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Lessons Learned...

  1. #1
    Posting Freak bmrider's Avatar
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    Lessons Learned...


    As I rode home last night after the group ride up to Rt. 17, I had time to think about the “incident” that happened…

    For those of you that don’t know, I took a bit of a slider on the back side of 17 coming around a left hand turn and ended up in the woods. As I was coming into the turn, it looked like a nice left sweeper, and I was coming in comfortably. As I got into it, I realized that it was a bit more of a hair pin than I was prepared for. I got too far to the outside and got caught in the sand on the shoulder. After that, I was pulled into the woods…

    While thinking about it on the ride home, I was trying to figure out what I learned from this…

    Below are a few things I knew and was reminded of yesterday, and a few things I learned. Most of which won’t be anything new to many of the experienced riders here, but I thought some members might benefit from ‘em

    1: Gear Up – Prepare for the crash, Not the ride… Sliding through some gravel and sand, then having my head bounce off the log that stopped my bike made me EXTREMELY thankful I was properly geared. Thanks to proper gear, I stood right up, NO road rash, NO cuts… Nothing but a small bloody lip.

    2: Know the unique handling characteristics of your bike BEFORE you attempt to ride it hard. Having spent the last 5 years on a Yamaha V-Max, the K1200R is completely different machine. Although I didn’t think I was being too wild on the bike, I realized afterwards that I haven’t had the bike long enough to REALLY get to know any little handling quirks… (3 months now…)

    3: If you’ve Never ridden a particular rode before, take it easy the first time. Especially one that is renowned for having awesome twisties. The last 5 years on the V-max were spent going “Straight and Fast”, not riding twisties... I should have gone down much slower and easier on my first attempt and learned the road. – Nikon actually warned us about this at the bottom of 17 before we headed up. I did heed his warning on the way up, unfortunately, not on the way down… Thanks for the warning Nikon, had that bit of information not been in my head prior to hitting 17, my “incident” could have been much worse!

    4: This was probably my biggest mistake. I realized afterwards, that as soon as I knew the corner was sharper than I had expected, I made an almost fatal mistake. I let my eyes drift to where I WAS going in lieu of where I WANTED to go… I know better

    As I write this, I’m thinking I’m seriously going to see if I can get in a day on the track… I don’t know if there are any open slots, but I’m going to look. Possibly with more practice on the K I could have avoided this… Who knows, but hey additional training and practice are never going to hurt anyone!

    Ride Safe all…

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  2. #2
    I kick hippies...and Kham Nikon's Avatar
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    Re: Lessons Learned...

    Originally posted by bmrider
    Thanks for the warning Nikon, had that bit of information not been in my head prior to hitting 17, my “incident” could have been much worse!

    As I write this, I’m thinking I’m seriously going to see if I can get in a day on the track… I don’t know if there are any open slots, but I’m going to look. Possibly with more practice on the K I could have avoided this… Who knows, but hey additional training and practice are never going to hurt anyone!

    Ride Safe all…
    No problem. That is a tough road and if it's a first time up, it can be dangerous. I am just glad that you are ok and the bike is still in good shape. I am actually amazed at how well the bimmer took the crash too - great bike, I wish I could afford one .

    Chris and I were standing at the picnic table turn waiting for people to come back up and knew something musta been wrong with the time that it took people to come back. I will say, that if you are gonna f-up one of the left handers - that was the one to do it on because you aren't gonna go off the cliff at least.

    As for the track day - good call. I still haven't done one due to time, money and gear issues but I will eventually and I've heard that they do wonders - what better way to get a feel for the new bike...

    It was nice to meet you BTW

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  3. #3
    Lifer union's Avatar
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    Lessons Learned...

    Good write up. Too many people ride with nothing more then a helmet and even some ride without that. Just the other day a dude I work with dumped his r1. Low speed crash but he was in shorts and a tee-shirt. Had some nasty rash on his elbow and knee. 05 r1 with 400miles and two crashes. He needs a new hobby.

    One thing you forgot and Im asumming at this point because you posted the bike is new to you. Tires. Dont be too quick to push new tires hard as they come from the factory with a perservitive on them and they tend to be a bit slick until it wears off. Also its one thing to spend money on especially if you really like getting into the corners. Bad tires=bad results.

    Glad you came through it fine. I have yet to meet anyone here and Im looking forward to it. Would hate to have lost one before I have had the oppertunity.

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  4. #4
    I pick things up.... mzdagrl's Avatar
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    Lessons Learned...

