Wild Dog Adventure Riding

General => General Bike Related Banter => Topic started by: Airguitar on October 10, 2014, 07:49:51 am

Title: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: Airguitar on October 10, 2014, 07:49:51 am
So many reports lately of bikers down and dying, or at best being badly injured lately.
I have to wonder what are the most common reasons for this.
What is the most common cause? With whom does the fault most commonly lie?
I'm speculating that we (bikers) are in the wrong a lot of the time, if not most of it. Quite often I find myself, after a ride, saying "Now why did I do that?" and the most common answer is an excess of testosterone, combined with a healthy slice of Ego and a sense of "I am superman". The adrenaline rush gained by twisting the throttle.
I'm not a wild rider by any means and yet I find myself regularly taking unnecessary risks for all the wrong reasons.

What's your experience? Any actual statistics?
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: subie on October 10, 2014, 08:02:44 am
I had a fall lately. I average about 1 fall a year. I am not a scenic rider and enjoy a "spirited" ride.
This last fall however was my most embarrassing. All stupidity and adrenaline .
 :ricky:
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: 2StrokeDan on October 10, 2014, 08:16:29 am
The motorcycle is by it's nature very unsafe. Little protection, fast, unstable with a small rubber patch on the ground.

It goes that the type of person wanting to get onto such a vehicle possibly also lends himself to a degree of recklessness.

The combination is risky.
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: Gerrard on October 10, 2014, 08:31:23 am
Speed.
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: Alan on October 10, 2014, 08:38:45 am
What he said...
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: Airguitar on October 10, 2014, 08:50:07 am
The motorcycle is by it's nature very unsafe. Little protection, fast, unstable with a small rubber patch on the ground.

It goes that the type of person wanting to get onto such a vehicle possibly also lends himself to a degree of recklessness.

The combination is risky.

Very astute observation!
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: GraZer on October 10, 2014, 09:34:59 am
By nature I'm not an aggressive rider and have never been one for speed. But riding a bike with LOTS of power that accelerates fast encourages you to do things you normally would not. Add a bit of frustration to that equation and your appetite for risk increases exponentially.   
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: Edgar on October 10, 2014, 09:38:39 am
But riding a bike with LOTS of power that accelerates fast encourages you to do things you normally would not.    

100%  ;)
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: Gerrard on October 10, 2014, 09:40:16 am
By nature I'm not an aggressive rider and have never been one for speed. But riding a bike with LOTS of power that accelerates fast encourages you to do things you normally would not. Add a bit of frustration to that equation and your appetite for risk increases exponentially.   

True. My DR 750 has a LOT of grunt and a VERY LOUD pipe. By nature I'm a very conservative rider, but I find it wants me to twist the throttle and there's a bit more of an edge to my riding. On my 1150 I ride like a grandpa.

The type of bike definitely also determines how you ride.

Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: Airguitar on October 10, 2014, 09:46:05 am
Definite pattern beginning to emerge here in a wave of brutal honesty.
The only time I ever ended up in kak on a bike was when being throttle happy.

Except that time a taxi backed into (and almost over) me.
Oil on the road also did me in once on my MT50...
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: manta on October 10, 2014, 09:47:31 am
I have slowed down lately.

The main reason, petrol has just become so expensive. So I ride like an old lady and so far fuel consumption has improved a lot. Strangely enough with the more sedate riding style have had far less close calls. Funny that.

Speed is not the issue, your ability to make decisions at speed is the issue, hence speed is the issue  :biggrin:

M
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: Grrrr.... on October 10, 2014, 10:04:21 am
I think my riding style will be a lot more subdued when I get back on the bike.

Don't know for how long but my latest off was sore and costly. Would like to avoid it if at all possible.
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: DouglasN on October 10, 2014, 10:44:04 am
...................... lot. Strangely enough with the more sedate riding style have had far less close calls. Funny that.



I stopped crashing when I changed from being destination driven to just enjoying the ride.

Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: Squeakyboots on October 10, 2014, 10:55:33 am
'Destination driven'.

There's a buzz word. With any mode of transport this is a problem. From bikes to planes. That get there or get home disease.
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: Airguitar on October 10, 2014, 11:14:56 am
'Destination driven'.

There's a buzz word. With any mode of transport this is a problem. From bikes to planes. That get there or get home disease.

