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Old 04-06-2012, 09:41 PM   #1
Daft Punk
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After Your First Fall

How did you feel about riding again after your first fall? A friend of mine went down a few months ago. He learned after the fact that it was caused by him chopping the throttle in the middle of a corner/lean and the rear slipped out. We finally rode together again today and afterwards I asked him how he liked being back on two wheels. He told me that before he went down, he was really confident, excited, and thought he knew all of the basics of riding. After he went down, he realized that he had much to learn. So he spent a good amount time to read, watch, and learn more on riding techniques. He told me that during our ride today, he felt nervous. His hands were numb from holding on to the bars too tight after about 45mins, which was never a problem before. He even made rookie target fixation mistakes that he swore never happened before. I watched him changing lanes and rolled right over the metal hook of a tie down strap that was laying in between lanes. It should have been easily avoided but he said he got fixed on it. Then I watched as he was making a left curve and went way far out where there was a bunch of gravel...again he said he was looking at where he didn't want to go. He knows all about target fixation even since he first started riding but still made these rookie mistakes that never happened before. I told him that my guess is that he was so busy trying to perfect his throttle control since the lack of it was why he went down in the first place, that he forgot to look where he wants to go. Overall I got the vibe that he didn't enjoy the ride very much because of his close encounters first time out in awhile and was really nervous. Can I tell him that its something that will pass over time? Were yall nervous on yall's first ride after a fall?
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:44 PM   #2
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I started out in the dirt and went down many times with very few consequences. I haven't been down on the street - yet. As they say, there's those that have been down and those that will. I once came close, and was amazed that I brought my 750 out of slide on wet pavement without taking my feet off the pegs.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:00 PM   #3
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Interesting question. Early in my career I dumped my Honda in a gravel hole crossing railroad tracks. Maybe there is something about being 17 years old, but I picked the gravel out of my arm and went on. I have slid out dirt bikes many times. The one crash that really slowed me for a while: flipping a Ski-Doo at high speed after catching a ski on a buried fence. It took me a while to recover.

While living in Tunis, Tunisia (North Africa) I was repeatedly hit while driving my company cage to work. It got very stressful and I was tense most of the time. We did witness many fatal crashes of cars, and also the small motor bikes so common in this third world country. Some of those nasty fatalities are still in my brain.

What you are really talking about is post traumatic stress syndrome. Your friend needs to relax and focus, maybe slow down a bit, and with time he will regain his Zen. I think good riding requires a balance of focus, just a bit of fear, natural reflexes and a chill factor. That is why riding is so challenging. That is why it is so much fun.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:01 PM   #4
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My first (and only) fall was from taking a turn at too high a rate of speed.

I straightened it out to brake as hard as possible, I hit threshold of the rear tire at least, not sure how hard I was on the front. After not scrubbing enough speed, I leaned again to complete the turn. Curb was coming up at too sharp of an angle so I hit the rear brake into a skid and hit both of my wheels on the curb at the same time.

Bike received very minimal damage and I flew and rolled in some dirt in front of some construction workers.

After that, I kind of got even more confident on my bike. Like, now I have a mental map of my bikes limits, when it comes to turn angle, speed, and traction.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still finding I can turn/brake harder every time I ride, but I haven't hit any curbs since (or anything else for that matter).
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:06 PM   #5
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It wasn't the first fall that got me thinking and reconsidering getting back on the bike,,,it was the crashes later on..

the last 3 have slowed me down ..
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:13 PM   #6
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i cant remember how many time i have crashed.....and last crashed was 17 years ago...until today i am still scared of turning on wet pavement...
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:14 PM   #7
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fall down. swear. check bike. swear some more. pick up bike. look around. get on bike. go home.....swearing.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:21 PM   #8
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We all fall down. Your friend is perfectly normal.

If you ride, you will eventually fall.

If you accept that, you're good; if you don't, you probably shouldn't ride.

It messes with your MOJO when you get back on that horse (bike). Take it easy, and back it down a bit. Do your best to not think about it. EVENTUALLY, the bad thoughts go away, and you're good.

The hardest ride I ever took was after my bad off on 3090 that messed with my head big time. I finally said "The with it, I'm either gonna get on or quit riding." Putting my boot on my messed up ankle took a few tries. I sucked it up, hit the road and was nervous as .

It all goes away with time. Your buddy will be good to go. You just have to get out there and ride.

I wish him the best.

Your best bet is to not pressure him and possibly even lead a few rides at a reduced paced with him to get his head back in game.

