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.

Newbie goofs, accident avoidance techniques

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by MichaelR65, May 29, 2015.

  1. #1 MichaelR65, May 29, 2015
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
    An idiot had a good try at killing me the other day.

    The idiot was me.

    I have been on two wheels for about 8 months now and so far managed to keep "shiny side up", though maybe more by good luck than anything else. So there I was at moderate speed on a winding road when I realised that it was a decreasing radius left hander. How many mistakes did I make?

    1. Hit the brakes
    2. Stand the bike up
    3. Run wide
    4. Look at outside of curve for trees or oncoming traffic
    5. Run wider.... I was on the centre line before I got it together.

    Now, I know all these are silly mistakes. When I ride I often practise tightening my line mid corner just to try to get some automatic response programmed in.


    How and when does this become automatic. ? Does anyone know of a tuition method that concentrates on accident avoidance technique?
  2. not really a tuition method but there are some books that might help. e.g.

    Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well

    by David Hough
  3. Most training techniques focus on muscle memory and reflex.

    If you have time to evaluate you are already cooked.

    Like any training. Repetition is key.
    Abstract your thought from the action.
  4. Practice is the only way to make this instinctive. I have been riding about a couple of months longer than you, and in situations like yours, have usually adjusted my line before I even think about it. Just practice on twisty roads you know well at speeds well below your limit, and get your cornering technique right. Helps to pick entry and exit points to make your cornering consistent, and vary your lines so that you get used to adjusting for different conditions. Gradually increase your speed as you get better. Pick the right entry speed and entry point, and you should be able to handle any corner.
  5. As others have said, practice. Then practise some more. Then practise some more.

    Lather, rinse, repeat.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Michael I think everyone needs this to happen to them every now and again as a newer rider unfortunately. I think as you have already well articulated you already know what went awry. That is worth brownie points :)
    Practice. As ^^^ said.
    After I did my very own Leyland Brothers routine on West Head Road, I went back and nailed the biatch of a corner well and truly!
    I have gone into corners way too hot and done a Houdini to save myself from an off. Sure it won't be the last time either...but they are getting fewer and far between now thank god. I was running out of undies...
    • Like Like x 3
  7. Thanks for all the replies. As you say OldMaid, I know where I was wrong, I know what I should have done , but am frustrated my the stupid mistakes.

    I asked an instructor one time about how to get out of trouble and the answer was "plan ahead, brake early, plan the corner", but that does not work when the unexpected happens. It could have been an oncoming car (or bike!) on the wrong side of the centre line forcing a quick tightening of line.

    Anyway, I guess the only way is to keep on developing that muscle memory and reflex reaction.

    It would be great to get off the public roads and onto a closed track to test some techniques that could be used on the road to avoid the unexpected. Moose test for motorcycles, emergency braking, over-cooked corners......

    It seems most training centres around skills and techniques for the expected events, not the sudden surprises.
  8. Your unexpected is our calculated risk. Its harsh but if you can't manage it get a car.
  9. That's harsh ! :)
  10. Nick Ling and Oldmaid have probably said it all. No matter how long you have ridden it can come up on you . Instances?

    Decreasing radius turns (not so common, but they do exist)

    Unexpected things - object in road to be avoided, someone rounding a turn too tight, requiring an adjustment.

    Stand up and run wide - not a good thing. / "dig in" and just get around is not an instinctive thing. Very hard for a less experienced rider who may lack confidence and "instinct" leads them up the garden path when they realise they are going too fast (or think they are) then brake. There is a lot of sympathy here.

    So how do you "extend the envelope" ? Some people get good value out of track days or advanced courses. Others experiment with speeds and cornering angles. Bikes often are capable of more than people give them credit for so long as they are ridden smoothly. Deliberately changing the line mid corner is a good thing to practice now and again.

    Considering alternatives - to run out of road and get off into the weeds on a "run wide" will (in my view) often have worse consequences for the rider than "low siding" on the road with a bike which has run out of adhesion, particularly when you consider that most newer riders consistently under estimate the adhesion their bike actually has, in hard cornering, so long as they are not stuffing it up with hard acceleration or braking. They more often or not, if they keep their nerve, and never give up, just get around it, and learn about limits yet unfound. Honestly, you don't want to find them, but it is nice to know some reliable points beyond which they exist.
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Hi Michael.

    Since I don't have a handy race track for you to play on, I'll lend you my copy of the police rider's handbook to better motorcycling.

    IMHO, the best way of sorting out cornering and what is or isn't a reasonable speed for a corner is doing the Superbike School Level one.

    It is expensive, but, it is the safest, most sensible way of learning your bike's and your capabilities.

    How they'll take a P plater on a Historic R65, I dunno. :)
    • Funny Funny x 1
  12. What about the advanced courses at Stay Upright on Mona Vale Road? The set up is a little more road realistic than the track i think? Cheaper than the SS lvl 1 too. Just a thought.
  13. You have been on two wheels for 8 months and you haven't crashed. So you must be doing a whole bunch of things right. Whether you have been riding for 5 days or 50 years you will still make mistakes occasionally, and stupid ones as well. It is just that you make them less often and handle them better. No, I haven't been riding for 50 years.
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Out of interest, you do know about survival reactions?
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Practice and experience.
    As others have said, advanced rider training helps, a lot.
    Watch films such as "A twist of the wrist", although that's focused on sportbike riders, the techniques are the same.
    Be realistic in your expectations.
    In my opinion it takes years of riding in all types of conditions to become a "competent" road rider.
    Some car drivers never achieve that level. :oldman:
  16. countersteer,countersteer and countersteer. Even underbrakes the bike won't standup in a corner if you counterseer. Did I mention countersteer?
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. An accident is generally caused by a chain and collection of smaller events which you found out and for most motorcyclists is caused by losing confidence and panicking. The instinctive survival attitude for most people when out of control is to close the throttle, grab the front brakes and stand the bike up. In corners or when the bikes slipping this instinctive attitude can be the opposite of what you should be doing and lead to catastrophic results.

    Their is no substitute for practice and experience which your body will instinctively fallback to in an emergency as opposed to logical thinking in an unknown or unfamiliar situation. Reading material still needs to be reinforced with physical riding for your brain to make connections. After a couple of years it will come as no shock and you will be accustomed to people trying to kill you on the roads!

    When I'm in tight corners which I'm uneasy about, I have to actually shout to myself to "Keep Looking" through the end of the corner and keep leaning. Have trust in your bike and tyres, because once you loose trust and faith in getting through the corner you Panic and that the end.
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  18. This is so wrong it hurts.

    If you are applying ample countersteer to stop a bike from standing under hard brakes at speed you are going to low side.....

    OK - you won't stand up, you'll go down.

    Hard braking and adding steering is OK to a certain degree when controlled.
    In an emergency, you are better to actively stand the bike, brake HARD to wash off speed then get back on line.
  19. This is what we worked on in the HART Advanced course I did. But we actually had to stop as well!
    I think as a new rider and an old driver (38 years of driving) I still have to really work hard to avoid hitting the rear brakes super hard (car brake foot instinct) in an emergency stop.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. I think that part of MichaelR65MichaelR65's concern might be how to practise to get a feel for this, given adhesion limits are generally only going to be felt in dangerous situations. I've been riding for 10 months, and can't really claim to know what my bike/tyre cornering limits are, because I typically ride well within known limits. That might be a bit timid, but I don't want to crash!

    CrazyCamCrazyCam made one good suggestion, ie. do an appropriate course. I'd be interested to hear others, particularly stuff to try in the course of ordinary on-road riding.