Reluctantly joined the face plant club

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by marine_mike, May 24, 2013.

  1. marine_mike

    marine_mike Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    Mount Clemens, MI
    Well ladies and gents, After only 3 weeks of riding, I managed to go down on my DRZ400s...or up and over. (still cant figure it out) I was going along at about 25 mph, I'd say about 1 1/2 cars lengths behind an SUV. (too close...I know) when the woman in front of me slammed on her brakes. In turn, I clutched, down shifted and hit the brakes quicker than I thought I knew how. The wheel turned to the left and I was off the bike. I know I did about 3 tumbles before coming to a stop. I got up, did a once over and proceeded to throw out some words that would make my fellow devil dogs blush. I saw that she had pulled over, but once I got up, she bugged out. The bike was still running, so I shut it off and brought it to the side. I was lucky..... the person behind me had enough distance to stop behind me. I guess the bike going down was loud enough to get the attention of someone in their back yard, because he came running out from behind his fence. The bike started right up, and all I could see was some rash on my knees, so I rode it home. (after doing a shift and brake check first) On the way home I did notice that the handlebars were cocked to the left a bit. A buddy told me it was most likely the bars tweaked, but to check the forks anyway. Before I continue...ATGATT!!!!!!! my jacket, and cloves saved me some skin and possible a broken elbow. My olympia motosport jacket had a nice chunk work out of it right below the elbow on the pad. The hand guards on the left side seem to have been ground down a bit too. Here's some pics...for your viewing pleasure.

    In this pic, the tire is straight ahead, but as you can see, the bars are pointed slightly left.
    [​IMG]
    In this pic, you can see how the left hand guard was ground down.
    [​IMG]
    And finally, in this pic...you can see how my knees were ground down a bit too.
    [​IMG]

    Finally I'll say it again All The Gear All The Time. This could have been a lot worse.
    #1
  2. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    11,528
    Location:
    New(er) Mexico
    Wait...you got that knee rash wearing ATGATT? What riding pants where you wearing?

    You were wearing riding pants right? You know what the first "A" in ATGATT stands for right? :deal

    Glad you are more or less OK and that the bike is not too messed up.

    Go practice hard braking in a parking lot. SQUEEEEEEEEZE that front brake.
    #2
  3. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    7,660
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    Atlanta
    Man, that sucks. Read up on braking, like lucifer said, squeeze the front brake lever, progressively. I try to practice it twice a month, it really does help. Sounds like you grabbed the front brake lever and lowsided. Hurts, don't it.:evil Maybe since you have the DRZ, find some dirt and practice doing a stoppie while going down a slight hill, it has improved my braking tremendously.
    #3
  4. marine_mike

    marine_mike Banned

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    Apr 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    Mount Clemens, MI
    OK..so you got me on the pants part....:wink:
    #4
  5. marine_mike

    marine_mike Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
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    315
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    Mount Clemens, MI
    Not as much as my pride
    #5
  6. Robus

    Robus Adventurer

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    Sep 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    Chicago burbs
    Most cagers tailgate. You are riding like you are still in a cage. Break those habits fast. If you follow too close on a bike it will catch you. Call this a cheap lesson.
    #6
  7. XRman

    XRman Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,408
    Location:
    SW Victoria Oz
    I was recently in USA and noted how few drives indicated their intention to perform a lane change. The freeway driving behaviour reminded me of MX racing. See a gap, dive into it! This sort of thing is illegal in OZ.

    I did notice that most US drivers seemed pretty considerate when off the freeways.

    There is no accounting for the idiotic behaviour some drivers will exhibit though. Just treat them as potential homicidal maniacs and keep away from them. it is annoying when they slot into your safety buffer zone though.

    I am sitting in pain after a nasty incident with a homicidal wallaby ( small kangaroo).It darted into my DRZ's front wheel when I was going about 50 mph.. I landed on my head.

    My RJays Dakar helmet is ruined, my neck brace has paid for itself, Fox pressure suit protected my back. My jacket shoulder is slightly torn, my pants knee area slightly torn.

    I have 4 busted ribs and some torn intercostal muscles. The wallaby died!

    Without ATGATT policy it culd have been me dead.

    My Spot tracker got its first SOS use. it worked well. IT IS ANOTHER THING I WON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT.

