Would A B S have saved her?

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

  1. Homey

    Homey Been here awhile

    Aug 24, 2007
    California Central Coast
    ABS is a crutch, learn to ride the bike properly first. Then it's a nice back up.
  2. Woland

    Woland Wannabe adventurer

    May 3, 2009
    Gothenburg Sweden

    Don't underestimate the lack of basic understanding of how a bike reacts to different surfaces.

    Don't underestimate how bad a teacher you are compared to a good professional teacher.

    No way I'd be willing to teach a loved one how to ride. I leave that to the professionals with a clean conscience.
  3. Scott_F

    Scott_F Been here awhile

    Jul 10, 2011
    Riding a bike on dirt is totally different from riding on pavement, especially when you start leaving the ground. I had a dirt bike as a kid. My first instinct is still to get out of trouble on my Burgman with the throttle, not the brake. My wife has never ridden on dirt, and doesn't grasp that concept. She still wants to brake.

    I'm actually a good teacher, but it doesn't matter, good or bad, if I teach the wrong things. Better to learn from someone who really knows.

    LOL! Absolutely not. Too much drama!

    Ride safe
    Scott Fraser
  4. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

    Jan 26, 2004
    Western Mass
    She already went to classes to "learn to ride". She learned to ride and we were out riding. At what point can she just "go for a ride", never since she'll always be learning and she can't ride with me while she's learning? Aren't we all always learning?

    I'm not supposed to teach her how to ride, but I am supposed to get us headsets so I can tell her, "when we make this turn be sure to ease off on the brake before you get onto the dirt", isn't that telling her how to ride? Which is it? We'd already ridden 30 miles, should I have been talking her through every turn, when I'm not supposed to tell her what to do?

    The one thing different about this turn was that it was the only time since I don't know when, that the transition from pavement to dirt involved a turn. We had been riding every weekend. All our rides involve both paved and dirt roads. All the other recent transitions involved riding straight past the end of the pavement. It was the first one like this in a while, maybe all year, and it got her.

    This is in our local area, I'm pretty sure we've been around it before in either cars or bikes. We certainly have driven by it many times since the paved road is a to-and-from route that we've used many times. It's how we'd get from where we lived for 15 years, to and from Walmart if we went to Walmart. We don't actually go to Walmart itself but to the other stores in that vicinity. It's not like she is unfamiliar with the area, her son lives on a different dirt side road just a little ways down from this one.

    She just rode poorly. She could have come to a complete stop on the pavement. I almost did to wait for her to catch up. But instead I braked, released, rode around the turn and then stopped to wait for her. She "short cutted" the process and went right for where I was while still braking, and she crashed.
  5. Vertical C

    Vertical C Long timer

    Jul 19, 2007
    Learner rider should always go first if you cant as a leader rider recognise dangerous spots for them and have already slowed them down.
  6. phoenixdoglover

    phoenixdoglover Where to next?

    May 23, 2010
    Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
    As I understand it, she went too hot into a corner that took you onto dirt. Anybody else ever go too hot on (or onto) dirt and lose the front wheel? Nobody?

    The real question is, "Does she understand what happened?". If yes, then suggest to to her that this type of mistake was bound to happen, and that similar things have happened to every rider on dirt (except for the experts on ADV).
  7. henshao

    henshao Bained

    Jun 11, 2013
    The Commonwealth

    Why is the wheel locking up the fault of the antilock braking system and not the brakes themselves?
  8. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Long timer

    Aug 31, 2012
    Phuket, Thailand
    Why is the wheel locking up the fault of the antilock braking system and the brakes and not the rider?
  9. ericos

    ericos Adventurer

    Nov 17, 2011
    You can have the best teacher in the world but how much of his knowledge is transferred to and retained by the student depends on that students ability to learn and apply information in practice. Additionally we all make mistakes. Some make fewer than others. What happened with your wife could have happened regardless of how well she was taught to ride and even if she were experienced. Less likely but still can happen. A micro slip/lack of concentration will do that and there's nothing you can do about it unfortunately. You can only do your best to keep your wife safe and your best is also human so you too can make a mistake. I've been riding bikes for 15 years, had many, many crashes in that time but never anything serious and through those years I've learned that the only way to be certain you won't mess up on a bike is not to ride one at all.
  10. eap

    eap El Adventurero Solitario

    Nov 1, 2001
    Maryland, Least Coast USA
    :thumb right, accidents happen, I hope she gets back on the bike a continues riding with you. Wish my wifey did.
  11. hippiebrian

    hippiebrian Long timer

    Jun 29, 2012
    Long Beach, Ca.
    I agree with everyone, abs wouldn't have stopped this.

    When you ride with your wife, or anyone else that has less experience and abilities than you do, SLOW DOWN! She admits that she saw you take the turn and thought she could too. That should tell you everything right there.

