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databyter

FZ07 Collision On Freeway This Morning

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databyter

 

 

 

This mornings commute was wet and foggy with sprinkles. I'm always extra careful in the rain, no extreme braking, accellerating, or manuevering, and I increase my following distance (apparently not enough).

 

The SUV in front of me did a fast stop out of the blue from a rolling 50-60 mph. He said he had no choice as there was a chain reaction stoppage ahead of him.

 

Even though I wasn't tailgating I have no anti-lock except my judgement and I hit both brakes as hard as I thought effective without skidding too much. Because it was still dark and wet I did not try to manuever around the car in traffic. I could have slid out or been hit by the next guy over or back.

 

In a dry situation I think I would have braked much harder, nosey hard or swerved hard, but my reaction this morning was to controlled brake and hope it was enough. It wasn't.

 

My rear tire was probably in the air at the end, if I wasn't skidding. It was a solid hit doing damage to the SUV's bumper (scuf n small tear) and impacting somehow my front fender, which means I was either doing a hell of a nosey, or my wheel went UNDER his bumper at some point (which was relatively high on a 4x4 SUV), because the fender is set back a bit from the front of the tire.

 

But all in all I don't think I hit hard enough to do any real damage to the forks or welds. I thought my wheel bearings might be compromised tho it felt a little grindy like the races got a flat spot. It could be my imagination.

 

I noticed there are guards (look at the pics) in front of the fork stems and these were not touched, so using that as a reference point maybe Im ok.

 

I think Im looking at 3 fender pieces (black center and 2 white sides).

 

BUT, Although I Have rode 30K miles in the last few years, Im still a noob in some ways when it comes to dealing with damage and safety.

 

Is there anything else I should be concerned about. Is it safe?The fork tree welds look ok, I can't measure for bend geometry that is out of my expertise but it looks right.

 

His bumper was fiberglass and rubber and I think that spread out the impact as did my wheel and fender.

 

Should I have it safety checked or something. Check the wheel?

 

Please feel free to comment.

 

p.s. Resized my pics so I could add more than one! 🤗

 

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mossrider

Glad you're ok. Get the front wheel off the ground and spin it to check run out. Stroke the forks hard and check their function. You could also use a string to check straight. It's no guarantee but you're probably ok. You'd damage all kind of other stuff before bearings and races in a hit like that. 

 

 

 

PM sent.

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databyter

Thanks, Mossrider, I don't have a front stand, but I've been wanting an excuse to make one. For the time being a block will do just to check the round, but I assume it is good since I took it up to 70 and it felt ok (considering tire wear). I'll put the forks thru some work tommorrow. And thanks for the parts. You rock!

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mossrider

Have your neighbor pull it over on its side stand a few inches while leaning on the seat to hold the rear end down/front up. 

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NRWhiteKnight

I agree with @mossrider on checking the forks. Even though they look straight, they may be tweaked. By your description of the incident you may not notice there is an issue. Or you may sit on the bike, put your hands on the bars, and think something doesn't feel right. That happened to me on a 600 I had after a wreck. Forks looked good but when sitting on it the bar position felt wrong. Had the forks checked and the right one was bent. But you would never know by looking. I had a suspension guy check them on his bench and it had just the tiniest crease right about where the fork sat in the lower clamp. I'm glad you aren't hurt and hope the fender is the only damage.

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Beemer

I test rode a used RD350 once and the forks looked fine but when I leaned in tight corners and turned the bars the front end felt like it rose up and you could feel the restriction to turn the bars so I didn't buy it. Before I left the kid admitted he'd ran into a wall and bent the forks slightly. Had I not noticed anything wrong with it I would've bought it and rode it. Edit: glad you're alright.

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r1limited

Certainly glad you are OK, nothing much to say that has not already been said about checking the bike out.  IMO there is also a lesson to be learned here for New and old riders.  Points to ponder

  1. Time of day
  2. Weather Conditions
  3. Situational awareness (Constant Scanning)
  4. Exit paths (Bubble)

What can be learned?

Time of Day Certainly we know as darkness or daylight comes we do the following: (a) Increase our distance (b) slow down (c) scan more

Weather Conditions Certainly we know as darkness or daylight comes we do the following: (a) Increase our distance (b) slow down (c) scan more

Exit Paths Certainly we know as darkness or daylight comes we do the following: (a) Increase our distance (b) slow down (c) scan more

 

Under the rule of shet happens everything above will not stop this, but we can prolong its appearance by being vigil, practice the basics.  That said, if I were to take away from the event if it was I, I would assume a few things I did wrong. 

1: I miss judged my distance and speed

2: I underestimated the conditions

3: I did not have a proper exit point (aka My bubble was evaluated, scanning)

Edited by r1limited
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maybe07

I agree with r1limited that you need to look at what you can do to improve your safety, and even then, you're still not safe.

