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I Crashed And Dont Know Why :(


mckeann
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Well, i was only 10 days from getting my first years no claims bonus on my insurance, and 2 weeks from attending all 4 levels of CSS. Thankfully i'm all ok, just a bit stiff and sore.

 

I know what happened, but i'm unsure WHY it happened. Like i said, i'm coming out to do all 4 levels in a couple of weeks, so no doubt i'll get it answered then, but i'd like to put my mind at rest in the meantime.

 

 

 

This is the corner in question: crash corner

 

 

I was going through the fast right hander, that leads into the slightly tighter left hander. I'd braked slightly (not very heavily at all) as i approached the right hander but the bike wasnt unsettled. I turned into the right, and rolled on the throttle. I probably only got about 10-20% throttle on (in 4th gear) , before i picked the bike up, and flipped it over into the left. Immediately as i leaned into the left hander, i lost the front. The marks on the road tie up that i lost the front very early in the turn, basically as i was steering. I had no warning whatsoever, the tyres were warm (both sides) the road was dry, but it was quite a cold day, 8 degC, about 47 degF.

 

I had new tyres fitted about 300 miles previously, but they were a new tyre to me, dunlop sportsmarts. These get a fantastic write up, and you guys at the school use them, so i doubt it was the tyres fault, but my only concern was that they didnt give me alot of feel. I didnt get any sensation that i was about to lose grip, and at no point did i think i was going to fast and panic, or think i was goingto run wide etc etc.

 

so i'm a bit confused. Was i just going to fast on a cold day?

 

 

neil

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sorry to hear you've crashed, never the best for confidence I grant you. So we will no doubt work on this in great depth in a few weeks time, but lets ask some immediate questions:-

 

a) what did you do with the gas whilst trying to flick the bike over?

b )do you hang off the bike?

c) when typically flicking your bike on these types of turns, do you ever feel the bike shake or wobble?

 

have a think, come back to us. If we can identify what you did now, we can ensure we resolve it with you on your visit.

 

Bullet

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sorry to hear you've crashed, never the best for confidence I grant you. So we will no doubt work on this in great depth in a few weeks time, but lets ask some immediate questions:-

 

a) what did you do with the gas whilst trying to flick the bike over?

b )do you hang off the bike?

c) when typically flicking your bike on these types of turns, do you ever feel the bike shake or wobble?

 

have a think, come back to us. If we can identify what you did now, we can ensure we resolve it with you on your visit.

 

Bullet

Bullet, I love how you are able to make people come up with the answers to their own questions, by answering questions of your own. Really makes us think, and when we resolve the issue the answer sticks more than you just telling us... I will be watching this thread with interest.

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sorry to hear you've crashed, never the best for confidence I grant you. So we will no doubt work on this in great depth in a few weeks time, but lets ask some immediate questions:-

 

a) what did you do with the gas whilst trying to flick the bike over?

b )do you hang off the bike?

c) when typically flicking your bike on these types of turns, do you ever feel the bike shake or wobble?

 

have a think, come back to us. If we can identify what you did now, we can ensure we resolve it with you on your visit.

 

Bullet

You are probably way ahead of me, but I also wondered about grip on the bars and bar input...

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sorry to hear you've crashed, never the best for confidence I grant you. So we will no doubt work on this in great depth in a few weeks time, but lets ask some immediate questions:-

 

a) what did you do with the gas whilst trying to flick the bike over?

b )do you hang off the bike?

c) when typically flicking your bike on these types of turns, do you ever feel the bike shake or wobble?

 

have a think, come back to us. If we can identify what you did now, we can ensure we resolve it with you on your visit.

 

Bullet

 

 

Hi Bullet, I'm actually flying out to california to do 2 * 2 day camps at laguna seca and vegas motorspeedway, so i wont get a chance to talk to you unfortunately, but thanks for your help with this.

