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Thread: So I watched my riding buddy crash yesterday.... He's OK, I am an emotional wreck!

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    Senior Member sti491's Avatar
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    Default *NEW PIC* I watched my buddy crash yesterday. He's OK, I am an emotional wreck!

    **Update**

    Since I am literally having flashbacks from watching this accident, I went back to the crash site yesterday on a very nice ride in nearly 80 degree weather!

    First of all, this is a relatively short section of twisty road, maybe 2 miles long... And I am crossing it off my list where to ride. It was rider error not road error, but this road sucks. VERY narrow, and marbles all over it. I road it twice yesterday.... no faster than 30 mph!

    The first corner Aaron "offed" and stayed upright is not pictured. There is a short straight and then that first right is 90o. Easy to go too fast into.

    Check out the new pics. You have to look carefully at the ground to see his tracks. It has a wider run-off area than I remembered when I described it in the first post. Good thing. Expand the first picture and note, another 5 feet and he would have crashed directly into a big tree right in his path.... the tire rut in the dirt is pointing right at it.

    The pic showing the curve in the road tells the story: he had a Survival Reaction slowing the bike, stood it up early in the corner, and went straight... probably right where his eyes fixated.

    What I find intellectually interesting (even though I wish I could forget the entire experience), is once he went too hot into the corner and his front tire slipped a bit, what should he have done? I know what I would have done if I was cool and collected enough to actually do it, but my solution may have ended up worse off. I think I may have kept going not touching the brakes, hoping for the best traction outcome. My old Triumph 650 Bonney was terrible when the front tire lost traction. It seemed like it slammed the front end down in immediate protest. (yes, I know from experience). My Fizzer with new Metz M7 RR's, appears to be waaaay more forgiving of a little traction loss from my limited experience with it.

    But, if Aaron did what I think I would have done (me having 20-20 hindsight), he may have lost it on the pavement hurting himself and the bike more?

    On a separate note: If anyone can tell me how to assure pictures are right side up when posting on this Forum, I would appreciate it.



    Man I hate posting this, but here goes - lessons to be learned...

    So it's Easter morning, sunny, 65 degrees on it's way to 74 degrees. We were supposed to have 5 riders, but one was hungover, and the other had a mechanical problem so we are down to 3. Me on the Fizzer, my son on his SV650, and our good friend Aaron (same 30+ age as my son), on his Honda CBR600.

    We were riding roads Aaron knew best, my son had been on some, that I had never been on. Both of my riding partners have been riding for about 2 years. They have skills, however they push it way to far in high speed corners for my liking. I would say they take their bikes to near 90-100% around their favorite corners. Nothing in reserve for gravel, an unexpected car, dog, rabbit or mechanical issue. There is not 1/32 of chicken strips on either of their tires. They use it all.

    They are patient with me and just wait at the next intersection for me to catch up. For instance, on a relative desolate very high speed curve oriented road (that we ran three times back-n-forth), enough so their tires were showing heat signs, they were going 80+MPH. I stayed under 60mph, which was plenty fast. My son has a track day planned. I have encouraged both of them to save those high speed runs for the track. It falls on deaf ears. I'm twice their age, happy to have both as friends and share this great interest and experiences, so I just keep those views mostly to myself after hearing their objections. Jake crashed his first bake, a Ninja 250 on an entrance hwy ramp without serious injury. Aaron had an "off" once riding with Jake, but kept it upright. I have had one major crash with broken bones, and 2 minor crashes, both before I was 20 years old.

    So we are done with multiple passes on that high speed road. It's now 70 degrees and sunny. Glorious day. Aaron is first, then Jake, then me on a country road with a few cars, normal speeds with light traffic. Aaron signals left and we get on a narrow asphalt VERY twisty road. No cars. Think Tail of the Dragon, possibly tighter, narrower, with back to back esses with elevation changes. Very technical road. Going 45MPH would be tough (for me at least), and we had just come off a very high speed run.

    First thing I notice besides looking ahead at the tight twists coming up, is the road is narrow, and the asphalt is that weathered type that is sort faded black-grey with a rough texture. So off we go. On the second right turn, not going very fast at all, Aaron goes off the road and dust is flying as Jake roars by him. He amazingly stayed upright, which Jake sees and later told us he thought all was good so he kept going. I should mention that on the sides of this road was a narrow area, sort of a shallow ditch, with leaves, brown dry dirt, with maybe 10-12 feet, less in some places, before thick woods. No curbs or fences. Ironically this road is called Rail Fence Road. No Fence.

