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Go Back   DCSportbikes.net > Sportbike Operation > Crash and Rash

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  (#1)
You meet the nicest
 
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Join Date: June 3, 2003
Location: Alexandria
May 11, 2005, 04:10 PM

My friend Ed Andrews and I were planning to race his ’99 R6 in the F-USA 200 mile race at Summit Point on Memorial Day. So last Monday at VIR I took the bike out in a Cornerspeed race practice group.

Down the back straight an R1 ahead pulled a gap on the R6. I was closing the gap on the brakes when the front tire started to howl and slide. This caused the gap to close more quickly than planned and the front started to tuck under. There was time to release the lever and the bike was coming back, but I had to reapply to avoid ass packing the guy as he prepared to turn in for the uphill right-hander. There was no grip and the bike immediately went down.

I went down hard on my left shoulder and started sliding head first on my stomach off track toward the guardrail. I dragged an arm to steer away from the guardrail. This spun me around so I was sliding feet first, now on the grass but parallel to the track (and guardrail). My main concern at that point was to distribute my weight such that nothing would dig in and cause me to tumble.

Finally I stopped, got up, looked at the big red hole in the palm of my left glove, and took physical inventory. Everything checked OK, all digits and joints functional. I was hot and tired from riding hard, and definitely shook from the drama and trauma of the fall, but I knew my bell wasn’t rung.

I looked around, and damn, I collected the guy on the R1 after all. His bike was down track past the cones. He was closer but across track. I asked if he was OK and he shook his head. I looked at the bike thinking to pick it up and get it away from the track on instinct, even though the red flag was already out. The handle bars were turned one way with the front wheel the other. Fuggetaboutit. What would I do with it once I picked up anyway?

I took my helmet and what was left of my gloves off, then went over again to check on the guy I just took out. It turned out to be a friend of mine, Todd Hutchins. His nickname is Hulk and the description really fits. Later he told me the worst part was he wanted to kill the guy but then I took my helmet off. (I'll be taking care of his bike anyway but it’s a lot easier parting with the money because I like Todd.)

I got my first ambulance ride (not to the hospital) while Todd rode back with the crash truck. It seemed to take forever to get the tar and gravel scrubbed out of my hand. Meanwhile my friends didn’t know my condition and I wanted to tell Ed to take my bike out in the school sessions. As the scrubbing went on the shoulder started to hurt. Oh well, it’s only pain.

So exactly why did I crash? I always try to learn because the tuition is so high.

I wasn’t in too hot. The braking was deep and hard for sure but nothing over my head.

The front tire was the same as on my bike (Diablo Corsa with 4&1/2 track days), and I’m sure this wouldn’t have happened on my bike under the exact same track scenario.

The forks didn’t bottom out. The bike was stable on the brakes (until it started to slide of course).

When I got on the bike the first thing I noticed was the front brake lever rotated up uncomfortably high. I personally like mine as low as I can get it. Ed wasn’t around to discuss a compromise and track time was burning so I just jumped on it and went out.

I like to think I can get on any bike and ride around whatever problems there may be. So I was conscious of it the first few laps, especially going into turn 1. After a few laps my brain had compensated for the different wrist position, but apparently not yet for the greater leverage my hand had on the lever.

There is never a single cause for any crash. It’s always a combination of factors that add up. I still might have braked as hard without having a faster bike in front to chase because I was working up to testing the limits of the bike with an upcoming race in mind. Had there been no bike directly in front I would have easily saved it and gone straight down the escape area, or even made the turn.

With 4 or 5 laps on an alien bike I was starting to get comfortable that the braking was at least equal to my own bike. Coming up on another rider I momentarily forgot to compensate for the strange bike factor and it caught me out.

Am I out of shape? Yes, relatively. Was I tired? A little. These were minor factors in this case but they all add up as contributors. Now I get to start adding up the tuition costs.


BECAUSE I GET OFF ON IT!
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  (#2)
No Touchie!
 
