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Discussion Starter #1
We all like to improve our odds in the game of two wheel transport, and one of the better ways I've found is to learn from the lessons (crashes) of others. So this thread is for those of you who've learned the hard way to share what you learned in the hopes of sparing someone else the pain/expense and inevitable tank ding.

The format I'd suggest is:

-Brief recap of the crash

-What you did right

-What you did wrong

-Thoughts on how it might have been avoided
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I'll start out with my recent mishap.

Brief recap of the crash
I was riding along a small country road at about 40, taking it pretty easy after a long ride. I'd been on this road a couple of times before but didn't know it super well. There is a small-ish hill I go up and then it drops away pretty sharply on the downside, and there, about 40 feet ahead, are a couple of cars stopped to take a left turn. I hit the front brakes pretty hard, but the road surface is washboarded and I'm bouncing around, finally locked up the front wheel and washed it out. Probably doing about 15 at that point, just fast enough to bend stuff on the bike. Hit my right shoulder and head as my first impact and rolled over onto the shoulder. Once I collected myself I saw a big pile of different types of auto glass on the shoulder, so I know I'm not the only one who got bitten by that intersection.

What you did right
Fortunately I had the new X-11, leather pants, back protector, the works. The helmet has big divots and scrapes all the way across the top. Also, I was not going crazy fast on a basically unfamiliar road.

What you did wrong
My mind was wandering a bit since I was going slow, and the left intersection sign right before the hill didn't really register as a potential danger. I didn't have the rear brake covered, but seldom do and don't think it would have helped much, but not sure on that.

Thoughts on how it might have been avoided
It is a bad road design, for sure, but there will always be those out there. I guess keeping focused, no matter what the speed, and thinking about the meaning of each yellow diamond sign I see, and how it might be a danger.
 

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Michael,

Thanks for this thread, as I think it may help everyone here. As you stated those yellow intersection signs on the backroads are so important to pay attention to. Sorry to hear about your crash, but most importantly it sounds as if you are okay.
 

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recap: riding along with the right-of-way on a side street, only to have a minivan run a stopsign and cross into my path. I fell on my right side after losing traction trying an emergency stop to avoid a crash.

what I did right: Didn't hit the minivan and die!

what I did wrong:
- Rode when I knew my tires were in bad shape.
- Rode without paying the best attention to possible danger (too much trust in the power of the stop-sign. If I had been watching the minivan more carefully, not just assuming he would stop, I'm sure I could have initiated braking sooner).
- Overused the front brake in particular.
- Spent valuable seconds after falling with useless thoughts of 'my bike! nooooooo! my bike!' and 'maybe I can go back in time and fix this?' instead of 'license plate number, look at his license plate number!'

Thoughts: Well... I think watch out for minivans is the most important one... But I do remember that I fell a good 5-10 feet from the minivan. So that means that I might have gotten away with using a little less braking force, and come to a stop slower without falling. I definetly stand by my decision to chose breaks over swerving though, because I couldnt tell if he would stop or keep going, and since he filled the entire intersection in front of me, I would have had to aim for the sidewalk to avoid him.

I plan to practice emergency breaking at varying speeds. Knowing how hard you can break without losing traction at just one speed is not going to help you.
 

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recap:
Had the Monster for maybe two weeks- had not ridden in about 10 years. Was on a 4 lane highway and attempting to turn off onto a 2 lane street. It was the type of intersection that has an island dividing the turn lane from the other lanes. I came in at maybe 20 mph saw a bunch of sand- focused on that as I put my brakes on- hit the curb at maybe 5-10 mph.
What I did right:
Fortunately had my helmet on as my head impacted the street pretty hard. My knee came down first and took the majority of the force.
What I did wrong:
Duh- object fixation. You go where you look. Unfortunately I was only wearing jeans, a jean jacket and sneakers. My knee was tore up pretty good. You can see pictures of me at the docs office getting stitched under Misc.- crashes and wrecks in photo gallery.
How it could have been avoided:
Well, I am still paranoid about sand and debris in the road. It just comes down to the old trust your bike mentality. I probably would have made it through without crashing. I now have a lovely scar on my knee, and a dent in the gas tank as momentos of said crash.
 
