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-   -   Beware of car washes (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=843766)

jesse v 11-25-2012 12:59 PM

Beware of car washes
 
Last September, my wife and I took our bikes to the Black Hills. We towed our bikes--an SV1000 and an SV650--to her cousin's house in Rapid City, SD (free lodging!). Even after driving for 6 hours from Sioux Falls, SD, I was anxious to get out on the 2-wheelers. It was a perfect mid-seventies and sunny day.

Within the residential area where we were staying, there is a 90-degree corner with a car wash. The car wash was situated on a lot that is elevated above the road. Not thinking anything about it, I go around the 90-degree corner at a normal, casual pace, and WHOOOAAAA!.... I can feel the rear end slowly sliding out from under me... Like I was driving on ice.

Next thing I know, I'm on the ground and my bike is on it's left side sliding a few feet, with the wheel turned hard right. No injuries--not even a mark on my riding pants. But my SV1000's lower fairing was scratched, as well as a broken clutch lever, brake fluid reservoir, and a dent where my right handlebar switchbox hit the tank.

I passer-by stopped to help me pick up the bike, and he explained to me how he has dropped his Harley in that exact place TWICE. He explained that the car-wash runoff is to blame. it makes an invisible layer of soapy, sudsy evilness waiting to prey on motorcyclists.

Luckily I had an extra lever with me, and zip-ties for the brake fluid reservoir. (The reservoir's mounting point snapped off, but no spillage.) I can hear slow-going cars screeching around this corner as I'm replacing my lever.

The repairs:
http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f1...e/100_3676.jpg

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f1...e/100_3675.jpg

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f1...e/100_3674.jpg

I didn't let it ruin my weekend in the black hills. :D Still had a great time

Moral of the story is two-fold. First (obviously) is: Beware of car washes! But secondly, I can't help but wonder if I let me excitement for riding my motorcycle in the black hills get the better of me, possibly compromising my judgement. There's no way to know for sure, but perhaps if I would have taken a breather after that 6-hour drive, I would have recognized the potential danger of riding by a car wash.

In the future, I will definitely be more aware of my "excitement factor" and not let it get the better of me. I still blame the "black suds" though. :)

joef 11-25-2012 05:22 PM

We all learn from our mistakes and hindsight is 20/20, how would you have known about it? Point is you handled it well and did not let it ruin your weekend!

jesse v 11-25-2012 06:56 PM

:ricky

khager 11-25-2012 08:01 PM

Thanks for the tip. It never would have crossed my mind either. Sorry it happened, but I would rather learn from your mistakes than my own.:D

Fast1 11-25-2012 09:14 PM

Wonder if some of the run-off was mixed with the armor all people use on their tires?

I've noticed that stuff is like ice on the pavement around do-it-yourself car washes..

jesse v 11-26-2012 01:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by khager (Post 20117395)
Thanks for the tip. It never would have crossed my mind either. Sorry it happened, but I would rather learn from your mistakes than my own.:D

That's why I read Faceplant too :lol3

khager 11-26-2012 04:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jesse v (Post 20121776)
That's why I read Faceplant too :lol3

Yeah, most of it is the same old stuff, going into a corner too hot, or left turning cage, etc... When I seen the title of your thread, I was already thinking you washed the bike and was pulling out of the wash bay, or into the street, or maybe you were coming around a corner and hit some soapy water runoff near the car wash. But every once in a while I learn something new here. Good for you for getting the bike back together and not letting it ruin your trip. :freaky

malott442 11-29-2012 01:33 AM

Sounds like the liability isn't on your shoulders. Who would someone contact over going after that car wash? I guarantee they know about the problem........

falcn 11-29-2012 05:04 AM

You shouldn't do motorcycle repairs on the OUTSIDE of a 90 degree turn with your back facing oncoming traffic.

What if another motorcyclist came along and had the same crash as you?

TanasiRob 11-29-2012 10:45 AM

Occasionally I use the services of a full service car wash that will shine your tires for you. When it rains there is a sheen across the road at the entrance/exit from people who just had them shined.

I habitually cross up my F250 even if the street is dry when I leave just for fun.

:D

acejones 11-29-2012 10:57 AM

Why do people think they need shiny tires,?

malott442 11-30-2012 02:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acejones (Post 20142590)
Why do people think they need shiny tires,?

cuz its perdy!

RichBeBe 11-30-2012 04:08 AM

Glad you are OK. I used to work for a Yamaha dealer and were were across the street from a car wash and I have seen a few small crashes because of it. The owner told me they used to be next door to the same car wash years back and they had almost weekly crashes. They tried signs, warning people, etc but it didn't matter.

jesse v 11-30-2012 09:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by falcn (Post 20140433)
You shouldn't do motorcycle repairs on the OUTSIDE of a 90 degree turn with your back facing oncoming traffic.

What if another motorcyclist came along and had the same crash as you?

Third lesson learned.

@Richbebe: Good to hear I'm not the only one! But it does make me wonder if there should be signs posted by car washes, just like "slippery bridge" signs, etc.

Lastly, I should have mentioned that this little incident also inspired me to ditch the lower fairings on my SV. Looks much better now anyway. :D I sold the damaged lowers and used the money for motosliders frame sliders.

stefan tilden 11-30-2012 05:31 PM

Good Deal.
 
There was a car wash right next to my apartment. I had to remember that shit every single day for 3+ years LOL.... glad you and the SV are good, and well played on the fairing mod.


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