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Andy VH
Where is the earth shattering kaboom!?



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   Posted 12/12/2011 2:46 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I just had this thought after reading an article in the BMW owners news magazine, and I thought of ways that people may easily and quickly drop their bikes, especially at slow speeds. Y' know, those parking lot or driveway blunders that are more embarrasing than physical damaging. Here is a very common one to start:
 
Almost at a stop, little quick application of the front brake, with a slight handlebar turn. This is a SURE way to drop a bike. The combined forward slow momentum of bike and rider, with very low stability, leads to the bike falling over quickly. There are a number of factors causing this, and I have seen it many times.
1. The rider is trying to come to a stop with both feet down/dragging, so that leaves only the front brake to do any final braking, and that final braking may be applied too firm and quick. The bike then "pivots" quickly around the front tire contact patch and pitches the bike sideways.
2. Having both feet down, at slow speeds actually increases imbalance as the bikes line of travel is affected by the dragging action of your feet, maybe one side, then the other, then both.
3. Many riders stopping with both feet down, especially newer riders, don't have confidence in fine/smooth application of the front brake, especially if the bike is not stopping where the rider intended, or some obstacle (like a garage door) is suddenly appearring too close.
4. The rider is looking down at the bike or ground when coming to a stop, and where the head leads the body will follow, especially for the non-confident rider.
 
My brother dumped his bike the very next day after he rode his newest purchase home, a 2004 BMW R1150R Rockster. His bike has powerful servo/power assisted brakes. The night before when we got home from picking it up in Milwaukee, I forgot to give him some tips about slow speed manuevers with this bike and its powerful brakes. Tips like: ONLY one finger on the front brake lever at real slow speeds if you want to use any front brake. Better still, NO front brake at real slow speeds whenever you have the handlebar turned, even a little bit. Sure enough, the next day he dumped it while doing a turn on his driveway in front of the closed garage door. He said he turned and then applied the front brake, and suddenly the bike lurched to the left and started down. Best then to simply step away and avoid a possible busted ankle. Just a minor cosmetic scrath on the valve cover guard and his bruised ego.
 
So how to overcome this? Well, practice and get good at coming to a stop while using the rear brake, especially at slow speeds. Slow the bike with the front and/or both brakes as you normally do, then as the bike slows to a near stop ease up on the front brake and increase rear brake. Even over-applying the rear brake at slow speeds is not likely to suddenly make the bike unstable. That then means your right foot stays on the brake until the bike is stopped. If you are short on inseam, left foot to the ground first may mean you lean slightly left, which oftens includes a slight left turn of the handlebar. So rear brake application actually makes the bike MORE stable to stop. Keep your head and eyes UP looking ahead even as the bike comes to t stop, this aids stability. It also means you scan/search your stop BEFORE you get there, so you know what to expect when the bike is there. Your peripheral vision handles all the details to the sides and down, so there is no reason for you to look down as you come to a stop.


Training, the best safety and performance "equipment" you can get!
Get MSF trained, check out: http://www.msf-usa.org
 

Post Edited (Andy VH) : 12/12/2011 9:54:59 PM GMT

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Easy Rider 2
Central Illinois / Central Florida

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   Posted 12/12/2011 6:23 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Andy VH said...
Almost at a stop, little quick application of the front brake, with a slight handlebar turn. This is a SURE way to drop a bike.
This works going backwards too.
 
Don't ask me how I know that.  smilewinkgrin
 


'06 Suzuki S50 (VS800)
'07 Honda Shadow VLX 600
 

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bmwr100r
Airhead



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   Posted 12/12/2011 8:27 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Every time I dropped my bike I "meant " to do it........to uuummmm avoid a collision, Yeah that's the ticket. :p


Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.
Ronald Reagan

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GeoffG
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   Posted 12/13/2011 10:07 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Andy VH said...
...That then means your right foot stays on the brake until the bike is stopped. If you are short on inseam, left foot to the ground first may mean you lean slightly left, which oftens includes a slight left turn of the handlebar. So rear brake application actually makes the bike MORE stable to stop. Keep your head and eyes UP looking ahead even as the bike comes to t stop, this aids stability. It also means you scan/search your stop BEFORE you get there, so you know what to expect when the bike is there. Your peripheral vision handles all the details to the sides and down, so there is no reason for you to look down as you come to a stop.

