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First Low Speed Slide - Now What

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by lgnd, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. Not sure if this is a new rider discussion or not. I had a lowish speed slide today and just wondering what I should do next.

    How it happened

    There was no one on the road and I was day dreaming and I didn't pick up there was a red set of traffic lights until I was fairly close. Doing about 70 .. my first thought was relax, you've got time to brake hard but smooth. Which was good but I probably took too long on the set up and too long to start braking.
    So I'm braking but I'm not stopping quick enough so I go harder and bike starts to skid. So I thought maybe I just release and go through the red light because I could see it was a small street and there was one car turning out but I thought better not take the risk. So I slowed quite abit and hit the deck about 1 meters after the stop light in the intersection, everyone gets out of the car to help me. I'm sitting there with my leg under the bike feeling like an idiot. Managed to get up and wheel the bike onto the footpath, assess the damage and ride home.

    Pretty stupid for not seeing the red light
    I should had been able to stop or at least not laid the bike down
    Very disappointed in myself. Thinking maybe motorcycling is not for me.

    No major injuries besides bruised elbow. Had kevlar jeans, leather jacket, full face helmet, backpack
    Bike damage looks to be purely cosmetic. Scraped muffler and two cracked fairings.


    1. Do I take the bike to a mechanic to get it checked over ? Looks OK maybe the steering is slightly off or I am making it up in my mind
    2. Do I bother to repair the damaged fairings ? If i do is it worthwhile drilling Oggy knobs or something into the bike after ?
    3. Helmet. So in the crash I would say the visor slightly scraped along the ground. i.e. impact mostly by elbow but i put my head down at the head and scratched the visor. Is this a replace job ? I know it's better safe than sorry but considering I didnt really make an impact and didn't really touch the shell ?
    4. What do I need to do to build my confidence ? I would say I have 2500km on the bike and I'm still not feeling as comfortable I would like riding. I mean I'm not nervous to ride in the city, on a freeway or anything. It's just I'm second guessing my decisions on the road and I'm like 10x more confident in the car. This has obviously shaken my confidence in regards to braking so maybe some sort of advanced rider course / track day ?

    Thanks for your feedback.

  2. #2 dgmeister, Nov 30, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
    sheesh, so much to say, raven can do it for me later.

    i would never try to put a passionate rider off BUT if that scared you, and you have second thoughts, make up your mind now, it won't get any safer. if you want out, get out now. now you know what riding requires.

    this was obviously a braking thing, also attention.

    first; you cannot afford to daydream AT ALL. (as you discovered)
    daydreaming can quite easily be rewarded with death

    you also the age old mistake of braking too much with the rear brake and not enough with the front. (this is very common)
    personally i don't use the rear brake much unless i am trying to do a skid.
    learn to use the FRONT brake!

    pushbikes are great to practise the basics of braking, and try to focus on the front brake, and controlling skids with the rear brake.
    offroad riding is also great for learning brake balance, because of all the traction loss.

    try to get comfortable with riding the moto away from traffic.

    also remember the road gets WET, (some spots) will be WAY more slippery than a dry road, so your braking is in your top speed (some speeds you simply may not be able to stop from)

    say if you are going downhill in the wet, and you can actually brake properly, you may only be able to go 30kph safely
    (like trying to stop yourself sliding on a children's slide, it won't work)

    motobikes will not suffer fools, NEVER outdo yourself

    (IMO f uck oggy knobs)
  3. "my first thought was relax, you've got time to brake hard but smooth"

    that part was correct, and actually the right thing to do!

    unfortunately, your skills failed you.

    work on your braking, and paying attention!
  4. if the bike rides okay it should be fine
  5. Thanks.

    Yeah I probably should clarify ... wasn't really scared by the event. More just thinking how could I mess that up so bad. Dry roads, no traffic, simple stop at a red light.

    Actually after it I realised sometimes going down isn't as bad or painful as I imagined it would be. Having said that it was a pretty small spill
  6. Hey mate I'm only 4 months new myself so I don't have enough experience to give advice - but I'm very happy to hear you're ok! (y)

    As dg said - If you know anyone with dirtbikes, see if you can get out to the track at Appin. You'll have a blast and learn alot :)

    Macarthur Motorcycle Club
  7. #7 dgmeister, Nov 30, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
    don't worry, you will be scared at some stage.

    the reason i may have mentioned that is because you said
    "Thinking maybe motorcycling is not for me"

    -you should decide now is what i mean, rather than after your first life/death experience
    • Like Like x 1
  8. me and my pearls of wisdom
  9. practice your emergency braking enough that you should already know the distance you need to stop at common road speeds - that way you can make an informed decision rather than 'i hope i can stop in time'
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Are you at least going along to the sydney practise sessions?
  11. Aly.

    Yes I have been and too much rear brake has been a problem.

    I got my P's but probably going to head down again to improve my low speed / u brake
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Glad you weren't banged up by your off. Best thing is to learn from it and improve your skills.

    It's a good idea to get the bike checked over by a mechanic. They may pick up some problem you missed. If there is nothing wrong bar scratches then the process will at least reassure you. You can check out oggy knobs while you are there ... those can help save the tupperware a bit. While you are at the shop you can get a new visor as there is nothng worse than having scratches on that. The rest of the helmet is probably ok but inspect it closely anyway.

    To rebuild confidence I'd recommend going right back to basics ... practise those setup / squeeze techniques as taught in your Ls and Ps courses. Find a carpark and practise. If you can afford it a private lesson can sort out lots issues quite quickly. Any of the cornering / braking courses would be a good idea but I'd leave the full-on track day til you at least know how to stop.
  13. This to me is the most obvious fail. It doesn't matter how brilliant you are as a rider, not paying attention will get you every time.
    I'm by no means the world's best rider (decent enough) but have kept safe by being extremely conscious of my surroundings and alert at all times.

