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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today i laid my bike down for the first time. Ive been riding for 6 years and aside from dropping my bike at a stop sign the first week i had it ive never been down. The funny thing is i was a block away from home and was returning from ordering a new helmet. I was in full gear, which is rare for me especially since i only rode like 2 miles to the shop and back but i guess its true, most accidents happen close to home.

I dont know if im more mad or if i just feel stupid. I couldnt have been going more than 15-20mph and the rode went downhill and i looked up and the cars were stopped, i probably had 50 feet or more, grabbed the front brake, locked the wheel up and slip and went down, the front end ended up underneath the car in front of me. Im ok, a little scrape on my knee, but i just bought new gloves yesterday and scraped them :(

at first glance the bike seems mostly ok, i was able to ride it still. bent a clipon, broke a mirror, bent shift lever, scraped clutch lever and frame slider. i still am not sure how it happened, i wasnt going fast and i feel like i shouldve been able to stop?

Ugh that sucked :(
 

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Downhill braking can be tricky. You may have hit a bit of oil or road crap that helped you lose traction on the front. It happens. Just learn from this experience, and take away valuable knowledge from it. Situational awareness = long life. Practice emergency braking in a parking lot so you know your limits, and it helps train your hand muscles to those limits for street use.
 

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You did a panic grab, and leaned to the left a little. Also, tires were cold, so reduced grip. Go to a parking lot or something and practice quick stops. Nice even pressure on the brake lever, stay straight up and down, use back brake after front is applied, and down shift.

Glad you are OK and the SV is easily fixed.
 

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It's all about line of sight as far as day to day survival.
The fact that you said you looked up and cars were stopped says it all....

Glad is wasn't worse
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
upon further inspection the bike seems to be pretty much ok, nice thing about aftermarket clipons is replacement bars are only about $20 :) the rest is just minor cosmetic. so it couldve been much worse, mostly i just feel dumb.
 

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Sounds more embarrassing than anything else. Glad youre ok.
 

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You need to figure out why you locked the wheel.

Did you just grab too much too fast? Are your tires past their prime? 50 feet of braking distance is plenty when you are going 15-20 MPH. Was there something on the road? Where were you positioned in the lane? Typically there may be water or oil (and a crown on the road also) in the center section of the road close to a busy intersection.

Figure out what happened and why, then do whatever it takes (training, purchasing, whatever) to correct the problem so the next time you need to stop quickly you won't have second thoughts about applying the front brake decisively.
 

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Braking on a downhill slope, you should add more rear brake than you otherwise would on even or uphill terrain.
 

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I went down about two years ago. Locked up the front tire as I was pulling out from an intersection...a car cut in front of me. Happened really fast and for the most part I caught the bike and/or it landed mostly on top of me. Very slight damage but really upset me to say the least. You'll look back at this as a "lesson learned" and will understand that your were luckly in most respects. The big plus is that no one got hurt.

As most are saying...examine what happened and why...that way it won't happen again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You need to figure out why you locked the wheel.

Did you just grab too much too fast? Are your tires past their prime? 50 feet of braking distance is plenty when you are going 15-20 MPH. Was there something on the road? Where were you positioned in the lane? Typically there may be water or oil (and a crown on the road also) in the center section of the road close to a busy intersection.

Figure out what happened and why, then do whatever it takes (training, purchasing, whatever) to correct the problem so the next time you need to stop quickly you won't have second thoughts about applying the front brake decisively.
i do need new tires, plenty of tread still but they are old, tires were cold, road couldve been a little slick. Looking back i dont know what else i couldve done? there was a car in front of me stopped and i wouldve hit the car regardless, even with rear brake and putting my feet down i still wouldve hit the car and i feel like i couldve saved the bike by putting my feet down but i still wouldve hit the car and done more damage to the car, by laying it down it slid under the cars bumper and just my brake lever was touching the rear bumper, but i dont know?

ive been wanting new tires and now i realy need them, while that might not have saved me i know it wouldve helped!
 

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Today i laid my bike down for the first time. Ive been riding for 6 years and aside from dropping my bike at a stop sign the first week i had it ive never been down. The funny thing is i was a block away from home and was returning from ordering a new helmet. I was in full gear, which is rare for me especially since i only rode like 2 miles to the shop and back but i guess its true, most accidents happen close to home.