    So I now have moved up behind Aaron as he re-enters from the off road dirt/leaves/other woodsy debris, back onto the asphalt. I'm thinking, let's pull over and take a breather man. That was a close call to those stout trees! If that was me I absolutely would have stopped. To my surprise he accelerates and keeps going. There is the end of the right corner he went off on, then a very short straight or shallower part of the curve, then a very sharp left coming up. I am maybe 2-3 bike lengths behind him as he is accelerating away.

    Then right in front of me, just like watching any Go Pro or dash cam video on Utube, I see him bobble, the bike stands up where it shouldn't, and he goes off again. But this time the corner was so tight he could not stay parallel with the road, it was a bit down hill. He was headed downhill straight for the trees. Then a cloud of dirt off the rear locked tire. He slowed considerably and at the last minute he jumped off with one leg really high trying to avoid the bars and mirrors, as he went over the front of the bike and on his side.

    I can't believe this happened. It was surreal. It was a slow-motion freak out moment for me. I manage not to crash with him watching what was happening, pulled over just past him and run to his aide. He was ok. Later in the day he was sore and he had strained his hip/groin doing that awkward last leap. His 400lb bike was a bear to pull out the ditch. That's when Jake came roaring back to find us. His bike was pretty good. Dirt jammed in every crevice. Thankfully it fell on the non muffler side. The front fairing and left headlight were pretty badly scratched. Neither the bike nor Aaron hit the pavement. Aaron landed in the softest dirt and pile of leaves you could possibly imagine, less than a foot from trees that would have broken ribs, or worse.

    So what happened? Here is the post mortem: That street surface and color made it near impossible to see small "marbles" or asphalt gravel that was in the corners. His front tire hit it, slid a bit, he went into survival reaction mode (understandable but wrong, of course), braked, stood the bike up from full lean, and ran straight off the corner into soft stuff where he couldn't stay upright. Then he ran out of room before the trees. I think the dirt on his tires from his first "off" contributed to the problem. These were VERY tight, level to downhill esses. I doubt we were going more than 45mph.

    When I was trying to calm Aaron before Jake got there, convincing him to sit down for a moment, we both realized I was was breathing harder and my heart rate was off the charts compared to his! Because I feared I had watched my friend get seriously hurt. It was VERY scarey to watch. Watch any TOD video of a crash there, that is exactly what I witnessed close-up.

    So few took it easy, rode back to my shop, washed the bike up and spent 3 hours "color correcting" the bike with 3-step polishing: 2 compounds, different pads and Sonax. The bike looks better than before he crashed it. It has a few deeper scratches around the headlight that didn't completely come out. But they are good reminders of that day.

    I am so glad my friend wasn't hurt. I am still freaked out.

    The pics are after my son & I compounded and polished out his entire bike. We did this for him as he mostly rested. He helped a little in the end. The first picture is the side it fell on. It kind of nose dived the front left headlight and faring into the dirt at a downward angle. At that point there wasn't much momentum left, so he was fortunate nothing actually broke... except his ego.

    After that we drank two bottles of good wine, and had a wonderful Easter dinner. My blessing at the table was mostly about Aaron's guardian angel!
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    Last edited by sti491; 04-03-2018 at 07:03 AM.
    '12 Raven/DS70/PC/Block offs/Cut air box short v-stacks/Timing adv/-1 frt sprocket/Metzeler M7RR's/90o stems/spools/sliders/GD opener/Acc-USB plugs/Volt meter/Jewel switch/Phone mount/LEDs: Amber Jewel/Headlight/Smoke tail & flush frt & pod sig-DLR/underseat red sig-brake/DMP fender eliminator/Lithium battery/Puig touring screen/Grip Puppies/Seat 1.5" higher/Rox 1" up & back risers/Gear Indicator/KTM tail pack/M1 alarm/CC/Tank Pads/SS BL/3 back surgeries/Old fart balls of steel/Happy to be here.

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    Senior Member MrFrzZ's Avatar
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    *** Disclaimer*** I am not trying to be a jerk with this comment and Its nothing that you dont understand already. I'm also not claiming that I'm a good rider. I just try hard to get better. Some days are good... Some not.