You guys are making a lot of sense. It's a strong factor in inducing human error. And really that's what is wiping us out on the roads.
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: plaky on October 10, 2014, 02:16:44 pm
I am going to put another spin here as I commute daily irrespective of the weather on the N1 Cape Town on my bike to work which is 50km return. I am also 53 years old and have been riding bikes since I was 15. I do not want to fall as it will take long to heal and it will be moer sore for a while. I do not agree with the general statement that it could be mostly the bikers fault, there is that word again! I think we should split it into the weekend warriors breakfast run guys, daily commuters and also the long trip adventure riders. I see many bikers riding ever day and they all ride mostly very careful, from big bikes to poegies. You will always get one ringpiece thinking he is Rossi!!! Almost all the bike accidents that I have stopped at or heard about in traffic have been the cage drivers fault. However your weekend warriors are different and from what I hear most of these accidents from Rooi Els to Franchoek the guys have outridden their talent or speed was a factor. The long trip guys will always want to complete their trip and I also speak of experience as I don't want to damage myself or my bike and miss the trip so we ride mostly responsibly, note mostly and not always. Just me 2c worth!
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: jaybiker on October 10, 2014, 03:11:18 pm
I agree absolutely with what Jup said about the way you ride being determined by the machine between your knees. I haven't had a really lightweight machine for a couple of years, but when I did there were times when I had to give myself a timely bollocking, not to ride like such a bloody maniac.
Riding a heavier and more powerful bike I'm always a little bit scared, and although I've been known to fall once or twice, most of the time I don't fall, and that's because I'm scared.  :patch:  ;D
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: Airguitar on October 10, 2014, 06:25:52 pm
I agree absolutely with what Jup said about the way you ride being determined by the machine between your knees. I haven't had a really lightweight machine for a couple of years, but when I did there were times when I had to give myself a timely bollocking, not to ride like such a bloody maniac.
Riding a heavier and more powerful bike I'm always a little bit scared, and although I've been known to fall once or twice, most of the time I don't fall, and that's because I'm scared.  :patch:  ;D

Interesting. I find when I ride my 800XC I do more stupid stuff than on my XR600.
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: 2StrokeDan on October 10, 2014, 06:34:06 pm
And do not hope for these stats to come down in any way with irresponsible manufacturers dishing up highly desirable 150plus HP bikes. :pot:
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: 2wdrift on October 10, 2014, 11:34:58 pm
I will be honest here.

On my 1190 while riding around town or the like I ride like a lunatic. Wheelies and slides everywhere with a good dose testosterone. I do believe however that I ride in a way that only endangers my own life. I will not do anything stupid if there are other cars close around me. I dont want another persons injury or death on my hands. But the fact remains that I am YDC.

When riding long distance I suddenly become captain cautious and I behave, not sure why.

I have not crashed while doing it yet.

With my KLR I ride like a responsible adult. DR 650 I play around but nothing serious. XR650R... Well.....
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: TVB on October 11, 2014, 12:16:45 am
Not an art to ride fast as anybody can, but the real thing is reaction time, how quick you can gain control when thing get out of hand and how quick you can come to a safe stop. I liked the very first post in this thread as it clearly ask and give the honest answers. And yes; agree or disagree as much as you like but it is 90% of the time the bikers mistake. I have witnessed this on the freeway while working as a biker medic. Fact I tell you, I have followed bikers on my emergency response bike and witnessed them making faults and then giving the middle finger to every second poor cager. Adventure riders are however a bit more cautious but I picked up a couple of them over the weekends on the highways coming back from events. Either tired or pissed...now for that I have no sympathy. Yes I was annoyed with drunk riders but always gave the best medical attention I could. Just always have a silent thought, something like; 'you idiot, you got a wife and kids and then you drink and drive/ride and cause them a lot of unnecessary trouble and even embarrassment. This almost gave me an opertunety to rant/vent a bit  :imaposer:
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: DirtyHarry on October 11, 2014, 09:09:13 am
All my crashes have been self inflicted so far. When I started riding I did fall on regular base. Wrong bike on the wrong terrain and a good dose of inexperience in the first 3 years of my riding. The last 2 years I am riding faster than ever and didn't hit the deck any more. Must have learnt something.