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recap: riding along with the right-of-way on a side street, only to have a minivan run a stopsign and cross into my path. I fell on my right side after losing traction trying an emergency stop to avoid a crash.

what I did right: Didn't hit the minivan and die!

what I did wrong:
- Rode when I knew my tires were in bad shape.
- Rode without paying the best attention to possible danger (too much trust in the power of the stop-sign. If I had been watching the minivan more carefully, not just assuming he would stop, I'm sure I could have initiated braking sooner).
- Overused the front brake in particular.
- Spent valuable seconds after falling with useless thoughts of 'my bike! nooooooo! my bike!' and 'maybe I can go back in time and fix this?' instead of 'license plate number, look at his license plate number!'

Thoughts: Well... I think watch out for minivans is the most important one... But I do remember that I fell a good 5-10 feet from the minivan. So that means that I might have gotten away with using a little less braking force, and come to a stop slower without falling. I definetly stand by my decision to chose breaks over swerving though, because I couldnt tell if he would stop or keep going, and since he filled the entire intersection in front of me, I would have had to aim for the sidewalk to avoid him.

I plan to practice emergency breaking at varying speeds. Knowing how hard you can break without losing traction at just one speed is not going to help you.
They have advance MSF courses thatyou bring your own bike!
 
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I will add a slow speed crash to the list. This was when I was on my ZX9R about 2 yrs ago.

Brief recap of the crash:

I was leaving work one day bobbing through the parking lot. The parking lot sloped down in the direction I was riding and a as I approached the T-intersection to take a right out of the lot I was looking left up another approach to the intersection (it was a V type intersection leading to a T intersection, if that makes sense). I had seen a car coming down the first approach to the T intersection and wanted to make sure he stopped, because a lot of time they don
 
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recap -- waiting at a stop sign, bike in neutral. hit from behind and did my superman impression for about 25ft onto a sidewalk. got up, fell over, got up again and went over to the bike and shut it off. gas leaking out of carb so picked it up and put on sidestand. cops, ambulance and fire truck (hazmat concern) show up. drove the bike home. injuries resulted in L5/S1 laminectomy (back surgery - fun!)

what I did right: wore all my duds (especially useful when skidding around on hands/chest), was truthful and wrote "back hurts" on accident report, kept a dairy of daily pains, sued his silly a**

what I did wrong: stupidly drove home. really stupid. had a grade or level III concusion (triple vision one day, double vision for a few days, blinding headaches, etc.) had air in the rear tire and headed home. should've had textile/leather/kevlar pants on even tho no injuries there,

avoidance: maybe should've had a pulsing brake light? I don't know. bmw's are tough bikes by the way
 

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They have advance MSF courses thatyou bring your own bike!
That sounds great except one thing: They require proof of insurance to take that class!
I um... er... don't technically have insurance...
 

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Another slow speed crash

While riding in the Texas hill country I signaled to pull off the highway onto a hard packed flat area for a photo-op. Got stopped looked behind me to find my wife and her brand new 620 on the ground. She had gone over the highside and dented the tank, bent the bars, broke the mirror, bent both brake levers.

What you did right
She had all of her protective gear on so no injuries only pride.

What you did wrong
Got front brake happy and didn't slow down enough coming off the pavement.

How could it have been avoided
Stay off the front brake when getting onto the dirt area, slowed down a little more before leaving pavement and watching where you are stopping.
 
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That sounds great except one thing: They require proof of insurance to take that class!
I um... er... don't technically have insurance...

You better get some! Anyone out there have an insurance company that is reasonably priced with a good standing thta you can recommend?
 

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That sounds great except one thing: They require proof of insurance to take that class!
I um... er... don't technically have insurance...
Alex, please don't take this as a personal attack...but you are an a$$. ;D
Why the hell don't you at least have liability insurance in case you hit someone else and hurt them or break their stuff? And don't give me this crap about "it's too expensive". Just look at the friggin list of mods on your bike! ???
 

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Recap:
On an '85 Honda Shadow, I stopped at a flat four-way stop with obstructed views to the left and right. I rolled into the intersection to see what was going with the stop signs on the left and the right. Cars were there, getting ready to enter the intersection. I stopped. BANG! I got hit from behind by the Ford F-350 who said that his brakes failed (or he just didn't see the stop sign).

