Never Again! (Or I learned about riding from that) - Page 3 - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum
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post #21 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 10:18 AM
Vincent_V's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2017
Model: VT750CD
Year: 2003
Location: Texas
Posts: 43
My first bike was a Suzuki GS500E that I used as a daily driver in college (maneuvering and parking on campus became SO MUCH easier).

I bought the bike used, knowing absolutely nothing about motorcycles. So I took the MSF course, got my license, and immediately starting daily driving it. At this point I hadn't done any maintenance yet, and I really hadn't inspected the bike very thoroughly.

So this one day, shortly after getting the license, I pull up to the stop sign heading out of my neighborhood and I get ready to make my right turn out onto the road. As I make the turn, the rear wheel slips out from under me and suddenly the bike is almost all the way down on it's side. Now this was a sport bike, with pretty decent ground clearance, and it was far enough over that the foot peg was folded up pinning my boot. As this is happening, literally the only thought going through my head is that I REALLY didn't want to lay down the bike. So instead of getting myself clear to avoid injury, like any sane person might have, I did my best to get the bike back up. I shifted myself as upright as possible, and gave the bike as much throttle as I could. Somehow the rear end caught traction for a moment, the bike jumped upright, lurched forward, and then the rear end lost traction again and fishtailed back and forth like you wouldn't believe. So now I'm heading down a narrow 2-lane road, with deep ditches on either side, with oncoming traffic in the other lane, and with my rear end sliding back and forth threatening to high side and launch me into an oncoming camaro. By the grace of God, the rear wheel caught traction while parallel to the front and all at once I was speeding down the road like nothing had happened.

As soon as I could pull over, I parked at a gas station and inspected my tires. I don't know if the previous owner did non-stop burnouts, or just rode a lot of miles in a straight line, but there was zero tread left in the middle of the rear tire and seemingly brand new tread on the sides (this explains why the bike caught traction when it was nearly on it's side, but kept losing traction as soon as it was upright). Both tires were also significantly under filled.

This whole situation taught me a couple of important lessons:
1. God definitely has my back
2. NEVER take your tires for granted
3. ALWAYS thoroughly inspect a used bike before riding it

I've had a couple of other close calls, but I think this is the only one that's particularly interesting.

Never attribute to villainy that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
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post #22 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 12:06 AM
Join Date: Jul 2018
Model: Spirit
Year: 2002
Location: Houston Texas
Posts: 551
Good advice.
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post #23 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 05:00 AM
shado#9's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Mpls MN
Posts: 64
Lots of good above here... riding since 72....lessons...

1 dont ride the middle of road crap lives there use a tire track either one.
2 birds are stupid most people too everyone is out to kill or mess u up...always!
3 accident sites are VERY slippery either gas oil anti-freeze worse than cold ice
4 did I say every thing and everyone is out to kill u
5 all truck / all trailers are just conveyors of **** that will fly off and kill you.never follow one.
6 weather is a bitch if it can catch you it will, plan on it ..corollary : bars make good shelters just ride it out on a stool....hard all weather rides need Through planning.
7 loud bikes are ok...very loud horns are better note 2&4 above
8 long rides / cold rides leave the body stiff, and not in a good way move yer legs b4 u need em.
9 anything between your tires and pavement.. bad ...sand /gravel/ leaves/ grassclip/worms/ mayflies/frogs/that tiny water trail today was 20ft wide yesterday and muddy.
10 turns are always places of chance meetings on side of road/ deer /Raccoon family. see 4:
11 above all watch the road infront of you and in front of that...

several things that have nearly killed me the oddest ....turtles laying eggs on road edge. saw one unidentified moving object saw two ...3d one trying to get good look at it ...road slow curve ...
I was in the grass at hi speed was lucky ...note 11 above
currently the worst stuff ...note 5 never follow anything but bikes and small cars, plan it that way.

good luck

not really funny or cute but learn to be tuff it would not have been deadly but would have messed me and bike up ...a wasp/bee got in my helmet and I freaked out slapping grabbing let go of bike everthing now I am not allergic but it just surprised me so much..spun the bike 180 and put it down gently threw the helmet in the ditch was only going 35mph and stood in the middle of road brushing cloths and jacket off digging in and around my neck stung twice b4 killing it yeah it hurt but if I could have thought straight I could have fast stopped and dug it out with out trying to killmyself....2&4.

