Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

famous last words & my first time

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by ceska, May 18, 2009.

  1. On my way into work this morning (non-peak hr) I was enjoying the crisp sunny day & in a really gr8 space. As i approached the intersection of Fitzsimons Lane & Porter St (near Templestowe) to turn right, I realised I was just about to run out of fuel :eek: (woops!!) Unfortunately right @ this moment I stalled & ran out!!

    Np, I put my foot down, checked behind me (no one close) brake on, looked down to flip in2 Reserve & restart engine (so I could go across the road into the servo) All good, except for the SMACK, BOOM!!! Yep, u got it, a nice cager decided that I WAS moving so they smacked into me :evil: Yes I take full responsibility for not checking my fuel sooner, but foot down & brake on usually means I'm not moving right?? WTF?

    The guy (older) got out of his car to ensure I was ok & to assess damage. He seemed pretty shaken up so I took it easy, he kept saying "I thought u were moving, I didn't realise u were stopped"

    My bike appears not to hav a scratch on it (as he hit my tire) yet his number plate has my tyre imprint & there was a minute scratch on his bumper bar. I took his information anyhow, told him I was ok & if anything changed in regards to damage I'd call.

    I am thankful that he stopped; didn't hit me that hard so I flew in2 the intersection (anythings possible!) & that I don't travel in peak hour! This experience has taught me a few valuable lessons... check mirrors often for danger; if a stall happens, use hazard lights to warn traffic (altho my indicator was on as I was turning), pull over to the side if i need to flip to reserve... Oh & another thing - make sure ur able to push ur bike away from danger!!

    I'll pop in to PS l8r & c if they'll hoist her up & check her out, just in case... Anyhow enough adventure for me, for one day... I'm very fortunate & thankful of the positive outcome...

  2. Yep, hazad lights may have helped, but what you really need to learn is to recognise early when you need to stop, get off the road, or get out of the way of someone for any reason, and always pick your spot to stop. Always have an exit strategy or escape route.

    As you are rolling to a stop, pick the best spot, even if you normally wouldn't go there. .i.e Off the line of traffic, perhaps behind a traffic island, or on one, or behind a "keep Left" sign. There are plenty of spots at that intersection, like at the end of the traffic islands. You could have rolled there and been safe, even though you would be facing traffic on the round about. Intersection

    If the bike has already stopped, perhaps because you were waiting at an intersection, put your left hand up to immediately notify the driver behind you that you are in trouble. When you are sure they have seen you and stopped, then sort out the bike. This has worked for me on more than one occassion. Drivers may not see brake or hazard lights, but they see a hand up.

    Finally, in addition to thinking about fuel, learn how to switch to reserve while you are riding along, or rolling along in neutral with a stalled engine. If you need to look down to switch to reserve, you need more practice.
  3. Yikes, :shock: Ceska! Glad you're ok.

    How hard were you hit? When you say "flew into the intersection" did you come off the bike or did the bike roll?

    +1 on the switch to reserve while on the move - providing your bike's design will let you - and most will. It's an important skill. Can't recall the number of times I've switched to reserve on peak hour freeway traffic... there's no where to stop in the middle lanes!
  4. Good feedback Rod. The thing about it is that I literally realised I'd ran out of fuel a split second b4 it cut out. In the past I've switched 2 reserve whilst traveling, but this morning i just didn't hav the time to process the thought. In hindsight, what I should have done was check & planned @ hm ](*,) Gr8 tip re the hand, I'll def use this & yes ur 110% correct that an exit strategy is ALWAYS required. I almost feel that I was complacent this morning, enjoying the day too much & not being alert enough :oops:

    Rob - he wasn't traveling very fast & I was jolted forward maybe a meter whilst on bike :? I didn't come off nor did the bike fall (yes I know, I'm very lucky!) In general, I like to setup for a stop with some clearance ahead of me, in case I need it - I'm so glad I do this as it paid off today.
  5. unless you mean off the bike and stand facing the driver, hand up to stop, sorry Rod but there is no way im gonna just raise a hand like cycling stop signal, and hope a driver sees that even if they cant see my glowing red brake light. rather put the hand to good use as flick over to reserve.

