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Research question regarding motorcycle accident experiences

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Tara Moss, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. Hi Everyone,
    I am looking to potentially include an exciting motorcycling action/chase sequence in my next novel where a rider comes off their bike but is relatively unharmed. I was wondering if anyone here who has been unlucky enough to come off their bike would be happy to share their experiences? I am specifically looking at how well a rider in full Dainese leathers (or similar quality) fares after a sliding spill at between 40-60kms per hour, without impact with any major obstacles (no telephone poles, cars, trees etc) The effect on the body, the bike, the leathers (shouldn't be worn through in any places?) and helmet, would all be helpful. If anyone is able to share their experiences in this thread that would be great.

    Stay upright and ride safe!
    Best wishes,
  2. I think most people would have at least 1 war story to give you! One of my offs (1st one too, a week after I got my license) I was following too close to my brother in law round a right bend on the great ocean road! He was going in too hot and did an emergency stop right in front of me and I tried to correct my line and cut into the corner a little harder, the bike then fell on its side dropping me off to slide and roll down the road!! (at least I was not on it when it took out the poll on the side of the road!) As I was new to bikes when this happened I only had jeans on, BUT lucky for me my leather wallet was in my pocket on the side I fell as the jeans where ripped on the pocket. But the wallet stoped it getting to my flesh!
    I had slight grazes above my knees and a scratch down my back from where I had slid over a small rock (my top, a dryrider did not have any holes in the back!!) But it was ripped open on the left arm just above the glove line (armour in the arm saved my flesh there)

    Pictures of my fun can be found at http://photobucket.com/albums/a106/Phanoongy/Bike Down/

    O yea and 1 small detail I left out….3 broken ribs…there fun
  3. Re: Research question regarding motorcycle accident experien

    An action chase at 40-60km/h? Let me guess - Ronny Biggs has got the old gang back together for "the Great Electric Wheelchair Robbery" :)

    Sorry Tara, a completely gratuitious response.
  4. Can try and help answer your question...

    From a riders' perspective the first reaction is often shock. Everything seems to slow down. After the shock component, the rider is often encrosed in swearing and disbelieve. It is hard to describe, but you are sort of like a spectator, yet involved in the action. Your sense of balance goes out the window. If you tumble etc you get the feeling that you have come to a stand still (yet are still moving). Many injuries occur at this time when the rider thinks they have come to a stop, a natural reaction is to get up and out of the way, off the road etc. But because of the motion the rider stumbles and injures themselves. A rule of the track is when you think you have stopped, count to ten (just to make sure).

    Damage to leathers etc is usually scraping of the surface, giving a "grated cheese look". If there are plastics etc on the suit they look like they have been against an angle grinder. Poor quality, or some cheaper leathers may wear through the stitching and the leathers begin to come apart. A picture can tell a thousands words, but it wont tell you of the heat that can be generated from friction. The idea is to sread out and lay limp. That way heat and friction is spread to a larger area, and you are less likely to tumble. A worse case senario is for the bike to come down on top of the rider. This concentrates the friction!!! Not to mention the heat from exhaust systems etc. Helmet would shows signs of scratches, similar to a cheese greater. Somtimes cracks depending upon impact. Visor often scratched or shattered, or perhaps only a few reminders left. As for bike damage - it can vary immensly depending on each senario. If it just slides down the road then there will be marks in the bitumin and obviously scrapings/bending of all contact areas of the bike. If it hits something like a gutter, or even grass the bike can flip end to end usually bending forks, smashing screen, shattering fairings, bending bars, generally not good!

    Hope that info helps.

  5. ok... hit the ground on a corner at around 70ks
    mat is so cool cos he came off at 2ks an hour. he keeps having a go at me about it. *rolls eyes* oh eswen your so cool cos you came off at 70 haha sure it wasnt 20ks eswen? blah blah blah.


    badly bruised ankle but thats all damage to me, one small rip in knee of draggin jean fabric, (kevlar was fine), no marks on leather jacket, just some dirt, scratched helmet (no lectures on buying a new one thanks), scratch on visor.
    ankle ended up under bike, cuisioning it but I pulled it out while we were still lowsliding, could have been alot worse.