In my opinion there are only 3 possible reasons to crash. Inexperience, stupidity or bad luck (If you get struck by lightning or get run over by a truck)
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: subie on October 11, 2014, 09:12:58 am
Another thing. We are biking,there is no such thing as not hitting the deck. Everyone will fall some or other time.  :ricky:
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: Airguitar on October 11, 2014, 11:06:39 am
Another thing. We are biking,there is no such thing as not hitting the deck. Everyone will fall some or other time.  :ricky:

I'm hoping that doesn't mean we should take an ag-fokkit attitude. Most accidents when analyzed are actually avoidable, and NOT falling is always the preferable outcome, physically, psychologically and financially. It therefore makes sense to attempt to minimize risk and avoid accidents.
I'm of the opinion that, hopefully, as you get older and gain more experience you generally take fewer risks and ride more with the head and less with the hormones in control. The old bikers and bold bikers maxim. I'm really keen on falling into the former category..
 :biggrin:  :ricky:
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: subie on October 11, 2014, 11:15:55 am
Another thing. We are biking,there is no such thing as not hitting the deck. Everyone will fall some or other time.  :ricky:

I'm hoping that doesn't mean we should take an ag-fokkit attitude. Most accidents when analyzed are actually avoidable, and NOT falling is always the preferable outcome, physically, psychologically and financially. It therefore makes sense to attempt to minimize risk and avoid accidents.
I'm of the opinion that, hopefully, as you get older and gain more experience you generally take fewer risks and ride more with the head and less with the hormones in control. The old bikers and bold bikers maxim. I'm really keen on falling into the former category..
 :biggrin:  :ricky:

No sane and normal biker wants to fall or enjoy falling. It is just a fact that you will fall some or other time. If you have an "ag-fokkit" attitude then I doubt if you fit into the sane and normal category. I am an old biker and will always ride "a bit bold". The day my bike just becomes "transport" is the time to hang up the boots and walk away from biking.
The popular little saying there are bold bikers and old bikers but no old and bold bikers is just bullshit. There are many old and bold bikers out there. Believe it.
Just look around a bit  :ricky:
Also remember we all ride for different reasons.
Title: Re:
Post by: Brainbucket on October 12, 2014, 08:59:43 am
I have applied for the latest stats from various sources and unfortunately I am still waiting for the burocrats to get back to me as promised.  But based on all available info (dated) it seems 70/30 split between rider error and actual other road users being dicks.  If I get will post.
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: Kneeslider on October 12, 2014, 11:30:51 am
A big factor is that we have lost a great portion of our riding skills and judgement along with decision making skills.
The ever increasing levels of automation on modern bikes is doing more and more for the rider and taking away a large part of the decision making process and the riders judgment ability is atrophying.
A secondary effect is a false sense of security, when the paw paw hits the fan, we can just stomp on the brake pedal and grab a hand full of brake lever and all will be fine as the ABS, Anti Skid, Anti Dive, Anti shit yourself, twitter, twotter and all the other electronic gizmos take control and drag the machine to a stop in the shortest possible distance taking the safest route through the cars.
Which contributes to the "devil may care" attitude displayed by some riders.

Ask your self honestly, can you bring the bike to a stop from 120km/h in the shortest possible distance without the electronic wizardry?
Can you regulate both wheels on the verge of lock up, but just short of actually locking up for the full distance from 120 to 0, a tough ask indeed, better yet, better yet, hop on the bike and try it, it will be nerve wracking and I guarantee you won't come anywhere close to stopping as short as the electronics can, now think about this, if you can't do it under controlled conditions, what chance do you have in a panic situation with adrenaline flooding through your body? 
Can you FEEL the limit of the grip, do you KNOW how much pressure is required on the lever or pedal to achieve maximum braking just short of locking up the wheel, can your body instinctively SENSE the beginning of a lock up and the tire getting ready to slide?
How far can your bike be leaned over before the tires give up and let go, do you know where the limit is, I promise you, it is far, far past your personal limit.
Riding a motorcycle safely and efficiently requires a very specialized skill set, one where the riders arms, legs, butt and central nervous system become an extension of the motorcycle.
We, as riders are loosing those skills, and that is placing us in harms way.
If you look at the stats, you will see that those who commute daily on a motorcycle are far less prone to accidents than your average weekend warrior, even though statiscally they should be at higher risk due to the longer time in the saddle, it is all a numbers and percentage game, but their skills have not atrophied, as with people who learnt and developed the skills on old school classic bikes without all the whizz bang black magic.

