had to "lay it down!"

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by GravelRoad, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. Aussijussi

    Aussijussi Long timer

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    All these years riding and never had to 'lay it down', i must be doing something wrong, too slow maybe, wrong kind of bike, too much anticipation perhaps:huh
    #61
  2. Husky Varmit

    Husky Varmit Been here awhile

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    Originally Posted by dillon [​IMG]
    I used to work with a older dude (hes 70 now) and he had been riding since he was 16 on the street. He told me that the lay it down thing used to be common wisdom when brakes on bikes sucked. You drop the bike and give yourself a buffer zone between you and whatever. But he told me with any bike made in the last 25 years youre better off staying on the tires now that bike brakes work like they ought to.

    -------------------
    I think that might be open for discussion. I am 65 next month and started racing at 13 (you do the math - I'm too old). I can't remember at any time in those years being advised to do anything other than the standard routine - when there just ain't any other options, pick the softest thing around and hit it as slowly as you can. Heck, we were even taught that in flight training - fly it all the way to the crash site.

    Seriously, about the only time I can think of that I would intentionally 'lay 'er down' was those times when you had to rassle the bike down the face of a hill, but even at those times the bike would darned near be in line with the gravitational pull. And, yes, that includes things like Bultacos with wet brakes, 50's and 60's BSA's, even that Laverda that the engineers swore they put brakes on that none of us were ever able to verify after the first lap and a bunch of other really evil handling things that thankfully my mind has mostly erased the horror of.

    I mean, come on younger riders, do you really think we could have passed on the exquisite form of the FLYING W if we weren't constantly thinking - I can save this.
    #62
  3. FinlandThumper

    FinlandThumper Has Cake/Eats it Too Super Moderator

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    I found an oil spill on the way home a few years ago and realize now, in hindsight, it would have been the perfect opportunity to practice laying er down. Silly me, I balanced it out, rode out the slight fishtail that developed at 55 mph and kept on going. I mean, I never realized I needed the practice. :lol3 just rode home and cleaned out my pants. :rofl

    On a related note, I was at my local USA HD shop last summer buying some parts for my low rider. I was also shopping for a new jacket so I was in the clothes section. I overheard this:

    Customer: so, what about this helmet thing?

    Shop attendant: well, normally we recommend helmets for new riders, just until you get the feel for riding. After that, of course, you dont really need one. Of course some states make you wear them, so if you plan to ride outside of wisconsin you need to have at least something along.

    Customer: so, how long should I think about wearing a helmet?

    Me (silently): as long as you want to live. Oh dear lord!

    Shop guy: well, at least for one season. As a new rider you will probably need to lay er down a few times.

    Me (silently): oh for fucks sake.

    I did pull the new guy aside and tell him that if he wants to live, he should ignore the idiot he was just talking to, and the go over to the jap shop and buy a full face shoei, arai, or similar. The helmets sold at HD dealers are pretty much junk, in keeping with their unofficial corporate philosophy that helmets are for pansies. The look on his face told me that he wasn't going to follow my advice, but at least I gave it to him.

    Basicaly, if this is what the noobs get fed at the dealers, by dealer staff, what else do you guys expect? I love my Harley, but their dealerships really take a wink-wink nudge-nudge attitude toward safety and skills at times.
    #63
  4. dillon

    dillon Low Speed, High Drag

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    Huh well even if the "lay it down" thing was bad practice before, at least my old motorcycle mentor had it right in telling me that modern bikes stopped better on their wheels.
    #64
  5. ThatGuy

    ThatGuy Brownie

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    Fell better? :bluduh
    #65
  6. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    I am not disputing your story and that sales person was/is an idiot...BUT you typing out that this is somehow an "unofficial corporate philosophy" is Complete and utter BULLSHIT!!!

    (I am very certain that HD would like to hear what store you heard this crap being spewed in)


    This is the Official Harley Davidson philosophy:

    A motorcycle helmet is not a novelty. Your helmet is a serious piece of
    safety gear, and should be carefully selected. While we strive to make
    Harley-Davidson helmets great looking, our primary concern is the
    protection they provide our riders. Whether you’ve always worn a helmet
    or wearing one is new to you, here are some basics you need to know in
    order to optimize your safety and comfort on the road.


    While it may seem like there are as many helmets to choose from as there are roads to ride, all helmets have four major components: a rigid outer shell, an EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) impact-absorbing liner, padding for fit and comfort, and a retention system. All Harley-Davidson helmets meet DOT requirements, and some are SNELL approved.

    Half Helmets:
    They’re small, light and cool in hot weather. Because they cover the least amount of head area, they offer basic protection.

    Three-Quarter Helmets
    A step up in coverage, providing more protection for the sides of the head. Warmer to wear than a half helmet, however most are equipped with venting systems for added comfort. Some three-quarter helmets come equipped with a face shield or snap-on visor.

    Full-Face Helmets
    Full coverage of head and face, for optimal protection. Equipped with a flip-up face shield. Warm in the winter and, with a flow-through ventilation system, comfortable in warm weather, too.

    Modular Helmet
    A combination of the benefits of full-face and three-quarter helmets. Flip up the face/chin module for ease in taking on and off and for full face exposure. Always ride with the module in the closed position.

    Proper fit is vital to the performance and effectiveness of any helmet.

    If a helmet is dropped or suffers any impact, it should be replaced immediately. Impact may fracture the outer shell or compress the impact-absorbing liner, and the damage may not be visible.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    There is much more but I am sure you get the idea... HD instructs staff to urge people towards NOT AWAY from Full-Face Helmets. Ultimately it is up to the individual rider what he/she wears as it should be.
    #66
  7. FinlandThumper

    FinlandThumper Has Cake/Eats it Too Super Moderator

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    Point retracted, dakez. I am not here to malign the corporation itself, so yes the choice of words "unoffical corporate philosophy" were poorly chosen.