    I went into minor shock, was pretty bad, could hear and understand everything neka was saying but couldnt respond.

    damage to bike:
    scratched fairing, smashed indicator, bent brake lever. Unfortunatly broken fork seals so couldnt ride it for a few days but i was just unlucky with seals, heard lotsa crash stories and not many at that speed break seals.
    (ie, bike would have been fixed, roadworthy and rideable with only $20 damage to wallet and up in less than 5 mins)

    pics basicly no real damage not dramatic at all

    they could have been doing 110 like me and just hit the ground at around 70?
  6. Bah, real men come off in jeans, runners and short sleeved shirts................

    oopps, I mean real MORONS............

    Scars are sexy :)
  7. I've come off at 50 kmh in fabric jacket and normal jeans on the Black Spur. Was looking in my mirrors at the rider behind me then looked up.
    Went in too hot and lost the front when I realised the road went right not straight. (inexperience)
    Bike slid into a 2 metre ditch and landed upside down on the soft ledge about a meter down.
    I remember feeling relief as I didn't feel any pain anywhere because the armoured jacket protected the elbows but my right knee was grazed as the jeans melted through. The toes of the boots were grazed but the reinforcing protected my feet and my gloves saved my palms with only some scratches on the leather.
    (I slid on my Elbows toes and knees)
    I landed on the edge of the ditch and looked down.
    My first thought was not of me but rather the bike and how the hell are we gonna get it out of there? My second thought was "so thats what the underside looks like"
    "My next thought was shit my wife is gonna kill me!"
    Digging another ledge higher up to right the bike we found a potato and a legend was born.

    for a pic as we lifted it out of the ditch.
    This was the "spud" not my current ride.
    Sorry Dainese leathers are not in my wardrobe.
  8. Re: Research question regarding motorcycle accident experien

    Perfectly plausible. Medium-speed stacks are quite the random-outcome generator.

    At that pace, you can dress the character in jeans and a fleece hoodie and have them flee from their pursuers on foot, with a creeping limp setting in after a couple of minutes. Rather than slide, at that speed, when you hit the ground in a lowside, you tumble from arsecheek to thighs and elbows to knees and forearms and back to arse cheek again about three or four times. A sprained wrist and some skin off the knees are about the worst you'll expect by way of injury.

    Lowside at higher speed, and your innards take a peceptible pounding. You start off sliding, most likely on what was your inside hip as you were taking the corner, probably wear through any leather suit seams in the firing line (the friction melts the stitching material, be it nylon or kevlar), then something hooks up and you, again, go end over end between knees, forearms and arse. You can expect to be quite thoroughly winded by the end of it, enough for you to need a moment to will yourself to move and pick the bike up. Soreness sets in about 20 mins to an hour later.

    Should you decide to have your character be rammed from behind by a 4WD at 70kph, you can freely write the rider as flying through the air about 10-12m and landing in a heap, snapping an elbow, forearm or wrist as they go. The head will find something to hit in those circumstances, and there'll be enough total impact to cause a minute or two of unconsciousness. Coming to, you feel bewildered, vision takes a moment or two to return, then another moment or two to snap back into focus. You want to scream like a clubbed seal, but you're so winded the attempt to inhale the air to fuel the scream almost causes you to pass out again. You literally cannot move a muscle. Your whole system is in too much shock for it, responding to the brain's instructions with a "Feck off, I'm hurting." If the character's pursuants should choose to grab him, pick him up and toss him in the back of their 4WD, he won't be in a position to do much above swear at them feebly.The inability to move will persist for a couple of days.

    When the latter happened to me, I put a positive spin on it by convincing myself that I now had some insight which'll come in handy should I sit down to write a book. It sucked bigtime.
  9. sounds pretty cool this chase sequence, great that your doing research for it.....

    from the sounds of things in your story its not that different from the offs/crashes in moto gp. where its a flat surface with rider against road only. and from what i see they seem to get up immediately and sometimes even hop back on their bikes and continue on.....wait a minute, maybe you can use that in your story? just call the character livingstone for me! :) gluck!
  10. Re: Research question regarding motorcycle accident experien

    so what happens to him??? does he recover??? why were the men chasing him? and what did they end up doing to him? does he escape?
    c'mon IK you can't leave us hanging like that!!!! :) :) :)
  11. Don't look at me. Tara's the novellist.
  12. I used to do judo, and learned to roll to minimise the friction between yourself and the ground. Came around a left hairpin corner at 20kph with black gravel strewn across it under the shade of a tree so it was impossible to see the gravel.

