Top form in powering around gravel corners

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by shaweetz, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. shaweetz

    shaweetz Been here awhile

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    This isn't it:

    [​IMG]

    After a day of blasting around on some great dirt roads at the Calabogie Boogie Dual Sport ride, I pulled this awesome move five minutes before the lunch stop on the second day. I had a blast on the Tiger all weekend, but I am a dirt neophyte and a major problem for me is throttle control and coaxing the bike around corners that are full of marbles. After this incident I've decided to learn the how of it on a smaller, lighter bike.

    We had just popped out from a great section of close two track, and the road opened up, smooth, wide, and fresh graded. In my head I sensed an opportunity to back off and finally get a handle on the bike and tire behaviour when you are on the wrong line, ploughing through a bunch of loose gravel. Things were starting to make some sense.

    On this mild downhill left, coming in too fast (naturally) I drifted out of the clean tire track towards the outside, which was a layer of the freshest loosest stuff a few feet wide. The bike started to plough through and I couldn't bring it around. At this point I compounded my increasingly serious mistake by looking at the grass on the shoulder where I was about to go, and recognizing that I wasn't going to get out of this one. The front was just washing through and I didn't have the chops to know how to save it.

    I ended up in the tall grass about a foot in, pleasantly surprised that there was still ground under there. Probably I was doing about 60kph; I will check my tracks later.

    That lasted maybe 20 feet before my luck ran out.

    The ground dropped away into a ditch, the bike dropped and bounced violently, turned into the road sharply and high-sided me into low orbit.

    I launched off sideways, landed on my right arse cheek, bounced onto my back where I landed flat, hit the back of my helmet, and skidded to a halt head first. I had clipped my left kneecap on the way over; I had Shift knee and shinpads on, but I guess it was too low, or I hit it from the top.

    Other than a bruised kneecap and ego, I was totally unscathed. I sat up, did an internal audit, and swore.

    The bike damage: incredibly minimal. Which, in hindsight, is extra incredible. The point where the ground dropped away was a culvert emerging from under the road. With speed I cleared the culvert, and as far as I can tell the front rim rolled up over the far edge where the ground came up again, the skid plate ploughing a furrow into the ground before everything went sideways.

    Ewan surveys the swath I carved into the earth with my masterful skills:

    [​IMG]

    I had always assumed the weak-looking givi racks would crumple at the first sign of trouble:

    [​IMG]

    The mount at the footpeg may be marginally bent, but won't know until I have a detailed look tomorrow. Otherwise they are perfect. I had no boxes or bags on at the time.

    I was looking for an excuse to get proper handguards anyway:

    [​IMG]

    Amazingly, the plastic guard was totally fine, but the bar-end plug sheared, causing the throttle tube to collapse and bind. We had to saw it off, which also ruined my precious grip heater :cry.

    OEM crash bars were fine. Minor rash on the RHS plastics. And the biggest surprise, the OEM 'skid plate' which is universally, ahem, 'bashed' as being terrible, emerged without issues, after a serious bashing indeed.

    We sawed off the bar end, straightened the mirrors and drove to lunch.

    I got ice on my bruised knee and a tot of Jameson this evening for my bruised ego. A lucky outcome indeed.
    #1
  2. shaweetz

    shaweetz Been here awhile

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    And a few pics from Jason, my other ride partner for the morning. I was sure glad to have those guys around.

    Any crash that ends with humour and shenanigans is the best kind of crash.

    Here's my opinion about what I just did:

    [​IMG]

    Standing in the ditch, piecing together what the hell just happened:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Finding humour in the absurdity of sawing off the end of my handlebar:

    [​IMG]

    We spent about 7 minutes combing through the weeds for the GoPro that separated from my helmet on impact. During that search we found a small pile of assorted auto parts from previous casualties. I guess it is a popular corner.
    #2
  3. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    But........did youfind the gopro??? We need video.......STAT! Man, glad you just skinned your pride.
    #3
  4. shaweetz

    shaweetz Been here awhile

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    Found yes, recording, no. I thought I had it on interval shots, but no dice.