Last edited by shado#9; 06-15-2019 at 05:23 AM. Reason: needed
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post #24 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 09:59 AM
Big Shrek's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2018
Model: VT500C
Year: 1983
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Posts: 329
Addendum to Note #5 NEVER ride staying beside a large truck either.

Ever seen a truck tire blow?? the amount of junk is more of a spray of rubber & steel cords that goes everywhere...and sometimes other parts fly off as the air bags and associated metal parts.

Loose cargo – A truck tire explosion can cause a trailer to unlock and its cargo can hit other motorists.
Loss of control – Trucks often become unbalanced when tires explode. In an effort to stay in one lane or to veer away from other vehicles, a truck driver could hit and seriously injure adjacent motorists.
Flying parts – Parts of a tire that explodes can hit the windows or windshields of other motorists, causing them to lose control of their cars.
Debris on the road – Tire parts that fall onto the road after a blowout can cause vehicles to swerve into other lanes and accidents can quickly ensue.
GRAPHIC vids of truck tires blowing and hurting people...or just flying across the road...

The other thing is a truck May Not See You and crush you like a bug while dodging road debris/stupid cars/animals/etc...or you are the lesser of two hitting another vehicle parked on the side of the road, but they didn't get totally OFF the road...and bumping a moving object is less dangerous than hitting an object that is not moving.

Both cars & bikes should pass a large truck as quickly and effectively as possible.
Do not dawdle or hang around.
Dang sure don't hang around the rear bumper for ANY reason, in either lane.

If you see a trucker's turn signal engage, take it as a WARNING that he's coming over shortly, so don't be there. They can see much farther ahead than you can, with their additional height, seeing distant problems developing gives them more time to react, as long as everyone else pays attention and reacts to what THEY do.

In general, try and stay as far away from Semi's & Large Box Trucks as possible. Things go wrong, and when they do with a big truck, it tends to get really ugly. Give them the respect of any other road hazard.

Ride paranoid. Don't let anything distract you.
Keep the paint side up, wear the lid & leathers.

Last edited by Big Shrek; 06-15-2019 at 10:04 AM.
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post #25 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 11:45 AM
Kris Carr's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2018
Model: VT500C
Year: 1984
Location: PG, BC, canada
Posts: 867
I followed a Dodge duelly with a flat deck on the highway once when out of the blue his outside left rear tire exploded. Sounded like a shotgun blast and I swear the left rear of his truck jumped up 4 inches. Debris flew all over my car and scared the hell out of my wife who couldnt understand how it made such an explosion no matter how much I explained about tire pressures and heat expansion. She figured the tire was full of something, like he was smuggling explosives in his tire or something. It was quite the sight

