High Side on a KLR

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by Honkylicious, May 15, 2011.

  1. Honkylicious

    Honkylicious nothing to see here

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    This Friday, while out on the Blue Ridge Parkway and other mountain roads, I high-sided. I got off the BRP onto Hwy 215, Near Brevard, NC.
    215 is a very twistie stretch with fresh black top, tight turns, little traffic, and thankfully, wide shoulders in parts.:clapWhile slowing down to enter a left hander, my rear tire locked up just before I started to lean into the turn. The rear slid right just a bit, then caught traction, and sent me flying! The bike slid on the right side, as did I, up the raod and onto the shoulder of the road. The bike stopped there, and I didn't. While sliding on my right side (mostly on my elbow) when I hit the dirt I went flying again.:cry Other than rolling a few times times that is about all I remember until I was looking up at the sky through the dust. While laying there for a moment, all I could think of was what bones were broken.
    Thankfully other then being sore from head to toe, no injuries. Wearing ATGATT is a must. I was going about 50 the last I looked at the spedo, and hit the ground hard. I wear Olympia pants, and their AST jacket, and Alpine Stars boots, and HJC helmet, and good gloves. This could have been nasty.
    As for the bike (09 KLR) The Happy-Trails nerf bars did a pretty good job of taking most of the damage. The hand guard, and fairings are scratched up a bit, and I don't know where the hell my mirror went:confused, but all else is fine. Last night I pounded out some of the bends in the cross support braces on the nerf bars, and other than finding a mirror nothing else needs to be done. Well maybe one more thing, tires. The Dunlop 666's can be a bit unpridictable to say the least, and the same can be said for the brakes on the KLR. I'll probably go back to TKC's.
    All in all, things are fine, and I'm gonna try to learn from this accident.
    #1
  2. ghostdncr

    ghostdncr Burnin' daylight...

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    Sounds like a nasty one! Good to hear you and the bike are only a little worse for wear. I wonder how this would've turned out if you were wearing flip-flops and a ball cap?
    #2
  3. Some Mook

    Some Mook Goin' Down Slow

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    The tire locked up due to a mechanical failure?

    Or did you lock it up?
    #3
  4. Motojournalism

    Motojournalism motojournalism.com

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    Damn, Glad it didn't end too badly! Was it a case of locking the rear then easing-off *slightly*? Just enough for the rear to catch?
    I remember getting a good kick doing just that, avoiding a dog in El Salvador.

    My dirt instinct tells me that easing-off the brake after locking it up is correct - But I've heard that's a recipe for a highside on pavement. Too much sudden grip in the wrong direction I think? :dunno I think you're supposed to ride it out locked?

    I prefer the TKC80s too, damn near perfect tire for the KLR in my opinion.

    Would love to see some snaps of the bike and your gear!
    #4
  5. Honkylicious

    Honkylicious nothing to see here

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    I locked it up. The Dunlops are not quite as sticky as the TKC's that I'm used to, and KLR's are known to be a bit lacking when it comes to brake power. But ultimately the blame goes to me. :lol3
    #5
  6. Honkylicious

    Honkylicious nothing to see here

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    Was it a case of locking the rear then easing-off *slightly*? Just enough for the rear to catch?

    My dirt instinct tells me that easing-off the brake after locking it up is correct - But I've heard that's a recipe for a highside on pavement. Too much sudden grip in the wrong direction I think? :dunno I think you're supposed to ride it out locked?

    I prefer the TKC80s too, damn near perfect tire for the KLR in my opinion.






    That is exactly what happened! Maybe next time I'll stay on the brake and take a low side:rofl.
    #6
  7. Some Mook

    Some Mook Goin' Down Slow

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    Locked on pavement until stopped -or nearly so, or a high side is a likely outcome. Different animal on dirt.

    I have worn out several sets of TKC's, and loved them but not the cost. Shinkos and Kendas are more within my means now.
    #7
  8. Some Mook

    Some Mook Goin' Down Slow

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    Don't know the specifics of your situation, but in WV I have seen more than a few riders who are used to taking turns at certain speeds in their (flatter) home ranges get into down-slope turns too hot, and encounter more front weight transfer and front suspension compression than they expect, leading to enough unloading of the rear tire to lock it up - even on a KLR.

    A locked up rear tire is recoverable if you keep it locked until the speed is low enough for you to deal with the forces involved. No low-side if you keep the front tire rolling.

