"There are two types of motorcyclists - those who have had an accident and those... - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 36 Old Jun 4th, 2006, 6:11 pm Thread Starter
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"There are two types of motorcyclists - those who have had an accident and those...

who will."

Does that statement annoy you as much as it does me? So I'm frequenting an online board for another one of my passions and some dweeb posts "well, it finally happened - I had to lay her down today." He goes on to describe a perfectly avoidable situation in which he simply screwed up and got in over his head. The resounding replies to his post were "ah, shit happens - there are two types of bikers - those who have had an accident and those who will."

So... thinking about that statement. True or false? I'm quite certain there are plenty of people who ride who never have accidents. But how much do they ride? How experienced are they? What type of training do they have? One would surmise that the folks who don't ride very much - the "around town" riders - would have a higher accident rate than long distance riders. If I had to pontificate on the issue I'd say that long distance riders probably have less accidents - as a group - than other types of riders. But then again, we hear every now and again about very experienced riders having accidents.

So... do you believe the statement "there are two types of bikers - those who have accidents and those who will"? I rode as a kid and then got back into it seriously about six years ago & consider myself a proficient & experienced (and safe) rider. Why would I continue to ride if I knew that - sooner or later - I was gonna have an accident?

I know there are two types of accidents - those caused by the biker and those caused by everybody else. But isn't it fair to say that you need to be looking out for everybody else? I get there are exceptions - Don Arthur's accident comes to mind.

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 36 Old Jun 4th, 2006, 6:30 pm
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From life long experience on two wheels, I can attest that just I, am the only one responsible for every accident I've ever had on a bike. Be it lack of attention, misreading a corner, not watching my rear view, just not responding, clean down to my last one: over correction when the bike started to slide.

Just me. I believe they are avoidable and those that haven't had one prolly have their shit together.... or are real lucky.



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post #3 of 36 Old Jun 4th, 2006, 6:58 pm
 
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"There are two types of motorcyclists - those who have had an accident and those who will."

I don't have a problem with that statement at all. It let's you know that it CAN happen to you at any time. Don't get me wrong...I don't ride scared. And I wouldn't call myself a "defeensive rider" either. I believe that the best defense is a GOOD OFFENSE. And like Grif said, I believe that every accident I've been in is my own fault.



The statement that annoys me to no end is...
"I had to lay it down."






I always answer, "Are you sure you HAD to lay it down?"

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post #4 of 36 Old Jun 4th, 2006, 7:03 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danbrew
who will."


the "around town" riders - would have a higher accident rate than long distance riders. If I had to pontificate on the issue I'd say that long distance riders probably have less accidents - as a group - than other types of riders.

Thoughts?
I think there are many parts of the equation from the increase of in town traffic and distraction,shorter braking distances,traffic signals,merging and exiting side streets,congestion,stress,road rage etc. Certainly the newer rider is not only developing his knowledge of his bike while riding but developing his proficiency in handling the bike. By the shear law of averages increasing your time on a bike is increasing your ability,but also must be increasing your exposure to an accident caused by "the other guy" or the points first stated. So they must be balancing themselves out... we get better at avoiding the accident but we expose ourselves to more accidents the more we ride.
As far as laying a bike down....unless anyone here is a stunt rider for the movie industry I don't think laying a bike down is an option for avoiding an accident.That in itself is an accident. I have seen many riders get stuck and over compensate their bike in a maneuver and simply drop the bike on it's side and later boast of laying it down.

Tony 05
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post #5 of 36 Old Jun 4th, 2006, 7:24 pm
 
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Yep,, there are two types of riders

those who have crashed,,,

And

Those who have not crashed,,,


Sometimes I wonder if those who have crashed think that everybody should crash,,, But then again some people think their as talented as Kenny Roberts too! Me I'm just an old rider.............Regards Pete
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post #6 of 36 Old Jun 4th, 2006, 7:42 pm
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Well, I do not subscribe to the ridiculous statement at all.

I have had FOUR motorcycle accidents, but do not believe that everyone who rides is going to have one. I do know quite a few HIGH MILEAGE riders who have never had one, and if they quit today they would have ridden far more than most motorcyclists without having one.