    As I said the other day in a separate thread - you NEVER KNOW the road... I dont care how many times you've done a speed run up it, down it, studied it, etc. If it is a street road - its a new road. This "idea" goes beyond the physical road and riding it. This idea is a mindset. Its not to make you ride scared... Its to ride prepared. I love riding twisties, but after my get off last year, I am going to save "riding hard" for the track.

    The most difficult part of motorcycling is to tap into your own brain and make yourself concentrate... to snap your self out of the survival reaction, and snap yourself back INTO problem solving mode. "Ok, I screwed up and now I'm heading into a world of crap - what are my options? A,B,C,D - Choose one, execute, then assess current situation and repeat if necessary" As you well know, these thought occur instantaneously and decisions are made even quicker. that's where our training comes into play. If we have good techniques down to muscle memory, then we can "react" as we have conditioned ourselves to.

    My accident sucked... It started and was over in probably 3 seconds IF THAT LONG. And I remember every single bit of it...

    I entered a turn - Left handed turn, not a difficult turn, or so I thought.
    My left peg began grinding WAY sooner than it ever had before.
    I looked at my line through the turn, and held pressure on the bar
    I realized that I had to apply more pressure to the bar to make the exit point that had been created by earlier poor decisions with this turn
    I applied more pressure and looked to my exit (peg still grinding)
    The rear went. It did NOT nose dive and plant face first, It was like someone grabbed the rear tire and yanked it right out from under the bike
    I went down on my left hip, rolled onto my stomach, saw a brief puff of sparks from under me (from the bike) and then I found the wall off the side of the road.
    From my best guess, my ankle hit first and glanced off to the right. Ankle shatter, leg broken. Then my butt followed right into the same wall.
    It felt like I stopped dead, jacked my jaw inside my helmet, knocked a tooth loose, popped me up and I flipped backwards onto my back.
    I looked up saw the little wall, no more than 2 feet tall and maybe about 3 feet exposed off the road, then rolled into a ditch trying to breath since the wind was knocked out of me.
    I stayed conscious the rest of the time and the rest is all transport, surgeries, and etc.

    Broken ankle, broken leg, 2 compression fractures in my back...

    I was off my left leg for 6 weeks, and was back on a bike after 10 weeks total. Got a nice zipper tattoo on my leg from it, and my back is still not back to normal.

    I'm glad your Son's friend is only sore and nothing worse. I hope this will serve as a sobering experience... You can ride twisties. By all means, ride them, but you better damn sure respect them too. Is your son planning on going to CMP in September? N2 has a day scheduled on 9-1 and PRE has one on october 6th I think. I might try to make both. Would love to meet and ride with you guys.


    ETA- the bike looks great. Keep the battle scars... They'll keep him in check.
    Last edited by MrFrzZ; 04-02-2018 at 09:56 AM.

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    Senior Member sti491's Avatar
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    I could not agree more with you. My son is coordinating his VIR track day with PRE. The trick to riding safely is most definitely avioding SR’s, and living long enough to enjoy it.

    I think you should explain your experience and views in your next video blog, for sure

    Quote Originally Posted by MrFrzZ View Post
    *** Disclaimer*** I am not trying to be a jerk with this comment and Its nothing that you dont understand already. I'm also not claiming that I'm a good rider. I just try hard to get better. Some days are good... Some not.



    As I said the other day in a separate thread - you NEVER KNOW the road... I dont care how many times you've done a speed run up it, down it, studied it, etc. If it is a street road - its a new road. This "idea" goes beyond the physical road and riding it. This idea is a mindset. Its not to make you ride scared... Its to ride prepared. I love riding twisties, but after my get off last year, I am going to save "riding hard" for the track.

    The most difficult part of motorcycling is to tap into your own brain and make yourself concentrate... to snap your self out of the survival reaction, and snap yourself back INTO problem solving mode. "Ok, I screwed up and now I'm heading into a world of crap - what are my options? A,B,C,D - Choose one, execute, then assess current situation and repeat if necessary" As you well know, these thought occur instantaneously and decisions are made even quicker. that's where our training comes into play. If we have good techniques down to muscle memory, then we can "react" as we have conditioned ourselves to.

    My accident sucked... It started and was over in probably 3 seconds IF THAT LONG. And I remember every single bit of it...