    Approaching the intersection you should have known; the color of the light, how long it's been that color and likely hood of changing, if cars were waiting to enter the intersection, if you would be visible to these cars, if you had a tail gaiter which may pose a rear-end risk, moved to a wheel track to avoid oil etc. Constant terminator style risk assessment.
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Glad you're ok. Even happier that you pretty well know what you did wrong. Basically as others have said you have to concentrate all the time, but you know that now.

    As for the repairs to the bike. If it still rides ok and the damage won't put you on the wrong side of the police I'd say get your mechanic to look at it next time you take it for a service.

    As for your helmet, there maybe some conjecture here, but if it touched down I'd replace it, others my disagree.

    Confidence is really gained by practice, practice and more practice. It is worth maybe getting some extra training to help you on your way.
  15. get your bike checked out by a motor cycle repair shop,its worth every cent they charge you ,i have seen new bike fall over and twist the front end ,,sounds like you have learned a lesson ,,,watch where your going and whats going on around you at all times
  16. Not a nice experience!

    I recommend getting a new helmet. It has hit the deck, and it is hard to know how hard or what impact it has absorbed. Given that it's your head that it's protecting, it's worth replacing the helmet.

    If you have a decent mechanic, get them to have a quick check-over of your bike. Given that this will have shaken you up you will probably have lost confidence in yourself and your bike, and just knowing that your mechanic has given it the all-clear will make you feel a little more secure.

    Book yourself some advanced training. It's not for racers, it's for everyone. They will give you really good assistance with your emergency braking, which is really what let you down here (after the lack of attention). Yes, going out and practicing your emergency braking now will be good, but expert assistance will help you make sure you make the most of your practice. Your description doesn't really tell me if you went down because your front ended up locking and dropping you down into a "lowside", or because your rear locked (skidding out of line of the direction of the bike) and then released, throwing the rear back into line with the bike and throwing you over into a "highside".

    Releasing a locked up rear that is out of line with the bike while you've got any speed on is a great way to throw yourself off the bike, and you don't need much speed to do this successfully. For a new rider you are generally best to hold a locked rear brake locked until you stop unless the rear is directly in line with the bike. Feel free to correct me anyone if you feel this is bad advice.

    The best thing about the advanced training is that it will help bring back some confidence through increasing your skill level. An off like this makes you very uncomfortable for a while, as it should. However, if you give up now because you made a newbie mistake and reacted with newbie skills, you may miss out on a lifetime of the huge enjoyment that motorcycling can bring. If you learn from the errors, and improve your skills, you can enjoy a relatively safe activity that relies on attention, skill, thought and reaction to live through a journey in a way that car occupants can't understand.

    I wish you all the best with it.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Can't really add to what the others have said. You've dusted yourself down, you're in one peice, you know what you did wrong. Back to the drawing board, back on the horse, and a great lesson learnt with no serious damage, imho.

    The lid? Only you know how hard it went down. IMO if it's a scrape to the visor, and you don't consider it to have been a 'bang' on the deck, run with it if you're confident. If you're not confident, bin it, get another one.
  18. I'd agree. If it touched the ground with your head in it then quite possible some of the foam's been compressed, even if the outer shell looks fine.

    Definitely worth getting the bike checked since quite possible the forks have bent and you're not just imagining that the steering is weird. Oggy's would seem a waste if the fairings are already damaged, just patch them best you can (glue or drill and cable tie) and run with them till you get your confidence and abilities up. By then you'll likely either be used to them, or looking to move on to another bike anyway.

    Otherwise as others have said just find a nice quiet spot and go back to practising the basics like braking till they become second nature and you don't have to think about whether you can stop or not (the decision to brake or to swerve really needs to be made early if it's to be made at all).
  19. Practice your stoppies. I mean e brakes.
    Intersections should be approached with the preparedness to stop instantly or gun it thru at all times regardless of light color.

    Next time something unexpected happens remember, don't make a bad situation worse.
    A locked rear is not a straight forward answer, if its not lined up with the front in the direction of travel and you release it will kick, it might kick hard or it might not. Weigh that against a locked wheel with no traction is not helping anything anyway and may re-grip and kick anyway.
  20. Mate - sorry to hear! Glad you're OK!

    Did you skid because of the issue with your brakes???

    Last time I saw you at the Ps test, you hadn't had that looked at yet, and doing the emergency braking at 20 - 25km's p/ hour was locking your front wheel up. Maybe at the speeds your bike was doing, it just couldn't handle a "real life emergency brake" scenario, and that's the reason you went down.

    Or were you using too much rear brake because you know you have that issue with your front brakes?

    If that's the case, just get your brakes checked out.

    Another thing that I found out at the MOST course that really helped my emergency braking is my siting position on my bike. I know your bike does not have such an aggressive riding position as my sport bike, but sitting leaned forward and squeezing the tanks with my legs allows the weight to transfer to my legs instead of my arms when braking.

    I'm sure while you were thinking of pulling this emergency stop off, and thinking whether you should should stop at all or run through the light, etc. your SR (survival reactions) kicked in and you probably put a death grip on the handle bars, and combine that with your front wheel locking up, that may be what made you hit the deck.

    I hope you don't give up riding. I know you're a good rider. This experience will hopefully be all you need to never get complacent and always be on alert, no matter how long you've been riding. If that's the case, consider it an easy lesson learnt!