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Seems like every day we have a post about someone going down. I must say that it is depressing to read, but does communicate the realistic risks we all encounter when we ride. Many of the experiences are good to learn from.

Lets do something here. If you "went down" in the last 2 years, doesn't matter what type of MC you were on (Dirt doesn't count, if you don't crash while off-roading you are not riding hard enough :) ) please post a short blurb about your incident here.

For the sake of space and personal opinions about gear, following to close, critiquing others riding, lets don't have any replies other than sharing ones actual experience.

B.K.



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Howboucha,

I would like to make a comment on this, prior to anyone posting.

What I have been taught is that ALL crashes are caused by an interaction of factors. Those factors include, but are not limited to:
  • Too much speed - or improper entry speed to a corner.
  • Improper cornering technique - not using the "Slow, Look, Press, Roll" method.
  • Insufficient following distance.
  • Not being able to see far enough ahead for the conditions.
  • Unfamiliar roads.
  • Riding above one's capabilities.
  • Riding above the capabilities of the motorcycle.
  • Improper braking technique.
  • Riding impaired.
There are other less significant reasons, but most crash investigators will take right from this list as most crashes are caused by more than one of these coming into play. Eliminate just one and the crash might not happen.

"Mental Motorcycling" is a column each issue in Motorcycle Consumer News. It focuses on most of these factors when it looks at ways to ride safer. Great reading. Riding safely is a hard thing to do and it takes a lot of hard work and also a lot of attention when riding to continue riding in a safe manner. There are a lot of folks that ride safely. I hope all of our forum members will do just that.

I hate to read about riders going down - never a fun thing. When injuries and damage to the motorcycle is incurred, well that's even worse.

Most of us can learn something from reading about the crashes out there and can take that knowledge with us. Some will even think about it when riding so they too don't fall prey to what has already caused one of our friends to crash.
 

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I'm first -- yippee!

Lets do something here. If you "went down" in the last 2 years, doesn't matter what type of MC you were on (Dirt doesn't count, if you don't crash while off-roading you are not riding hard enough :) ) please post a short blurb about your incident here.
Okay, I'll go first. Accelerated too quickly while rounding an uphill corner. Didn't see the sand and I spun around. I high-sided, rolled down the road with the bike sliding behind me. Torn ligament in right foot, sore back & neck, hole in left boot from shifter or footpeg, broken left foot peg, scratched givi luggage. Full-face helmet had nice scratches in it where it hit the road. ATGATT saved me from any road rash and bruises. Givi crash bars and good grip covers saved major damage to bike.

My fault, totally.

-Peter in Niagara Falls
DL650K5
 

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Loose Sand & Gravel

Too much speed - or improper entry speed to a corner.
One thing I always try to look for when cornering is a buildup of sand or loose gravel on the edge of a curve or at an intersection.

Many people want to lean the bike too much and/or applying the brake too strongly in these conditions and the bike goes right out from under them.


P.S.

I refuse to admit to anything.
 

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Mine was pretty simple. I was going down my gravel driveway at about 10 MPH, going down a slight dip, when the back end decided it wanted to pass the front. Simple inattention on my part definitely contributed. Not much damage other than a broken shift lever and some scratches on the fairing.
 

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Here is my crash story. Taking a nice ride just outside of Las Vegas this past January, preparing to turn into a restaurant for a pit stop and a return trip. Some nice gentleman was busy sliding to a stop from a high rate of speed, all wheels appeared mostly locked up, in the lane I need to be in. I leaned the Kawasaki Mean Streak a little harder and found the sand on the inside of the corner. Bike and rider down! I pop right up to grab the bike and have time to see four heads swivel in the car and the tires light up. No plate on the car, probably just a movement permit in the windshield. Dented the tank, ground down two turn signals and a mirror and nearly snapped the right side peg off.

All of protective gear did its job. Helmet and boots actually did very little, but my jacket has a small hole in the sleeve and my gloves were shredded. I did have to make a trip to the hospital later that night to find out that a broken thumb will indeed cause swelling to twice its normal size.

Lesson learned, stuff happens, bikes can be fixed, never carry a pocket knife while riding. You will land on it! I wanted to quit riding on the spot, but my lovely wife told me that it is now part of my life and there would be no way I could just give it up. To be honest I have had way more horrific crashes than this on a mountain bike.
 

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Dropped a previous ride in the driveway about two years ago. Purely Operator malfunction. I didn't fully deploy the kickstand and over she went.

No other real crashes. I guess at my age I'm getting more conservative and careful. Probably because I don't heal a quick as I used to.

Dave
 

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I had a drop at a standstill, but caused by a horrible Volvo driver.

