break, I climbed on, started the bike, lifted the bike to raise the sidestand, and then went to plug in the heated gear. Being it was a new-to-me bike, I was leaning over to find the accessory outlet when my right foot slipped. I applied all the lessons I have learned: let the bike down as easy as I can without hurting myself, immediately hit the kill switch since the engine will be starved for oil, turn off the key switch, turn off the petcocks since fuel is draining out of the carbs, examine the situation, formulate a plan of attack, right the bike using the back-to-bike method, inspect the bike, and take a few minutes to regroup before riding off.

    Anytime we operate a two-wheeled vehicle, there is the chance it will end up on it's side. I have learned to apply a philosophy an old sailor taught me many years ago: "Its not that you FU, because everybody does eventually, its how you handle your FU's that counts!"

    Detailed enough?
    Tom
    "Everything is something."
    '88 K75C, '03 K12RS, '93 R100GSPD '02 F650GS (all gone, but not forgotten)
    '93 R100R
    http://frommars.smugmug.com/

  3. #18
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    My drops

    In the past two years since re-entering motorcycling, I have dropped the bike twice. The first time was when I was coming down a partially rutted cemetery road and a guy on a riding lawn mower started to turn out in front of me. I avoided him and continued down the road thinking that he was now fully aware of my presence. He actually pulled ahead of me after that. I was going probably a couple miles per hour and he was going faster than me. As I got to the blacktop he turned into my path again and this time I went down when I braked. His actions were clearly the proximate cause of my drop. I had friends who calmed me down and helped me right my bike.

    The second time was just recently when I backed my 1150GS out of the garage with a full tank of gas. The garage slab is a foot higher than the driveway so I placed three 2 by 10s together for a ramp. As I was backing down the ramp I slowed myself down with the front brake and placed my feet down on the ramp only to have my left slip off the wet plank and onto the ground 8 inches below. The bike angle passed the angle of no return and we went down with me being able to cushion the drop with shear strength.

    As noted by others, I was so ripped at myself that I immediately tried to pick up the bike. The first attempt failed primarily because I just grabbed the bike while facing it and attempted to make upright a GS with a full tank of gas. Next I attempted to upright it the right way while having my back to the bike with one hand on the handle bar and one on the bar at the rear of the bike.

    I successfully got the bike upright with no real damage to the bike. I on the other hand, did some bodily damage to myself. Apparently, I strained a lot of muscles in the lifting process. Actually, I believe it was the second attempt to right the bike (the right way) when I was hurt. It is my belief and my RN wifeÔÇÖs belief that I actually fractured a rib on my back side from the straining.

    The lessons I learned from these two mishaps were to do more thinking beforehand when I attempt something where there is a clear chance of a mishap. Also, I came to the conclusion that I need to be in better physical shape and have now joined a gym where I concentrate on leg presses and lower back exercises. : )

  4. #19
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    My Drops

    I have a K100RS. I'm 5'9" and 120 lbs. I usually have some luggage.

    I've dropped the bike about half a dozen times. Mostly because I've been startled at low speeds and hit the brakes. The weight goes forward when the front wheel isn't straight, she tips and I can't get a foot down fast enough.

    I've been edge trapped once, low speed and the front wheel got against a seam in the pavement. If I'd been moving faster I'd have been fine.

    On a dirt road I was riding two-up, and had a bad line on the turn; I'd been trying to miss a large rock, cut around it to the left and was headed off the road, I put the wheel to the right and felt I was going too fast... tapped the front brake (habit, as David Hough says, took over), down we went.

    What I learned from that was to not use the front brake on that sort of traction. What I've done since is to remind myself to not use the front brake as a first resort when on dirt roads.

    Worst fall was a right turn. A woman decided to enter her left as I was entering my right.... it's a one lane road at that point. I stopped the bike, and she stopped the car. I had the right of way, and resumed; so did she. I should have opened the throttle and taken off, but I was worried I'd drift out of my lane.

    I tapped the brake, thinking I could let her through, but I was 1: too slow and 2: leaned over some. Down I went.

