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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,

I am thinking about taking an advanced course for riding, even though I've been riding for years. I don't need advice on whether or not this is a good idea, as I know it is.

What I was thinking is it might be interesting and advantageous for future (or current for that matter) readers to hear your greatest war stories of crashing, dumping, or otherwise not being right side up on your bike. What were the circumstances? how did it happen? how fast? What went wrong? Was recovery hard? What could you have done different? What do you do different now?

This sort of serves two purposes. Firstly, it makes for compelling reading, because everyone loves a dramatic story (why else does the other side of the freeway stop when there is a car rolled over?) Also, I've noticed a lot of "hey guys, brand new rider here" lately, not to mention everyone gets complacent after a while. Many people are just starting to get out there this time of year, and a few reminders is never a bad thing. Plus, who doesn't love throwing their hat in the ring when they have a "war story".

Just my preference, but I personally would rather not hear the stories about the nephew or buddy who died and left behind 4 kids, mostly because it's really sad, but it's also difficult to learn from those mistakes as we don't really know exactly what went wrong because we weren't personally the one who was in the drivers seat, but hey, I don't own your keyboards. Maybe this is a dumb idea (I've had them before), but it might make for interesting, and maybe even educational reading. I think most of us are always up for a good story. Obviously, I don't intend for this to be restricted to incidences that occurred only on CX/GL's.
 
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Discussion Starter #2
By the way, if I had one to share I certainly would have kicked this party off. Fortunately, the only thing I have to share is missing a driveway on a mountain, coming to a complete stop (going UP the mountain road) and trying to turn around by "walking" the 800 or so lb Suzuki Intruder 1500 in a half circle on a road that was at least 35, and maybe even 45 degrees bank. Lucky enough to jump off before crushing the old legs. Luckily, and strangely enough, I had just watched this video like 5 days before. How crazy is that?


And it actually wasn't too hard.
 

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God I wish my bikes crash bars would keep it almost upright like that lol. Mine wants to just roll over onto the handle bars. Although it has saved my leg from being pinned about a month ago. I was taking the girlfriend to work a day or 2 after the last little spit of snow and there was still some sand on the road ways. I was paying extra attention to this especially with the GF on back. Made it all the way to her job without a incident and then as I pull into her parking lot to drop her off. I pull into a spot and as I was coming to a stop I put my foot down to hold the bike and whoop there it is and down we go. I set my foot on the stripe which was camouflaging some sand to. My foot slid right out from under us and we went down before I could get my foot back under me. Neither of us were hurt but my pride was but definitely live and learn. Even a veteran rider can make mistakes but I'm still a noob with only a year of riding under my belt. Figured I'd get this party started because this is a very good subject for all. I've seen this kind of thread on other forums and it was a great idea.
 

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I like this idea! A lot can be learned from others mistakes. My story: 17 years old and bulletproof....

Had just exited the highway and was on the feeder/frontage/access road coming up to a light for a road that went under the highway.
Speed: ~45mph
Pavement: Dry cement
Bike: 99 YZF R6, brand newish tires.
Street riding experience at the time: ~10 months
Was slowing down for the red light and was roughly 80 yds from the intersection when it turned green so I got back on it. About that same time a lady in an Explorer blatantly blew through the light. Nailed my brakes, realized that wasnt gonna be enough, laid it down, and rode it. Back tire of my bike hit the back wheel of the explorer and flat spun into oblivion. I slid up to the suv shortly after. Was wearing jeans, armored jacket, gloves, and a full face. Got got super lucky and nothing was broken, just some mild road rash, soreness, and bruising.

Don't know much of what I could have done differently, other than ALWAYS check your intersections better than I did. Quick glances don't end well... Any input is also appreciated.

-Brad
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I like this idea! A lot can be learned from others mistakes. My story: 17 years old and bulletproof....

