Suzuki SV650 Riders Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well today I had to lay my bike down going less than 20mph. I was riding in heavy traffic coming back from a motorcycle shop wearing my new jacket I just bought from there. I was good until I got into heavy start and stop traffic which would always come to abrupt stops with everyone braking hard and quickly. I saw the light was green ahead and the truck in front of me wasn’t slowing down at all, so I took a quick glance in my mirror and at my speedometer. Maybe 1 or 2 seconds of looking away. When I looked back up, the truck in-front of me had already stopped, and I locked my brakes up and skidded with my front wheel dumping to the left. I easily could have gotten back up and rode away, but I happened to slam my head into a curb, thank god for helmets. I rung my bell pretty good but other than that the bike suffered the worst of it. The lady behind me said the truck in-front of me slammed on the brakes. Multiple witnesses told me the traffic stopped extremely fast as I asked if I was too close to the truck or going to fast. They did not think I was. If the bike did not go down, I may have hit the truck but thankfully I did not.

I learned to always pay attention at all times especially in stop and go traffic.

I am kicking myself because I totally could have avoided laying my bike down if I would have just kept my eyes on the truck in-front of me for a couple more seconds instead of checking my mirrors and speedometer. Thank the lord i dressed for the slide and not the ride. (90 degrees outside) I put a hole in my new jacket and scuffed my helmet. A simple beginner mistake I feel like, but I got very lucky considering it was low speed and I made contact with no other vehicles. It was definitely a humbling experience and reminded me to dress properly and be more cautious while riding. I guess it is back to the garage and wrenching on the bike some more just as I pretty much finished putting it back together.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Time, distance , speed and lane position. Always leave a comfortable gap between you and the vehicle in front of you. This goes for stop and go riding as well as highway riding.

Glad you weren't hurt and had proper gear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Even the mighty SVs get sleepy every once in a while. Glad you were able to walk away and learn a lesson from the accident!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Glad you are ok.

Always maintain a space cushion, head and eyes up (while it happens being hit from the rear is a low percentage event), maintain a minimum following distance, play the "what if" game (if this guy isn't slowing down will he need to?) and keep in mind that in over 90% of US motorcycle v passenger vehicle front end and over 80% of motorcycle v passenger vehicle rear end accidents the motorcycle is the striking vehicle...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Glad you are ok.

Always maintain a space cushion, head and eyes up (while it happens being hit from the rear is a low percentage event), maintain a minimum following distance, play the "what if" game (if this guy isn't slowing down will he need to?) and keep in mind that in over 90% of US motorcycle v passenger vehicle front end and over 80% of motorcycle v passenger vehicle rear end accidents the motorcycle is the striking vehicle...


I have realized a space cushion and hard braking are some things I need to improve on after this small spill. Planning on working on hard braking with my uncle (30+ years of riding) as soon as I get my bike on the street again.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,461 Posts
First of all, glad to hear you're okay. Secondly, replace your helmet. They're only good for one good hit.

Also, please don't use the phrase "Had to lay it down". It makes you sound like an idiot. Either you're trying to make it sound like you meant to do it vs. admitting you just straight up crashed, or it means you don't under stand the bike is capable of stopping far quicker while upright on it wheels vs. sliding on the pavement (not to mention ability to maneuver).

Going forward, I would suggest practicing emergency braking and developing some defensive driving techniques. In heavy stop/go traffic, leave plenty of following distance and pretty much ride the edge of the lane. Riding the edge of the lane gives you a better view ahead to help see what's happening ahead, it gives you more room to break in an emergency as you can ride between the vehicles to a stop, and if you get rear ended you're not going directly into the bumper of the vehicle ahead of you.

Good luck fixing up your bike, hope you get back out on the road yet this summer.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,475 Posts
Practice hard braking using only the front brake. It provides about three times the power of the rear.
Many of us use the front brake to stop, with downshifting instead of rear braking.
Go to school! formal or informal:naughty:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
First of all, glad to hear you're okay. Secondly, replace your helmet. They're only good for one good hit.

Also, please don't use the phrase "Had to lay it down". It makes you sound like an idiot. Either you're trying to make it sound like you meant to do it vs. admitting you just straight up crashed, or it means you don't under stand the bike is capable of stopping far quicker while upright on it wheels vs. sliding on the pavement (not to mention ability to maneuver).

Going forward, I would suggest practicing emergency braking and developing some defensive driving techniques. In heavy stop/go traffic, leave plenty of following distance and pretty much ride the edge of the lane. Riding the edge of the lane gives you a better view ahead to help see what's happening ahead, it gives you more room to break in an emergency as you can ride between the vehicles to a stop, and if you get rear ended you're not going directly into the bumper of the vehicle ahead of you.

