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Thread: Crash Chronicles (Crashes and Near Misses)

  1. #61
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texpaul View Post
    Decelerating in a curve will force your bike to the outside of the curve (it's that physics thing again). It may seem counter intuitive but accelerating actually makes the bike lean in more (turn tighter). In other words you should have stayed on the gas or given it a little gas and it would have actually made getting back into your lane easier.
    I used to have a sticker on my RT windshield that said "If in doubt, dont" just to remind myself that the moments hesitation (actually doubt) you sometimes get before doing something is your brains way of warning you that you are close to the edge of your skill or comfort zone.
    I think you have it backwards. To quote Larry Grodsky ("Stayin' Safe," p. 169) "When asked to predict the path that a motorcycle will assume when gassed mid-corner, fewer than half of all riders correctly predict that the bike will straighten and run wide." Think about it: when the road straightens out after a curve, you open the throttle a bit and the bike stands up, or "runs wide," which is exactly what you want. I think the throttle is a fine way to "tune" your way through a curve once you are leaned over: starting to run a little wide - reduce the throttle; cutting in too soon - increase the throttle. Works great if the bike is in its power band, and for me, often easier than using a little rear brake or changing the lean angle.

    I think the previous poster did the RIGHT thing in slightly closing the throttle. What he probably did wrong was not counter-steering hard enough and maybe not looking where he wanted to go. The reason to not abruptly close the throttle or hammer the brakes when you are leaned over is that either will shift the weight forward which may cause your rear tire to slide out and low-side you.

    The OP we are commenting on figured out for himself how he could (and should) have avoided the situation. But we all make mistakes. Best to REALLY understand (and safely practice) these physics so, if we have to, we do the right thing.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  2. #62
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    Doug has is correct. If you nail the throttle without pressing harder to maintain the lean angle, the bike will tend to stand up, and thus go wide in a curve.

    The point of rolling on throttle smoothly through a turn is to stabilize the suspension (if you do it correctly you will feel the bike "squat" slightly and maintain a smooth line in the curve). The other reason is that when the bike rolls into a turn, as we know, the contact patch moves up the side of the tires. This gives the effect of having a smaller diameter wheel which means it needs to turn slightly faster to maintain the same speed. If you do nothing with the throttle and press into a turn, as you lean, the turn radius will tighten up because you are slowing down.

    All this is a bit of physics at play that a rider needs to be aware of, least it bite you at inappropriate times.

    Rider Safety Commercial :

    I would also suggest that all riders can benefit from taking refresher MSF (or other) courses from time to time to keep the skills where they should be, irrespective of age. Many of the skills required for riding are volatile unless practiced regularly. How many of you have done emergency quick stops for practice lately? How about swerves left and right ? Emergency quick stops in curves ? Even better ... How many of you with ABS systems have ever played with it to see what it does ? Do you know where the threshold braking point is, and where the ABS activates ? Want to learn how to corner safely ? Do a track day and see what your bike can actually do !

    At some point you will absolutely need these skills, and you need the muscle memory to do them correctly without thinking. Practice, practice, practice.

    If you really want to have some fun on a weekend, go find the new MSF Advanced Rider Course. That is a hoot, because you are riding real-world exercises at speed, unlike the Basic Rider Course or the old Advanced/Experience rider course, now called the Basic Rider Course II.

    Stay safe out there: You are invisible and everyone is out to kill you !
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by ka5ysy View Post
    Doug has is correct. If you nail the throttle without pressing harder to maintain the lean angle, the bike will tend to stand up, and thus go wide in a curve.

    The point of rolling on throttle smoothly through a turn is to stabilize the suspension (if you do it correctly you will feel the bike "squat" slightly and maintain a smooth line in the curve). The other reason is that when the bike rolls into a turn, as we know, the contact patch moves up the side of the tires. This gives the effect of having a smaller diameter wheel which means it needs to turn slightly faster to maintain the same speed. If you do nothing with the throttle and press into a turn, as you lean, the turn radius will tighten up because you are slowing down.

    All this is a bit of physics at play that a rider needs to be aware of, least it bite you at inappropriate times.