    Ride with caution . And be thankful cagers are slightly more predictable than marsupials.
    #7
  8. Y E T I

    Y E T I No Talent Ass Clown

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    When I'm in heavy traffic where you have to follow close to the car ahead of you, I ride at the edges of the lanes. Most cars can stop faster than cars so you want an out. If you're off to the side, you'll just go off to the side and not into the trunk of the car.
    #8
  9. cleandirt

    cleandirt Adventurer

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    Apr 13, 2010
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    Little Rock
    Everybody got all the riding and gear advice out of the way so now on to the bike. The forks may just be twisted in triple clamps. If the handlebar is lined up and straight with the top clamp then you just need to twist the wheel back into alignment.
    #9
  10. marine_mike

    marine_mike Banned

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    Apr 30, 2012
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    I figured as much. After looking at the bike from the front, top and side, the fender, bars and trailtech all point in the same direction. I'm going to use the concept of clamping 2x4s to the front and rear tires, loosening the triple bolts, then making measurements on both sides of the bike between the front and rear 2x4s.
    #10
  11. RollingJ

    RollingJ The mud in your eye

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    236
    Location:
    Bastrop, tx
    Loosen all but one of the triple clamp bolts (I leave the top right tight), hold the wheel between your knees and pull the bars into place. Usually centering the fender over the wheel will get you close enough. Make sure the top of the fork legs are set at the same height above the tripple and tighten her to spec (DRZ has conventional forks but on USD forks overtightening can have very detrimental effects of the suspension).

    Easy peasy.
    #11
  12. Kafn8td

    Kafn8td Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
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    179
    Glad you're ok! Sounds like you tried to turn at the same time as braking hard, that will bite you. Bikes can stop a lot faster than a car, so if you had kept it straight you probably would have been ok.
    #12
  13. Y E T I

    Y E T I No Talent Ass Clown

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    Not trying to be an ass, but generally speaking, you're wrong on this. In just about every real world situation, a car will stop in a shorter distance than a motorcycle.
    #13
  14. duck

    duck Banned

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    "Generally speaking," there is no hard and fast rule about whether a car or bike can stop faster. Some bikes can stop faster than some cars and some cars can stop faster than some bikes. There are MANY factors involved: driver/rider braking technique, rubber compound, tread pattern, pavement surface, ABS/non-ABS, vehicle model, blah, blah, blah....
    #14
  15. Y E T I

    Y E T I No Talent Ass Clown

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    True. Given that most people here ride on knobbies, it's a safe assumption to make that a bike will take longer to stop. But there are definitely a lot of factors to be considered.
    #15
  16. PT Rider

    PT Rider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
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    NW Washington State
    Don't waste time clutching or downshifting. Nor blowing the horn.

    Brake quickly but brake smoothly. "The wheel" didn't turn left. You turned it. Or you skidded it and it slid out from under you to the left. Did you lock up the rear wheel? Or lock up the front? You need to use both brakes, but you need to avoid hammering them on. Brake smooth and hard on the rear, then ease off the rear as the weight transfers forward. At the same time, brake smooth on the front and increase the front as the weight transfers to it from the rear. And keep your eyes up and looking ahead, never down. Keep in mind that the traction of any tire is proportional to the weight on that tire, so you can increase the braking force on the front without skidding as weight is shifted to that tire--and you gott'a reduce the braking force on the rear. As long as the tire is on the ground, it'll help you stop in a shorter distance.

    Practice emergency braking. Find a safe spot and practice short braking where you end up braking in a very short distance without skidding either tire. Start at 15 mph. After several very good short stops, increase to 20 mph. When that is working right, increase to 25 mph. When you're braking very short without skidding, keep stepping the speed up.
    #16
  17. acesandeights

    acesandeights Asperger

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    Typically a bike will stop in a shorter distance than a car on a dry surface and longer on a wet surface.
    #17
  18. shaddix

    shaddix Banned

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    Where do these crazy ideas come from?
    #18
  19. Scott_PDX

    Scott_PDX Leisure Engineer

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    Oct 18, 2010
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    Location:
    Portland...the newer one on the left side.
    To the OP, glad you're okay. Most accidents happen in the first 1000 miles, so you're right in there with the statistics. Sounds like you got off easy, could easily have been worse.

    Obviously need to increase your spacing, and get some riding pants! I went down on my first bike a couple of years ago when I started riding in the first 1000 miles, and ended up sliding across the pavement on lowside. I could feel my knees "Surfing" on my knee pads. Have been a big avocate for wearing riding pants since.

    It's all a learning experience, and you got out of that one cheap. Learn from it, move on and keep smiling! Thanks for sharing.
    #19
  20. marine_mike

    marine_mike Banned

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    Oddometer:
    315
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    Mount Clemens, MI
    I have the pant's but didn't wear them because they dont fit over my jeans. No excuse, I know. They would have prevented the rash. Lots of lessons learned on this one. I know when I got thrown off, I tumbled three times. I got up and did a Tom Arnold body check (from the scene in "true Lies with Schwarzenegger). It was at that point that I got pissed enough to basically lift and turn the bike like it was my mountain bike. Adrenaline does awesome things. Again, lots of lessons learned. I got too cocky and rode beyond my abilities.
    #20