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Discussion Starter #1
While my wife is in Dialysis treatments, I spend the 4 hours walking or setting around in a motorcycle salvage yard. Today I decided to look at not just the number of crashed bikes, but what the majority of them had in common.
First, I found that most of the crashed bikes were front end collisions. Not just bent forks, but beyond that. The complete frame was bent, even broken on some of the bikes.

Second, I found that some of the bikes were there because of their tires, or rather the lack of tires/rubber left on them. Some had only a little tread left, or is some cases a lot more tread left on the sides of the ttires. The majority of the bad tires were just flat-outright stupid/ignorant going way past the use of the tire. Some were actually bald on the front and rear. I saw a Yamaha Royal Star, nice bike, only bent forks and needing a new front fender...again bald tires...same as a couple BMW's. Lots of larger sportbikes (people that should know when their tires are not working properly) with the tires worn beyond their usable service life...

Third, I found that modifications had been made, like exhaust systems and the engines had died...even some of the engines appeared to have NEVER had their oil changed in their short mileage life!

Last, I found that some bikes were NEVER taken care of. Dirt, oil, scratched up, paint faded, chrome and aluminum looked like it was 20 years old, Rusty chains, worn sprockets, Just plain ridden hard and put away without proper maintenance...

It almost makes you sick when you see over a thousand bikes, and can walk through the yard and see how the people treated their bikes...I would say it killed some of them because they refused to take care of something they loved...

I was shocked by the tires more than the maintenance. Some people had literally put hundreds of dollars into paint jobs and awesome chrome parts, and all sorts of goodies...yet the bikes were setting there with proof by lloking at a crashed bike an dthe tires, that the tires wre most likely the reason for the crash.

Sure some of the crashes were caused by bad riding, lack of knowledge, lack of experience......I will return to look, and learn. Most of the crashed bikes were larger than 500cc bikes. Although I did at one time see about 8 Ninja 250R's, there were less 500R's....and as you increased in cc's 600's and on up the number of bikes increased for each size. The same was true for Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha, and such. Although I saw some Gt380's, some kawasaki tripples, several Gpz's, and lots of yamaha, honda, bikes...
 

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bad tires

I know what you mean, nd I have to admit I was tempted to delay buying a front tire for my bike right after I bought it on ebay. The phot showed good tread, but it didn't show the uneven wear, or the low center from no riding on curves (highway bike, I guess). I finally just bit the bullet when I got tired of riding scared and slow around town. The bike didn't feel bad at all until you got on grooved pavement. The new tire fixed that. I'm just glad the guy recommended the change when I got it inspected, because the roughness wasn't too visible, you had to feel it with your hand.

Ride safe...God bless!

Ron
 

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I have owned 2 Yamaha Seca 400s (bought new), an '85 GPz750, a Wing, and now an '84 GPz750, and Ninja ZX1000. I made it common practice, regardless of the condition of the tries on the bikes (which was bad almost all the time), I replaced the front and rear rubber. When you consider the toal area of rubber in contact with the pavement, and how the previous owner rode (centre flat and no tread, under/overinflated tires etc) and the degree of maintenance and care they have given to their rides, putting new rubber is, in my mind, equal to the purchase of a good helmet.

Oil changes and chain maintenance should be number 1 priorities for the DIY mechanic. There is no excuse. Oil changes are easy. It will extend the life of your ride greatly.
 

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The reason why most of them are damaged on the front end is because 4 wheelers don't look for bikes and pull out in front of them. Yes, sometimes the bikes are going too fast. But anyone who as ridden will say the same thing. I can't even count how many times I've had someone pull out in front of me, ESPECIALLY the elderly. Most motorcycle crashes that were the riders fault happen on curves and MOST involve DUI.
 

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working in the shop will scare you even more. i have seen tires worn down on the sides to the belts with the middle bulging out 1/2-3/4" more than the sides :shock: .
ya have to wonder how many of those bikes where owned by SQUIDS that did nothing but ride wheelies/stunts etc.. prob. 50% of them. :roll:
 

