What can we learn from this crash - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
Riding Proficiency Tips and suggestions for improving the rider's safety skills and riding techniques

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post #1 of 19 Old 07-03-2014, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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What can we learn from this crash

Here's a news article about a local crash:
A man was hospitalized Wednesday afternoon after he was thrown from his motorcycle.

He was on a red 2013 Harley Davidson when he drifted onto loose gravel along the side of the road, the State Patrol said.

He lost control, and the motorcycle slid about 5 feet into a guard rail.

Bramer, who was thrown about 2 feet from the bike, was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

He was wearing a helmet, said the State Patrol, which listed the cause of the wreck as Bramer driving too fast for conditions.


"Drifted into loose gravel"--does that mean he wasn't watching where he was going? Or "target fixated," saw the gravel, and ended up aiming for it? Or didn't know how to make his bike turn, or was afraid to make it turn?

"Lost control"--does that mean he stomped the rear brake ('cuz every Harley rider knows that the front brake is dangerous) and skidded? Or the gravel was too deep, he tried to steer out, and the too-sharp steer dumped him? Or once in the gravel he had no chance?

"Thrown from the bike"--we don't know if he low-sided, slid into the rail, the bike stopped, and he didn't, or if it high-sided and flipped him off the bike.

"Wearing a helmet"--they write that whether it is a good helmet, or a half-helmet, or one of the plastic salad bowls with a strap some riders wear. Wear all the other protective gear, also.

"Driving too fast for conditions"--more likely driving too fast for his skill level.

So--
--Look ahead for gravel.
--Enter a turn wide, go deep, get the best sight line for your turn exit and to avoid hazards.
--Turn your head and look through the turn, look where you need to go, look at the turn exit.
--Know how to turn your bike sharper (look through the turn and countersteer harder).
--Know how to brake (both brakes on smoothly, ease off the rear as you increase the front, as the weight transfers off the rear and on to the front)
--Know when not to brake (when leaned over in a turn unless you're an expert trail-braker).
--If the rear skids, don't get off the rear brake and cause a high-side dismount.
--If you're in deep or loose stuff, absolutely no abrupt movements or sharp steering.

---What else?

"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.

"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."

Marcus Tullius Cicero
44 B.C.

Last edited by PTRider; 07-03-2014 at 01:29 PM.
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post #2 of 19 Old 07-03-2014, 02:15 PM
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sounds like he didn't think he could make the turn since he went off the road. Either because he was going to fast or didn't feel like he had the skill level to complete the turn.

One thing I got from the MSF course was to actually let off the brakes.. if you think you are coming in hot for a corner and you jump on the brakes... let off the brakes and try and make the turn again often times you are not going nearly as fast as you think you are and can make the turn no problem.

As a new rider I've been in that situation several times and I let off the brake, pucker up and lean and i've always safely completed the turn and increased my confidence level. Last year when I first started I was having trouble with some turns even at the posted limit... I slowly progressed to now where I am typically going 10-15 over the posted limit through the twists and feel in complete control and very safe.

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post #3 of 19 Old 07-03-2014, 09:04 PM
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Unhappy some sort of mental error

There is too little info to tell what happened to precipitate that crash. But it had to be a mental error of some kind. "Drifted off" probably means "went too wide", but could mean "inattention". Here in Washington State, nearly half of motorcycle fatalities are single vehicle accidents, and most of those are at turns.

It would be educational for Mr. Bramer or other unfortunates to share the whole story, most of valuable of which is the failure of thought or foresight that allowed the accident to happen.

My son had a common accident last year. Due to fatigue, when he suddenly felt he was too hot partway through a turn, he decided to go off onto what looked like maybe flat terrain to the outside. To the question, "Why didn't you just lean further?", he said "I don't know. I've been through that turn faster many times before." So, the mistake was riding too fatigued to exercise judgment and not having thought through the "too hot" scenario well enough to have a rehearsed response."
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post #4 of 19 Old 07-03-2014, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenny80 View Post
...

One thing I got from the MSF course was to actually let off the brakes.. if you think you are coming in hot for a corner and you jump on the brakes... let off the brakes and try and make the turn again often times you are not going nearly as fast as you think you are and can make the turn no problem.

As a new rider I've been in that situation several times and I let off the brake, pucker up and lean and i've always safely completed the turn and increased my confidence level. Last year when I first started I was having trouble with some turns even at the posted limit... I slowly progressed to now where I am typically going 10-15 over the posted limit through the twists and feel in complete control and very safe.
This is a very good point that needs to be repeated over and over again.

Usually the bike has much more cornering left and we don't realize it. It's one ofthe reasons track experience can be so helpful.. It shows rides that there is much more cornering ability left than we think there is.

..Tom

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This can help preventing from cars pulling out in front of you (SMIDSY)
SMIDSY detailed report.


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post #5 of 19 Old 07-03-2014, 09:37 PM
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I don't think this situation is unique to Harley or cruiser riders in general: most of us stiffen up in unfamiliar situations where traction might be less than we are familiar with.

I suspect the rider saw a situation that was not in his experience and he simply froze and did nothing.

..Tom

2006 DL650: 202,000 km 125,500 miles, Sold
2012 DL650 139,500+ km, 86,700+ miles. Sold
2015 DL1000 New July 2015 193,000+ km, 120,000 miles.

This can help preventing from cars pulling out in front of you (SMIDSY)
SMIDSY detailed report.


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post #6 of 19 Old 07-04-2014, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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One other thing we don't know is the model of his bike. Some H-D models are made with lean angles as little as 25 degrees...they cannot corner sharply. And then the rider lowers his ride.... Some riders don't ride, they parade their bikes.

Our tires have more traction than we know. On a dry road or a clean wet road the tires have more traction than we can use. We can scrape our boots after we scrape the pegs, and the tires are still there for us, still gripping the road.

"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.

"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."

Marcus Tullius Cicero
44 B.C.
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post #7 of 19 Old 07-04-2014, 06:05 AM
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They have these 1-1/2 lane wide backroads around here. Two cars meet, they have a choice, stick one wheel into the gravel or have a head-on collision.

I realized that I had the suspension setup on my bike right when I noticed I was hopping on and off the gravel at - er - insane speeds, not even noticing the gravel.

Harleys suck, sorry but ...

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post #8 of 19 Old 08-13-2014, 09:27 AM
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To me it sounds similar to my experience described here:

https://www.stromtrooper.com/riding-p...ml#post2503561

Sometimes the difference between nothing happening and you being pitched over the guard rail is hardly anything at all. He could have been completely over his head or he could have had a couple of tiny things build up to the point he was caught out and in an unlucky place to have that happen.

In my case I didn't fall, but that is more a circumstance of where it happened. I do believe it was because of my experience that I didn't fall, but if it had been a guard rail my experience would have been much different.

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post #9 of 19 Old 08-13-2014, 10:23 AM
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When I get wonky in the twisties and seem like I'm going too fast, I look ahead further. It changes the whole perspective and I find myself sailing through the turns more smoothly. Then I scrape the pegs and wear out the sides of the tires.
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post #10 of 19 Old 08-13-2014, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
I look ahead further. It changes the whole perspective and I find myself sailing through the turns more smoothly.
Great point.

"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.

"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."

Marcus Tullius Cicero
44 B.C.
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