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Old 04-13-2013, 08:10 AM   #1
gilbertx7 OP
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Step-son crashes his KLR

My stepson crashed his 2008 KLR riding home from work yesterday afternoon. He is being kept overnight in the hospital but appears to be fine outside of some bruising and relatively minor road rash. His HJC helmet and Kawasaki branded leather jacket are rashed pretty badly and the bike is currently in city impound so we don't know how it fared. Details are sketchy but apparently he was riding near the 65 mph speed limit when the bike went in to a tank slapper. I have no idea why this happened but I did ride by the accident scene on my way to the hospital yesterday (Did not stop because at that point I did not know how badly he was hurt) and noticed that the chain was missing from the bike. Presumably the master link failed. I don't know how this could account for the tank slapper but apparently it had something to do with it. I will know more when we get the KLR out of impound next week. My stepson is 18 and has been licensed for a year almost to the day. If anything good comes out of this it would be that my constant preaching AGATT is valid. If he had been wearing his Kilaminjaro pants he could probably have avoided the giant strawberry on his ass cheek. He was charged with failure to control, which I may go to court with him to fight. Any ideas/experiences dealing with this would be greatly appreciated. He is still on my insurance so I have a vested interest in contesting it. I carried liability only on the KLR, so any repairs to it will be out of pocket. Ride safe out there-Marty
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:47 AM   #2
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My son also went down on his R6 Yammi,just helmet,gloves and snowboard gear,he got lucky the bike is totaled,but he is in pretty good shape,he had a guy pull out in front of him.I have been back to riding for a couple years now and just got smart on ATGATT,last fall I finally thought it was time to be seen and be prepared for the inevitable crash,now I gear up even to go to the store(I ride year round now about 10000 miles per year)if people want to ride in T shirts,shorts,and tennis shoes that's fine with me,I like my green jacket,pants and my goofy home painted HI Viz helmet.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilbertx7 View Post
Presumably the master link failed. I don't know how this could account for the tank slapper but apparently it had something to do with it.
That sucks - sorry about your Stepson. Glad he wasn't hurt more seriously. From the injuries you describe sounds like he (luckily) low-sided. Maybe the chain broke, caught on something and locked up the rear. Generates more of an end-swapper than tank slapper but they would feel about the same in the heat of the moment. you might be able to tell from skid pattern, or any damage that the chain did if it caught. Just a theory. I would think mechanical fail was a defence for lack of control.
What kind of link - rivet or clip?
Hope he recovers and puts lessons to good use.
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:17 PM   #4
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Whoa 1st post

you be lurkin'
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilbertx7 View Post
Presumably the master link failed
If this happened to be true...




Quote:
He was charged with failure to control, which I may go to court with him to fight
I hope this will become true too.
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:42 PM   #6
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The broken chain might explain the accident but it was his responsibility to maintain the bike. I don't know what "failure to control" means from an insurance standpoint but I'd discuss it openly with your insurance agent.

Best wishes for your stepson's speedy recovery.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:14 PM   #7
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Might be best to just pay the ticket and move on if that's an option. In some jurisdictions, if you try to prove this as an equipment malfunction, you may be making things worse. Brake failure, in my state as an example, is mandatory court.

ie; worse than a ticket you could have paid simply by mail.

Not sure this is the one you want to battle. I understand your standpoint, really I do, but they can and may actually tell you that if you opt to set a court date to dispute a ticket, that it may end up being escalated to an equipment type failure based on your own statements thus far, which may in fact increase potential fines, fees and or suspensions and permenent record.

Glad he is ok.
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:35 AM   #8
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WOW glad it looks like he's gonna be OK
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:03 AM   #9
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Personally, I think that charging someone in a situation like this is asinine! If others were involved, yada yada, then I can see ticketing him, but he’s already down, why kick him too? Hope he recovers quickly...
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:42 AM   #10
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Marty - firstly, the most important thing is that your stepson is alive with minimal injury considering the circumstances.

Presuming the accident investigation comes to the same conclusion as you have (ie chain failure causing sudden loss of momentum resulting in the oscillation which caused the crash) you would want to explore how the charge of failure to control affects your future insurance coverage and/or any other consequences.

If it's negligible then just pay the fine and move on. I don't know the terms of your insurance but it's always possible that failure to control (due to component failure?) is far less serious in their eyes than, for example, a charge of dangerous driving, or failure to maintain vehicle to a roadworthy standard (or whatever the equivalent US laws are). In the UK this is the case so there is a good chance it is the same for you.

Does your insurance include legal cover? If not, perhaps one of your credit cards does. Might be an idea to get advice.

The thing which is not in your favour is that, in the eyes of the insurer, your stepson is an inexperienced, young, male rider (high risk and not desirable to insure). Presumably he is tagged onto your policy because on his own the premiums would have been unacceptably high. Any evidence to show he is responsible and mature will be helpful, particularly if the matter ends up in the courts - for example, if his licence is clean, no points/fines for speeding or other reasons. The fact he actually listens to you and wears appropriate gear (for the most part) can't hurt either.

That said, since you mentioned you only have third party liability insurance, there is probably little point in bringing this to court (and a potentially needless expense considering legal counsel, lost wages etc). Since no third party was involved, your insurance will not be paying out anyway and therefore the only reason to go to court would be to have the charge quashed (to potentially prevent your premiums from increasing due to the charge next time you renew).

