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Laying a bike down is a viable survival strategy.

  • I agree.

    Votes: 10 23.8%
  • I'd rather stay on, and in control.

    Votes: 30 71.4%
  • I don't have a clue.

    Votes: 2 4.8%

  • Total voters
    42
  • Poll closed .
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Discussion Starter #1
Nothing raises my hackles like when somebody says "blah blah blah so I had to lay the bike down."

They never seem to remember the rest of the sentence which should be "because I couldn't think of anything else to do".

Options are always better if you stay on the bike and use the phenominal abilities of this machine to avoid, or at the very least, minimize the severity of the impending accident.

Sure there are times when you crash. Someone pulls out in front of you from behind a blind, left turn across your lane, and so forth.

I just can't think of a single circumstance where laying the bike down is the best thing to do.

Can you?
 

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I can....

When people say "blah blah blah so I had to lay the bike down.", it's usually because they were already in the process of a locked rear wheel slide gone sideways, and they had to choose between laying it down or hi-siding, former being the less severe injury-prone. Nobody purposefully lays a bike down when they have control over it, but some times you have to in order to avoid hi-siding. :hurl:
 

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Yep, there can be times when you are so far into low-siding from either excessive rear wheel spin or locked rear brakes that trying to recover would likely result in a high-side. It normally means that you failed to follow one or more of the basic tenets of street riding when that happens, though.
 

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Busa Buzz said:
Options are always better if you stay on the bike and use the phenominal abilities of this machine to avoid, or at the very least, minimize the severity of the impending accident.
Sometimes the best way to avoid serious injury or even death is to lay the bike down to avoid the cell-phone yackin' soccermom who just pulled out in front of you. I don't know about you, but I'd rather roll underneath an Excursion then into the side of it. However, and this is all too obvious to any semi-conscious person: the preference is to stay on the bike and not have to worry about any of this. Did we really need a poll to say that???:confused:

P.S. A friend of mine is alive today because he layed his bike down when a schoolbus pulled out in front of him and a riding buddy. Unfortunately, the riding buddy didn't have time to do the same. He's dead now.:(
 

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people and motorcycles decelerate better on rubber than they do on plastic, leather, jeans or skin.

there's times when i could see laying 'er down, like to avoid a highside, by giving it gas to low side it, it is a recovery skill. other than that, i can't of a single instance i would throw a bike on the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I started this post becasue I've heard other folks say:" this car pulled out in front of me and I had to lay it down" regarding an accident in a residential area (30MPH max).

My assertion was that, at that speed you should have been able to slow then swerve around the car.

This lead to a discussion about how how laying a bike down is a vital survival skill on a bike and that it should be taught in the MSF schools etc.

I agree that if you are low siding and you can't correct by steering due to the simple fact that the track/road isn't cooperating by turning the way you need it to then you may have to let it go. Hopefully, looking thru the retrospectoscope you'll get a clue why it happened and it will be a once in a lifetime adventure.

-=-
 

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Have been forced OFF THE ROAD ----

----still I did NOT lay down my bike(s) & rode it out in the ditch to make it back on the road again. Had I given up & laid the bike down then serious damage would have come to the bike & to myself as all came on to fast to plan out what to do next. Mind you some of this aim to stay with the bike comes from days of riding in dirt comp. Like some fellow road racers I have gone off the pavement (proof that I have had this happen more then once) & as we did not had "kitty litter" to slow us down I made it through the "rhubarb" as we called it, & back onto the circuit.
Once when forced off the road, doing around 80 mph, by a cage I was struggling with a terrible wobble (what many might have called a 'tank slapper' but not so as I have had a lot of 'tank slappers' in the earlier yrs) I knew within seconds I was going to hit a power-powel yet actually managed to make it back onto the pavement with quite a hop out of the ditch back onto the pavement & just missed the power pole, yet had I laid the bike down I would have ended up stopping darn fast as I hit the power-pole. So a sportbike can make it though the rough, with some experience, luck & determination.
 

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If you are laying a bike down in most circumstances you have stopped thinking & will not be able to avoid an accident. Indeed you are planning an accident. The technology in todays bikes with their brakes & quick steering response can see you through many things. I remember the days when we had crash bars on our bikes & there was a school of thought that believed you could lay a bike down & ride on the side of your sliding machine without damaging the bike or yourself too much. I perfer to rely on my skills & experience.
 

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I know someone who avoided serious injury because he laid his bike down.

A drunk idiot in a jacked up, tractor tire equiped pick up turned left in front of him. The truck driver saw him and stopped. The motorcyclist could not get the bike stopped so he laid it down and slid all the way underneath the truck and stopped on the other side clear of the truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Luckiest man alive...

Fatman you should have said:" I know someone who was so lucky that they avoided serious injury even though he laid his bike down. "

Odds of being able to slide under another vehicle and escape injury are remarkably slim.

Even if the truck was blocking the whole road I'd be willing to bet a reasonably skilled rider could swerve around the truck. This would have saved him some downtime (not to mention $).

I like the previous comment about focusing on how to avoid an accident rather than planning on how the accident is going to go.

