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I shouldn't be so silly.

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by resonator, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. Well after almost 8 months of riding I've just dropped my bike for the first time. It happened this afternoon going down Mountain Highway from Sassafras.

    I've been spending some money and time on the bike a bit over the last few weeks so all morning everything had been running perfect. Better than it'd ever ran before. And because of that I think I had a little more confidence in myself and the machine than usual. As a matter of fact I was actually out to buy a new battery but it was too nice a day to spend on straight roads so I turned towards the hills.

    Throughout the morning I had gone through Pakenham, Gembrook, Belgrave, Sassafras and was heading towards Boronia. I'd been practicing turning with the lightest touch on the handlebars, leading into a turn with my elbow, and keeping my weight off the seat while going around a corner.

    All morning I was getting quite comfortable pushing round dry corners and riding pretty close to my ability (which was quite silly yet still fun). Coming down Mountain Highway I was passed by some dude on a bigger bike (didn't notice what it was). As he approached the next corner I saw that he was able to go round much quicker than I. Feeling pretty proud of what I had already achieved, I decided that if he can do it then so can I. I didn't brake as hard as I normally would but as I saw the corner approaching closer but faith in my abilities diminished.

    I aimed the bike at the apex of the corner, stood it up and got on the brakes hard. In hindsight I could have probably braked even harder than I did.

    By the time I had reached the left hand edge of the road I was facing an embankment wall about 2 meters away and the flat gravel edge that I was aiming for begining to tilt towards the embankment and getting narrower as it went.

    Having little other choice at this stage I eased off the brakes as I entered onto the gravel and in doing so the front was getting very squirmy as I adjusted my direction to run parallel to the road.

    I was probably traveling at about around 15km/h at this stage so pretty slow. Just as I was straightening up the bike, and at the same time trying to get it back onto the road if possible, trying to slow down more, and also thinking "I'm almost out the shit", then the gravel turned into mud.

    The back end slid to the left and probably hit the wall, then to the right and probably regained traction on the road, then the front wheel slid to the left dumping me off the right hand side. I guess it was almost 5km/h highside :). For about 1 meter I was still kind of sitting on the bike although my hand was sliding along the road holding the weight of my upper body.

    Oops I think to myself. That was a bit silly. Am I alright... I'm not saw. Damn, how is the bike. I stood up the bike and saw the huge grazes all along the right hand side and ran through the checklist.

    Back Break - Check
    Foot Pegs - Check
    Gear Lever - Check
    Clutch - Check
    Front Break - Check
    Mirrors - Check

    Well I guess that could have been much worse.

    I tried to push the bike out of the mud but it was stuck. I tried to take it out of gear but my legs were too wobbly to get my leg over. I need help. Ah-ha! another bike coming around the corner.

    I put my arms up with my palms facing up and try tell him using telepathy "Oops, I fell off. Can I have a hand". He obviously heard cause he stopped and come over to help.

    He was an older sensible looking bloke and didn't seem all that pleased that a dumb young hoon had just ran off the road and now he needed to stop to help him. But I'm grateful none-the-less.

    We checked over the bike again to make sure that it's all good and I pull out the bark that got scooped in behind the fairings and wipe the mud off. He gives me a hand to push it out of the drain and back onto the road.

    I quickly explain to him what happened but before I knew it he says something along the lines of "you look alright now, have a good one".

    So I'm standing on the side of the road alone again I check over the bike again put it into neutral and check if it will still start. I turn the key but it doesn't want to co-operate.

    I know that I probably don't have a lot of charge in the battery and if it isn't going to go now I should wait in case petrol got into the wrong place and needs to drain.

    I needed to move my bike cause I was in a little bit of a dangerous place. I get back on the bike an try to roll start it down the hill. The speed I got there was no chance that was going to happen though.

    I stop the bike where the shoulder gets a little wider again and get off to roll a cigarette and calm my nerves.

    What if the bike doesn't start? What if I flatten the battery? I haven't got any jumper leads with me... I know someone who lives near here, maybe their home. Lets just give it some time and see if it'll start.

    After five minutes I started feeling a little silly watching all the cars go past looking at me standing next to a bike that's obviously just taken a slide through the mud, so I did all that I could. I tried to start it again. After a few goes and feeling worse and worse about it not starting again, I got it running.