Only one of my accidents was because of another driver, the other three were single vehicle accidents. One was first time on wet tar snakes (1960, on an old BSA with those day's hard tires). Second one was probably due to dehydration, as I just kinda "phased out" and ran off the road. The last one I still do not know just what happened, but distracted by something long enough to go off on the paved left shoulder (straight interstate highway), and hit the only torn up spot in it for miles.

All but the one though have to be layed totally on my own shoulders, as there was something I could have or not have done in each case and the accident would have been avoided.

Strangely enough though, even though I know these were my "fault" in some way or another, I still want another bike.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

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post #7 of 36 Old Jun 4th, 2006, 9:37 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13



The statement that annoys me to no end is...
"I had to lay it down."


Joe,

Every one knows foot pegs, engine parts and handel bars scraping along the asphalt will always stop a bike faster than brakes and tires ever could...

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post #8 of 36 Old Jun 4th, 2006, 10:28 pm
 
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I agree with Joe.

While I do feel that every accident I've been involved in, both car/truck and motorcycle was completely avoidable and the result of a lack of concentration on my part, I also feel that the odds are that most riders will have at least one wreck while on two wheels. It also seems to me to be good planning to expect that it could happen, and plan for the consequences ... be it making sure you have proper health and equipment insurance, wearing proper gear, etc.

I also agree that the "I had to lay it down" phrase drives me crazy.
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post #9 of 36 Old Jun 4th, 2006, 10:32 pm
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While serving as air crew on C-130s, was fed the same kinda line - differently.

Two types of air crew, Those who've puked and those who will.

After 8 years - I never did. Puke that is. Close a few times - but for some reason....

I know there're riders that've have gone their whole riding life without prang'n up their steed. It's doable. It takes constant vigilance (alwasys carried the white plastic baggie in the paper envelope), but it's doable.

I see such phrases as reminders to stay vigilant - but as truth's themselves. Naaaaa. Do I get tired of 'em? Yea. It's up to me to not, though.

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post #10 of 36 Old Jun 4th, 2006, 10:35 pm
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I thought I was the only one who that was in incredibly moronic statement but now I find I have like company!

I hate hearing "I had to lay it down" like it was some macho, I was incontrol of it all statement.. I always come back with, " You mean you don't know how to use your brakes or swerve" ...Grrrrrrr...


Having ridden in excess of 500,000 miles in the past 30 + years 0f daily riding, I have only had one accident and it was my own fault and that day I joined the "I was saved by my Helmet Club"

I was guilty of "eyeballing" the area for too long as I was crossing an intersection and a lady in a honda accord decided to stop for no reason in the middle of the intersection. I hit her rear bumper, she fled, I went flying thru the the air and traffic stopped and people came running to pick me up.

Luckily on this Hot, 100+ degree August day 26 years ago I was finishing a test ride on my brand new KZ1000 that I had just installed a new 4x1 Kerker exhaust on. I was wearing full leather gear and full face that saved my bacon.

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post #11 of 36 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 3:38 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dshealey
Strangely enough though . . . I still want another bike.
That's not strange at all. It just shows that it's a passion that runs deep inside, and overrides practicality and common sense. The fact that you're not riding again yet shows how much your wife means to you. I'd sure hate to have to make that choice, under any circumstances.

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post #12 of 36 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 6:55 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
That's not strange at all. It just shows that it's a passion that runs deep inside, and overrides practicality and common sense. The fact that you're not riding again yet shows how much your wife means to you. I'd sure hate to have to make that choice, under any circumstances.

Ken,
You are exactly right...Dave made a hard decision and has stuck with it! I know personally how difficult that is. I commend Dave and his wife as a couple, as family. Life sometimes gets in the way...

Just like Dave Shealey, I made my decision to quit riding because of my wife's health and her concerns about me. But now, maybe life can go on a little sweeter because of our mutual love and respect for each other.

But, ya know I still love riding...

