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Motorcycle Safety / General Discussion
ABS stops you quicker - NOT ALWAYS!
Eagle Six
* Today *  4:18 PM
quote:
Originally posted by DataDan


Abstract

Numerous crash data statistical analyses conducted over the past few years suggest that, for automobiles, the introduction of four-wheel antilock brake systems (ABS) has produced net safety benefits much lower than originally expected. The studies indicate the apparent increase in single-vehicle crashes involving passenger cars equipped with four-wheel ABS almost completely offsets the safety advantage such vehicles have over their conventionally-braked counterparts.



Dan, and/or other members, is this statement your opinion, or would you agree with this statement.....

'Perhaps, because of the advertised perception that ABS is better than most drivers braking skills, some drivers rely on it to save them when they have created a situation beyond any known braking technology or excellent braking skills that would have prevented a crash.'

I followed a thread for a while in a well used specific bike forum. The 2020/2021 model years of this specific bike has ABS, Traction Control, Bosch IMU axis and corner control. This thread included statements from rider members such as, 'You can go WOT in a turn and the electronics will save you'. I have paraphrased, but that is the basics of more than one members comments.

It wasn't so much the specific comment, as much as, the general attitude from some members that these electronic control system can save a rider from crashes as if they are smarter than any riders ability to be stupid, that concerns me. In other words, ride however you like the bike will save you.

The best I can tell, certainly not definitive, most of these type statements come from riders with relatively little experience and skills, as well as, riding systems and riding skills knowledge.

Just my personal observation both seeing and reading.
ABS stops you quicker - NOT ALWAYS!
James R. Davis
* Today *  11:34 AM
Thank you for that follow-up review.

What is also troubling, of course, is that the report I cited is two decades old and the one you cited is about 15 years old. In those days pulse rates were still too long for optimum performance and there does not seem to be much in the way of contemporary information - particularly for ABS on motorcycles.

In any event, in no way was I trying to argue that ABS was NOT a true safety feature - only that relying on technology instead of practiced skills was sometimes dangerous. However, that is exactly what ABS was designed for - enhancing safety for unskilled riders and it does that remarkably well.

And, there have been many studies that show that ABS equipped vehicles are demonstrably safer in almost all roadway conditions.
ABS stops you quicker - NOT ALWAYS!
DataDan
* Today *  11:13 AM
Thanks for the link. Here's a summary of that study:



A test track study of light vehicle ABS performance over a broad range of surfaces and maneuvers

Abstract

Numerous crash data statistical analyses conducted over the past few years suggest that, for automobiles, the introduction of four-wheel antilock brake systems (ABS) has produced net safety benefits much lower than originally expected. The studies indicate the apparent increase in single-vehicle crashes involving passenger cars equipped with four-wheel ABS almost completely offsets the safety advantage such vehicles have over their conventionally-braked counterparts.

The braking performance of nine high production passenger vehicles was evaluated in eighteen stopping situations. These situations were comprised of various road surfaces, driver steering actions, and vehicle speeds. Testing was performed with lightly and heavily laden vehicles, with the ABS active and disabled, and used two brake pedal application techniques. The selected vehicles included at least one ABS from each of the eight current, major, ABS manufacturers.

This study found that for most stopping maneuvers on most surfaces, ABS-assisted full pedal brake application stops were shorter than those made with the ABS disabled. The one systematic exception was on loose gravel where stopping distances increased by an average of 27.2% overall. Additionally, the vehicular stability during testing was almost always superior with the assistance of ABS. For the cases in which instability was observed, ABS was not deemed responsible for its occurrence.

Based on results to date, the authors of this study believe ABS braking performance deficiencies are not responsible for the apparent increase in ABS-equipped, single-vehicle, run-off-the-road crashes.



For info, the PDF at Jim's NHTSA link somehow has copy/paste disabled. Text can apparently be copied to the clipboard from Adobe Acrobat Reader, but only gibberish is pasted into another app. Moreover, the PDF is not searchable. CTRL-F brings up the search box, but nothing can be found. To get the abstract above, I found a link to a copy at a non-government website, from which the abstract, but nothing else, is copyable.

For some reason, our federal government wants to suppress the information in this study.
ABS stops you quicker - NOT ALWAYS!
James R. Davis
12/03/2020  10:46 PM
A June 1999 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study found that ABS increased stopping distances on loose gravel by an average of 27.2 percent.

https://www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/NRD...FinalRpt.pdf

Okay, an average of 27.2% is less than 30%, not more than, though with that average some were higher. So sue me. (grin)

By the way, I fully understand the dynamics involved relative to loose gravel but I do not understand them relative to wet/slick roads. Can anybody help with that?
ABS stops you quicker - NOT ALWAYS!
DataDan
12/03/2020  10:03 PM
I know of no study that has found a 30% disadvantage for ABS on any surface. The only one I know of that formally compared ABS/non-ABS is one from 2006, A Comparison of Stopping Distance Performance for Motorcycles Equipped with ABS, CBS and Conventional Hydraulic Brake Systems (PDF link is to MSF, but the study was done by US DOT and Transport Canada).

Non-professional riders rode motorcycles that either had switchable ABS or were models available with or without ABS. Braking tests were done on wet (from 30mph) and dry pavement (30mph and 80mph). In addition, two conditions of load (full and light) and three conditions of brake use (front only, rear only, and both) were compared.

The following table summarizes part of that study, wet (30mph) and dry (80mph) surface, light load, both front and rear brakes.


Average deceleration in g with and without ABS, from 80mph (dry pavement) and 30mph (wet)

.......................dry....dry.......ABS......wet....wet.......ABS
.......................ABS...no ABS..advantage...ABS...no ABS..advantage
.....................................................................
Honda VFR800..........0.92....0.91......1.1%....0.72....0.67.....7.5%
BMW F650..............0.94....0.84.....11.9%....0.68....0.64.....6.3%
BMW R1150R............0.96....0.91......5.5%....0.64....0.70....-8.6%
Yamaha FJR1300........0.82....0.97....-15.5%....0.59....0.49....20.4%


One one sore thumb is dry performance of the FJR, a 2004 model. Early ABS FJRs had terrible braking performance, which somehow went unremarked upon in the moto media (including MCN). It was well sorted by the time I bought my 2013.