    agree with you here, Rod. Ceska, the fuel switch on the VTR is on the left, obvious in sight when off the bike and looking for it. easy to access whilst riding too. i find it by sliding my left hand down the side of the tank to the edge of the tank, then slide it backwards until you find the tap. its there below the tank and above the frame, in its own gap, with nothing to get in the way. will be around the middle of your inner thigh when the leg is in riding position.

    time to get out and practice turning the tap as you ride!

    another thing, you stalled from lack of fuel? this is actually a fair safety issue, as you just found out. you need to 'feel' your bike more, it will improve with more riding. when you are almost out of mains fuel, the bike will begin to stutter and lack power as you roll on the throttle. if you think you notice this, pull the clutch, and give some revs a few times. as the bike sucks for more fuel, you will easily notice the stuttering. its time to switch to reserve. then get to a servo, you've got around 30km of fuel left. dont forget to switch back to mains!

    i also use the trip meter to estimate when i will run out. a good owrking will get 300km before reserve, with easy riding. i've heard of more, i've heard of less too. wring the tits of it, and you're looking at 220-260km before reserve. keep an eye on the trip meter so you know you'll run out sometime in the next XX km, and reset it every time you fill up.

    hope the bike doesnt have any damage, but definately get it checked out thoroughly by a honda mechanic. good to meet you on sunday too! :)
  6. oh dear, ur absolutely right nibs, just b4 the event I remember thinking, 'why does my bike feel like it has no power straight after a service?' My bike WAS telling me, I just didn't listen (I can't believe I didn't look down @ my gauge!) stupid ](*,)

    I get anywhere from 300-310 out of my tank & reset after every fill... I get a little more with reserve, yet I don't factor in a switch to this, unless I totally bimbo it & need to (will change this habit for practice alone now!)

    no damage surprisingly - I know I need new tires in about 2000k, but I will I check out the front forks, as i noticed a very slight click when bouncing the bike forward in a stationary position - yet considering my rock/dirt hill driveway, that may have been there b4hand. good to meet u too on sunday :)
  7. I've only ever had to switch to reserve once having ran out of fuel - that was on my first tank full with the bike.

    Decided it would be so, SO, dangerous running out of fuel on a regular basis that I now ride with the switch on reserve permenantly and judge when I need to fill up by km's on the clock and giving the bike an occasional shake to listen for fuel sloshing around when I am getting close. Tend to aim for 300km between fills on the GS500.

    Have not run out of fuel since.


  8. I hate that roundabout. We refer to it as the 'Wheel of Death'!
  9. It's okay to disagree Robin. It just means that you have never been in the situation where you needed to use this technique.

    When you unexpectedly stop in front of traffic, and there is no time to switch to reserve, or push the bike out of the way, or even turn around in your seat, and you know a rear impact is a strong possibility, putting up your hand attracts the attention of the driver behind you more than anything else. They slam on the brakes.

    When my bike was running very lean, I had a couple of occassions where I was at the front of the lights, they go green, I start to move, and the Ducati just stops dead, throwing me forward in the seat. Sure, I grab the front brake so the guy behind can see the brake light, but you were already rolling, and in their mind, you will soon be out of the way. They don't take much notice of the brake light in that state of mind.

    They do notice you putting your hand up.

    It's not something you plan to do, it is something you do when the guy behind you is taking off, and has less than three metres to stop before hitting you, in about about 1 second. You have no time to do anything else, and it can, and has for me, prevented a rear end collision.

    Northerner, putting your bike permanently on reserve means that when you run out, you completely run out and are stranded. I wish my fuel injected bike did have a reserve capability, but no EFI bikes do, that I know of.

    Fekkinell. I have to agree. It can be quite dangerous at times. I tend to ride quite assertively to get through it quickly, while watching in every direction for idiots. Its amazing what some will do there.
  10. northerner - I don't know if I'd ride around on Reserve permanently given i like buffer & that's what it's for. I don't find switching difficult, I was just in stupid mode this morning & should have prepped better...

    fekkinell - i've seen many things happen @ this roundabout too, yet imho the wheel of death is in the city, where royal pde, elizabeth st & peel st meet. guaranteed everytime i use this there will b @ least one car who drifts into my lane... i permanently have my thumb on my horn & am ready to counter steer away!
  11. OK but do you run it until it dies before switchin to reserve every tank? That's what I was getting at I guess. Do you generally try to guage when you're getting close to reserve and then fill up before it dies?


