Would A B S have saved her?

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

  1. concours

    concours WFO for 44 years

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    ABS isn't the answer. She needs more training/experience. I contend that SOME people who begin motorcycling later in life, never really get really good at it... :eek1 and SOME do.
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  2. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Been here awhile

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    A good bit of common sense here!
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  3. Reverend12

    Reverend12 Well there it is..

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    What about ABS?
    ABS, short for anti-lock braking systems, is designed to detect tire slip and “pulse” the brakes so they don’t skid. The system allows the rider to apply full effort at the hand or brake levers without worrying about locking up the tires, but ABS isn’t effective when a bike is leaned over.

    Though it’s difficult to match the stopping distance of an ABS-equipped bike in wet or compromised traction situations, not all riders are enthusiastic about computerized brake intervention. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering making ABS mandatory on motorcycles, but both sides of the debate can be quelled when manufacturers equip ABS bikes with a switch that can turn the system on and off.
    <!--/gc-->
    #43
  4. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

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    That's outdated data. It's true for aged bikes but not for state of the art ABS.
    #44
  5. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    I don't think either of us expect she'll ever be a "really good" rider as in a technical or aggressive rider who gets every inch of performance out of a bike, drags the pegs in the twisties, troubleshoots a suspension setup, critiques a bike's equipment or handling, etc. The expectation is that she would be a basic rider who could ride around our local area on social and/or scenic rides.

    She's had other bikes before. This is her third bike and the sixth one she's ridden. It's been that she rides a bit, then gets busy with work, tennis, work, yoga, work (mostly work) and the riding gets put off and put off and the bike just sits. We have sold other bikes because she wasn't using them.

    She's the one that asked that I keep this bike for her (I had been using it as an easy-to-ride play bike) rather than sell or trade it in (I bought two new bikes for myself last year). This year I'd said that either she should ride regularly or not at all and we'd been making it a priority to ride every weekend and if possible once more during the week.

    She's taken courses, but at what point is someone who is motorcycle-licensed "allowed" to just go out and ride? Isn't that how you get riding experience? Can she ONLY ride in a course until she's an expert? How could she ever get enough riding experience if the only time she rode was in a class? How many classes did everyone else here take before they just went for a ride?

    This started out as an ABS question (the answer was no) and has become something else entirely, which is okay and is par for the course around here. So maybe the new question is, at what point is she "cleared" to go on a ride rather the follow a line of other bikes around a training exercise?

    Though what I'm seeing in her crash is an example of how a moment's brain fade is of much greater consequence on a motorcycle than in a car. Cars nowadays have ABS that, it being a car, you can brake & turn at the same time. And stability control in case you turn too much. In this case she reverted to car mode and "drove" her motorcycle as she would have driven her car, which could have taken the same line and the same control sequence all day long without crashing.
    #45
  6. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Well shit, isn't that exactly what this sub-forum is for?

    I'm a dirt rider, I fall down all the time, maybe I get banged up a little. When this happened with my wife, I was riding with a bruised thigh from crashing in a rock garden a couple of days before. On the ORV trails in the same State forest that we were trying to take the dirt road through.

    The difference is that it seems like every time my wife falls down, she gets an injury that calls for medical attention. For this one she's had an x-ray, an MRI and has been in physical therapy twice a week. She's just now (8 weeks later) taking a few steps without a cane and before that she was on first two crutches and then one. The last time she fell down in dirt (last year) she broke ribs. Unfortunately maybe she needs to stay on pavement. That would be unfortunate as what we have going for us around here are great dirt roads.
    #46
  7. bones_708

    bones_708 Been here awhile

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    Maybe she needs better gear? What she wears maybe fine for most but some people just get hurt easier. If a little slide like that busted me up that bad on a regular basis I might not want to ride either. Maybe step up the protection a bit so if she does have a incident it might not be so bad and the added protection may make her feel better about riding more? I do think you might want to swap leading with her a bit more. As is she like many is probably thinking more about keeping up and what you are doing than what she is doing. Heck you stopping may have gotten her fixated on getting to where you stopped rather than how she would make the turn.
    #47
  8. Bar None

    Bar None Candy Ass

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    viverrid,
    Some excellent advice from a previous post is
    "Short story...if your wife is hesitant to keep riding after this, DO NOT PUSH IT."