    The impact was hard enough to dislodge the SD card, but was in the waterproof case. You know you had a 'good' crash when the priority is recovering the pics from the weekend.
    #4
  5. psmcd

    psmcd Long timer

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    Don't beat yourself up. When you lose it with those tires there's little chance of recovery. A knobbier tire will keep trying to grip where the smoother, rounder tire just lets go.
    #5
  6. shaweetz

    shaweetz Been here awhile

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    The rear tread was getting pretty down there at this point, which surely didn't help. However, the fault lies with that thing between my ears, without question. I deserved more than I got, which was a slap on the wrist.

    Still, my next tires will be more aggressive. It seems I can use all the margin I can get :D. Tonnes of great gravel riding tips are buried in the forum.
    #6
  7. Dorito

    Dorito Dreamer and Doer

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    If you ever are south of the border and have $400, this is class you want to take:

    www.cornerspin.com
    #7
  8. DragonNester

    DragonNester Been here awhile

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    #8
  9. manfromthestix

    manfromthestix Lost in Space

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    ...to replace your divot. :lol3

    [​IMG]

    Glad you got off so easy!

    Doug
    #9
  10. Cale_Kat

    Cale_Kat Been here awhile

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    So, you where doing something like this...
    [​IMG]

    When something like this happened to you ... More or less?
    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. reepicheep

    reepicheep Been here awhile

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    Note to Schweetz... even when you can slide a little bike around (I have a KDX-200) pretty much at will in the dirt, sliding a big bike around is pretty much a crapshoot. A good skill to have when you are out of other options, but when you get to that point on a street bike (even if it has a beak ;) ) it's more luck than anything as to if you will pull out of it.

    Not to self... Pack piece of broken hacksaw blade into tool kit. Freaking genius.

    Glad you are OK! Good to see how well the Triumph crashes as well...
    #11
  12. shaweetz

    shaweetz Been here awhile

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    I went golfing the week prior. It was pretty much this :D.

    Edit: sorry, that should be in quotes: "golfing".
    #12
  13. shaweetz

    shaweetz Been here awhile

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    I can't take credit for the hacksaw, riding buddy Jason brought one along after someone produced one at last year's Boogie to extricate a log from someone's wheel. I was thinking of bringing along a folding bucksaw in case there was some surprise across the trail, but this little folding hacksaw sure came in handy.

    The Tiger could have fared much worse. I think my 'divot' bled off a lot of the energy before it kicked me off.

    I have now rashed both sides of the OEM crash bars, so let's say I have zero regrets about spending that dough :clap.
    #13
  14. advantagecp

    advantagecp Adventurer

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    Nice post, glad you came out of it OK. I cringe every time I see one of these beautiful Triumph or BMW's take a hit like that. My friend Mike Morley theorizes that ugly bikes are more fun.

    My much less capable, much less valuable, 16 year old KLR 650 is ideal for crashing. Still runs? OK, let's go.
    #14
  15. slider162

    slider162 Been here awhile

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    Dropped my Tiger three times in a single day at the CADVR 6 event in Eagle River, WI. Drove the four hours home and haven't gotten back on it since I am so embarrassed.
    #15
  16. Hawk62cj5

    Hawk62cj5 2 Cheap 4 a KLR

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    Is it just me or is he standing in poison Ivy .

    glad it didnt turn out worst for you .... Ill do you a favor and trade you a super sherpa for that tiger , its great on gravel :deal
    #16
  17. Cale_Kat

    Cale_Kat Been here awhile

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    Just wondering if he'd lowered the tire pressure (from street) for the ride.
    #17
  18. shaweetz

    shaweetz Been here awhile

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    I'd dropped it to 28 front and rear, and it had been hooking up well all weekend, particularly I was impressed with how well they were powering up the looser hills. But in the end I just overdrove the traction I had available. If I had more I probably would have done the same.
    #18
  19. Cale_Kat

    Cale_Kat Been here awhile

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    You overcooked in a good place. I overcooked in a bad place but got extremely lucky.

    Not to highjack your thread too badly, but I posted here when I rode my bike off the side of a gravel road some years back. Couldn't help but share the link. http://advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=10809011&postcount=3
    #19
  20. Spad

    Spad Been here awhile

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    Love it when crash bars do their thing and you can ride away after the bike takes a nap on the side of the road. Good to have the things you need to fix what needs fixing, too.

    The bike didn't look as familiar on its side or in the closeups, but once it was in the picture with the rider behind, I recognized it (which, btw, makes for a strange experience browsing Faceplant). Glad you're OK!

    - Spad
    #20