    To add insult to injury, as I was trying to right the bike (though not in a mad panic I was certainly feeling a bit rushed since I was in the road of a T-intersection) she came back to yell at me, "You were fine, if you'd just kept going you wouldn't have fallen down". Then she left.

    Oi.

  5. #20
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Again from the OP

    My thanks to Tom, Merlin III and Terry Karney. It takes real courage to post these kind of details - and they were exactly what I was asking for. If the revised article is ever published in the ON, many of your insights will be included - without attribution. I'd also like to extend a warm welcome to the last two posters; relative newcomers to the forum.

    It seems none of the better known posters on this topic have volunteered to receive and forward PM's, so if any of you wish to contribute information on this topic for a future ON article without "going public," you can send me a PM with my assurance of annonimity.

    The more I think about my own mistakes and those I've heard about or read about in this thread, the more I think most (but not all) "drops" are preventable. Absorbing and applying information may be the greatest safety "secret" of all. And we all have more to learn.

    Please do add to this pool of knowledge - either in a reply or a PM - with the sure knowledge that you will save some riders some grief.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  6. #21
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by BCKRIDER View Post
    My thanks to Tom, Merlin III and Terry Karney. It takes real courage to post these kind of details - and they were exactly what I was asking for. If the revised article is ever published in the ON, many of your insights will be included - without attribution. I'd also like to extend a warm welcome to the last two posters; relative newcomers to the forum.

    It seems none of the better known posters on this topic have volunteered to receive and forward PM's, so if any of you wish to contribute information on this topic for a future ON article without "going public," you can send me a PM with my assurance of annonimity.

    The more I think about my own mistakes and those I've heard about or read about in this thread, the more I think most (but not all) "drops" are preventable. Absorbing and applying information may be the greatest safety "secret" of all. And we all have more to learn.

    Please do add to this pool of knowledge - either in a reply or a PM - with the sure knowledge that you will save some riders some grief.
    An excellent idea for a future ON article! I've already sent my two (2) unfortunate (and preventable) moments of drama off to the OP.

    I hope many do likewise, so that he'll have lots of data to review before composing an article we'll all like to read.

    Thanks, BCKRIDER
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.)
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer,THE REF Staff)
    Iron Butt Association Member # 34281

  7. #22
    RK Ryder
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    I dropped my R1100RT twice. Once, in the garage, after adjusting the shifter and checking the shifts with the dash indicator, I simply dismounted. Unfortunately I wasn't on my K and the R requires the side stand up for the gear indicator to operate. As I stepped off, the bike gently rested on its cylinder head.

    Last fall, I when in a parking lot, I did my usual practice after putting the side stand down; I pulled the bike back before dismounting. That has worked in the past, but this time I was parked on a decent downhill slope. As I got off, the bike slowly rolled forward, the side stand retracted, bike shifted left and parked on the left cylinder head.

    I know and can use the walk your butt backwards against the bike to upright it, but, in the one case, I walked across the street and got a neighbour to give me a hand and in the parking lot, I flagged down a pickup with a couple of guys in it. I may have hurt my dignity, but why chance hurting something else when there is help available?
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  8. #23
    Bill the Cat geisterfahrer's Avatar
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    I've dropped every bike I've had since I started riding again a few years ago. Mostly they were manhandling the bike around the garage incidents. It took me a little practice to get used to rolling them around. No high speed getoffs, thank goodness.

    I dropped the R90/6, or rather, it dropped itself, this past fall. I had rolled the bike out in the driveway and parked it "downhill" on the sidestand. My drive is very nearly flat, so much so I thought nothing of which way the bike was pointing. I started the engine and let it idle while I went back in the garage to don my gear. As I was starting to put on my helmet, I hear a crash, and turned to see the bike on its left side. The vibration of idling was enough to roll the bike "downhill" and off its side stand

    The engine cut off before I could get to it, probably due to the left carb flooding out. I got her back upright, checked her over, and hit the starter button. She fired right back up, with a little hiccuping, and soon was purring as usual. I parked her perpendicular to the slope and finished putting my gear on. Aside from a small scuff on the left valve cover, there was no damage.

    Lesson learned.
    Kevin W.
    '76 R90/6 (wei?ƒe kuh)
    '11 G650GS (Bill the Cat)
    Der Weg ist das Ziel!