You da man, Mr. Shealey!
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post #13 of 36 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 8:08 am
 
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...Dave made a hard decision
Better put . . . David and his wife made a hard decision. And that's want a husband and wife should do. Make decisions together. If they don't, they won't be together for long.
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post #14 of 36 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 9:42 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawg
Ken,
You are exactly right...Dave made a hard decision and has stuck with it! I know personally how difficult that is. I commend Dave and his wife as a couple, as family. Life sometimes gets in the way...

Just like Dave Shealey, I made my decision to quit riding because of my wife's health and her concerns about me. But now, maybe life can go on a little sweeter because of our mutual love and respect for each other.

But, ya know I still love riding...

You da man, Mr. Shealey!
Thanks Dave!

My wife has said I could get another bike when we move, and she fully expects me to. But, as you did with the car, I could possibly replace the "need" for another bike with some other passion once we get back to the east coast area and start the next phase of our lives. If we get a home on a lake, as we almost did, then boating may come back into our lives as important.

I have been REALLY missing the bike commuting to and from work every day, as I did that on the bike for nearly 5 years. However, when we move lane splitting will no longer be allowed, and one of the reasons for riding will go away. Of course there were many other reasons.

As is evident, I still like reading and contributing to this web group. Don't know what I would ever replace that with.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
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post #15 of 36 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 12:00 pm
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Everybody has one....."opinion that is"

I'm 55 and have consistently owned and ridden motorcycles since I was 17, accumulating well over a half a million miles.
in my "early" years I did a lot of what I now consider stupid things and crashed a few times because of it and inexperience.

"Having to lay it down"
is in my opinion total BS and/or inexperience unless it happens maneuvering the bike in the garage or driveway while standing or walking beside it.

As in regard to those who have crashed or those who will, rubbish.

Certainly it is something I consider a possibility every time I "saddle up"
that's why we wear helmets and gear.

I don't believe it's inevitable nor do I believe accidents are always preventable.

In '98 I was rear ended while sitting at a red light, I was watching my mirrors, had the bike in 1st gear and was moving when he hit me, I was unable to prevent the accident but able to minimize my injuries by being observant and taking evasive action when it became obvious that the 15 year old in mama's "borrowed" station wagon wasn't going to stop in time.

I "layed down" (not by choice) my R90/6 when an old man ran a stop sign (just after a light rain) and then stopped in the middle of the intersection. Florida roads are slicker than snot with a little water, especially when it hasn't rained for a while.

My latest and most serious accident (hitting an Elk 3 weeks ago in Idaho) was in my opinion not preventable either since the Elk actually appeared to "charge" my motorcycle.

I still believe that the pleasure motorcycles have brought into my life far outweighs the risk factor associated with them.
I can't wait to get another bike.


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post #16 of 36 Old Jun 5th, 2006, 2:48 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
My latest and most serious accident (hitting an Elk 3 weeks ago in Idaho) was in my opinion not preventable either since the Elk actually appeared to "charge" my motorcycle.
I dunno, man. If you'd been able to lay a few .50 caliber's into his skull....



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post #17 of 36 Old Jun 8th, 2006, 11:11 am
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my first post here

okay, my first post here. i am typing one-handed so plz 4give grammar if u can. it will improve.

last week, 5/31, left on vacation, i on my bike, wife &kids in car behind. travelling up us52n (fancy gap, va). a canadian tourist couple decides to do a u turn on the hwy as i round the blind turn just south of them. i am confronted with my 2 lanes being blocked. nowhere reasonable to swerve, so i braked as hard as i could. v strom could not scrub enough spd and i tboned them. i havew freshly rebuilt wrist and all sorts of bruises from the event.

i am msf coach and tend to agree that most crashes are avoidable and preventable. I dont know what else i could have done in this situation. i was at spd limit of 55. i may have been exceeding the YELLOW sign spped. can't remeber. i ride this road so often, so i haven't reallly paid them much mind in years.

you can decide for yourself about my crash. i guess if you "what if" it to death, it could have been avoided. however this is where i am.

and what brought me here is researching the 03 k1200lt, which a friend has for sale and is willing to help me get, even though i am a ways from riding again. nice place ya'll got here. hope to be aboard an lt b4 2 long.

