Slow-ish lowside into rail

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by metale, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. metale

    metale Adventurer

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    So, after 3200km it happened. This morning, after about one hour of riding, I came upon this stretch of road I know. The cbr had been feeling somewhat sensitive and twitchy, but I just tried to smooth the steering inputs.

    I apologize right away for the lengthy description of events, it's all still very fresh and emotional.

    This part of the road is on the forest, trees on both sides, mountain on the left side and ditch after the rail on the right side, series of left-right-left corners. On the second left turn, upon corner entry, the motorcycle starts to lean to make the turn and the rear tire instantly lets go and we fall. Without warning, just a fraction of a second and then pain.

    Braking and gearshift were already done from the first left turn. I was steady on the throttle and can't recall doing anything to upset the bike. I don't know what happened, and that is bugging me the most. Tires's pressures had been checked before leaving the garage, tires have plenty thread, and that part of the road was shadowy/damp but no standing water. We (me and the bike) hit the ground and slide through the turn towards the guard-rail on the corner exit, ditch side.

    Selected gear and typical rpms for that corner place the speed at 60 to 65km/h. I had no time to understand the fall, but plenty of time to be aware of the slide. I slide to the rail on my back/left side, head and chest first. Legs first! I somehow managed to rotate and go legs first to absorve the hit. When I'm about to crash into the rail, some motorcycle appears out of nowhere (!! On the previous seconds all I could think was the rail and forgot that my bike was sliding with me) and we impact all at the same time. Cbr hit the lower rail-guard wheels/suspension side first as I hit the tank and seat legs first.

    FUUU, I crashed. Where am I? Gotta get out of the road. Hurts, especially the left shoulder and tigh (spl?). I put my weight on the left arm to get up, and feel a big snap as the arm goes into place at the shoulder. Got on my feet as 2 cars stop and help me to sit on the rail. The get the cbr up on it's side stand. It isn't going anywhere, gear pedal is jammed into the kickstand, can't select gears.

    I called the tow truck, and he can't take the cbr to my place, as by insurance policy he has to take it to a shop. I have him take it to the local car shop, which is of course closed as it's Sunday. He leaves me with the bike, and while trying to select 2nd, it jams into a higher gear. WTH, I'll ride it like this to my garage. Checking rpms vs speed, great... It's on sixth. My gearing is long, and there is some hills and traffic on the way home A firm kick gets it into fifth, but no further. I manage to get the bike home, and went to the hospital later.

    Nothing broken, no fractures, just bruises and pain. Zero abrasion (thanks Dainese), and helmet did't hit anywhere.
    I've got a couple of pics to post later. Bike damage:
    - Gearshift pedal
    - Both left side blinkers (front crooked, rear torn off)
    - left bar end (saved the fairings)

    Overall an extremely positive day, as I got to get back home to hug my daughter and wife.
    #1
  2. doc4216

    doc4216 Chronic High Fiver

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    Glad you're okay....bikes can be replaced, hugging your wife and daughter can't be.
    #2
  3. V.rider

    V.rider n00b

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    Glad you're ok. Very similar circumstances to my wreck I just posted. You did a better job of keeping your head off the road though. Good luck getting the bike squared away. It's amazing how fast it can happen, that traction stuff sure is important!
    #3
  4. metale

    metale Adventurer

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    Thanks, guys.

    This is the end of the turn. We hit the railguard where you can see the revolved dirt, by the yellow sign.

    [​IMG]


    Left side of the cbr:

    [​IMG]


    Jacket's left elbow:

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. Fajita Dave

    Fajita Dave Been here awhile

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    Barboursville, VA
    I'm glad your ok! When the rear end lets go things can get much more ugly then that!

    Can you clearly remember if you were adding throttle or if you were just keeping it steady? Adding throttle and lean angle at the same time is a recipe for the rear tire sliding out from under you with no warning what so ever. If you were just holding the throttle steady there had to be something else at work though.
    #5
  6. metale

    metale Adventurer

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    Thanks. Keeping it steady, I'm sure of that. This was on corner entry, while starting to lean. Much sooner that the point where I would start adding throttle and picking the bike up.