As I would hope all motorcyclists know by now, the benefit of ABS isn't improved braking performance--it's a slight disadvantage for the very best riders (of whom I am not one) in favorable situations. Rather, it can prevent overbraking and crashing in an emergency while producing near maximum deceleration
ABS stops you quicker - NOT ALWAYS!
Eagle Six
12/03/2020  10:18 AM
quote:
Originally posted by James R. DavisIf you have ABS on your bikes, can you turn it off? Do you do so?

Technology is great, but relying on it instead of yourself and practice and skills is DUMB.



I currently have two bikes, neither of which I can turn ABS off. And I agree 100%, technology does not replace skills rather it supplements our abilities. Skills should be regularly exercised and refined.
ABS stops you quicker - NOT ALWAYS!
scottrnelson
12/02/2020  10:18 PM
I've had three KTM adventure motorcycles that all had ABS. The 2008 990 Adv definitely did not stop well on loose gravel with ABS enabled, especially when headed downhill. To turn it off you had to be stopped, then press a button near the speedometer.

The 2018 1090R and 2020 790R have more advanced ABS that works much better off road. The 1090R behaved differently when set to Off Road mode than Street mode, allowing the rear tire to be locked up if desired. The 790R that I have now appears to leave the ABS in street mode even when the ride mode is set to Off Road, but it still stops very well on loose surfaces. It also has a Rain mode, but I haven't tried that out yet. I haven't really felt the need to switch the ABS to Off Road mode, and I ride a lot of dirt roads.

Personally, I expect it to stop better on wet roads with ABS on than without it. But I try very hard to avoid riding in the wet, so I don't know when I'll be able to test it.

To switch modes on the newer bikes involves five button pushes with my left thumb followed by closing the throttle for about a second. Then a couple of more button pushes to get back to the default instrument panel setting. It doesn't care if you're moving or not. It's slightly more complicated to turn ABS off, but I've had no reason to want to do that so far.

By the way, my goal when riding is to never get to the point where I can feel ABS kicking in. On the 2008 KTM, the rear brake was way too sensitive and I could frequently feel it doing something. It's very rare to feel it on the newer bikes because it works way better.

As for traction control, which both newer bikes have, it gets "exercised" much more. A few times I've forgotten to switch from Street to Off Road and then tried passing a truck on a dirt road. The traction control severely limits acceleration on loose stuff. I rarely forget to switch when entering dirt sections, though.
ABS stops you quicker - NOT ALWAYS!
James R. Davis
12/02/2020  7:49 PM
Sure, we all know that having ABS is considered a safety feature and that in many cases ABS can stop a motorcycle in a shorter distance than without it. And, many of us know that a truly braking skilled rider can stop even more quickly than ABS can.

But what frustrates me no end is that most of us do not know that there are conditions in which ABS virtually guarantees that a motorcycle using ABS will take more distance (MUCH MORE) to stop than not using ABS. When? On slick wet surfaces or on loose gravel surfaces. Some At least one study shows that using ABS can result in stopping distances more than 30% greater than not having ABS on such surfaces.

THIRTY PERCENT!!!

If you have ABS on your bikes, can you turn it off? Do you do so?

Technology is great, but relying on it instead of yourself and practice and skills is DUMB.
How dangerous are we to ourselves?
Eagle Six
11/13/2020  4:55 PM
quote:
Originally posted by James R. Davis

Since you asked for my opinion ...


Yes I did and I appreciate your response both because I respect your expertise and because I agree with you.


quote:
Originally posted by James R. DavisI believe the MSF provides lip service to the idea of safety training. They, it seems to me, are a marketing wing of the motorcycle industry hiding behind the exceptionally well crafted (by lobbyists) state requirements for formal (safety oriented) knowledge/skill/safety training to obtain a motorcycle endorsement on driver licenses. Virtually every state has a MOM (Motorcycle Operator Manual) that was crafted by the MSF.

If safety was an objective, then why is it that the MSF still refuses to teach their students how to get away from a bike that is falling? How hard is it to teach them to let go of the downside grip, stand on the highside peg, and step away from the bike with the down leg? That should be a REQUIRED element of the first range day for beginner students. Even if that training does not involve actually dropping a bike, a demonstration would go a long way towards diminishing the many instances of dropped bike injuries in their classes. But they don't do that? Why not?


Agree, and why is it they make it seem like such a big sin. I really don't remember meeting any rider that has not dropped a bike at least once. I've done it several times over 55 years of riding. When we stress not dropping, and fail to provide instruction how to safely dismount during a tip over, students are more likely to strain to save it beyond the point of no return, and risk severe injury. It would not cost much to rig up a demo bike for this training, and if not that, as you state at least have an instructor demonstrate the technique. In only a few more minutes they can demonstrate how to safely pick up a downed bike.

quote:
Originally posted by James R. DavisYour concerns about wide turns is shared by me. Truthfully, I think most of those incidents are the result of a disbelief in countersteering. I can't tell you the number of times I've heard accident victims claim that they steer by leaning and that for some reason the bike was fighting them before they ran off the road.


Agree. In the most recent training I attended, and I respect this school for leading the industry in teaching braking techniques, in my opinion they should spend far more time training countersteering. Many of the riders I have rode with, new and experienced, have a lack of understanding how far their bike will lean and remain planted. They lack counter weighting skills but still feel their body weight is the way to steer their motorcycles. Counter weighing (hanging off) is a skill and has a place, sometimes on the street if used conservatively, more extreme on the track, but it supplements countersteering effort and never replaces countersteering principles.