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post #18 of 36 Old Jun 8th, 2006, 12:08 pm
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From the opposite end of the spectrum: I just started riding last summer, at age 48. I have a total of 11k miles on 2 bikes now. I don't mention that to impress anyone (it shouldn't!) but to tell you where "I'm coming from".

Maybe because I started riding later in life I didn't have the opportunity to be young and stupid on a bike. My riding style is pretty sedate compared to some of you, although I enjoy the thrills that motorcycling provides as much as most people.

Bottom line for me: if I truly believed that all motorcyclists will be in an accident I would quit riding today. But on the other hand, why do I wear protective gear...? It must mean I believe an accident could happen to me, no matter how defensively I ride, and I want to protect myself as much as possible if that happens.

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post #19 of 36 Old Jun 8th, 2006, 12:13 pm
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Rando, thanks for the perspective. It's way easy to 'armchair piolt' an event after the fact. But what counts is how you handle it right there.

Good luck on the heal up - see ya on the road

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post #20 of 36 Old Jun 8th, 2006, 3:39 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hschisler
But on the other hand, why do I wear protective gear...? It must mean I believe an accident could happen to me, no matter how defensively I ride, and I want to protect myself as much as possible if that happens.
"Hope for peace... but prepare for war" seems appropriate here!

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post #21 of 36 Old Jun 8th, 2006, 6:19 pm
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post #22 of 36 Old Jun 8th, 2006, 9:03 pm
 
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crashing sux, but sooner or later we all biff. my opinion.

that tidbit of knowledge is, ironically, one of the things that helps safeguard you.

teenagers think it can't happen to them and as a consequence are at greater risk. us older folks know better.

never laid it down on the street but went over the high side once (as a young, foolish man as it happens). does that count?
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post #23 of 36 Old Jun 8th, 2006, 10:00 pm
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I had to kay it down

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
The statement that annoys me to no end is..."I had to lay it down."
The last time my K12 was down, (while moving), was January of '04, and, (here ya go Joe), I had to lay it down. It seems the 4 inches of powder snow on top of 1/2" of black ice made me

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post #24 of 36 Old Jun 8th, 2006, 10:11 pm
 
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The last time my K12 was down, (while moving), was January of '04, and, (here ya go Joe), I had to lay it down. It seems the 4 inches of powder snow on top of 1/2" of black ice made me

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But you didn't lay it down, the bike just went down by itself...right?
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post #25 of 36 Old Jun 9th, 2006, 9:31 am
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Accidents are pesky things. In over 1/2 million miles I have had 2 biggies. In 1991 I was hit in the right rear saddlebag by a hit & run driver who crossed 3 lanes of I-4 to get to me. The odds of being hit running 70 miles an hour on an interstate hwy are not worth mentioning, but it happened. I have a helmet with the left side ground flat to remind me I was saved from a fatal accident. Broken shoulder, 3 broken ribs, punctured lung. I was back riding 6 weeks later.
May 26 last year a girl in Ely, NV and I watched each other for 1/4 mile until I was 15 ft from the intersection, she "forgot" about me and laid a tire smoking trail to the center of the intersection before I ran out of room. I left 9 ft of skid marks even though I had both brakes covered "just in case". Rando, I can feel the wrist pain, mine was ok to ride in about 8 weeks. I have an HJC with a broken chin bar for remider #2.
I bought my LT in Austin, TX and rode it home to Oklahoma City 9 weeks post accident. Will I have another one? Maybe, that's why I wear the gear. If I thought it was inevitable, I would take up hang gliding...

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post #26 of 36 Old Jun 9th, 2006, 9:59 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zotter
Rando, thanks for the perspective. It's way easy to 'armchair piolt' an event after the fact. But what counts is how you handle it right there.

Good luck on the heal up - see ya on the road

not soon enough!!!!!

and yes i've done my share of armchairing accidents....i can't wait to heal up and get back on.