My parking garage at work has a series of very tight, steeply ramped (~15% grade) 180 degree turns on smooth concrete. It had been raining that day, and the already slick-when-dry concrete was like ice. I'm coming up the ramps about to make one of the 180s and this woman in a Volvo is coming down the same ramp, IN MY LANE. I hug the curb and quickly but smoothly and firmly give it some front brake, which only causes the front wheel to slip, but I was going slowly and only leaned over about 10 degrees so far, but I have nowhere to go but either into the Volvo or turning further to the right. Since the front wheel is already slipping on the slick smooth concrete, it's not cooperating with my need to turn, so I ease on the rear brake, which causes the front to hook up and get me leaning, only now I'm at a stop, and the bike is leaning about 35 degrees. The Volvo is moving past me with inches to spare and is going down the ramp, doing her best to ignore the chaos she caused as I desperately try to prop up ~475 pounds of motorcycle at 35 degrees with my right leg. I'm simply not strong enough to lift it up at that angle and after 10-15 seconds, my knee feels like it's about to give out, adrenaline or not, so I surrender my then 2 week old 650 to the unforgiving concrete to save my knee. Fortunately, the only damage was a smashed turn signal, half snapped front brake lever, and a tiny scuff on the bar end - I was able to at least set it down gently.

I suppose if I'd have been smart enough to use the rear brake FIRST instead of the front, things might have gone differently. But it was a panic stop, and my street instincts tell me to go for the front first.

I still see that blue Volvo in the parking deck at least once a week, and I was tempted to leave a note, but there are 3 different blue Volvo wagons that park here. :mad:

Now if you'd asked for close calls, I have ALOT of those recently. There seems to have been a dramatic increase in stupid around here over past month or two, but alertness and vigilance has kept me from becoming road pizza (barely). It's just getting less and less fun to ride around here. :(
 

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I live in CO so it stays pretty cold into the spring. I was on a dirt road that was only 6.5 miles long. I came around a corner and the shade was in a position over the road. The road had been muddy since the beginning. At the point were the shade crossed the road, the mud became what I refer to as frozen baby sh!t. The rear of the bike came around the right side, and I tried to counter steer. I was is 3rd moving at a good clip so everything happened very fast. I basically counter steered to full lock, this would be the same point the rear tire gained traction. I high sided so hard it knocked the wind out of me worse than I have ever experienced. Just so you know I have been riding dirtbikes forever and throughout the years have had the wind knocked out of me enough times to think I can make a decent comparison. Seperated right shoulder, bruised ribs, bruised sternam, numerous deep bruises ( knees, hips). I had gear on which saved my A$$. Now I ride the Strom as a street bike. I will go down a dirt road, but with much more respect. I have an 02 XR650R to ride off road. Since the accident I have been more interested in the posts about how to make the Strom handle better on the street than the ones regaurding the dirt riding aspect of Strom ownership. You guys that do serious offroading on the Strom have more sack than I do. I will ride with you on my 650, try to keep up!! HAPPY STROMMING!!!!:cool:
 

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In May I had a kid in a Neon turn left in front of me and I totaled my 1200 Bandit against the side of his car. I honestly don't remember having time to hit the brakes, but I'm sure I did to a degree. The impact punched a hole in the door of his car, sent my Casio watch flying 25 feet beyond the car, Blew the right shoulder out of my Firstgear mesh jacket, cracked my Shark RSR2 helmet and snapped the internal bracing on my Alpinestars. I pretty much hit and stuck, so I had no roadrash at all. Unfortunately, I ended up with a level 5 AC separation in my right shoulder for which I had surgery late July. Now, I'm recovering and REALLY looking forward to riding the '02 Vee I bought as a replacement. Between the crash and the surgery, I was able to put about 700 painful miles on it. To be perfectly honest, my paranoia (and probably the pain) ruined my rides for me. As much as I want to ride again when they clear me in about February, I'm a little scared. I've been hurt worse, but never this old and I'm doing a lot of thinking. It's great to be paranoid, I know, but when it's such a powerful feeling that it takes out the joy of riding...well, there's a problem. I've been riding for 25 years now including a few years racing with WERA so I'm not coming from a naive perpective here. Wish me luck with the recovery. By the way. This kid stood over me as I lie in the road, jabbering on his cell. The one he had glued to his ear when he turned. He never ONCE asked if I was ok, said he was sorry or even admit to driving when I was asking. He never once acknowledged he'd been in an accident from the impact 'til I was carted off in the ambulance.

ATGATT!!!!!!

Link is to the x-ray photo.

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z227/JohnJRobinson/Shoulder0801002.jpg
 

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Why would one assume...

the motorcyclist is always at fault? These incidents are called accidents for a reason. My wreck involved an out of control driver that crossed the centerline and hit the car in front of me head on...car's and debris flying everywhere and all I could do is get off and try to get out of the way. ATGATT…a 30 foot slide, hitting the guard rail breaking my arm but I got up and walked away. First motorcycle accident in 30 years and 100K+ miles. The oncoming driver was cited and found at fault, uninsured...DAMN UNINSURED DRIVERS!

