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Old 02-15-2011, 11:07 AM   #1
mikem9 OP
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: North Georgia
Oddometer: 1,250
Your Crash - Could You Have Avoided It?

If you've crashed on your motorcycle, looking back, could you have avoided it? Not asking about whose fault it was legally - but that would be interesting to know also. But, knowing what you know now, could you have avoided it?

Yes/No/Maybe & why and how?
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:09 AM   #2
Who is the Coon?
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Location: Conway, AR
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Definitely, target fixated. If I'd just looked through the turn id've been fine.
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:23 AM   #3
Yea whatever
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Required field
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1 Yes, not street racing as a teenager
2 Yes, not riding with an inexperienced pillion
3 Yes, yes, yes... not riding off road. Like they say about the Bahamas: If you're not hitting bottom, you're not going anywhere worth seeing.
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:27 AM   #4
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I have gone down four times while road riding. All four were due to road contaminates. All four were in turns. No drama… just a fast gravity induced body/bike slam to the pavement. No real injuries to me or the bikes. (ATGATT & Crash bars)

Could I have prevented it? No. Not at the time.

Can I prevent it from happening again? Possibly, as I now look for diesel spills and ice.
“Watch out for everything bigger than you, they have the "right of weight"

DAKEZ screwed with this post 02-15-2011 at 04:40 PM
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:37 AM   #5
KLR = Trials bike?
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Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Redwood City, CA
Oddometer: 534
Four front-end losses in 3 years, 30,000+ miles. The first two were in the first year... inexperience made me choose to straighten the bike up when approaching sand instead of leaning it over harder before I got there. I hit the sand and went down anyway. On a Ninja 250. Cost me a turn signal.

The second one was almost by choice. I decided that despite the clear risk, going MotoGP up a wet 180 degree hairpin turn was worth the adrenaline. I hit the paint on the inside line as I apexed, and down I went. The same Ninja 250. Scuffed up a textile saddlebag and cost me a turn signal.

#3 was at the end of September... banking it hard off an off-ramp, I got to the bottom and discovered the seam between the new and old asphalt. All the oil from the new stuff was sitting on top of the old stuff. That one sucked... My six month old Concours went across five lanes and everything plastic on the right side was messed up courtesy of a raised concrete median that the bike ignored.

#4 was just upsetting. Cold tires and a hard turn at very slow speed with tons of room to spare. Out it went, down I went. Did some damage to the rear fairing of my girlfriend's Ninja 250, and my pride. I later rode it home in a snowstorm, and didn't crash despite it being so slick I turned the bike fully sideways. Go figure.

All of them could have been avoided. Some of them were worth it
Only have a Concours 14 after riding to California from Maine. Need to find a place to ride with knobbies. Need to get a bike with knobbies.

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Old 02-15-2011, 12:21 PM   #6
Watch this...
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Location: Baltimore, MD (hon)
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Most yes, some no.

Yes for all the reasons stated above: Riding too fast or too tired, target fixation, etc.

No for a few: Deer jumps out of the woods in front of me, idiot does an unexpected u-turn from in front of a row of parked cars, etc. Well, I guess those could have been avoided by not riding at all but that kinda defeats the purpose.
Just another DAMN rider
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by scoon66 View Post
Definitely, target fixated. If I'd just looked through the turn id've been fine.
Quoted for truth! I took a curve too hot on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The only reason I was riding so fast is because I did the entire parkway a few weeks earlier, and I was trying to pace a sports bike that I let pass me earlier. Dragged a peg for the first time ever, and immediately straightened it up and tried to stop, which has saved me in the past with obstacles etc....but I was going too fast for my crappy CX500 brakes to stop me and then I saw the hill....and thought "Oh no, I'm going to hit that hill" and stared it down until I was in it. If I would have just looked back into the curve I would have been fine.

I don't regret it too much though because I had an epic experience with ADVriders taking care of me and putting the bike back together so I could make it back home to Failada.
1973 Honda CB500/550 "Bombini"
1980 Honda CX500C "Roll of the Dice"
1988 Yamaha Razz "Razzberry"
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Old 02-15-2011, 01:53 PM   #8
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Avoided it? Well, yeah. I could have been riding the speed limit. I was doing 60 into a corner that had a cautionary speed of 25 and a limit of 35. Had I been at the speed limit, there would have been no crash so in that respect, yes, it was totally avoidable.

Now, taking for granted that I was speeding and having a hell of a good time doing it,, no it was not avoidable. I was at 80-90% of my skill level, hanging off the side of the bike on a section of road that I knew like the back of my hand. When a driver decided to make a u-turn in front of me without looking, there were few options and none that involved staying on two wheels.

Looking back, there were four possibilities: 1. Lay it down in an intentional low side. 2. Mash the brakes and see if I could survive the high-side that would throw me into the woods. 3. Stay with the corner and hit the back of the car. 4. Stop leaning, get the bike upright, attempt to scrub off speed and hope for the best when I hit the gravel on the side of the road.

