Step-son crashes his KLR

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by gilbertx7, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. gilbertx7

    gilbertx7 n00b

    Jul 26, 2007
    My stepson crashed his 2008 KLR riding home from work yesterday afternoon. He is being kept overnight in the hospital but appears to be fine outside of some bruising and relatively minor road rash. His HJC helmet and Kawasaki branded leather jacket are rashed pretty badly and the bike is currently in city impound so we don't know how it fared. Details are sketchy but apparently he was riding near the 65 mph speed limit when the bike went in to a tank slapper. I have no idea why this happened but I did ride by the accident scene on my way to the hospital yesterday (Did not stop because at that point I did not know how badly he was hurt) and noticed that the chain was missing from the bike. Presumably the master link failed. I don't know how this could account for the tank slapper but apparently it had something to do with it. I will know more when we get the KLR out of impound next week. My stepson is 18 and has been licensed for a year almost to the day. If anything good comes out of this it would be that my constant preaching AGATT is valid. If he had been wearing his Kilaminjaro pants he could probably have avoided the giant strawberry on his ass cheek. He was charged with failure to control, which I may go to court with him to fight. Any ideas/experiences dealing with this would be greatly appreciated. He is still on my insurance so I have a vested interest in contesting it. I carried liability only on the KLR, so any repairs to it will be out of pocket. Ride safe out there-Marty
  2. 8lives

    8lives Dharma Bum

    Jan 16, 2012
    Shasta County,Calif
    My son also went down on his R6 Yammi,just helmet,gloves and snowboard gear,he got lucky the bike is totaled,but he is in pretty good shape,he had a guy pull out in front of him.I have been back to riding for a couple years now and just got smart on ATGATT,last fall I finally thought it was time to be seen and be prepared for the inevitable crash,now I gear up even to go to the store(I ride year round now about 10000 miles per year)if people want to ride in T shirts,shorts,and tennis shoes that's fine with me,I like my green jacket,pants and my goofy home painted HI Viz helmet.
  3. folknride

    folknride Old Adventurer

    Sep 10, 2008
    Alberta, Canada
    That sucks - sorry about your Stepson. Glad he wasn't hurt more seriously. From the injuries you describe sounds like he (luckily) low-sided. Maybe the chain broke, caught on something and locked up the rear. Generates more of an end-swapper than tank slapper but they would feel about the same in the heat of the moment. you might be able to tell from skid pattern, or any damage that the chain did if it caught. Just a theory. I would think mechanical fail was a defence for lack of control.
    What kind of link - rivet or clip?
    Hope he recovers and puts lessons to good use.
  4. RFVC600R


    Dec 16, 2011
    Whoa 1st post

    you be lurkin' :deal
  5. SgtDuster

    SgtDuster Long timer

    Feb 23, 2010
    Province of Quebec!
    If this happened to be true...

    I hope this will become true too.
  6. Cale_Kat

    Cale_Kat Been here awhile

    Oct 1, 2006
    The broken chain might explain the accident but it was his responsibility to maintain the bike. I don't know what "failure to control" means from an insurance standpoint but I'd discuss it openly with your insurance agent.

    Best wishes for your stepson's speedy recovery.
  7. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Farto Motograffer

    Jul 23, 2010
    Twin Cities, Minnesota USA
    Might be best to just pay the ticket and move on if that's an option. In some jurisdictions, if you try to prove this as an equipment malfunction, you may be making things worse. Brake failure, in my state as an example, is mandatory court.

    ie; worse than a ticket you could have paid simply by mail.

    Not sure this is the one you want to battle. I understand your standpoint, really I do, but they can and may actually tell you that if you opt to set a court date to dispute a ticket, that it may end up being escalated to an equipment type failure based on your own statements thus far, which may in fact increase potential fines, fees and or suspensions and permenent record.

    Glad he is ok.
  8. boxermoose

    boxermoose Regressive airhead

    Sep 18, 2003
    Gulf Coast TX
    WOW glad it looks like he's gonna be OK
  9. rgoers

    rgoers Been here awhile

    Apr 27, 2011
    Northern Utah
    Personally, I think that charging someone in a situation like this is asinine! If others were involved, yada yada, then I can see ticketing him, but he’s already down, why kick him too? Hope he recovers quickly...<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
  10. duffs

    duffs I have a beard

    Jan 28, 2012
    Battersea (London) UK
    Marty - firstly, the most important thing is that your stepson is alive with minimal injury considering the circumstances.