    Yeah as tones put it, time slows down, I remember watching my friend in front skid her way across the other side of the road then my back wheel starts sliding away from me, my knee is scraping on the gravel, then my hand shoots out before my whole body slides along it. Reflex takes over to get me rolling, my hands slightly outstretched near my head, keeping my head tucked in. Roll over a few more times while listening to the sound of my bike scraping along the road, decided I had slowed down enough, slam my left hand down to stop and jumped up and ran over to my bike swearing the entire time.

    Even to this day, after 2 years, I still have vivid flashes of memories. :D Hehe, my leathers and boots has battle scars, but the helmet was unscratched.
  13. YEAH, c'mon man, the rest of the yarn, please!!
    100 KPH slide along the New England Highway in jeans and a denim jacket absurdly enough resulted in NO lost skin, but unbelievably painful ribs as I was carrying a 35mm camera in the jacket pocket!

    Tara, I'd suggest heading off to a motorcycle road race one day soon, and interviewing some of the riders there, for whom falling off at all sorts of speeds is an occupational hazard they all face.
  14. You're just making helpful suggestions, aren't you? :LOL: :LOL:
  15. I'm not sure rolling is the best course of action as that's how bones are usually broken.
    If you notice the gp riders they avoid rolling at all costs and would much rather slide to a stop.
    Hence the need for decent clothing.
  16. I'm not a gp rider going at high speeds. At 20kph, sliding along gravel, I'll take my chances. Oh and I never said it's recommended in general. It was a lot more appropriate in my situation.
  17. when writing this crash/off story, you have to make sure you get the correct phrases used by a rider when he/she realised they are in for a lot of pain, both physically and financially..........
    When I found myself doing a headstand over the bars, I think my words were " heck, darn, bother, this is going to hurt" or words to that effect.
  18. Leathers reduce the change of losing skin and keep everything on the inside - admittedly the inside can look like milkshake but it won't be too hard to clean out of the Ambulance. They offer pretty good impact resistance at that speed and your character will probably be a little disorientated for a few minutes so reactions will be slower and maybe a little sore later. First thing they'll do is get straight up, haul the bike upright and see if she starts and what the damage is.

    I had a low speed off in jeans a while back; most of the impact was taken in my hands, right shoulder and forearm, knees and toes. I ran wide, hit dirt and went over the handle bars. Most damage was to my shoulder and the palms of the gloves as they're what hit the ground first - grazes to the surface of the leather but no real damage and certainly no holes. Helmet bounced a little off rocks and the visor was gouged.

    Jeans are a real bad idea - hurt straight away and the loss of skin weren't the problem so much as the impact. If I had leathers on (in this sort of accident the brand would be irrelevant) the impact would have been less as they're armoured and I wouldn't have more scars to show to the ladies, so it's a mixed bag.
  19. Re: Research question regarding motorcycle accident experien

    With no impact, that speed is fairly slow. Assuming a lowside, the bike would have abrasions at contact points and may break rearsets and indicators. On a modern bike fairings may crack, but more likely suffer for tennis ball size abrasions. May get a dent on the tank from handle bar being pushed into into it, but less likely. Basically I'd expect cosmetic damage and the bike to be ridable.
    For the rider, usually the impact of the fall would be taken by the elbow or hand. With good leathers, the armour would take this impact. I'd expect the outer surface of the leather to be worn down leaving a grey patch, rather than the dyed leather surface. Also I'd expect in a lowside, the rider slide slow faster than the bike (leather has more friction compared to metal or plastic).
    However for a highside, bike may be a write of. Tank and subframe would be damage aswell as major fairing damage. Rider may suffer a range of injuries from broken limbs, ribs and the likes.
    Here's a link to a write up of a guy crashing at about 130 kph. He only suffered a broken wrist, but at the end he looks like he hasn't even crashed when he walks out of the trees.