    I reiterate, I am so glad you're okay! It was terrifying seeing Jeff come up that hill alone, and to bring that news was even worse. You should have seen everyone jump to help. That bike is a tank, man! Oh and I think you forgot one: Don't ride with Mike - he's bad luck.

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  5. #5
    I'm mildly retarded. JeffL's Avatar
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    Another thing.......

    Ride your own ride!! I know you mentioned being behind me, and were "keeping up" for the most part. It really is a tricky road and we all as a group should have made a better effort possibly to prepare everyone for it, but again, everyone has to ride their own ride.

    I had my one crash last year after only 2 months of riding, it certainly does make you reflect on what you did, might have did, and what you can do next time to avoid it.

    But in retrospect, you walked away from it, the bike rode away from it, with astonishly almost no damage, besides from a few little cosmetics, and now you have no choice but to become an even better rider.

    Tony's Track Days have a few exclusive BMW/tourer bike track days during the year, I think they've already done two, theres one final one coming up on October 3. But theres no reason you cant run a regular track day as well!! Do August 29th, I think I'll be signing up for that one soon as well as the July 25th event I'm already in.

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  6. #6
    Posting Freak bmrider's Avatar
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    Lessons Learned...

    One thing you forgot and Im asumming at this point because you posted the bike is new to you. Tires.
    Good point Union...

    In this particular case, the bike had about 3,000 miles on it when the "incident" happened. As such, I didn't think that tires were part of the problem.

    Again, good input and I appreciate it...

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  7. #7
    Just Registered Cheese's Avatar
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    Lessons Learned...

    Glad you walked away with only scratches on your gear.

    Left handers are usually safer for get offs. A right hander could have put you in the path of an oncoming car or rider before or during the slide.

    Have you done any reading? Here are some good rainy day books:

    Lee Parks - Total Control
    Keith Code - Twist of the Wrist I
    Keith Code - Twist of the Wrist II

    These three books can help your skills before and after the track. More importantly they offer you the ability, much like your post, to critique your own riding and I find that extremely helpful.

    Target fixation is a tough one. Sometimes I'll actually blink my eyes in a turn to remind myself to look somewhere else (hopefully further through the turn) instead of at some scary part midway through it. I don't know if it'll work for you but it's something to try.

    You know you went into the turn too fast. You also know about braking or downshifting before the turn to set up properly. Has anyone told you what to do if you didn't slow enough?

    Lean the bike over farther and roll on the throttle.

    Leaning the bike over will put you on the sides of your tires. This actually shrinks their diameter and naturaly causes you to slow even while maintaining the same rpm. The farther you lean, the smaller the tires become. Think of it like regearing your bike, in your favor, while in a turn.

    Rolling on the throttle takes weight off the suspension and offers you more ground clearance. Remember, you're leaning at the same time, shrinking your tires (regearing) so can roll on the throttle and still be going slower than your entry speed.

    I'm by no means an expert and don't mean to sound like one. I'm just offering what I've read from the expert riders/writers of the books listed above.

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  8. #8
    Posting Freak bmrider's Avatar
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    Lessons Learned...

    I reiterate, I am so glad you're okay! It was terrifying seeing Jeff come up that hill alone, and to bring that news was even worse. You should have seen everyone jump to help.
    Thanks Keira...

    This goes to show what a great group of people here on NESR!!!

    One thing I forgot to say yesterday:

    It was Great meeting Everyone!!!

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  9. #9
    I pick things up.... mzdagrl's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Cheese-GSXR
    Leaning the bike over will put you on the sides of your tires. This actually shrinks their diameter and naturaly causes you to slow even while maintaining the same rpm. The farther you lean, the smaller the tires become. Think of it like regearing your bike, in your favor, while in a turn.

    Rolling on the throttle takes weight off the suspension and offers you more ground clearance. Remember, you're leaning at the same time, shrinking your tires (regearing) so can roll on the throttle and still be going slower than your entry speed.
    I never knew that. Thanks, that will probably help me feel more comfortable leaning into corners myself.

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  10. #10
    Twin Addict Half Squid's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mzdagrl
    Oh and I think you forgot one: Don't ride with Mike - he's bad luck.
    Who the Foook told you that info????
    I think this is crash # 45 ?or more?) on rides I have been on
    NONE HAVE BEEN ME! Why is it I am the bad luck carrier?

    All I have to say is "ride your own ride" you can never blame another rider unless they plow into you or pull a stupid move and freak you out while passing you on the inside of a corner! Yes that has happened....

    Never follow anyone elses lines! Everyone lines are different, do to experience, bike, etc....