  9. #24
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Sending PM's (personal messages)

    Could someone PLEASE tell us all EXACTLY how to send a PM to a poster perhaps several posts back? I suspect the reason I have received only Greenwald's PM has much more to do with this general lack of understanding of the process of sending PM's than lack of interest or unwillingnes to trust me not to reveal identities in any future ON article.

    I am sure this information is available somewhere on the site. For many, finding it is just too much trouble, so they just don't do it.

    Your help would be greatly appreciated I think by many of us.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  10. #25
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCKRIDER View Post
    Could someone PLEASE tell us all EXACTLY how to send a PM to a poster perhaps several posts back?
    To send a PM to someone when you are reading one of their posts do this:
    • click on their user name; you'll get a pop up menu
    • from that menu click on "send a private message to ...". Your window will be replaced with one that looks something like that when you reply to a message. The user name of the user you are sending the PM to will already be filled in.
    • click in the title field and fill in a title. This is the subject of your PM.
    • click in the message box and write your message exactly as if you're writing a new post to the forum.
    • optional: hit the preview button to see what your message will look like.
    • hit the submit button to send the message

    Anything else?

  11. #26
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Thank you, marchyman

    I believe the ONLY THING you fellow computer semi-illiterates need to remember when you want to send a PM is to click on the "user name" - in my case, BCKRider.

    Everthing after that is crystal clear to anyone who has posted on a forum. I printed off marchyman's post before realizing that I (and you) only needed that first advice - click on the "user name."

    I am still solicitting information - either by posts to this forum or PM's - before I write a draft to the ON. Anything new is very valuable, even if was something you saw rather than did.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  12. #27
    Registered User rebake's Avatar
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    The only really unexpected drop i have had was like this.Riding an 83 suzuki gs750es into a closed gas station to take a break.Ran over one of the metal caps where the tanks are filled.It wasn't locked down and fipped up and jammed into my header pipe.I looked like the laugh-in guy for a moment.Luckily no injuries to me or the bike and a couple Harley guys that were there helped me pick it up.I haven't ran over a metal cover since. Ed

  13. #28
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    "4. ANDYVH, as a very experienced rider, I'm sure a tall saddle with your shorter legs is no problem at all. As an experienced rider coach, would you say the same about your students? It took me a few years before I could be sure the bike would tilt left, not right, when I came to a stop. So I think my comment about "flat feet" is appropriate, though "this does not neccessarily apply to experienced riders" perhaps should be added. Welcome your comments."

    Very true. It takes new riders, and many riders of "experience" to adapt to the left foot down first method. One thing I coach is to "lead out" with the left leg a bit early which shifts body wieght to the left and then the rider can adjust before the stop is actually made. With the left-leg-lead, the bike will lean in that direction. BUT! The bigger part of it is scanning the stop area before you get there, and keeping your vision forward WHILE making the stop. As many riders have a tendency to look down while stopping it makes the bike unstable, which is countered by both feet popping out. By keeping the head and eyes up, the bike remains stable and its very easy to get one foot down. I have been doing this for so long, quite often I can come to a full stop, and then place my left foot down. The visual control has that much influence. Your peripheral vision handles picking up the actual point stop and foot down, while you keep your head/eyes up.

  14. #29
    professor
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    There is just one risk factor you missed in your article - ride an LT.

    I haven't dropped mine yet in a couple of years of riding it, but I've sure come close. I love the way it handles once it gets rolling, but at very slow speeds, it can be tricky.

    I agree - your article is excellent and should be published. Voni said she might be able to help with pictures. If ON doesn't want it, there are lots of other good magazines that might. Rider is one of my favorites, but try again with ON and send it directly to Roger Wiles.

  15. #30
    Rocky Bow BMW Riders #197 bogthebasher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewmeister View Post
    What we need is deployable air bags on the side of the bikes that way they'd also float in water. Thats a different story.
    Oh come on! Now I gotta hear the story!
    Ken
    [2008 R1200RT (Biarritz Blue) - Mine]
    [2007 R1200RT (Sand Biege) - Hers]

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