 

a) this is the hardest question to remember. i THINK i shut the throttle as i finished the right hander and picked the bike up and it was still closed as i continued steering over into the left. My steering was one continuous movement, i.e not right, upright, left, just right straight to left i didnt get a chance to roll on the throttle in the left hander, it let go that early

 

b ) i do hang off the bike on track or when i'm really pushing on on the road, but i wasnt this time as i wasnt really going for it. I was gripping the tank with both knees and sitting in the middle of the seat.

 

c) i do occasionally feel it shake and wobble when i'm going fast and hanging off ( so i know i'm doing it wrong, thats why i am coming to the school :) ) but this time i was relaxed on the bike, not gripping too tight, and had no such wobbles.

 

 

cheers

 

Neil

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My steering was one continuous movement, i.e not right, upright, left, just right straight to left i didnt get a chance to roll on the throttle in the left hander, it let go that early

 

How much effort was it to transfer the bike from leant over from right to left? So if 10 is big effort to heave the bike up and over and 1 is a very light/easy motion. Second - what part of the bike did you bear your bodyweight on to apply that effort - pegs? tank? bars? Combination?

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i was gripping the tank with both knees. I was pushing on the right bar for the right hander, so that seemed like quite alot of effort, but when i flipped up to go over for the left hander, i think i was pushing on the left bar, and maybe pulling on the right slightly, as that seemed like less effort. next thing i know i am thumping my shoulder into the tarmac with the bike on the deck.

 

 

Maybe i am not remembering what happened properly due to the adreneline, but thats what it seemed like to me.

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i was gripping the tank with both knees. I was pushing on the right bar for the right hander, so that seemed like quite alot of effort, but when i flipped up to go over for the left hander, i think i was pushing on the left bar, and maybe pulling on the right slightly, as that seemed like less effort. next thing i know i am thumping my shoulder into the tarmac with the bike on the deck.

 

 

Maybe i am not remembering what happened properly due to the adreneline, but thats what it seemed like to me.

How much bar pressure, and did you continually press or press and release?

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i was gripping the tank with both knees. I was pushing on the right bar for the right hander, so that seemed like quite alot of effort, but when i flipped up to go over for the left hander, i think i was pushing on the left bar, and maybe pulling on the right slightly, as that seemed like less effort. next thing i know i am thumping my shoulder into the tarmac with the bike on the deck.

 

 

Maybe i am not remembering what happened properly due to the adreneline, but thats what it seemed like to me.

How much bar pressure, and did you continually press or press and release?

 

 

 

i'm not sure how i can describe how much bar pressure or even measure it. I was still pressing, as i was still turning in, hadnt got to the point of releasing the pressure

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How much bar pressure, and did you continually press or press and release?

i'm not sure how i can describe how much bar pressure or even measure it. I was still pressing, as i was still turning in, hadnt got to the point of releasing the pressure

Do you recall if you chopped the throttle? I know you mentioned in a previous post you still weren't sure what you did with the throttle.

 

I can envision if you chopped the throttle then your front end would be overloaded, and that combined with a quick right lean over to left lean could well cause the front to let go.

 

I'll mention this to Pete when I see him Saturday morning.

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ok, thanks for your initial and subsequent comments.

 

so, let's talk about speed, first were you riding fast/hard? how fast/quickly were you trying to turn the bike? were you consciously trying to turn quickly/aggressively? what you did with the throttle at this time can/does make a big difference too.

 

Bullet

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was probably doing between 70 and 80 mph which is reasonably fast for that corner,but i have been faster (albeit in the summer). I was trying to turn the bike very quickly, as there isnt a lot of room in that corner.

 

I think i probably rolled off/chopped the throttle as i picked the bike up from the right hander. I'm guess your hinting this overloaded the front tyre?? How is this any different from turning in normally with no throttle on??

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was probably doing between 70 and 80 mph which is reasonably fast for that corner,but i have been faster (albeit in the summer). I was trying to turn the bike very quickly, as there isnt a lot of room in that corner.

