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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,
I drive a GSX-R600 K4, or at least I used to up until a pretty eventful weekend. It started with my car's windshield developing a nasty crack, and ended with a moto wreck that resulted in the front & side fairings, headlight ass'y, instrument cluster, and front fairing stay being ruined. I've spent the past couple of days dwelling on the situation, what went wrong, and what could have prevented it. I believe that I've settled on a root cause, and I'd like to share the experience with newer riders here. If any veteran riders disagree with anything I say, respond to the thread! By no means do I want to give false advise or lead new riders astray. I should also say that I've been riding since last fall, so my experience level is still extremely low, which in my opinion mostly contributed to this accident.


The Backstory
I went for a Sunday ride with a friend of mine. An hour and a half ride through some country roads to get the cobwebs out of the bike. It was a relaxing and uneventful ride. Weather was beautiful, traffic was minimal, and plenty of fellow riders were out.

The Accident
The accident happened less than 0.5 miles from the end of the ride approaching a red light. There were 3 cars ahead of me, all slowing down for the light, as I was. Unexpectedly, the driver 2 cars ahead braked aggressively, causing the driver in front of me to do the same. Here's where my inexperience came into play; I reacted most likely as I would have reacted in a car, which is too slow for a bike. I ended up hard on the front and rear brakes, but wasn't slowing down enough. My front tire kicked to the left and the rear tire kicked out right, and without any speed to keep me upright I fell to the left of the bike. The bike slid up to the car in front of me and hit his rear bumper while I slid and tumbled away. I immediately got up and ran to the bike to remove it from the road, unaware that my bike had contacted the car in front of me. He pulled over and ran over to make sure I was alright. The damage to his vehicle was limited to a slightly bent license plate, of which he wasn't concerned with at all. My bike, however had more extensive damage. We exchanged information, I called the local police to have them file a report, and the driver stuck around until a tow truck showed up to give me the ride of shame back home. He swore that I had tons of distance behind him, which made me feel good that I wasn't too close, but bad that I suck at emergency braking so much. Didn't we go over this in the safety course? Yes, but that was months ago, and it's not often you have to brake hard like that.

The Damage


From what I can tell after investigating the broken pieces, it looks like brunt of the damage was caused by the failure of the front fairing stay. When that failed, the front fairing, headlight assembly, and instrument cluster were free to fall away from the bike and become damage.



The right side fairing cracked under the stress of the entire front fairing assembly losing support from the fairing stay. I had frame sliders on the bike, so the fairings had no scratches at all, although the stator cover got scraped a bit.





Power was still being delivered when the ignition key was turned on, indicating the wiring harness and battery were undamaged (signals & horn still worked). Unfortunately, the kill switch must have developed a loose connection so I was unable to start it.

Now I'll talk about the gear. I was wearing AGV Sport Willow Leather Pants, Cortech GX Sport 3.0 Jacket, Cortech Latigo Air RR Boots, LaZer Monaco Carbon Helmet, and Icon Twenty-Niner Gloves.

The jacket only had one small rip in it, with a few scuff marks here and there. The helmet had a scrap mark on it just below the face shield, although I feel like my head scraped quite a bit, so I'm surprised the damage was so minimal. The pants were practically undamaged, all stitching wasn't even touched, and only a few scuff marks were present (funny enough the AGV logo's took a lot of the wear). My gloves were in excellent condition with some fraying at the top of my left hand. I only had one scrape from the knee armor in the pants, which is really nothing considering what would have happened if I wasn't wearing any protective gear at all.

I might add pictures later of the gear, but really there's nothing to see.

Lessons Learned
Alright, so now that you've read what happened and seen some pictures, I'll outline the lessons I've learned here.

1. ATGATT: I cannot stress this enough. It saved me from banging my head on the pavement, losing skin on my legs, and potentially more harm. DO NOT SKIMP ON GEAR.

2. PRACTICE EVERYTHING: Instead of going on that ride, I should have rode to a parking lot to practice my skills. I spent too much thought on respecting the bike's power and being gentle with the throttle, and not enough thought on skills in braking. If I had a time machine, I would go back in time and practice emergency braking with that bike so I could be more prepared. Of course, every maneuver in the MSF course should be practiced to keep those skills sharp.