Yeah, I've long promoted coming to a stop with the right foot covering the rear brake pedal, and holding the bike while stopped with the rear brake (as any of the regular members here would know). Yes, it is a more stable position to be in when you're stopped, especially if you're short (like me).


Andy VH said...
...The night before when we got home from picking it up in Milwaukee, I forgot to give him some tips about slow speed manuevers with this bike and its powerful brakes. Tips like: ONLY one finger on the front brake lever at real slow speeds if you want to use any front brake.

Dunno if I completely agree with this, though. Maybe with the servo-assisted BMW brakes, but I've always find I have better fine control of my brake lever when I use all four fingers on it (or at least three)--one finger braking doesn't feel very natural to me.
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el SID
merely a man equipped with a bag a seedless grapes



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   Posted 12/13/2011 2:59 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I use two, I think its out of habit. middle and index fingers. I have long digits,so it works.


Best bike out is the one Im on,sod the rest lmao
current hacks


1996 honda vfr
2012 tuono rsv4 aprc on order baby.... march 2012
1973 kawasaki h1
1998 suzuki rm 125 I have broken her back. I feel guilty. she may have to be laid to rest.

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Andy VH
Where is the earth shattering kaboom!?



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   Posted 12/13/2011 3:55 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
On BMWs with the servo-assisted brakes ("power" assisted brakes in a sense) it definitely requires a light touch on the front brake at walking speeds and slower. The initial brake response can be significant, especially when at low speeds it takes little actual brake effort to stop the bike. BMW built many models with servo-assist brakes for two years and then upgraded the ABS system to no longer need the servo function. But the K1200LT (Gold Wing type bike) continued on with the servo-assist brakes for many more years.

BMWs with servo-assist brakes are the only bikes I recommend one finger braking on the front brake for slow speed manuevers.

Conversely, if a BMW with servo-assist brakes is moved with the ignition turned off, it takes ALL four fingers on the brake lever with a HEFTY pull to control the brake.

Because of these specific issues, I have lever liked the aervo-assist brakes on BMWs and I'd likely never buy a BMW with that braking/ABS system. But that's just me.


Training, the best safety and performance "equipment" you can get!
Get MSF trained, check out: http://www.msf-usa.org
 

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thesoapster
Registered Member



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   Posted 12/13/2011 6:47 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Another good way to dump the bike (only more violently, potentially) -

Add throttle while leaning into a turn. It doesn't have to be much. I lost the slightest bit of concentration on the throttle hand while leaning in a bit too fast on wet track. It must have been the slightest throttle, but combined with the turn-in it was enough. Not smooth enough. Gone.
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Bullet
That guy

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   Posted 12/13/2011 7:10 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
My way of dumping the bike was to "think" I put the kickstand down only to have the bike fall against me. One tiny nick on the bike and a hugely bruised ego. That was about 11 years ago when I first started riding on the street. Luckily, I haven't done anything that stupid since. Maybe. lol


"Of all the things i've lost, I miss my mind the most!"

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Andy VH
Where is the earth shattering kaboom!?



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   Posted 12/14/2011 5:35 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I heard once of a guy at a BMW cycle rally, he misplaced his foot when coming to a stop because his pants cuff caught on the footpeg. The bike fell to that side, with his foot caught to the footpeg. The footpeg snapped his ankle when the bike came down on top of him as it fell.


Training, the best safety and performance "equipment" you can get!
Get MSF trained, check out: http://www.msf-usa.org
 

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Easy Rider 2
Central Illinois / Central Florida

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   Posted 12/14/2011 8:26 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
thesoapster said...
Add throttle while leaning into a turn.
As the rest of your post goes on to describe, that should ONLY be a problem when you have already used up all of the traction you have available........by going in WAY too hot or having a less than ideal surface condition.
 
Adding throttle while leaned into a turn is the norm for a LOT of riders; you just need to be aware of the situation.
 
