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.

Fell off twice in a week

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Woggy, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. It's been raining a lot here, and I'm borrowing my friends old (~20yo) rattling virago to learn on. It's a bit small for me - so shifting is difficult, and the rear brakes are a bit dodgy (they're either on/off) so I don't bother using them. So anyway, most of my learning has been on wet roads. First time I fell off was on my second ride taking an uphill left turn, panicked when a car came out of nowhere (vision was blocked due to a parked car). Hit the front brakes while I was riding through a puddle ... slid and the bike pinned my ankle, thankfully I was wearing boots and the bike wasn't damaged. Gave the old lady in the car the fright of her life though.

    Second time was last night, really dark road and raining, going at around 40km/h down a hill. All of a sudden a speed bump pops up in front of me, hit the front brakes too hard and the bike slid (didn't expect that to happen while I was going dead straight :/). Fell off and slid down the road. No injuries apart from a bruised leg and ego, as there was another car behind me. Jeans were ripped, leather jacket has a bit of abrasion damage but nothing major. Bike is damaged - handlebars are slightly misaligned (or bent? I'm not sure), the wiring for the right-rear indicator is damaged so it doesn't work. a few scratches. Otherwise the bike is okay, surprisingly.

    I was shaken up after the first one, second time I was just more worried about the bike than anything. Now i'm thinking I should stop riding, cause at this rate i'm probably going to kill myself :/
  2. go do a riders course and learn how to emergency brake
  3. You panic braked. This shocks the wheel causing it to be overload in an instant and skids. Good technique is to set up and squeeze... however it can happen to the best of us... happened to me after a looooong day in the saddle a couple of years back.

    The real story in your story is that you got this locked wheel to happen on a virago with shit brakes, so you must have the squirel grip from hell. Nice work lol.

    +1 what Stewy said. Follow up course are WORTH their money, many times over.
  4. Remember Rob, that as much as the Virago has crap brakes, it also has crap suspension, so that won’t have helped matters either.
  5. Yeah, put the brakes on progressively and with a smooth squeeze, don't just jam them on. Was the speed bump signposted? Why did you have to put the brakes on hard when you were going 40?
  6. My bike has MUCH better suspension than a virago and it fell over easily enough due to poor technique. Suspension wasn't the root cause in that case and I'll bet my bottom dollar it wasn't in the OP's case.
  7. Good point!

    Next time just stand up/squat up on the pegs and let the bike buck beneath you. Problem solved.
  8. Probably true.
    I was just pointing out that on cheap bikes, you have to be aware that they don’t have as much ability to absorb your mistakes so you have to pay extra attention.
  9. plus, in the wet your rear brake is as important as the front, and if it's not working, you're increasing the risk factors hugely ......
  10. dont give up , go to a carpark and practice, practice, practice and when u think u have nailed it practice some more. Good on you for asking for advice you will get plenty on this site and there are more good tips to be found just learn to use the search feature at the top or u cop a good roasting lol. i suggest getting the bike in a roadworthy condition before u head back out there pal. Good luck
  11. I will second that.
    In wet conditions, your braking power is less, so you will be loading the front less.
    Also on a cruiser (Virago) You have a greater rear weight bias.
    Between these two factors, having a usable rear break is essential
  12. ... I might also add that if the rear brake is NOT working, then the bike is effectively unroadworthy and therefore illegal....
  13. if you are having trouble with the brakes, use your foot. virago is how high? < 70cm?
  14. :? I dunno about you guys, but in the wet I use my rear brake even more judiciously, only in straight lines or slow speed. Any forward weight transfer coupled with lower road traction due to it being wet makes the rear even trickier.

    Having said I'm more judicious with the front too.
  15. Hey man,

    Don't give up on your riding, you just have to learn road craft.

    It may be the bike, but from the words written, that cars and speed humps "POP" up out of no where, says to me you are concentrating too much on how to ride the bike and not looking far enough ahead.

    Once you start looking between the front of the bike to 100mtrs away, you will start anticipating what is coming up and make the necessary adjustments.

    Take it easy and enjoy the process of understanding traffic, it will keep you alive.
  16. Yeah, I agree with most of the points here. I think my mind went a bit blank when I was riding. Didn't notice the signpost for the speed bump, and I braked when I didn't even need to.

    The rear brake works fine in that you can fully engage it but it's very difficult to apply smoothly. I will probably try and get that fixed, along with the lever position so I can reach it easier.

    I would agree that i'm not completely comfortable on the bike yet. Maybe its just because i'm over 6 foot and find the controls so difficult to reach properly and use. I feel like i'm wrestling with the bike to get it to do what I want half the time. Regardless my skills are definitely lacking.

    Anyway, i'm going to fix the bike and probably get to a car park late one night and practice heaps. Thanks for the tips and the support.
  17. ooops broke terms and conditions nearly
  18. until you are comfortable on the bike, you are best to stay on local roads you know well, that way suprises such as the speed hump will not sneak up on you, then when you feel more comfortable and can concentrate more on your surrounds and not just keeping the bike up and in the right gear, you then can venture further afield more safely and confidently

  19. What do you mean? Did I do something wrong?

    Managed to fix the misaligned handler bars ... gripped front wheel between my legs hard, bent them back into the right spot :D Now I need to figure out how I'm going to fix the wiring.

  20. no not you ---- me