MSF Training pays off... - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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MSF Training pays off...

Heading home yesterday afternoon in a thunderstorm, good lightning and rain coming down, travelling about 30 mph. Get a block from my house, notice 4 kids walking on sidewalk on my right. Remember thinking "they should be getting home" when a van comes around the corner less than 1/2 block ahead of me, and mom then turns into MY lane to be close to the curb to pick up the kids.

Hit the rear brake hard, wheel locked up on wet pavement, DIDN"T grab a handful of front brake, released the rear, used the rider training exercise to swerve around the van. Mom's eyes were as big as saucers when she finally saw me.

Just shook my head and headed home. Maybe next time she'll look closer at what is coming right at her.

Things I did right (or just got lucky doing): 1) didn't grab a handful of front brake, when the rear locked I think it would have taken me down on the wet pavement. 2) released the rear as soon as I felt it lock. 3) made the swerve move out of instinct, didn't even think before doing it.

Makes you realize how quickly things can happen.

Dudley

2003 VN 750 "T'Pol"
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 01:06 PM
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Good work man. That's the type of reaction we need to stay safe. Its also a good reminder that if our tires are old or worn, we need new ones right away. Your tires had no problem biting and holding the wet road during the manuever. That's one for the good guys. Bravo.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 01:12 PM
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*phew* Nice save there Dudley!



I think you did everything perfectly (obviously, as you're here to tell us the tale with no damage to you or your ride).

If I remember correctly, the only way you could've dumped the bike in this situation is if you had continued to hold the locked brake when you did your swerve. I think the rear got you slowed down enough and then you pushed down to one side and dipped your bike to swerve and then straightened it back up before applying any brakes (that's how they taught us in the MSF).

Goes to show you that we all need to practice our accident avoidance skills on a regular basis so they do become instinct-cause you won't have time to think when you need them!

Once again, nice job brotha.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 01:17 PM
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Good save buddy!

Fergy
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 01:47 PM
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Hope I do as well when the time comes, and it is coming!

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 04:26 PM
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Dang, that was close! Good save. Time to (re)practice avoidance swerves and panic stops.

The journey is the destination.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudley View Post
... made the swerve move out of instinct, didn't even think before doing it.

Makes you realize how quickly things can happen.

Dudley
Good thing nobody else was in the oncoming lane behind the blind mom. Would have made swerving around her a bit more difficult. Glad you had your wits about you. Hope I handle the situation as well as you when the time comes.

Rubyrick

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 04:22 PM
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I'm glad to hear you were more prepared to react correctly than I was a year ago. Nice save.

Gordon

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Purchased May 16, 2008
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2009, 09:08 PM
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Dudley,

Thanks for posting your near-miss experience. We can all learn from it, but... besides your good reactions, you were lucky.
MSF teaches that you should NOT release the rear brake if the rear wheel starts to skid. This can lead to a high-side crash. You were fortunate that your front and rear wheels were still aligned when you released the rear brake or you would have high-sided right in front of the van. In a panic I probably would have released the rear brake too - it is a natural reaction. That is why practice is important.

Of course, as noted in a post above, you should not swerve while braking. To avoid an emergency hazard you need to make a quick decision to brake OR swerve. Assuming you must swerve because there is insufficient braking distance, you will lose valuable real estate if you start braking first necessitating a more severe swerve. Note that a swerve requires forceful input to the handlebars and is much more severe than normal steering around a hazard. Again practice, practice, practice...

- Safety First

Paul

'04 VN750
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-22-2009, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Sunpa,

You are right about releasing the rear brake, in my case 2 things happened, the rear had only been locked for a couple of feet and the bike was still straight, it had not started to come around, or a high-side would have been likely. I fully released both brakes before the swerve, so was able to maintain traction even on the wet pavement.

The other thing I did right or got lucky with was that I avoided target fixation, I was looking at the clear path beside the van instead of at the van. Only looked at the drivers wide eyes when I was far enough to the left.

Luckily, no traffic behind the van, as to the left was my only option as she had the driver's front tire to the curb on the right at about a 30 degree angle to the road.

I agree that I was lucky, probably more lucky than good, but the point was that the MSF training (I've had both beginner and experienced) was probably what saved my rear.

It's not paranoia if the ARE out to get you.

Dudley

2003 VN 750 "T'Pol"
30k miles
New stator
R/R relocated
Memphis Shades windshield
Custom mirrors
Iridium plugs
Highway pegs
VN750.com radiator cover
Engine guard
Luggage Rack
Jardine slash-cut exhaust
Turn signals relocated
Ram GPS mount
12 volt power outlet
Airhawk II seat cushion
Floor boards
Tank bib
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