    Never ride over your own ability just to keep up or feel you will look bad because you can't "Hang" I would rather wait for someone than have to help them after a crash. I have made many trips to hospitals after incedents.. It sucks! I hate to see friends and fellow riders injured... Yes it does happen and I will always be there to help out and for support. I will not hold it against you, & I will not be mad if our ride is cut short, but I will be upset if something serious happens to you or any fellow rider. I hate to see friends hurt or worse! & Most everyone on this board I will consider a friend especially during a ride! When it's a group ride we are all in it together. If one goes down we all go down with you.... (Sort of speek)

    Like I said I have seen MANY go down, been to many hospitals while we were supposed to be riding, seen wrecked bikes, wrecked people and was very unfortunate to loose a very good friend and an excellent rider last year. Yes it sucks, but we will all be there for support when your time comes. It will happen to all of us eventually.. Just take every precaution to help prevent serious injury by wearing the proper gear, taking proper riding coarses, do as many track days as you can!!! and always, always ride your own ride!

    No strikes against you Brad at all, you obviously know what you did wrong. I was no where near you till right afterward comming from the opposite direction so I do not know what happened.. I did see the skids and can make my own assumption.. When we rounded the corner you just went down, when I saw Kieth and Jay going to tend to you I decided to headed up the road at the next corner to slow people down heading towards the "your" corner..

    I am very gald you are ok and also amaized how well you and your bike took the crash!! That downed tree you ran into was about 30 inches in diamater!!! You hit that with your head???? Holy crap!!!!

    See you on the next ride I hope!

    Mike

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  11. #11
    Just Registered wylee's Avatar
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    Lessons Learned...



    Good info here. Glad to hear everyone's okay. I've yet to go down on the road, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time. I've been down and over backwards enough times in the dirt to know I'm allergic to pain.

    bmrider:
    Thanks for sharing what you felt went wrong. I'm fairly new to sportbikes, very new to my current bike, and I'm still trying to get used to the twitchy feel of the big twin. I'll take all the info/pointers I can get.

    cheese:
    I think I just might pick up one of those books. Thanks!


    Sounds like a great group here. Hopefully I'll be able to get in on one of these group rides soon.

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  12. #12
    I kick hippies...and Kham Nikon's Avatar
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    Mike - you make my balls itch.

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  13. #13
    medium pimpin' slaps76's Avatar
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    Definitely do a track day! I've done one this year, and it's great to be able to further push your bike than you can sanely do on the street. Most of the time you THINK your bike is at it's handling limit, when in reality it's your comfort level that's pushed. Plus they're just fun as hell.

    Glad to hear you were ok, and good write up.

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  14. #14
    Lifer
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    Lessons Learned...

    Keep in mind that road is just ridiculously steep.

    There are only a handful of other roads out there that have that combination of steep, twisty, good wide pavement, and good sightlines that encourage sportbike riders to ride the road hard.

    Other roads that are that steep tend to be more rough and riders never seem to think to ride them hard.

    While the track will help you're never going to be able to ride that road the same way as the track as how many tracks have such steep grades for so long? Probably none.

    Get your braking done way early, the weight of the bike is having massive effects on the bike, you can't do much as your rear wheel will just come right up in the air.

    Because the road is so steep the front end of your bike when descending is probably compressed sending the geometry pretty far out of where it was designed to be. Go through a corner fast and you're pushing the front end much harder then you would be on a more level corner.

    The pavement is almost never clean even if it looks clean, because the road is so steep there is always a sheen of dust in the road that never really goes away.

    Glad you are OK and be careful when riding roads like that!

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  15. #15
    Lifer
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    It would be nice if they cambered those corners and put some yellow lines on the road.

    That was the best kind of crash we could have asked for. You're fine and the bike was 100% ridable. The hills/corners/camber/bumps on that road make it tricky.

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  16. #16
    04 Ninja ZX-6R NinjaSwan's Avatar
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    Glad to hear your okay bmrider. Sorry I couldnt make it on the adventure. Great feed back and advice on this thread!

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  17. #17
    I'm mildly retarded. JeffL's Avatar
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    Originally posted by wylee


    Good info here. Glad to hear everyone's okay. I've yet to go down on the road, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time. I've been down and over backwards enough times in the dirt to know I'm allergic to pain.

    bmrider:
    Thanks for sharing what you felt went wrong. I'm fairly new to sportbikes, very new to my current bike, and I'm still trying to get used to the twitchy feel of the big twin. I'll take all the info/pointers I can get.

    cheese:
    I think I just might pick up one of those books. Thanks!