The most recent MSF course I attended 3 years ago (it was either an intermediate or advanced parking lot course) they gave lip service to countersteering, but very little instruction or drills. After the swerving drill and instructor asked us if swerving can be done at highway speeds. I answer yes. Nope, absolutely not, according to the instructor. My take away for those new riders was, so if they cannot get stopped, don't swerve to avoid just crash into what ever it is! You most certainly can swerve at highway speeds, we do it all the time changing lanes. We cannot swerve to the extent that we can at slower speeds, but it may be very valuable to avoid trash or debris in our path.

I'm also amazed at how many riders don't understand that braking in a corner, with proper training, is not a big sin. It can actually be a life saver.

Those are some of my thoughts and would be interested in other opinions either in agreement and opposed, perhaps I'm wrong.
How dangerous are we to ourselves?
James R. Davis
11/13/2020  1:01 PM
Since you asked for my opinion ...

I believe the MSF provides lip service to the idea of safety training. They, it seems to me, are a marketing wing of the motorcycle industry hiding behind the exceptionally well crafted (by lobbyists) state requirements for formal (safety oriented) knowledge/skill/safety training to obtain a motorcycle endorsement on driver licenses. Virtually every state has a MOM (Motorcycle Operator Manual) that was crafted by the MSF.

If safety was an objective, then why is it that the MSF still refuses to teach their students how to get away from a bike that is falling? How hard is it to teach them to let go of the downside grip, stand on the highside peg, and step away from the bike with the down leg? That should be a REQUIRED element of the first range day for beginner students. Even if that training does not involve actually dropping a bike, a demonstration would go a long way towards diminishing the many instances of dropped bike injuries in their classes. But they don't do that? Why not?

Your concerns about wide turns is shared by me. Truthfully, I think most of those incidents are the result of a disbelief in countersteering. I can't tell you the number of times I've heard accident victims claim that they steer by leaning and that for some reason the bike was fighting them before they ran off the road.
How dangerous are we to ourselves?
Eagle Six
11/12/2020  8:50 AM
James I would be interested in your opinion, and equally by other members opinions, do you think the motorcycle industry and motorcycle training industry is gaining on better safety education and skills in say the last five years? Especially in the education and skill building for single vehicle crashes (mostly corner control/speed and braking)?

It seems to me reviewing the data (DataDan provides) and others, that we may not be gaining, but the perception I have is that we are, at least a slow gain perhaps.

I have 3 pet peeves....the first 2 are during corner control, either running wide or crossing the center line, and the 3rd, lack of separation while following other vehicles, be it following to close behind a cage, or in a group ride following to close behind other riders or staggered riders in a group ride.

Another would be how often we talk the talk, but failed to walk the walk. That is, in conversation riders recognize the dangers in riding to close, yet often immediately violate common safe distances in practice.

I think this may be based on the perception/myth that motorcycles can stop shorter than late model cars. Or maybe it is the habit we picked up driving cages! My observation is cage drivers violate the safe following distance far more often than motorcyclist, and most all of us riders are also cage drivers.

I would be interested in others opinions if their observations are similar to mine.


How dangerous are we to ourselves?
James R. Davis
11/11/2020  6:26 PM
It is a real pleasure for me to see that something I've said here is so completely understood by readers.

Thank you for that.
How dangerous are we to ourselves?
Eagle Six
11/11/2020  4:29 PM
Along with the theme, mostly I hear a resistance to admit any contribution/fault to a crash. Some have outright up front recognition that they messed up and admit it, but many immediately want to start blaming anyone and anything other than themselves. It seems to be more prevalent these days for folks to try and pass it off on someone else. Maybe that is the youth, maybe just the times. I was raised no matter how tough, embarrassing, or the punishment, best to stand tall and be responsible for my action good or bad.

Most of the crashes I have witnessed, reviewed, talked about, discussed, when the details come out, almost always there was more than one contributing fact in a crash. We were going to fast, cold tires, lost focus, having a bad day, etc. that lead us up to the final results, and these multiple of sins can also be on the other side, the driver in a multiple vehicle crash most likely has also violated more than one safe practice.
How dangerous are we to ourselves?
scottrnelson
11/10/2020  4:05 PM
Thanks for explaining the accident.

It sounds like what I occasionally encounter off road when there are ruts. A couple of weeks ago I missed noticing an upcoming rut filled with silt until I was already in it. Think of sand, but finer and more powdery. The front tire sank two to three inches into the silt and steering was nearly impossible at that point with the rut controlling where my front tire went. I almost kept from dumping the bike, but not quite. The bike went down but I just stepped away, remaining on my feet. And there was no damage. I don't call those incidents a crash or an accident, it's just a dumped bike and you pick it back up and continue on your way.

I guess things aren't nearly as serious off road.
How dangerous are we to ourselves?
James R. Davis
11/10/2020  2:56 PM
Yes, the motorcycle was moving.

This was a case where the motorcyclist (and his passenger wife) were injured when their motorcycle was tossed to the ground by a pavement deficiency. They were in a town on a city street which had trolley rails on both sides of them while they rode in a left-turn-only lane approaching their hotel.

The pavement adjacent to one of the rails was badly eroded and when the front tire went over the left rail it encountered a wide and unlevel ditch and when it hit the crumbling pavement roadway beyond the rail it experienced a very strong counter-trail impulse that dumped it on its side.

The approach to that area of the rail was pristine - properly maintained. The deficiently maintained area began 100 yards before the scene of the accident and continued for several blocks was not obvious nor particularly visible by the time the motorcycle was forced to make the left turn.

The gap between the rail and the pavement would certainly have trapped the front wheel had the motorcyclist tried to make a more modest turn over it. He was moving at no more than 5 MPH when he tried to make a sharper left turn to avoid trapping his tire.

The suit was between the motorcyclist and the city.

He won that suit and his award was not diminished in any way because there was NO 'contributing negligence' on his part.
How dangerous are we to ourselves?
scottrnelson
11/10/2020  11:37 AM
I'm curious if you can mention anything about the one case where the motorcyclist did not contribute to the accident. Were they moving at the time?
How dangerous are we to ourselves?
Eagle Six
11/10/2020  8:46 AM
Thank You James for the explanation and information.

quote:
Originally posted by James R. Davis



Discounting whether or not the motorcyclist contributed any negligence (he most certainly did), because a motorcycle sliding on its side loses speed more slowly than it would if using normal braking while upright, clearly there would not have been a collision with the truck even if he hadn't laid it down (using normal braking).



