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Yesterday I had my first accident in my short motorcycle career. I was going home from work on my Monster 620ie dark when a guy in a white SUV cut me off. He was trying to cross the street I was on in a heavy traffic, looking for a gap. He probably didn't see me, but suddenly there was this SUV right in front of me. I slamed the brakes to avoid collision and I went down pretty hard. Luckily, I wasn't going too fast (~30 mph) and I did avoid him. He didn't even stop afterwards, bastard. I spent about 5 hours in the emergcy room, the diagnosis was broken rib and bruised chest and hip. I'm OK now, but I take pain killers (broken rib is really annoying, it hurts with every breath). I think the morale of the whole event is (besides that there are morons out there) that I should work on my braking technique. I slammed both brakes - front and rear, and it was the rear brake that locked the rear wheel and sent me into a slide. In general : what do you guys think about emegency braking. Is it better to avoid the rear brake altogether ?

The Dude
 

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dude, sorry to hear. :'(

one - always use max braking (which means taking tires to just BEFORE traction limit), front and rear brakes

two - find a lazy boy type recliner, you ain't gonna sleep horizontally for a few weeks, been there done it several times.

three - the cages will always do what you don't expect, so learn to expect it (anyone like those new spinner wheels?, is he stopped or not?)

four - there are two type of cyclists, those that have been down and those that are gonna go down. You are now a member of the former.

Heal quickly
 

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Glad you weren't hurt worse.

You are on the right trail - emergency braking is a skill that needs practice, and sometimes even a little training.

As long as the rear tire is still on the pavement, a motorcycle can stop quicker with both brakes applied. But, the rider has to have the ability to modulate both brakes adequately to keep both wheels under control.

Sometimes I use both brakes, sometimes front only. After a year and half on the Monster, I'm getting fairly good at braking and I can tell that both brakes slow me quicker than just the front. But it's only through a lot of practice and a lot of rear wheel slides in the past that I can take it to the edge now without locking the rear.

WRT the front brake - I always use two fingers for consistent feel - even on the track. On the street, those two fingers pretty much stay on the lever to cut reaction time in emergencies. Using the same grip on the lever at all times will help with the feel and consistency that can save you in a bad situation.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Glad to hear you will be okay......both brakes good....
 

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That sucks.

I had the same accident scenario (car cutting between stopped traffic to make a left) while driving my wife's car. ( :eek:)

When I'm in the car, if somebody pulls some bonehead move, and is going to cause me to have an accident, Im hitting them rather than avioding them and hitting something else.
Too bad you cant do that on the bike :(

Bruno also had that same kinda accident with his M900 (RIP), now he's got an f'ed up knee and walks with a limp.
hope you heal up ok, bike stuff is easier to fix.
 

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Sorry to hear - here's to hoping you won't sneeze or cough while that rib heals!

Using both brakes in emergency situations will help you stop faster; if you are in a straight line at the time the brakes are applied, you shouldn't fall. The correlation to that is if you are in a turn (or in this case if you swerved to try to avoid the SUV), you need to straighten up the bike first before you apply emergency-force brake pressure. It's a lot to think about during an emergency situation, and that's why your idea of practicing is a very good one, so that your reaction becomes second nature. Speedy recovery!!
 

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Please take the MSF courses. They will not only train you on emergency stopping technique (both in a straight line and coming around a corner), but they will give you a safe controlled environment in which to practice the skills.

I find that it's pretty easy to lock up the rear on a Monster. In the MSF courses (especially the experienced course in which I rode my own bike) I frequently locked the rear and just rode it out to a stop. That's another thing they teach; once the rear is locked in a panic stop, do NOT release the brake as it can hook up suddenly and pitch you.

Finally, you've gotta expect a driver in that situation to be anxious and frustrated and jump into the first gap he spots. He's not taking that second look just to be sure. You have to expect it, try to increasy your visibility and leave yourself more room and an excape route.

Sorry about the crash. Hope the bike's not too messed up. Hope the ribs stop hurting sooner rather than later. :(
 

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On my M620 I only use the front brake. In theory you should use both in some insane proportion but I find the front suspension maxes out to quickly and the rear has a tendency to lift - which makes it easy to lock the rear and almost impossible to modulate in an emergency situation. It is pretty hard to slide the front - so practice and learn where it starts.

I do use the rear in the wet etc., but then I'm not riding the front that hard.
 
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Man - sorry to hear about the accident - scan and learn to expect the unexpected as others have noted. I learned that a long time ago driving cages!