Because the bumper is high on the truck, it took my passenger seat and folded it up, acting like a bumper. I stayed on the bike and the bike stayed upright, attached to the truck's bumper. Threw out my bad shoulder and got whiplash, but the bike was totalled.

What I did right:
Entered the intersection cautiously, checked right and left, and was wearing all of my gear. Was in gear rather than neutral.

What I did wrong:
Didn't watch behind me, thinking that no one would run the stop sign.

Thoughts:
Had I been watching my mirrors, I could have gotten out of the way. I always think about a rear-end now, whether at a stop sign or a stop light. I try to position myself in a lane so that if I check my mirrors and someone looks like they are not going to stop, I can get out of it. I also try to find a position in stopped traffic where if the car behind me is rear-ended, he's not going to come right into me. I also always watch my mirrors at intersections and try to keep the bike in gear rather than neutral.
 

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Alex, please don't take this as a personal attack...but you are an a$$. ;D
Why the hell don't you at least have liability insurance in case you hit someone else and hurt them or break their stuff? And don't give me this crap about "it's too expensive". Just look at the friggin list of mods on your bike!
 

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OK, let me clarify.

"Students must have full coverage insurance (comprehensive, collision and liability) and at least a motorcycle permit or endorsement. The instructor will ask to see the proof of both at the class."
--from the Evergreen Safety Counsel motorcycle page

I understand that liability is good, and it is so cheap that I have no problem paying for that. That is not what I meant!
I don't, however, have full coverage (on my car or my bike), because of the whole price thing (my car and bike would be over $2k each a year).

Liability is super important not because it can save you money, but because if someone who doesn't have it gets into an accident, they are MUCH more likely to consider fleeing the scene!!! (see a certain white minivan I recently came across :mad:)

Anyway... Do you think that I could just show up to the class with my insurance card and say 'sure I have full coverage,' since it is not specified on there? I know I have used that trick in the past asking car dealers to let me test drive cars ;D...
So you do at least have liability insurance then?
It was the way you said "I don't have insurance". That's fine.
 
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Coming home from work around midday after an early finish and daydreaming about the beautiful sunny afternoon ahead. Came into a roundabout intersection with my exit road view partially blocked by trees. Only 1 mile from home, I'd ridden through it a thousand times before without incident. Not this time. A woman had chosen to hang a u-turn across double lines about 20ft past the exit and I had nowhere to go. Slammed into her t-bone style with compound fractures of the right leg Tibia/Fibula. Flipped and skidded down the road. Not a scratch anywhere else. :-/

Right? Had safety gear on. Just before impact aimed at the cars rear so I'd soar over the trunk and not splat against the cars windows/roofline.

Wrong? Daydreaming! Thinking the road is safe just because 'nothing ever happens here'. :p

It could have been avoided by me exiting the corner slower but theres a point to avoid all potential collisions you'd need to be travelling everywhere at 5mph. I wasn't speeding but still got cleaned up. The only real way to avoid this accident was for this woman to never have been issued a drivers license because she didn't understand basic roadcraft/linemarking. In statements she blamed the whole thing on me of course but the police report showed her 90% at fault. Funny thing was, she was a cadet at the police academy at the time of the crash. ::)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'll add one more. Not a crash but really close to one.

Brief recap of the crash
I was fairly new to riding and was on a highway near Boston. There was a small pickup with about 8 pieces of 4 inch by 8 foot PVC pipe in the bed. I was behind the truck and one lane over. The truck hits a bump in the road and all of the PVC pipe flies out of the bed (it was unsecured) and starts rolling around the highway, right in front of me. Somehow I got through it all. No skill involved, just dumb luck.

What you did right
Nothing. I had a helmet and non-moto leather jacket. Had I gone down, either the impact or a car behind me would have finished me off. I guess my best move was to pull over after the incident and wait for the shakes to stop.

What you did wrong
As a new rider I was not really thinking about the potential dangers out there, not doing the rider "what if" thing. I was just putting along using a car driver mindset.

Thoughts on how it might have been avoided
Now I never, ever, ride behind pickup trucks with anything in the bed. I've seen trashcans fly out, ladders come off, and lots of yard waste and branches. I don't even ride in the lane next to the truck. Just get by 'em as quickly as I can.
 
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