GQ asked in SportsMotorcycle Racing · 7 years ago

How did I fall off my motorcycle?? Looking back on what happened. Any tips from experienced riders?

Hi all bikers and friends. I am from NYC. Yesterday I was riding my Suzuki S40 bike in the rain (not the smartest thing I know). I rode the BQE freeway at 50 - 60mph in the rain for about an hour or so and didn't really have to brake much or abruptly. I got off the freeway and onto local streets.

About 20 mins and literally a few blocks from home I was riding maybe about 30mph and the light turned red. I brakes with my front brakes and followed by my rear brakes. Next thing I know I was sliding on the pavement like a baseball player sliding into home plate. I slid about 3 - 4 ft and my bike dropped and slid a few feet ahead of me. I was wearing a tshirt but did not receive any lacerations on my forearm. The pavement was just so slippery that I glided along like a slip and side. Looking back at it, I never had a problem or encountered anything like that when using the rear brake.

Now I am wondering did I just happened to hit a slippery or possibly oil spot or its not wise to use your rear brake in the rain? I admit I was a bit arrogant and didn't adjust my riding much under the weather conditions. I am a little shaken by that and now when i got on my bike today (dry weather of course) i was a bit paranoid and hesitant and everytime i brake I am a little scared. I didn't use the rear at all today. I am paranoid that my bike has issues, that my tires are slippery, or whatever it is but I don't have the confidence to do what i have been doing prior to that fall. Any experienced riders can give some feedback about what might have happened or caused it? Also how can I tell if my bike is damaged? I've been paranoid thinking that the headset is offset and my brakes feel rocky and tires is slipping from underneath me. Is it just a mindfuck?

Note that I had a couple of close yesterday on the rainy day. All was on local streets (not the freeway thank god). First was on a pit of sand and it slipped and I almost dropped the bike. Second time was stopping once again on a red light in the rain and i hit the front and rear brake but the bike fell to my left and I managed to grab and hold it with my right hand to prevent it from falling. Is it the rain, my tires, or me using the rear brake in the rain?

Please note I am a novice rider, riding for a month only but i've caught on quick. This is not the first time I took a dive. My first day on the bike, i was making a left too quick and leaned too much and I fell to the left and lacerated my left forearm. The bike fell too but no damage except for the left peg. Am i falling too much for a novice? How many times have u guys fallen off your bike? my friend whos been riding for 2 years only fell once, which is leading me to question myself. Any advice appreciated, thanks!

Update:

More info that may help. I took my bike to the shop for an inspection just prior to the fall. The guy said that both tires need to be changed because the tread was all used up. I told am I've been riding for a month and never had issues but of course had him order 2 new tires for me. He told me to go easy since i'm a novice and go easy on the tires too. What a bummer, after he said that i took a dive. took about jinxing

Update 2:

This only happened when I hit the rear brake in the rain. Once for the close call and once again for the actual fall. Thanks and sorry for all the info. Gotta learn from my mistake brothers

4 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Not really a Racing question

    But my guess would be along with worn tyres in the wet

    I would bet you grabbed the clutch along with the front brake.

    Taking away the drive to the rear so it just locked up.

    But the way you describe the slide it sound like you lost the front end. not the rear.

    Either way

    Beginners mistakes, we all do/did them

    Its always a worry when you dont know why you crashed.

    There is no problem riding in the rain, just as long as you know what your doing and allow for the conditions.

    You will probably find the people in this section think your a bit of a dick riding in just a T shirt.

    would have thought you would have learned after the first time.

    But its your body, you carry on !

    My advice would be seeing as you dont know why you crashed, the chances are your going to crash again. I would wear the gear.

    All The Gear - All The Time

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  • 7 years ago

    Given the options, it's better to lock the rear, than the front, so at least you got that right. Damage from a low side in the rain is usually minimal, unless you slid it under a bus or guardrail.

    1. You were riding too fast for the conditions.

    2. You locked the rear brake in a panic stop, and once it's locked, it just slides the rear wheel. So, had you been sitting stark upright, you would've just slid straight. But, maybe you where leaning slightly, or hit a bump, or caught gravel, grime, or slime and the azz end just came around.

    Anytime I get a chance to practice locking the rear on gravel, wet, or other, I do it. (Unfortunately, my Yamaha Venture has linked brakes, so I don't get the priviledge on it.) But, on the KLX250, I love coming into a gravel lot and seeing how long a streak I can leave. (Just like a kid on a Huffy back in the day.)

    If you plan to continue riding in these conditions, then a little dirt riding experience will be valuable. The best thing you can do is take an American Supercamp weekend. Go flog an XR100 and learn what a bike can REALLY do, then translate that up to your putt-putt. Or, go get a cheap Dual Purpose bike and then find excuses to go ride in the woods once in a while.

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  • 7 years ago

    (1) If it hasn't been raining for that long when the accident happend, the roads are still covered with a thin film of dirt and mud on it. You can include a little bit of oil washing on the road as well. It's best to continue riding when it has rained enough to wash the road clean of sand, dirt, mud, and oil. If it rains for a short period of time just getting the road damp, it's best to just wait for the road to dry further. Besides, we're not weather-proof with our bikes, might as well stop by the coffee shop until the rain stops (except if your caught on the highway, then the closest exit is the way to go.

    (2) Using worn out tires on a wet surface can trigger a crash rather easily.

    (3) Proggressively applying the brakes (as if squeezing a sponge) allows you to have a good feel of the bike than applying it quickly. The rear brakes, rear tires, rear suspension are almost "floating" when braking real hard as our body and motorcycle weight transfers forward. And with worn out tires, there's barely any grip at all from the rear of the bike.

    (4) YOU MAY ALSO WANT TO CHECK YOUR REAR SHOCK ABSORBER / DAMPER as well as it may not be providing enough rebound force when the bike's weight transfers forward when braking aggravating the lack of grip on the rear of the motorcycle. If the rear suspension "floats", then the rear tire is useless when braking.

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  • 7 years ago

    You are to confident for your ability as a rider.

    You ignore the advise that your tires were worn out, you failed to ride according to the conditions of wet and dirty roads. Any road has very limited grip when it is wet and more so in towns and cities. cars and trucks dripping oil and general pollution and crud all make the road more slippery when it is wet, and yet in your words you imply you didn't ride any slower than you would in the dry.

    Who cares why you came down, the fact is you did and it was a combination of your errors. To add to that you were riding in a T shirt.

    Take a basic bike riders coarse and after that then an advanced rider coarse and listen to the advise that they will give to you. If you don't do that you will continue to fall because you haven't got the basics right....Sorry to be blunt but I hope it gives you something to think about...

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