Hard braking is something I need to practice as well. I had the oppurtunity(?) to practice a really hard - unexpected stop in a fairly safe situation ( it's amazing what God brings you when your not looking ) I was trying to get across town and decided to zip through this industrial district that I know pretty well. So I'm blasting down this road - and forgot about the last stop sign - and who's sitting there but you know who! Well, I locked both brakes up but had the where with all to let up and roll through the intersection. I looked over at the cop and shrugged my shoulders. He laughed and waved me to go ahead. ( he must like Ducatis )

It really supprised me but at least now I know what the limitations are in those conditions. I hope your not put off by your accident - these are the best lessons sometimes.


jb
 

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Same type of thing happened to me about 4 yrs ago. White Expedition pulled out in front of me going about 30mph slower. I was riding a friends TZR250 (try getting parts for that in the US), and locked the front tire and went down. She said that "she saw me and thought that she would be out of my way by the time I got there"?!!? However, she didn't stop when I crashed. I SLID under the back bumper as the bike went into the ditch, and the only reason that she was charged is because I left a handprint in the dust on the tailgate as she drove away (technically that made it a 2 vehicle accident). The guy behind me wrote down her tag # and the police showed up at her house later that day. Initially she denied everything until the officer saw my hand print, right where I told him it would be. Unsafe manouver, reckless driving, and leaving the scene of an accident is what she was charged with. She already had some points and ended up loosing her license for a year, and she was "stay at home wife" with no kids, so there were no limited privelidges, HA. BTW, I only rashed up a new jacket and ripped a good pair of blue jeans, no bruising or anyhting. She had to pay to have the bike repaired (her insurance company called it a total loss due to price of parts, so the owner sued her for the full amount of the repairs and won). After she finallyadmitted to seeing me crash, she said that she was "on the phone and didn't have time to stop and see if I was alright", in front of the judge, stupid socialite female dog!!!
 

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Congradulations on the loss of your virginity!! I don't use a rear brake, my thinking is that when braking hard up front, there just isn't enough traction at the rear to matter. For the rib, don't watch any comedy shows & don't sneeze!! Good luck.
 

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I hope you have a speedy recovery.

I don't think I broke any ribs in October, but they still hurt for several months if I got into the wrong position. The evening of the incident, I layed down on the floor to watch TV and couldn't get up for a while. It was painful to finally reposition myself to get back up.

I also used to questiong the value of these threads with everyone wishing the "crashee" well, but I know from experience that they are appreciated by the person doing the healing.


Now might be a good time to read Proficient Motorcycling by David L. Hough. He spends several pages on the exact thing you went through and what you can do to avoid going down.

I'm wondering if you might have been able to identify the threat from the SUV a little earlier and prepare for them doing something stupid. My goal is to spot potential problems like that early enough that I don't have to do any panic stops. I can think of only one or two cases where I've had to make a panic stop in traffic in the past few years, and they were always due to me accelerating into slowing traffic, which is always a bad idea. Otherwise I get real cautious when anybody can pull out in front of me.
 
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To all you guys: thank you very much for your replies. I may be sentimental, but I do appreciate all the wishes. Just to clarify some points: I understand that it is important to anticipate the unexpected, but in this situation there were just too many cars on the scene. I didn't notice the SUV until it was maybe 10-15 ft away. It was a rush hour traffic and there were cars everywhere. I was in the left lane of a four lane, 2-way street, and he came accross from the other side, accelerating rapidly trying to cross the street. I did notice, e.g. a Honda, waitng to cross the street from my side but this guy came from the other side.

Braking - I think I will spend some time practising my emegency braking. My understanding of the consensus here is to use both brakes, but go easy on the rear wheel.

Thak you guys again, be safe !

The Dude
 

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How could someone do that to you? You're The Dude!
glad to hear you didnt get too ****ed up. Thats one think you will learn- keep your head on a swivel, and expect the unexpected!
ps, I got some vicodin if you need it! :p
 

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From my experience, you have to train yourself to not grab the brake, but to initially sqeeze it, then squeeze like hell.
 

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My sympathies. I haven't done a rib but I did go through a bad back injury. Taught me that drugs are good sometimes, and sometimes lots of drugs are better. ;) Take care and heal fast.

Darn cagers, they'll do it to you every time. I ride like every one of them are out to kill me, whether they know it or not. Survival of the most paranoid, that's what I say.

Braking; practice practice practice. Some rear brake might be beneficial if you're not using the front brake at its maximum. If you're using the front to the max then the rear tire will be practically tractionless. Using the front to the max will give the best performance, but only if you do use it to the max- being that good on the front takes practice. Pick a way that works for you and stick with it.
 

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I got a rib broken in a soccer game here in Italy last summer.
That is a pain.
Although I took the bike out for a 8000km trip 5 days later.

I hurted less than sitting in a gage.
I did 700kms on the first day,
and man, those first 3 cold beers tasted great that night.

Glad You ok.

Skier

ps. I thank long distance help from this board and Daffe for departing despite that broken bone. ;D
 
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