Had just exited the highway and was on the feeder/frontage/access road coming up to a light for a road that went under the highway.
Speed: ~45mph
Pavement: Dry cement
Bike: 99 YZF R6, brand newish tires.
Street riding experience at the time: ~10 months
Was slowing down for the red light and was roughly 80 yds from the intersection when it turned green so I got back on it. About that same time a lady in an Explorer blatantly blew through the light. Nailed my brakes, realized that wasnt gonna be enough, laid it down, and rode it. Back tire of my bike hit the back wheel of the explorer and flat spun into oblivion. I slid up to the suv shortly after. Was wearing jeans, armored jacket, gloves, and a full face. Got got super lucky and nothing was broken, just some mild road rash, soreness, and bruising.

Don't know much of what I could have done differently, other than ALWAYS check your intersections better than I did. Quick glances don't end well... Any input is also appreciated.

-Brad
Crazy man. What did the lady have to say for herself? And did the bike get totalled?
 

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I luckily have only had minor bouts with gravity.. once on my second day of riding where I killed the motor and let it lean just
a little to far and down I went and the other I was doing a really tight turn and just well oops..

My step dad has the best one so far.. he went and bought a V Strom cash out brand new off the lot. they told him he should
come back in a day or two when it was dryer since it had new tires.. He declined and said "Im fine I ride in the rain daily"
He made it 2 blocks down the road and on the turn it slid out from under him. He WALKED it back to where he bought it and
left it there for repairs.. to this day its the only wreck hes had.. Funny though lol
 

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God I wish my bikes crash bars would keep it almost upright like that lol. Mine wants to just roll over onto the handle bars. Although it has saved my leg from being pinned about a month ago. I was taking the girlfriend to work a day or 2 after the last little spit of snow and there was still some sand on the road ways. I was paying extra attention to this especially with the GF on back. Made it all the way to her job without a incident and then as I pull into her parking lot to drop her off. I pull into a spot and as I was coming to a stop I put my foot down to hold the bike and whoop there it is and down we go. I set my foot on the stripe which was camouflaging some sand to. My foot slid right out from under us and we went down before I could get my foot back under me. Neither of us were hurt but my pride was but definitely live and learn. Even a veteran rider can make mistakes but I'm still a noob with only a year of riding under my belt. Figured I'd get this party started because this is a very good subject for all. I've seen this kind of thread on other forums and it was a great idea.
Ive almost done that a few times.. Worst is when someone radiator throws up all over the lane and you put your foot down..
Its like ice!
 

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Crazy man. What did the lady have to say for herself? And did the bike get totalled?
Bike was done like dinner. Loved that bike too. I'm just too old for pure sport bikes now.

Didnt really interact with the lady much. Several people around me and I was in a mild state of shock. Dont really remember
 

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I like this idea! A lot can be learned from others mistakes. My story: 17 years old and bulletproof....

Had just exited the highway and was on the feeder/frontage/access road coming up to a light for a road that went under the highway.
Speed: ~45mph
Pavement: Dry cement
Bike: 99 YZF R6, brand newish tires.
Street riding experience at the time: ~10 months
Was slowing down for the red light and was roughly 80 yds from the intersection when it turned green so I got back on it. About that same time a lady in an Explorer blatantly blew through the light. Nailed my brakes, realized that wasnt gonna be enough, laid it down, and rode it. Back tire of my bike hit the back wheel of the explorer and flat spun into oblivion. I slid up to the suv shortly after. Was wearing jeans, armored jacket, gloves, and a full face. Got got super lucky and nothing was broken, just some mild road rash, soreness, and bruising.

Don't know much of what I could have done differently, other than ALWAYS check your intersections better than I did. Quick glances don't end well... Any input is also appreciated.

-Brad
Hi Brad,

I hope you don't mean you dropped the bike on purpose. A motorcycle will always slow down faster on the tires than on it's side. A R6 will stop from 45 mph faster than you can make a conscious decision to "lay 'er down" let alone make it happen.
 