Good luck fixing up your bike, hope you get back out on the road yet this summer.


I guess a majority of motorcycle riders are idiots then for using the term laying it down. If i didn’t go down I would have hit the truck, I pretty much couldn’t go anywhere else because if I did I would have hit a car next to me or I would have clipped the truck in front of me and probably made things worse. Intentional or not, I did lay the bike down, and it saved me from far worse problems.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Practice hard braking using only the front brake. It provides about three times the power of the rear.
Many of us use the front brake to stop, with downshifting instead of rear braking.
Go to school! formal or informal:naughty:


Never tried downshifting and braking with the front brake. I will have to learn that, thanks for the input.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Lukerbsn, "laying the bike down" puts you in a situation where it is impossible to control the motorcycle, which is not a great position to be in from a motorcyclist perspective.

From a motorcycle braking perspective you'll want to practice using both brakes. This will stop the motorcycle in the shortest distance.
While the front brake will have 70% or more of the total stopping power it's not 100%.
Practice until your good habits are muscle memory.
As the weight shifts forward you'll be able to apply more front brake, will need to lower the pressure on the rear brake but in either case use both brakes which will give you the highest number of Gs of stopping force.

Statically motorcyclists hit a lot of 'stuff'. +90% of all US fatal MV (motor vehicle) vs MC accidents, +90% of all front end and +80% of all rear end MC vs MV the motorcycle hits the other vehicle.
55% of all US guard rail deaths, motorcyclists.
Being in those majorities is not where most of us should want to be.
So the moral to that story is that we make really good torpedoes - which sucks as +75% of motorcycle accidents result in injuries.

Let's backup for a second and take a look at the accident.

You were riding in heavy traffic.
You were approaching an intersection (with a green light).
You were following a truck travelling at speed into an intersection.
You had a car next to you (multi-lane intersection entry?).
You took your eyes off the road to look down/at your mirror/speedo.

Intersections are statistically seriously dangerous to motorcyclists, those without lights/signs are 40X more dangerous than those with.

Safe travelling distance is at least 2 seconds - more as conditions demand.

Motorcyclists will have at most 2 seconds to make any collision avoidance decision they can ever make - this includes trained LEO motor officers.

Visibility is critical and following too close, including into an intersection, limits your ability to be seen, increases chances you'll be struck, especially in situations where a vehicle violates your right of way.

Accidents from behind are a low percentage event so from a risk assessment perspective the higher threat is coming from in front of you.

Overall you seem to have pretty good situational awareness.
It is how you apply that while riding that will reduce your risk, chance of an accident.
Good opportunity to use this as a teachable moment to re-calibrate your riding to reduce risk.

At 20mph you are travelling 30 feet per second.
In 1-2 seconds you've gone 30-60 feet - not looking at the road.
Think back as to where 60 feet would put you when you looked up - middle of the intersection perhaps.

At 20mph about how long will it take you to stop?
About 40 feet including reaction time, if you are paying attention.
Actual braking distance if you are just stopping the motorcycle (have already done the thinking/reaction part) is 15-20 feet.
Working backwards did you have 15-20 feet to bring the motorcycle to a stop?

So what can you do going forward?

Remove "laying the bike" down as a general collision avoidance technique.
You aren't going to see this as an option in Motorcycle safety courses as you have many other options to reduce risk and stay in control of your bike.

Stay in control of your bike.
Rubber will generate more stopping force than metal when in contact with the road. Your brakes will only work through the tires to the road, won't function well when the bike is laying sideways.
You can only steer the bike if the tires are in proper contact with the road (and the rear wheel isn't locked up).
In addition if you put your bike down you will injure yourself as you will make contact with the road & potentially other objects and can open yourself up to liability if the accident was avoidable.

Look ahead - not just distance but into time. Employ a data collection and risk assessment approach that is based on a lot of "what if's" and what you can do to avoid/escape from them.
Give yourself time and space.

Increase your following distance.
You were simply following the truck too closely for conditions, stopping, visibility. Motorcycles and cars have about the same braking distance at speed - so at least give yourself the room you'd give in a car or more, especially if you are an aggressive auto driver.

Be wary of intersections at all times, gather as much information as you can way before you reach them - 20 second visual lead, etc. - and map out who is where, what risks exist, put yourself in the right speed and position to safely navigate the intersection.