In the last 4-5 years I have recognized, when speaking with other riders, that the myth of laying it down has started to diminish. However I still chat with riders that insist on keeping that myth alive. So, I think the industry is making gains on the truth and facts with better information and education in training. Yet we need more training and skill building in the application of brakes, especially when addressing braking in corners.
How dangerous are we to ourselves?
James R. Davis
11/09/2020  10:16 PM
While it is clear here that I've been talking about the motorcyclist (usually the plaintiff) contributing negligence resulting in an accident and that the contribution may or may not be causative, it is equally true that the driver of the other vehicle can contribute negligence and yet that negligence may or may not be causative.

For example, in a case I worked where a pickup truck driver made a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle, clearly the truck driver contributed negligence in the matter (failing to yield the right of way). However, the motorcyclist 'laid his bike down to avoid a collision' (his claim) and neither the bike nor the rider even came close to striking the truck. Substantial injuries resulted. So this was a case where there was no collision (except with the ground) yet the motorcyclist sued the truck driver claiming he caused the accident.

Discounting whether or not the motorcyclist contributed any negligence (he most certainly did), because a motorcycle sliding on its side loses speed more slowly than it would if using normal braking while upright, clearly there would not have been a collision with the truck even if he hadn't laid it down (using normal braking).

It was argued that the truck driver did, in fact, contribute negligence, but that it was NOT causative to the accident. Further, the accident was NOT a collision between the motorcycle and the truck (it was NOT a collision accident) - it was a collision between the motorcyclist and the pavement CAUSED BY inappropriate overuse of his rear brake.

That outcome is why my services are obtained - to help a jury understand the issues about an incident - and that includes teaching the attorneys along the way.
How dangerous are we to ourselves?
James R. Davis
11/09/2020  9:49 PM
I've made agreements with the retaining attorney of every case that I've published information about. That is, I've received permission to discuss the cases, even document them as is the case of the case studies available from the home page here, with the proviso that I NOT provide identifying information about the parties or their locations.

In any event, I rarely learn of the percentage of contributing negligence that juries assess except when I'm told what percentage of the awarded amount is diminished by because of that assessment.

But the real reason I can't answer your question is that most cases are settled before going to a jury trial. In that case, no percentage is available to learn about.

As to your question about skid marks ... there is a demonstrable skid mark left while approaching a skid and its called an 'insipient skid mark'. These are fainter than full-on skid marks and last for sometimes only hours. Unless an accident reconstructionist (or knowledgeable investigating policeman) takes pictures SOON after an incident, they are usually missed.

Insipient skid marks occur because a part of the tire contact patch is actually skidding before the entire patch lets loose and slides or skids. It's the same cause of tires squealing when making slow turns on smooth concrete pavement.
How dangerous are we to ourselves?
Eagle Six
11/09/2020  5:55 PM
quote:
Originally posted by James R. Davis

(and why a trial would be needed to determine his percentage contribution of that cause).



Are you at liberty to divulge what percentage was determined, if any? Just curious.

In this recent class I attended, an instructor made a statement. I agree with his intent, but part of the statement I question. He is a retired motor cop and motor instructor. His statement was in reference to avoiding the opposing traffic making the left turn in front of the on coming biker. He expressed he had seen it more than once that the biker made little or no attempt at stopping because there were no skid marks, none!

I understand the importance of skid marks and not defending those who panic and freeze, or react late, not paying attention, or "I had to lay it down", however I have done a bit, well way more than a bit, of threshold/emergency stops in my time. Most have been during training and/or self training. Both with ABS/TC and without. Most of the time I did not skid and it was very difficult to detect any rubber evidence from my practiced threshold stops.

Perhaps there was other evidence he did not add. I would welcome your opinion based on having far more experience than I of crash investigation and expert testimony.
How dangerous are we to ourselves?
James R. Davis
11/09/2020  4:49 PM
You said: "And, often our part of the contribution, if eliminated, could have lead to avoiding the crash."

Absolutely correct and the point of my message.

For clarification, in the first example I posed where the motorcyclist froze at his controls, had it been impossible for that motorcyclist to avoid the collision despite effective braking, then almost certainly the other vehicle caused that accident, BUT, if the proper (relatively aggressive use of BOTH) use of the motorcycle brakes could have avoided the collision entirely, then the motorcyclist was a major cause of that accident (and why a trial would be needed to determine his percentage contribution of that cause).
How dangerous are we to ourselves?
Eagle Six
11/09/2020  3:57 PM
This has been my experience as well. Very seldom are we 100% no fault. And, often our part of the contribution, if eliminated, could have lead to avoiding the crash.

None of us are perfect in every way 24/7 or have mother luck with us every minute. However, we can improve our odds if we put forth the effort.

I just returned home yesterday from attending a full day training on Saturday. The class was a bit pricey and the acommadations and travel added to the expense. It was worth it to me, maybe not to others. I take one training class per year, more if opportunity presents itself. There is no training in my area so it always presents at least a 500 mile round trip.

In between these classes I self train as often as reasonable and consider every ride a training opportunity to a certain extinct. I attempt to be critical and honest about my skills and do a mental review of every ride to evaluate my performance.

The bottom line, all of this together does not offer me exclusive protection, just maybe swings the odds in my favor....as in the past, time will tell.
How dangerous are we to ourselves?
James R. Davis
11/09/2020  2:45 PM
As I believe virtually everybody here knows, I serve as a motorcycle safety and dynamics expert witness in civil suits involving motorcycles all over the country.

I've been retained as an expert witness over 40 times; 70% for the defense and 30% for the plaintiff. I believe the explanation for that difference is that the defense side tends to have and is willing to spend more money in the matter (Usually insurance companies).