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No it was on purpose. In retrospect it may not have been the best idea. I was always taught that if you have to bail to commit to it because the last thing you want is to wind up between the momentum of the bike and something hard. If you dont feel you can stop put some distance between it.

Honest question... is this wrong?
 

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No it was on purpose. In retrospect it may not have been the best idea. I was always taught that if you have to bail to commit to it because the last thing you want is to wind up between the momentum of the bike and something hard. If you dont feel you can stop put some distance between it.

Honest question... is this wrong?
Everything I've read indicates that you need to stay upright and continue braking. There's a lot of good reading out there regarding safety and street tactics. I've read two of David Hough's books and I reccomend them highly.

I've not yet dropped a bike on the street (almost did last weekend though) but I did have a pretty good one off-road on my DT 125. Tried to do a double on it and landed a bit off. A modern motocross bike would have taken it stride, but the DT with it's 4" of suspension just augered in and I landed knee first on the ground. Ended up with a lot of nerve damage on the skin of the kneecap that lasted for about a year. Lucky that was it. Bent the forks too.

Although I stayed upright in my "incident" last weekend, I will share it here as it was only dumb luck that kept me upright. I was on my CBR250 on a hilly twisty back road. Not going fast as its really tight. I was coming up to my turn on the left. Just beyond this intersection is a sharp downhill. It is really steep, as in in my car it is hard to see over it as you go up and you try to sit up a bit to see over it. I had checked left to see my line, then looked forward again just as I began leaning in. Just then a small tan car popped over the hill. Somehow I missed seeing it. Instinct had me standingthe bike up and braking. I only had two fingers on the lever but the brakes are much more ppowerful than my Gl500 and I flopped about a lot with the sudden weight transfer to my arms and on the bars. I was only doing about 15 mph so other than looking stupid and wobbling about, I got the bike back in my lane, stopped and still able to make my turn after the car passed.

My mistake was knowing how steep the rise was and that visibility would be bad for both directions but just did not look carefully enough. In that situation, I should have waited until I got closer to the top of the hill before committing. This would have given me a fuller view down the hill. As it was all I would have seen was the roof, and my quick glance missed the drab color that was blending in with the background.
 

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No it was on purpose. In retrospect it may not have been the best idea. I was always taught that if you have to bail to commit to it because the last thing you want is to wind up between the momentum of the bike and something hard. If you dont feel you can stop put some distance between it.

Honest question... is this wrong?
My feeling on this is if the breaking was sufficient to avoid a crash then you should have stayed on. However if it was not then an exit was probably a good idea. Hitting a car is a really bad idea with serious injury very likely. The only judge was you and i think you made the right choice.
 

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practicing emergency braking can make a huge difference when it counts.
 

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EMERGENCY BRAKING!!! Lol man I've had tons of that experience. Amazingly most in just this small town... Heck just today some little old lady prolly 90 barely able to look over the steering wheel to. Then there she goes from the 2 oncoming lanes from the left lane across the turning lane to make a left into a side street about 2 car lengths in front of me in 35mph. My first reaction is always clutch,squeeze front brake,rear brake at the same time and using the g's of deceleration to slide up the seat to the end of the tank to be in a more upright position to gain more control. This has paid off in spades and again today. Luckily I was riding my little brothers girlfriends bike a 93 gsxr600 so it performed a lot better than I would've expected the GL to. I was able to swing around the back of her just by a foot. Close call again.. Lol it's a daily battle just to keep it rubber side down for us 2 wheelers.
 

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I ain't talking!
 

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In case you didn't notice, Phil's not talking.

I did the dumb layover in the driveway not moving......there, I said it. Poisoned my day.
 

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My feeling on this is if the breaking was sufficient to avoid a crash then you should have stayed on. However if it was not then an exit was probably a good idea. Hitting a car is a really bad idea with serious injury very likely. The only judge was you and i think you made the right choice.
The problem is any modern bike can stop faster than you can consciously decide you won't make it. If you have time to calculate your rate of deceleration vs distance remaining you could have already stopped. This is what I've been told and I am following that.