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tires

i am going to have to agree with GREEN KNIGHT, as far as the cause goes. i think that even though you see a lot of bad tires, i would be willing to bet that most of them were not caused by those tires. sure, you could argue that the stopping distance or maneuverability was hindered without proper rubber, but the fact would still remain, a four wheeler was where it shouldn't have been. now, don't get me wrong, i also agree that most riders put more emphasis on the wrong things and don't maintain the items that could keep them alive. i just think that the assumption that this oversight caused all of those wrecks is a little stretched. myself, i will admit, i rode my first new bike about 12000 miles on a set of skins that really only lasted 8000. i was able to still avoid any potential problem that came my way and put a good portion of those last 4000 miles on in the rain. again, don't get me wrong, for i agree whoelheartedly about maintaing and changing what needs to be done. i just feel that a lot of blame goes towards bikes when the four wheelers are to blame a large portion of the time. just last year a good friend of mine died when a car cut in between the small group he was riding in. the car came from an offramp where there was a stop sign. three bikes went by and then she went even though there was still two bikes coming. my friend even swerved to avoid her, but when she realized her mistake she accelerated to avoid him instead of stopping. this reaction caused a head on collision which ended a good person's life and also took the life of the passenger on the other bike. the sad part is that the headline in the paper the next day said "motorcyclist killed after colliding with car". i know i am rambling on, but more people blame bikes when they need to focus the attention on the other vehicles in the accident. i think we as bikers cannot stray from this fact as it is hard enough for us as it is. if people start saying "oh, well if he had replaced his tires at the appropriate time then he could have had the traction to avoid the collision", when they should be asking the driver of the four wheeler why they pulled out of the intersection or why they blew the stop sign or red light. alright, i am done ranting, thanks for listening, ride safe, and by all means PLEASE replace those tires in a timely manner.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
TIRES???

Perhaps I should have put more emphasis on motorcyclist not paying attention to the fact that they are just little vehicles playing around on big concrete/asphault roads with big heavy vehicles, that forget or never even see us...I should probably put a majority of the blame on the bikers that were not prepared and were to lax/not prepared for certain events to occur. Sure I have been in several situations where a car stopped looked at me, nodded as he sat at the stop sign ...and then pulled out in front of me...WHAT THE .......Yes it happens and it happens way to often...but it isn't just the other vehicles fault, some of the blame has to go to the bikers for not being prepared for what MIGHT happen. I'm not trying to pee in your Cheerios here, I'm just saying that the biker gets to relaxed and things happen way to fast. It wouldn't matter if he could pull a stoppie and not have traffic behind him...it's just GOING to happen...it is the nature of things when you ride...Bad tires may be to blame, cages (cars, trucks, etc) may be to blame, but the bikers are to be blamed sometimes for letting the situation to get deep enough to cause an accident...paying attention won't ALWAYS save your life or your bike...but having great tires, paying extreme attention to the environment around you an dexpecting things that MAY occur will make you a better rider. I just forgot to mention the riders in those accidents...1Adam12 is a great Forum member and even with his knowledge and seeing what was unfolding he couldn't avoid an accident...sometimes it isn't our fault...sometimes it is...
 

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tires

i will give you that. i was in no way trying to take away from the fact that a lot of people on bikes should not be on them for they do not focus on the things they need to. namely, paying attention and preparing for the worst. a guy i ride with worded it right when he said that riding a bike is like landing a plane. when landing a plane you have to be aware of anything and everything. when riding a bike, you have to be like that at all times. so, even if some of those bikes crashed because a car pulled out in front of them, maybe they could have been better prepared for the potential accident and maybe done something about it. that would be when the good tires would come into play, where they might be able to handle an aggresive maneuver with good traction. i guess that just brings to light the fact that we, as bikers, cannot let any one area go without full attention. we need to make sure that our bikes and our heads are fully prepared and fully in the game. that a little better ZX-2R ? sorry if i ranted a little on you.
 

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I thought I would post this artical from Code's site. It seemed appropriate for this subject. Might give some people an idea of just how ready they are.

Survival Lesson
The double throw down, jump back, five speed, positronic quick turn and why you need it.

Can you steer your bike as quickly as you can a car? What does quick turning your bike have to do with your safety? How quick can it be done? Where can you practice it?

Let's take up question number one first. Can you steer your bike as fast as your car? If your answer is "no", my next questions are: What business do you have riding in traffic with cars that can out-maneuver you?, and, Ain't that dangerous? The answers, not pleasant ones to swallow, are: none and yes. You lose.

There are several ways to view this. One is that bikes are much narrower than a car and that gives you an advantage right off, because a little steering input goes a long way in changing your position in space, e.g., to avoid a lawn chair that just fell off a pickup truck , you can move your entire machine one bike width, or about three feet, to the right or left to be out of harms way; a car would have to move much further due to its greater width to avoid hitting it—great, that's one for the bikes.

Because of its greater width, a car driver must be able to swerve up to 4 times quicker to avoid you on a motorcycle; many drivers can but often don't because they panic and freeze.

Your task is even more daunting when confronted with a car's greater dimensions. Your ability to change position in space must be even quicker to avoid the beast which just pulled out on you; especially if you look at the broadside dimension of a car, the one usually offered at an intersection confrontation, which is 5 to 8 times greater than your frontal silhouette. That looks like one for the cars.

