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Discussion Starter #1
Yeah, I lowsided today. Here's some background- I'm not terribly experienced, but having ridden with much better people I think I'm doing pretty well. I ordered some leather pants because I felt like I was beginning to push a little too hard for dickies. So they came came in today and after watching some you tube video of a guy dragging his knee @ 10 mph in a parking lot I thought it'd be best to try it in a parking lot as well. Well within twenty minutes I'd gotten both knees down, so I wanted to go try it on a local twisty. So i head out and get my right knee down twice the first run, no left (for some reason left is a lot harder for me) Then I run it again, and coming into the same turn I dragged my right knee on the first time, I'm coming in at just about the same speed (~50) did the same setup, way off the bike while the is upright, spot my line, push the bike down into it, right before my knee touches down the front tire breaks traction, and lets go. SO I'm on my right side sliding across the road (luckily no oncoming traffic...thank god for rural twisties) and the bike and I slide rather forcefully into a ditch. No injuries, no real pain, the bike was on top of my leg when we came to a stop tho. (the guy that helped me get it back on the road said yea i used to have a cbr 600 f4i but it wasn't setup for racing like this onehaha) and my bike is FINE, I posted some pictures of my gear's wear and tear (keep in mind I took those leather pants out of the box an hour before).
But I really don't know why I went down. I have a pilot race 120/70 front tire from the last owner, and a roadsmart 160/60 rear. Here are my theories:
1. the gummy rubber/salty buildup high on the sidewall of the pilot came to be my contact patch, and yielded traction
2. The front tire wasn't at full temp (but I'd been riding pretty f'ing hard)
3. I'm just bad at motorcycling.
4. The tire is aging and no longer providing good traction

I would really love to hear your guys' input, I know it sounds like I'm blaming the front tire, but I've had some traction issues with it before, riding two-up, NOT pushing that hard it's broken traction, and alone it's pushed out before too, but never with such severe consequences.


the jacket blew a structural seam. no more icon for me.

hole
hole

I don't know what this little hole is from, but it didn't make it through.
 

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Someone needs to PM this thread to Brad.
 

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Glad you are okay! I think those leathers held up better than dickies would have :p

No real theories on why you lost the front. How old are the tires? You can check the age of the tire by the manufacture date stamped on it (usually a four digit number, first two digits indicate the week, 00-52, second two indicate year of manufacture). Was there anything in the roadway? Salt, coolant/oil/diesel spill, anything? Also, you said you "pushed the bike down into it" - smoothly or abrubtly? Anyway, happy to know you came through it so well!
 

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Someone needs to PM this thread to Brad.
Haha. Not it!! I called Not It!! You can't make me do it!!!

Ok, for analysis, could have been a number of things. Debris (sand, salt, ect.), mis-matched tire compounds, poor body position (can't tell from the description).... you weren't braking after leaning were you? To add to what Hibiscus said, when you say you "pushed the bike down" into the corner, were you countersteering properly? Or were you just trying to tip the bike over with brute force?

I don't know how long you've been riding, but it seems like you kinda tried to jump into the deep end of the pool there.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah sorry I should have been more clear about that-
first, the road was in great shape, no debris, residues etc. I checked it before and like i said dragged the knee through fine the first time, and after I went down I went back and looked, nothing in the road.

No brakes, I came in with the exact speed I wanted to carry through.

And body positioning wise, that's exactly what I was consciously trying to do right, and pretty sure I did; 1 cheek off, left arm at nearly full extension, shoulders and hips both pointing forward, head at the turn's exit.

I did not wrench it down or anything into the turn, I pulled it in gently but quickly, controlling it entirely from the inside grip. I don't think I pulled it into the lean nearly quickly enough to break traction. I achieved nearly full lean BEFORE the front tire slid out, and I was on the gas but not in an aggressive manner.

Mismatched tire compounds- obviously my front tire is softer than my rear (at least theoretically) but wouldn't that mean my rear should break out, not my front?
 