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post #26 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 02:15 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2019
Model: Spirit 750
Year: 2012
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 13
When I was a brand-new rider, I was parked at a curb with no traffic on either side of the road in a business area. I made a U-turn over a double yellow line and didn't count on the tree sap that was there in the middle. I almost went down, but saved the spill by using sheer force of my leg (which hurt). Moral of the story for me was just obey all traffic laws. ALL. Speed, stop signs, signaling, etc.
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post #27 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 10:54 PM
Join Date: Jul 2018
Model: Spirit
Year: 2002
Location: Houston Texas
Posts: 551
I just got my CDL within the last year and though i drive mostly smaller trucks, dump trucks and trucks pulling about 30,000 lbs I have learned how dangerous they are. Great advice above (Do not dawdle or hang around). Also if you pass a big truck it is better to do so on take off not the space in front of a stopping truck. I had multiple cars pull over in my stopping space and nearly plowed them all one day. Also don't be the jerk to pass the truck to lock up your brakes and turn in front of it while it locks up the brakes, you're taking your life in your hands. In all vehicles sharing the road and courtesy go a long way for all our safety.
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post #28 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 05:29 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Lincoln,CA.
Posts: 416
Originally Posted by Ramie View Post
I've learned to always be cautious when passing or following a truck hauling pigs, they often pass their bowels while being transported.
Been there, done that. Luckily I was in my pickup.
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post #29 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
ShadowGeezer's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2018
Model: VT700
Year: 1985
Location: West Coast Florida
Posts: 276
Paint Lines, Rumble strips, and grated bridge decks...
Was out for an evening spin and jumped on a couple mile segment of interstate, following my son on his sport bike. He had a couple hundred yard lead and caught a break in traffic to merge. There was fairly steady traffic in the "slow" lane, so I lagged a bit to merge smoothly, putting me about 1/4 mile behind. Anticipating the need to get ahead of the traffic I'd just merged with, I twisted the noise maker handle and got out in the middle lane, passing my son by just in time to cut over and take the exit ramp we had agreed upon earlier. It was an upslope ramp with a right-hand sweeper bypassing the traffic signal at the top. I could see the traffic was all clear on the crossing road, so boogied up the ramp, ready to take the sweeper to the right. Traffic was clear and I rolled into the sweeper at about 45 mph with a good lean angle. I too was on a sport bike with great tires (Michelin Pilot Road 4s) so wasn't real concerned about taking a fast corner. Shoulda been. The line I had chosen coming up the ramp for the sweeper put the apex of my turn on a "paint ladder" on the roadway to herd the traffic merging onto the crossroad. I was trail braking with a touch of front brake and released just before the ladder. As my tires made contact with the ladder, I could feel the front tire starting to wash out, and the back get a bit squirrelly. Fortunately, I was too stupid to try to do anything which turned out to be the smartest thing to do. The bike was stabilized for the turn, so I just held steady on the throttle and gyroscopic effect worked its magic. My back tire held its grip and all ended well.

Lessons learned. 1) Wide paint stripes, even dry, can be slick as glass (but I knew that...) 2) If you can't assess the road surface on a curve due to visibility, or whatever, DON'T PUSH IT. 3) Roadways and edges are full of surprises, like wide paint lines, double paint lines that make nice tire traps, continuous "rumble" strips like at the lane edge on some interstates, and grated bridges that are a real treat with dual sport tires. Gyroscopic effect and suspension engineering are your best friends. Don't panic and let the bike do its thing.

If it jams, force it. If it breaks it needed replacing anyway.

Last edited by ShadowGeezer; 06-17-2019 at 06:13 PM.
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post #30 of 34 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Model: VT700
Year: 1985
Location: West Coast Florida
Posts: 276
Multi-lane urban traffic...
Riding solo in 3 lanes of moderately heavy 45 mph traffic on US 41, in left tire track of rightmost lane to afford cross-street traffic best angle of view of the bike while maintaining "ownership" of my driving lane with traffic in middle adjoining lane. Bike maintaining "air cushion" best as possible slightly aft right rear quarter panel of car in adjoining lane and driver in line of sight through passenger side mirror, with 1-1/2 car lengths space ahead and behind in my lane. Middle lane traffic slows rapidly while my lane continues at speed, middle lane is a sea of brake lights. Still moving with traffic in my lane and maintaining space with car ahead, as I pass the second car ahead in the middle lane I see the front tire of the third car ahead in the middle lane start to move my signal..but this minivan is trying to " beat the clock" by ducking into my lane. Full horn, slight swerve right, heavy front and rear brakes with slight chirp of front tire, driver sees me and swerves back when right quarter panel is still about 3-4 feet away...and I still had more escape room to the right and an upcoming business entrance driveway if needed. But it was still uncomfortably close.

Lessons learned. 1) position your bike within your lane so as to afford maximum visibility to drivers in adjoining lanes, 2) be aware of rapid changes of speed, either accelerating or slowing in all lanes, 3) keep the front tires of the cars slightly ahead in adjoining lanes in your peripheral vision, remembering that the front tires are the first to move in your direction, 4) practice maximum braking stops from 45-50 mph regularly and medium to low speed braking and offset swerving so they're instinctive when you need them.

If it jams, force it. If it breaks it needed replacing anyway.
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