    Rider Safety Commercial :

    I would also suggest that all riders can benefit from taking refresher MSF (or other) courses from time to time to keep the skills where they should be, irrespective of age. Many of the skills required for riding are volatile unless practiced regularly. How many of you have done emergency quick stops for practice lately? How about swerves left and right ? Emergency quick stops in curves ? Even better ... How many of you with ABS systems have ever played with it to see what it does ? Do you know where the threshold braking point is, and where the ABS activates ? Want to learn how to corner safely ? Do a track day and see what your bike can actually do !

    At some point you will absolutely need these skills, and you need the muscle memory to do them correctly without thinking. Practice, practice, practice.

    If you really want to have some fun on a weekend, go find the new MSF Advanced Rider Course. That is a hoot, because you are riding real-world exercises at speed, unlike the Basic Rider Course or the old Advanced/Experience rider course, now called the Basic Rider Course II.

    Stay safe out there: You are invisible and everyone is out to kill you !
    agree with entire post... except the red. if you roll on gas correctly near start of turn, the bike doesn't squat down as much as it extends on its suspension, giving you both more compression capability and rebound/extension capability. the suspension gets "taut". off throttle coming into curve has bike settled down on suspension- and you will have little compression damping to work with, but bike is very willing to extend itself upwards, setting things up for a bit of that rocking horse feel in the corner.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  4. #64
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    The real intent of maintaining throttle (either steady throttle or rolling on throttle) is to maintain a steady loaded "attitude" of the bike, to get consistent steady loading at the tire contact patches, and to stabilize the suspension. Which all combines to make the bike smoother through the turn. I found years ago that the smoother I am on maintaining a steady loaded front/rear suspension while in the turns, the better feedback/feel I get from the bike, and I am quicker through the turns. Also it is much easier to adjust my line and lean angle.

    As soon as you change throttle significantly, up or down, it changes the loaded attitude of the suspension. Decreasing the throttle, or worse, chopping the throttle, can make the bike fall into the turn, or straighten up, depending on the bike (wheelbase, CG, bike loading, road camber/slope). On an older BMW without a Paralever rear swingarm the results can be dramatic, even to the point that the bike squats on the rear so much as to ground out the chassis and unload the rear tire. Not good, been there, done that. I learned on my 76 RS that the only way to be smooth through the turns was to be on the throttle and countersteering.

    If the bike you are on has absolutely neutral steering, throttle on/off in a turn has little effect. But there are very few bikes with neutral steering. You have to practice to find out how you bike reacts to throttle changes in mid-turn/lean, and then learn to compensate and adjust.

  5. #65
    Registered User dave39's Avatar
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    In regard to MSF, I did take an MSF course a few years back, but the one I took was just slow speed maneuvers on tiny 125cc bikes in a flat parking lot. There was nothing in the course to prepare me for approaching a sudden sharp turn at 70mph. It was a very good introductory course for newbies like me, but it did not prepare too well for higher speed riding in the mountains. All the discussion here is fascinating and enlightening. Thanks all.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave39 View Post
    In regard to MSF, I did take an MSF course a few years back, but the one I took was just slow speed maneuvers on tiny 125cc bikes in a flat parking lot. There was nothing in the course to prepare me for approaching a sudden sharp turn at 70mph. It was a very good introductory course for newbies like me, but it did not prepare too well for higher speed riding in the mountains. All the discussion here is fascinating and enlightening. Thanks all.
    I'm not quite sure that your post was intended to denigrate what the MSF BRC offers to beginning riders, but there is a time/cost constraint reality regarding what can, and cannot, be accomplished in such a class. It is not designed to make you an expert rider, it is designed to get you safely started on what will hopefully be a long life of riding motorcycles.
    there is only so much that can be done in a beginner course, that is designed to take someone who has never ridden at all to become familiar with how to operate a m/c, all within constraints of a 2 day class. so much more could be taught if the course was spread over multiple weeks, with opportunities for practice in between direct riding instruction. trying to give students "more" at that beginning phase would have been much like trying to stuff 10 lbs of bowling balls (or substance of your choice) into a sack designed to hold 5 lbs.