My $0.02.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:44 PM   #9
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I was following a Viper to Galveston, as we switched lanes to the right, he got about half way into the lane, then jerk the car over the rest of the way, into the lane, barely missing the ring (side wall) of an 18 wheeler tire, that holds the barrel cones down. I think if he would of hit it, it would of got me ! I was leaning right, at a 45 degree angle, switching lanes, seen the tire, straighten up, was still going to hit, then leaned left at a 45 degree angle & barely missed it. It puckered my hole !
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:53 PM   #10
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I crashed and wrecked my 650 a month ago, I couldn't wait to get back on it and ride again. Rebuilt and ive been pushing it harder
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:14 PM   #11
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I wrecked my 250 in November and it shook me up a bit at first but everday of recovery was killer I wanted to get out and ride everyday but I couldn't. After I healed I started riding again and felt abit nervous but that passed. I took things slower and learned . Now I'm on a 600 and feel more confident than ever. I've actually put more miles on now than I did in my first 6 months. 3000 in 6 months on a 250. 4000 since Feb 16th. I make it a point to ride every day regardless if its 5 miles or 500 miles. I'm planning some track days this summer to increase my skill.

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Old 04-06-2012, 11:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaoPee View Post
i cant remember how many time i have crashed.....and last crashed was 17 years ago...until today i am still scared of turning on wet pavement...
Me too. Two of my ugliest crashes were in wet surface. Back those days in early 80's i was poor and rode a cheap Yamaha 125CC with bald tires on the streets of Buenos Aires which much of them were polished gritstone pavement that when wet, they were like ice skating rink. At one crash on a rainy day, was going merely about 25 mph and coming to a stop sign with a bus approching to the intersection, barely touched the front break but the floor was so slippery, it locked the front tire, and both my bike and I skidded and stopped inches from the oncoming bus. That memory was pretty scary and it never goes away. Evntough the tire techology has improved greatly. The memory is still embedded in the head, and turning on wet pavement always scares me and never enough confidence to trust the tires. Noobie forever!!
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:37 PM   #13
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The natural resting position of a motorcycle is on it's side.

You either accept that it might find it's position or you become one of the 85% that buy a bike, sell it 3 yrs later and never ride again.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
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The natural resting position of a motorcycle is on it's side.

You either accept that it might find it's position or you become one of the 85% that buy a bike, sell it 3 yrs later and never ride again.
Next summer, I'm planning on getting a 750cc engine for my gsxr 600 & put the 600cc engine in a four wheeler. It's just a long thought out plan, so far...
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:18 AM   #15
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That sounds like an interesting project. Not sure why you quoted me tho...
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:18 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluepine View Post
Me too. Two of my ugliest crashes were in wet surface. Back those days in early 80's i was poor and rode a cheap Yamaha 125CC with bald tires on the streets of Buenos Aires which much of them were polished gritstone pavement that when wet, they were like ice skating rink. At one crash on a rainy day, was going merely about 25 mph and coming to a stop sign with a bus approching to the intersection, barely touched the front break but the floor was so slippery, it locked the front tire, and both my bike and I skidded and stopped inches from the oncoming bus. That memory was pretty scary and it never goes away. Evntough the tire techology has improved greatly. The memory is still embedded in the head, and turning on wet pavement always scares me and never enough confidence to trust the tires. Noobie forever!!
i highsided and sliding toward to a parked bus while my bike was chasing after me, i used my hand to change the direction i was going...

as soon as my body started sliding toward to center of the street, my bike fly by me and jammed itself underneath the bus......if i didnt changed the direction i was sliding, i would have been sanwiched....
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:59 AM   #17
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First fall: Target fixated on a curb... after wreck: "wtf happened" > "wait this is my brothers bike..." > "oh ... oh ... oh ..." > *pick bike up and ride home* He was more mad that I wrecked his bike before he got a chance to, than the fact that I wrecked his bike haha. That wreck just taught me not to target fixate, and even though power had nothing to do with it, that I don't want an R1 for my first bike.

Second Fall: Lady ran out in front of me/lost it on a patch of ice. Not sure why, but mentally allowing myself to lean the bike was extremely hard for a long while after that... But I never stopped riding.

All in all, i'd say i'm pretty good at not target fixating, and after getting over the mental block of leaning, I feel more comfortable leaning the bike than I did pre-wreck.
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:13 AM   #18
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I was coming out of hwy 6 turned onto the feeder to get on 290 when some guy came out of a parking lot on a camry, I didn't even get a chance to hit he brakes.. totaled my ninja.. I flew about
50 to 60 feet past the car.. landed superman and skid for another 6 to 7 feet more.. nothing broke, the bike was totaled..
Im stubborn .. I can't quit driving.. I can't quit riding.. I can't quit living
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:46 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucar View Post
I was coming out of hwy 6 turned onto the feeder to get on 290 when some guy came out of a parking lot on a camry, I didn't even get a chance to hit he brakes.. totaled my ninja.. I flew about
50 to 60 feet past the car.. landed superman and skid for another 6 to 7 feet more.. nothing broke, the bike was totaled..
Im stubborn .. I can't quit driving.. I can't quit riding.. I can't quit living
SUPERMAN!!
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:45 AM   #20
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DP, Riding (if lucky enough to do so) after a crash is different than pre crash as a rider has been through a tough learning experiance. Unfortunately there are many that become over cautious after a crash, and that in itself is a gold plated invitation for another crash. Your friend will likely regain their confidence with some saddle time.

Brad
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