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post #1 of 18 Old Jul 16th, 2013, 10:10 pm Thread Starter
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Dropped THE bike

I would like to start a discussion on the topic of I dropped the bike on purpose to avoid an accident.

I have a friend that last year "dropped his bike" because an SUV wanted to occupy his lane.

He ended up with six broken ribs, broken clavicle, and shoulder and lost one kidney.

I seem to recall in training that if we locked up the back wheel it was considered a loss of control.

I asked my friend about his 'Drop" and he said " Lock up the back brake and attempt to skid in a controlled manner to a safe spot."

I think this is old school thinking. I also think this is a mindset. There is never enough time to make a bunch of decicions, if this were not in his mindset he might have grabbed both brakes and had a better chance. I know it is only speculation in his case.

Thoughts?

Eric von Laue

3Cyl Kawa ( a long time ago)
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post #2 of 18 Old Jul 16th, 2013, 11:32 pm
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Re: Dropped THE bike

You really don't want to hear what I think of these reality impaired nut jobs.

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post #3 of 18 Old Jul 16th, 2013, 11:42 pm
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Re: Dropped THE bike

Do modern bikes now have ABS so you can lay 'em down?

Kent Christensen
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post #4 of 18 Old Jul 17th, 2013, 6:02 am
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Re: Dropped THE bike

I remember David Hough (Proficient Motorcycling) advising riders to use the breaks to scrub off speed vs sliding at a potentially higher speed and greater impact force. His thinking is that if you have time to low side you have time for emergency breaking.

As a general rule that makes sense, but I wonder if there might be times where it's better to ride into a ditch vs a reduced speed impact into a truck.

Greg


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post #5 of 18 Old Jul 17th, 2013, 6:06 am
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Re: Dropped THE bike

With due respect, anybody who says "I had to lay it down to avoid a wreck" is obviously an untrained rider that makes me cringe, and with whom I will not ride.

What they need is some training in proper emergency braking technique, and how to do a proper swerve. I usually ask them what stops quicker: Rubber tires with maximum braking, or metal on concrete/asphalt sliding along. A minor point I usually make is that you can steer while braking. Sliding along on the frame is a ballistic exercise under no control other than the laws of physics.

" Lock up the back brake and attempt to skid in a controlled manner to a safe spot."

What your friend did probably resulted in a bad high-side crash when he released the rear brake lock-up. He should have continued pressing hard on the rear brake until the bike stopped and then moved along. I would bet money he is of the mindset that if you touch the front brake bad things happen. He obviously has no idea about proper brake technique and you should strongly suggest he take a basic rider course after he heals up.

The other obvious problem with this situation is that your friend failed to observe and anticipate traffic. He was probably riding in the SUV's blind spot.

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post #6 of 18 Old Jul 17th, 2013, 6:44 am
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Re: Dropped THE bike

I've heard of this many times. My personal opinion is that it is the natural reaction of an untrained rider. Think of what drivers do if they are going to hit something in a car, usually grab the steering wheel to stop themselves from being hurt. Doesn't do any good, but it is the reaction our mind comes up with.

The untrained rider puts the bike down in a sense of sacrifice probably figuring that they will slow down sliding on the ground faster than the bike will stop with them on it. Takes a great deal of training and muscle memory to overcome natural instinct.

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post #7 of 18 Old Jul 17th, 2013, 11:40 am
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Re: Dropped THE bike

I know that I can stop using my brake system and tires a whole lot faster that I can stop sliding down the road on plastic and metal parts.

This was old school though back when motorcycle brakes were not that great (or tires) and the mind set was let the bike hit the object first before you slid into it on your butt. Didn't make sense then shouldn't make sense now.

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post #8 of 18 Old Jul 17th, 2013, 12:15 pm
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Re: Dropped THE bike

Your likelihood of avoiding an accident and resultant injuries is far greater if you stay on two wheels. Apply maximum braking without locking up the brakes (easy if you have ABS), and steer along your chosen avoidance path.

If you should lock up the rear brake, the odds are best to ride the skid by steering to keep the front wheel pointed the direction of the skid and try to stay up (pick a point on the horizon, eyes up, stay up). In the event you do low side, it's usually less damaging to you than a high side which is likely to happen if you release the rear brake once you've locked up and started to skid.

Skidding tires have less friction than a rolling tire under controlled braking. Maximum braking and steering a chosen path is best case. Skidding to a stop is risky and likely to end badly. Laying it down is just bad decision making, always ends badly, and likely worse than the crash you were trying to avoid.

Benny C. (Central Texas)
2001 LTC Pacific Blue (Babe...the blue ox)
1986 Kawasaki Concours (Connie) sold
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post #9 of 18 Old Jul 17th, 2013, 7:01 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Dropped THE bike

Unfortunatly my friend feels that he would have been a fatality if he had done something else.
Personally I disagree but then I was not there.
I suspect I will never be able to have this conversation with him, because of his mindset, yet he is just an average guy and fairly intelligent.

