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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Another way to crash your bike...

Mainly for the benefit of those who are new (or relatively new) to riding, I thought I would share how I crashed my bike last Tuesday afternoon.

Exiting an interstate at rush hour, I came down the off ramp and was about to merge onto the adjacent (underpass) road in a right turn, when a lady in a car pulled out to my left front.

Although she was (in truth) not too close for comfort, I apparently grabbed too much front brake, locking them up.

On our bike (or any bike without ABS), if the front brakes are locked up at a decent (or greater) speed, and the front wheel is at any real angle away from straight ahead, the bike will slide out from under you, resulting in a "low side" crash.....

Currently, I'm recovering from some road rash on both forearms, and a sprained (very swollen, with different shades of black and blue) right ankle. Other than that, I'm ok.

The bike, however, is a different story.

The damaged parts that kept the bike from being rideable have been replaced, thanks to a local friend who offered some spare parts of his (a rear brake pedal, and a right side foot peg). The right saddlebag will need to be replaced, and also the front fender. The worst news for the bike--this crash bent the front right fork.

Anyway, I hope the above helps others avoid the same. It can be very easy (in certain circumstances) to grab too much front brake too fast. If you do, you will go down.

The other lesson to this story is: dress for the crash--not the ride. As a newbie or a rider, you may think, "bad things only happen to others." But the simple truth is, each time you go out for a ride, the odds go up that something will happen that will truly test your riding skills, in an unexpected way.

I gather the best way to help prevent this type of crash is to simply practice over and over stopping the bike from different speeds in a paved, vacant space, to learn how the brakes feel up to (and including) a lock-up. While practicing, if the front brakes lock, release them immediately. If the rear brakes lock (while braking in a staight line), keep them locked--this avoids a "high side" crash, which is even worse.

Note that in a "panic" situation you will only do correctly what you have practiced. If you have not practiced correct techniques, then you only have pure chance working in your favor.

Hope all this helps.....

'05 VN750



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Last edited by theauhawk; 09-13-2009 at 02:46 PM.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 02:59 PM
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glad to hear your mostly allright tough luck on the scoot and the ole ankel...

on a side note its better to brake the brake then the shift lever... (not that u really have a choice on which way the bike is gonna go...

Good heads up for the new riders listen because there are 2 types of riders out there ones that have been down and ones that are goin down...
Be comfortable be safe but more importantly never loose the fear and respect required to keep the bike vertical ... i as many others can probably agree with .. The moment u lose fear and become comfortable is the most dangerouse moment of your learning curve...

Get better soon and get that lil lady back road ready...

U said bent fork.... I know when this happended to me the tripple tree was just tristed... (kinda like an old bmx bike grabbed the front wheel and twisted it back strait... ) just my .02 cents



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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theauhawk View Post
..........I gather the best way to help prevent this type of crash is to simply practice over and over stopping the bike from different speeds in a paved, vacant space, to learn how the brakes feel up to (and including) a lock-up. While practicing, if the front brakes lock, release them immediately. If the rear brakes lock (while braking in a staight line), keep them locked--this avoids a "high side" crash, which is even worse.


Just a point here...you can lock the rear brakes and release them...as long as the bike is still traveling in a straight line. The circumstance hawk here is talking about is locking the rear ...and having the rear slide out. Once the rear breaks off the forwad path more than a few inches, releasing the brake can result in a high side. but as long as the bike is still going straight, it likely will not.

It is ALWAYS important to not panic brake with the bike leaned over...even a little. Straighten up the bike first then brake hard. This is the reason one needs to always have an "out" as they ride.

KM

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 08:04 PM
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Glad to hear you are not hurt any worse than you are. I hope you and the bike are back on the road before this riding season are history.

X2 to theuahawk and KM about learning to brake properly. Put on your best crash gear and go to a paved, empty parking lot or back road. Starting at 18-20 mph practice using your front brake to the maximum, (about 85% of the effort on the lever it takes to cause a skid). The more you practice the easier it become to feel and hear that point of maximum braking just before you start to skid.

Then practice adding use of the rear brake to tranfer weight to the front tire quicker, but don`t skid it either. The centrifugal force generated by the mass of the spinning rear tire gives the bike about 80% of its stability. If it stops rotating, it takes about one second for your bike to become as hard to balance as if you are standing still. From 18-20 mph you will be stopped, or close to it in one second. If you are traveling much faster you will go down and scrape crash gear or skin, your choice.

Get David Hough`s book, "Proficient Motorcycling" and read it. He explains in more detail what I have tried to here. I believe that reading and applying his suggestions can literally save your live.

