Near High Speed 'Get-Off' Today; My Lessons Learned - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 12 Old Oct 22nd, 2006, 7:45 pm Thread Starter
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Red face Near High Speed 'Get-Off' Today; My Lessons Learned

Can't remember the last time that much adrenaline was pumped through my veins than this morning around 11:00 AM.

I was riding back from Leavenworth WA to my home in Bothell WA just across Stevens Pass. I left friends cabin in Leavenworth at about 10:30AM, the temps were about 33 degrees, but the sun was out and the warming trend had started. I had my gerbing pants and jacket liner which makes mid-30 degree driving on an LT like being in the cab of you cage. Once I started up the pass the temps warmed to about 43 degrees on my computer. Dry roads, beautiful sunshine I was warm and traffic was light. The great conditions prompted me to cruise about 75 up the pass. I-POD was churning out some of my favorites and I was warm and happy. About a mile before the pass, there is a sweeping left turn, one of the last ones before you crest the pass. My temperature gauge is still reading low 40's and I'm passing a white ford pickup (two lanes Westbound, two lanes Eastbound). As soon as I round the corner..... ICE in the left lane. The sunshine had not touched that left lane yet; the right lane was dry from the early morning traffic. As soon as I hit the ice, I could feel the big lady start to wiggle and now I had a slight right turn I had to negotiate before I went head on to 2 cars coming down the pass. Wow, I let her drift as far left before I was into the street bumps between the opposing lanes then leaned her over just enough to stay in my lane. The back end wiggled, the front end wiggled and for a brief moment I thought she was going down and I would be sliding right underneath the two oncoming cars at a combined speed of probably 130 MPH. Now, let me just add that Friday evening I mounted a brand new Avon Azaro front tire. The old tire had 10,000 miles and was down to the wear bars and feeling funky in the turns. I really think that new tire saved my life this morning. Be careful out there this time of year.

Lessons I learned this morning;

1) When winter is approaching don't ever try to eek out a few extra miles from that tire, change it like I did before the trip.

2) When dealing with mountain passes or shaded twisty roads, don't think you are OK just because the temperature is mid-40's and the sun is out.

3) Maybe the worst thing about the LT is also the best thing about the LT; It's weight. To think I was on two wheel at 70 to 75 MHR on a sheet of ice in a slight turn is a scary thought. Don't know how it would have turned out on a lighter bike.

I'm glad I didn't have to pay for those lessons with my life this morning; Make sure you don't do the same.

Joe

Joe Buttress
Plain Washington
2003 LTE
IBA SS
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post #2 of 12 Old Oct 22nd, 2006, 7:50 pm
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whuau!!!.
that was scary only reading... can't imagine being there !!

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post #3 of 12 Old Oct 22nd, 2006, 8:04 pm
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I could not even imagine how hard your heart was pumping thankfully you made it out ok. Thanks for sharing

Stevie Shreeve
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post #4 of 12 Old Oct 22nd, 2006, 8:31 pm
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Fruit of the Loom "skidmark"

Man that does sound scary,
glad you had enough sense to realize your life is worth more than a couple hundred bucks for a tire.

My wife and I have been traveling for the last few weeks,
my back tire started getting worn,
probably could have squeezed another 1000 out of it,
but last week while riding in the rain in Arkansas
I had to switch lanes and brake hard to make a left turn,
I slid lenghtwise on one of those painted white stripes,
it was quick and scary with lots of traffic all around us.
Impressed me enough to sit the next day (rain all day) out in a motel until I got a new tire.


Hans
St. Petersburg FL

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"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
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post #5 of 12 Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 8:11 am
 
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That is a scare I have yet had to face.

Your experience is a powerful lesson in paying attention to our environment. It is that whole gestalt thing of seeing not just the details ( cold weather, shade, traffic) but seeing them together, interacting. Saw a similar thing this weekend. We are out for a ride of 100 miles or so from Dallas up to Boswell, OK. There is about ten or so bikes in the group. On a shaded right hand curve on a dark grey road there is dark grey gravel. Several bikes fishtailed and one went off the road. Driver is fine but the bike, a Goldwing, is trashed.

We have to watch everything around all the time. The price of life after a ride is eternal vigilance.
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post #6 of 12 Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 8:12 am
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Count your blessings! You must have had more than 100 miles on the new tire, I hope? Last time I mounted a new tire on my ZX11, the dealership told me, "be careful, it will be slick for 100 miles or so". Sure, I though, what the heck do you know, and lo and behold, I almost dumped it right in front of the dealership! New tires are slicker than snot, I found out.

Current rides:
2003 BMW 1200 LT (bought in 2006)

Past rides:
97 Kawasaki ZX11(bought new in 1997, sadly sold in September 2014)
89 Honda Hurricane (sold)
88 Honda Hurricane (traded on an SUV)
86 Kawasaki 1000R (stolen but recovered)
84 Honda 750F (traded on 1000R)
81 Suzuki GSX1100 (sold)
78 Suzuki GS750 (traded on GSX1100)
74 Yamaha RD50 (sold)
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post #7 of 12 Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 12:31 pm Thread Starter
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by hagar
Count your blessings! You must have had more than 100 miles on the new tire, I hope? Last time I mounted a new tire on my ZX11, the dealership told me, "be careful, it will be slick for 100 miles or so". Sure, I though, what the heck do you know, and lo and behold, I almost dumped it right in front of the dealership! New tires are slicker than snot, I found out.
Yep, good point also. I rode the Cascade Loop on Saturday, so I was approaching 400 miles on the new tire that morning. Probably the best the rubber is going to be.