    Running curvy mountain roads is a blast, but it's better to go slower-down and faster-up until you are more familiar with what 8% or better grades will do to your corner entries.
    #8
  9. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    Glad to hear you're ok! Just rode 215 to the BRP to 276 on friday nite, through the nasty bit of the storm and hit lots of rock and wet leaves in the corners, heading to the old school rally. Man, what a nice place to crash :D Again, glad you're ok. But protocol on a rear brake lock up on asphalt is to keep it locked. I'll pick a low side over a high side any day of the week. The "snap" from the rear regaining traction is too much for anyone to hold on to!
    #9
  10. Honkylicious

    Honkylicious nothing to see here

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    It happened so fast, my reaction was to let off the brake and lean. Obviously that was wrong!:lol3 The snap was way to much for me to hold on to!:rofl
    #10
  11. Falcon86

    Falcon86 I just work here.

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    Pics or it didn't happen.

    (kidding).


    Glad you're ok!
    #11
  12. Honkylicious

    Honkylicious nothing to see here

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    I'll try to load some tonight of the bike and gear. Thanks for all the well wishes!
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  13. SteelB12

    SteelB12 Long timer

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    Might that be his avatar??
    #13
  14. Honkylicious

    Honkylicious nothing to see here

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    Naw, thats just from a slow low side on gravel:D
    #14
  15. tserts

    tserts Chaotic Neutral

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    I think I would have fared the same, coming too hot on a corner and locking the rear is something that you don't get to practice often, for good reasons...

    Instinctively I ease off the brake when it locks and doing differently under panic seems too hard, I will try to keep it in mind but I think I'll end up flying if it comes to that...

    You came through relatively unscathed, put it behind you and learn from it. Thanks for sharing it.
    #15
  16. Some Mook

    Some Mook Goin' Down Slow

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    Actually, it is something that needs to be practiced to get your primordial lizzard-brain in with the program.

    It's all well and good to think about how to react, but in a panic situation, it's not the thinking part of your brain that necessarily remains in full control.

    Practice intentionally locking up the rear wheel in a straight line, in a controlled environment - deserted parking lot or similar.

    Start at low speeds, then gradually work up to higher speeds (I sure wouldn't want to start at the 50mph reported by the OP) and focus on keeping the rear wheel locked until completely stopped.

    Practice in the wet, or find a gravel patch if you have trouble getting the rear tire to break traction.

    Once the lizzard-brain gets used to the feeling of a locked rear wheel and associates a response of mashing the rear brake pedal harder to the situation, you will have better odds of successfully reacting out on the road.

    FWIW, in addition to my hard-braking and obstacle avoidance practice sessions, I also deliberately look for front brake lock-up on dirt and gravel situations, just to practice the feeling of where the front will lock and also to practice dumping the front brake off in a big hurry when I reach that point.

    Of course it is also helpful to approach unknown curves and corners with a thought in mind of 'Enter too slow = exit Faster, Enter too fast = exit Dead'. The road isn't a race track, and can be a very harsh and un-forgiving place to try and gain experience reacting to mistakes that could have been avoided through the simple expedient of slowing down sooner.
    #16
  17. Honkylicious

    Honkylicious nothing to see here

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    I really don't see how locking up the brake in a parking lot would anything at all other than eat tires, since i have locked up brakes in many situations. Many times people pull out in front of you, cut you off, deer jumps out in front of you...................
    In the past 2 years I have about 8000 miles logged on these roads that are close to home. I'm just used to having better tires for the road. I started slowing down way earlier than I thought I would have needed to. The tires I usually run do a much better job at braking. I tried to compensate as best I could for the tires I was running(this turn would have been easy with TKCs) but I only had about 400 miles of mountain road experience with these tires over the past couple weeks.
    If I would have kept the rear wheel locked up until a complete stop, my stop would have been face first into a tree, or off the side of a mountain.Real life situations can be much different then what you learn in class. In many situations in my daily life I must make hard choices, and "practicing" helps, but doesn't replace experience. I just want to learn from my experience, and hope to help people that don't wear ATGATT will reconsider what can happen.
    #17
  18. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    Hey, glad you made it through without injury!

    I don't think its impossible to lock and unlock the rear brake on the street without crashing.
    I used to do it all the time, lock the rear up, kick it out a bit, get it back in line and unlock, just like dirt riding.
    It was fun, but I am sure its rough on tires.
    I never tried it in a turn, and don't think I will...
    I am not sure I would do it in the wet, I don't fool around much on wet roads...
    #18
  19. chippertheripper

    chippertheripper motorcycle junkie

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    My .02, don't practice locking the rear at all. Do practice not using the rear brake and stomping a downshift. I road-race a motard (not foot out supermoto style) and never touch my rear brake. As a dirt rider I'm familiar with the slide, point, and shoot, but that's not to be used on the street. Front brake, all the time, use the rear for the dirt. Or the stoplight.

    Flame on naysayers:
    #19
  20. Honkylicious

    Honkylicious nothing to see here

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    :muutt Thanks for the advice. I'm still learning from this mishap:lol3.
    #20