    I do, however, spend enough time in their shops to know that regardless of what the mo co says in their documents and other releases, some of their staff either by overt statements or by simple omission allow a very irresponsible riding and lax safety attitude to persist. Almost laughing at the idea of using a helmet once in a while. Sadly, given the number of riders who start with a Harley, whether best choice or not, this is a very bad way to start them on their riding career.

    I will point out that the older HD dealerships have been less lax this way though. Decker HD in Madison, wisconsin (now closed and replaced with a shopping mall sized t shirt store where, incidentally, I heard the conversation) not only would never have said such a thing, but also refused to do other things including putting screaming eagle exhausts on anything but the drag bikes, on the grounds that it was not acceptable to put racing equipment on street bikes and the loud pipes do not, in fact, save lives.

    Edit: I will confirm for public record that I heard the conversation in Madison, Wisconsin, at Capitol city HD.
    #67
  8. Blur

    Blur Peddlin' motorcycles!

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    If any of you guys have a problem with laying it down properly, use Armor All on the tires. Then, correct technique will eventually just come to you.
    #68
  9. Ritalin Boy

    Ritalin Boy Petroconsumptivitius

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    In a blaze of gore and a shower of sparks. :eek1 :lol3
    #69
  10. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

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    I've been kinda wondering that. How exactly would I "lay 'er down" on the street with street tires? Lock up the rear and try to get it to kick out?
    #70
  11. ianbh

    ianbh Been here awhile

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    Easy, did it several times as a NOOB-lock up the front wheel when it's not straight, don't let off. Down in a flash!
    I didn't lay it down, it LAID me down.
    Ian, Iowa
    #71
  12. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    First off, that conversation was so damn funny in a macabre sort of way that it had to be printed again and again... :poser

    What an idiot there at that dealership. :rofl



    Now the problem - :huh

    Official Harley Davidson apparel labeled helmets are NOT junk. They are from name brand companies, in keeping with their policies. At a glance on the Harley web site I found the following; the modular was HJC, the full face by KBC, and even the half shell was by KBC. :deal

    Mat Mladin wore the KBC helmets for years as an AMA superbike racer/champion and Ben Spies wears HJC in MotoGP. I personally have both a KBC Racer1 and an HJC CL15. The latter is the best fit I've had since 1983 with a Bell Star!

    So the Harley branded helmets are good helmets by all means. Harley even used to buy from Bell years ago when they were on par in sales with Shoei and Arai.

    Your bad! You'd have done better to look at the helmets, ignoring all the matte and black, to see that they actually were decent helmets (labels inside), then told the newbie that it isn't an automatic that he will "lay 'er down" any number of times and the sales guy was full of BS, but his brain is still worth protecting - even if only with a half shell.
    #72
  13. TomDac

    TomDac Been here awhile

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    :rofl

    awesome.
    #73
  14. TomDac

    TomDac Been here awhile

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    Wow. Swan from "The Warriors" really sold out. Nice one, dude. ROFL
    #74
  15. Blur

    Blur Peddlin' motorcycles!

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    Jim - If you don't have any Armor All handy, an alternative is to use duct tape....


    <iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Ab3NRut64X8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #75
  16. Noone

    Noone Long timer

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    Asked by a student (not me) at the MSF rider's course "Are you going to teach us to "lay it down"?

    Answered by instructor "We teach riding, not wrecking".:rofl
    #76
  17. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    :beer
    I am sure it still happens as I still hear the ridiculous talk going on between some riders.

    The "flip over the handlebars if you use the front brake" one kills me
    :rofl Have you ever tried to do a stoppie on a cruiser? :lol3

    Where I work (a large store) the largest display of helmets is Shoei and Arai. Granted there is also a display of DOT approved Half-Helmets for those that prefer them or those that just can't get beyond the Image sheep phase. NO Novelty Skid lids to be found however.

    Times they are a changin'

    Ride Safe Ride Often.
    #77
  18. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    That's not "layin' er down"... That's a "face plant".


    "Layin' er down" Is locking the rear and having it kick out to the side in a controlled fall to get the bike to slide broadside reeeeal easy so you can use them shock absorbers to take up some-a dat impact!! Don't cha Kno nuttin? . You ain't supposed ta use da front brakes on a motorcycle lessin' ya climbin' a hill and don't make 'er all da way to the top... That theres what dem front brakes is for!!!"
    #78
  19. bwalsh

    bwalsh Long timer

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    So what good is your brain if the rest of your face is scraped off? :dunno

    I've seen numerous Harley shops sell those cheap ass skid lids(~$50) with a warning label in them stating they are not for highway use. I'm sure if I wanted to I coould crush the sides together with my hands. Why even sell such crap in the first place? I seen them being used on the road. I had a guy(Harley Pirate) tell me he could replace my Shoei RF1000(which his drunk wife knocked off the bike when she knocked the bike over:kboom) with as good a helmet for $50. Yeah right...
    #79
  20. Tepi

    Tepi Been here awhile

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    I laid my bicycle down as a kid. Car turned infront of me and I could avoid it as there was cars coming on the opposite lane too, didnt help much that I was going way too fast and only had rear brakes on the bike and the braking power of a street bike tire was shitty at best... car just continued like nothing happene.

    Road rash ftw, I did get some "ooh and aaah's" in school from other students and girls, you know you were the ultimate badass in middle school. But I did make a mental note, not to slide on my skin on the road again and to avoid "laying it down". :rofl However, I would rather lay it down than take a highside.
    #80