Joe Buttress
Plain Washington
2003 LTE
IBA SS
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post #8 of 12 Old Oct 23rd, 2006, 3:13 pm
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Cool What's around the bend......

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovetomotor
Can't remember the last time that much adrenaline was pumped through my veins than this morning around 11:00 AM.

1) When winter is approaching don't ever try to eek out a few extra miles from that tire, change it like I did before the trip.

2) When dealing with mountain passes or shaded twisty roads, don't think you are OK just because the temperature is mid-40's and the sun is out.

3) Maybe the worst thing about the LT is also the best thing about the LT; It's weight. To think I was on two wheel at 70 to 75 MHR on a sheet of ice in a slight turn is a scary thought. Don't know how it would have turned out on a lighter bike.

I'm glad I didn't have to pay for those lessons with my life this morning; Make sure you don't do the same.

Joe
Congrats Joe on making it thru the experience and thanks for sharing it with us. As they try to teach us in race school, look far ahead and never ride beyond your vision. When you add season change or gravel dropped by trucks, it gets real tricky. Glad you are with us to tell the tale.

Rob Nelson

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2006 K1200GT [now lives in Wisconsin]
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2002 K1200LTC [now lives in Georgia]
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More than 132,000 (recently corrected higher) motorcycle riders have died in traffic crashes since the enactment of the Highway Safety Act of 1966 and The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966. Be careful out there.
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post #9 of 12 Old Oct 24th, 2006, 10:30 am
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yeah and make sure that you've taken the time to burn off, ride off the mold oils before you put a new tire to the test. omurphy
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post #10 of 12 Old Oct 24th, 2006, 9:48 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovetomotor
I really think that new tire saved my life this morning. Be careful out there this time of year.
No, I think what saved your life is you! You kept your cool and rode right through a supremely dangerous situation.

I don't think the new tire had as much of an effect as you think. Grooves in the tread help on water by giving the water a place to squish into. That helps keep the tire from hydroplaning and allows the tread blocks to reach the pavement. Ice is a completely different matter. It's not going to squish into the grooves. In fact, a bald tire will probably give better traction on ice because there's more surface area. Kind of like using slicks on a dragster.

Regards,
-joel
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post #11 of 12 Old Oct 25th, 2006, 10:18 am
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Thanks for sharing your story Joe. I had the LT out on twistie canyon roads recently on a 40 degree sunny day and came upon several shady "wet spots". I would shut it down carefully on the ones that appeared more slick but since none of them turned out to be icy I considered that "maybe I was overthinking it" and should just enjoy my ride.

Threads like this one helps to keep things in perspective.

Thanks again.

Mike M

2007 K1200GT Dark Graphite
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post #12 of 12 Old Oct 28th, 2006, 6:34 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovetomotor
Can't remember the last time that much adrenaline was pumped through my veins than this morning around 11:00 AM.

I was riding back from Leavenworth WA to my home in Bothell WA just across Stevens Pass. I left friends cabin in Leavenworth at about 10:30AM, the temps were about 33 degrees, but the sun was out and the warming trend had started. I had my gerbing pants and jacket liner which makes mid-30 degree driving on an LT like being in the cab of you cage. Once I started up the pass the temps warmed to about 43 degrees on my computer. Dry roads, beautiful sunshine I was warm and traffic was light. The great conditions prompted me to cruise about 75 up the pass. I-POD was churning out some of my favorites and I was warm and happy. About a mile before the pass, there is a sweeping left turn, one of the last ones before you crest the pass. My temperature gauge is still reading low 40's and I'm passing a white ford pickup (two lanes Westbound, two lanes Eastbound). As soon as I round the corner..... ICE in the left lane. The sunshine had not touched that left lane yet; the right lane was dry from the early morning traffic. As soon as I hit the ice, I could feel the big lady start to wiggle and now I had a slight right turn I had to negotiate before I went head on to 2 cars coming down the pass. Wow, I let her drift as far left before I was into the street bumps between the opposing lanes then leaned her over just enough to stay in my lane. The back end wiggled, the front end wiggled and for a brief moment I thought she was going down and I would be sliding right underneath the two oncoming cars at a combined speed of probably 130 MPH. Now, let me just add that Friday evening I mounted a brand new Avon Azaro front tire. The old tire had 10,000 miles and was down to the wear bars and feeling funky in the turns. I really think that new tire saved my life this morning. Be careful out there this time of year.

Lessons I learned this morning;

1) When winter is approaching don't ever try to eek out a few extra miles from that tire, change it like I did before the trip.

2) When dealing with mountain passes or shaded twisty roads, don't think you are OK just because the temperature is mid-40's and the sun is out.

3) Maybe the worst thing about the LT is also the best thing about the LT; It's weight. To think I was on two wheel at 70 to 75 MHR on a sheet of ice in a slight turn is a scary thought. Don't know how it would have turned out on a lighter bike.

I'm glad I didn't have to pay for those lessons with my life this morning; Make sure you don't do the same.

Joe
Joe, that story made my asshole pucker! As a matter of fact, it still hasn't released.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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