weird dynamics of a crash - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-16-2002, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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weird dynamics of a crash

While trading crash stories with a friend I wondered what other riders have experienced in our most harrowing moments.
He told me of a story of a cop chasing a rider on the Santa Monica freeway. He briefly lost sight of the rider & then shortly afterwards came upon the bike lying on the medium but no rider. He started searching for the guy expecting the worse. He called in for help & conducted a thorough search but there was no trace. Soon thereafter a call came into the dispatcher from another motorist reporting a hit & run. The motorist stated that while driving on the Santa Monica freeway his vehicle was struck from behind. He looked in his review mirror to find a guy hanging onto the back of his car. He pulled over & the guy jumped off & ran away. He inspected the rear of his vehicle to find some damage but couldn't figure out how the guy ended up on the back of his vehicle so he reported it as a hit & run.
I don't know if I believe this or not but it makes a great story. As the old saying goes "don't let the truth ruin a great story"
In 1986, Labor Day weekend, while riding in Kern Canyon, I low sided in a hard right hander in front of a truck (a very big truck) & I still recall the slow motion feeling of rolling down the road & the view of that truck's front bumper bearing down on me with each roll. This was pre-helmet law (& common sense) days & I just knew that I was going to be run over. When everything stopped I was lying just under this guy's bumper, between the tires. I could smell his brakes. I struggled to sit up & started the old inventory (we've all done this) 2 legs, 2 arms, still able to move all extremities but bleeding from too many places to count. When I had started out on this ride I was wearing blue jeans, t-shirt, tennis shoes, gloves & sunglasses (again I repeat pre-common sense days). I discovered I was now wearing a pair of oddly cut-off jeans, tennis shoes, something that vaguely resembled the top part of a toga & sunglasses. Where those damn gloves went I never knew & how those sunglasses stayed on is a mystery to this day. So what's your story.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-16-2002, 08:15 PM
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Probably my two weirdest:

Riding my GPz550 to work at the car dealership. I'd have my skirt and heels bungied in a bag on the back and wear sweats over my hose. I pulled into the lot and rode down into the hole in the back where the employee parking was. I was running late and took a hard left into an empty parking place with the new car sales manager's 'Vette right behind me. It had rained the day before, and unfortunately the space I picked was full of wet leaves. I was literally sitting on the bike one second, and the next second I was face down on the ground and the bike was on its' second bounce on my back! The NCSM lifted the bike off me and helped me to my feet and we were halfway through the service department when someone pointed out that the shin of my gray sweats was now an odd maroon color. I'd skinned the bejeezus out of my knee and tore hell out of my hose without putting a hole in the sweats.

A year later, I was riding my VF700F down Roswell Road in Atlanta on a rainy morning to help unload a truck at work. It was typical rush-hour traffic and I was soaked, hating life because I usually worked 3rd shift to avoid this. I was doing maybe 45mph when a red Fiero made a right turn out of an apartment complex and into my lane and came to an abrupt stop. I was already on the brakes, and she just parked right in my deceleration zone. I grabbed more front brake and had time to think "Oh, crap!" as the front end tucked. The bike spun into the turn lane as I landed initially on my stomach and did a half-roll onto my back to slide head-first. I slid up under the Fiero hard enough to wedge my helmet pretty well between her gas tank and the ground. The light went green and she drove off, giving my helmet a pretty good tug before it popped free. I can always tell those who've never been down, because at this point in the story they ask "did you get her license plate #?" or "Did you get up and chase her?". No, I spent a minute or two lying there blocking traffic until I was assured that all four limbs were attached and functioning properly, then I got up, picked up my bike, and rode to work with the right clip-on pivoted back almost perpendicular to the triple clamp. When I got there, my boss asked "Who'd you lose a fight with?" It was then I noticed that my elbow was bleeding all down my shirt sleeve, and my knee was also leaking profusely.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-17-2002, 07:10 AM
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This appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, 23 June 1989 (edited for brevity):

A pickup driver on the freeway kept his cool yesterday when a motorcycle speeding at 120 miles an hour crashed into the rear of his moving truck, and two men flew in the bed of his camper. Instead of stopping, he stomped on the gas and sped straight to a hospital.