    Presuming the accident investigation comes to the same conclusion as you have (ie chain failure causing sudden loss of momentum resulting in the oscillation which caused the crash) you would want to explore how the charge of failure to control affects your future insurance coverage and/or any other consequences.

    If it's negligible then just pay the fine and move on. I don't know the terms of your insurance but it's always possible that failure to control (due to component failure?) is far less serious in their eyes than, for example, a charge of dangerous driving, or failure to maintain vehicle to a roadworthy standard (or whatever the equivalent US laws are). In the UK this is the case so there is a good chance it is the same for you.

    Does your insurance include legal cover? If not, perhaps one of your credit cards does. Might be an idea to get advice.

    The thing which is not in your favour is that, in the eyes of the insurer, your stepson is an inexperienced, young, male rider (high risk and not desirable to insure). Presumably he is tagged onto your policy because on his own the premiums would have been unacceptably high. Any evidence to show he is responsible and mature will be helpful, particularly if the matter ends up in the courts - for example, if his licence is clean, no points/fines for speeding or other reasons. The fact he actually listens to you and wears appropriate gear (for the most part) can't hurt either.

    That said, since you mentioned you only have third party liability insurance, there is probably little point in bringing this to court (and a potentially needless expense considering legal counsel, lost wages etc). Since no third party was involved, your insurance will not be paying out anyway and therefore the only reason to go to court would be to have the charge quashed (to potentially prevent your premiums from increasing due to the charge next time you renew).

    If you had full comprehensive insurance, then you'd have a reason to fight the insurer tooth and nail, since they will ALWAYS try to find a way to mitigate their payout, but in this case it might be best just to learn from the experience and move forward.

    I hope that helps somewhat...

  11. Deliverator

    Deliverator not a replicant

    Oct 13, 2011
    Left Coast, USA

    This really rattles me. Sounds like your family and stepson were lucky.

    I take it this was a single vehicle accident? If not, that may explain the citation.

    Who installed the chain? If it's a knowledgeable service person get their opinion. Any other repairs that might explain things?

    You need to check the vehicle code section that is cited for "failure to control" on the ticket and see exactly what that means in your state. It seems cruelly harsh that a mechanical breakdown or product defect would be considered a "failure to control" in any state.

    Ask your stepson tough, pointed questions about what he told the cops and what he's telling you. How did he describe the events of accident to the cops, he may have created the problems himself by what he said. Get the police report.

    Does what he say make sense to you? Was he impaired in some fashion at the time or is there something else he doesn't want to tell you?

    Assuming you have legitimate issues worthy of consideration, it is unlikely that the fine or punishment will be increased because you raise them thoughtfully and well in a hearing, but the laws of your state may say something else. Again, make sure you know the full story.

    Be smart and be safe and good luck.

  12. DirtReeper

    DirtReeper Been here awhile

    May 8, 2011
    Southern Utah
    Glad He's ok. It's a KLR so it'll be fine. as for what caused it?
  13. SCouch

    SCouch Been here awhile

    Mar 21, 2007
    Grenada, MS
    Around here, failure to control is sort of a wreckless driving, except you weren't doing anything else illegal. For example, running off the road while you are doing the posted speed limit, just not paying attention. I don't think they would ticket you here if the cop thought it was a mechanical failure.
  14. el Pete

    el Pete toda su base

    Mar 3, 2009
    colinas del norte, california sur
    Glad he's OK and bummed he got cited. Talk about adding insult to injury...

    Almost every bad wobble story I heard about with a KLR was caused by too much weight in the rear (camp gear, etc.), incorrect sag, loose steering head bearings or not enough air pressure in the tires. I rode one for a couple years and never had any issues.
  15. gilbertx7