    I didn't accelerate, use any brakes, touch the clutch, nothing that I can think of that could upset the rear, other than... Lean into the corner. Also didn't shift my weight on the bike, had done that already between the 2 corners when the bike was briefly upright.
    #6
  7. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

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    Wow, that could have been a lot worse; I'm glad you made it out relatively unscathed!

    This is definitely one of the more biker-friendly guardrail designs::deal


    #7
  8. metale

    metale Adventurer

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    poolman, you are right: many of them are of this type now. Older ones were just the top half, and had a nasty tendency to kill riders.

    Also, the ditch behind it was a bit scary looking.

    Word of advice, if I may: please, wear riding gear. Made a world of diference to me.

    Edit: also guys, the damage on my gear was aparently only cosmetic. Should I make a priority to replace it? The armour on it is non-colapsable. The jacket elbow has those rips on the outer layer that you can see on the photos. The pants are a bit scuffed but held.
    #8
  9. Argyle

    Argyle lurking

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    without a doubt, happened to me in a rotary.
    #9
  10. DougFromKentucky

    DougFromKentucky Just a good 'ole boy

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    I have been down in my leather coat before. Took some leather balm to it (I would clean the leather on that white coat first) and it was good as new. Still wear it. Rather attached to it as I have had it for almost 20 years.
    #10
  11. metale

    metale Adventurer

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    Thanks, guys.

    No further updates, as I'm still trying to figure out how to remove the shift pedal :huh

    Managed to get it into neutral though.
    #11
  12. metale

    metale Adventurer

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    I suggest that to everyone: get riding pants. The pants were as important as the jacket.

    They are not the most confortable piece of clothes one can wear, but without mine I would probably have a broken knee, femur, and quite a bit of flesh missing from my left leg. It still hurts plenty as-is.
    #12
  13. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    Good to hear youre ok! Gear can make a big difference..

    Anything coming to mind of what caused it? I have had a few close calls with losing the rear but fortunately had room to use the front to straighten up and save it. I know my time is coming with the rear :uhoh
    #13
  14. metale

    metale Adventurer

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    My best guess is something on the road, mixed with a damp road, caused the loss of grip.

    IF that was it, it could have been for example tree resin (this road winds through a forest) or oil from a motor vehicle.

    No time to react, on one second I was leaned to negotiate the turn, next thing I knew I was sliding on the ground. The fall itself was very quick and unnatural, like my rear wheel had been cliped.

    Also, I don't understand why the front tire (a 90/80-17) held through whatever it went through with most of the weight over it (I think I was sitting quite foward) but the rear 110/80 didn't.

    Imagine someone on roadside with a cable/string tied to the rear wheel, and giving it a quick BIG pull.
    #14
  15. jimhaleyscomet

    jimhaleyscomet Adventurer

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    Being forward adds much weight to the front wheel while unloading the rear. In flat dirt riding schools they teach you to get way over the front but it does tend to unload the rear. It really is amazing how much traction you can get from a loaded front wheel.

    I had my rear slide out while on a sharper slower corner. Front wheel was fine. Fortunately the rider behind me took video and later I could see I had just down shifted. Didn't remember changing anything but the video does not lie. I must have let the clutch out and then it broke loose. Perhaps similar happened to you (or not).
    #15
  16. metale

    metale Adventurer

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    I kept the same gear from the previous 2 corners, so a downshift wasn't the cause. I remember being sitting agains the tank tho, and also being leaned to the inside front (helmet chin near my left hand).

    I'm already almost good for another one, as they say around here. As for the trusty cbr, the bent shift lever is out, new one is ordered and I'm fighting the rear blinker to get it back on. This is a big thing for me, as I'm not mechanicaly inclined at all :clap nor do I have any tool sets worthy of that name.

    I can take a pic of the bike as is, if anyone wants.
    #16
  17. metale

    metale Adventurer

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    So, shift pedal is ordered at Honda, got to take the bent one out.

    The damage to the fairings is a bit more than the adrenaline let me initialy see. Here's she:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The bar end toke quite a hit.
    [​IMG]

    Overall, not too bad considering the slide.


    Footpeg assembly out
    [​IMG]

    The shift pedal is held by a snap-ring. Had to buy a plier to remove it.

