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More than a "Near Miss"

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' at netrider.net.au started by Kargo, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. Hey everyone! So I'm an L plater, been ridding for a bit over two months now and have already had a little accident. It's unfortunate that my first post on Netrider is in the Near Miss forum instead of the Welcome Lounge forum.

    My story begins a few weeks ago when me and a workmate (lets call him "bob") had to travel from Sydney down to Wollongong to conduct a site survey. Being a bit of a revhead, Bob decided we were going to take the scenic route and fly through Royal National Park like a couple of lunatics.

    Bob put the pedal to the metal making the car engine roar as we went through the forest. My head jerked back with the force of acceleration, then forward as we slowed suddenly to enter a corner. Side to side i went as the car skidded around the corners of the Royal National Park. We over took cars and the tires slipped on wet sections of the road as we passed trough the forest. Blood and adrenaline coursed through my body, my palms quickly became damp with sweat. After what felt like an eternity we finally took one last turn and exited the forest right near the sea.

    It was almost surreal to see the scenery change so suddenly from a lush green forest to the wide blue ocean. The view was breathtaking! I've been to Wollongong many times before but this was the first time i had gone through the Royal national Park. Needless to say i was glad our flight was over. Don't get me wrong, i love a good adrenaline rush but only under controlled conditions. I've done bungee jumping, skydiving, white water rafting etc. but these events were either with trained professionals or on purpose built devices, not a moss covered, slippery scenic road with a rally driver wannabe. What Bob referred to as rally driving...I called the death rally.

    So what's this got to do with motorcycles you ask? Well...guess what i decided to do the following weekend? Before you get too excited know that i was not planning on ridding around like some kind of hooligan, I was just going to take a nice easy ride and enjoy the scenery.

    Anyway, i made my way down to the Royal National Park and passed through the forest once. Not knowing the road well i took the corners nice and slowly. Feeling confident i decided to go through the forest again. This time i went a bit faster around the corners. Easy peasy, no problems. It seemed like most of the recommended speed limits around the corners where way below that that which could safely be used to navigate the bends (nothing new there). Third times the charm. Off i went again, only this time i hit a bit of traffic. There were a few cars stuck behind some old lady that was travelling about 10km below the limit. After tagging along for a while i started to become frustrated. After all I came down here for a ride, not to tag along behind the granny patrol. I became impatient and decided i would overtake the cars on the next straight stretch. A few minutes later the road straightened out and off i went, zooming in front of the cars. But my freedom was short lived.

    A few corners up the road i made a rookie mistake (well i am a L plater!) and didn't lean into one of the corners enough. Time slowed down once i realised what was happening. I lent in more and gently applied the front and rear brakes careful not to flip or skid the bike. But it wasn't enough, i could see i wasn't going to make it. As the bike got closer and closer to the mud along the side of the road i knew it was not going to end well. As soon as the front wheel hit the mud the bike slid over. The bike flew out from between my legs and slid along the road then through the mud, rocks and sticks. I followed a short distance behind until we both came to a stop. I got up, quickly checked myself and looked around to see if anyone had witnessed my fall. A minute or two later the old lady i had previously overtaken came cruising down the road. Feeling extremely embarrassed i waved her on and tried to shown her i was ok. She wasn't having any of it and decided to pull over near me. The lady got out, insisted i took my gloves and gear off so that she could check me for injuries. Apart from a few grazes and a bruised ego i was ok. :nopity:

    One passing rider saw me and the lady on the side of the road and decided he might be of assistance. He slowed down so that he was almost at walking pace before entering the muddy corner. Don't ask me what happened, but the rider somehow managed to loose his balance (or perhaps his footing) when he came to a stop. He struggled to pull the bike into it's upright position but it was too late, the bike was already leaning too far to the side and he couldn't get it back up. Down went the bike. "Well that was f^&@ing embarrassing" he blurted out. ](*,)

    Once i managed to convince the old lady i was fine, the guy on the bike helped me lift mine back up right and i helped him with his. After a quick rest i left the scene of the crime and headed back home to inspect the damage.

    Bike: Exhaust scratched, lower right fairing scratched and cracked, right mirror and blinker broken off, muddy.

    Gear: Leather jacket right arm scratched, leather pants Right knee and shin a bit scratched, right palm of glove scratched, riding boots fine, helmet no damage.

    Already fixed most of the damage.

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  2. I was worried at first that your workmates was going to take out a biker in the first part. But it's good to hear that you're ok.

    It sounds like once you noticed your line wasn't right you fixated on the side of the road, and that's where you went. It's a common thing that just about everyone has to overcome.

    The reaction of the old lady was good too. Good to know that humans still have concern for one another.
  3. I must say Kudos to the description of it all, it was very vivid.

    I would have to agree with Kha-Khees here , target fixation and also probably just coming into the corner either too fast or misjudged your line.

    Dislike seeing any rider come off there bike expecially a Hyo (i own a gt250r aswell) but don't let the crash get to you these things happen and hope you keep on riding and gain back your confidence in taking on corners such as those.
    Glad to see you came off without any injuries
  4. What's with the 'didn't lean enough'... Just checking since you're a noob, but what you needed to do was counter-steer more. You get that?... Right?
  5. I think that's exactly what happened, i started to focus on the side of the road instead of the corner and that's were i ended up. "If you look at the gutter you'll end up in the gutter" and all that.

    yeah it took me a while to write that little story, glad you liked the discription =D>. I've pretty much already got most of my confidence back, the crash happened about 3 weeks ago now.

