Nearly got smoked yesterday... - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Nearly got smoked yesterday...

My buddy and I went for a long ride yesterday up to the Laurentians, north of Montreal - the leaves are doing their thing this time of year and it was a beautiful day for a ride. We were cruising around a big old lake on some great twisties - my buddy in front (he knew the area) and me behind.

We come round a corner and suddenly we're fast approaching a junction, no sign no warning no nothing, the road we were travelling on the vertical part of the T junction, joining the main road at about a 120 degree angle. I guess I was doing somewhere between 60 and 80 kph but can't say for sure. I get to the apex of the curve keeping one eye on the road surface (is not perfect in these parts) and the other on the curve's exit and see the situation in fast forward - not only are we almost at a junction but the corner is covered in gravel. My buddy's on a dual sport - he handles the corner and the gravel no worries, and he's slowing down right in front of me. For me it's a different story.

In a heartbeat I think I had the choice to either brake into the curve and take my chances on the spill (no way I'd keep the bike upright on that gravel but I guess it was an option) and the other was to hit the brakes in a straight line and take my chances. I immediately lost traction on the road thanks to the gravel, then hit the dirt shoulder and braked straight through that for about 20ft. You can see in the photo that that particular episode ended at a sizeable bump in the dirt which I hit and managed to bank the bike left (I think - maybe it was just luck), avoiding that sign by a couple of inches. Through the grass (thankfully there was no ditch) and finally out onto the road into incoming traffic (mercifully there was none). Finally got some traction on the brakes once I was back on the asphalt and brought the bike to a stop on the hard shoulder near the forest.



It was the first time I've ever lost control of a cruiser, and I've ridden all sorts of bikes for 25 years. Thinking about yesterday - and I've been thinking about it a lot - things could have ended up very differently very easily but for a couple of things. The speed I was travelling - although it meant of course my reaction time was reduced, also carried me through the brake. Importantly, the gyroscopic force exerted on the bike kept it upright as well - even when I hit that bump in the dirt - and perhaps because I'd been in similar situations before my body definitely relaxed completely into the situation and stayed in control of the bike as much as possible. A ditch in the grass, or that sign a little to the left and any amount of control would have been moot of course - I can't believe how lucky I got.

Definitely dodged one yesterday. Thanked the Big Guy, and appreciated the situation for what it was and what it could very easily have been. Could have ended very differently, in lots of ways.

Keep it shiny side up guys, be safe out there.

Yamez - putting the Yam into Yamaha
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 09:26 AM
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Holy crap.. Glad you are Okay. Nice save!!!!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 11:09 AM
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I'm with NGM, glad you are alright.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 12:07 PM
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Thank you for the share and happy you pulled off a safe ending.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 12:59 PM
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That'll certainly tighten the old sphincter. Been there, done that. But mine was on back to back 90 degree or better, corners. Yar, and glad ya came through that one ok.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2016, 08:03 PM
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"...and the other was to hit the brakes in a straight line and take my chances..."

will take that option every time.

Sometimes my bike surprises me and stops faster than I thought it would
and sometimes the back wheel skids way too easy.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
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"...and the other was to hit the brakes in a straight line and take my chances..."

will take that option every time.

Sometimes my bike surprises me and stops faster than I thought it would
and sometimes the back wheel skids way too easy.
This!!!!! I am shocked at the difference at times.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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"...and the other was to hit the brakes in a straight line and take my chances..."

will take that option every time.

Sometimes my bike surprises me and stops faster than I thought it would
and sometimes the back wheel skids way too easy.
Too true. My buddy said he couldn't get his head around how fast I went by him on the brake - my back tire locked and basically I just maintained the same speed through the dirt until I hit that bump. The grass slowed me down some, but really it wasn't until I came out the other side, back onto the asphalt that traction kicked in again and I could slow the bike down.

Looking at my rear tire, it's hardly surprising. It's a new, Michelin Commander 2 (from and back) but man, it's not got the deepest tread in the world. Definitely not designed for off-road! That and the fact that there was gravel on the corner meant I had very little traction from the get go.

Thanks for the good vibes guys, and here's to keepin' your rubber on the road

Yamez - putting the Yam into Yamaha
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-13-2016, 05:35 PM
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I find that when I feel like going for a ride to nowhere in particular, I tend to end up on roads I am familiar with. Feel more confident when I know whats up ahead, and I know where I can get on it without having to worry.

If Im riding where Ive never been before I dial it back a bit. The roads where I live are mostly predictable and well laid out... but there are a few. There is a two lane about 20 miles south of me with wonderful views of the hills ten miles away. You go up a blind hill in a 55 zone, and the other side:

1. drops off steeply
2. Turns to the right with a yellow 30mph TURN sign
3. and the pavement is banked the wrong way on the turn.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-14-2016, 12:40 PM
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wow, that is scary. This past June my friends and I did a big trip and one day we did a loop from Grants Pass on the Bear Camp Road to the Coast, much of the road is one lane and has a number of Gravel sections.

In this clip as I enter one of the Gravel sections I noticed the right side has less of a drop off the pavement, so I veered to the right a bit on entry not realizing the reason is was less of a drop was due to the gravel being much deeper there. Got a little sideways, managed to drop my left foot dirt bike style to keep upright and swing the big girl back around. Certainly caught me off guard and gave me a mental pause.

https://youtu.be/ggi7soxkN3k?t=10m35s

And I think you did the right thing, hard braking in a straight line is safer than any kind of turning while braking, you were very fortunate there was a run off. These big bikes take much longer to slow down for sure.
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