I dont know if im more mad or if i just feel stupid. I couldnt have been going more than 15-20mph and the rode went downhill and i looked up and the cars were stopped, i probably had 50 feet or more, grabbed the front brake, locked the wheel up and slip and went down, the front end ended up underneath the car in front of me. Im ok, a little scrape on my knee, but i just bought new gloves yesterday and scraped them :(

at first glance the bike seems mostly ok, i was able to ride it still. bent a clipon, broke a mirror, bent shift lever, scraped clutch lever and frame slider. i still am not sure how it happened, i wasnt going fast and i feel like i shouldve been able to stop?

Ugh that sucked :(

Same thing happened to me last year @ like 10 mph- had a car stop for a invisible stop sign right in front of me- was only about 10 feet away, had no clue they were going just lock up- thankfully we had just been slowed from a previous intersection and weren't traveling to fast.

It does happen insanely fast- that front wheel locks up- you loose that centrifugal force that holds the front of the bike in the vertical balanced position normally. It goes away instantly and the bike just flops on its side :/

I landed on my knee- scraped, bruised, but nothing major, broken mirror- went out riding for the rest of the day :)

Just pick it back up fix the parts and ice your bruises you'll be good to go before you know it :)

EDIT: about your comment on putting your feet down- it's not as easy as it seems- you might get your feet down and find the bike just landing on your leg :/ You probably did all you could.
 

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you might get your feet down and find the bike just landing on your leg
Broken ankles are common injuries for motorcyclists because they put their foot down. When you see a WSB or MotoGP rider lay a bike down, you'll notice they stay on the bike with feet on the pegs(if possible), then let go (most of the time) when they are on the ground and sliding.

Keep your feet on the pegs until you're stopped, then put a foot down to balance. And wear over the ankle boots :thumbsup:
 

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- Keep your eyes up and look ahead to avoid being surprised.
- Cover the front brake. Squeeze, not grab.

Braking on a downhill slope, you should add more rear brake than you otherwise would on even or uphill terrain.
On a downhill slope you have more forward weight bias, i.e., less weight on the rear, so the rear is more prone to lock up, especially in a panic situation. It's better to just focus on applying the front brake properly.
 

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If you lock the front at speed, you have time to let go and reapply. It is hard to tell your hand to let off the brake when you are approaching the thing that made you grab a handful...but practice makes it work.

At such low speed, if you lock the wheel...and aren't exactly straight and balanced....DOWN you go! Just the way it is. Physics and all that. Lesson learned about not letting people in front of you do things that surprise you for sure. You just became a better rider.:)
 

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i do need new tires, plenty of tread still but they are old, tires were cold, road couldve been a little slick. (snip)
Any one of those is enough to significantly increase the chances of locking a tire under braking. Add them together and it's no surprise it ended like it did. As you found out, having decent tread depth doesn't help dry traction if the rubber is old, dry, and hard.

Of the things you listed as factors that contributed to your unexpected lock-up, having a tire in good condition (and at the proper pressure) is the one you have the most control of.

Having good tires is one of the most important things you can do to increase your safety on the road IMO.
 

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On a downhill slope you have more forward weight bias, i.e., less weight on the rear, so the rear is more prone to lock up, especially in a panic situation. It's better to just focus on applying the front brake properly.
Well, locking either the front or the rear brake is never a good thing.

My thinking is that applying both brakes rather than just the front will make for a less sudden weight transfer forward when on a downhill slope, and the rider would therefore have a better chance of keeping the bike upright, even if either or both brakes locked. But I'm interested to know what more experienced riders than me think about my theory.
 

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From what I've heard, an experienced rider can lock up both front and back and keep the bike upright skidding in a straight line. Therefore, I know I'm NOT an experienced rider, even with many years under my belt.

I agree with using both brakes, but front is always applied first, just because most of your stopping power comes from the front. I'm in the habit of squeezing the lever, then hitting the back a split second later. The logistics of applying each brake makes that easy, considering your fingers can get to the lever faster than your toe can get to the pedal (I ride with the balls of my feet on the pegs).
 
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