As far as exiting the bike to avoid impact it does not work as the brakes decelerate you much more than sliding on the ground. You'll just hit the object even harder.

Now swerving around the object can work, just be careful you are not training yourself to swerve without consideration of what is in the new path. Better to hit a SUV at 20 mph than to reflexively swerve into the oncoming lane with a semi doing 60 !!!
 

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Alright - my "best" wreck.

1982, I was stationed aboard the USS Koelsch, in Mayport, Florida. The ship was transferred to drydock in Brooklyn. A lot of us had bikes, and the Old Man decided that if we would abide by some rules, he was willing to load the bikes aboard for the trip north. Every bike came aboard with an empty tank, the gas tanks were opened up and hosed out with CO2, and the bikes were all cinched down to the hangar bay deck by the boatswains. Once tied in place, the hangar bay door was locked down, and no one was allowed back into the hangar bay.

Naturally, In Brooklyn, someone had to go out, and fill a couple of five gallon cans with gasoline, and a quart or so was dispensed to each machine after it was rolled down the gangway.

And, just as naturally, everyone's first destination was the nearest gas station, little more than a mile away.

Got mine running in those last minutes of dusk, when it was actually beginning to be dark. Out the gate I went, following directions - left, take the second right, watch for a crazy 5-way intersection, bear to the right, and you'll see the gas station ahead on the right. I got to the 5-way, and my traffic light showed green, but I eased way back on the throttle - no one had mentioned the trolley car tracks running right through the intersection. Three pairs of tracks, none of them parallel! Study the tracks, look at the traffic light to be sure it's still green, and I'm just kinda coasting along - glance left for traffic, glance right - and there's a POLICE CAR RUNNING THE RED LIGHT!!!

I still don't know exactly what each wheel did, but I got on the brakes, I crossed a track, and the rear of the bike slid out from under me. The only thought that I had time for was "Hope I don't slide in front of that idiot!" I clung tight to the bike, and rode it out alright, sliding to a stop right behind the cop.

Damned cop didn't even stop!! He just continued accelerating away, no lights, no siren, no backward glance - NOTHING!

Luckily, the traffic all stopped, three guys got out of their cars, and helped me to push my bike out of the intersection. The bike wasn't hurt, my most serious injury was my bruised ego, so after I shook off the shakes, I just motored on down to the gas station.

Oh yeah - WELCOME TO NEW YORK!!
 

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I've been lucky so far, in 6 years I've only had 2 really close calls. The first was on a twisty back road, going around a blind uphill corner a guy in a vann coming the other way clipped the corner too close. If I'd been riding the center line I'd be dead or severely injured as we were both going at least 40. It would have technically been his fault but that wouldn't have done me much good. As it was I leaned it over far enough to avoid the van but over corrected and ran off onto the shoulder. The rear fish tailed and then I was back on the road going straight, takes longer to describe than actual time. I'll never ride the center line again, especially around a corner.


The second REALLY scared me but probably wouldn't have damaged me as much as what I just described. I was on the interstate going maybe 75, I'd just left work at the end of a long day and just wanted to go home. I was coming up to an overpass/interchange with another busy interstate so lots of traffic and people getting off and on the 2 highways. I usually slow down a lot at this interchange but today wasnt thinking or looking ahead and was following too closely. The SUV in front of me suddenly hit the brakes hard, I hit mine hard and the car behind me hit theirs hard enough to make the tires squeal. My rear locked up and I just remember thinking I was going to slam into the back of the SUV or slam I to the side of the overpass. When we all managed to stop I was maybe a couple feet from the front car and the person behind me was nearly touching me. All the drama could have been avoided if I'd just kept more distance between me and the SUV in front.
 
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