 

I think i probably rolled off/chopped the throttle as i picked the bike up from the right hander. I'm guess your hinting this overloaded the front tyre?? How is this any different from turning in normally with no throttle on??

ok, we're making proress. I would suggest it's more likely you were still rolling it on, rather than. checking, as this will make the front lighter as the weight transfers backwards onto the fear tyre. with respect to quick turning, whilst its not possible to turn too quickly, it's possible to countersteer way too far, so basically if you steer the bike too aggressively and put it onto the lockstop for example, the bike will fold the front. you only ever need to push the bars say 50mm or so in a direction.

 

I personally learned this lesson myself when I was first starting out years back, as I thought the more aggressive I was with the steering the quicker it would turn. its covered in TW2 and I completely misunderstood the difference between quick and too far.

 

sound like a plausible option?

 

Bullet

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ok, we're making proress. I would suggest it's more likely you were still rolling it on, rather than. checking, as this will make the front lighter as the weight transfers backwards onto the fear tyre. with respect to quick turning, whilst its not possible to turn too quickly, it's possible to countersteer way too far, so basically if you steer the bike too aggressively and put it onto the lockstop for example, the bike will fold the front. you only ever need to push the bars say 50mm or so in a direction.

 

I personally learned this lesson myself when I was first starting out years back, as I thought the more aggressive I was with the steering the quicker it would turn. its covered in TW2 and I completely misunderstood the difference between quick and too far.

 

sound like a plausible option?

 

Bullet

This is why I mentioned early on that Bullet was probably way ahead of me, since this scenario is more what I had in mind when I originally chimed in with curiousity about bar input. When I saw "I think I may have shut the throttle..." that sent me toward the chopping the throttle question.

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was probably doing between 70 and 80 mph which is reasonably fast for that corner,but i have been faster (albeit in the summer). I was trying to turn the bike very quickly, as there isnt a lot of room in that corner.

 

I think i probably rolled off/chopped the throttle as i picked the bike up from the right hander. I'm guess your hinting this overloaded the front tyre?? How is this any different from turning in normally with no throttle on??

ok, we're making proress. I would suggest it's more likely you were still rolling it on, rather than. checking, as this will make the front lighter as the weight transfers backwards onto the fear tyre. with respect to quick turning, whilst its not possible to turn too quickly, it's possible to countersteer way too far, so basically if you steer the bike too aggressively and put it onto the lockstop for example, the bike will fold the front. you only ever need to push the bars say 50mm or so in a direction.

 

I personally learned this lesson myself when I was first starting out years back, as I thought the more aggressive I was with the steering the quicker it would turn. its covered in TW2 and I completely misunderstood the difference between quick and too far.

 

sound like a plausible option?

 

Bullet

 

 

Quite possibly. It definitely steered easier into the left hander than the right, so maybe i steered too far because i was still on the throttle a little bit and that caused the front to fold.

 

I'm glad i'm going to school shortly :rolleyes:

 

 

Thanks for your help Bullet, it really is much appreciated.

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No problem. There are of course other factors we've not considered here which could have contributed, poor road surface, cold tyres, debris on the road, or combinations of body input, throttle etc, etc, but as you cannot remember we've probably gone as far we can for right now. I'd certainly suggest you get your understanding of countersteer/quick turning cleared up in some detail on your trip to the states for sure.

 

Enjoy your trip, let us know how you get on. Brad, thanks for your thoughts and input to you, you provoker much thinking for our friend here too, keep up the good work.

 

 

Bullet

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Sorry for making half a hi-jack, but as this is far from the first time somebody on this board have told how they fell off without understanding why. Now, I'm far from a stellar rider and I've done my share of mistakes over the years - but I understand perfectly well why I fell off every time during my 31 riding seasons.

 

1: Water had frozen while I visited my grandma, but not where I had parked. Entered the first corner at low speed and found myself sliding from unexpected lack of traction, but I understood what it was before I hit the ground.