    gilbertx7 n00b

    Jul 26, 2007
    Well I picked up the bike earlier this week and now I 'm not sure what happened. The chain is off of the sprockets and the master link did not break. The axle is pushed back away from the adjuster on the right side and the wheel is nearly touching the muffler. We had adjusted the chain the night before and used a new cotter pin. I checked the nut, thinking (and freaking out) one of us had forgotten to tighten it properly and caused the crash but it was quite snug and required considerable force to dislodge. The rear wheel is still true but the Avon Gripster sidewall is seriously buldged. The kickstand is crumpled at the center and is now an L shape. It appears that it made contact with the chain at some point as it is seriously chewed. It is very difficult (at least for me) to determine what was damaged by impact or actually failed before and caused the crash. My stepson swears that there was no hint of instability prior to the tankslapper which makes me wonder if a cord let go in the tire and instigated the wobble. The tire is still at 34psi and had about 3500 miles on it. I'd told him the night before the crash we needed to replace it in the next 500 or so miles but it definitely was not dangerously shot. I doubt we will ever know for sure what happened. I am going to court with him tomorrow (he has to appear anyway since he was not carrying his proof of insurance card with him) but mainly for moral support. I don't think it would hurt to ask for leniecy, especially since no other vehicles or property were involved. The city impound lot extracted 179.00 from me when I picked up the bike. A fine on top of that seems excessive. At this point I think we are going to try to get the bike on the road again. I made a list of all the broken bits the other night. So far: Kickstand and safety switch, Right and left upper cowling + inner cowling, handlebars, mirrors. shifter, left hand guard, right and left side cowlings (these can wait-they are rashed but functional) and rear tube and tire. Ebay has some of this stuff but the bodywork will probably have to be OEM. If any of you know where any of this stuff can be sourced reasonably let me know. My stepson is still a bit sore but is back to work and OK. That is the most important thing. Ride safe-Marty
  16. SxyRdr

    SxyRdr Been here awhile

    Mar 28, 2012
    Bealeton, VA
    Ugh.... hits a little too close to home.

    My son isn't yet licensed (on a permit until Sep) and rides an 04 KLR.

    I need to get him riding pants....

    Glad your stepson is alive and well...
  17. DirtReeper

    DirtReeper Been here awhile

    May 8, 2011
    Southern Utah
    It is a well known fact that KLR's enjoy taking naps, please dont ask me how i know this.....:evil
  18. bogey78

    bogey78 Been here awhile

    Dec 20, 2006
    North Alabama
    Did the milk crate sustain any damage? Just kidding:rofl

    Glad the kid is alright and if the judge or city atty has some sense, they'll throw the ticket out. I wonder if they give out tickets if someones car quits running at a redlight? Do they get tickets if a tire blows out from hitting road debris? Of course not. The $179 bend over fee added enough insult to injury without a citation. I truly believe traffic citations for single vehicle accidents with no other parties or property involved are BS revenue generators. I hate to act like I'm anti-gubmint, but if it was the chief of police or mayor's kid it would have been handled quite differently. Unless of course your boy was driving stupidly and just hasn't fessed up to you yet.

    It still could have been the tire or you guys didn't torque the axle nut properly. I know it's tight now but the wheel sitting sideways in the swingarm post crash could make it seem tight where it wasn't tight when centered in the swingarm. Just spitballin' on what might of happened.
  19. sparklr

    sparklr Adventurer

    Mar 22, 2010
    I am glad your stepson is OK, the most important detail in the incident.

    There is however a possibility that with further analysis there is a valuable lesson here. What is lacking in the details is the weather that day, who the owner was from day one, and where did the bike finally end up after the crash. Was this a tankslapper or a rear lock up causing loss of control? There is a difference which doesn't need debating at the moment.

    You admit to adjusting the chain, it could be possible that you failed to adjust and lock the left side adjuster properly if at all or had a serious misalignment after securing the nut. Possible, but not likely for a simple adjustment that it would be too far out to end up allowing the right tire side to hit the muffler unless you also had the wheel off and got the spacers mixed up.

    The part that really has me baffled is your description of the kickstand, as there is only one imaginable way that could of happened, which is that the kickstand for some reason was down, hit the road and took off the chain. For the chain to be loose enough and catch the spring stays and do that kind of damage seems improbable, most derailments would lock the rear and in most instances would leave a permanent reminder on your engine casing.

    Perhaps when time permits some pics could be provided.

    A few questions to ponder.

    A) Is your stepson the original owner?
    B) Do you still have a kickstand spring attached?
    C) Was the kickstand switch bypassed?
    D) Was the left side tensioner properly adjusted and locked?
    E) Was the wheel removed prior to chain adjustment (spacer mix-up)?

    There is either an anomaly, unfortunate coincidence or a misinterpretation here. Help me figure out which?
  20. arbutus

    arbutus Adventurer

    Apr 10, 2013
    As a newer rider (and maybe it's the same for anyone) the threat of a tank slapper really scares me. Glad your step-son is ok. At that speed I think he was really lucky.
    It sucks that they would charge someone in this situation where no one else was involved... Maybe the risk of involving someone else was high... I don't know how that particular law works though or if I even have it where I'm from.