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Real glad to hear you geared up for bear; that's very smart. Unfortunately, everyone that rides aggressively eventually gets spanked by the pavement. :spank: Wearing proper gear mitigates the risk somewhat but what it boils down to is that the fun of sport riding outweighs the risks. By seeking knowledge and critical evaluation, you are obviously wanting to improve your skills and I say good on ya for that. All that being said, your accident is likely a number of factors that came together to cause your off....chasis stability, traction, state of mind, etc., etc. All you can do is get back on your horse and continue your personal exploration. However, I would highly recommend a track day with professional instruction in order to improve technique while exploring your limits.:school: :thumbsup:
 

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There could be many, many factors or causes that led the crash. The odds of identifying them yourself are going to be pretty slim. Here's what I know. Every single one of my crashes (most on the track, one on the street) were MY FAULT. Most crashes I've witnessed are the riders' fault. I'd say 80-90% of those riders who crashed did not have any idea why they crashed. Often an observer can see a crash coming a couple of laps ahead of time.

It could have been poor body position, poor throttle control, abrupt input (of any kind), or a myriad of other causes. We all frequently feel like we are superman, but often we aren't doing things as smoothly or as well as we think. A couple years ago I thought I had great form. Until I saw photos/videos of myself. I thought I was smooth until an instructor told me if I kept doing what I was doing I would wind up on my head.

Why is it so hard to identify why you crahed? In Keith Code's terms, you only have $10 worth of attention to spend on everything you do. WHen you are out riding fast, you're spending all your $$ (mental attention) on DOING what your doing, you don't have any left to completely observe/remember/analyze what you are doing.

To be a bit more specific to your situation, tires don't usually just 'let go', at least not without warning assuming you're not suddenly loading them. If you've had issues in the past, perhaps you've got a mechanical gremlin or, more likely, there is something in your riding style that is causing it. Good luck, and glad you came out alright, all things considered.
 

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Deadhorse... First of all, I'm really glad you are OK.

Now...I mean this in the very friendliest way... You're pushing yourself too hard. Relax. Ease up a bit. Not so aggressive... dragging knee on public roads is a bit more than you want to try right now. Give it time.

You said that you are "not terribly experienced", so take it down a notch & give yourself a little time to build that experience level up. It's good to challenge yourself. That's fine. Just don't rush the process.

Now get back out there, ride ATGATT, and be safe!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Deadhorse... First of all, I'm really glad you are OK.

Now...I mean this in the very friendliest way... You're pushing yourself too hard. Relax. Ease up a bit. Not so aggressive... dragging knee on public roads is a bit more than you want to try right now. Give it time.

You said that you are "not terribly experienced", so take it down a notch & give yourself a little time to build that experience level up. It's good to challenge yourself. That's fine. Just don't rush the process.

Now get back out there, ride ATGATT, and be safe!! :)
Out of all the flaming I was expecting, these merely smoldering words speak to me with the most depth. After a day of reflection about the lowside I've come down to the same conclusion most of you are hinting at. I shouldn't have been trying to drag my knee there. I think the fact that I had already dragged my knee in that turn culminated the effect of me already being anxious to GET MY KNEE DOWN, not to smoothly and proficiently handle the turn, and gave me an invincibility mindset since I knew I could do it there. I probably got a little careless and did position wrong or turn in to quickly/abruptly. I very much appreciate all of your input. While I'm going to investigate the front tire some more, and drop some pressure from it, the biggest thing I'm going to do is recenter myself, and realize, as I had realized up til yesterday, that riding should be focused on handling the turn in a safe and proficient fashion, not doing something extraneous and mostly unnecessary during it. I'm the kind of person that pushes hard in whatever i do, and I think this whole event is going to help me become more conservative in my riding.
 

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1. the gummy rubber/salty buildup high on the sidewall of the pilot came to be my contact patch, and yielded traction
2. The front tire wasn't at full temp (but I'd been riding pretty f'ing hard)
3. I'm just bad at motorcycling.
4. The tire is aging and no longer providing good traction
It's really hard to tell why you went down, but I'm guessing there were a number of reasons. Maybe even all 4 of your reasons, with the exception of rephrasing number 3 to say you were pushing too hard, etc. I do wonder about the condition of the front tire and if it wasn't quite up to temp. A race tire is different than a street one.

