Friend killed by kick stand being down

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by gaff, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. gaff

    gaff Been here awhile

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    A friend and former coworker of mine ""Chuck Fitzhugh" from the "Lancaster, S.C" area was killed last saturday and was buried this past wendnesday. He was riding his Harley on a benefit for disadvantaged children when as he was leaned over to take a left turn his kick stand dug in and flipped his bike.. His friends seem to think the spring that held his kick stand broke and he didn't know it was down. We lost a good guy, friend and fellow biker. May he R.I.P.
    #1
  2. longrider999

    longrider999 Long timer

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    gaff,my prayers go out to chucks friends and family.
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  3. HighwayChile

    HighwayChile greetings from Wa state

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    RIP, that could happen to anyone, terrible
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  4. manganos

    manganos Let me pontificate.

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    Sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. :(
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  5. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    RIP

    If I had to guess I'd suppose its a very old bike or has been fiddled with or had a part fail. Since at least the mid 1980's mfg's have been required to fit either an engine kill switch or a rubber gizmo that will make the stand fold up (or is designed such that it automatically folds up like on older bmws). It seems many "custom" crusiers forgoe these devices. I can understand not wanting them, I've disabled them on my bikes as the kill switches have proved trouble prone and themselves can cause a crash. Still, it seems many custom crusiers are ridden by folks somewhat less attentive and may benifit from the safety devices. A while ago my wife (who rides, but was in a cage at the time) was at an intersection and noticed that the (extremely obnoxious) HD next to her had his kick stand down. They were at a light waiting to turn left. She managed to get his attention and alert him to the situtation. He responded quite rudely, but then discretely put the stand up:rofl
    #5
  6. rwven

    rwven Been here awhile

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    I don't think that's a requirement, I don't know about Harleys in general but my new '08 Buell has no interlock or rubber "thingy" (I know what it is but not the official name for it) on the kickstand. I left mine down one day on a group ride. I was distracted for a moment at just the wrong time and failed to put it back up. The group stopped momentarily for a photo op and I started to dismount but then did not and failed to put the stand back up. Fortunately a fellow rider noticed and flagged me, man was I embarrassed. I also got a shiver when I considered the possible consequences.

    My condolences to the friends and family of this rider.

    #6
  7. Gorilla King

    Gorilla King Dobar Skorz!

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    Sad indeed.....good argument for kill switches for kick stands though.
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  8. Analog Kid

    Analog Kid Too many hands on my time

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    Do you know if your friend was wearing a helmet?
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  9. gaff

    gaff Been here awhile

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    Thanks to those that expresed their condolences . As I remember it he did own a real old harley. I was thinking about disableing the kick stand switch on my klr but since this happened I don't think I will. I don't know if he was wearing a helmet or not but I would suspect that he wasn't.
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  10. Nialis

    Nialis Super Motarded

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    In SC I seriously doubt it, no helmet law there...
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  11. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    Sorry to hear this.
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  12. donny662

    donny662 Been here awhile

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    Sorry to hear about your friend. My condolences.

    I read another post where an experienced rider at Deal's Gap took off with his side stand down. He had disabled his side stand kill switch. On the first left hand turn the stand dug in and flipped him and the bike off the road. Luckily, he wasn't hurt, but his bike was.

    After reading that story, I was convinced to never disable the side stand kill switch. If the kickstand is bouncing around and tripping the switch, the best solution would be to tie the kickstand into the up position. It is better to have trouble putting the kickstand down and risk dropping the bike at a standstill rather than disabling a safety mechanism that could save your life no matter how experienced you think you are.
    #12
  13. ooweel

    ooweel Throwing wrenches one at a time

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    SAD DEAL! My Condolences on your loss!

    I assume this is this the same guy they are talking about?

    from the Weston West Virginia "Weston Democrat", Wed July 23 2008:

    "Charles Willard Fitzhugh, 57, of Lancaster, S.C., was killed and his wife injured in a motorcycle accident on U. S. Rt. 33 West near Alum Bridge Saturday evening, July 19, at approximately 5:30 p.m.
    The duo, riding tandem on Fitzhugh’s Harley Davidson motorcycle, were thrown from the bike when the driver lost control as he entered a curve, ran off the road and slammed into an embankment.
    The Lewis County EMS personnel made every effort possible to save the driver, but he died at the scene. He was transported to Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital for further examination by the medical examiner. According to medical personnel and the medical examiner, he likely died from severe head trauma. It was reported to law enforcement at the scene that the deceased was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
    #13
  14. JamesRRS

    JamesRRS Been here awhile

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    Sorry to hear about the loss.

    That was in WV where there is a very strictly enforced helmet law. Doesn't make sense. I saw a couple bikers nabbed today at Mountain Fest Rally (Morgantown WV) for not having a helmet and they were on a service road of sorts at 10 mph.

    Condolences to the family. RIP.

    James

    #14
  15. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    Not true. Harleys have never had kill switches on thier jiffy stands.
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  16. gaff

    gaff Been here awhile

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    Yes ooweel, it was the same person. I hated it when I heard about it and by posting this maybe it may prevent some one else from having the same thing happen to them.
    #16
  17. Hollow

    Hollow Newbie Fucktard

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    RIP.. it never ceases to amaze me how much can go wrong so fast.. any little thing can send us out of control. The tar snakes around here seem to be covering deep cracks and when your tire catches them you are going for a ride whether you like it or not.
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  18. Chain Gun

    Chain Gun 2nd Time 'Round

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    I'm very very sorry!
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  19. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

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    Sad story. My heart goes out to his family.

    This explanation that the bike "flipped" seems odd. I've seen stands cause one to run wide in corners, but never any mechanism where the bike "flips" like in a high side. Most of the time when you forget to put the sidestand up (and there is no safety interlock), either the stand pops up (loudly) on the first left hander or you hear/feel it grinding with enough time/space to pull over and move it up. The cards must have all broken the wrong way on this incident.

    All my friends disable the clutch, sidestand, and neutral interlocks on every bike they own. I'm in the minority and view them as good safety features on a street bike. But it will be the first thing I check (and jumper) if the bike won't start or shuts down when engaging a gear.

    Another thing I do which I think enhances safety is to always work slowly up to speed - let myself, tires, the machine, etc. all come up to speed and go through a buffer period of slow riding before starting to get on it. This also allows any "gotchas" introduced at the stop (stand, luggage not secure, oil on the tires, flat tire, fuel tap not turned on, etc.) and not caught in the preflight to rear their ugly heads under more sedate circumstances.

    - Mark
    #19
  20. bongodave

    bongodave Fixing Stupid

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    Smart. Had he, or anyone else noticed it before he turned, he probably would have been okay. Then again, it's an easy thing to miss. Thanks for the reminder.

    It always hurts to see a rider go down. :cry The whys don't matter.
    #20