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

H-D windshield
Relocated R/R
MF-AGM battery
Fiamm Freeway Blaster horns
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Kury Offset Hiway pegs
July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15


TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
https://www.vn750.com/forum/11-vn750-general-discussion/9127-top-ten-items-you-would-suggest-new-owner-do-his-new-ride.html

Last edited by OlHossCanada; 09-13-2009 at 08:10 PM.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-13-2009, 11:26 PM
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Glad things didn't turn out worse! Wishing for a speedy recovery!

ditto on the advice. Practice, Practice, Practice! In the advanced MSF course they stress the importance of straightening up before braking hard in a curve. Always have your out planned, straighten up out of the turn and brake hard using both the rear and front brakes. This is really something that you should practice. A big empty parking lot is a good place to exercise this skill. It's so important to always be thinking in the saddle, and keep your head on a swivel!

Heal up quickly!

Chris
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 02:44 PM
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Here is a link to the msgroup safety tips on braking, that I couldn`t bring up yesterday.
http://www.msgroup.org/Articles.aspx?Cat=2

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

H-D windshield
Relocated R/R
MF-AGM battery
Fiamm Freeway Blaster horns
F&S luggage rack and engine guard
Kury Offset Hiway pegs
July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15


TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
https://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9127
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 01:03 PM
 
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Hey Hawk --

This is very valuable!! Many thanx for sharing and I hope you recover quickly! It could've been far worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theauhawk View Post
Mainly for the benefit of those who are new (or relatively new) to riding, I thought I would share how I crashed my bike last Tuesday afternoon.

Exiting an interstate at rush hour, I came down the off ramp and was about to merge onto the adjacent (underpass) road in a right turn, when a lady in a car pulled out to my left front.

Although she was (in truth) not too close for comfort, I apparently grabbed too much front brake, locking them up.

On our bike (or any bike without ABS), if the front brakes are locked up at a decent (or greater) speed, and the front wheel is at any real angle away from straight ahead, the bike will slide out from under you, resulting in a "low side" crash.....

Currently, I'm recovering from some road rash on both forearms, and a sprained (very swollen, with different shades of black and blue) right ankle. Other than that, I'm ok.

The bike, however, is a different story.

The damaged parts that kept the bike from being rideable have been replaced, thanks to a local friend who offered some spare parts of his (a rear brake pedal, and a right side foot peg). The right saddlebag will need to be replaced, and also the front fender. The worst news for the bike--this crash bent the front right fork.

Anyway, I hope the above helps others avoid the same. It can be very easy (in certain circumstances) to grab too much front brake too fast. If you do, you will go down.

The other lesson to this story is: dress for the crash--not the ride. As a newbie or a rider, you may think, "bad things only happen to others." But the simple truth is, each time you go out for a ride, the odds go up that something will happen that will truly test your riding skills, in an unexpected way.

I gather the best way to help prevent this type of crash is to simply practice over and over stopping the bike from different speeds in a paved, vacant space, to learn how the brakes feel up to (and including) a lock-up. While practicing, if the front brakes lock, release them immediately. If the rear brakes lock (while braking in a staight line), keep them locked--this avoids a "high side" crash, which is even worse.

Note that in a "panic" situation you will only do correctly what you have practiced. If you have not practiced correct techniques, then you only have pure chance working in your favor.

Hope all this helps.....
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 05:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OlHossCanada View Post
Here is a link to the msgroup safety tips on braking, that I couldn`t bring up yesterday.
http://www.msgroup.org/Articles.aspx?Cat=2
Hey Hoss --

Thanx for the link. I checked it out and need some clarification on one of the tips just to be sure that I understand. I copied a portion of the tip below in blue

1. To engage the clutch one pulls in (squeezes) the clutch lever.

2. To disengage the clutch one releases the clutch lever.

Is this correct?

If so, it makes sense to use the engine to do some of the braking, which is what I typically do for normal routine stopping.

What do you Vulcaneers think about this tip?


It is my opinion that downshifting while braking CAN be safely done during any normal gradual stopping maneuver but should NOT be done in an emergency stop effort. The MSF training is misdirected and counter-productive to the extent that it fails to differentiate between those kinds of maneuvers and it leads to longer stopping distance and greater time to stop during an emergency situation.

Studies have convincingly shown that in order to stop in the shortest possible distance and the shortest possible time you must disengage the clutch fully at the time you begin to brake.


You see that the greatest deceleration rate, fstest time and shortest distance all were the result of fully disengaging the clutch lever at the start of an emergency stop effort.

Get into the habit of downshifting AFTER YOU HAVE COME TO A COMPLETE STOP
.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 02:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlaRider View Post
Hey Hoss --

Thanx for the link. I checked it out and need some clarification on one of the tips just to be sure that I understand. I copied a portion of the tip below in blue

1. To engage the clutch one pulls in (squeezes) the clutch lever.

2. To disengage the clutch one releases the clutch lever.

Is this correct?

If so, it makes sense to use the engine to do some of the braking, which is what I typically do for normal routine stopping.

What do you Vulcaneers think about this tip?


It is my opinion that downshifting while braking CAN be safely done during any normal gradual stopping maneuver but should NOT be done in an emergency stop effort. The MSF training is misdirected and counter-productive to the extent that it fails to differentiate between those kinds of maneuvers and it leads to longer stopping distance and greater time to stop during an emergency situation.