    Maybe even let her take the lead so she can ride at her own pace and not try and keep up with yours. Just remember, stay back so she doesn't feel she's slowing you down.
  12. Barry

    Barry Just Beastly

    Oct 4, 2002
    Fredericksburg, Va.
    Be ready. People argue that point all the time here, and for the life of me I can't understand why...
  13. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

    Aug 19, 2008
    New(er) Mexico
    Your scenario is EXACTLY how my wife crashed her Buell after she had been riding for about a year.

    To answer your question, no, ABS would not have made a lick of difference here. The gravel still would have caused the front to wash if she was braking hard while turning.

    Glad your wife is OK.

    Mine get a very bruised knee and an impressive cut on her shin, as well as managing to scrape the hell out of the face shield on her helmet somehow.
    She also decided, about six months or a year later, to stop riding. She didn't like having concentrate so much, and things weren't coming easier for her. I think she never really got over that spill, which is too bad, but I never pushed it. Riding is not for everyone. I was happy she even did it for a few years, and so is she, because now she can brag to her friends about how she used to ride a motorcycle, and then the photos come out and everyone is impressed. If that makes her happy, it makes me happy.

    Short story...if your wife is hesitant to keep riding after this, DO NOT PUSH IT.
  14. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

    Mar 24, 2004
    The Trans-Mississippi


  15. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

    Mar 24, 2004
    The Trans-Mississippi
    In my experience with ABS on dirt (F650GSD), the ABS releases so much brake when you transition from pavement to dirt under hard braking, it's almost like no braking at all.

    She may not have low-sided, but she might have run wide and gone into the left ditch. It's a weird feeling to be pulling the brake lever and lose all braking power.

    The lady really needs to learn to transition from front to rear brake in relatively low-speed maneuvers like this. There are other places where sand and oil will get you when using too much front brake: Gas Station parking lots, and intersections on city streets.

  16. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Long timer

    Oct 20, 2010
    I think that we are always learning as we ride, sometimes we may not even realize it.
    I've been riding since I was a kid, but would still like to do dirt camp and a superbike school.

    I think there are VERY few people below the level of a pro racer than wouldn't benefit from one of these schools.

    We all do dumb shit sometimes and fall down tho. I would say that doing dumb shit is the leading cause of most single bike accidents.
  17. C/1/509

    C/1/509 Why?

    Jul 21, 2006
    Maybe I'm picking up on the wrong thing, but the first thing I noticed was this: I braked hard, straight ahead on the pavement, released and turned onto the dirt.

    Why? If I'm riding with my normal group of knuckleheads, then fine. But if we're on a road they don't know, approaching a decreasing radius turn or something, I'm going to warn them.

    In the situation you describe, I would signal the turn early, slow early (assuming that she would do the same) and make it as easy as possible for someone with known confidence issues or low skills to be successful. Like I said, maybe I'm missing something obvious, but why approach at a speed that will require hard braking at all?
  18. slackjaw

    slackjaw likes running with scissors

    Apr 29, 2008
    Roxboro NC USA
    The problem is not the equipment. The problem is between you and your wife. In a perfect world, imediately post crash after discovering that your wife had suffered no major injuries, the next words out of your mouth should have been, "Still alive! High five baby!!" We should be looking at photos of your wife standing over her dropped bike with a grin on her face and a confident ADV salute :fyyff. Instead we get the two of you quietly obsessing over a minor incident for weeks. She lacks confidence and the weeks of stewing over the accident only re-inforce this lack of confidence.

    Here is your assignment: Your are to send your wife out at least once per week on a solo ride of at least one hour duration while you stay home cook dinner, clean the kitchen, and bite your fingernails. She will earn confidence in her ability to handle situations on her own, and you will learn that you cannot control every situation.
  19. scottrnelson

    scottrnelson Team Orange

    Apr 3, 2006
    Pleasanton, CA
    In this discussion so far, I haven't seen much mention of learning to judge available traction. It's not just turning off into dirt, but wet roads, leaves, pavement with sand, dirt or gravel on it, paint on the road, tar snakes.

    When I'm riding, I'm always trying to figure out how much traction to expect. I don't trust the traction when riding over paint, cobblestones, bricks, anything wet. I'm probably overly cautious in that area, but that's better than getting surprised by a sudden loss of traction and going down.

    I can remember leading a small group ride a few years back where I had one very experienced rider along and one fairly new rider on a Ninja 250. We needed to make a U-turn on a country road, so I stopped the group first, then I turned around, the experienced rider turned around, and the 250 rider didn't really start turning sharply until half way around the turn, and he accelerated too much, so when he went off in the dirt on the other side he hit the front brake and down he went. No injuries to either the rider or the bike, just some dirt and dust on both.

    The point is that the new rider didn't really understand how much less traction there was in the dirt on the side (in addition to several other riding errors). I'm not sure how to teach new riders about available traction other than lecturing on the subject and hoping they grasp the concepts and remember it when needed.
  20. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

    Feb 11, 2012
    Put them on an ABS equipped bike and let them brake hard on varying surfaces. Great way to make best use of one of the funniest parts of the motorcycle.