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My first close call and what i learned from it

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by mechanism, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. I have been riding for about 7 weeks now and i had my first close call today.

    I was riding in traffic on my way home from work (my first day back after 2 weeks off so i think i might have been getting used to emptier roads) and i must not have been reading the traffic and staying back far enough. I was in the right hand lane on a 2 lane rd and a car (a few cars up from me) baked suddenly causing the rest of us to break too. I locked up the front wheel briefly but adjusted it pretty quickly (i have done this before but only out of panic when i had first started riding, so i knew how it felt and was not a problem to correct) but then i realised my back wheel was locked as well. so the back started to fishtail a little. I corrected this and slowed down safely without running into the back of the car in front the traffic was still moving slowly and so was i so i started on the throttle again to find my bike has actually stalled and i was just rolling. I popped in the clutch, geared down and started the bike while moving (at about 5 - 10 kph) and started to take off again. right then the car in my left lane changed quickly across mine right in front of me and into the right hand turning lane causing me to lock the front again for a split second.

    None of this would have happened if i had have read the road better and remembered to keep a further distance than i would in a car.

    I'm just lucky i learned the lesson without any scars or damaged bike.
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Sounds like quite a bit to deal with for a 7 week old rider, and you seem to have handled it well. You have analysed the situation and taken away some important lessons with regards to following distance. I would like to add two more things that I personally noticed when I read your post:

    1. You reacted well when you locked your front brake (plenty of riders have gone down in similar situations), however it might help you if you practice some emergency braking in a safe, quiet area so you can avoid the situation altogether.

    2. Also practice downshifting while you are braking so you can avoid stalling in traffic after a hard braking maneuver, which can be dangerous if there is traffic behind you.
  3. Excellent advice and sounds like you've done well to avoid a potentially nasty one.

    Your attitude above anything else is as big a factor as anything else here.
    "None of this would have happened if i had have read the road better and remembered to keep a further distance than i would in a car.".

    Well said. =D> =D> =D>

    Far too often riders can blame someone else (usually rightly so!) but that doesn't stop the trip to hospital and the busted bike......

    About the only other 'essential' thing I'd add for *newer* riders is to ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have "an option out" - or even several... (Even more so when stationary, say queued at the lights for example, can be more dangerous than when you're moving! )

    Well done, keep practicsing as we all need to, and hone those skills and you'll stop having 'near misses' and react before they happen.
  4. Why do I always hear people locking up the rear break when then have to do an emergency stop? Do they treat it like the front also and keep on increasing pressure? Not picking on you or anything, I'm new myself too and was just curious.
  5. #5 Reesa, Apr 17, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    If you've been driving long enough It's conditioned behaviour to immediately go for the foot brake in early riding days. Usually 1 or 2 'oh shit' moments where your bike tries to buck you off are enough to break the habit.

  6. @deadsy - Thanks, I will definitely be doing some e-braking practice next time i have a chance to.

    @j-rad - good tip about an option out. I have been thinking like that more again after this wake up call.

    @PEEair - I cant speak for everyone, but i think the situation was so intense that i stomped on the break. on a cruiser going 'feet first' probably added to the pressure i put on the break. also, i drive a car with ABS and based on the way i was riding, I was probably in car mode. This is the first time i have ever locked the rear break.
  7. #7 mechanism, Apr 17, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    i think you might be right
  8. On a sports/naked style bike you actually need to slightly decrease your rear brake pressure during a e stop. As the front bights and dives the weight comes off the rear and the same amount of pressure can lock the rear.

    As always, go practice and you will get better.

    Well done to the OP for recognizing what went wrong and learning.
  9. Well done Mechanism for recognising what you could/should have done to avoid it.

    Also well done on 'correcting' the locking of the brakes.
  10. +1 to above....from memory (Stayupright course video) they placed a pressure measuring device on the brakes. When in full 'oh sh1t mode' 95% of braking is done by front wheel as there's no weight over the front once the weight transfer is complete....(the measuring device was looking at how much pressure can be applied when you just 'slam' on the brakes as opposed to the whole 'setup/squeeze' deal.......and it was a considerable amount of difference as the front tyre flattens out and the footprint is increased...)

    On a nice smooth racetrack, everyone going in same direction, no cagers around, many a racer don't use the rear at all! Some even remove it altogether or put in a 'dummy' system to keep officiating types happy....most of the time for road riding I'd only use the rear brake on a choppy/rutted/bumpy corner to settle the rear a little....for me personally, rear brake is not really used as a way to slow down...if you are it's probably already too late LOL
  11. had a much better ride home today guys. thanks for the tips :D
  12. sounds like you did well to keep it upright, deadsy had good advice.

    i would avoid using the rear brake its not really needed.
  13. Good advice! You are over reacting and locking the front WAY too easily.