3. DON'T TRUST ANYONE: Just because drivers were slowing down to a redlight doesn't mean everything is okay. Someone could suddenly and unexpectedly jam on their brakes which requires quick reaction time. Leave plenty of room between you and others, even more so than you would in a car.

4. LEARN FROM IT: If you find yourself in an unfortunate situation like myself, don't get mad at other drivers, and don't get mad at yourself. Take a step back and analyze the situation. Figure out what went wrong and take whatever risk mitigating steps you can to prevent a similar event from happening in the future.

-CourtJester :cheers
 

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I got into a motorcycle accident on my old R1 for similar reasons. I had too much confidence in that another driver would not illegally try to cross into my lane. When he eventually did, I did not have enough time to brake properly. I only had my helmet on so I had an pretty good amount of road rash along with some broken bones, but my head was perfectly fine. Thanks HJC! If i wouldve had more gear on, I wouldve only had a broke wrist and fingers. If my driving would have been more defensive, like it is now, I wouldve been able to stop in time; or maybe even weave around him.
 

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Glad you're OK. It's also nice to see you accept reality that you fucked up instead of blaming gravel in the road or something else. Shit happens, and the bike looks fixable. Also glad to hear about the gear you are wearing when so few who ride in the street in the U.S. wear full leathers. :cheers
 

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Glad to hear you made it out of the situation alright. In a split seconds time so much can happen, even with experience. It's good to know you know what to work on. Those skills always need honing and you should never stop learning. If you feel a lack of confidence when getting back on the first time, I would just step away and ride another day. Good luck with fixing the bike. It doesn't look like its gonna need a whole hell of a lot.
 

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I am so happy that you actually accepted that this was caused by your lack of experience instead of all the other excuses we've heard over the years! :cheers

Glad youre alright. The bike is definitely fixable. I wouldnt even worry about the side fairings!

But just learn from it and move on. Seems like youve got the right attitude. Keep youre head up, we've all been there.
 

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As someone who's messed up and caused an accident, as well as being seriously injured in it, thanks for the heads-up to all if us. The reminder is appreciated. Some have ridden for such a long time without incident, and this brings into perspective how skills should be kept up on. Glad you're well, and glad the bike is able to be fixed. Get back on and ride safely.

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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So @CourtJester140 (I'm not accusing just asking) were you failing to maintain a proper distance from the vehicle in front of you or was your speed approaching the intersection higher than it should have been? (or maybe even both of those)
 

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Bike can be replaced , you can not ... Chalk it up to learning and stay safe !!!!
 

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I remember my first motorcycle accident I was going home for Easter last year on my 75 honda mt 250 that I just finished restoring it was a long ride went 90 miles and about 40 left to go I was in the fast lane on the highway following a brand new Audi a4 then all of sudden the stops and stops hard I try to stop but my drum brakes couldn't stop as fast as the Audi so I hit him going 55 and flip the bike some how staying on the bike all I could remember was say o fuck then hearing my helmet scraping on the ground then I got up dared cussing some more pick up what was left of my bike then check to see if I broke anything just had two bruises no road rash on my leather just my helmet I was happy to still be alive I'm happy you came out just fine your very lucky :)
 

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Holy Crap People really live in RI ? :lmao:lmao I always thought it was a myth.













J/K

Op good to own your mistake . Sounds like your mistake was jamming on both brakes hard. You locked both the front and rear up once that happened you were done. A motorcycle can slow down really fast when needed but if you just jam on the brakes the tires break traction and you're screwed as you found out . When you practice your braking try it with out the back brake . Be firm on the front but don't grab. The rear brake becomes useless in a emergency braking maneuver ( at least it does for me Back tires not no the ground ).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So @CourtJester140 (I'm not accusing just asking) were you failing to maintain a proper distance from the vehicle in front of you or was your speed approaching the intersection higher than it should have been? (or maybe even both of those)
It may have been both, too be honest it all happened so fast I don't know. The guy I hit swore I had plenty of distance, which is why I was chalking this up to braking inexperience, although I'm sure more distance wouldn't have hurt.



Holy Crap People really live in RI ? :lmao:lmao I always thought it was a myth.