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May 11, 2005, 04:16 PM

Glad you're ok Jim....i hope you didn't get banged up too much. Take care of your body too....you'll recover quicker!

Sam


In search of the perfect lap......
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  (#3)
Mr. Glass
 
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May 11, 2005, 04:25 PM

glad you are alright jim. You def have controll of the situation. Not many riders can compute all that at the sametime while going down.

glad you can race another day


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  (#4)
Asleep at the wheel!
 
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May 11, 2005, 04:40 PM

Good to hear you are ok Jim. The write up was excellent. Thanks for taking the time to post it.


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  (#5)
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May 11, 2005, 04:49 PM

Glad to hear you're ok Jim.


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May 11, 2005, 04:56 PM

as stated earlier, Glad your ok Jim. Good post too, you pretty much described the uneasieness I feel whenever Im riding in a tight pack whilst on the track (the ass packing part, good description BTW).

take care and get some rest.


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  (#7)
Has an idiot exemption
 
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May 11, 2005, 05:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by WKDBLD
(I'll be taking care of his bike anyway but itís a lot easier parting with the money because I like Todd.)
Folks...there aren't too many people that would take care of another rider's bike if they caused that rider to crash. Most would just say that's part of the risks.
Jim, I held you in high esteem before.
After this it can't get much higher.
Glad you aren't hurt too bad and thanks for the report.
Heal quickly my friend!


Steve
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( * )|( * )
 
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May 11, 2005, 05:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveZX9
Quote:
Originally Posted by WKDBLD
(I'll be taking care of his bike anyway but itís a lot easier parting with the money because I like Todd.)
Folks...there aren't too many people that would take care of another rider's bike if they caused that rider to crash. Most would just say that's part of the risks.
Jim, I held you in high esteem before.
After this it can't get much higher.
Glad you aren't hurt too bad and thanks for the report.
Heal quickly my friend!
+1 on Steve's comment, that's really generous of you. Glad to hear you are ok and I look forward to riding with you again.


Chris
2008 MARRC AM Racer of the Year
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Ballaugh Bridge
 
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May 11, 2005, 06:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveZX9
Quote:
Originally Posted by WKDBLD
(I'll be taking care of his bike anyway but itís a lot easier parting with the money because I like Todd.)
Folks...there aren't too many people that would take care of another rider's bike if they caused that rider to crash. Most would just say that's part of the risks.
Jim, I held you in high esteem before.
After this it can't get much higher.
Glad you aren't hurt too bad and thanks for the report.
Heal quickly my friend!

So true. That wasn't the case when I got taken out from behind by someone that had already lost it going into T1 at Summit. Dude didn't even apologize, was a total ass when I approached him.



Jim


'08 MARRC Expert Racer of the Year
2009 #3 Combined Overall Championship

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  (#10)
ISO a Sugar Mama
 
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May 11, 2005, 06:31 PM

Glad to hear that you are ok Jim. Whew.


"Take care of new riders, we were them, and they will be us." Dragula.




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  (#11)
Brainwash Your Face!
 
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May 11, 2005, 06:32 PM

Whoa Jim....glad you are still in one piece. Great right up, as usual.



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whats in your drink?
 
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May 11, 2005, 06:37 PM

Props to Jim, hes one classy operator. Kudos my boy


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May 11, 2005, 06:48 PM

I haven't had the pleasure of meet'n you as of yet Jim... but from read'n a ton of your posts, and all the knowledge and experience you have to share with everyone, especially this post... you are definitely my fock'n hero Jim!!

To think, with that crash under your belt, it makes you that much more of a better rider AND teacher. Glad to hear your ok, get well soon man.


RICO

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  (#14)
old fat and slow
 
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May 11, 2005, 06:50 PM

heal quick man ... tuitton sucks. see ya soon


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  (#15)
What's today? aah fuck it
 
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May 11, 2005, 09:04 PM

Good to know its just your shoulder and palm, get some rest and get at it again!!

Good report too, that was very discriptive.
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