"It was the strangest thing that ever happened in my life," the driver, Lawrence Wilson, 35, said. "My first thought was somebody threw a bomb. I looked over my shoulder and immediately saw two things--a huge, gaping hole that didn't belong and this guy whose head was resting on the seat where my kids ride. He said, 'Can you help us? I think my friend's really hurt.'"

The motorcycle, a Suzuki 1100, was demolished. Gary Lopez, the motorcycle passenger, told Wilson the bike was traveling at 120 miles an hour. He also said that the motorcycle rider, David Cordova, had bought the cycle just the day before.

Lopez was treated at Wheeler Hospital and released. Cordova was transported by helicopter to San Jose Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition. Cordova faces charges for felony drunk driving. Neither of the motorcyclists was wearing a helmet, authorities said.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-17-2002, 09:26 AM
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DataDan, I remember when that happened. It was on 101 in Gilroy if I remember correctly. 120 mph, drunk, 1 day old bike, no helmet. Why is it the drunks always walk away, or in this case, land in the bed of a truck and avoid bare skin on asphalt for several hundred yards
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-17-2002, 09:34 AM
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From today's Boston Herald:


Married bikers die in separate accidents

by David Weber
Wednesday, April 17, 2002

In a bizarre confluence of bad luck, a husband and wife who were avid motorcyclists died in separate road accidents within about a mile of one another over the weekend.

Robert and Barbara (Tobin) Coleran, both 44, of Hanson were killed Sunday evening after riding and socializing with friends in Southeastern Massachusetts.

The Colerans and a group of pals reportedly had been at the Hen House restaurant in Acushnet when Barbara, the former head of paralegal services at the Boston law firm of Ropes & Gray, decided she wanted to get a head start on her ride home shortly before 6 p.m.

Police said Barbara lost control of her Harley-Davidson on a serpentine section of Braley Hill Road in Rochester and crashed into a tree.

While emergency workers and police attended to the crash, another motorcyclist rode by and thought he recognized the wrecked bike.

The biker continued on to the Hen House and told his fellow cyclists, including Robert Coleran, about the crash.

It was just after nightfall, police said, when Robert Coleran and four friends mounted their bikes and rode off to check on the accident.

Police said the group was on Route 105 in Acushnet when Robert Coleran lost control of his Iron Horse, which he had built from a kit.

Coleran left his lane of the road and hit a wire supporting a telephone pole.

Robert Coleran, who formerly owned Family Tree Service in Hanson, was pronounced dead at St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford, the same hospital where his wife had been pronounced dead just a short time earlier."
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-17-2002, 11:13 AM
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Originally posted by elgringo
120 mph, drunk, 1 day old bike, no helmet. Why is it the drunks always walk away, or in this case, land in the bed of a truck and avoid bare skin on asphalt for several hundred yards?
Who knows. Guardian angel? Good karma? That story inspired me to write the following, which I posted on Usenet newsgroup at the time:

Riding Safety Tips…From Hell!
  • Top roadracers will tell you that to be fast you must be smooth, and that to be smooth you must be relaxed. How do you make sure you're properly relaxed for a ride? In our opinion, there's nothing better than a few drinks—except maybe a lot of drinks.
  • Of course, the police probably don't see it our way, so it's important to ride fast. The less time you spend on the road, the less time they'll have to nab you.
  • The same reasoning applies to riding in traffic. Studies have shown time and time again that multi-vehicle accidents occur only when other vehicles are around. So keep your speed up in traffic and leave danger behind.
  • When you've "tanked up" heavily for a ride, there's always the possibility you'll pass out. To guard against that, be sure to leave your helmet at home. There's nothing like a refreshing 100mph breeze in the face to keep you alert.
  • Studies show that a brand new motorcycle is more likely to be crashed than one a rider has had for a while. Why is that? you ask. In our opinion, it's because riders don't learn nearly soon enough the high-speed handling characteristics of their new bike. Which is why we think it's important to ride as fast as you can from the first time you throw a leg over your new bike. This is education you can't afford to postpone!
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