We all know that riding motorcycles is dangerous. For that reason we pay for insurance and wear protective gear, including helmets. But there remains distracted drivers and loose animals and other road conditions, any of which can take your life.

But has anybody ever brought to your attention that *YOU* may be the most danger to yourself?

When I recently reviewed all of the cases I've worked over the past 15 years I found something that astonished me: IN ONLY ONE OF THOSE CASES THE MOTORCYCLIST DID NOT CONTRIBUTE TO THE ACCIDENT!!!

Let me be very clear about this ... contributing to an accident does not mean CAUSED the accident!!!

For example, if, while riding on a public street, another vehicle turns left in front of you and instead of going for an emergency stop, you simply freeze at your controls. You (probably) didn't cause that accident (depending upon how much distance was between the vehicles and that you were riding at a legal speed), but your inaction contributed mightily to it.

Another obvious example, an accident occurs after you downed 'a few' drinks.

Yep, you can be the most dangerous aspect of your ride.

By the way, in most jurisdictions in the country, if the other side can demonstrate that you contributed more than 50% of the cause of the accident, you lose in court. Simple as that.

So what can you do about this danger? You can take experienced rider courses, you can practice difficult maneuvers in safe environments, you can do a pre-ride check ride on a clear and open parking lot to determine that both you and your bike are healthy enough to actually make that ride, you can make sure your motorcycle receives timely and adequate maintenance, etc.

And, of course, you can click on that pink button on the top right of your screen and read (and assimilate) the hundreds of tips we have provided here for you. We provided them so that you can increase your odds of surviving this fun sport.
Motorcycle Safety / Contrary Opinions
The negative side of wearing a helmet and gear
ricbassman
10/27/2020  3:04 PM
Makes sense on some level, I guess. I can say for sure that my full face helmet and armored jacket did their jobs at 60 mph. Remember it's not just the impact.

I hit a deer at around 60 mph, the bike took the impact, although I did catch a little as it went over my shoulder. Where the helmet came in handy was the sliding. If I wasn't wearing a helmet, I wouldn't have a face. I don't know how far I slid, but the whole face of my helmet was ground almost all the way through.

Just my 2?
Motorcycle Safety / General Discussion
Colorado introduces 'Motorcyclist Cheese Grater' concept
Eagle Six
10/09/2020  8:21 AM
Every little bit will help.
Colorado introduces 'Motorcyclist Cheese Grater' concept
James R. Davis
10/08/2020  11:46 AM
Team Oregon just praised the Colorado Department of Transportation for introducing the concept of motorcyclist cheese grater - meaning that crashing with pavement without a helmet can do serious damage (OF COURSE).

I, too, am impressed with the Colorado DOT's initiative. They actually paint this warning on public streets.



Here is the CDOT advisory: https://www.codot.gov/news/2020/jul...segraternews

Training fatality, October 2020
Eagle Six
10/04/2020  2:09 PM
Although the crash incidents like this seem to be rare, I wonder if it is more prevalent than the lack of news reports suggest. Perhaps there have been more, or even many more, 3-wheel training crashes than get reported because they were not fatality related, therefore not really news worthy and the incident was handled and kept within the training facility.
Training fatality, October 2020
DataDan
10/04/2020  10:26 AM
Tragically, another training participant has died. The crash occurred October 3, 2020, in Palatine, Illinois. See news story at the Palatine Daily Herald. The training range can be seen in this Google Maps satellite view.

In a horrible coincidence, the victim was a 66-year-old woman taking a basic 3-wheel course, as was the victim in the other incident I posted about recently. It was a single-vehicle crash, but no other details are reported.



These are very rare incidents. The most recent training fatality in my archive of crash news occurred in 2015 when a participant of a non-MSF class in New York City choked to death on a hard candy. Before that, in 2013 a woman died in upstate New York in a 3-wheel training class, but cause of death was determined to be a pre-existing heart condition. And in 2010, a man died in training in South Carolina. In addition, I have two instances of instructors dying in falls, not on motorcycles

RIP, all.
Training fatality, September 2020
DataDan
09/29/2020  4:48 PM
The Ryker appears to be a pretty basic machine with a 600cc engine (900 optional), automatic transmission, and stability control starting at $8500.

According to MSF, for their 3-wheel basic course, "You may bring your own 3-wheel motorcycle, or one may be provided." However, Can-Am has their own training program, and Columbus, Indiana, is one of the listed sites. So I don't know whether this class was MSF or Can-Am or whether there's any difference between them--could be MSF curriculum, MSF-trained instructors, but subsidized by Can-Am.

It's unlikely that additional information will be available. All I have is the Republic story and the view of the range from the Google satellite.
Training fatality, September 2020
Eagle Six
09/29/2020  11:20 AM
I suppose a storage container would be very much like a brick wall! I'm making some assumptions here and we know how that goes. It was a beginners course, could that have been the MSF Basic Riders Trike Course? I never paid much attention to it, but it doesn't seem to me they would have provided her with a 2020 model year 600/900 cc machine, as the BRC 2 wheel that I'm familiar with has students on 250cc class bikes. Regardless we know for a new rider (even experienced riders) on a 600cc bike, that gets away from us, things happen much faster than a 25 hp type machine, not that a little bike can not hurt us, just saying.

Or perhaps it was a mechanical failure, although I would think not likely. Or, perhaps there we some modifications or accessories that interfered, although I would think the instructors would have spotted anything adverse during the morning inspection.

Regardless, her family has my sympathy as this is not what was expected and we know regardless of details, it could have been prevented. It's another sad event. Perhaps Dan, as a training tool, you will be able to post the details when they are available.
Training fatality, September 2020
DataDan
09/29/2020  9:03 AM
A woman was killed in a training crash on September 27, 2020, in Columbus, Indiana. According to the Columbus Republic, a woman participant age 66 "lost control of a of 2020 Can Am Ryker and went off of the course and struck a metal storage container".

The training site is at the Columbus Municipal Airport, possibly here (Google Maps link).
Connected motorcycles
Thom Thumb
08/28/2020  9:22 PM
One can always stay with a pre-connected motorcycle.

