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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Got into an accident going about 55-60 yesterday. I was very fortunate to walk away with only some road rash and a busted ankle. Bike took some hits and will need several new parts.

What happened:

Was cruising along the interstate maintaining about a 1.5-2 second following distance from the car in front of me. It was a warm, dry, and sunny day. The third car up from me slammed on his brakes for seemingly no reason. We weren't near an exit or anything. I have no explanation for why he would do that unless the person behind him was tailgating him and he wanted to brake check her. Then the two cars behind him slammed on their brakes as well.

Now I've been riding on and off for about 20 years. I know what happens when your front tire locks up, but in this situation it was all instinct. As soon as the car in front of me hit her brakes and I saw I was coming up on her fast I just squeezed my front brake hard and my front tire locked. The bike slid out from under me and I hit the ground and just began to tumble. I came to a stop and the bike kept sliding forward and hit the car in front of me damaging the gas tank.

Here's some pics:



As soon as I got up I ran off the side of the road and jumped over the guardrail as I didn't want to get hit by an oncoming car. I wasn't even consciously thinking to do that I just did it. Luckily the person behind came to a stop before getting too close.

As soon as I began to get up from behind the guardrail there were several people that stopped to try to help. I had a physician, army medic, nurse, and about 5-6 others who gave me water, called 911, helped any way they could. Even a fellow biker stopped to help and he seemed almost as shook up as I was. One woman did a quick assessment on my body for major trauma and even managed to throw in a Donald Trump joke. Those people are heroes in my eyes and man I absolutely wish to pay that deed forward. I cannot express enough how much I value what they did. Meanwhile, the [email protected]$$ who caused the accident just drove off.

I was taken to the hospital and released after 2 hours. Like I said I only have some road rash and a messed up ankle.

Looking back on it now this absolutely could of been avoided if I maintained more of a 3 second following distance and/or had an ABS equipped bike. You might say or think you're skilled enough to not make an "amateur mistake" like that to lock up your front tire, but a dangerous situation can spring on you very suddenly and it is all instincts that take over and you wont always have time to sit there and modulate your brakes to come to a controlled stop.

Not sure if I'll ride again. I know people who walked away from 70mph+ crashes without a scratch. I also know someone who crashed at 15mph and died from his injuries. Gonna sit back and think for a while if this is worth it.

Stay safe out there guys. Never forget that our human flesh and bones are no match for motorized vehicles, concrete, and high speed physics.
 

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Sorry to hear about that, but glad you're (relatively) OK. Don't beat yourself up, your front wheel could've locked up on a patch of spilt oil / coolant / diesel in your lane, or just a little loose gravel. If you're emergency braking from speed, it really doesn't take much.

Hope you heal quickly, then see how you feel, take your time.

I wrote off my K6 back in February on a patch of spilt diesel fuel, the bike went down like it had been kicked from under me, absolutely no chance to save it. My first major off in over 35 years riding. I was back riding in a month (on a Gen 3 SV with ABS), but you may not feel the same way.
 

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Ouch.

Glad you had the helmet on I bet. Can't image how anyone could ride at highway speeds without it, but they do.

Did you have other gear (jacket, gloves, boots) on that didn't cut it? I've always stayed away from any mesh gear, as it doesn't usually fare well when put to the test.

How old was the front tire?

Heal up quick. Take some time off. You'll know if/when you are ready to hop back on.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I didn't have on any safety gear other than my helmet. Had I had gloves, knee pads, elbow pads, and proper boots I think all of my injuries would of been avoided.

I was wearing my leather mid-ankle shoes that are a little heavier than normal shoes. My left one took quite a thrashing and no doubt saved my feet a little.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ouch.

Glad you had the helmet on I bet. Can't image how anyone could ride at highway speeds without it, but they do.

Did you have other gear (jacket, gloves, boots) on that didn't cut it? I've always stayed away from any mesh gear, as it doesn't usually fare well when put to the test.

How old was the front tire?

Heal up quick. Take some time off. You'll know if/when you are ready to hop back on.
Front and rear tires were brand new as of last month. Bridgestone T31 sport touring tires.
 

