What Would You Do? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 7 Old Aug 1st, 2009, 9:03 pm Thread Starter
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Question What Would You Do?

I was going about 50mph into a right turn sweeper on CA highway 49 when I hit a stone about the size of a golf ball with the front tire. Begin Pucker Factor! Front wheel comes off the ground and handle bars turn left then right as stone is propelled away from the tire and goes towards the right side of the road. With front wheel now on the ground bike stands up straight and starts to head toward center dividing line with a Ford F150 heading towards me. I immediately roll of the throttle but handle bars go left then right then left then right. I can feel the steering damper kicking in to try and stabilize the front end. I知 tempted to hit the brakes but decided not to since I had limited steering control. I leaned my body hard to the right, trying to get the bike leaned back over to get it turning again and kept my arms very relaxed on the handle bars. As I was about to cross the center dividing line bike finally leans right, handle bars stabilize, and I get through the turn. Pucker Factor Over! So what should I have done differently (besides the obvious by not hitting the stone in the road). I知 sure some of you off road riders encounter this situation so what do you do?

Thanks
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post #2 of 7 Old Aug 1st, 2009, 9:23 pm
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Re: What Would You Do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rovero
I was going about 50mph into a right turn sweeper on CA highway 49 when I hit a stone about the size of a golf ball with the front tire. Begin Pucker Factor! Front wheel comes off the ground and handle bars turn left then right as stone is propelled away from the tire and goes towards the right side of the road. With front wheel now on the ground bike stands up straight and starts to head toward center dividing line with a Ford F150 heading towards me. I immediately roll of the throttle but handle bars go left then right then left then right. I can feel the steering damper kicking in to try and stabilize the front end. I知 tempted to hit the brakes but decided not to since I had limited steering control. I leaned my body hard to the right, trying to get the bike leaned back over to get it turning again and kept my arms very relaxed on the handle bars. As I was about to cross the center dividing line bike finally leans right, handle bars stabilize, and I get through the turn. Pucker Factor Over! So what should I have done differently (besides the obvious by not hitting the stone in the road). I知 sure some of you off road riders encounter this situation so what do you do?

Thanks
Sounds like what you did worked just fine. The only thing I would suggest would have been to counter steer aggressively as leaning your body has very little affect on the rate of turn and will at best very slowly decrease your turn radius.

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post #3 of 7 Old Aug 1st, 2009, 9:26 pm
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Re: What Would You Do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rovero
I was going about 50mph into a right turn sweeper on CA highway 49 when I hit a stone about the size of a golf ball with the front tire. Begin Pucker Factor! Front wheel comes off the ground and handle bars turn left then right as stone is propelled away from the tire and goes towards the right side of the road. With front wheel now on the ground bike stands up straight and starts to head toward center dividing line with a Ford F150 heading towards me. I immediately roll of the throttle but handle bars go left then right then left then right. I can feel the steering damper kicking in to try and stabilize the front end. I知 tempted to hit the brakes but decided not to since I had limited steering control. I leaned my body hard to the right, trying to get the bike leaned back over to get it turning again and kept my arms very relaxed on the handle bars. As I was about to cross the center dividing line bike finally leans right, handle bars stabilize, and I get through the turn. Pucker Factor Over! So what should I have done differently (besides the obvious by not hitting the stone in the road). I知 sure some of you off road riders encounter this situation so what do you do?

Thanks
The bike stood up because you rolled off the throttle, probably sub conscientiously when the front end came up.

You did the right thing by not using the brakes; with the lean angle and tank slapping, you would have encountered either a high side or low side fall. Low side is best but with the F150, either would have resulted in the truck hitting/running over you.

Turn your head throughout the turn, looking ahead and observing the road condition and obstacles; don't spot (read: target fixate) the obstacles but rather look ahead to the clear path and press the grip to go there.

Glad you had a good learning experience without getting hurt!

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post #4 of 7 Old Aug 1st, 2009, 10:53 pm
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Re: What Would You Do?

I've had that happen without the F150, although I doubt I would have recognized it for a F150 anyway. I would have been thinking "TRUCK!." Good job staying out of trouble. As the others have said, leaning your body didn't really do the trick. I'd guess you did countersteer, or press the right grip, to initiate the lean. You probably did this without thinking, but visualizing this press to lean will probably help future corners. Again, good job staying off the brakes and getting through without incident.

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post #5 of 7 Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 12:59 am
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Re: What Would You Do?

Excellent job my friend. Experience surely paid off. Even though you said not to, I would have just tried to miss the rock.

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post #6 of 7 Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 8:05 am
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Re: What Would You Do?

If you haven't taken the ERC in a while, you might also consider taking it in the near future. But (and that's a BIG but), there is no exercise in the ERC that has riders clip a stone while in a curve. Braking in a Curve and Avoiding Obstacles (swerve) are the closest things to your experience. I had an almost-similar experience on Scenic 7 north of Hot Springs. Too fast for the curve and I encroached on the other lane (thankfully, no traffic). As I critiqued my self after unpuckering, I realized, due to the tension of going wide in the curve, I had tensed-up both arms; essentially both pushing. After practice, practice, and more practice, I'm now pushing only with the inside arm and relaxing the outside arm.

Also, David Hough has a couple of good books titled, "Proficient Riding" and "More Proficient Riding." He describes in a little detail the physics of turning. Another good book is written by Lee Parks titled "Total Control", I believe. An excellent read for those that are thinking of leaning towards the track but, nevertheless, a good read for those that push the enevlope on the LT. It's not a superbike, but it is a super bike!

Take care,
Curt

Avatar credit: Curtis Callaway, 2009
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post #7 of 7 Old Aug 2nd, 2009, 12:03 pm
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Re: What Would You Do?

Wow!! Good lesson to be learned here! Glad you come out of it OK. I have not had that experience as I tend to slow down when approaching a tight or seemingly tight turn. I know I can lean the bike a lot more that I usually do but around here so many drivers take the short route and cross over the lines into the oncoming lanes around turns. When they see a vehicle coming the opposite way they quickly get into their own lane. When this happens I lean on the horn. Don"t they know that those lines are on the road for a reason. After your experience, I might be wearing my brown pants for a few days......Ha Ha.
Cheers,
Jim.

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