Plan ahead your possible escape routes - play the "what if" game constantly - if you've no escape (boxed in) absolutely work on mitigating that, increasing your following distance from the vehicle in front of you.

Practice braking. Both brakes. At the speeds you travel.
Straight line as well as in corners as the techniques are different.
Work on getting to the shortest distance without skidding - if you don't your body goes with what it knows which sometimes includes bailing out.
Braking to a sudden stop at 20mph is a lot different than at 70mph - where it could take you the length of a football field to stop.

Practice swerving.
You have 2 general collision avoidance techniques available to you - braking, or swerving. Practice swerving - there is a correct technique and it is critical to get it right, avoid braking while swerving.

Practice.
You'll have around 2 seconds to pick an avoidance maneuver in the real world.
2 seconds @ 70mph? 210 feet traveled... before taking action.

Replace your helmet, jacket.
Once you've been in an accident you have no way to assess the integrity of the protective material inside of the helmet.
As it is made of material designed to absorb impact energy it has done its job, now it is time to retire it as it will just get harder after impact and transmit instead of absorbing impact energy.
Your call but having taken my head into a number of objects I've never done it with the same helmet twice (unless it's all happened at the same time...).
Textiles may not be able to be repaired while leather may be able to be but again once those have done their job they may not be up to doing it again.

Take some motorcycle training classes.
Yes, you will sit in a class hearing about risks and ways to mitigate them. It simply adds to your knowledge.
You'll also go to the riding portion to practice useful techniques for braking, collision avoidance, etc. that will marry up to the risks talked about in class.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Lukerbsn, "laying the bike down" puts you in a situation where it is impossible to control the motorcycle, which is not a great position to be in from a motorcyclist perspective.



From a motorcycle braking perspective you'll want to practice using both brakes. This will stop the motorcycle in the shortest distance.

While the front brake will have 70% or more of the total stopping power it's not 100%.

Practice until your good habits are muscle memory.

As the weight shifts forward you'll be able to apply more front brake, will need to lower the pressure on the rear brake but in either case use both brakes which will give you the highest number of Gs of stopping force.



Statically motorcyclists hit a lot of 'stuff'. +90% of all US fatal MV (motor vehicle) vs MC accidents, +90% of all front end and +80% of all rear end MC vs MV the motorcycle hits the other vehicle.

55% of all US guard rail deaths, motorcyclists.

Being in those majorities is not where most of us should want to be.

So the moral to that story is that we make really good torpedoes - which sucks as +75% of motorcycle accidents result in injuries.



Let's backup for a second and take a look at the accident.



You were riding in heavy traffic.

You were approaching an intersection (with a green light).

You were following a truck travelling at speed into an intersection.

You had a car next to you (multi-lane intersection entry?).

You took your eyes off the road to look down/at your mirror/speedo.



Intersections are statistically seriously dangerous to motorcyclists, those without lights/signs are 40X more dangerous than those with.



Safe travelling distance is at least 2 seconds - more as conditions demand.



Motorcyclists will have at most 2 seconds to make any collision avoidance decision they can ever make - this includes trained LEO motor officers.



Visibility is critical and following too close, including into an intersection, limits your ability to be seen, increases chances you'll be struck, especially in situations where a vehicle violates your right of way.



Accidents from behind are a low percentage event so from a risk assessment perspective the higher threat is coming from in front of you.



Overall you seem to have pretty good situational awareness.

It is how you apply that while riding that will reduce your risk, chance of an accident.

Good opportunity to use this as a teachable moment to re-calibrate your riding to reduce risk.



At 20mph you are travelling 30 feet per second.

In 1-2 seconds you've gone 30-60 feet - not looking at the road.

Think back as to where 60 feet would put you when you looked up - middle of the intersection perhaps.



At 20mph about how long will it take you to stop?

About 40 feet including reaction time, if you are paying attention.

Actual braking distance if you are just stopping the motorcycle (have already done the thinking/reaction part) is 15-20 feet.

Working backwards did you have 15-20 feet to bring the motorcycle to a stop?



So what can you do going forward?



Remove "laying the bike" down as a general collision avoidance technique.

You aren't going to see this as an option in Motorcycle safety courses as you have many other options to reduce risk and stay in control of your bike.



Stay in control of your bike.

Rubber will generate more stopping force than metal when in contact with the road. Your brakes will only work through the tires to the road, won't function well when the bike is laying sideways.

You can only steer the bike if the tires are in proper contact with the road (and the rear wheel isn't locked up).

In addition if you put your bike down you will injure yourself as you will make contact with the road & potentially other objects and can open yourself up to liability if the accident was avoidable.