    Could not use it as intended (to spread the ends of the snap-ring/clip), ended up grabing the round part of it and it pulled right out :confused

    Bent pedal
    [​IMG]


    Trying to put the blinker back on:
    [​IMG]


    Toke quite a fight, but it blinks. Let's see how long it holds there. The licence plate was already cracked.
    [​IMG]

    Also:

    • Cleaned the chain with a brush, and lubed it.
    • Alligned the rear wheel (was off by 2mm), and retightened both axles to spec.


    Still to do before riding:

    • Install new shift pedal.
    • Re-set tire pressures.
    • Check engine oil level.
    • Clean the whole bike.
    #17
  18. Crisis management

    Crisis management Latte riders FTW!

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    Glad to hear you are ok and are getting on with repairing the CBR, it's a very good bike to learn on and very capable (also crashes well and is cheap / easy to repair). :D
    My feedback as follows (remember I wasn't there and am only interpreting the info on this thread).

    Bikes don't crash, riders crash. You somehow made this happen. :deal
    In your first post you mention the bike feeling twitchy, this is a symptom of something not being right, possibly tyre pressures (too high), cold weather / hard tyre lacking grip? or you feeling a bit too tense on the bike?

    This comment is correct, you manage grip on either front or rear by shifting weight, with weight forward the rear will slide, with weight back the front will slide. I'm not suggesting you try and slide the tyres, just be aware of how your motorcycle works.

    Looking at the pics of your rear tyre it appears you are a cautious rider, there is little apparent wear towards the edge of the tyre. That's fine, it's how we all start out learning but supports my comment about the crash, I suspect you had to much weight forward, the rear slid and unfortunately you did not recognise the start of the slide in time to correct it.
    Something to remember next time!

    A couple of suggestions:
    Check your tyre pressures, maybe in colder weather set them a bit softer as this will keep the tyres hotter / more grip?
    Check how good your tyres are, original equipment tyres can be a bit hard for long life but may lack grip, talk to the motorcycle shop guys and get a couple of opinions.
    Make sure your suspension is set correctly (I don't know how adjustable the CBR is), too hard a suspension will result in losing traction / grip on uneven roads.

    Training, get some, you can never have enough.
    Practise slow speed car park manouvers, look up "Captain Crash" on Youtube, there is a lot to learn from him.

    Last... the gear shift lever is mild steel, just bend it back into shape, hammer and vice is all you need, and buy some crash bungs to minimise damage!

    Enjoy the next ride!
    #18
  19. metale

    metale Adventurer

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    Thank you for your feedback. I try to learn as much as I can, I've only rode a motorcycle for the 1st time 5 months ago, when I bought the cbr.

    Concerning the bike, the suspension is not adjustable, neither rear or front. The tires are not oem, they are 10mm wider than stock. Still narrow enough to keep the twitchyness (common complain with this bike, and adressed by Honda on the following model).

    This wasn't a hot morning, but neither a very cold one. I had been riding for about one hour and not that slow. I have dificulty understanding how the tires could be too cold (these are basically scooter tires, not race tires), but may as well accept it.

    The tire is still near-new. It has done 5.000km, and similar tires have been seen to do nearly 20.000km on these motorcycles. The middle part has plenty of thread, the grey-ish zone is not baldness, it's just white stone-dust from the entrance to the garage. I intend to replace them when budget allows, with something like metzeler M5s to slow the steering.

    Bottom line is, I crashed it, I want to fix it as soon as possible and keep on learning.
    #19
  20. MikeS

    MikeS For sure let's do it

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    I keep thinking, "something on the road". You were on a curvy road, and diesel fuel or some other similar product could have been in the asphalt. Reason for this speculation is I lost traction suddenly while exiting a curve. Looking back at it, there was some slippery stuff on the road. Luckily, I pulled out of it, despite both wheels sliding sideways for a second of a lifetime. It wasn't obvious as I entered and exited the curve - no roadway discoleration. I know another incident where two rider friends lost traction and did crash because of fuel oil on the roadway. A one time spill is not easy to spot.

    It's hard to loose traction on a curve, unless you're really booking around the corners and dragging pegs.
    #20