    I climb back on and sedately ride back home, thinking hard about what I did wrong. Thinking so hard that I forgot how to get home in spite riding that road dozens of times.

    Anyway when I manage to get home, I've cleaned up the bike and it's just like it was apart from a crack in the right fairing and some light scratches along the right side and right front, and heavy scratches on the back of the mirror.

    I think that a drop was what I needed in some ways. It has highlighted things that I have been overlooking or neglecting. I need to practice emergency braking and make sure that I'm not lulled out of my comfort zone by other riders.

    It also demonstrated that I've got a lot more to learn from my 250.
  2. With what else has happened this weekend it's good to read an "oops" story with a fairly happy ending. And, of course, you already know where you went wrong.

    1. Thinking you could corner as fast as a rider who was probably a lot more experienced, or knew the road much better than you, but, mostly,

    2. Not trusting the logical part of the brain that says 'lean, lean lean," while the panic-side was saying "brake, brake, brake".

    All part of the rich learning curve. I think it was Robsalvv who said recently, "if you get it over so far you're going to crash, then you were going to anyway. But often you could get it over further, and not crash." (Or words to that effect...)
  3. I don't know about you but think on a road I'd rather crash softly at 5km/h than at full lean at 70km/h.

    Maybe you could provide some logic that I could tell to the panicking side side of the brain for next time. :)

    I'm kind of paranoid of the front letting go. Since I changed the rear Arrowmax to a gpra10 and noticed so much more grip at the same time I've become equally more weary of the front. I think I might replace it very soon with another gpra.
  4. See if you'd have said that you didn't trust your front tyre, I might have said something different.

    If you had been able to trust your front tyre you may well have been able to get round that corner at 70 and not crashed.

    Logic to tell the panicking side of the brain? Many here swear by talking to yourself out loud, even shouting instructions at yourself. I haven't tried it myself...

    I wasn't criticising you or your riding, just trying to offer some suggestions based on my and others' experience..
  5. no no no, it wasn't taken as a criticism. I guess your advice is to buy a new tyre. OK tommorow res gets a new tyre. :grin:
  6. :) You can do almost anything if you trust your front tyre :)
  7. And if you don't trust the front, roll on the throttle and use the rear!
    Get some weight off it by using power out of corners.
    Road conditions, brake before, power through and out corners.
    For you:

    Regards, Andrew.
  8. keith code gives 7 survival reactions/survival errors in TOTW2.
    think you got the lot!

  9. Thats a hard one when survival reactions kick in. I had the same type of off and my survival reactions kicked in and instead of leaning it over further I stood the bike up :roll: :mad: I guess the more experience you have the better you will iron out the survival reactions kicking in
  10. Would you mind listing them for me, or are the elaborations the important bit and should read the book.
  11. Sucks man, i did the same thing up near patonga,

    My mate was on a ZZR like mine, he absolutely took off and i tried to keep chase.
    I ended up on the gravel and the bike was headed for a cliff and loads of trees and i had to let go, luckily it didn't hit the tree and just lowsided at maybe 2-3kmh on the sand and gravel and scratched the paint.

    I know the feeling when you're there in that situation, and we both probably could've made it if we knew the road a little better and leaned in more :p

    My cornering is terrible and i've only been riding for a month though.
  12. Front tyre is LIFE...
    If it's good and you can trust in it, then you can ride at the same pace far more safely...that way...if you DO happen to get beyond your level, you have something up your sleeve - and can therefore "trust the bike, and push push push".

    Trying to ride at another pace is a classic mistake...remember..."ride your own ride". :grin: not intending to rub it in - just reciting it for it's importance.

    Don't worry....you learned a valuable lesson and escaped without too much damage to you or your bike.
    And, good job on analysing what happened - remember the incident and move on from here mate...

    I was on Mountain Hwy myself yesterday - several corners are "sleepers" and can get nasty. It's more tricky than it first appears.
  13. Doesn't matter what tyres you're on, never EVER give up on an overcooked corner like that and stand it up on the brakes, you'll crash every time.

    I swear to you that if you didn't shit yourself, and just tipped that bike in harder and looked around the corner instead of in to the bushes, you would have made it around.