2: Collision - speed to high for the available visibility

3: Levelled rear wheel off the tarmac because I carried more speed/lean than physically possible

4: Horrible line, trying to avoid a manhole, hitting a bit of sand, tensing badly and sliding out

5: Forgetting to pay attention to the road, confused when I noticed I was heading for the ditch - and did just that because I couldn't orientate when trying to make sense of two horizons

6: Missed a downshift on gravel road, hit neutral, overcompensated for missing engine braking with too much brake and locked the wheels

7: Hit a big frost heave while cornering on the brakes from not paying attention, bottomed suspension and thrown into the air, front wheel locked and instantly slid out when it met tarmac again

8: Too much brake applied when a car plus a hidden bicyclist failed to yield as they should in a roundabout, wet road, front tucked on a large oil slick hidden by the water

9: Collision - met two cars as I entered a corner, one passing the other that together completely blocked the narrow road, used too much front brake in a futile attempt to stop, front locked and down we went

 

Every single one could have been avoided, either by proper technique, by staying focused or by keeping speed where it should have been giving the conditions. In spill 2, 3, 5, 8 and 9 I knew I was taking risks up front, 1, 4, 6 and, 7 came from being sloppy. The drivers of the vehicles I hit in those two collisions both carried the blame for blocking the road - which they did - but I know I could have avoided both by carrying sensible speed.

 

Not that those are my only mistakes. I cannot count the number of times I've saved sliding (or levelled off the ground) tyres, front and/or rear, mostly by stabbing a leg to the ground and kicking the bike back on its wheels. Locked the front wheel tons of times. Hit the brakes mid-corner after scaring myself silly with too much (for my nerves) cornering speed. Or from meeting unexpected obstacles. It's happened enough that I can say some sort of skill must have been involved, it cannot all by just luck - although one do need some luck as well. Same with road conditions, particularly in the wet; we need a bit of luck no matter how careful we ride in order to get home safely, but more often than not we control (most of) our own fate.

 

I guess my point is that there are only two reasons for my spills and accidents (plus near-misses); lack of attention and/or too much speed for the conditions. I know perfectly well how to ride in order to get home in one piece, but sometimes I choose to take risks in order to have more fun. Provided it doesn't end in tears, of course.

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It definitely steered easier into the left hander than the right, so maybe i steered too far because i was still on the throttle a little bit and that caused the front to fold.

See, this is the other reason (aside from you saying you think you shut off the gas) that I was re-thinking about on or off the throttle. For the initial turn, you setup for the right hander by rolling off the throttle (or so I assume), you did your steering input and set your lean to the right, then you rolled-on the throttle... now it gets fuzzy, but you seem very certain it was easier to turn left than right.

 

If you were on the gas, weight shifts to the rear, the rear sets your direction, and it should have been harder to turn, not easier. If you went off the gas, weight shifts forward, which quickens steering, and it should have been easier to turn. This, along with your statement you think you were off the gas, in fact suggests to me you were off the gas.

 

If you didn't calculate a roll-off, but rolled-off (i.e. chopped) as an unconscious reaction, then that would overload the front, destabilize the bike, and a hard right to left steering input could cause the front to slide, and if you were still applying bar pressure you could steer it right to the ground.

 

I think i probably rolled off/chopped the throttle as i picked the bike up from the right hander. I'm guess your hinting this overloaded the front tyre?? How is this any different from turning in normally with no throttle on??

In a normal turn you are calculating your entry speed in advance and then knowingly roll-off the throttle (and possibly use brakes) to set that speed, so you can flick the bike into the corner. You intentionally load the front and destabilize the bike, but in a calculated way. Once you are in the corner, you roll on the gas to again stabilize the bike. If you roll-off (i.e. chop) the gas in the turn (generally as an over-reaction to something), you have undesireable overloading of the front end, which will certainly destabilize the bike, and there are a number of bad things which can happen thereafter.

 

When you go through your CSS training you will get all this in great detail. I think you will have a fantastic time, and it probably will help you to better understand what contributed to your crash (and you may discover there was some detail or another you never knew was even an issue). When you have a spare minute or two (not often in the 2-day camp - they keep you hopping), talk with your coach about it, and they will probably guide you right to the answers :) .

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