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Speed is a weird thing when it comes to accidents. In the cycling world (my main hobby), unless you hit something, more speed usually means less serious injuries. We don't tend to look at road rash as serious, sucks yes, but serious no. Added speed let's you scrub energy off (on yourself) and prevent gravity based injuries.
For us, the low speed fall can be killer. A journalist for a bike magazine wrote an article a few years back about how a helmet could have saved him from a permanently life altering TBI. He was going to ride with his son and thought he'd skip the helmet for the ride around the block. As he was rolling out of his driveway, his foot slipped and he went down with all his weight on his head. Years later and he still struggled with short term memory issues and some temper issues, real scary ****.
I had a low speed crash years ago on my CX bike, probably less than 5mph. Blew my tire while clearing an obstacle while practicing for CX season. Landed on my arm and my arm broke a couple of ribs. Did some minor damage to the nerves in my tricep to the point that it was unusable for about a week and got a couple of stitches in my chin. Chalk it up to dumb luck.
Point of all this is, don't be lulled into thinking that speed (or the bike) is the killer. There are SO many other stupid ways for us to hurt and kill ourselves. Do what makes you happy and try to be safe doing it. If you can no longer find happiness in it, for whatever reason, move on to something that does make you happy. Life's too short (and fragile) to worry about what you can't do. Focus on what you can.
 

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Heal quick! If you love riding don't quit. Just be even smarter. Full gear all the time and extra attention to your bubble around traffic. I wear a full touring suit with boots, gloves and helmet in the cooler months. Switch to a mesh and padded motorcycle jacket and kevlar overpants with the boots, gloves and helmet in the AZ summer. Just not worth the risk to dress down even when 110* out. I try to be very cognizant of the bubble of space around me. I don't like going faster than necessary or weaving aggressively through traffic but I do what I have to do to be in "clear airspace". If not possible I give plenty of space in front as annoying as that can be in today's inpatient world of drivers. I ride the road purely for economic commuting reasons. 55mpg is much nicer than 12mpg in my truck daily to work. I ride the the 300 two stroke off-road for my thrills.

Heal up. Gear up. Stay safe. Enjoy living life. You could die for any numerous crazy reason in the next moment. Don't live waiting for it. Enjoy every moment you have smartly.

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Heal quick! If you love riding don't quit. Just be even smarter. Full gear all the time and extra attention to your bubble around traffic. I wear a full touring suit with boots, gloves and helmet in the cooler months. Switch to a mesh and padded motorcycle jacket and kevlar overpants with the boots, gloves and helmet in the AZ summer. Just not worth the risk to dress down even when 110* out. I try to be very cognizant of the bubble of space around me. I don't like going faster than necessary or weaving aggressively through traffic but I do what I have to do to be in "clear airspace". If not possible I give plenty of space in front as annoying as that can be in today's inpatient world of drivers. I ride the road purely for economic commuting reasons. 55mpg is much nicer than 12mpg in my truck daily to work. I ride the the 300 two stroke off-road for my thrills.

Heal up. Gear up. Stay safe. Enjoy living life. You could die for any numerous crazy reason in the next moment. Don't live waiting for it. Enjoy every moment you have smartly.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
+100

Anticipation,not reaction :rock:
 

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Here in WI we don't get the same intense heat as AZ (but the humidity...), but I still can't ride without all the gear all the time. Not a fan of mesh gear, so I wear my normal jacket, armored pants, armored boots, etc. all the time. A little hot and sweaty sometimes, but you never know.

Boots are important gear that's often overlooked. Not leather work boots, but serious armored street/track boots. Even in a slow speed low-side you can easily get your foot crushed under the cycle. In high speed crashes your body often spins, and your legs end up whipping around, slamming your feet on the pavement. Either way, you want protection on your feet and ankles.

I also see riders without gloves all the time - what's one of the things you always land on when tossed through the air?

Hope everything is healing well. If you decide to get back on (hopefully you will) I'm sure you will be ATGATT from now on.
 