 


'06 Suzuki S50 (VS800)
'07 Honda Shadow VLX 600
 

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RedDog
Retired SportBike Bum



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   Posted 12/14/2011 8:41 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
... especially when the front slips

which would be the correct adjustment to do - quick to avoid a spill. jumpin


RedDog
Think Ahead! Travel Light & Leave Your Fears Behind You!
Normal People Scare me! Travel Light and Leave Your Fears Behind You!

Post Edited (RedDog) : 12/14/2011 8:03:31 PM GMT

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Gone in 60
Lone Commuter of the Apocalypse



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   Posted 12/14/2011 12:10 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Hey Bullet, I did that too when I first started riding. Talk about lack of attention... my rather attractive neighbor was walking her dog past my garage as I was pulling in from a ride. "Wow, I didn't know you had a motorcycle!" "Yup" I said, getting off as casually as I could, until I realized I forgot the sidestand. Struggled for a minute to keep it from falling completely, nicking the fender on my garage door spring.


Work to ride, Ride to work
Honda VTX 1300R & 750 Nighthawk

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GAJ
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   Posted 12/14/2011 12:15 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Another good way to dump a bike is by wearing the wrong shoes, lacking grippy soles, and coming to a stop and putting your foot down onto anti freeze or oil buildup.

Easy to do at a toll booth, for sure.

Luckily, I've always worn motorcycle boots with grippy soles and have been very careful in bike placement when encountering fluid buildup dropped from cars.



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GeoffG
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   Posted 12/14/2011 2:22 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Parked my old Seca once on a hill, with the sidestand on the high side--so the bike was pretty much straight up and down. When I went to get on it (from the high side, of course), I nudged it and it fell away from me. I wasn't even on it yet, so I was OK, but I learned a lesson about parking a bike.

Since then, a friend of mine had his Sprint blown over by a gust of wind when he had it parked with the kickstand uphill--he wasn't anywhere near it when it happened. (Oh, and I've learned never to leave my Buell running on the sidestand, no matter how level the surface...)
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Bullet
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   Posted 12/14/2011 4:02 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Gone in 60 said...
Hey Bullet, I did that too when I first started riding. Talk about lack of attention... my rather attractive neighbor was walking her dog past my garage as I was pulling in from a ride. "Wow, I didn't know you had a motorcycle!" "Yup" I said, getting off as casually as I could, until I realized I forgot the sidestand. Struggled for a minute to keep it from falling completely, nicking the fender on my garage door spring.

I wish that was my case. As it was, I was going to get a haircut. I pulled the bike into a spot, got off and thought I put the kickstand down. Nope. The bike was a 1981 Kawasaki 750 LTD and it wasn't real light. Just a total brain fart on my part.


"Of all the things i've lost, I miss my mind the most!"

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RaptorFA
'11 Suzuki GSX1250FA



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   Posted 12/19/2011 1:56 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
GeoffG said...
Yeah, I've long promoted coming to a stop with the right foot covering the rear brake pedal, and holding the bike while stopped with the rear brake (as any of the regular members here would know). Yes, it is a more stable position to be in when you're stopped, especially if you're short (like me).
Yessir, completely agree with this and this is how I do it now without exceeption. I observed some mounted officers doing this, thought about how this made a lot of sense, practiced it in the lot and now it's just second nature. It may sound silly to practice slow speed stops but one of the main things I want to make sure of is to try and control the things that I can control and not do those "silly" things that could lead to events like dropping the bike and so on because of a lack of concentration or not being aware of the things around you, like GAJ indicated. Know where you are putting your foot and what you are putting it in! But this doesn't mean looking down while stopping; Andy is right on there. A pre-scan of the landing zone is the ticket.
 
Having said that, I must confess that very early on (less than a month after buying the FA) I almost dismounted once without deploying the side stand! redface  I now perform a mental check list before mounting or dismounting. This seems to help a great deal with getting your head and/or keeping your head into the ride.  



Regards -
 
RaptorFA
Play Hard, Ride Safe

Post Edited (RaptorFA) : 12/19/2011 8:59:56 PM GMT

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Gone in 60
Lone Commuter of the Apocalypse



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   Posted 12/19/2011 3:54 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I've trained myself to use the sidestand kill switch to stop the engine when I park. No more "oops".


Work to ride, Ride to work
Honda VTX 1300R & 750 Nighthawk

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