Which is not to say I like electronic tethering. Considering this is a 'free country', there's an awful lot of interference from an awful lot of sources, huh?
Connected motorcycles
Eagle Six
08/11/2020  10:14 AM
When everything is connected and tethered (motorcycles, cars, truck, plane, boats, and trains), they will mandate non-compliant vehicles be removed. Not in my life time, but something my children and grand children will probably face off with.....unless something in our society happens to prevent it!
Connected motorcycles
James R. Davis
08/11/2020  7:45 AM
Motorcycle manufacturers are talking incessantly about 'connected' and 'tethered' motorcycles that they are contemplating bring to market. Yet those of us who are riders seem unaware of what all the hype is about.

Here is a list of manufacturers who are planning to impact future motorcycle developments in a major way:

BMW AG (ETR: BMW)
Autotalks Ltd.
KPIT (NSE: KPITTECH)
Panasonic Corporation (TYO: 6752)
TE Connectivity (NYSE: TEL)
Robert Bosch GmbH
Starcom Systems (LON: STAR)

So let's start learning about what they are talking about.

A 'connected' motorcycle is wi-fi (some of you know about IoT) connected to another device other than itself. For example, the electronics on a connected motorcycle automatically and without human intervention passes on to your dealership's service system information such as gas mileage, miles traveled, GPS location information, SPEED information, and more.

In other words, say a police department wants to know where (and when) your motorcycle was the night of a hit and run located in the town next to you? Or if they want to know if it was moving in excess of 90 MPH - ever? And how long do you think it will be before those service systems will provide an AUTOMATIC update of police systems, without subpoena or judicial order?

Another bit of connected motorcycle information is your health. Right, systems are being developed to monitor your heart rate and blood pressure. Could those sensors determine your blood/alcohol content as well?

Something we've talked about before ... SELF DRIVING motorcycles (ala BMW AG). Well, at lease 'automatic driver assistance' capability. All in the name of driver safety, of course.

And what about 'tethered' motorcycles? What that means is the rider is more 'connected' with the motorcycle. 'Back supports', 'neck supports', even 'helmet supports' are being planned with electronic monitoring built-in. Right. It is entirely possible that with tethered systems the police are able to determine not only information about your motorcycle, but about WHO was driving it?

I know this article sounds like pure conspiracy crap. It's not. The plans are far along and we are already seeing some of it in the market place.

What happens if some authoritarian decides that no vehicles should be allowed to move faster than 65 MPH? Think you would be able to fight that mandate if that authority simply dialed in a limit on your motorcycle? Or how about a hacker who mischievously decides that all motorcycles near him need to make a left turn NOW? I'm probably just over thinking this, right?

Remember when riding was a way to get away from the rest of the world?
Bitcoins
James R. Davis
08/03/2020  6:31 AM
Very interesting question.

For those of you who wonder what that's all about ...

Since cryptocurrencies have been around the way those coins have been created is through mining where computers around the world run very challenging algorithms in an attempt to solve a problem which when solved rewards the solving system with some number of the newly minted coins. Miners also provided the necessary infrastructure that managed their blockchains.

So much computer power has been devoted to mining that the electricity used by those computers has become a meaningful percentage of all electricity generated -- and, of course, it is expensive. Over time the algorithms have gotten so difficult to solve (by design), and cutbacks in the number of coins awarded, that for many (most) people it is no longer profitable to mine unless you are a large corporation that manufactures cryptomining equipment and have made special deals with electricity providers. That results in concentrating ownership and the ability to 'control' (via voting) the future of those currencies.

The solution is to get away from mining (called proof of work) and replacing it with proof of Stake (ownership).

Anyway, proof of stake generates new coins by awarding a certain percentage (essentially interest) to those owners who hold (and do not trade) their coins.

The second generation of Ethereum (ETH) creates new coins via proof of stake (staking) instead of proof of work (mining).

ETH is easily the second most viable crypto currencies after bitcoins. Huge market, very strong trading and investment community, excellent price growth history, and its blockchain has proven to be very secure. Of the hundreds of different cryptocurrencies, MANY of them are actually subsets (well, exist as creations under ETH using its blockchain).

If Bitcoin (BTC) provided a staking option, I would certainly consider using it as I'm more of an investor than a trader. But I'm conflicted as to wanting to stake ETH. That, largely because when I earn interest on cryptocoins it is because margin traders have borrowed those coins to sell them only to buy them back at hoped for lower prices. In other words, cryptointerest 'feels like' (to me) a very weak hedge against prices going down where very savvy traders are betting against me. (I think interest is a viable hedge only with stable assets. What good is earning, say, 6% PER YEAR when an asset can lose 5% PER DAY in value?)

Additionally, when I trade I expect to earn (or lose) more than interest rates by doing so.

So, long answer, I know, but I will 'stand by' and 'watch' the staking effort with ETH rather than commit at this time. I like ETH as both an investment and trading vehicle. For the time being I'd like to continue buying/selling based on market risks rather than tie up funds with staking, but that could change. I mean, if the interest rate (staking payoff) is large enough, I could be persuaded. And, I earned money mining when it was profitable. Staking MAY be another way.
Bitcoins
JanK
08/03/2020  2:46 AM
Will you be staking on the ETH 2.0 net? I'm considering giving it a try.
Bitcoins
James R. Davis
08/02/2020  9:16 AM
Yesterday the bitcoin market was amazing to watch.

The price for 1 bitcoin reached $12,000 after a steady growth for about a month from just over $10,000. Then, at about midnight, the price fell $1,000 in just over ten minutes and reached $11,040 with about $50,000,000 of transactions.

Of course there was a lot of profit taking to account for that drop. But a huge number of margin traders didn't believe it. So they scrambled to buy more and more of it as it fell in price.

How do I know that? Well, the current interest rate being paid to borrow USD to buy bitcoin has been slightly more than 0.06% per day, until the price for bitcoin fell. For a period of almost half an hour the DAILY borrowing interest rate rose to 7%. That's 7% PER DAY, not APR. 7% per day is over 2,550% APR!!!!