Look ahead - not just distance but into time. Employ a data collection and risk assessment approach that is based on a lot of "what if's" and what you can do to avoid/escape from them.

Give yourself time and space.



Increase your following distance.

You were simply following the truck too closely for conditions, stopping, visibility. Motorcycles and cars have about the same braking distance at speed - so at least give yourself the room you'd give in a car or more, especially if you are an aggressive auto driver.



Be wary of intersections at all times, gather as much information as you can way before you reach them - 20 second visual lead, etc. - and map out who is where, what risks exist, put yourself in the right speed and position to safely navigate the intersection.



Plan ahead your possible escape routes - play the "what if" game constantly - if you've no escape (boxed in) absolutely work on mitigating that, increasing your following distance from the vehicle in front of you.



Practice braking. Both brakes. At the speeds you travel.

Straight line as well as in corners as the techniques are different.

Work on getting to the shortest distance without skidding - if you don't your body goes with what it knows which sometimes includes bailing out.

Braking to a sudden stop at 20mph is a lot different than at 70mph - where it could take you the length of a football field to stop.



Practice swerving.

You have 2 general collision avoidance techniques available to you - braking, or swerving. Practice swerving - there is a correct technique and it is critical to get it right, avoid braking while swerving.



Practice.

You'll have around 2 seconds to pick an avoidance maneuver in the real world.

2 seconds @ 70mph? 210 feet traveled... before taking action.



Replace your helmet, jacket.

Once you've been in an accident you have no way to assess the integrity of the protective material inside of the helmet.

As it is made of material designed to absorb impact energy it has done its job, now it is time to retire it as it will just get harder after impact and transmit instead of absorbing impact energy.

Your call but having taken my head into a number of objects I've never done it with the same helmet twice (unless it's all happened at the same time...).

Textiles may not be able to be repaired while leather may be able to be but again once those have done their job they may not be up to doing it again.



Take some motorcycle training classes.

Yes, you will sit in a class hearing about risks and ways to mitigate them. It simply adds to your knowledge.

You'll also go to the riding portion to practice useful techniques for braking, collision avoidance, etc. that will marry up to the risks talked about in class.


Yes I have taken an MSF Course. I was approaching an intersection, I wasn’t going through an intersection when this spill happened. The truck in front of me was completely stopped when I looked up so it wasn’t like I watched him slow down to the stop so I could slow down as I got closer. It was a two lane road so there was a car next to me to the right, and I was riding in the left side of the left lane. Since I was following too close to the truck I was not able to swerve in between cars from my lane positioning. When I braked, i grabbed the front brake and applied rear brake. The rear wheel locked up and the bike skidded, you could see tire marks for about 10-15 feet I would say. You could see where the front wheel locked and hopped also as I skidded a little sideways. Thats when I went down and slid on the ground/curb of the median for probably 10 feet. Remember, these are estimated distances, im not going to go out into traffic and measure all the marks to get an idea of how fast and how far I slid etc. it just isn’t that deep. Also I am a beginner rider, so to me this was definitely a beginner mistake. All I had to do was just allow more room between myself and the truck and not follow so close. I am going to practice braking once I get my bike on the road again. Thank you for the input.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Keep in mind that when your rear tire locks up you lose all ability to steer the motorcycle/make it change direction, it continues going in the direction it was before the tire locks up. Sometimes people are not aware of that, and it's not something taught in all beginner riding courses as there is a greater concern around a high side.

Good luck with your riding, hope you get back out on the road soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Keep in mind that when your rear tire locks up you lose all ability to steer the motorcycle/make it change direction, it continues going in the direction it was before the tire locks up. Sometimes people are not aware of that, and it's not something taught in all beginner riding courses as there is a greater concern around a high side.



Good luck with your riding, hope you get back out on the road soon.


Yes, thank you for the input and tips!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
49 Posts
This guy is really good....and pretty much says it all. Not sure if I can post a Youtube video so let me know if I need to remove. Still kind of new here. Stay safe.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
I came upon a front brake technique that works great for fast stops. Engage front brake lightly until one feels it then gradually increase the pressure in sequence to counting down from ten. Note to self ....do this often to make it a natural reaction.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,127 Posts
I came upon a front brake technique that works great for fast stops. Engage front brake lightly until one feels it then gradually increase the pressure in sequence to counting down from ten. Note to self ....do this often to make it a natural reaction.
should take about 1/2 of a second to go from no squeeze to max squeeze. practice increasing pressure on the front brake.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top