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Crash - What to watch out for re: Steering/Handling

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by the dang, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. Hi All

    Ive been lurking around here for a while and unfortunately my first post is regarding an accident just initiated with insurance so dont want to divulge too much detail until it is officially closed out.

    But basically my bike collided practically dead straight into side of a car. At the time I was already under brakes hard enough to lift the back wheel but not locked on the front. I very very roughly guess my speed to be 30pkh on impact and caused me to go over the front and drop the bike.

    As the bike took the hit straight on and at that speed, what should I look for in terms of potential damage to steering geometry/alignment, fork and frame integrity etc. I also have next to no mechanical knowledge.

    The bike will be repaired by insurance but being a meticulous and paranoid about my bike as I am I want to be comfortable it is okay to ride, especially because I ride twisites and long touring, a failure could be catastrophic.

    Thanks in advance guys.

    The Dang
  2. Take to a mechanic.
    They will have to check the frame for bends etc anyway for the insurance quote. It's not easy to tell in some cases if a frame is straight. At least they will have the right tools to check.
    With forks there is a good chance they are bent. If there is a crease at the bend they are rooted. If it's just bent they will get straightened.
  3. Hi thanks for the reply. It will definitely get checked by a mechanic and I have already notified insurance that this is one of my biggest concerns. It is going to be repaird by a mechanic anyway. I was just more coming from a paranoid standpoint of not trusting the mechanic or assessor to identify the potential issues especially after reading lots of bad reviews about most dealers/mechanics in Syd.

    I have elected to go to Lloyd Penn as he is basically the only mechanic I have read lots of good reviews and recommendations about so I am conforted by that fact. I just hope they approve his quote when I get it.
  4. I am not sure how you will go about testing if the mechanic has straightened a frame right other then taking it to other mechanic. If it's anything like in QLD when frame needs straightening they send the frame to a company to do it, as not many mechanic keep such equipment as it's very specialized and costly, for something they wouldn't get to often.
    So if it's like that then there's a good chance that if you go to a different place it will get straightened by the same mob.

    But if you can't get it out of your head that there is something wrong with the bike then trade it in lol
  5. Yeah youre absolutely right...I wont be able to myself determine mechanically whether it is straight as I dont have the tools nor the know how. Sounds like I will just have to trust the mechanic!

    But if anyone can give me some advice from the perspsctive of riding the bike of any tell tale signs something is wrong e.g. If you hold the bars straight but it tracks to the left or right then alignment may be off. Things which by feel or performance when reding indicate something is wrong...I hope I am making sense.

  6. 30km/h into the side of a car, head on?? Your forks should be well bent for starters!
  7. Lloyd Penn is a good choice, Motorcycle Weaponry is the only other one I trust. Ask how they will determine whether or not the frame is straight. Ask for a copy of thier results which show the bikes vital measurements compared to factory specs.

    Some frames bend behind the headstock, some oval the bearing seats, some crack along welds around the headstock or further back, and some do all or a combination of these. Steel frames are the easiest to straighten, older extruded/pressed alloy frames can usually be worked back into shape, and new cast alloy frames are very light and brittle and tend to crack, with major deformations almost impossible to fix.

    If you are worried about the frame get it sent to Laurie (below), he has loads of experience and is very good. When he straightens a frame it is like blue printing an engine, it comes back exactly as it should be, not just some where near enough as most from the factory are. The bike has to be stripped to just frame, forks, wheels and engine before Laurie will look at it.

    Laurie Alderton Frame straightening and repairs. Wheel repairs. 2/ 10 Long St Smithfield Ph: 02 9609 2889

    I have bent a couple of frames, one I had fixed and it rode perfectly, one I bodged and rode for another couple of years. The bodged one was in a hit much like yours but about 60kmh. It was about an inch shorther in wheelbase, and the head bearing seats were ovaled. I epoxied the bearings into place so they didnt slop about, the front felt like it wanted to tuck in low speed corners, and the bike was always twitchy at speed, over 140kmh it would generate violent tankslappers. Veering wasn't a problem though.

    Good luck with your repair.