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Author Topic: Have you avoided a crash?  (Read 851 times)
photodan
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« on: June 19, 2019, 03:39:32 AM »

I posted this in another forum but I'm curious about your opinions.

This is my first post and I am in the process of getting my MRC class lined up and probably buying a Burgman. I rode a Suzuki 650 motorcycle for about a year as my primary transportation back in the early 80's because I couldn't afford a car. I was in a rural area so not a lot of major traffic other than the town of 5000 people where I worked.

My question is, how many people ride for many years without major injury or bike damage? In my year, the worst that happened to me was a low speed drop turning onto a gravel road. I'm not intensely risk averse but I don't really want to get back into the race where I'm assured to get major injuries either. Insight from both those who have been injured and those that have not is appreciated. - Thanks!
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EZMark
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2019, 06:34:17 AM »

I've crashed 3 times on the street. All 3 times I was doing something stupid.
I've also avoided hundreds of possible crashes by assuming everyone in a car is an idiot.
They prove me right a lot.
Remember most crashes are at intersections. Don't assume they will always stop.
Ride smart and always be on guard and you'll be OK. That includes watching behind you.
And don't hesitate to use your horn. Better to have them flip you off than run you over.
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2019, 02:08:23 PM »

Iíve crashed twice. Once out I the country.  I was coming up a steep hill and next I knew I was skidding into someoneís front yard.   Someone had knocked down the stop sign.  When I realized I was about to cross a major road I grabbed a handful of brakes while in gravel.  Thankfully no cars where coming down the major road. 

Second time Ingot my front wheel jammed in a trolley track. 

I replay how I could of avoided either but both were just bad luck.

Like Mark, riding has made me a super defensive rider.  Every time I get on my bike my mind says someone out there is trying to kill you.   It makes me more aware of drivers and there actions.

Good luck with your classes and welcome to the forum.
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2019, 04:13:29 PM »

I began piloting cabinless transports in the year of 1966. I've experienced numerous crash avoidance events.

My most memorable event was immediately after leaving a non nutritional quick bio refuel center. As I was about to enter the transport stream, I made a quick observation of the automatic traffic flow regulator for my intended direction to the right. It was green. I quickly looked to the left for an opening for the purpose of merging. The oncoming passenger transport shuttle appeared to be decelerating in the nearest lane indicators. I engaged full thrusters as I again returned my view to the direction of intended travel. I then realized why the observed passenger transport shuttle had been observed decelerating. The traffic flow indicator had already altered state to a non flow condition. My flow inhibitors were insufficient to terminate my forward progress and one of the larger size passenger transport shuttles had already began advancing through my travel vector. As most pilots of our small cabinless transports know, they come with pre-install and fully activated engaging cloaking devices. For some lucky to me reason, the pilot of the oncoming shuttle was aware of my presence and halted his advancement. I altered course to the near left traffic flow markers as I made full engagement of visual receptors through his shuttle view port. He preceded to initiate the universal galactic salute. Being aware that I had momentarily de-cloaked, I nodded in recognition. Upon exiting the intersecting vectors, I immediately reduced my transport thruster while returning to the far right traffic flow indicators and came to the realization that my biological exhaust port had somehow engaged in a non voluntary reaction of extreme restriction. I was experiencing both a feeling of vulnerability and invincibility simultaneously as though I had been on Omicron Ceti III. While experiencing other events of this nature in latter stardates, this event has remain as the most impressionable upon my conscious being.

Edit for clarity:
Translation: I was leaving Capt D's and ran a red light. I swerved to the left and the car approaching from the right stopped and shot me the bird. I was scared sh*tless and had an adrenaline rush. I'll never forget it!!!
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2019, 11:22:13 PM »

Had two incidents.

The first was following my brother on his Tmax 530 on MY Tmax 500 on a winding road with blind curves, 55MPH limit and we were familiar with the road. Went around a tight 120 degree right-hander to find ALL THE CARS WERE STOPPED IN THE STREET! (A Harley had low-sided up ahead...as they all eventually do...) I grabbed a bunch of brakes and stopped 5 feet behind the last of about 60 cars. my brother's 530 locked his rear wheel and he slid past the last two cars, staying upright. (I had converted to full sintered pads which saved my ass...he hadn't...)