I am not saying for one minute it is the only cause, all the other points made are just as valid, and are all contributors, however I am a firm believer that automation has a great part to play, albeit not directly.

What about on different surfaces
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: badseed on October 12, 2014, 12:17:18 pm
I've been riding my 690 exclusively for the last six weeks and generally cruise a good 30kph slower than on the 990.  Getting back on 990 this week I was shocked at how much faster I cruise, and how much longer it takes to stop the thing. Had a few moments in the peak hour traffic. And that's just tar riding.  Consider what the stopping distance of a fully fueled 990 ( or much worse a GS1200a ) at 140kph on a loose dirt toad. I would guess the 690 stops in about 25% of the distance of the 990.

Now consider a relative novice on a +100hp bike  ( large percentage of this forum)  having to stop suddenly from speed. I cringe when I read reports of guys with 1200's saying they can handle their big bombers and only ride gravel highways , often mentioning speeds over 150kph. Up until 2000 nobody needed 100hp , nobody had 100hp , but nowadays it's a must to able to tour .
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: subie on October 12, 2014, 12:48:25 pm
I've been riding my 690 exclusively for the last six weeks and generally cruise a good 30kph slower than on the 990.  Getting back on 990 this week I was shocked at how much faster I cruise, and how much longer it takes to stop the thing. Had a few moments in the peak hour traffic. And that's just tar riding.  Consider what the stopping distance of a fully fueled 990 ( or much worse a GS1200a ) at 140kph on a loose dirt toad. I would guess the 690 stops in about 25% of the distance of the 990.

Now consider a relative novice on a +100hp bike  ( large percentage of this forum)  having to stop suddenly from speed. I cringe when I read reports of guys with 1200's saying they can handle their big bombers and only ride gravel highways , often mentioning speeds over 150kph. Up until 2000 nobody needed 100hp , nobody had 100hp , but nowadays it's a must to able to tour .

 :thumleft:
Like what you are saying.
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: 2StrokeDan on October 12, 2014, 05:53:38 pm
It is because people are becoming so damn overweight that they need all that horsepower. :pot:

Surprisingly, if you look at things closely, then there are no real difference between us bikers and our brethren in cars. Reckless/unattentive/unskilled people wipe themselves out
in cars and on motorcycles.
When you run your car off the road into the rocks, your chances are less to injure yourself though.
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: subie on October 12, 2014, 06:18:56 pm
It is because people are becoming so damn overweight that they need all that horsepower. :pot:

Surprisingly, if you look at things closely, then there are no real difference between us bikers and our brethren in cars. Reckless/unattentive/unskilled people wipe themselves out
in cars and on motorcycles.
When you run your car off the road into the rocks, your chances are less to injure yourself though.

Diep "gewond" nou :snorting:
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: 2StrokeDan on October 12, 2014, 06:32:06 pm
Sorry Subie, was n bietjie van n kak remark. :deal:
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: sheldyn on October 12, 2014, 09:50:26 pm
One must also factor in the fact that there are far more bikers on the road today than in the past.  And certainly a far greater number that are now commuting daily.  Is the ratio changing or is it just higher numbers due to more bikers on the road.  This brings to mind congestion and the fact that there are more cars too,  this would also drive the danger even higher.
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: TVB on October 12, 2014, 10:51:16 pm
One must also factor in the fact that there are far more bikers on the road today than in the past.  And certainly a far greater number that are now commuting daily.  Is the ratio changing or is it just higher numbers due to more bikers on the road.  This brings to mind congestion and the fact that there are more cars too,  this would also drive the danger even higher.

Valid points, but we are also (ratio) so much more people on the planet although.......are we ??? The white ethnic in SA is in a Negative population growth. Now that makes one think doesn't it? That means that out of every white household there are either none, one or 2 children born. Lets say there are two; that means we are only braking even, we are not growing. Most of my friends decided not to have any children. The white'ies are the majority bikers on the road, at least when commuting. However, the darker brothers are playing the catch up game. Had a look at Soweto bikers club and was stunned by the numbers!! Please, don;t read politics here  :deal:
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: sheldyn on October 12, 2014, 11:04:22 pm
Most of my friends decided not to have any children.