I took option #4 but honestly, didn't have a lot to do with that decision. Instincts told me that hitting the brake was a bad idea. It did cross my mind but I knew it was a bad idea. I didn't think of doing a low side. I really wanted to avoid the car so I looked for an escape route. In doing this, I rode directly where I looked and that was off the road. This was done while stopping the lean and trying to scrub off speed. None of it mattered. I hit the gravel, flew off the bike, tumbled into the woods and the bike tumbled after me, finally landing on my back and pinning be badly.

If I could do it again, I would opt for the lay-r-down low side. A crash was inevitable due to the actions of another driver and my excessive speed. A low-side would have hurt less.
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Old 02-15-2011, 02:04 PM   #9
You rode a what to where?
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Western NC
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As it turns out, when an MSF instructor says "Don't worry about leaning over too far, you can drag the pegs on these bikes all day and not fall over" he's just trying to give the newbies in the class some confidence so they'll start leaning a little bit.

He does not mean that you should actually try to deliberately drag a peg on a shagged-out CB125 that is older than you are, with square profile rock-hard tires.

Which is what I did. The back end let go long before the peg touched down.

So, in retrospect, the lesson was to not take corners hot on a state-owned poorly maintained cyclette.
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Old 02-15-2011, 02:12 PM   #10
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: SE PA
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Slow the fuck down. I was scraping my right floorboard when I hit a bad expansion joint (speedbump size) on the on-ramp to the Van Wyck Expressway and the bike went out from under me. Going way too fast in a curve at 2 in the morning (recommended speed was 20 mph, I was easily doing twice that. If you know what the pavement surface is like in New York Shitty, you'd know that that is a bad idea).

Bike was totaled, I had a small scrape on my knee where the pavement ate through the leather overpants I was wearing (no knee armor on those).
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Old 02-15-2011, 02:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by DAKEZ View Post
Could I have prevented it? No. Not at the time.
The question was: "But, knowing what you know now, could you have avoided it?"

So, I'll say "YES" for him.

FWIW, the people that review moto crashes in Oregon figure 85% of rider crashes were preventable; the rider had enough traction and ground clearance, just not quite enough clue.

dwoodward screwed with this post 02-15-2011 at 02:54 PM
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Old 02-15-2011, 02:51 PM   #12
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#1 - Yes. I wouldn't have fallen asleep if I didn't have a massive hangover. (Older and wiser now. Don't drink as much as I did back then and wouldn't think of riding hung over.)

#2 - Not sure but don't think so. Hit some sand in the last foot of a casual downhill stop at a stop sign and the bike went down in a flash when the front washed out. The sand was a light dusting exactly same color as the pavement and virtually impossible to see.

#3 - Not sure. Was riding some really slippery pavement (ground up wet cedar bark with moss on the pavement - shady area on Pacific Northwet logging road) and taking it very easy because I knew it would be slippery but the rear still locked a little. I let off to regain traction and straighten up the bike before initiating the turn but had run out of pavement. I'm pretty sure that I target fixated on the ditch instead of looking through the turn. Not sure but I THINK I might have made it if I hadn't target fixated.
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Old 02-15-2011, 02:59 PM   #13
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Black a turn...

Prevented? Not really was well above freezing and every other road was dry...turns out there was a leaking water pipe below that turn...
'11 Flying Banana
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:12 PM   #14
Gimpy, Yet Alacritous
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Location: Indianapolis
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Good damn question.

In my case, it's hard to tell how avoidable it was. I hit a large patch of spilled cooking grease, lowsided, and busted my femur on the curb. Owie. (Yes, I was ATGATT.)

The grease was pretty much invisible at the time, so I had no idea WTF was on the road. We stopped by a few days later after I got out of the hospital and by then enough dirt had stuck to the grease to see the spill clearly -- we followed a trail of slippery drips and splashes for a couple of miles.

I am proud that as the bike and I were parting ways, I did the right things -- I stayed in the throttle and tried to recover up to the last millisecond.

The incident gave me spidey-senses for surface contaminants, and I've since successfully avoided many other crashes. In one case in North Carolina, I sensed and avoided an oil spill that took down two of the three guys riding with me. The last guy had no idea what was happening, but he did see me change my line and followed suit, figuring I probably had a good reason.
1983 Suzuki GS850G, Cosmic Blue
2002 Suzuki Vstrom DL1000, Midnight Blue
2005 Kawasaki KLR685 - Turd II.2, The ReReTurdening
"Do not crinkle your food wrappers loudly. Be considerate to others, or I will bite your torso and give you a disease."
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:21 PM   #15
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No - nailed by an owl out of the blue

No - front blow out in a high speed turn

Maybe - backed over by a pickup truck in a parking lot

No - rear ended by drunk driver in the middle lane of a very busy highway

Yes - too hot for the turn in the rain on knobbies while I was too cold and too tired
525EXC, 640 Enduro, XT200
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