    Maybe I missed it but why are you encouraging your wife to ride a motorcycle?
    I've been riding for 55 plus years and never encourage anyone to ride a motorcycle.
    #48
  9. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    :thumb
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  10. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    fwiw, I use turn signals, but when an impending turn is coming when I'm leading, I rely on hand signals to insure the intention to turn is seen
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  11. Fajita Dave

    Fajita Dave Been here awhile

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    I'm pretty sure I mentioned track experience for getting better before, preferably on dirt. With general street and parking lot riding you don't learn anything beyond just the basics needed to get you from point A to point B as long as nothing out of the ordinary happens. To get familiar with traction and how motorcycles use it you need to feel the limits of traction and how it makes the bike react. To get to that point you need lots and lots of time riding on a closes course and slowly raising your pace to find those traction limits. It doesn't happen overnight.

    It doesn't sound like anything you or your wife did wrong. It seems more like a lack of experience to me. When you ride in dirt, you will fall eventually. It takes experience to learn how different surfaces, tires, and conditions effect the motorcycle. If you fall you probably went to fast. If you know why you fell then just don't do it again or adjust how you did it. (it sounds like you already know it was from turning while on the front brake into dirt).

    Safety gear has come a long way. I'm teaching my wife how to ride harescramble trails and log crossings right now. Even though shes pretty tough I wont let her do it without padded shorts, knee braces/pads, elbow pads and a chest/back protector along with the usually helmet, quality motocross boots, and gloves with knuckle protection. She understood how much rocks, trees, and hills can hurt when you add a motorcycle into the mix.
    #51
  12. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Well that's why I asked in the first place, and everybody told me "NO". This was NOT a case of somebody leaning a bike over and THEN grabbing a handful of brakes. It was that she was braking already, going straight, and then started to turn onto a looser surface while still on the brakes. I was wondering if under those conditions, ABS would have eased the braking force. But everyone else told me "NO".
    #52
  13. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    as sophisticated as ABS will ever get to be, it will never prevent side slip till were running spheres as wheels
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  14. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

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    I think the answer is a definite maybe.

    I've had the ABS activate while leaned over and it felt like running over tar snakes. It would step sideways a little ABS would activate then deactivate then step sideways a little then active again.

    It really depends on the situation. I ride a lot of gravel roads and even though I have a switch on my ABS I seldom turn it off anymore. I've gotten used to how ABS works on gravel and dirt so it rarely surprises me, meaning I don't have the typical "I've got no brakes!" panic that other folks experience.
    #54
  15. henshao

    henshao Bained

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    [​IMG]

    As cliche as it sounds, ABS might have saved her in that "a motorcycle can turn, accelerate or brake but only one at a time."
    #55
  16. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    I get your drift (did I really come up with a pun!) just like hitting washboard in a corner.

    but I'll bet you were not making an abrupt turn from one road to another

    I'd really like to have ABS for emergency situations, but IMHO, if it activates any other time, you could improve your smoothness
    #56
  17. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Because she wanted to.

    She first learned how the controls worked on an XR-80 we had for the kids. Our youngest is 23 now so that was a long time ago. Everyone else in the family rode to some extent, though only one of the four kids has owned a motorcycle as an adult. She'd ride around the yard (we had a track), ride up & down our 400 ft. dirt driveway, ride on the old uninhabited and unmaintained town road behind our house, ride 1/4 mile each way back and forth to that on the sparsely traveled dirt road we lived on (not legal but more like no harm, no foul where we lived).