    I entered a turn - Left handed turn, not a difficult turn, or so I thought.
    My left peg began grinding WAY sooner than it ever had before.
    I looked at my line through the turn, and held pressure on the bar
    I realized that I had to apply more pressure to the bar to make the exit point that had been created by earlier poor decisions with this turn
    I applied more pressure and looked to my exit (peg still grinding)
    The rear went. It did NOT nose dive and plant face first, It was like someone grabbed the rear tire and yanked it right out from under the bike
    I went down on my left hip, rolled onto my stomach, saw a brief puff of sparks from under me (from the bike) and then I found the wall off the side of the road.
    From my best guess, my ankle hit first and glanced off to the right. Ankle shatter, leg broken. Then my butt followed right into the same wall.
    It felt like I stopped dead, jacked my jaw inside my helmet, knocked a tooth loose, popped me up and I flipped backwards onto my back.
    I looked up saw the little wall, no more than 2 feet tall and maybe about 3 feet exposed off the road, then rolled into a ditch trying to breath since the wind was knocked out of me.
    I stayed conscious the rest of the time and the rest is all transport, surgeries, and etc.

    Broken ankle, broken leg, 2 compression fractures in my back...

    I was off my left leg for 6 weeks, and was back on a bike after 10 weeks total. Got a nice zipper tattoo on my leg from it, and my back is still not back to normal.

    I'm glad your Son's friend is only sore and nothing worse. I hope this will serve as a sobering experience... You can ride twisties. By all means, ride them, but you better damn sure respect them too. Is your son planning on going to CMP in September? N2 has a day scheduled on 9-1 and PRE has one on october 6th I think. I might try to make both. Would love to meet and ride with you guys.


    ETA- the bike looks great. Keep the battle scars... They'll keep him in check.
    Last edited by sti491; 04-02-2018 at 02:56 PM.
    '12 Raven/DS70/PC/Block offs/Cut air box short v-stacks/Timing adv/-1 frt sprocket/Metzeler M7RR's/90o stems/spools/sliders/GD opener/Acc-USB plugs/Volt meter/Jewel switch/Phone mount/LEDs: Amber Jewel/Headlight/Smoke tail & flush frt & pod sig-DLR/underseat red sig-brake/DMP fender eliminator/Lithium battery/Puig touring screen/Grip Puppies/Seat 1.5" higher/Rox 1" up & back risers/Gear Indicator/KTM tail pack/M1 alarm/CC/Tank Pads/SS BL/3 back surgeries/Old fart balls of steel/Happy to be here.

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    Senior Member BluePill's Avatar
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    Flashback for me. On Easter Sunday, 1972, my wife and I were riding in the country. I stopped to check out a rattle in the bike. Didn't find the source, so took off again..............With the side stand down. No interlock in those days. Came to a left hand sweeper, and the stand dug in rather than kicking up. We drove headlong into a dirt wall. We both ended up in hospital, me with a ruptured kidney and her with a serious collection of bruises and scrapes.

    Lesson for me: Do not ride with a serious hangover.

    My buddy who was following and saw the whole thing happen said "I never want to see something like that again"
    Now: 2015 FZ6R & 2008 WR250R
    Past: 2009 FZ6R & 2008 CBR1000RR

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    Scary stuff. Glad everyone made it back safe and for the most part, uninjured

  6. #6
    Senior Member sti491's Avatar
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    I can relate with your ur friend. Glad you two made it out as well as you did.

    Quote Originally Posted by BluePill View Post
    Flashback for me. On Easter Sunday, 1972, my wife and I were riding in the country. I stopped to check out a rattle in the bike. Didn't find the source, so took off again..............With the side stand down. No interlock in those days. Came to a left hand sweeper, and the stand dug in rather than kicking up. We drove headlong into a dirt wall. We both ended up in hospital, me with a ruptured kidney and her with a serious collection of bruises and scrapes.

    Lesson for me: Do not ride with a serious hangover.

    My buddy who was following and saw the whole thing happen said "I never want to see something like that again"
    '12 Raven/DS70/PC/Block offs/Cut air box short v-stacks/Timing adv/-1 frt sprocket/Metzeler M7RR's/90o stems/spools/sliders/GD opener/Acc-USB plugs/Volt meter/Jewel switch/Phone mount/LEDs: Amber Jewel/Headlight/Smoke tail & flush frt & pod sig-DLR/underseat red sig-brake/DMP fender eliminator/Lithium battery/Puig touring screen/Grip Puppies/Seat 1.5" higher/Rox 1" up & back risers/Gear Indicator/KTM tail pack/M1 alarm/CC/Tank Pads/SS BL/3 back surgeries/Old fart balls of steel/Happy to be here.

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