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post #27 of 36 Old Jun 9th, 2006, 11:35 am
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"Had to lay it down"

I have to take exception to the statement that having to lay it down is totally avoidable, BS, and an acceident in itself!
I had a street sweeper cross in front of me when he should have waited. I started to go behind him and then he stopped because he saw me, so I started to go in front of him, then he decided he could go and floored it. I had no choice but to change my direction to behind him. With brakes full on (as much as possible without loosing steer), I went for the behind him. Well to miss hitting the back of his iron clad butt, I had to lay the bike down, while lifting left leg and tucking in right elbow, I managed to miss contact. After missing contact and sliding along, I actually tried to bring the bike up again, but it caught and slammed over to the other side and threw me off. Luckily by that time I was going slow enough I was able to land on my feet and run off the speed!

Amazing but true. Bike was trashed. Caught witnesses on corner that saw the whole thing (with jaws dropped). Driver said I was going too fast, cops came and said it wasn't an accident because I DIDN"T MAKE CONTACT! Anyway because I had witnesses, their insurance covered it all.

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post #28 of 36 Old Nov 17th, 2006, 5:40 am
 
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I don't know if I qualify here or not. I started riding just over a year ago, and have logged about 23,000 miles on two bikes, and have had one accident. While I don't believe ALL accidents are preventable, I'm sure most are. And no, I don't see any reason to believe that ALL motorcyclists will have an accident.

When I first started riding, I read, or heard or somehow or other got the impression that when a new rider got to 5,000 miles, a warning light should go on. That was supposed to be the point where the newness of it has worn off to the point that the new rider is thinking "I've got this thing figured out." That was it exactly in my case. Just over 5,000 miles and I "layed it down." (Boy that does sound dumb doesn't it.)

Now it wasn't a deliberate laydown, that's just what happened. There are two versions of this story. One way I remember it, and the way it must have really happened.

The way I remember it, I was on the way home from work, and a dump truck passed me on my left. I was watching him to see what he was going to do, looked up, saw a car stopped in front of me. I got down hard on both brakes, saw I wasn't going to stop, braked harder. The back brake locked, the bike skidded out from under me, and bang, I was down, and bouncing down the road. I wasn't hurt, and the bike apparently didn't hit anything but the pavement. Better brake control would most certainly have stopped me. My fault totally. No damage to the car, and $2500.00 to my Majesty.

However, when I have driven by the site a number of times I have come to realize that it could NOT have happened that way. There was no place for the dump truck to pass me. The dump truck had passed me a quarter mile or so from where the accident happened. So what happened? I can come to only one conclusion and that is that I feel asleep, and woke up just in time to see the car stopped in front of me. (A car had stalled in front of her. Not her fault at all.) I was working graveyard shift that day, and had ridded from Richmond almost home, about 75 miles and remember being tired, but thought I had gotten past it.

The lesson I learned and I have carried it over to cars is when I get tired I STOP. Right now. I don't care where I'm going, or how important it is that I get there. I get off the bike, or out of the car. I walk around. I exercise, which for an old fat man is probably pretty funny to see, I get a cup of coffee, or better yet, take a ten minute power nap sitting right on the bike or in the car.

I'm trying hard to avoid another one. (Dropping a LT at zero speed, turning into the driveway the first time you ride one doesn't count does it? )

Last edited by CajunBass; Nov 17th, 2006 at 5:47 am.
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post #29 of 36 Old Nov 17th, 2006, 7:32 am
 
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I know, that as a literal statement, it is not true , but as a parable, I believe it is true.
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post #30 of 36 Old Nov 17th, 2006, 12:24 pm
 
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Wink Actually there are 3 types of motorcyclists

Those who have not had an accident, those who will (if they keep riding) and those who give up for fear of crashing! Now that's better

BTW, I have had a couple of very minor accidents long time back and some near misses (or is it near escapes...) since I started riding again in US in 97.
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post #31 of 36 Old Nov 17th, 2006, 1:03 pm
 
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On Wednesday afternoon I spent an hour or so reading your safety stories on this site. With some your first hand accounts of crashes fresh on my mind I left for home on the beemer. This 70+ crazed Wal-Mart shopper did the most ridiculous maneuver I have ever seen. She punched it (Corolla) and tried to beat me and the rest of the on-coming traffic to other side of an 8 lane highway. Only I don't think she saw me. The ABS did the trick. If I was on the Harley I would have hit her. That would have been my first wreck. Now, I'm glad it happened because it showed me what those ABS will do when challenged.
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post #32 of 36 Old Nov 17th, 2006, 2:01 pm
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Col H

Having ridden for 43+ years, accidents involving motor cycles or for that matter ANY accidents never 'just' happen THEY ARE ALWAYS CAUSED..