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I also see riders without gloves all the time - what's one of the things you always land on when tossed through the air?
Same here, it makes me wince every time. After my 45mph lowside on spilt diesel earlier this year, the double layer of leather on the palms of my gloves was scuffed & worn through to the bottom layer. Without gloves, that would have been down to the bone.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here in WI we don't get the same intense heat as AZ (but the humidity...), but I still can't ride without all the gear all the time. Not a fan of mesh gear, so I wear my normal jacket, armored pants, armored boots, etc. all the time. A little hot and sweaty sometimes, but you never know.

Boots are important gear that's often overlooked. Not leather work boots, but serious armored street/track boots. Even in a slow speed low-side you can easily get your foot crushed under the cycle. In high speed crashes your body often spins, and your legs end up whipping around, slamming your feet on the pavement. Either way, you want protection on your feet and ankles.

I also see riders without gloves all the time - what's one of the things you always land on when tossed through the air?

Hope everything is healing well. If you decide to get back on (hopefully you will) I'm sure you will be ATGATT from now on.
I feel like an idiot but yeah I'm already pretty sure I'm going to be riding again once I heal and bike gets fixed.

I will absolute get more safety gear this time. Gloves, elbow pads, knee pads, jacket, boots, etc. I was already a pretty cautious rider before this, but I guess I'll be even more attentive and paranoid about my surroundings. As far as following distance goes I'm really going to keep it at 3 seconds at speeds over 50.

It does make me furious how that pr1ck caused an accident and then drove off. Pure shtbag.
 

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If I have to stay immediately behind other traffic I probably leave no less than 5 seconds. Yes, people often squeeze in and then I drop back again. I want that gap at highway speeds not only for breaking time but also time to avoid any debris the vehicle in front might run over and spit out in front of me. Also, with gap I can actually see under taller vehicles for potential oncoming debris. On a two lane highway, the larger gap keeps me from being hidden behind car in front and opens up the sight line to me for opposite direction traffic that might be looking to pop out into my lane to pass. I'm always looking to maximize reaction distance and open up and extend line of sight for me to other vehicles and hazzards as well as for those other vehicles to me.

Also, good kevlar mesh gear is pretty damn good. I think that would be key in a hot humid environment. Don't skimp on gear. Get the best purpose made gear you can afford. I often look for the previous model year closeout gear.

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Glad to see you are recovering, road rash is never fun.

1.5-2 seconds of lead time @ speed isn’t enough space bubble. 2 seconds is a minimum but many conditions will require that to be extended.

At +60mph it will take more than a US football field to stop and unfortunately most riders don’t practice stopping at the speeds they normally travel so their panic reaction typically causes a wheel lockup, ineffective braking and a crash.

While ABS is built to mitigate the effects of (straight line) wheel lock up & stats do show the benefits of ABS on two of the same model bikes, one with and one without ABS, it’s not on all bikes and still requires a rider to practice using the braking tech on their bike.

Braking, or swerving, or both are a decision a rider typically has under 2 seconds to make so getting practice time in, at speed, for both is important.

Having kissed the pavement a few times I can say without question gear, appropriate for conditions like heat or cold, are invaluable and don’t have to break the bank. A pair of pants with an aramid fiber and knee armor are a good start, a good pair of gloves which are made for road riding will help prevent injury as will any type of leather boot and a quality jacket. Armor will take the impact energy, the fabrics the friction, and will keep you safer. Nothing beats a good quality helmet, preferably full face, to protect your melon.

Unfortunately motorcyclists hit a lot of stuff, the overwhelming majority of motorcycle vs motor vehicle accidents involve the motorcyclist torpedoing the other vehicle, so if you give yourself more space, practice some essential crash avoidance skills, keep your head on a swivel all the time, increase your space bubble, look for escape routes, get some additional training and get some good gear it will pay you dividends if/when you get back to riding.

Get well soon, hope to see you back out there.
 

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Thank you for this. I have yet to go on the highway yet with my bike, but this is good info to have. I am glad to see you are ok though and healing. I was under the assumption that its about a 2s bubble for anything and maybe a bit more for highway. Hope you get it back on the bike soon.
 
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