    You're lucky if you get once chance to learn this the easy way - like you just have. Get it through your head, never EVER give up, your bike will turn a lot faster than you think if you just keep looking around the corner and countersteering it down.
  14. I bought a new front today and it's like riding on rails inspite them not being fully scrubed in yet. I'm way more confident again, and recon that if I had these tyres on yesterday I would have been fine.

    How can you tell you're tyres running out of grip. I cannot really put into words what I've felt on my old arrowmax tyres but I've thought there wasn't much left and wouldn't be comfortable pushing harder.

    What do you guys use as a guage? Your pegs? :)
  15. You've mised the point entirely I am afraid.
    Yes Arrowmaxes suck, but you could have avoided the accident with advice given above.
    Your tyre didn't let you down, your attitude did (and still is).
    You've been given a huge opportunity to learn from what could have been an expensive and nasty mistake, analyse what you did wrong and you will become a better rider.

    Regards, Andrew.
  16. Point taken, I guess I'm wrong and regardless its best to hook into the corner when best judgment says to bail.

    Yet one day when I'm a crazy good rider, how would I know that I'm reaching the end of my grip?
  17. I've just read the thread you posted and it's made me feel a lot better about just riding a corner out even if I've entered hot.

    Thinking again about what would have happened if I turned in hard and did loose the front yesterday, the bike would have been on a much better angle giving me a far greater distance to stop if I were to grind to a halt.

    What scared me was imagining myself leaning hard and running off the side onto the gravel sliding into the embankment.

    What I need to focus more on is keeping the bike stable through a corner and not unsettling the balance by rolling around and slowly powering out from midway round the corner. It's a habit that I must break.

    Thanks for the linky.
  18. I didn't know how to say it, and it was probably a bit harsh, but I am glad you have had a look at that link.
    I'd suggest an advanced riding course for you, it is hard to get the smooth line through corners sorted out without some advice, I am still not the smoothest out there. Yes they cost money, but not much more than a front tyre fitted.
    No one on these forums can say they haven't been in a position where they've come into a corner too hot and considered hiting the anchors, just as everyone here has run wide at some stage.
    Some have been lucky enough to get it back in time, some not.
    Fortunately for you, you got to learn a lot and walk away!
    As for knowing when you are running out of front tyre grip, I'll leave that to more serious riders than me. I don't think teh front will give much warning.
    You need to practice powering out of corners, loading up the rear tyre and taking some of the work off the front tyre. I now it sounds illogical, but that's how it works.

    Regards, Andrew.
  19. mmm...I think buying a new tyre was a wise decision, given that you feel more confident in it.
    There is a fair chance that your old tyre may have got you through, had you pushed hard enough and tried to hang with the turn. But the fact is, you went into that turn without alot of front tyre confidence in the first place...Given THAT...you should have maintained a more realistic pace for yourself on your bike in that given state.
    So..your problem was not in the tyre - it was in entering at a speed beyond your comfort level, with the additional pressure of not being confident with your front tyre.

    Having said all that (pant)...it is quite possible that you simply got the line wrong...and all these other points, while worthwhile, may not be the underlying cause...

    As I originally said...I for one believe that the front tyre is life - unless I am fully confident with it, I will keep my riding at my own 8/10ths, or less.

    If your new tyre has improved your grip, and confidence in your bike's capabilities, then your 'off' was not in vane. :) Ride as you always would, and keep that extra up your sleeve for when it's needed. (Like a misjudged corner) :grin:
  20. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think that I'm able to do any advanced riding courses yet due to still being on my restrictions. What I do intend to do is go to some track days.

    Well said and I couldn't agree more.

    I needed that slap across the back of the head. :) I've also organised a copy of twist of the wrist 2, so I'll have good a read of that.

    No that makes sense.

    This off is probably one of the best things that could have happened at this stage of my learning. I've gotten over all of the initial problems of controlling the bike, keeping safe amongst traffic (I've just got to remember to not be so hasty) and becoming confident in my abilities. Even Sunday I made a choice in confidence (to stop) and followed it through. It may have not been the best choice but I I followed it though without panic. I think I did pretty well all things considered. Now it's time to learn how to ride.