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 Motorcycle Safety
 Motorcycle Accident Reports - WITH COMMENTS
 Trying to understand what happened.
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rkfire
Advanced Member
1713 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Posted - 10/19/2018 :  7:37 AM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend                        Like
My good friend had a single vehicle crash, that was hard to understand how and why.

He's 80, been riding a long time, and suffered 11 broken ribs in his right side of his back. Little if any other injuries. He was in the ICU for 3 weeks, then nursing home for 2 more weeks. He recalls going down, but has no idea why.

The crash occurred shortly after stopping for a 4 way stop sign intersection on residential streets, about 9pm, which at the time was about an hour after sundown. Police report only says "motorcyclist lost control".

I know the intersection well, as it is a short distance from my house. One thing that I was always on the lookout here was water streams from boat bilges, as the one street dead ends to the local boat ramp. I always suspect some of this water may have a bit of oil in it.

When he got the bike home, and was visiting him, I could finally see the bike which is in remarkably good, and rideable condition. The crash bar on the right side was bent back a little, the saddlebag on the right had some scuffs, and the windshield was cockeyed but not scratched. His shorty style helmet was scuffed up on the left side. The bike is a BMW R1200C, the cruiser style, and the windshield is attached by factory mounts of 4 tubular steel stalks mounted to the upper triple clamp and lower triple clamp. The left side tubes were bent up out of shape severely.

With his helmet damage to the left side, his ribs broken on the right side of his back, and hardly any scrapes to hands, arms, knees. I began to think this was a tumble, maybe a high side, even at low speed.

Obviously the bike must have settled on it's right side with the engine guard, and saddlebag damage on that side. The left windshield mounts bent so much, with no scraping of the windsheild itself was odd to me though.

Then I wondered if it wasn't the road that bent his windshield mounts, but his body. Specifically his back, even though that's to his right side.

Does it sound reasonable that he accelerates from a stop, hits a patch of oily water, spins the rear tire, then at some point gets traction again once off the the typical 1 1/2-2 inch stream of water, resulting in tossing him into the windshield while he was rotating to the left? The speed was likely well under 20 mph having just coming from a stop, and this occuring 100 ft. or less from the stop.

In any event, it was a pretty severe injury from such a low speed. Made even worse by his age.



scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6915 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 1090 Adv R

Posted - 10/19/2018 :  8:52 AM
You can high-side a bike at 20 mph and it will toss you over it. I can see that happening if the rear tire spins up a bit in water, the bike goes sideways a little, then regains traction on the dry part. The bike often catches some air when that happens, so it could have come down on the windshield first.

I generally watch more than 30 MotoGP and World Superbike races a year and they probably have about 15 total high-sides in a season. The mental image I have is of the rider flying above the bike, sometimes trying to hang onto it still, then coming in for a landing in front of the bike. If something gets broken, it's usually a collar bone.

I can feel for the guy recovering from 11 broken ribs. I didn't know we had that many until after I looked it up - we have 12 ribs on each side. When I had broken ribs it took two full months before I reached the point where I could cough without serious pain. With broken ribs you're feeling it all the time.

I have one question about the 20 mph assumption. Gentle acceleration is not likely to spin the tire in water. Even my XR650L can get up to 50 or so in 100 feet, how did you come up with 20?
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rkfire
Advanced Member
1713 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Posted - 10/19/2018 :  2:43 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
As for the speed estimate. It happened shortly after a stop at a stop sign, maybe 100 ft. at the most (not measured, just saying maximum distance). It's a 50hp, 550lb machine, not a rocket by any means, and most importantly, this 80 rider accelerates slowly. Ridden with him a number of times, and he may get up to speed eventually, but he's always been slow to get there. Plus it's a residential street, with a 25 mph limit.

I don't think water alone would do it either, but I can attest, some of this draining water from boats can have some oil mixed in. Even a tiny amount of oil can put a sheen on the drainage. I've seen some of the trails from the boats last for days after it's dry. Telling me there was more than just water coming out the drain plug.
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dhalen32
Male Moderator
846 Posts
[Mentor]


Omaha, NE
USA

BMW

R1200RT

Posted - 10/31/2018 :  4:21 AM
RK:
Based upon the damage and injuries it sure sounds like your friend had a high side crash with his body hitting that windshield and the bike falling on its right side after he left the machine.
Dave
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rkfire
Advanced Member
1713 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Posted - 10/31/2018 :  1:15 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Thanks Dave. That's what I am looking for, am I on the right track. The crash was a puzzle to my friend, and the more I thought about it, the more strange it seemed.

Yes he's an older man, but he is a hearty strong fellow. It was pretty slow, whatever speed it happened. That windshield being undamaged, while the robust supports for it twisted up, to me tell a tale. Well that and the right side ribs in his back, but the left side damage to his helmet too, indicate his body in a rolling motion.


The bike is perfectly operable too, I did take it around the block for him to see if any other damage.



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