J/K

Op good to own your mistake . Sounds like your mistake was jamming on both brakes hard. You locked both the front and rear up once that happened you were done. A motorcycle can slow down really fast when needed but if you just jam on the brakes the tires break traction and you're screwed as you found out . When you practice your braking try it with out the back brake . Be firm on the front but don't grab. The rear brake becomes useless in a emergency braking maneuver ( at least it does for me Back tires not no the ground ).

I'll definitely be trying that when the bike is repaired. And no, RI doesn't actually have anyone living here :p, it's 90% CT and MA commuters clogging up the roads :twitch

I priced up the cost for replacing the broken components. Comes to about 1k. I have the opportunity to change the color of the bike! Although I would have to paint the tank....hmmm...
 

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Believe it or not some track time would have helped you.

Learning just what the brakes are capable of and how to apply them smoothly but tail limit brake is a huge advantage on the street.

Sounds like it wasn't so much how hard you used the front brake but. How suddenly. It needs to be smooth and gradually although it can be done pretty rapidly.
 

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I went through a very similar situation a couple years ago. Only difference being it was going through a turn so I was in a lean when I hit the back of a truck. I believe even though it was a bad experience, it was a learning experience and made me a better rider. Some riders could use a dose of humility and realize they are not invincible.
 

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It may have been both, too be honest it all happened so fast I don't know. The guy I hit swore I had plenty of distance, which is why I was chalking this up to braking inexperience, although I'm sure more distance wouldn't have hurt.






I'll definitely be trying that when the bike is repaired. And no, RI doesn't actually have anyone living here :p, it's 90% CT and MA commuters clogging up the roads :twitch

I priced up the cost for replacing the broken components. Comes to about 1k. I have the opportunity to change the color of the bike! Although I would have to paint the tank....hmmm...
Target fixation most likely caused your wreck. In many cases, a brake/swerve maneuver can/will avoid collisions.
 

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Hey everyone,
I drive a GSX-R600 K4, or at least I used to up until a pretty eventful weekend. It started with my car's windshield developing a nasty crack, and ended with a moto wreck that resulted in the front & side fairings, headlight ass'y, instrument cluster, and front fairing stay being ruined. I've spent the past couple of days dwelling on the situation, what went wrong, and what could have prevented it. I believe that I've settled on a root cause, and I'd like to share the experience with newer riders here. If any veteran riders disagree with anything I say, respond to the thread! By no means do I want to give false advise or lead new riders astray. I should also say that I've been riding since last fall, so my experience level is still extremely low, which in my opinion mostly contributed to this accident.


The Backstory
I went for a Sunday ride with a friend of mine. An hour and a half ride through some country roads to get the cobwebs out of the bike. It was a relaxing and uneventful ride. Weather was beautiful, traffic was minimal, and plenty of fellow riders were out.

The Accident
The accident happened less than 0.5 miles from the end of the ride approaching a red light. There were 3 cars ahead of me, all slowing down for the light, as I was. Unexpectedly, the driver 2 cars ahead braked aggressively, causing the driver in front of me to do the same. Here's where my inexperience came into play; I reacted most likely as I would have reacted in a car, which is too slow for a bike. I ended up hard on the front and rear brakes, but wasn't slowing down enough. My front tire kicked to the left and the rear tire kicked out right, and without any speed to keep me upright I fell to the left of the bike. The bike slid up to the car in front of me and hit his rear bumper while I slid and tumbled away. I immediately got up and ran to the bike to remove it from the road, unaware that my bike had contacted the car in front of me. He pulled over and ran over to make sure I was alright. The damage to his vehicle was limited to a slightly bent license plate, of which he wasn't concerned with at all. My bike, however had more extensive damage. We exchanged information, I called the local police to have them file a report, and the driver stuck around until a tow truck showed up to give me the ride of shame back home. He swore that I had tons of distance behind him, which made me feel good that I wasn't too close, but bad that I suck at emergency braking so much. Didn't we go over this in the safety course? Yes, but that was months ago, and it's not often you have to brake hard like that.

The Damage


From what I can tell after investigating the broken pieces, it looks like brunt of the damage was caused by the failure of the front fairing stay. When that failed, the front fairing, headlight assembly, and instrument cluster were free to fall away from the bike and become damage.