    Sounds like a great group here. Hopefully I'll be able to get in on one of these group rides soon.
    I'm not talking down to you, but seeing as I only started riding last year, I can say fairly confidently that 17 is NOT a road I would want to try and ride with limited motorcycle experience. I did a group ride that was headed there last year, they gave me an idea of the road, and I headed home. I knew I wasnt prepared for it, and didnt want to risk it. Get some miles, and alot of corners under your belt, and then give it a shot. Some of the stuff on that road IS fairly dicey, like the one corner where theres a fairly large trench running the width of the road that kind of messes with you, nearly 0 time to brake for the corner entry after it, so gotta be done before that bump, not to mention you are still carrying some lean on the way back up when you hit it, so personally I just take the corner less hard, and stand the bike up a bit to go through it.

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  18. #18
    Super Moderator OreoGaborio's Avatar
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    Lessons Learned...

    Hey bro, sorry to hear about your get-off, but I'm glad to hear that all is well, considering

    You're taking the right approach to this situation, always look for some way that you can learn from the experience.

    Stay safe everyone.

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  19. #19
    Senior Member Hoss's Avatar
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    Some of the stuff on that road IS fairly dicey, like the one corner where theres a fairly large trench running the width of the road that kind of messes with you, nearly 0 time to brake for the corner entry after it, so gotta be done before that bump, not to mention you are still carrying some lean on the way back up when you hit it, so personally I just take the corner less hard, and stand the bike up a bit to go through it.

    That rated high on the pucker factor scale for me when we were up there a few weeks back. Thankfully it didn't cause any problems.

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  20. #20
    I kick hippies...and Kham Nikon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by JeffL
    the one corner where theres a fairly large trench running the width of the road that kind of messes with you, nearly 0 time to brake for the corner entry after it, so gotta be done before that bump, not to mention you are still carrying some lean on the way back up when you hit it, so personally I just take the corner less hard, and stand the bike up a bit to go through it.
    I hate that hole, well, I guess trench is the appropriate word. If you know it's there it's kinda fun but if you're not prepared - it really fucks with your head.

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  21. #21
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    what are all these bumps that you are talking about, I was on 17, 3 weeks ago, still only minimal frost damage. was there washouts with lumpy repairs in some of the heavy rain we've had

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  22. #22
    I'm mildly retarded. JeffL's Avatar
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    If you are coming down, I believe you take that first right/left hander, go down the hill, take another set, and then there is the short straight away with paved pull-offs/parking area on both the left and right with guardrails on both sides. At the end of the straight, just before the right hander there, running the width of the road it looks like some utility work where they cut out a 1.5-2 foot wide strip of the road, and then put down a tar patch, which has now settled leaving a "rut" across the entire road just before you enter into the corner.

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  23. #23
    Just Registered wylee's Avatar
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    Originally posted by JeffL
    I'm not talking down to you, but seeing as I only started riding last year, I can say fairly confidently that 17 is NOT a road I would want to try and ride with limited motorcycle experience. I did a group ride that was headed there last year, they gave me an idea of the road, and I headed home. I knew I wasnt prepared for it, and didnt want to risk it. Get some miles, and alot of corners under your belt, and then give it a shot. Some of the stuff on that road IS fairly dicey, like the one corner where theres a fairly large trench running the width of the road that kind of messes with you, nearly 0 time to brake for the corner entry after it, so gotta be done before that bump, not to mention you are still carrying some lean on the way back up when you hit it, so personally I just take the corner less hard, and stand the bike up a bit to go through it.
    Thanks for the warning; it is appreciated, and I don't feel your talking down to me. I've been riding off and on for a little over ten years. I say I'm fairly new to sportbikes because most of the miles I've ridden have been fairly subdued (slightly over the speed limit) commuting miles.

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  24. #24
    I kick hippies...and Kham Nikon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by wylee
    Thanks for the warning; it is appreciated, and I don't feel your talking down to me. I've been riding off and on for a little over ten years. I say I'm fairly new to sportbikes because most of the miles I've ridden have been fairly subdued (slightly over the speed limit) commuting miles.
    I go by your house all the time.

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  25. #25
    Lifer
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    Originally posted by RandyO



    what are all these bumps that you are talking about, I was on 17, 3 weeks ago, still only minimal frost damage. was there washouts with lumpy repairs in some of the heavy rain we've had
    you're used to duel sport and dirt roads, we're used to flat pavement without frost heaves and pipeline patches.

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    It's all water under the bridge, and we do enter the next round-robin. Am I wrong?

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