The second was on a weekend ride, super windy day with 50-60 mph Santa Ana winds. Was leading the ride, went around a flat, clear 90 degree left-hander while pointing out to my trailing brother a bunch of gravel on the right of the turn from an entering gravel road. Looked left through the turn, and realized that the huge shadowed area across the road for the next 100 yards, cast by the row of eucalyptus trees along the right edge of the road, was MOVING? WTF???  One of the Eucalyptus trees had just SNAPPED OFF and had landed across the road...
Nailed the brakes, slid just a bit, and finally "bumped" into the tree still doing about 5 mph. Almost pulled it off, wobbled and fell over like Artie Johnson on his Trike on Laugh-In. One scratch on the bike and a sore left ankle/leg where the bike fell on me. Took my brother and a passerby to lift the bike off me, which was wedged in among the branches. More embarrassing than painful. Got back up and we did the next 150 miles of the ride...

Moral of the story? ANYTHING could be in the road at any time...
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2019, 07:14:58 PM »

Started riding "late" at 59.  My "go down" was 7 years later after thousands of miles on my Yamaha Classic 650 cruiser and my Burgman 400 (this incident).  Doing 35 (the limit) on a neighborhood road following ~20 yards behind another car.  Spotted a car coming down a church driveway on my left and noted that she was slowing as she approached the end of the drive, so my primary focus shifted back to the car ahead.  But instead of stopping, when I was around 100' from the driveway (note, 35 MPH is about 50 ft/sec), she took off, turning left out of the driveway and into my lane.  I clearly remember thinking, "she IS NOT doing that" (though, obviously, she was).  Despite having practiced emergency stops many times (the result of an MSF course), before I'd made any conscious reaction, I'd instinctively grabbed two hands full of brakes - locked a wheel and the back end came around to the right (low sided).  I managed not to hit her but I apparently jammed my left leg while being dumped and crushed the top of my tibia.  I wound up laying in the street with the bike 50' further down the road on the shoulder.  I didn't really know what was behind me so I immediately rolled off the pavement onto the shoulder, intinctively cradling my left leg with my right.  I didn't know what I'd done but I knew my leg just didn't work.  Fortunately (I guess) the lady stopped ... she "didn't see me" despite two headlights (brights on), two strut lights, and hi-vis helmet & jacket.  Maybe if she'd actually stopped and looked ...

Three days later 3 3/4 hours of surgery deposited an 8" plate, a dozen screws, and some bone "putty" in my leg.  The hardware came out a year later, at which time the surgeon commented, "when I went in to repair your knee I could identify 5 to 7 pieces of bone, but the rest was just dust".  The knee couldn't simply be replaced because a replacement attaches to the top of the tibia, and the top of mine was half missing - but's it's good to go for that now should it get too troublesome.  Four years later it doesn't give me a lot of trouble but I can't fully straighten it, so my gait is a bit off.

As for the bike, it was mechanically OK but sliding on it's left side tore up all the plastic, and replacement thereof would have cost about 3/4ths of what it was worth ... so it was totaled.

Bottom line - maybe a professional rider could have avoided going down and maybe ABS would have saved my bacon ... but maybe if I'd done something else, I'd have hit her and broken my neck.  Playing the "what if" game is pointless.  Riding is inherently more risky than driving so do everything you can to mitigate the risk - make yourself and your ride visible, get good gear and wear it*, take a riding course, and ride in adverse conditions only if you absolutely have to and, if you do, take extra precautions.  With regard to the latter, I've heard riders all the time talk about how bad conditions are not an issue for them.  While that may be true (doubtful), bad conditions are an issue for most everyone else on the road, and you've absolutely no control over them.

* I was on an errand of no more than 6 miles, a mile from home when I went down.  I was fully geared - boots, kevlar reinforced jeans, mesh jacket with pads, gloves, and full face (modular) helmet.  All were torn up and replaced by insurance.  I was bruised in many places, but NO road rash.

The whole story is on the forum at http://maxi-scoots.com/scoot/index.php?topic=7307.msg88380#msg88380  If you've the time to peruse the comments there you'll find some of the types of responses that you asked for, made to me in the aftermath of my incident.
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