How is your suspension set up and how much do you weigh? I'm wondering if that had anything to do with it.
 

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I think this whole event is going to help me become more conservative in my riding.
:thumbsup:

You seem like a very intelligent & driven person and I like your positive attitude as well. You've got these things working for you as a rider. :)

Don't be discouraged from this incident, at some point in every riders life, we have all ridden a bit over our heads. Some are luckier than others. (I know I have been ;)) The most important thing is to learn from the experience, and take away something positive from it. From what you have said, I think you have.

Now get back out there, and ride on! ;D
 

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It sounds like you're wise enough to learn from this experience.
2 rules of cornering:
In slow, out fast.
In fast, out dead.
 

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lots of great comments here, and quite honestly the theories could go on forever. But speaking from experience (unfortunately) what was your tire pressure? What was the road temperature? any movements on the bike, throttle or brake just before the crash? Bikes want to turn and stay up - you honestly have to make them crash. My hunch is there are a combination of factors at work here from experience to equipment.

my advice - do a track day. I wish everyone would do a track day. You can learn so much on what your bike can and cannot do and you'll be able to drag a knee and probably not want to try it on the street.

I've been on this board two weeks and it seems that many are obsessed with trying to touch their knee to pavement. As I suspect you've realized now its not that big of a deal.

If by chance you happen to come up to oregon with yoru bike DO sign up for a Cascade Tracktime day I'll be there and wiill be glad to help you dial your skills and bike in .
 

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Glad you are ok... There is a possibility that you chop the throttle a little and transfer weight to the front overloading and causing the loss of traction and slide...

Well, at least you did not highsided.... I did a high side making a left turn... I lean into the corner and got on the gas... all the sudden I heard the RPMs go up, as the bike started to slide sideways... I try to stay on the gas, and I rode the slide for a little bit... The handlebars were turn to the right all the way to the steering stop. But the tire re grain traction and the bike spit me up... Poor bike got hurt... I was fine... Some scuffs on the leathers...

If I was you, I would return those pants and claim they are definitively defective... :)
 

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you know race tires arent designed for street use? that could be your problem. it could be a number of things but race tires belong on the race track, street tires belong on the street. i have experanced what a burned up race tire feels like and it sounds like its a burned up tire. to many heat cycles on a race tire and they just wont stick anymore. when i learned this i was at summit point and during qualifing my rear started feeling weird, so i thought it was just bad body position, then i felt the bike start to drift (slide out) more and more until it didnt feel safe anymore. tire looked good, air pressure was spot on, so i let the tire reps look at my bike and the first thing they siad was my tire was burnt, they told me how to tell and sold me a new tire. problem solved. does your tire have like a glossy blueish look to it?
 

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you know race tires arent designed for street use?
Track tires are also designed to run at higher temps. It can be difficult to keep them at that temp on a cold day on the street.
 

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You shouldn't run race tires on the street. You shouldn't be trying to drag knees on the street. Leave some in reserve in case a surprise shows up.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't think it's got a blueish hue to it, but i just got back from 60 miles of sweepers and it's barely warm, and I believe I know why. The only pressure stamped on the sidewall is the max load @ psi, which is NOT equivalent to normal operating temps right? I think the prev owner saw that pressure 42, and loaded it up. I checked it and it's got 40 (manual says 32). and the sidewall is stamped 01 (apparently date of manufacture,) and there's no WAY a race compound tire could still be healthy after that many years. A LOT of factors working against me. The pilot race rear that he had on the bike when I got it (got a flat) always felt gross. If I slowed by gently downshifting it would get squirrely so fast (and I'm not talking about dumping the clutch when downshifting into 1st or something)
So it sounds like the front tire could have had something to do with it, and I think i'll get a roadsmart front tire as well.
HOWEVER, I will not disregard the many mitigating factors I presented on that fateful friday the 13th that vastly contributed to me doing the electric slide across the road. I learned a lot from this, and maybe if I hadn't of gone down I never would have been able to. checks and balance? Thanks for all of your suggestions. and TLfreek- I ABSOLUTELY will do a trackday, or tons of them. There's one in April at VIR that I'm planning on. thanks again guys.
 
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