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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Update:
Finally, I have some positive news. The lady who's car my bike slide into decided weeks later to make a claim, so since my insurance was involved I decided to get some money for my bike... omg what a pain in the butt. Much idiocy on the part of my insurance company trying to see my bike followed, but finally things are resolved. The bike is totaled :( which is sad, but it was totaled on mostly cosmetic issues. (scratched and dented tank, hell scratched everything on the left).

However,I took it down to my neighborhood mechanic and we decided to salvage it, so I am keeping it with a salvage title and fixing it for about 1/3 of what I am getting for the bike. The rest goes into a new bike fund :)
So 2 months later I finally know what I am going to ride! Just decided to post up and share [cheeky]










:(
So I was riding up 92 to skyline and the car in front of the car in front of me slammed on their breaks and I...

well I locked up my front wheel breaking hard. We were going 30+ mph maybe closer to 40 mph at the time.

I low sided and I am ok.. bruised hip and ego.

The bike has a bent front rotor, handlebars(?), and smashed up light assembly.

I really need to get some more practice in emergency breaking in.. I don't have the confidence or the skills at all. Any suggestions, for the time being I just plan on trying to make sure I have lots of room in front of me. (if I can afford to fix the bike anytime soon.)

I was wearing all my gear and it is pretty scuffed but I shudder to think what I would look like it I was not.

Right now I am of course wondering if I should just throw in the towel, and stop riding before I kill myself. I am rather upset and I expect this to pass. Just wanted to post and share. Since you all are all so supportive and full of good advice, which I am really feeling the need for.

Thanks for reading, I hope you all have a Happy New Year.
 

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Re: One for the ticker..

Boy, that sucks, but I am glad you are alright.

Unfortunately, locking the front is pretty common in an emergency stop. A good place to practice is in an empty parking lot. Accelerate to about 15 mph, and apply the front brakes. Try to get the feel of when the front locks and release the front brake before the front slides. As you get used to it at low speeds, increase the speed before you apply the front brake. The more you practice, the less likely it is that you will lock up the front in an emergency.
 

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Re: One for the ticker..

Ouch....glad you're okay. Hope everything gets fixed up soon.

I'd second the parking lot suggestion, and MSF if you didn't already. Try braking from different speeds to zero (15, 25, 35, 45) as quickly as possible. I'd recommend keeping at most two fingers on the brake lever no matter what (middle and ring works for me). It's all you need for maximum braking, gives a lot of feel, and it is harder to grab a fistful of brake that way. Not sure if that makes any difference here, but fwiw...

A track day was also a great learning experience for braking. It's the only place I've ever kissed locking up my front (aggressively braking before taking turn 14 too fast at T-Hill - didn't bin it somehow. Lucky that one.) I'd rather do it there than the street.
 

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Re: One for the ticker..

Sorry to hear about that, Cynic. If we could just get all those damn cages off the road...

I still get my share of panic stops, and I try to take each one as a lesson. These may sound rather old and cliche, but they work:

1) Following distance is important. You may be able to stop faster than a car, but it's pretty safe to assume that the guy driving the car in front of you sucks and will have to slam on the brakes at some point. Keep your distance.

2) Know your escape route at all times. If you are following a car, know exactly which way you're going to swerve if the fit hits the shan.

3) As Ducati Tim says, know the limits of your bike. Try braking and swerving drills in an empty parking lot. Combine it with wheelie practice to make it interesting.

Just my $0.02....

Joe
 

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Re: One for the ticker..

Wow. +1 on being glad you're ok.

In addition to the good advice on braking drills, here are a couple of other thoughts that come to mind.

- if the front wheel is locked up, there's really nothing you can do at that point but ease up to try and get it spinning again. If it is locked up very long, you go down, no exceptions.

- did you see what the car was braking for? A good technique is to look a few cars ahead so you don't get surprised. Now, someone can just miss their turn and slam on the brakes, and again, there's no way to anticipate that. But if you see a dog running across the road you can pretty well expect heavy braking to follow.