    and yes, you actually WERE given tools to manage riding at speed in the mountains. you were taught to "look where you want to go", to use an "outside-inside-outside" path of travel to negotiate curves, to approach curves with the tactic of "slow, look, press and roll", to anticipate sharp corners using the technique of "SEE", to not ride faster than you can see through a curve, etc.

    need more knowledge? ready for more advanced techniques and skills? take an additional class (or 2, or 3, etc.), but don't complain that a basic class of 20 hours or less did not prepare you for the entire gamut of situations that you would encounter. that's a bit like complaining that your Basic Algebra class did not teach you enough about The Calculus to be a real mathematician; without that Algebra class, you would not have had the foundations to even approach an understanding of higher level mathematics.

    ok, rant off.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  7. #67
    Registered User dave39's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    don't complain that a basic class of 20 hours or less did not prepare you for the entire gamut of situations that you would encounter. that's a bit like complaining that your Basic Algebra class did not teach you enough about The Calculus to be a real mathematician; without that Algebra class, you would not have had the foundations to even approach an understanding of higher level mathematics.

    ok, rant off.
    Sorry if I touched a nerve, not quite sure I understand the reaction, but just pointing out that the basic MSF training, which was proposed as a solution to such a situation, did not prepare me for that scenario. I pointed out that it was a very good intro course.

    Rant off

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave39 View Post
    Sorry if I touched a nerve, not quite sure I understand the reaction, but just pointing out that the basic MSF training, which was proposed as a solution to such a situation, did not prepare me for that scenario. I pointed out that it was a very good intro course.

    Rant off
    My contention was that the BRC class that you took DID teach you how to respond to the situation that you described. It just did not give you directed practice in doing that exact curve at those speeds.
    SEE, Outside-Inside-Outside, Slow-Look-Press-Roll, Look where you want to go, Setting appropriate entry speed for a corner (you did 2 exercises that emphasized that very concept), etc..... those things sound familiar?
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  9. #69
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    I agree, those ARE the techniques if applied make a good basis for learning cornering technique, but it's only the start, not the catch-all. Been teaching the BRC for many years, and I tell my student they are learning techniques at controlled slow speeds to learn the process, get a chance to "feel" what the bike does and understand at least the basics. But I always mention to my students its up to them to use the techniques, practice them and build on them for higher speed use. I emphasize that the "techniques" the MSF stresses, slow-look-press-roll, works at parking lot speeds and highway speeds, just that as the speeds come up, the actions and efforts also come up.

    Given the confines of a controlled environment where safety and learning are the two top priorities, its what we have to work with, especially with newbies. I could easily teach a 20 hour weekend class on cornering techniques alone.

    I strongly suggest you take the BRC-II class, or ERC, both of which is done on your own bike. Build those skills, then come back and take the ARC, or Lee Parks Total Control to further build your skills. Its a never ending process, but it is a step-by-step learning process.

  10. #70
    rsbeemer 22600's Avatar
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    In Taiwan

    OK, I had a quick stop fall over today. I'm not sure how I could have prevented it except not to be where I was at the time. You guys were all sleeping when this happened unless you work the graveyard shift.

    I go riding with a group of riders every Thursday morning , nature and weather permitting. We don't go when it's raining or right after an earthquake. We have them often here and the mountain roads usually have rocks and dirt at those time. After about a week they are mostly cleaned up.

    Anyway, I usually ride a 1150gs that belongs to a friend and he rides his Harley Road King. I don't own a licensed bike here as the 100% import tax puts them out of my reach. This morning his nephew from the states came along so he took him on the gs as there is only a single seat on the Harley. It's only the second time I rode the Harley as it's just too heavy for me and the center of gravity seems to be about two foot above my head. I do like it though and it is very cool to ride.