Serious???
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: subie on October 13, 2014, 05:52:57 am
Sorry Subie, was n bietjie van n kak remark. :deal:


Nee man ek spot maar net. Ek is nie n fyngevoelige dikgat nie  :spitcoffee:
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: DCR on October 13, 2014, 06:48:50 am
A big factor is that we have lost a great portion of our riding skills and judgement along with decision making skills.
The ever increasing levels of automation on modern bikes is doing more and more for the rider and taking away a large part of the decision making process and the riders judgment ability is atrophying.
A secondary effect is a false sense of security, when the paw paw hits the fan, we can just stomp on the brake pedal and grab a hand full of brake lever and all will be fine as the ABS, Anti Skid, Anti Dive, Anti shit yourself, twitter, twotter and all the other electronic gizmos take control and drag the machine to a stop in the shortest possible distance taking the safest route through the cars.
Which contributes to the "devil may care" attitude displayed by some riders.

Ask your self honestly, can you bring the bike to a stop from 120km/h in the shortest possible distance without the electronic wizardry?
Can you regulate both wheels on the verge of lock up, but just short of actually locking up for the full distance from 120 to 0, a tough ask indeed, better yet, better yet, hop on the bike and try it, it will be nerve wracking and I guarantee you won't come anywhere close to stopping as short as the electronics can, now think about this, if you can't do it under controlled conditions, what chance do you have in a panic situation with adrenaline flooding through your body? 
Can you FEEL the limit of the grip, do you KNOW how much pressure is required on the lever or pedal to achieve maximum braking just short of locking up the wheel, can your body instinctively SENSE the beginning of a lock up and the tire getting ready to slide?
How far can your bike be leaned over before the tires give up and let go, do you know where the limit is, I promise you, it is far, far past your personal limit.
Riding a motorcycle safely and efficiently requires a very specialized skill set, one where the riders arms, legs, butt and central nervous system become an extension of the motorcycle.
We, as riders are loosing those skills, and that is placing us in harms way.
If you look at the stats, you will see that those who commute daily on a motorcycle are far less prone to accidents than your average weekend warrior, even though statiscally they should be at higher risk due to the longer time in the saddle, it is all a numbers and percentage game, but their skills have not atrophied, as with people who learnt and developed the skills on old school classic bikes without all the whizz bang black magic.

I am not saying for one minute it is the only cause, all the other points made are just as valid, and are all contributors, however I am a firm believer that automation has a great part to play, albeit not directly.

What about on different surfaces

Thats a beautiful speech but quite irrelevant in my opinion. So, my bike stops faster with ABS than without (sorry that I'm not Rossi and just a normal guy). I'd say thats a good thing, not bad in case of emergency I'll be better off. The thing has ABS and it helps me, why is that bad?

It doesn't mean I go faster, it doesn't mean I take bigger risks. It does mean I prefer a bike with it (just as I do cars since I'm no super driver either) and I don't switch it off.

I ride every day and looking at the other bikers on the road its clear why more bikers fall everybody is just riding too fast for the conditions with very few exceptions. Same thing with cars.
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: 2StrokeDan on October 13, 2014, 07:17:29 am
DCR, you know what I believe to be the biggest problem is with electronic aid on cars and motorbikes? The rider.

Why? The electronics are becoming so good that you do not need to be in feel with your machine anymore to accelerate fast or to brake well.
Now this is for many not a problem, but it also means that it makes bikes more accessible to less talented people, who would normally have stayed away.
Now blonde poppie can accelerate and brake right with you, but what sort of decisions are going to be made by this rider?

Looking at the overall talent of riders percentage wise to when I was a young man, it is clear that many people nowadays should not even be on bikes. Years ago, most guys on big bikes could ride at least reasonably well, and those that could not was usually on small bikes. Todaythere is a stigma attached to being seen on a small[beginners] bike.

Take a Yamaha R1, a KTM 1290 and say a BMW 1200GS/Sten, etc. and think very carefully what these machines are capable of performance-wise, and perhaps you'll agree that
modern bikes are far outperforming modern riders.