If you had full comprehensive insurance, then you'd have a reason to fight the insurer tooth and nail, since they will ALWAYS try to find a way to mitigate their payout, but in this case it might be best just to learn from the experience and move forward.

I hope that helps somewhat...

George
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duffs screwed with this post 04-15-2013 at 12:03 PM
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:27 PM   #11
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Investigate

Marty,

This really rattles me. Sounds like your family and stepson were lucky.

I take it this was a single vehicle accident? If not, that may explain the citation.

Who installed the chain? If it's a knowledgeable service person get their opinion. Any other repairs that might explain things?

You need to check the vehicle code section that is cited for "failure to control" on the ticket and see exactly what that means in your state. It seems cruelly harsh that a mechanical breakdown or product defect would be considered a "failure to control" in any state.

Ask your stepson tough, pointed questions about what he told the cops and what he's telling you. How did he describe the events of accident to the cops, he may have created the problems himself by what he said. Get the police report.

Does what he say make sense to you? Was he impaired in some fashion at the time or is there something else he doesn't want to tell you?

Assuming you have legitimate issues worthy of consideration, it is unlikely that the fine or punishment will be increased because you raise them thoughtfully and well in a hearing, but the laws of your state may say something else. Again, make sure you know the full story.

Be smart and be safe and good luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gilbertx7 View Post
My stepson crashed his 2008 KLR riding home from work yesterday afternoon. He is being kept overnight in the hospital but appears to be fine outside of some bruising and relatively minor road rash. His HJC helmet and Kawasaki branded leather jacket are rashed pretty badly and the bike is currently in city impound so we don't know how it fared. Details are sketchy but apparently he was riding near the 65 mph speed limit when the bike went in to a tank slapper. I have no idea why this happened but I did ride by the accident scene on my way to the hospital yesterday (Did not stop because at that point I did not know how badly he was hurt) and noticed that the chain was missing from the bike. Presumably the master link failed. I don't know how this could account for the tank slapper but apparently it had something to do with it. I will know more when we get the KLR out of impound next week. My stepson is 18 and has been licensed for a year almost to the day. If anything good comes out of this it would be that my constant preaching AGATT is valid. If he had been wearing his Kilaminjaro pants he could probably have avoided the giant strawberry on his ass cheek. He was charged with failure to control, which I may go to court with him to fight. Any ideas/experiences dealing with this would be greatly appreciated. He is still on my insurance so I have a vested interest in contesting it. I carried liability only on the KLR, so any repairs to it will be out of pocket. Ride safe out there-Marty
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:59 PM   #12
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Glad He's ok. It's a KLR so it'll be fine. as for what caused it?
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:59 PM   #13
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Around here, failure to control is sort of a wreckless driving, except you weren't doing anything else illegal. For example, running off the road while you are doing the posted speed limit, just not paying attention. I don't think they would ticket you here if the cop thought it was a mechanical failure.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:02 PM   #14
el queso
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Glad he's OK and bummed he got cited. Talk about adding insult to injury...

Almost every bad wobble story I heard about with a KLR was caused by too much weight in the rear (camp gear, etc.), incorrect sag, loose steering head bearings or not enough air pressure in the tires. I rode one for a couple years and never had any issues.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:48 AM   #15
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Well I picked up the bike earlier this week and now I 'm not sure what happened. The chain is off of the sprockets and the master link did not break. The axle is pushed back away from the adjuster on the right side and the wheel is nearly touching the muffler. We had adjusted the chain the night before and used a new cotter pin. I checked the nut, thinking (and freaking out) one of us had forgotten to tighten it properly and caused the crash but it was quite snug and required considerable force to dislodge. The rear wheel is still true but the Avon Gripster sidewall is seriously buldged. The kickstand is crumpled at the center and is now an L shape. It appears that it made contact with the chain at some point as it is seriously chewed. It is very difficult (at least for me) to determine what was damaged by impact or actually failed before and caused the crash. My stepson swears that there was no hint of instability prior to the tankslapper which makes me wonder if a cord let go in the tire and instigated the wobble. The tire is still at 34psi and had about 3500 miles on it. I'd told him the night before the crash we needed to replace it in the next 500 or so miles but it definitely was not dangerously shot. I doubt we will ever know for sure what happened. I am going to court with him tomorrow (he has to appear anyway since he was not carrying his proof of insurance card with him) but mainly for moral support. I don't think it would hurt to ask for leniecy, especially since no other vehicles or property were involved. The city impound lot extracted 179.00 from me when I picked up the bike. A fine on top of that seems excessive. At this point I think we are going to try to get the bike on the road again. I made a list of all the broken bits the other night. So far: Kickstand and safety switch, Right and left upper cowling + inner cowling, handlebars, mirrors. shifter, left hand guard, right and left side cowlings (these can wait-they are rashed but functional) and rear tube and tire. Ebay has some of this stuff but the bodywork will probably have to be OEM. If any of you know where any of this stuff can be sourced reasonably let me know. My stepson is still a bit sore but is back to work and OK. That is the most important thing. Ride safe-Marty
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