Eric von Laue

3Cyl Kawa ( a long time ago)
450 Yamaha Seca ( maybe it was a Maxim )
1100 Honda Magna
650 Honda XR ( to Guatemala and back)
1990 Honda PC800 ( Mountain Mama )
2000 BMW 1200LT ( Maxamillion )

Keep the rubber side down
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post #10 of 18 Old Jul 17th, 2013, 7:24 pm
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Re: Dropped THE bike

From investigating a few M/C crashes I can tell you that at highway speeds or near highway speeds a M/C will slide a great distance, like 200, 250, 300 feet before the slide brings it to a stop. You can do a lot of braking and evasive maneuvering in 200 or 300 feet. Maybe your friend didn't recognize the problem soon enough, or waited too long to decide on a course of action.

He wouldn't have been on a Harley riding from a bar would he?

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post #11 of 18 Old Jul 17th, 2013, 7:32 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Dropped THE bike

No he does not ride harleys and does not frequent bars.
He likes to ride what he calls standards.

Eric von Laue

3Cyl Kawa ( a long time ago)
450 Yamaha Seca ( maybe it was a Maxim )
1100 Honda Magna
650 Honda XR ( to Guatemala and back)
1990 Honda PC800 ( Mountain Mama )
2000 BMW 1200LT ( Maxamillion )

Keep the rubber side down
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post #12 of 18 Old Jul 17th, 2013, 7:34 pm
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Re: Dropped THE bike

The talk about this in the ERC courses. Either avoid or brake. A dropped sliding motorcycle will not stop in a shorter distance than a controlled stop with working front and rear brakes.

Just Go
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post #13 of 18 Old Jul 17th, 2013, 10:44 pm
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Re: Dropped THE bike

NEVER, ever lay down a bike.... THAT is an accident...

People that say that make me think they have poor judgement skills and don't now how to use their brakes...

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post #14 of 18 Old Jul 18th, 2013, 9:09 am
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Re: Dropped THE bike

Quote:
Originally Posted by MountianMama
Unfortunatly my friend feels that he would have been a fatality if he had done something else.
Personally I disagree but then I was not there.
I suspect I will never be able to have this conversation with him, because of his mindset, yet he is just an average guy and fairly intelligent.
Perhaps he doesn't realize how much lateral movement the "press, press" motion gives you. Hard braking front & rear to scrub off as much speed as possible then press, press along your chosen path. Perhaps if you suggested the MSF course/its Canadian equivalent, he might have his eyes opened. It's all about situational awareness, early recognition, and action. SEE Scan, Evaluate, Execute.

Benny C. (Central Texas)
2001 LTC Pacific Blue (Babe...the blue ox)
1986 Kawasaki Concours (Connie) sold
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post #15 of 18 Old Jul 18th, 2013, 4:43 pm
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Re: Dropped THE bike

A couple of months ago I saw a guy at the office walking around with a cast on one of his legs, covering his foot up to his knee. I don't know the guy so I didn't ask him what the deal was.

A few weeks later he was standing in the hallway outside my cubicle when someone came by and asked what happened. A direct quote, with his emphasis: "I HAD to lay the bike down. I HAD to lay the bike down or I would have crashed." I didn't know the particulars but I really had to resist the urge to say something. He was explaining to his buddies that he had to lay his Hog down or he would have gotten seriously hurt. Seems to me (a) he already had a crash, (b) he *did* get hurt, and (c) he needs to take the MSF course or do some basic reading.

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post #16 of 18 Old Jul 18th, 2013, 6:49 pm
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Re: Dropped THE bike

Ridiculous. Does anyone really believe dumping a bike in a "controlled" slide is a better option than braking, accelerating away from, or swerving around an obstacle?

" I just had to lay 'er down!" ......NOT

Ride Safe,

Bob
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post #17 of 18 Old Jul 18th, 2013, 9:56 pm
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Re: Dropped THE bike

Nobody's noted that these are likely the guys that think they'll go over the handlebars if they use the front brake.

There's some possibility a locked rear brake put them down when they steered a little and they've chosen to describe this as deliberately laying it down.

Of course if I was riding a chopper with a skinny front tire and my arms up in the air I probably wouldn't use the front brake either. And, I'd probably crash, too.

But then, I'm one that thinks himself best in control leaning on the bars, i.e. as on my R1100S or my old R100RS. Not nearly as confidence inspiring on my RT and I'm for sure not putting barbacks on it.

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post #18 of 18 Old Jul 20th, 2013, 10:52 am
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Re: Dropped THE bike

A few weeks ago my wife and I headed up to Put-In-Bay Ohio. The Thursday before we left I replaced the brake pads all around, Of course in my hurry I screwed up and left the rear caliper loose for the burn in ride which messed up the ABS. I couldn't get it reset before we went so I had no ABS for the trip. While in the middle of somewhere Ohio, a guy decided to try and kill me by left turning in front of me and then of course when he realized what he was trying to do he he almost stopped in front of me. I am not used to not having ABS so I locked up rear brakes. I had to modulate the rear brakes and front to whoa it down while fishtailing because as I hit the front it would take weight off rear. Middle of now where is no place to decide I would be better off sliding across road into a truck. My wife said she was scared to death but I didn't even think about breaks, I was worried about giving a hand gesture to the guy. (NOT that one )
This past week, we were in Tennessee in tourist town watching traffic. As i watched bikes barely stop before bumping cars in front I started pointing out to my wife how non of these guys were even touching front breaks in stop and go traffic. I can not understand this way of riding.
I always tell every one "The rear break is a control break and the front break is a STOPPING break."

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