-=-
 

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Re: Luckiest man alive...

Busa Buzz said:
Even if the truck was blocking the whole road I'd be willing to bet a reasonably skilled rider could swerve around the truck. This would have saved him some downtime (not to mention $).
-=-
The rider was highly skilled, at the time of the accident he was an on duty Torrance motorcycle officer. He assured me that there was no way to avoid hitting the truck without setting the bike down.

Everyone knows that police motorcycles are disposable.:p
 

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Say you are about to run into a car, going 45mph. If you get hard on the brakes, you can reduce the speed to 25mph, or you can lay the bike down.

Option one - hit car at 25mph

Option two - hit ground at 45mph, and then hit car at somewhat over 25mph.

you can slow down much faster with the brakes than you can with the side of the bike, and you'll only hit one object instead or two.

The only time a lowside would be neccesary is to avoid a highside. Even then, I would just try to ride out the slide without letting the bike fall, cause you are still upright and have some control over the direction you are going.
 

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Ratman,
Try lowsiding at 100 mph or more. I'll guarantee you you don't have ANY control over your direction at all. It's still much preferred over highsiding, though.
 

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The thing that worries me in swerving to avoid an obstacle is the fact that you don't always have somewhere to go.
Sure you may be able to produce a knee dragging turn to avoid..but where are you headed after that!! :eek:

That said, if anyone knows of any good avoidance exercises I can try, please post them.
 

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A while back I was doing 45mph on US19 in heavy morning traffic.making two major mistakes.
  • 1 following too closely
2 no one stops for a yellow light on US 19 especially the morning commute.
The guy ahead of me hit his brakes for the yellow light.Ihad both wheels locked and realised.. .I'm gonna hit this guy. luckily I was in the leftlane and had just scanned before the lockup. and let offbrakes ,swerve to left of car(just missed his mirror) and ran the red light. I didnt have time to think about downshifting and my bike went BBUURRBBB through the intersection! and on my way I went.Since it was yellow , no traffic had started into the intersection.It all happened so fast but I didnt panic and I did something. I didnt freeze.I learned two very Important lessons that day.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
continuing dialogue....

Fatman: The rider was highly skilled, at the time of the accident he was an on duty Torrance motorcycle officer.

Ok dude, and we all know cops are the best riders out there right? Sorry, this carries no weight with me. Don't get me wrong, I'll bet the he believes he made the right choice. I just don't think all options were considered.

Cheers to blackkaw. This is exactly the kind of thinking that is needed to avoid a "I had to lay it down" excuse. Few people can think this fast. Even those who ride very well often don't have the cranial composure to see options clearly under this kind of pressure.

Bobby Dazzler: if anyone knows of any good avoidance exercises I can try, please post them

Look into an MSF course. Even the basic course discusses swerving (as specific manauver, not just a turn) and how to apply it to accident avoidance.

Ratman69 - spot on dude!

-=-
 

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You kow, we can al sit here in our safe little cubicles (Come n I know I am not the ONLY one who in on the forum at work! :D ) and "what if " this all day. THe bottom line is you werent there. you might have done something different. May be you are more used to almost getting into accidents so you are better at dodging them.

Mike
 

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Here's a situation for you.

Someone pulls out in front of you. I mean RIGHT in front of you, so there is no way you could possibly swerve, so, if you hit the brakes hard and then your bike hits the car at lets say 30mph(Impact #1) problem is now your bike is stopped and you are still traveling at 30mph, so if it happens to be an expedition you go flying through the vehicle, probably killiing occupants. if it happens to be a smaller car, you now go flying over the car and hit the ground at 30mph and at a significant height, then you slide just like you would have had you lowsided.
 

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OK, here's my scenario (based on actual facts, and yes I was there). This happened a good 8 years ago, and I THINK I'm much wiser now.

I had a wreck in the school parking lot a couple weeks ago, but because of peer pressure, I took the bike out for a weekend ride anyway (mistake #1). Little did I know, at the time, that my right fork was bent. So, my bike was not 100%.

So, we were riding around the twisties, I was following the leader. We headed into a string of blind, shadow covered switch-backs, at a decent speed (mistake #2).

The leader tapped the brakes and went around the bend (hairpin). Then I pinched the brakes and leaned it in. At the apex, I realized that I was drifting wider (due to the one bent fork) and wider. Keep in mind that the distance between the hairpin and the upcoming "blind" switchback is approximately 35-40 feet. Next thing I know, I had crossed the double yellows and in the middle of the opposite lane. Since I had no idea if there was a car behind the trees or not. I decided to dump the bike. I could got on the binders, stood it up and recovered. At what cost? Going head to head with a cage? I decided to dump it into the soft dirt/guard rail (and seperated my shoulder). The clincher is... that there WAS a car around the next corner. So, I am lucky to be alive today, and that dumping the bike was the best thing to do.

Don't get me wrong. If there is a chance you could stick it and recover, by all means... you should. Sometimes you need to make a quick decision. Chances are, you probably won't know whether you made the right or wrong decision until after it's over.
 
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