    The rides always go into the mountains and the roads are narrow and very twisty. Think of Stelvio Pass with trees , grass, vines and a usually a narrow concrete ditch on one side or the other. Today we ventured off that type of road onto a more narrow road or path. It was about four foot wide and paved and cut through the mountains for about 5 miles. It's a short cut and mostly just has scooter and pedestrian traffic. It was very steep and had switchbacks that you could only make in low gear. There was another Harley rider in front of me and my buddy following on the GS. I was staying back about 40 feet from the rider in front when he disappeared around this dog leg to the right. As I got to the turn I was in low gear; it was about a 7% grade at that point but also the road was slanted to the right at about a 7% grade. As I rounded the corner, I saw the Harley that was in front laying on its right side. I hit the brakes and stopped but I was going to the right, leaning to the right, so I fell to the right. Since the road wasn't flat at that point , I would have had to have a leg 6 ft long to touch the ground. Anyway, I tried to hold it up once my foot did hit the ground but it was just too heavy and so over I went. My buddy behind me on the GS did the same thing, came around the corner saw me laying there , hit the brake and fell to the right. His nephew came tumbling down on me. Luckily, no one was hurt and only skinned up the bikes a little with no broken parts.
    So, how could I have prevented this other than not being there ? It was no place for a Harley.

    As I sit here typing this I'm thinking that if I had been standing up on the floorboards that I might have been able to shift my weight to the left where I could touch ground. Does that seems right? There is a reason for standing on the pegs, even though I'm not a off the road guy.
    I think we were all very fortunate that it turned out so well.
    DW
    1978 R100rs MOA#22600 125cc Kymco
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

  11. #71
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    1) I wouldn't necessarily call that a "crash" as much as a fall over.
    2) you needed to get the bike straight up and down before coming to a stop, by straightening the bars and putting pressure on the outside/uphill/left footpeg to keep the bike vertical.
    3) you might not have been able to do #2, given the particulars of the situation.
    4) you are likely absolved from full and complete responsibility.
    5) next time, don't bring a knife to a gunfight. at least not unless you are quite comfortable with that particular knife.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  12. #72
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Sometimes when I stop for a traffic light, the bike wants to tip to the right. Since I'm using my right foot on the rear brake, I'll turn the handlebars to the right as I stop to force the bike to tip to the left, instead.

    Harry
    2003 R1150RT - Silver

  13. #73
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    Helmet, not speeding, just no place to go

    Motorcycle accident

    GENEVA TOWNSHIP ? Timothy Cowell, 55 of Grand Junction remained in critical condition Monday at Bronson Methodist Hospital after he collided early Saturday morning with a utility truck while riding his motorcycle. Cowell was westbound on County Road 388 on his Harley-Davidson at around 9 a.m. Saturday when a southbound 2008 GMC utility truck apparently pulled into his path after stopping at the intersection of County Road 681 North, according to Lt. Robert Kirk of the Van Buren County Sheriff?s Office. The driver of the truck was not injured. Cowell was wearing a helmet.
    Tom
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  14. #74
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    After stopping at the bank yesterday, I turn left from the driveway onto Main Street, typical of any small town in the US. There's a pickup truck ahead of me with a work trailer. It immediately pulls over to the right curb. Being suitably paranoid, I am suspicious. Instead of stopping, the front end of the pickup truck begins to swing out to the left, not having slowed or stopped. I immediately move left and come to a stop. The pickup truck begins a U-turn maneuver and then the driver sees me with my bike stopped, high-beam headlight, white helmet and hi-viz Airflow jacket. He was 2/3rds across my lane before he stops and graciously waves me to proceed.

    Lesson learned: paranoia is the correct emotion while driving a motorcycle, especially in town, and definitely any time someone pulls over to the side of the road.

    Harry
    2003 R1150RT - Silver

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsuited View Post
    After stopping at the bank yesterday, I turn left from the driveway onto Main Street, typical of any small town in the US. There's a pickup truck ahead of me with a work trailer. It immediately pulls over to the right curb. Being suitably paranoid, I am suspicious. Instead of stopping, the front end of the pickup truck begins to swing out to the left, not having slowed or stopped. I immediately move left and come to a stop. The pickup truck begins a U-turn maneuver and then the driver sees me with my bike stopped, high-beam headlight, white helmet and hi-viz Airflow jacket. He was 2/3rds across my lane before he stops and graciously waves me to proceed.

    Lesson learned: paranoia is the correct emotion while driving a motorcycle, especially in town, and definitely any time someone pulls over to the side of the road.

    Harry
    Harry- real nice job on using your SA- situational awareness- skills, and accurately predicting what dimwit was about to do.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

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