Today the price of bitcoins is $11,100 and the daily borrowing interest rate is back to 0.06%.

Amazing swings to watch.
I'm thinking of adding aftermarket exhaust to 2012 bike
scottrnelson
08/01/2020  3:27 PM
quote:
Originally posted by James R. Davis

Anybody want to toss in their opinion? or experiences? I'd sure appreiate it.

My main concern when riding is being visible to those that I'm approaching. The car at the side of the road that is about to pull out into my path or the oncoming car about to make a left turn across my path. I don't think loud pipes do much at all to help you get noticed by them. For riders in California that are splitting lanes in freeway traffic, they likely help people know you're coming from behind when they're looking to make a lane change into you, assuming they don't have their stereo up too loud.

When I'm stuck behind a group of straight pipe Harleys out in the country, especially when driving my convertible with the top down, it's totally annoying.

One reason that all of my helmets are bright colors is to help me be more visible to people that I'm approaching. I really have to wonder about the guy on a Goldwing or big adventure bike with the fluorescent yellow jacket but a black helmet. Because of the size of the fairings on those bikes, all you can see from in front is the helmet and their headlight. The jacket doesn't help much at all. Yes, they help people coming up behind you to see, but I consider that a very small percentage of the total risks from other traffic out there.
I'm thinking of adding aftermarket exhaust to 2012 bike
Eagle Six
07/31/2020  4:17 PM
quote:
Originally posted by James R. Davis


Anybody want to toss in their opinion? or experiences? I'd sure appreiate it.



Oh, I'm just full of opinion!!

I really like those well tuned pipes that sound like the bike is going fast when the bike is actually going fast. The exhaust that is almost silent when leaving or arriving in the neighbor at surface street speed which do not piss off the neighbors or friends, but when out in the canyons at high rpm sound something like a MotoGP bike cutting down the straight away!

Harley type of straight pipes, I'm not a fan. Obnoxious sport bike slip-ons that rattle my teeth going from block to block, I'm not a fan.

Are their some occurrences when a cage driver heard loud pipes coming and didn't run over the rider....probably, but where is the proof the loud pipes actually saved the day? I have heard a lot of claims, but haven't heard/seen any logical firm evidence.

I have Two Brother slip-ons on my ZX14r. They are quiet going through the neighborhood putting at 15 mph, and have a rasper when on the street. Louder than stock, but not real loud. They were on the bike by the previous owner. My wife likes them, I'm just OK with them. It certainly doesn't bother me to spend the money to replace them.

My other bike 2020 Ninja 1000SX still has the factory exhaust. A bit throaty when getting into the torque, but relatively quiet and I like it. Quiet in the neighborhood, quiet in traffic and quiet at highway speeds. I can hear the engine, but not an annoying blast from the exhaust.

I think rather than spend money or make modifications to the exhaust, if all that is wanted is be be heard for safety (as in loud pipes save lives), a better investment would be to add extra lights and color so one could be seen.

Hearing may help, but from what direction or where is the noise coming from. If other drivers/riders can see you, then the noise isn't necessary. Maybe a combination of lights, color, and noise is a better bet!

So I am also undecided, with the exception that I really don't like the obnoxious and irritating raw straight pipe that most often happens to be on a Harley or metric v-twin Harley wannabe.

Oh, disclaimer, I really like the sound of a straight piped Harley sitting there idling making that potato-potato-potato sound just on the edge of stalling out, which all gets ruined for me the moment the rider twist the throttle and blast my ears!!
I'm thinking of adding aftermarket exhaust to 2012 bike
James R. Davis
07/31/2020  2:08 PM
What probably does not surprise most of you is that I'm frequently asked to opine on the subject of conspicuity. (Not just being seen but also being able to see.)

What has never been asked of me, however, is if I thought loud pipes are in any way potentially life saving. If asked, I'd readily admit that they are obnoxious and irritating to most people, but I've not yet formed an opinion about them being potentially life saving in nature.

Anybody want to toss in their opinion? or experiences? I'd sure appreiate it.
I'm thinking of adding aftermarket exhaust to 2012 bike
Eagle Six
07/30/2020  4:40 PM
quote:
Originally posted by jlewisp

Just wanting to change things up a bit, so keep the I need a new bike at bay.


It's your money, $2000 for a new exhaust system or $20,000 for a new bike. Invest 10% to save 90%, that might be a good deal if it works.

For me, if I buy a bike to race, I most likely going to pure a bunch of money into exhaust, reflash, tires, suspension, brakes, etc. to get the most out of my core investment. If I buy a long distance tourer, I would probably be putting a bunch of stuff maybe like extra fuel cells, heated everything, larger wind screen, etc. to make it the most comfortable and capable ride for cross country touring.

What I did recently buy was a 2020 Ninja 1000SX Sport-Touring liter bike. I have about 2,500 miles on it and there is nothing I need for it (with the exception of a gel rear seat, because my wife insist). The factory exhaust will stay as is. The bike is everything I had planned it to be and I want to see how long a factory bike for $11,500 will suite me. In the past I was always hot for the latest gizmo farkle and that included full exhaust and a reflash. Now days I'm leaning for stock and sink the money into skills training.

But, that's just me, I wish you well with your quest, although getting a new bike is always better than a new exhaust, at least for me!!
I'm thinking of adding aftermarket exhaust to 2012 bike
jlewisp
07/30/2020  8:15 AM
Just wanting to change things up a bit, so keep the I need a new bike at bay. It's the one thing I wish I had done when I first bought the bike. A little louder is ok, a few more horses is good, and they say the ecu update make's it even more responsive.
Motorcycle Safety / Physics and the theoretical
Neutral Steering (fact or fancy?)
Oggiedoggy
07/30/2020  1:19 AM
Thank you.
Motorcycle Safety / General Discussion
I need some help with an explanation
Eagle Six
07/29/2020  11:33 AM
quote:
Originally posted by JanK

The way that hands-off steering works on my motorcycle is that I lean the body into the (let's say left) turn then press with the left foot on the footpeg and simultaneously press with the right knee into the tank. To be honest, I'm still not clear about the physics behind this technique, but it can be surprisingly effective.