- try to not ride either too close, or in the middle of his bumper. If you're positioned to the left (near the yellow line) then you have a bit more room to stop or swerve.

Then again you might have done all of these and still got bitten, 'cuz as we all know s*it happens.

Again, glad you're ok.
 

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Re: One for the ticker..

Glad you're okay! Thanks for sharing your experience. +1 on practicing braking at an empty parking lot. You might consider the ERC (experienced riders course, I think you've taken the MSF), and that's just half a day at a parking lot doing pretty much the same drills as MSF but on your own bike. For more skills that are practical and essential on the streets and track, try CLASS or level 1 of the CA Superbike School.
 

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Re: One for the ticker..

When I first started riding, it seemed like I tipped the bike over every few weeks--literally--like parking and slow stuff was a real challenge for me and that was most of my riding at the time. It was more embarrassing and disheartening than wadding it in a corner. At least you have a good story when you do it like that and the squids think you're really cool. [laugh] I kept at it, (the riding...not the crashing) and with every little spill, I learned something. The stupid mistakes started happening less frequently. Don't get me wrong, I still do plenty of dumb stuff, but I can generally get through a few minutes without doing something totally retarded now, and that wasn't always the case. ;D

So I hope my pathetic story makes you feel a little better. Not all of us start off well, and for some of us it takes a lot more effort to become competent riders. No shame in that. ;)

Get more practice. Use good technique always--eventually it'll become second nature. Slow down for a while--back it down a couple of notches so that you're riding just under what you *think* you can do. Be patient with yourself--give riding another chance. Be happy with your accomplishments and try to learn from your mistakes.

Glad you're OK, guy. [thumbsup]
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: One for the ticker..

I went out with the wife.. had dinner and hunted down the elusive Season one of Battlestar Galatica. I am much more settled and I want to thank all of you for the positive feed back.
<3 the DML (the MOB in particular)

My big mistake was following to close and not having an escape route... it was on a turn and into the setting sun (going west on 92) I talked to the driver of the car that was right in front of me, and she has no idea why the car in front of her slammed on the breaks. I saw nothing as I was looking far into the turn.. perhaps to far cause it seemed as if I was late noticing that the car in front of me was breaking. I hate not being followed by a camera crew at all times seeing as I would love to know exactly what I did wrong.


Well I plan on taking myself to a parking lot and practicing my breaking.. (I took the MSF so I have an idea what to do.. just need more pracitice)

Thanks again for the tips.. anything else you can think of just let me know. Oh and I would go to a clinic hosted by you all :)
CHEERS
 

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Re: One for the ticker..

Glad to see you're feeling better about the situation.

Cynic13th said:
Well I plan on taking myself to a parking lot and practicing my breaking.. (I took the MSF so I have an idea what to do.. just need more pracitice)

Thanks again for the tips.. anything else you can think of just let me know. Oh and I would go to a clinic hosted by you all :)
I'm usually up for a parking lot-based wheelie/drill clinic. Weekends are usually best, so just PM me or post up.
 

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Re: One for the ticker..

Cynic13th said:
<snip>

My big mistake was following to close and not having an escape route... it was on a turn and into the setting sun (going west on 92) I talked to the driver of the car that was right in front of me, and she has no idea why the car in front of her slammed on the breaks.
Maybe the driver who hit the brakes got blinded by the sun?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: One for the ticker..

Michael Moore said:
Maybe the driver who hit the brakes got blinded by the sun?
After the fact this seems likely... Course it took me typing it out to figure that out. I was so worried that others would miss me blinded by the sun, totally forgot that well other problems might arise.

Guess I learned something.
 

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Re: One for the ticker..

Michael Moore said:
Maybe the driver who hit the brakes got blinded by the sun?
That actually happened to me today. I was grateful to not be following too close.

+ another 1 that you're okay. What a bummer.