Electronic aids, and also how well sorted modern chassis' are, are getting riders lulled into thinking they are in control.
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: stevo on October 13, 2014, 07:32:20 am
99,999% of the time, we fall off cause we ride like idiots. I think in nearly every case it could have been prevented by either slowing down, knowing your limit or riding / driving defensively. That doesnt mean riding like a girl (not sexist, I would like to ride like some girls who are a hell of a lot better than me), it just means there is a time and a place for everything.  :3some: :3some:
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: badseed on October 13, 2014, 07:48:34 am
150kph is 150kph and no matter what bike when you hit something at speed you die. The speed of modern bikes is way beyond the capabilities of most bike owners , yet every new model offers greater performance and buyers feel compelled to 'upgrade '. Consider the contact patch of a bikes tires and the speed and weight of big bikes and it's remarkable that so few die every year. Add booze, hormones and ego and it's a miracle so few die.
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: Airguitar on October 13, 2014, 08:01:25 am
I come from the aviation industry and train pilots for a living. We delve very deeply into the area of Human Error and what its causes are, how to mitigate human error, etc. The causes are many and you guys have unwittingly ALL hit on the exact elements that we discuss in training.

1) Approaching a complex and quickly changing environment at speeds which don't allow you to adapt/react/respond in time.
2) Operating at speeds which are higher than your capability to project and avoid possible adverse outcomes.
3) Automation Dependency - Thinking YOU are great, while the systems are covering up your mistakes, OR thinking the system will take care of you when your own capability runs out.
4) Get-there syndrome. Taking bigger risks in order to achieve your goal, especially when close to it.
5) Fatigue.
6) Deviation from Standard Operating Procedures (ie. breaking the rules)
7) Lack of experience/Training.
8- Loss of situational awareness. (Caused by one or more of the above conditions)
Among others...
Interestingly, it is frequently a combination of the above elements that result in an accident.

Lowest on the list is mechanical failure. This is extremely rare.

I bet this sounds rather familiar when you scroll back through the comments on this thread. I firmly believe we can be trained to recognize these threats in ourselves and/or our environment and modify our behaviour accordingly and GET HOME SAFELY on a much more regular basis.
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: Damaraland on October 13, 2014, 08:41:45 am
I recently had the privilege of attending the CountryTrax weekend offroad course.  That really opened my eyes and it started a new chapter in my biking "career".  For me it makes sense now to view biking as a sport, with skills that you need to practice and consistently apply to stay on top of things.

I've had three falls in the last 3 weeks, all 100% my fault.  All falls were however in "controlled" circumstances, if there is such a thing.  One was due to me practising emergency breaking on gravel (ABS off, too much front brake and wheel washed out).  Other one was practising sharp turns in the sand and the other was an attempted power-slide where I lost the rear.

Every fall is due to me running out of talent, but it's OK, every single time I practice I get a better feeling of where the bike's limits of adhesion is, and most importantly, I push my limits and boundaries a bit outward.  In terms of safety when on a trip, it also then makes it a lot easier for me to consciously ride at say 70% of my abilities, always leaving enough margin should the pooh hit the fan.
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: sheldyn on October 13, 2014, 09:07:33 am
all well said with regard to people pushing themselves beyond their capabilities. 

BUT

It must also be said that a too careful rider or over cautious rider can be just as dangerous as a over zealous rider.  Those guys bother me big time.  nervous riders, the guys that are scared of their shadows SHOULD NOT BE ON BIKES.
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: Omninorm on October 13, 2014, 10:17:28 am
"Why are we hitting the deck?"

A lot of time it's just plain pushing the limits imho. Bike limits, rider skill limits, tyre limits.
Eventually you run out of talent.

Ride within the limits and you will be fine unless there is outside factors beyond your control. i.e diesel spill, car swerving in front of you etc. Hopefully then the electronic gizmos your bike does have can help you i.e TCS, or ABS.

Our group of riders actually discussed that we are going to sign up for a bunch training courses next year to improve our riding. I know I can really use it.

^^ I agree with Sheldyn as well, nervous riders are also a danger...but it comes down to the limits. imho, they are riding beyond their limits already. I see it daily in traffic, i like to see new riders and i guess I was nervous the first time in traffic as well, but I didn't ride lick some of these riders.
And it's not getting better, i see thi one guy every day, by now he need to have relaxed a lot but yet, thsi guy is braking looking in his mirrors more than ahead, then slams on brakes when someone stops in front, looks very unstable. He doesnt have gloves on and his knuckles are white from gripping the bars. I was going to ask if I can just talk some basics with him but I never get the chance, also...the guy will probably be very offended. I also feel that I am not the best rider by any means but someone has to help the guy.







Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: 2wdrift on October 13, 2014, 10:38:01 am
The most dangerous drivers/riders are the under confident and overconfident. Both should not be on public roads. Where do you fit in?

I believe that riding hard and pushing your limits in a controlled environment is the best way of becoming a safe driver/rider. I do it on a regular basis on our farm roads where there is no other traffic. If I crash and die there, so be it. But what I have learned there has saved me quite a few times both in cars and on bikes. I tend to ride on our dirt roads with TC off and abs only active on the front wheel, I then brake as hard as I can before the abs kicks in. If the abs kicks in I see it as a failure in technique.

I will mostly ride with all the safety nets in place to help in case I have a lapse in judgement, but I have never felt them kicking in, except in the rain where TC does a much better job than I can.

I also think that while our riders might be getting more dependent on riding aids and the like we are forgetting the amount of other traffic on our roads now. There are hundreds of thousands of new cars on the roads, and very few are being driven by skilled competent drivers. So the external risk is also higher.
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: Airguitar on October 13, 2014, 11:31:19 am
all well said with regard to people pushing themselves beyond their capabilities. 

BUT

It must also be said that a too careful rider or over cautious rider can be just as dangerous as a over zealous rider.  Those guys bother me big time.  nervous riders, the guys that are scared of their shadows SHOULD NOT BE ON BIKES.

To whom are they a danger? How cautious is over-cautious? How scared is too scared?
I'm not being contentious, this is a very honest question. Where and when is the line crossed?
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: sheldyn on October 13, 2014, 12:05:37 pm
maybe the word cautious is wrong in this instance.  cautious is good.

maybe the word should be nervous.

I do think we all know the type of rider being described. 

As for what is the right mix, I suppose its different for all of us. 
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: TheBear on October 13, 2014, 12:41:06 pm
- Lack of training.
- Lack of common sense.
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: 2wdrift on October 13, 2014, 01:34:46 pm
all well said with regard to people pushing themselves beyond their capabilities. 

BUT

It must also be said that a too careful rider or over cautious rider can be just as dangerous as a over zealous rider.  Those guys bother me big time.  nervous riders, the guys that are scared of their shadows SHOULD NOT BE ON BIKES.

To whom are they a danger? How cautious is over-cautious? How scared is too scared?
I'm not being contentious, this is a very honest question. Where and when is the line crossed?

I think that when someone is indecisive on the roads they can be a danger to others. I have seen chaos ans confusion at simple traffic circles and at stop streets when nervous drivers dont want to screw up and then wait long past their time to drive. This of course leads to other drivers becoming impatient and doing stupid stuf (that is on them though).
Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: Kaboef on October 13, 2014, 03:14:10 pm
Consider what the stopping distance of a fully fueled 990 ( or much worse a GS1200a ) at 140kph on a loose dirt toad. 

When have you last ridden a 1200GSA?

It has FAR better brakes than a 990.

But I agree with you. Doing 140km/h on gravel your chances to stop in time when something goes wrong is very slim.


Back to topic:
Accidents happen when two vehicles want to occupy the same space.
Anticipate when this might happen and ride accordingly.

A week ago I was riding, at night, down Mountain View road toward the Stellenberg High School.
Matriekafskeid evening.
Cars parked for 100's of meters up and down the road, people walking, and it's dark.
I rode 50km/h with my fingers on the brake and my eyes wide open, because the environment tells me that people are not looking for me.
Unlucky for some biker, he did not, and I rode past the accident scene where he lay in the road after hitting a car.

We must assume that we are invisible and accept that in an altercation with a car, we will always loose.

We are our own worst enemy.

Title: Re: Why are we hitting the deck?
Post by: badseed on October 13, 2014, 07:26:15 pm
something else that scares the crap out of me is young drivers , often girls new to driving hurtling down the highways at 140 kph in their little Polo's/Fiat 500/Corsa without any idea of what to do if something goes wrong. Much like newbies on a 200kg bike at 140kph.