The law of averages finally caught up with me. - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-13-2006, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
 
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The law of averages finally caught up with me.

My last crash, till today, was in 1982. At least then I had the opportunity to blame someone else. Not this time. I dumped it all by myself and it was all due to bad judgement.
I was just coming back from a nice little morning ride. It's just above 20 degrees F right now so though the roads are clean and clear, it's pretty cold. As I was putting through town I didn't take into account how fast tires cool off at low temps. I came to my street and I hit the turn a bit hotter than I really should have. Right at the apex, my front started sliding. I gave a healthy amount of throttle to try and correct it and it almost worked. I was pointing in the right direction, I could feel the front getting a bite, and the bike was almost upright when the back let go. I went down pretty darn quick too. Just a couple scratches on the bike and my leather and a severely dented ego. There were of course people around to witness my shame. Never fails. I picked my bike up and got out of there quick.

I didn't see any ice or oil or gravel in the turn. I was proabaly a bit faster than I should have been so I'm chalking it up to 5% cold tires and 95% poor judgement. You may now feel free to chastize me.
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-13-2006, 12:19 PM
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It sounds like you already know what went wrong and what not to do again, why chastize ya? Glad everything is okay 'cept your pride!
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post #3 of 13 Old 11-13-2006, 12:43 PM
 
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Glad all is OK Joe. I'm not going to get on ya. At least your riding. I'm a fair weather rider these days so who am I to bust on Ya. I crashed at 55 in a corner when I was younger. Salt and sand left over from the winter. Thats something for people to think about this time of year into the spring. The roads and your tires are more unforgiving in cold weather. Be safe everybody!!
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post #4 of 13 Old 11-13-2006, 01:11 PM
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Glad your ok.You went further than the law of averages,don't be to hard on yourself.It is always nice when expierenced riders critique themselves for the rest of us to learn from. Thanks for the insight on tire temp.


Mike

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post #5 of 13 Old 11-13-2006, 01:18 PM
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Yeah, sometimes its good to have a "wakeup call" to remind you how quickly things can happen. :c00272 Glad your OK, now dust off that pride and get back out there!!!..... :j0007 :j0006

The shortest distance between two points is a damn shame.......

I rode Broke Back mountain, and my a$$ is killing me.....
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post #6 of 13 Old 11-13-2006, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well, I thank you for the kind words but there are a couple details I left out. After analyzing it in more detail now that I’ve had some time to calm down and think clearly, I realize that the crash was caused not by cooking the turn, because I am a well-seasoned rider and I don’t suck, but due to two decisions I made before swinging my leg over the bike. I should have been able to handle a minor front slide without any problem.

1st bad idea: I just moved here and my bike is still jetted for higher altitude because I was too lazy to take a few minutes to make it right. Response is a bit shaky, particularly at low rpm.

2nd. Bad idea: I was wearing ski gloves. The gloves in themselves aren’t a bad idea because they are warm and it gets REAL cold here. They also offer reasonably good crash protection. They are heavily insulated and don’t offer me the same level of fine throttle control.

Those two together along with my decision to ride that aggressively caused the crash.
I knew darn well that my bike wasn’t running like I’d want it to and I chose to cook a turn with gloves that even further diminished my throttle control. Bottom line is that I made the choice and gave it more throttle than I realized. It’s a complete newbie mistake and right now I feel as thick as a brick.

I take back my earlier statement giving 5% credit to cold tires. It was all me.
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post #7 of 13 Old 11-13-2006, 10:16 PM
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I'm just glad you are able to tell about it.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-16-2006, 10:58 PM
 
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Thanks Joe, for letting us in on the details of your crash. Compared to most of you guys, I have very little experience on two wheels. I found your insights on front wheel slides very helpfull. I do have alot of experience in crash analysis, and yours was expert. Most single vehical crashes are a result of a string of seeminly minor decisions, made sometimes long before the event. Also, in most cases, we recieve little warnings of inpending trouble long before it comes. The trick, of course, is recognizing the warnings and acting on them while they are just little ticklers in the back of your mind, if not, there is usually a small event (your slide) if not acted upon leads to a bigger event, and so on. Your words "good jugement" sums this all up. I hope other experienced, and not so experienced riders, on this forum will relate their incidents for all of us to learn from. Thanks again,

Rick
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post #9 of 13 Old 11-17-2006, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Rigger
Thanks Joe, for letting us in on the details of your crash. Compared to most of you guys, I have very little experience on two wheels. I found your insights on front wheel slides very helpfull. I do have alot of experience in crash analysis, and yours was expert. Most single vehical crashes are a result of a string of seeminly minor decisions, made sometimes long before the event. Also, in most cases, we recieve little warnings of inpending trouble long before it comes. The trick, of course, is recognizing the warnings and acting on them while they are just little ticklers in the back of your mind, if not, there is usually a small event (your slide) if not acted upon leads to a bigger event, and so on. Your words "good jugement" sums this all up. I hope other experienced, and not so experienced riders, on this forum will relate their incidents for all of us to learn from. Thanks again,

Rick
Don't forget the main cause which is excessive speed.

NONE of the other factors would have played a significant role if I had just slowed down. Many of the Northern California riders on this board have ridden with me and know that I USUALLY ride according to the situation. I can grind my pegs in the twisties on a warm day when I'm at 100% or I can be the rider that's holding the group back when I feel something is off. Don't forget that none of the other little causes contributed to my crash nearly as much as the one single bone headed choice to ride at a speed unsafe for the conditions at the time. Whether I was under the posted speed limit or not is irrelevant. The conditions don't apply to just the road or the weather, or even the number on the sign, they apply to the mechanical state of the bike and the mindframe of the loose nut behind the handlebar. I was well below the posted speed limit (which only applys to vehicles moving straight forward btw) but it was too fast for conditions. When you boil it all down, nearly every single vehicle accident's root cause is excessive speed for conditions. One thing that I've noticed over the years is also that in cases of multiple vehicle crashes, though the end report usually finds one person to blame (for insurance purposes) my father's advice of "It Takes two to have a wreck" generally holds true as well.

Normally I don't make my little stupid human tricks available for the general public's scrutiny but since this one was particularly dumb and there's the fact that I have witnessed EXACTLY the same crash too many times to count, I figured I should at least give some insight from my perspective in the hopes it will help someone else avoid it in the future.

This wasn't a big deal because I was luckily the only vehicle on the road. My final stopping point was in the opposing lane of traffic. Had I pulled the same manuever in Oakland where I lived till recently, someone else would be making this crash report. In the dirt on MX bikes, I've pulled some really cool and silly tricks. I've actually cracked the frames on two CRs! Lowsiding in the dirt isn't that big of a deal because dirt tends to be softer than pavement and you generally come to a fast stop but the real danger of a lowside on the street is that though you probably won't be seriously injured from the fall itself (assuming you have decent gear), while you are sliding you have no brakes and no directional control. You could easily slide right under a truck or over the cliff.
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-18-2006, 08:49 AM
 
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Well said, Joe.
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