Looks like a lot of good feedback. It's so important to be willing to learn from these things, whether they're accidents or near misses. I think it's awesome that you're open to hearing everone's .02.

As for mine, there have been two times when I've locked the front wheel, both on my K1200S (goin' too fast again ::) ) Both times I saved my ass by doing exactly what MM says above, releasing the brake and getting the wheel turning again. Of course one's ability to do so has everything to do with the circumstances. But there's also a "mental game" which, IMO, is about maintaining a high level of awareness and responding with subtlety, rather than abruptness.

I highly recommend Reg Pridmore's book "Smooth Riding, The Pridmore Way." Read it, practice it, read it, practice it. It's great stuff. I was literally practicing one of the techniques he describes, which has to do with lane position in blind left turns, when a fuggin' CalTrans truck with a plow blade hanging over the double yellow came around the turn :eek: That was a little piece of studying that paid off big [thumbsup]
 

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Re: One for the ticker..

Glad to hear you're ok. For some, crashing is a part of learning. Others escape the learning experience relatively unscathed. I'm one of the former unfortunately.

A couple of crashes doesn't mean that it's inevitable that you're going to kill yourself or that you are a bad rider. It's just that this time you got bit by your screw-up. Actually, it's often a series of screw-ups that come together, and bad habits that build up over time until they finally culminate in either a close-call or a crash. It's important to figure out each of the contributing elements and/or habits. Don't just be thankful that you're ok and overlook them. Take them to heart so that there is not a repeat. And remember, it's always easier to make good decisions earlier than to rely on particular skills (emergency swerving, hard braking, etc) to get yourself out of a situation safely. This is even more true when your skills are still developing.

Again, glad you're ok. Don't beat yourself up about it. Just be thankful you're alright and try to refocus on the things that will keep you actually keep you safe, rather than the skills that you think will make you fast. [thumbsup]
 

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Re: One for the ticker..

+ eleventy billion on you being ok.

that said, i agree with others on practicing emergency stops in parking lots ... but, the absolute best practice for ALL street riding in panic/out of control situations, is to learn to ride in the dirt. riding in the dirt is all about being out of, or almost out of control 99% of the time, as traction is most always not there. dirt riding teaches one to not panic when the front and/or rear tire loses traction and/or slides in braking and turning situations. i wish ALL street riders could learn riding in the dirt before they ever ride on the street.

ciao,
johnc
 

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Re: One for the ticker..

Front rotor is bent? You'll wanna check your forks and front wheel then. Either way, you'll need to loosen the triple clamps holding the forks and just twist the forks around in there. Often, forks will twist in the triples, but won't bend. You just need to release the tension and then retighten and they're good to go.

I've got an extra headlight bucket I'm selling if you need. The other headlight parts you can order. They're BMW parts. Check in the sticky in Tech. I've got a post up about it.

Again, glad you're alright. If your gear needs some repair or even re-stitching, look up Richard Lee. Tigre's got his phone number around here somewhere. He does good work for cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: One for the ticker..

Spidey, I will take you up on that head light bucket :)
Thanks for the tps on the forks :) I have yet to really work on the bike. Just repeating what my mechanic told me.

Which reminds me of the happy ending, which was that 10 minutes behind me my friendly neighborhood bike mechanic and my wife were on a ride to meet me, so I had lots of friendly help getting the bike in shape to ride home.

Thanks again for all the advice. My new years res, is to ride safe :)
 
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Re: One for the ticker..

Michael Moore said:
Maybe the driver who hit the brakes got blinded by the sun?
I've given up on trying to guess the whys and wherefores or erratic cage behavior.

He probably just tipped over his bong or something.

Anyway, glad you're okay [thumbsup] and I've got a fair amount of stock bits taking up space in the garage (post what you need and I'll take a look)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Re: One for the ticker..

As far as parts.. I don't know yet... since I don't have a garage (damn condo living!) I have yet to take it apart and look at it.
(besides the already mentioned headlight bits)
 
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