 

Every time I ride south on I-5 to Bellingham, WA, I come across the skid marks made by the deceased rider who didn't slow down in time for heavy traffic. The marks are spray painted by State Patrol and will eventually fade out, but they catch my attention every time. 

https://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/local/article215882830.html

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3crows

Most likely the motorcycle is okay and I am certainly glad you are okay. I would have a shop check the frame and forks for straightness. 

 

I know you are beating yourself up over this but, just to say it again, there is a reason rear collisions are always the fault of the vehicle/person doing the colliding, because there is no real excuse to hit somebody from behind. Not only that but this is a good way to become a car/motorcycle/pink squashy part/car sandwich. 

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Beemer

Looking over this again it sounds to me like you did the right thing, you trusted your instincts and got on the brakes. Who hasn't done that? I get the feeling from what you said that you were a little afraid to get on the brakes harder than you did for fear of the front tire locking up, washing out and possibly going down hard. All it takes is for the front brake to lock up and the bars turned just a little for that to happen. it's key to keep your front tire pointed straight ahead when locked up. That is definitely a scary feeling and anyone would naturally feel compelled to avoid using the front brake much when they get that feeling.

 

All I can say is if you ever have to get on your brakes again in the rain try to ignore your instinct to be light on the front brake and keep applying steady pressure on the lever. Don't stop at a certain point for fear that your brakes may lock up. You may still have some added braking left after that point before they do lock up, extra stopping power that might've made the difference between stopping in time or not.  You may already realize this by now after having time to think about it all.

Just be glad nothing serious happened and don't let this detour you from enjoying riding. It could've happened in a car as well and you most likely wouldn't stop driving in a car over an accident.

Stay frosty!

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Cruizin
On 10/25/2018 at 6:20 PM, databyter said:

 

 

 

This mornings commute was wet and foggy with sprinkles. I'm always extra careful in the rain, no extreme braking, accellerating, or manuevering, and I increase my following distance (apparently not enough).

 

The SUV in front of me did a fast stop out of the blue from a rolling 50-60 mph. He said he had no choice as there was a chain reaction stoppage ahead of him.

 

Even though I wasn't tailgating I have no anti-lock except my judgement and I hit both brakes as hard as I thought effective without skidding too much. Because it was still dark and wet I did not try to manuever around the car in traffic. I could have slid out or been hit by the next guy over or back.

 

In a dry situation I think I would have braked much harder, nosey hard or swerved hard, but my reaction this morning was to controlled brake and hope it was enough. It wasn't.

 

My rear tire was probably in the air at the end, if I wasn't skidding. It was a solid hit doing damage to the SUV's bumper (scuf n small tear) and impacting somehow my front fender, which means I was either doing a hell of a nosey, or my wheel went UNDER his bumper at some point (which was relatively high on a 4x4 SUV), because the fender is set back a bit from the front of the tire.

 

But all in all I don't think I hit hard enough to do any real damage to the forks or welds. I thought my wheel bearings might be compromised tho it felt a little grindy like the races got a flat spot. It could be my imagination.

 

I noticed there are guards (look at the pics) in front of the fork stems and these were not touched, so using that as a reference point maybe Im ok.

 

I think Im looking at 3 fender pieces (black center and 2 white sides).

 

BUT, Although I Have rode 30K miles in the last few years, Im still a noob in some ways when it comes to dealing with damage and safety.

 

Is there anything else I should be concerned about. Is it safe?The fork tree welds look ok, I can't measure for bend geometry that is out of my expertise but it looks right.

 

His bumper was fiberglass and rubber and I think that spread out the impact as did my wheel and fender.

 

Should I have it safety checked or something. Check the wheel?

 

Please feel free to comment.

 

p.s. Resized my pics so I could add more than one! 🤗

 

image001.jpg

image002.jpg

image003.jpg

image004.jpg

image005.jpg

image006.jpg

Im happy that you are ok!   Every year, I take my state's sponsored advanced motorcycle course on whatever streetbike I'm riding that year and it really helps me keep my skills in tune. We practice sudden full on braking at speed and even hose down the track and try stuff on wet as well as dry pavement.  Every spring I notice at the beginning of the class that my skills have drifted off a bit and especially in the panic braking dept. 

 

Not saying at all that you were a fault or that your skills caused this. Sounds like there wasn't much you could do. 

 

Just a good reminder for all of us to practice our emergency braking and swerving, big empty parking lots are a great place to do this. 

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Beemer
2 hours ago, Cruizin said:

Im happy that you are ok!   Every year, I take my state's sponsored advanced motorcycle course on whatever streetbike I'm riding that year and it really helps me keep my skills in tune. We practice sudden full on braking at speed and even hose down the track and try stuff on wet as well as dry pavement.  Every spring I notice at the beginning of the class that my skills have drifted off a bit and especially in the panic braking dept. 

