"Today was my turn to prang", or "What a lucky day this was!" - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2005, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2003
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"Today was my turn to prang", or "What a lucky day this was!"

Folks, my apology in advance for a long post, but I've kept it quiet all day, acting like nothing happened at work. I also feel that the more detail I report, the better chance someone will point out some mistakes I have listed but not acknowledged as such.

I've dropped my bike a couple of times before, but never as hard as today. I was going to work a little late this morning, so there was hardly any traffic on my normal route, which is an up and down twistie of about 10 miles, before it hits the interstate. This road constitutes 95% of my total riding since I've gotten the bike, so I've grown complacent and cocky when riding it, and completely misjudged the approach of a 4-way intersection.

The road goes uphill to that intersection, so by the time I saw the trash truck going across, I was pretty much already there. I think I locked both brakes and as the bike started turning sideways and leaning left, I just kept them locked. The low-side began around the stop sign mark, the bike slid across the intersection, past the other stop sign, then stopped, facing the direction from which it came. During the slow motion phase, I seem to remember the bike sliding from under me as I still hung onto the handlebars, kind of like the extreme motocross stunters do. I really did not slide that much on the pavement, just landed really hard on my left knee. I was able to get the bike back up, turn the right mirror back around, perform visual inspection, and then start the bike. When I got to work, I found a rip in my pants that I did not expect, at the right hip pocket, where I had my phone. So it was that and some new scrapes on the plastics and the tranny cover that was my total damage out of this ordeal.

Bad points:
--Riding inattentively, misjudging speed and distances on a very familiar road
--Lack of emergency braking skills

Good points:
--Empty intersection to slide across (not into the crossing trash truck, had it been seconds sooner)
--FULL GEAR worn, thus no broken bones and no road rash. I consider the rugburn on the knee and the charlie-horse in my left ankle later in the day as extremely insignificant, compared to what could have happened.

Full gear constitutes First Gear HT Air overpants, Sidi ankle-high boots, Lee Parks Sport gloves, Gerbing's Rainier (textile) jacket, KBC Wolf helmet. The helmet had no encounter with the pavement whatsoever, the pants ripped where my phone antenna was, not around the knee, the gloves show some marks of abrasion, but no rips. The boots don't have any new scoff marks. Did I mention that I felt that today was extremely lucky for me?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2005, 09:19 PM
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good points for wearing full gear. The weather has gotten cold enough to were full suit isn't bad to have on.

For emergency braking, you should get that down. I've sorta gotten a good feeling on how to control emergency braking since I pretty much get cut off atleast once a day.

But I def honed in my skill when i had a bald rear tire and slided everywhere for about a week or two. Not safe I know, but after that, I know how to control the bike when I slide sideways.

btw, how much damage to the bike? you have frame sliders on?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-09-2005, 11:41 PM
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I think Veektor has been riding for a while.

Anyway, glad you made it out ok man. Could've avoided locking the front and prevent lowside, but at this point is just speculation, sometimes you just can't help but go down. Part of the sport, fix up and get back on the saddle.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-10-2005, 03:45 AM
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Glad you are alright, thank god for gear.

As far as the crash goes it just sounds like you need to practice your emergency stops. Hell, everyone needs to practice their emergency stops. Theres a time where everything happens so fast that your body has to react intuitively. The only way for this to happen is with repetitive practice.

This is a good reminder for everyone to go practice your emergency stops today. Remember to squeeze the brakes firmly, but smoothly and increase force, dont grab all at once. If your back locks just stay on it. If your front locks, let off a little and then reapply.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-10-2005, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies, guys.

Angry, I think I understand the concept of applying the brakes gradually, and most of the time I get it right. I think that in this case I started braking too late, and in panic squeezed harder than necessary, including the rear brake. Just one of those things that has to be a natural body response, since brain can't always think that fast. I agree that this technique should be practiced extensively by everyone.

BTW, guys, I'm also thankful to SBW community for instilling the value of AGAT (All Gear All Time) before I started riding. This crash only reaffirmed my belief in that mantra. That's why I have HT Air mesh pants that I wear w/o liner even on the hottest days of the year.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-10-2005, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Originally posted by Z_Fanatic
I think Veektor has been riding for a while.

Anyway, glad you made it out ok man. Could've avoided locking the front and prevent lowside, but at this point is just speculation, sometimes you just can't help but go down. Part of the sport, fix up and get back on the saddle.
Z, I've been riding for a little over two years. I think that's one of those stages in riding that everyone warns you about, that you start feeling overconfident. I make best effort to keep that in mind when I ride, but sometimes my judgement lapses.

The bike is quite fine, actually. Left blinker mount got bent, but the plastics on the sliding side look just slightly worse than before the crash. I had previously lay this bike down at a slower speed on the very same side, so plastic rash is not new to the Bandit.

I'm just so glad I did not decide to ride my wife's SV that day!

Edit: My wife's comments can pretty much be summed up in the previous statement

Last edited by veektor; 11-10-2005 at 10:18 AM.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-10-2005, 11:53 AM
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How cold was it? As you start to get below 60, especially below 50, the tires aren't what you're used to.

In a panic it's easy to stab the front before allowing it to load for bite.

Rear brakes on Sportbikes really can be optional for hard stops. I know that MSF doesn't teach that and also will agree with them.... except on a sportbike where hard braking can lift the back end off the ground.

Don't know otherwise. That's why to wear gear all of the time. It's your last line of defense when all else fails and you're skating along the ground. Glad it wasn't worse for you!

Keeping the "Hap" in "Happy Holidays"!

Regime change begins at home.

Blind patriotism is worse than no patriotism.

Last edited by Dad; 11-10-2005 at 04:12 PM.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-10-2005, 12:53 PM
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Glad you're alright, V. You've already figured out what went wrong, so don't dwell on it. The pain will help reinforce the lesson. Move on.........
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-10-2005, 01:37 PM
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No crash is a good crash, but yours sounds like one of the "better" ones. Good to hear you're okay.

Note to newbie's: Imagine that same incident without gear...

In God, we trust; all others must provide data.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-10-2005, 03:32 PM
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Just 2 weeks ago, my friend going home from NCSU, makes his usual turn. It was about 50 or so outside and made the turn like always. Well, halfway into the turn, he accelerated a bit, then he wiped out and went down hard. Broke his collar bone. Now his 05 600 gixxer is a little banged up too. He's been riding for more than 3 years. Even the small stuff gets the best of us.

Cold tire is a bad grip tire. I check the heat of my tire after a few mins of riding with my hand to see when i can ride a little harder.
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