  12. as i said, and ceska now realised, your bike will not just STOP. it will begin to stutter, and lose power, across a good 20-30 seconds of riding, before you really begin to have no power. this is because the fuel intake begins getting bursts of air, as the fuel sloshes around. kinda like the kitchen sink gargling as it nears empty. plenty of water going down the pipe, but bursts of air too. this is your warning, and ample time to switch to reserve, it should take barely a couple of seconds to find an turn the tap, and another couple of seconds for the fuel to get flowing well.

    run with reserve on permanently, and you are running the risk of getting stranded with no fuel at all, rather than 30+km up your sleeve. what are you gonna do when you stop on the freeway, which has roadworks and concrete barriers replacing the emergency lane, so no area to pull over at all? not to mention the truck behind you doing 80km/h....

    reserve is for emergencies only, not everyday use :wink:
  13. There's plenty of warning, like Nibs described. For an in line 4, different carby float chambers run out of fuel at different times. The warning signs are clear and hard to miss... plenty of time to reach down and switch to reserve.

    Rod speaks from first hand experience. The bike he came to know and trust changed after a service and his trip meter became an irrelevant measure of fuel consumption.
  14. Good idea, it would suck to find out later something is busted like a bearing or something and you having to fork it out not the guy that hit you.

    Good to hear your vertical still.
  15. That is truly a danger spot. NEVER ASSUME THAT THEY SEE YOU. I got hit there once.

    And often cars sitting, waiting for an opening to go into the roundabout will take a sprint and if the car behind thinks that you are going to move, they will quickly go too

    Happy to know that you manage to keep it up =D
  16. A couple of people mentioned hazard lights, but for some crazy reason the VTR250 doesn't have a hazard light switch.
    Anyway, good to hear the op was ok.
  17. Being a bit hard on yourself. If you are stopped nobody has the right to run into you, whether they thought you were moving or not, whether you had the brakes on or not or if you had hazards or indicators on.

    and + whatever to learn to recognise when you need to switch and do it on the run. It's not an issue after a bit.
  18. Damn, bad luck on getting hit...good luck on coming out of it as well as you can!

    Been in a dodgy situation with my reserve a few times. I was caning past a line of slow traffic going up through Kangaroo Valley. I was on the wrong side of the road when the fuel ran out. BAARGHH!!! I frantically switched to reserve and slotted back into the line. Mirror check reveals a very undercover-looking Falcon sitting right up my ass. Gulp.

    The other was in Canberra where I had to pull over on a highway strip. I don't have hazards either, so just put an indicator on pointing away from the traffic. Luckily I was able to coast off the road without incident. I've got my run-out point pegged now so can just switch over to reserve and go into 98RON seeking mode.

    I second the hand thing, it gets the 'WTF?' factor going in their minds. Anything unusual like that is bound to get you a look or two, and thats exactly what you want from it.

    Hope the bikes alright, cheers - boingk
  19. er, my vtr has a hazard switch, modern bike though, 07.
  20. JP - thx & my '07 VTR does have hazard lights, I just didn't use em!

    iblast - I'm hard on myself as I know beta - i've switched plenty, i just chose to miss all the markers this time through complacency! Ur right tho, there's no reason why any1 should run into me, it's unacceptable. I'm thankful i can take away the lessons & b more rigorous about the things I am able 2 change...

    brownyy - heading out to Honda Ringwood now - I [-o< Rick tells me "all good Fran!"

    erewego - thx & WOW, that must hav been one hell of an experience 4 u, given there's ALWAYS @ least a trillion things going on in that roundabout!!

    boingk - its a good case scenario for a 1st hit I think! ur experiences go to show there r many fun & games to b had with Reserve if lucky enuf to hav it on a bike! (I wasn't aware that some bikes don't have this feature! :?)