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Crash analysis

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Hi there.

I'm a motorcycle instructor in France. This Tuesday one of my students crashed in a curve during a course. He is fine but injured. I was following him driving my car and we had radio communication.

The crash happened in a left turn. Not a blind one or an accute one. 

Remembering what happened in the previous right turn I Can say that my student had not the right timing and that he attacked the left turn with the wrong angle of attack : too much angle to easily turn his head to the left. He attacked the turn diagonally not straight.

So he brought too much Speed. Not because he was fast but because he was late in his timing : when he should have been decelerating he was accelerating.

Then he rolled off the gas. No braking.

Then he tightened on the bars. No steering.

Then he fixed his attention on what he was going to hit. Attention was targeted on what he wanted to avoid.

Bike was not steered at all and went straight on the target.

There was no braking even just before he hit the ditch.

Thankfully he just crashed where there was mud, so he has no major injuries.

Don't know how it can help. But this is what happened. I was following him so I saw the crash. I Can also say that I saw the crash coming before it happened but my reaction time to give him instructions was always 1 or 2 seconds late.

I can now analyse what happened : things you say at CSS are right. They are vital on road. I Can also say that the crash began the turn before when he was late on his line. He tried to correct this but always 1 or 2 seconds late.

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When teaching lines, speed and angle of attack are major mistakes of my students. They are always late on the exit : they should use the exit ( second half ) of the turn to lean it then bring it up so that the bike is up at the start of the straight line. Instead they wait for the bike to be in the straight line after the turn. Then they lean the bike and bring it up in  the middle of the following straight. 

They also always are late in pre position so that the bike goes in a straight line to the entrance of the turn. They are always going diagonally waiting for the end of the straight line to position it in the entrance.

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So for pushing pulling, I'm more of a push Guy than a pull one. Also, once in a turn, I completely let of the bars, just to see what happens. Bike stays on its line even if you completely remove both hands of the bars. I was able to do that going flat or downhill but not going uphill as bike was loosing speed.

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Your post above about the crash almost sounds like a description of the crash sequence shown in A Twist of the Wrist II DVD (which is an example of a fairly typical sort of rider-error crash), where the narrator points out and describes each Survival Reaction that happens leading to the crash. Might be worth reviewing the DVD and watching how that crash evolves as it sounds VERY similar to what you saw.

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