    Then she went to MSF and rode their range bike, got her license and a DR-200. Would ride that around the dirt roads but at putt-putt speeds. Wanted to try the trails to see where I went all day. On the easiest trail I could find (and I know them well, I used to trailboss events for our club), she lost control of her body position going over a waterbar, was thrown forward on the bike, her elbows were driven down, this cranked on full throttle in 1st and she rammed a tree. Ten years later you could still see the gash on the tree, we've gone to look at it. Broke her thumb. We repaired the bike but she wasn't much into it after that and we eventually sold the bike after it sat for a couple of years.

    Then after some time had passed she was ready to try it again and I jumped through a lot of hoops to get a TT-R125L (big wheel mini kid's bike) street titled & tagged for her. Perfect size! She started riding again and took the MSF-Dirt on a range bike so as not to risk the signals & mirrors on her bike. She wisely didn't try actual trails any more (the trails around here are rife with rock, roots and mud) but would ride dirt roads and "woods roads", some of you might call them "fire roads".

    One day we were on a 2-track through an open field of ferns. Pretty spot, old farm land, you can see the stone walls. We came upon a Jeep. The driver courteously stopped and waved us around. I rode around. My wife started to, but frightened to be so close to another vehicle (even though it was stopped) she stalled next to it and tipped over away from it. As it happens there was a pile of cut brush right there, a soft spot to fall on. BUT: instead of closing her fist, bending her elbow and landing on her forearm, she stuck her hand out with a straight elbow and her fingers spread. Like a gesture a woman might make in a "stay away from me creep" social situation.

    Her hand went through the pile and one of the sticks caught her thumb and bent it back. Dislocated it (the other thumb than the one she previously broke). Kept the bike a few more years but she rode it less and less and we finally sold it.

    Some more time passes and I have the XT-225, an odd bike for me to have but I had it. Was cleaning it up to sell when I came out and found her sitting on it, saying she thought she could ride it, don't sell it. So I didn't, except for transferring the title to her. It's HER bike now, with a top case to put her purse in. She rode it last year until she rode into a ditch on a dirt road and as she low-sided she lifted her elbow as she landed on her side, so took the impact on her ribs instead of her arm and broke some ribs. The bike didn't need any repair beyond straightening a bent turn signal bracket, but that ended her season.

    This year we'd been riding once or twice every week and she was doing great, really enjoying the local roads and dirt roads. Until this crash. It's bizarre, as I still ride trails at least a little (weakened by my medical condition, I don't do it a lot any more) and so crash MUCH more often than she does. She crashes on dirt ONCE A YEAR but gets injured EVERY TIME. She's had a few pavement zero mph stall-drops but has never been hurt on pavement. She may have to give up dirt, which was the first thing she rode.
    #57
  18. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

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    That's why I said maybe. I was on a road that I know very well, but recently the ditch had flooded and spread dirt and gravel all over a left hander.

    It might have helped her and it might not have. I don't disagree with the folks who say more training and more thoughtfulness when leading noob is in order.

    Typically on asphalt I'll have the rear ABS activate when I'm heavily engine braking before a turn. In fact it will activate the moment I touch the rear brake meaning I'm already slightly skidding the rear from engine braking and being hard on the front brakes.
    #58
  19. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    I'll go back to the Viv's original post and description

    [​IMG]

    Bwaaaaa !!! much simpler sphere drive than I would have thought of, instead of friction rollers, a magnetic field axle and drive, I can envision
    #59
  20. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

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    ABS isn't interested in if you first start to brake and then turn or first start to turn and then brake. It just releases the brakes if the wheel locks.

    If the side slip results from braking and the side grip is enough to hold you upright without you braking, it - in some way - WILL:
    However, when the wheel is already sliding, the grip is a bit lower than while turning, what means if you are using very much side grip and have very little grip left to brake, that small difference could be enough to let you slip further.
    #60