A Lesson Re-Learned - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-09-2000, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 43

One of the things I like so much about this forum is the continuous exchange and updating of information, tips, tricks, and yes, lessons learned. Pilots and other professionals continually upgrade their skills, why shouldn't we?

The lesson I re-learned today was NOT to fixate on a situation that has occured in front of me and let it distract me. Here's what happened...........

A small group of us were out today enjoying our version of the twisties (hey, in Iowa, we take what we can get). We had just gone through a series of about six 90 degree sweepers (marked at 40, taken at 80), and came up to the last of the series (marked at 20, TAKEN AT 20). One of the riders behind me had developed a rhythm on the 40MPH turns and when it came time for the last one, over cooked the turn and low-sided into a shallow ditch. It cost him a badly broken wrist and some damge to his bike (and his pride).

Unfortunately one of the riders following him fixated on what was happening ahead, and did almost exactly the same thing in almost exactly the same place. The second rider allowed the rider ahead to determine the entry speed, the line and ended up with the same consequenses. I've seen it happen before.

It was all over in about 5 seconds, but what started out as a planned two-hour ride, ended up being a 6-hour ordeal, involving ambulances, EMS personnel, hospital emergency rooms, county sherriffs officers, arranging for friends with trailers to get the two damaged bikes home (40 miles away), insurance claims and things we haven't even considered yet.

Lessons re-learned: When riding "aggressively" in a group, ride your own pace, ride your own line, and lastly, don't let situations happening ahead of you cause you to loose your concentration.

Even though Chris and Betsy aren't members of this forum (not yet, anyway) I hope you will join me in wishing them both a speedy recovery.

"After all, we ARE professionals, here."
Scooter is offline  
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-10-2000, 01:26 AM
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Aril, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Scooter:

Even though Chris and Betsy aren't members of this forum (not yet, anyway) I hope you will join me in wishing them both a speedy recovery.


Yes, definitely. And thanks for the outstanding reminder.

"Ultimately, most problems can be solved by applying a large brick to the correct skull. Difficulties arise when you don't have a brick or can't find the the right skull. The Devil is always in the details."
post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-10-2000, 07:31 AM
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,093

Target fixation, easy to say "don't do it" but very hard to put into practice. I can easily see that situation occuring. Your following a buddy and your pushing a little harder than normal. This narrows your field of view--possibly to the point of only seeing the motorcycle your following and not the road itself. Buddy goes off the road, what else are you going to do but follow.

Following someone can give you a reference as to how fast to take a corner and at what lean angle. But, when you become solely dependent upon the other riders response to a given situation--you're in trouble. I try to give myself a very comfortable distance when riding behind someone. Usually around 8-10 bike lengths. If you can keep this distance w/o being left for dead, then you know your riding well compared to the other. There just isn't any reason to be so close to another rider on the street.

O.K., I'm bored now --how about you.

Wishing a speedy recovery to the 2 riders that went down.

Rug Burn is offline  
post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-12-2000, 02:58 AM
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 2

Scooter, so have you been riding your 96 yzf for quite a while. I am a new rider and am about to buy the same year etc. How do you like it, any problems so far or things that I should look for?

lennyz is offline  
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