Dropped the bike today...

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by ToySldr, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. ToySldr

    ToySldr Been here awhile

    Aug 17, 2013
    Honolulu, HI
    I just hit 600 miles on my bike today and dropped it at an intersection. In my defense, the road was declined to the left on a curve. When I put my left foot down the slant was too great and the bike tipped over to the left, I should have noticed that at first and put my right foot down and leaned that way.

    Luckily it was not a busy road on base on only a lady in a Range Rover came in behind me and asked if I was ok. I stood the bike back up and put it on the side stand. When I saddled back up, the lean to the left was still pretty steep to balance it upright. The only damage was a small scrape to the crash bar and a small scrape to the bottom corner of the pannier.

    What could I have done to avoid this? The intersection was on an incline and a slant to the left.
  2. PoolPah

    PoolPah Slow but trainable.

    Sep 29, 2013
    Fort Walton Beach, FL
    I think you answered your own question. If you know the road slants down on the left, make an effort to get the bike leaned over to the right. Not much else you can do. Glad to hear you came away unhurt. I've "set" my bike down in the same fashion. Hurts the pride more than anything else. :D
  3. MauiCowie

    MauiCowie Been here awhile

    Jun 28, 2014
    At the Huki-Huki-Huki-Huki-Hukilau
    Since I wasn't there I can't guarantee that this would've avoided your drop but one thing you can do if you notice something like this ahead of time is go as far right in your lane as possible and then turn left as much as is reasonably possible at the very end of your stop. However much you can get the bike pointing left, it reduces the left lean some and turns it into more of a downhill.
  4. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

    Sep 6, 2011
    As well when you realize you've screwed up and are trying to foot down on the low side, move your whole body quickly to the low side. If you can get your foot well down quickly enough, you've a chance to still hold the bike up, even if awkwardly.
  5. Erik

    Erik Adventurer

    Sep 18, 2007
    New Jersey, USA

    Is this your first bike?? Are we talking about your First 600 miles ?? If so I'd suggest some MSF Training.. if not then I'd suggest some time spent in parking lots learning slow speed bike control.
  6. pilot

    pilot Slacker Moderator Super Moderator

    Dec 23, 2002
    Kansas City
    Dropping your bike is not a face plant.
  7. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day.

    Jul 9, 2008
    Southern Illinois USA
    Pay attention!:deal This time you didn't notice the slant, next time you may not notice a car a 50mph.
  8. C/1/509

    C/1/509 Why?

    Jul 21, 2006
    Sorry to hear it. Learn from it.
  9. RVDan

    RVDan Long timer

    Jun 4, 2010
    Abbotsford British Columbia Canada
    I can't say I've ever encountered a normal road with that much bank, you should talk to your local DOT about having it fixed as it sounds like a safety hazard.
  10. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

    Aug 18, 2009
    Vienna, Austria
    Been there, done that...whether it be a kerb maybe, or a spot of diesel on the road, there comes a time in every biker's life when that pesky left foot just doesn't want to plant.

    But, on the plus side, you do start to develop a sense of how the ground is before you commit the weight of the bike. And now you've got an experience to learn from :)

    Have no fear! There are plenty more to come :D
  11. windblown101

    windblown101 Long timer

    May 17, 2010
    Star Tannery, VA
    You just got more familiar with the weight of a bike when it decides it wants to do something you'd rather it didn't. With that under your belt you will have a better grasp of the importance of keeping the bike balanced. Less lean is always better to avoid getting past the point of no return.

    ALWAYS plan to put the uphill foot down. That way even if something unexpected happens and you lose balance the bike (and possibly you) don't have as far to fall. Practice putting either foot down as you come to a stop so that it becomes natural to use either.

    If for some reason you have to put a foot down on the downhill side of the bike shift your butt to that side first (or quickly as you put your foot down as mentioned above).

    Don't beat yourself up over it. It's not all THAT uncommon for folks to drop bikes at around zero MPH. You're not the first, won't be the last. Last time I did it I was coming around a sharp uphill hairpin on gravel and stalled the bike mid turn. The loss of momentum caught me off guard and I had to step off the bike to avoid going down with it. My personal rule - if a bike is winning the battle of gravity don't let it take you with it. :)
  12. DesertTortoise

    DesertTortoise Freedom Fighter

    Sep 23, 2010

    Paying attention doesn't mean you know what to look for.
    When you make a (harmless) mistake like this use it as a chance to learn what hazards are out there and recreate the situation till you get it right every time. Parking lot practice really does help. Dirt field is even better.

