Would A B S have saved her?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by viverrid, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Better riding certainly would have. We both made the same maneuver. I completed it routinely, she crashed.

    Wife & I were each on our own dualsport thumpers. DRZ for me, XT-225 for her. We were riding along a paved road and wanted to make a 90 degree right onto a dirt road. We were rolling along pretty well. I braked hard, straight ahead on the pavement, released and turned onto the dirt.

    My wife braked hard on the pavement and was still braking hard as she turned onto the dirt. Of course the front tucked and down she went. Bad sprain resulted. We were both really upset at the time and in hindsight I felt bad that I didn't just stop on the pavement and make sure she was stopped, before we both turned in. (A full stop wasn't necessary at all, but would have made sure she was okay to turn in.)

    She said later, weeks later when she was finally willing to talk about it, that it never occurred to her that she should let up on the brake before turning onto the dirt. She drove cars for too much of her life and she drove the bike into the corner like she would have driven her car in (so what if the front tires scrubbed),

    So is this what front ABS is for?
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  2. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    ABS prevents wheel from locking, not side slip

    if your going too fast to corner on a loose surface, slowing down after the fact doesn't help

    when lead riding in a group of any type, 2 people, 10 people, communicate impending turns ahead
    #2
  3. joexr

    joexr Banned

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    If she didn't already know where you were going then you wrecked your wife yourself.
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  4. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    I actually thought that, but didn't want to say it

    second guessing after the fact is like saying, I might try that again

    I have to ask viverid, Did your ABS engage?
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  5. corndog67

    corndog67 Banned

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    Vivian, I don't mean to get personal here, but I've been reading your posts about your wife learning how to ride and the subsequent mishaps. And I've come to the conclusions, that you probably aren't the guy that ought to be teaching her how to ride. I taught my wife how to ride, starting out on a KTM500mxc 2 stroke on the beach at Pismo (no, she couldn't kick start it), then a YZ250 2 stroke, then a GS500 twin, GZ250, then a Sportster, then my Ducati S4 916. She never hit the ground on the street. But I was a nervous wreck, if she was going to fast, especially on the Duc, I'd get past her and slow her down. I never led her into shit I didn't think she could handle, and she seemed to have a bit of self preservation instinct. But eventually, she stopped riding. Of which I'm glad, there worst thing, in my mind, would be to see her bouncing down the road.

    Now, it appears you led your wife into this one. You being the more experienced rider and all. And no, ABS wouldn't have saved her. ABS is a helpful addition, but it does not replace riding skill. I think if you continue to do this stuff with her, you are.going to get her killed or suffering some major injuries, and I'm 100% serious about that. Get her some real instruction, or get her off a bike before its too late.
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  6. SgtDuster

    SgtDuster Long timer

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    Riding course first and then let her learn form her mistakes. I mean, it's how we all learned, right?
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  7. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    A DRZ doesn't have ABS.
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  8. ThumperStorm

    ThumperStorm Long timer

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    :nod
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  9. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    We've been over that before. She took and passed the riding course. The riding course is all at low speeds on a level paved parking lot. No dirt.

    There was another thread where another inmate wrote about his wife being newly licensed after taking the course, in which she did great. So she went riding around the block in their own neighborhood. She didn't come back so he went looking. He found her down only a block or so away, she'd been cornering hard and went over some sand or gravel. She didn't know why she went down. He showed her the gravel. She asked "that made me crash?" And was sour on riding ever after. She didn't have any gravel on the MSF range and it wouldn't have made her car crash.

    However, my wife also took and passed MSF-dirt. But that's all low speed on a range smaller than our former back yard (we live in town now). No transitions on & off pavement.

    We have talked about her crash. In hindsight I would have stopped on the pavement and waited even though it was not necessary. But she says it was her decision to turn. She saw me go in and thought she could make it too. She could have if she'd turned WHERE it was I turned, rather than WHEN it was I turned. She was well back and if I had time to brake so did she.

    Because she doesn't ride woods, her bike has more of a dualsport front and has a LOT more front grip (either braking or turning) on pavement than my bike does. Not quite as good on a dirt road, but I don't think ANY front tire would have gripped enough for what she did.

    My DRZ has a knobby front, I know it can be pushed braking on pavement as long as I keep my weight back. I don't know if it would actually stoppie if I put my weight forward, I've never tried. I doubt it, I think it would still push.
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  10. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    No, ABS would NOT have saved her in this instance.
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  11. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Long timer

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    Any dirt riding courses in your area?
    I think this is the best course of action for your wife.

    Mine doesn't ride her own bike anymore, and I'm kinda glad because I worried about her a lot.
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  12. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Been here awhile

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    No; ABS on a bike is only good for helping maintain traction when braking in a straight line.