The right side fairing cracked under the stress of the entire front fairing assembly losing support from the fairing stay. I had frame sliders on the bike, so the fairings had no scratches at all, although the stator cover got scraped a bit.





Power was still being delivered when the ignition key was turned on, indicating the wiring harness and battery were undamaged (signals & horn still worked). Unfortunately, the kill switch must have developed a loose connection so I was unable to start it.

Now I'll talk about the gear. I was wearing AGV Sport Willow Leather Pants, Cortech GX Sport 3.0 Jacket, Cortech Latigo Air RR Boots, LaZer Monaco Carbon Helmet, and Icon Twenty-Niner Gloves.

The jacket only had one small rip in it, with a few scuff marks here and there. The helmet had a scrap mark on it just below the face shield, although I feel like my head scraped quite a bit, so I'm surprised the damage was so minimal. The pants were practically undamaged, all stitching wasn't even touched, and only a few scuff marks were present (funny enough the AGV logo's took a lot of the wear). My gloves were in excellent condition with some fraying at the top of my left hand. I only had one scrape from the knee armor in the pants, which is really nothing considering what would have happened if I wasn't wearing any protective gear at all.

I might add pictures later of the gear, but really there's nothing to see.

Lessons Learned
Alright, so now that you've read what happened and seen some pictures, I'll outline the lessons I've learned here.

1. ATGATT: I cannot stress this enough. It saved me from banging my head on the pavement, losing skin on my legs, and potentially more harm. DO NOT SKIMP ON GEAR.

2. PRACTICE EVERYTHING: Instead of going on that ride, I should have rode to a parking lot to practice my skills. I spent too much thought on respecting the bike's power and being gentle with the throttle, and not enough thought on skills in braking. If I had a time machine, I would go back in time and practice emergency braking with that bike so I could be more prepared. Of course, every maneuver in the MSF course should be practiced to keep those skills sharp.

3. DON'T TRUST ANYONE: Just because drivers were slowing down to a redlight doesn't mean everything is okay. Someone could suddenly and unexpectedly jam on their brakes which requires quick reaction time. Leave plenty of room between you and others, even more so than you would in a car.

4. LEARN FROM IT: If you find yourself in an unfortunate situation like myself, don't get mad at other drivers, and don't get mad at yourself. Take a step back and analyze the situation. Figure out what went wrong and take whatever risk mitigating steps you can to prevent a similar event from happening in the future.

-CourtJester :cheers

First and foremost, glad you're ok. Like others mentioned, the bike looks fixable. I am by no means an authority on safety, I can only offer some tips on what I feel have made me pretty safe over the last 5-6 years.

Obviously ATGATT is the first step to being as safe as possible.
The others round out awareness of surroundings, for example:

When I'm out and I'm sure it's not unique to Utah, but cagers make knee-jerk reactions, lane changes, all that stuff, along with texting etc. If I ever post my helmet cam footage, you may get motion sickness because I have a habit of scanning, a LOT. I think any good rider should always scan, make mental notes as to what sorts of cars, drivers, where they are, what they tend to do (based on vehicle type) and a litany of other things that I can only describe as instinct developed over hundreds of hours of research, watching hundreds if not thousands of clips of motorcycle accidents, photos, etc.

Keep an eye on vehicles ahead of you, and beside you. I have a pattern I tend to follow, and I'll mix it up. It looks kind of like this:

Look ahead, look left, look rear left/right look right, look ahead.

Follow that pattern and mix it up a bit.

Whenever I approach an intersection or stop light, I try to be in the middle lane.
My thinking if someone from the other direction runs a light or makes a wide turn into my area, I want to have enough lane movement to maneuver out of the way if need be.

When approaching a group of stopped cars, I position myself again in the middle lane, slightly to the left or right of the car in front of me. This way if a car approaches too fast from the rear, it takes a second or two to scoot up and use the cars as a barrier. Let the car rear end another car, you be out of the way.

Whenever I am first in the line crossing on a green light I rarely if ever dart out ahead of the cars, again just in case someone runs a red light, I'd have some protection from the car next to me. People also tend to fill the open lanes to my left and my right, so built in cushion.

I look for distracted drivers, texters, and get away from them.

I avoid minivans

Subaru's.

I use the commuter lane a lot.

Hope this gives some help to some newer riders.
 
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