    When I started riding I lived where there was a stop sign just before the crest of a hill with a steep drop to the right. If I didn't remember to lean left, I'd end up just like you did.
  13. r60man

    r60man Long timer

    Mar 14, 2013
    Robesonia PA
    9 times out of 10 I do not put a foot down at an intersection. Balance and knowing the road. Yes, once I got pulled over by a cop and he wrote me a ticket. I made a video of me coming to a full stop from the side (He was way behind) at the same intersection and showed it to the judge and the ticket was thrown out. Nothing in the books about putting your foot down. Practice in parking lots and not well traveled roads.
  14. DudeClone

    DudeClone Long timer

    Nov 27, 2010
    here, there, everywhere
    i would say don't put too much stock into it and as said, pay attention. and listen to your better instincts such as not stopping "here or there" and as you said, paying attention to road conditions. or as in cases of stopping or slow speed, the condition of the road. and all its angles and slopes 'n slants when stopping or low speed riding

    otherwise it may happen from time to time. even if not a lot of the time. depends on how much you ride. once the bike is past the tipping point (more down then up) and you are on it, good chance its going all the way down before all the way back up. even if you "catch it" bikes can be heavy, unwieldy things to manage from a riders position. and oft times the bike is already on its side before the rider can think "wtf just happened?"

    expect it but don't count on it. meaning if and when it does happen don't take it too hard. i learned from experience its just as important to know how to raise the bike back up quickly and safely as it is not to drop it. dropping a bike (or a bike falling over, whichever you like) may occur by "accident." its a matter of physics. but not being able to get it back up on two wheels is not an accident. its something anyone can do

    i needed help lifting my bike when i dropped it. that was not acceptable. so now ii know how to lift it if it ever falls over for whatever reason. would hate to drop it on the road at an intersection, but be confident in the fact you can pick it up and its less a worry imo. sounds like you have that much managed, OP

    otherwise get some frame sliders and pay attention. none of us mean to drop bikes. sticky soles on the shoes, careful of where you are slowing / stopping / starting on the pavement, and always know what is in front of you, what you're riding on, or about to ride over. even some experienced riders will drop a bike from a perfect standstill sometimes

    take precaution and have fun :)
  15. ToySldr

    ToySldr Been here awhile

    Aug 17, 2013
    Honolulu, HI
    This was not my first bike, my first "adventure" bike though. Most of you, thanks for the good advice.... The others, that have never dropped a bike :moon
  16. UFObuster

    UFObuster Adventurer

    Nov 24, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Get over it...

    47 years of riding....I dropped my GSA two days ago...

    Shit happens
  17. Shastarider

    Shastarider Head and Eyes

    Nov 17, 2007

    I have "heard" in the L.E . Motor world it is not uncommon when someone gets a new bike to have a partner kick it over just to get it over with.:lol3. One of the hardest things to get over is trying to keep a bike from falling over risking injury.

    Shit does happen!
  18. Moronic

    Moronic Long timer

    May 16, 2006
    Melbourne, Australia
    Every now and again I plant a foot to support my little Monster at a standstill and the foot lands on something slippery or lower than expected or otherwise unsatisfactory and we ... almost ... go over.

    And I think to myself: hmm, if this had been one of those big adventure tourers I was going to get, I'd have been down. Again.

    You can take more care and plan ahead. But big, tall, heavy bikes are hard work at very slow speeds or when stopped. There is less margin for error.

    I seem to remember a thread on the GS board here where someone asked if anyone besides him was always dropping their GSA. Lots of people chimed in with me-toos.
  19. B_C_Ries

    B_C_Ries Long timer

    Mar 15, 2013
    Imperial Valley, California
    Work on your low speed balance and handling it will give you a bit more time to decide how and when to put a foot down.

    If you never drop a bike it is because you are afraid of trying new things.
  20. mach1mustang351

    mach1mustang351 Long timer

    May 12, 2014
    I have never dropped my bike in the way you described but I have dropped by V Strom 4 times in its life. All times were pushing it around in camp sites etc. Same rules apply. Have a plan where to point the wheels and where to put your feet.

    Kind of a funny story about V Strom Drop number 4. We were making a lot of miles riding back from Alaska and we were in the middle of no where up in the Yukon and it was raining like crazy. We were tired and ready to stop. We found a Provence camp ground and went to set up camp. My wife got off the bike. I put the side stand down and I got off. The rain was still coming down hard. I stood up the bike to put it on the center stand. When I want to do the weight shift to get it up on the center my foot slipped off and the bike fell all the way over (both wheels off the ground, all the weight on my Hepco Becker Gobi panier).

    This is where it is important to be able to lift the bike yourself. And Buy good paniers so the bike doesn't fall over even further.