    I've heard about counter-steering, must admit it doesn't really make sense to me...:-s
  6.  Top
  7. Oh dear. I don't know how well these learner sessions run in sydney but theres a good turnout in melbourne, try them.
  8. Glad you are ok! It's also good that you were wearing the proper gear as that certainly helps.

    I guess it's time to practice & practice.
  9. That's a good report and I think others will find it useful so thanks. You said one word that has caught me out and I think all of us can learn from.


    I think learning not to react to frustration is an important skill for riders. For me, distraction is my big enemy. I love to look at things as I'm riding and nice women or a sexy bike has been my downfall more than once.

    Glad you are ok. Sorry about the bike but of course you can patch that up. Here's to many more years of great fun.

    BTW, I came roaring through that same stretch of road one day behind some friends on sports bikes. Came around a corner and had an opportunity to put my emergency breaking skills to work. There was a guy flagging down traffic due to an accident. As I went by I saw a car wrapped around a tree that looked as wrinkled up as a ball of aluminum foil. Never seen anything like it.

    It's a great road but with traffic it's just a no go zone for anything spirited.
  10. [HORROR!!!]
    mate!, you should not be riding. You need to get to a training facility, and learn what it is that makes a bike turn and become an expert at it!!
    Countersteering is one of the few fundimental rules (as compared to general rules), that must be understood BEFORE you go riding around. The fact that you refer to the techniques of 'look where you want to go", so lazily suggest to me that you should be taking your riding far more seriously, mate.
    If you understood countersteering, i'm pretty sure you would not have crashed!

    Yes, i know you're a noob, that's why i'm bothering to guide you into the direction you need to go.

    Search NR for the word, and read, to save your own life!
  11. thanks for the feedback y'all.

    I looked up counter steering earlier today and tried to post a link to a site but the forum wouldn't let me (http://www.stevemunden.com/countersteering.html). Somewhat dumbed down but the principle's there.
  12. Dumbed out? Keep reading till you get it! then practice and dont stop practicing, you gotta understand it...if you dont,try one of the learner skills day etc etc just saying
  13. #13 Kargo, Aug 14, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    when i said dumbed down all i meant was that the website wasn't full of a bunch of math formulas. Good video about it here [media=youtube]C848R9xWrjc[/media].
  14. Apologies :D I misread, thought it was dumbed out not dumbed down...my bad :D
  15. That was a good, clear, honest and vivid write up. Thanks for that.

    I don't want to sound patronising, or condescending, or superior, or anything negative at all (I've fallen off a lot more times than you have and I don't have the excuse of being a newbie:facepalm:) but raven is exactly 100% right. This is something absolutely fundamental that you must understand. It's like getting in a car to drive it when you don't know what a steering wheel is.
  16. If your too lazy to read google search 'Twist of the wrist 2' Its a movie version of a great guide to high performance motorcycle riding, you should be able to find a streaming copy of the film somewhere.

    highly recommended, it will explain and show you what counter steering is.

    Im sure after you watch it, you will be very mad at yourself for letting this accident happen, because it was very avoidable if you had known how to react properly to running wide in the corner. For example, slowing the bike down, espc using the brakes, will only make your bike stand up and run even wider, its not like a car where you can slow down and take a tighter line.

    Good to hear you got out of it ok though.
  17. First of all, good on you that your first fall went so smooth. Mine ended with a broken wrist!!! (Some years ago, and I've fallen once or twice after that). You know how the saying goes about riders in Chile:

    There are two types of riders: those who have kissed the ground, and those who will

    Now regarding your accident, IMHO the fixation (the bike tends to go wherever your head points), the lack of countersteering (watch the video pointed out up) and BRAKING IN THE CURVE made you go wide...

    As pointed out by Unconnected, using the front brake in the curve will make the bike stand up and go wide. If anything inside the curve, let go of the throttle, or perhaps a slight touch of the rear brake (which will make the bike lean, but careful enough so as not to lock the RW) is all you need to do. And ALWAYS keep your eyes on your exit point at the end of the curve.

    Just my 2 cents. And welcome to the inmense mayority of us in group 1

    Cheers mate!
  18. Ditto to using back brake only it will help to pull you into corner
  19. Hang on a minute though.

    Countersteering is a subconscious thing. It is not something one can consciously learn...

    So how far can reading about it get you? You are right that he needs to get out and practice, but certainly conscious knowledge of countersteering isn't what was lacking.

    I would advocate it wasn't the OPs lack of knowledge about countersteering that caused him to come unstuck. Rather a combination of Survival Reactions, most notably, Target Fixation & Being Tight on the Bars.


    Any kind of deceleration whilst leant over will stand the bike up.

    Including rolling off the throttle and tapping the rear brake.

    Twist of the Wrist 2 speaks about changing your line whilst in the turn. The way they advise is by moving your body "down and to the inside" of the turn. No steering input. No acceleration or deceleration. No brakes. Just dive down and to the inside and focus on where you want to go.

    Even another steering input will widen your line before it eventually tightens.
  20. As far as my understanding goes - at any speeds over about 30km/h, its pretty much impossible to turn without counter-steering. You'd already be doing it subconsciously to some extent.

    +1 on coming to the saturday sessions though! :D