Studies have convincingly shown that in order to stop in the shortest possible distance and the shortest possible time you must disengage the clutch fully at the time you begin to brake.


You see that the greatest deceleration rate, fstest time and shortest distance all were the result of fully disengaging the clutch lever at the start of an emergency stop effort.

Get into the habit of downshifting AFTER YOU HAVE COME TO A COMPLETE STOP
.
This discussion of the clutch can become confusing to talk or write about, as you indicate above.

This is because when you pull in (or engage with your hand) the clutch lever, the CLUTCH ITSELF IS DISINGAGED, ie. the clutch friction and pressure plates are not touching and the engine power is not transmitted to the drive train.

Similarly when you release the clutch lever, your hand becomes disengaged from the lever, but THE CLUTCH PLATES THEMSELVES TOUCH OR BECOME ENGAGED and transmit power to the transmission and on through the drive train components to the rear tire and the bike begins to move.

Therefore in the bold, blue, underlined sentence, the reference to disengaging the clutch when you begin to brake in order to stop in the shortest possible time and distance, means to pull in the clutch lever and separate or DISENGAGE the clutch plates.

If you read Mr. Davis`s statement over again with this understanding, it makes sense, excxept for the second to last sentence where he confuses the issue again with a reference to the clutch lever instead of the clutch itself. If you can, train you mind to "see" what the clutch plates are doing, instead of thinking of "engagement" in terms of what your hand is doing.

This may be the easiest way for someone new to riding to REGAIN CONTROL of their bike, if it starts to runaway with them. Just PULL BACK BOTH LEVERS!! Fine motorskills all but disappear in times of stress or danger. Large motor skills, like squeezing the levers, are what remain. With the clutch lever pulled back the bike can`t run away. And with the brake lever pulled back, it can not roll away, forward or back.

Does this explanation help FlaRider? Or have I just thickened the fog?

Remember in making normal stops you can gear down as you slow. It is only in emergency situations, where all your attention is needed to slow and stop in the shortest time and distance, that when stopped you gear down to first and do a rapid shoulder check to assess your need to move out of another dangers path.

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

H-D windshield
Relocated R/R
MF-AGM battery
Fiamm Freeway Blaster horns
F&S luggage rack and engine guard
Kury Offset Hiway pegs
July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15


TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
https://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9127

Last edited by OlHossCanada; 09-16-2009 at 02:19 AM.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 09:37 PM
 
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Question Down-shift during emergency braking?

Hey Hoss --

I have been confused about the lever/clutch engage/disengage issue for a long time. Your explanation is very helpful!

Today, I experimented doing a quick stop from about 40 mph without downshifting. I was in either 4th or 5th gear and I could NOT prevent my left foot from very rapidly and automatically downshifting all the way to 1st!!!! Talk about WEIRD!? It's as if the left foot has a mind of its own--too many years of practicing and muscle memorization of the MSF method. I guess it's true that in an emergency we will resort to what we practice.

After so many years I think in my case it might be counter productive, so I'm not going to change my technique. The downshift is so automatic that I don't think I'm losing much if anything.

Many thanx for the link and the detailed explanation, Hoss!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OlHossCanada View Post
This discussion of the clutch can become confusing to talk or write about, as you indicate above.

This is because when you pull in (or engage with your hand) the clutch lever, the CLUTCH ITSELF IS DISINGAGED, ie. the clutch friction and pressure plates are not touching and the engine power is not transmitted to the drive train.

Similarly when you release the clutch lever, your hand becomes disengaged from the lever, but THE CLUTCH PLATES THEMSELVES TOUCH OR BECOME ENGAGED and transmit power to the transmission and on through the drive train components to the rear tire and the bike begins to move.

Therefore in the bold, blue, underlined sentence, the reference to disengaging the clutch when you begin to brake in order to stop in the shortest possible time and distance, means to pull in the clutch lever and separate or DISENGAGE the clutch plates.

If you read Mr. Davis`s statement over again with this understanding, it makes sense, excxept for the second to last sentence where he confuses the issue again with a reference to the clutch lever instead of the clutch itself. If you can, train you mind to "see" what the clutch plates are doing, instead of thinking of "engagement" in terms of what your hand is doing.

This may be the easiest way for someone new to riding to REGAIN CONTROL of their bike, if it starts to runaway with them. Just PULL BACK BOTH LEVERS!! Fine motorskills all but disappear in times of stress or danger. Large motor skills, like squeezing the levers, are what remain. With the clutch lever pulled back the bike can`t run away. And with the brake lever pulled back, it can not roll away, forward or back.

Does this explanation help FlaRider? Or have I just thickened the fog?

Remember in making normal stops you can gear down as you slow. It is only in emergency situations, where all your attention is needed to slow and stop in the shortest time and distance, that when stopped you gear down to first and do a rapid shoulder check to assess your need to move out of another dangers path.
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