    By contrast, in a car it allows a driver to maintain traction to allow directional control under braking.

    This comes from the Owner's Manual for the Honda CBR250RA (my bold for emphasis):

    This model is also equipped with an Anti- lock Brake System (ABS) designed to help prevent wheel lock up during hard braking on uneven or other poor surfaces while running straight. Although the wheel may not lock up-if you are braking too hard in a turn the motorcycle can still lose traction, causing a loss of control.
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  13. pretbek

    pretbek Long timer

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    Not trying to be facetious, but how can your wife NOT imagine that gravel would make her slip, or that a motorcycle behaves differently from a car?
    It seems she is running on autopilot or on undefeatable assumptions when riding, in stead of fully open to learning something new and rather demanding to do.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4
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  14. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    I don't know if she is going to keep riding her own bike. Seemed like she was really getting into it, zooming around and enjoying it. She was really enjoying riding.

    She's done fine in the courses as they are repetitious exercises, they show you what to do first and then you and everyone else in the class repeats it. She does great in that but it seems like the infinite variations of the real world are too much.

    I don't think it would have mattered if she was riding first or if I was first, if you brake & turn like that going from pavement to dirt, you are going to go down whether you are the 1st, 2nd or 15th rider. And this was only right up the road from where one of our kids lives. He lives on one dirt side road, this was a different dirt side road. He wasn't in town at the time but we left her bike at his house. The only bike damage was a scuff on her topcase. Didn't even break a turn signal or lever.

    She wears her gear and has never had any significant speed in any of these dirt crashes, but somehow manages to get banged up once a year. OTOH though she has had stall/drops on pavement, she's never been injured there. Maybe she just needs to stay on pavement which would be too bad since she likes the wild and scenic dirt roads.
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  15. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    That was the other guy who reported his wife was surprised gravel made her bike slip.

    We ride on dirt roads every ride. We used to live on a dirt road and our driveway was also dirt so couldn't ride unless we rode dirt.

    But yes, I will agree that my wife isn't much for "technical" awareness (like most car drivers). She has said that riding a motorcycle has made her a much better car driver.
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  16. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    She already took & passed MSF Dirt Bike School. I thought it was kind of lame & tame. She already had her MC license and had ridden dirt roads on every ride (since we lived on one).

    She likes riding as passenger but due to my medical situation I'm not going to be able to do that much longer. The hope was she'd get confident enough to keep riding on her own after I'm gone. She hasn't wanted to ride by herself, except that where we used to live she got used to doing the same 10 mile loop so would go out and do that by herself.
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  17. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Long timer

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    I would try to find an advanced dirt school for her.
    Better to let her learn on a track or trail than risk a fall on the road.

    One of the first times my wife had to pull her bike from the pavement to the dirt she grabbed the front brake at walking speed.
    Front wheel was turned and down she went. Bent shifter and nothing else hurt on her or the bike.

    There are so many little things that we learn over years of riding (and falling) that we don't always remember to tell someone who is learning to ride. I know I am a horrible teacher.
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  18. SgtDuster

    SgtDuster Long timer

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    Discussing rider to rider is a good thing. Any of us can learn from the more experimented riders around.


    But if you "stop on pavement" before a turn to circumvent the "danger" of taking a turn onto a dirt road, she will never learn. And one day, somewhere, you won't be there to make the "danger" disapear. That was my point.


    Discuss about riding with her but don't ride for her.
    #18
  19. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

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    A modern ABS most probably WOULD have kicked in and WOULD have catched her.

    However, as you state she has a more pavement oriented tire than you, there is a chance she would have been too fast for the turn even without braking. And oh, in my experience it takes huge balls to rely on the ABS under these circumstances.
    #19
  20. Scott_F

    Scott_F Been here awhile

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    Needed to be said.

    I ride pairs with my wife. We have Burgmans, and comms, and stay on the pavement, but the same principle apples --- avoid surprises.

    We chat back and forth all the time, discussing our route, and I've always relied on my turn signals to show I'm turning here.

    I started using arm signals this summer to indicate I was about to swerve right in front of her and stop suddenly so I could take a picture. She keeps telling me how much she appreciates arm signals, so now it's become a habit. She has ABS and it works really well.

    FWIW, we practice panic stops. Still. It's good to know what to expect if you hammer the brakes hard.

    ABS is effective at keeping the brakes from locking up in a hard stop. The are effective only as long as the front wheel is straight. If the wheel starts to turn, the ABS will help break the (angled) front tire loose. If the wheel is turned away from the axis of motion, it must be rolling, or the bike is going down. No way around it.

    If you ride often with your wife, you might look into headsets. Cardo and SENA are good brands, starting at $300 for the pair. They make riding a lot more fun, at least for us.

    Regards
    Scott Fraser
    #20