K1200 LT
K100 RT
Z750
'58 Triumph Thunderbird

Col
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post #33 of 36 Old Nov 17th, 2006, 3:34 pm
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Cool to crash or not to crash, that is the question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danbrew
who will."

Does that statement annoy you as much as it does me?

True or false?

But how much do they ride? How experienced are they? What type of training do they have? One would surmise that the folks who don't ride very much - the "around town" riders - would have a higher accident rate than long distance riders.

So... do you believe the statement "there are two types of bikers - those who have accidents and those who will"?

Why would I continue to ride if I knew that - sooner or later - I was gonna have an accident?

I know there are two types of accidents - those caused by the biker and those caused by everybody else. But isn't it fair to say that you need to be looking out for everybody else? I get there are exceptions - Don Arthur's accident comes to mind.

Thoughts?
The phrase is no big deal. Data indicate that many riders will have trouble, especially those who drink then ride. Riding since 1971, I have lots of near misses. Being involved in racing for over 20 years, I've seen lots of crashing and the impact of same on man and machine. So, I strive to wear the gear, check my bike, leave room for others to make mistakes [especially the lane drifting cell phone cagers]. At race school they try to teach us to look far ahead and not to forget the mirrrors. Here in Ohio we are "blessed" with DEER. I see two or three a week. Not a good thing when on 2 wheels. Clearly, luck is a big part of my long riding record. I plan to ride until I can no longer get a leg over. I have never felt any dread riding. Riding in cars with others driving gives me higher stress. ADDHD cagers are the biggest concern for me. Them and the blue hairs who forgot where their turnsignal is.

Rob Nelson

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2006 K1200GT [now lives in Wisconsin]
Grey Goose
2002 K1200LTC [now lives in Georgia]
Toscana Temptress

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 #34 of 36 Old Nov 17th, 2006, 4:12 pm
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Motorcycles are inherently unstable, and I think it's reasonable to say that eventually the odds will catch up with you, and when it does, you're going down. And that's regardless of how good of a rider you are and how many miles without a crash you have under your belt.

True case in point. Try zipping along a mountain road on a beautiful warm day and encountering a invisible diesel spill on a turn in a shadow. It's as slick as ice, and your first indication that something is wrong is when you're sliding along on your side. That actually happened not once, but twice on the backroads in NY where I used to live. The second time was in the dead of winter, just before a predicted big snowstorm. It turns out they spray some kind of slippery substance on the road in the steepest sections so that the snow doesn't stick. Again, it's practically invisible, and you're down in a heartbeat with absolutely no time to react.

Now I've had the LT sideways several times on wet surfaces and steered out of it every time. But that's nothing like what happens when you hit diesel fuel, or an accumulation of this no-ice crap. You're dead meat when it happens, just as if you'd hit a patch of ice. In a car you'd fish-tail around, but you wouldn't fall down. But on a bike, your number just came up.

You're kidding yourself if you think it can't happen to you.

But that's why we always dress for the crash, not the ride. And we keep on riding, as vigilant as ever.

Regards,
-joel
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post #35 of 36 Old Nov 17th, 2006, 7:35 pm
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Two kinds of riders

I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather not screaming like his passenger. Sorry, "The devil made me do it." Now if that doesn't date me. Don
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post #36 of 36 Old Nov 26th, 2006, 6:43 pm
 
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Never quit

After seeing a racer lose control of his bike a few years back on TV and wouldn't quit holding on, he regained control and continued on racing. This guy was flipping and flapping back and forth on his bike like a fish with his legs straight out behind him, he never gave up and let go. If he had, maybe someone coming up would have given him a front tire enema.

If and when my day comes, I'm going to remember that racer and hold on like he did.

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