Going down on the highway - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2009, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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Going down on the highway

I was having a conversation with the Jeff, the resident Harley snob, over the weekend. Too bad I can't aviod this dude altogether, we have the same friends, one of which is my twin. Alas.

During the discussion, he tells me that no matter what if you go down, you're hitting your head on the ground, its inevitable. I then asked how intelligent it is that he NEVER wears a helmet. He tells a couple stories about how he's been down on the bike over the years and hit his head every single time, then shows me the scars. My first question: is it true that no matter what, if you go down, you're hitting your head?

He then tells me that fortunately he's never been down on the highway. He was very vehement when he said, "Yeah, if you go down on the highway, helmet or not, you're done." "Done?" I said, "what do you mean by 'done'?". He said that no matter what, if you go down on the highway you're not surviving. I take highways to work everyday so this was more than a little disconcerting. Second question: is this true? Are highways a 'one and done' kinda deal?
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2009, 11:22 AM
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Wait, let me be sure I understand. You're listening to a guy you don't like, who never wears a helmet, has been down many times, and each time he's hit his head, has the scars to prove it, and still doesn't wear a helmet, right? I would think his advice might certainly apply to HIM, but it sure doesn't apply to anyone who might think it was a good idea to wear some head protection (and I'm not talking about a bandana)!

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2009, 11:43 AM
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Sorry, but I'm afraid your snob Harley friend is...one might say..."full of it".

In my 3 1/2 years and 20k+ miles of riding, I've been down twice.

In each case, my head did not hit the ground (or anything else). I was wearing the same helmet that I wear now--the bright yellow Shoei.

Of course, one should always ride under the assumption that one's head could end up sliding across someone's hood and/or the pavement--face-up or face-down.

I think "Mr Harley's" explanation may be a bit of an macho sound bite for his otherwise malnourished ego.....

The "you're done" story is also old-school macho talk....dress appropriately for the ride, and ignore it.

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2009, 11:54 AM
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We've had several here (who are luckily still here!) who've been down on the road.
Unless it's their spirit posting, this Hardley snob is not one to listen to.

As for "no matter what, you're hitting your head"....ya never know, until it happens. It depends on many factors.... speed, how you go down (high side, low side, t-boned, etc....)

While it is kind of apples to oranges, there've been many wipe-outs I've seen on different types of motorcycle races (dirt and street) which the guys head never even comes close to the ground. While there's others where they show the after shots of a helmet, all scraped up from ground contact.
Unless you can predict the future, like I said.... ya never know, but certainly not any/every time no matter what.

P.S.,
I think this Hardley guy has hit his head one too many times to believe ANYTHING he says!!


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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2009, 12:19 PM
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I have been down twice in 20+ years on street bikes, low sided both times and never even put so much as a scratch in my helmet. So yes that dudes full of SHI*. As for going down on a Highway or Freeway your chances are reduced to survive but survival is more than possible. I have three riding partners that has gone done doing 60+ on the Freeway and all three still ride with me today. So tell that Harley snob to stuff it....Idiots gotta luv em.


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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2009, 12:55 PM
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Flightcontrol X2, plus- There is no "sure thing". A seasoned rider I worked with was killed sitting still at a red light, and wearing proper equipment. Others have survived nasty crashes with and without proper equipment. HOW EVER, you have huge control over the odds. Safety equipment, alert rider, tires, brakes, visibility, proper speed, weather, and many more things affect your odds. Keep the odds in your favor.

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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2009, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LibertyPilot View Post
He was very vehement when he said, "Yeah, if you go down on the highway, helmet or not, you're done." "Done?" I said, "what do you mean by 'done'?". He said that no matter what, if you go down on the highway you're not surviving. I take highways to work everyday so this was more than a little disconcerting. Second question: is this true? Are highways a 'one and done' kinda deal?
I think He believes that going down on the Highway/Freeway is like going down in front of a Stampede.
Your going to get hit or run over from whats coming behind You No matter what.

JaY



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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2009, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Pfffff, and this guy tells me not to listen to YOU guys! By the by, apart from my own research, which is maybe 20% of what I know about bikes, you all have taught me everything I know. At this point that seems to be enough to get someone ELSE they're own nice bike and teach THEM how to ride safely! I knew "Harley Snob's" ego was big but I didn't realize it blinded him! I only listen to him because he's been ridin' for 20 years but if he's gonna be feedin' me false info based only his big head then forget it. I know you have to be super careful on highways and ALWAYS have your wits about you but they shouldn't be viewed as death traps. I'll just take everything he says with a grain of salt. He's obviously not all about the facts.

Well anyway, I'm glad I can always come here and get some real perspective. I'd trust the epinions here over his opinion anyday. He's not that bright anyway...
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2009, 04:03 PM
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Hey Liberty, you're smart enough to fly helis and you have trouble figuring out who to listen to? As you've heard here, there are a number of miracles walking around. That is guys who have gone down on the highway and are still here to tell about it or maybe they're resurrected?

Make a rule - never listen to anyone you can't respect. Most important, ride safe.

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-15-2009, 04:11 PM
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I`m not taking Harley snobs side, nor do I agree with him, but his opinion may mirror his experience. Maybe he has personally known a rider or 2 or 3 who have gone down on their bikes on the highway and died as a result. If so, this could translate into his view that if you go down on the highway, you will die.

I personally believe that if you are wearing proper gear, including helmet and armored jacket and pants, you can go down in a lowside, at highway speeds and slide a long way without suffering any great injury. However if you come off a highside or crash your body into another vehicle or stationary object, your odds of survival come way down.

Last year when I came off the end of the guardrail and sailed most of the way across the ditch, I took the brunt of weight on my arms landing in the ditch grass. I estimate that I was travelling less than 30mph. My head came down hard enough to split the face shield in half vertically, but the half shell helmet only has a few light scratches.

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