JohnR I can relate to your apprehension. The first few rides after my accident, I felt like every oncoming car was going to hit me. It was scary and my confidence was low. Not one to let my fears control me, I faced them and with about 800 post accident miles I am starting to feel at ease again, but ever vigilant. Taking a couple of my favorite long distance rides reminded me why I enjoy motorcycling so much.

I’ve added a yellow Olympia vest to my in-town ATGATT. It’s amazing the difference it makes in cage driving behavior. They think I’m a cop. So they literally check me out to make sure I’m not a cop, but in the meantime they’ve slowed down. The big plus is they SEE ME!
 

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Car turns left in front of me in an intersection last October. No where to run, no where to hide. Oncoming traffic keeps me from swerving left. I t-bone the Honda Accord just behind the back tire and am instantly launched over the trunk landing on my left shoulder and ending up on my back in the intersection. I figure I hit him between 25 and 30mph due to hard braking with both front and rear. Rear was starting to lock up just before impact. Fortunate the intersection is directly in front of a fire station they barely had to pull the truck out of the driveway to block traffic.
Seperated left shoulder, totaled brand new Honda Spirit (2500 miles) barely a scratch on my gear, was ATGATT.
Cant tell you how many times I have gone over the 'video tape' in my head trying to find something that I could have done differently. Was keeping an extra safe following distance, weather was cool and misting, maintained a good lane position so left turning traffic could see me.
8 weeks of therapy.
Silver lining is my 07 Wee, ABS of course.
 

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In the first three months, I dropped my bike two times in the same place...in the parking garage at work, turning into the motorcycle parking area. Both times it was a combination of distraction and being unfamiliar with the bike. During the last drop I was totally thinking about something else other than making a tight slow speed turn. I was familiar with the parking area, had done the turn hundreds of times with my old bike, and my mind was focused on something else.

It doesn't matter if you're in a car or on a bike, everyone has periods of distraction and periods of focus. It's hard to get my head around how random it all is. At least we have different awareness of the dangers. Tell a cager to ride down the highway on the hood of their car and they'll look at you like you're crazy. Why? Because it's freakin' dangerous riding on the outside of your vehicle. It's a lot of work to do it safely.
 

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Driving down nice clean paved road 4pm on a nice clear Wednesday afternoon last fall doing the (80Kph) speed limit. Pick-up truck pulled out of shop on side of road from between a row of vehicles, doesn't look, turns left onto road in front of me. Road has no shoulder... row of mail boxes on side of road.. traffic oncoming. (she cut off a oncoming car while making her turn). I stand on the brakes... not enough space for me to stop. I collided with the rear passenger side behind the rear tire and in front of rear bumper. Damage.. all the cosmetics off right side and broken left signal.. mirror knuckle guard and lever.. bent bars etc. on me.. torn acl.. separated shoulder.. bruised hip and ankle.. was atgatt... had to replace all gear.. not a scratch on me.
 

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With the wee...only once, but a stupid one! While getting off, just letting the clutch out while turning around slowly at about 2500 rpm,...IN MY DRIVEWAY..., the thing hiccups, stalls with the bars turned completely to the left...crash! One flasher and some patina on the fairing!

In the motorcycling community, ther are tose who fell and those who will fall!

MOTTWOG! (try and figure out that one!)
 

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Snow banks and sportbikes dont mix
 

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After 23 years of accident-free riding, my first (and only, so far) meeting with pavement occured the week before I picked up mw Wee, on my other bike. Took the long way home from work, a ride that has a bit of twisty, uphill road with a stop at the top. After turning onto the twisty portion, noticed roughly 30 cars backed up at the stop sign at the top of the hill.

Total mental error. Without even thinking, I went into an uphill slow-speed U-turn to go back the other way. Since I wasn't thinking about it, I initiated the turn without putting my weight on the pegs. Halfway through the turn, gravity took over, and I dropped her on the left side. My gloves protected my left hand (scraped through the leather), my jacket protected my left elbow, and my boots protected my left ankle, trapped under the exhaust. Damage to the bike was only the clutch lever, because the rest of the bike was very nicely shielded by my body.

Totally my fault, and totally preventable, had I considered for even a moment what I wanted to do, instead being worried about getting stuck behind a line of cars for 10 minutes. :oops:
 

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One thing I always try to look for when cornering is a buildup of sand or loose gravel on the edge of a curve or at an intersection.

Many people want to lean the bike too much and/or applying the brake too strongly in these conditions and the bike goes right out from under them.


P.S.

I refuse to admit to anything.
I'm much more careful of it now.
2 or 3 summers ago I had a low side, my 2nd ever.
Here's the recipe:
1 700lb. sport touring bike
add 1 decreasing radius corner, 35mph, and some loose gravel.
you get a bike in the ditch, with the rider following afterward.
a little rash on my palms, but not really much else hurt.
Oh yeah, don't leave your car and house keys in your side jeans pocket. They WILL go into your leg.

My first low side was on my CB350. I went down on some ice right in front the of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio police department on my way to work.
 
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