 

Not saying at all that you were a fault or that your skills caused this. Sounds like there wasn't much you could do. 

 

Just a good reminder for all of us to practice our emergency braking and swerving, big empty parking lots are a great place to do this. 

Good advice there! That inspires me to say that it's also very important to know where cars are at all times around you. That way if you have to change lanes suddenly you'll know without having to check at that very moment whether someone is there or not and you can pull it off, hopefully, without incident. Another tip for riding behind cars is never ride directly behind them. Always be off to one side or the other of the vehicle you're following so you can see everything up ahead of you whether that be crap on the road, pot holes, deer or morons with the I.Q. of deer or other vehicles and their brake lights. Being to one side also makes the transition to the lane closest to you quicker so that's a plus. 

 

If you already know this stuff it wasn't for you. Go back to your beer and watch the game. 😉

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databyter

Yea, reading all these posts today, and having had some time to think about what happened. I can say that although I have a very good focussed attitude towards safety every time I ride I also have to adjust what I am doing to meet reality or the tendency to become complacent over time.

 

My following distance is always pretty good, especially when it is dry when I have more opportunity to prove the point.

 

My following distance in the rain is always increased, but this instance shows, not enough, and I probably had the tendency to creep back to my dry following distances if I am not super focussed. I commute every day and sometimes I am thinking about my job or running late and not the car in front of me.

 

The advice about being aware of what is going on around me BEFORE I need to know if I can swerve into the next lane is well taken and usually I have a pretty good idea. In this instance I think I was just sort of droning along and I wasn't really sure of the traffic in my blind spot.

 

Also when it is foggy and the roads are wet, EVEN if I knew I could quickly swerve into the next lane, I could have slid out just doing the swerve in those conditions, and if I went down in the fog, even cars well behind me could be a threat, so I think my choice to just deal with the knowns in a way where I knew the risk would be a potential collision and not a total wipeout where I am off the bike.

 

All things considered, I stayed on the bike, which stayed running and upright, and I rode away from the scene. So I give myself a little credit, but there is definitely room for improvement.

 

Thanks to MossRider for the parts to fix my fender.

 

Live and learn. I definitely will adjust my following distance and focus in inclement weather.

 

I was just barely turning with almost no throttle the other day, at low speed and I still lost traction on my rear during a left turn. Fortunately at those speeds and at my skill level it wasn't a big deal. But it just goes to show you it can be really SLICK in some road areas and conditions. 

 

Thanks for the input guys.

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r1limited

Ruber Side down and Live to ride another day

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r1limited

@databyterI got to thinking more on this after your post.  You explained this very well and it is refreashing to see someone to be open to suggestion and replies as you have.  My thoughts now are as follows and as well important in our safety

 

  1. Is the suspension stock?
  2. How much do you weigh? (Ask as a follow up with Question 1)
  3. Are your tires wet rated?

If we ride in multiple weather conditions, are we equiping our bikes to be at its peak perfrmance for such conditions.  To no fault of your own a good part of the puzzle may be revealed by the answers

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howworkclutch

glad you are ok. i had a similar experience where a tesla crammed on the brakes while i was doing a mirror check- ran right up his bumper cover. no damage to the bike but racked the jewels hard.

 

the first mod i do to all bikes it rip off the front fender and throw it away. the spray from a wet tire makes it nearly impossible to ride on a wet day- and thats the point.

 

wet pavement = take the car. i lived without a car for years. rode in every kind of weather. i paid my dues lol

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databyter

Stock suspension, tho I plan to after 3 years and 30K miles rebuild the forks with a gold valve emulator solution (and they can check the tubes for damage at the same time, qnd some sort of rear shock upgrade (taking advice here).

 

I weigh around 185 I think tho scales may look at my growing beer belly and ask for a recount.

 

One of the reasons I stayed with the stock Mich III's was their superior rating over the improved Mich IIII's in inclement weather. A slight difference but an important one to an all weather commuter. Also my tire pressures, checked after the accident were very low, not sure if that helped or hurt.

 

Bottom line I know it's a wakeup call for me being complacent, overconfident, and ignoring maintenance issues, just because it's been so long since I had any issues.

 

I'm refocussed on safety and maintenance.

 

My chain slack was ridiculous, tire pressure low, it's irrelevant to safety but I am overdue for an oil change too tho for the most part I've been very good untill the last year.

 

Increasing following distance and situational awareness.

 

Here is a pic of my bike after I put on the parts Mossrider provided today. My bikes dirty, but now it looks good again, I'll probably wash it a bit later.

 

 

20181106_115545.jpg

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