Here's a video https://youtu.be/jtyuT-vYQhA of hands-off slalom between cones set 9 metres apart (as described in section 3.1.2.4. on page 7 of https://www.uradni-list.si/files/RS...007-0000.PDF. The speed was around 30km/h, but I could not make a turn around each cone, so the slalom was around cones effectively set 18 metres apart.

I also tried taking a corner at https://www.google.com/maps/@46.026...ata=!3m1!1e3. The video is at https://youtu.be/mgF4uPxH7-4. The second turn at https://www.google.com/maps/@46.025...ata=!3m1!1e3 was too sharp and I could not make it without using the handlebar.



It's good that you took your time to video and post the findings. Your results are not surprising, that is about what I can do on my motorcycle, which is far from controlled through the cones or adequate for street riding.
I need some help with an explanation
JanK
07/29/2020  10:46 AM
The way that hands-off steering works on my motorcycle is that I lean the body into the (let's say left) turn then press with the left foot on the footpeg and simultaneously press with the right knee into the tank. To be honest, I'm still not clear about the physics behind this technique, but it can be surprisingly effective.

Here's a video https://youtu.be/jtyuT-vYQhA of hands-off slalom between cones set 9 metres apart (as described in section 3.1.2.4. on page 7 of https://www.uradni-list.si/files/RS...007-0000.PDF. The speed was around 30km/h, but I could not make a turn around each cone, so the slalom was around cones effectively set 18 metres apart.

I also tried taking a corner at https://www.google.com/maps/@46.026...ata=!3m1!1e3. The video is at https://youtu.be/mgF4uPxH7-4. The second turn at https://www.google.com/maps/@46.025...ata=!3m1!1e3 was too sharp and I could not make it without using the handlebar.
Motorcycle Safety / Contrary Opinions
Questions RE: Tip 233: Slow-Speed Countersteering? Yes!
JanK
07/29/2020  10:12 AM
After wrecking my previous motorcycle (see the writeup in https://www.msgroup.org/forums/mtt/...PIC_ID=15239), using my partners motorcycle for some time, then getting another motorcycle, a BMW R1200R and practicing a lot, I can now conclusively say that low-speed countersteering absolutely exists and works.

Check out https://youtu.be/ugLSTMq7nvU The 360 degree turn was done around a cone set in the area for a figure 8 defined in section 3.1.2.3. on page 7 of https://www.uradni-list.si/files/RS...07-0000.PDF, i.e., within 7 metres width, with lots of room to spare, so it was a turn with around 6 metres radius.

The left turn was initiated by pushing the left handle forward and the handlebars more or less immediately turned to the left. The forward pressure was let off to allow the handlebar to turn to the left and then increased to control the turn. Although the left handle is not visible, at no time in the turn itself was there any pull on the left handle, since I only pressed with the heel of the hand. The right handle is visible and there was no pressure on it.

The sequence of forces and actions is precisely the same as for the countersteering at high speeds.
Motorcycle Safety / Physics and the theoretical
Neutral Steering (fact or fancy?)
JanK
07/29/2020  7:00 AM
The torque on the handlebar that is necessary to maintain steady-state is irrelevant when considering this. In order to transition from a turn to a straight line, the front wheel needs to be countersteered towards the inside of the turn.

So, if you're pushing on the inner handle, you need to decrease the pressure, if you're pushing on the outer handle, you need to increase the pressure.
Motorcycle Safety / General Discussion
I'm thinking of adding aftermarket exhaust to 2012 bike
scottrnelson
07/27/2020  8:21 PM
The last time I weighed a set of Ducati pipes, the carbon fiber Ducati Performance pipes were nine pounds less than the stock ones - 10.5 pounds vs 19.5 pounds.

After market pipes on a Ducati are to let the wonderful sounds out. But the various ones that I had were always too loud. I had Ducati Performance, D&D, and Fast by Ferracci pipes. I ended up modifying stock pipes on both the Monster and ST2 that I rode back then. The stock pipes sent the sound through three different chambers, going from the first to the third, then back the the middle and out a single tube. Removing a few internal pipes changed it so that the exhaust only went through two chambers. Not nearly as loud as the typical aftermarket pipes, but a little louder than stock. I have no idea what the inside of a Multistrada pipe looks like, but I doubt it's like the cans from the mid-90's.

The issue I had with the loud ones was that even with earplugs, the extra sound caused fatigue on longer rides. I don't know if the Harley riders have that issue or not. My XR650L has an aftermarket pipe, but it's not that loud until I get past half throttle. The pipe is worth about a 10% power improvement. I'm not touching the KTM.

So, jlewisp, what is the main reason you're considering an aftermarket exhaust?
I need some help with an explanation
Eagle Six
07/27/2020  6:19 PM
Also, the MSF and the state test stress if you drop the bike you fail, so students attempt to save it!

Pretty much there are those of us who have, those who will, and a few of us like me, that will again, drop a bike. Get of without injury and it a valuable lesson you can laugh at. Get off with an injury and it's a lesson we can dry over.

I agree, it just doesn't make any sense to down grade a rider for dropping their bike, nor teach them safely how to dismount and let it go!
I'm thinking of adding aftermarket exhaust to 2012 bike
Eagle Six
07/27/2020  3:36 PM
Hi Lewis,

I like some after market exhaust and also like some factory exhaust. It's pretty common for many riders to change some or all of the factory exhaust.

I like having a reason, so without your reason for changing things it may be pointless to give an opinion. Perhaps you can expand a bit on why you would consider spending the money for changes?

Perhaps you want a slip on to save a little weight and/or get a better sound. Perhaps you want to swicth to a full exhaust system to eliminate the cat and pickup some hp. there is probably some end goal you have considered? Having an idea of your goals I'm sure you will get more meaningful replies.
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