Logically, your steering should be at least three times as effective (the ability to reposition your bike quicker and farther to the right or left) as an automobile driver's. Now that's the rub: you've got a basically more maneuverable machine with thread-the-needle dimensions and (according to statistics) you aren't willing or able to use it in a pinch. That's one for the statistics book. What's wrong with this picture?

The truth is: if you can't quick turn your motorcycle, you won't even try. There are no instances on record where a motorcycle rider suddenly acquired the skill and guts to overcome their reluctance to execute a quick turning maneuver if they didn't already possess it: flashes of inspiration in this area appear to be in short supply, especially when most needed.

Even the thought of making quick steering changes on a motorcycle is enough to raise goosebumps the size of eggs on most riders and the commonly cited reason for them is the seemingly very real sense that the front or rear or both wheels will wash out. In some cases that could be true, e.g., turning on wet or otherwise slippery surfaces. Riders are keenly aware of this and generally avoid it when possible.

Another and very real concern is: an aggressive direction change with the front or rear or both brakes applied, something that often accompanies a panic situation. You can ask the front tire to take a substantial cornering load or a fistful of front brake but you may not ask it to do them both at the same time; them's the rules of rubber. That's one for Physics.

Survival Potential
Take a moment to evaluate how quickly you are willing to turn your bike. If there were a scale from 1 to 10, where would you be. After twenty years of intense observation, I place the average motorcycle rider at around 4 on that scale. Is fear of falling a reason? Yes. Not practiced at the art of quick turns? Yes. Very few ever take the time to hone their skill up to the standard of effectiveness needed for the street.

At the Superbike Schools, we treat the quick-turn idea as a must have, fundamental skill; and provide riders with plenty of incentive to bring their own level of mastery of it up to the point it can be practiced on a day to day basis. This can even out the score.

Practice The Act It does seem a bit outlandish to ride along and "flick" your bike from side to side and it would be easy to become self conscious about doing it on a routine basis: you might even get a ticket for reckless driving, it's possible. But that doesn't alter the facts of auto vs. motorcycle maneuverability stated above, they are real. Let me state this again: "If you can't turn your bike quickly you won't even try". That is not my opinion, that is an overwhelmingly obvious statistic from motorcycle accident research.

So what are we talking about here, weaving some cones in the parking lot at 7 MPH? No, we are talking about the average speed of an auto / motorcycle accident, our worst enemy, and that is 28 MPH. We're talking about a disembodied car muffler turning lazy circles in your lane or a truck tire tread flipped into the air or the refrigerator that just fell off a pickup truck, a car, a kid, a ball, a dog, a traffic cone... , anything where a faint hearted attempt simply won't cut it. And the usual result? – Cream the brakes, and that's nothing more than panic reactions winning. That's one for the obstacle, zero for you.

The ability to quick turn your bike is valuable and must be practiced and kept in fine tune. Even that is no guarantee you'll perform when the moment of truth arrives but it's the best you can, or should strive to, achieve. Watching a professional racer perform a quick-turn maneuver through an S bend is valuable. A pro, accomplishing three or four times the steering action of a lazy rider, should be viewed as a potential goal for anyone who rides. Having this ability is just about right for adding two or three more points onto a rider's score card.

Quick-Turn Equipment The point is, it can be done, in fact it is becoming easier and easier with companies like Dunlop applying their racing tire technology to street rubber; making the street executed quick-turn even more possible by compounding stickier rubber along with increased load capacity and longer wear.

There is a basic steering drill I do to observe and correct riders' ability to get their bikes turned quick. The drill works so well that I have seen (on a stock ZX 6R fitted with Dunlop 207 ZR Sport Max Radials, with four hard track days on them, cold, on dusty asphalt, at 30 MPH and a 68 degree day) serious quick flicks (the bike actually sanpped over to respectable lean angles) done by riders who have taken the time to perfect this drill. Perhaps even more amazing is that I've also seen it done on a Softail Springer Harley!

Buying a tire the consistency of a bowling ball for touring and long life is no longer necessary. In combination with more compliant suspensions, a key part of quick-turns, everyday technology has placed riders on a far more level playing field with cars. The technology is there, but so are the panic reactions which prevent riders from using it. Refining your quck turn abilities isn't simply another good idea, it is somehting that should and can be practiced each time you ride. Even up the score—learn to turn.

Keith Code copyright 2002, Keith Code, all rights reserved. Permission granted for reprint to CSS, Inc. web site, 2002

oh yeah, and here is the site if you want to check out more of the articles or the racing school.

http://www.cornering.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great read, Green Knight

THIS is what the Forum is for...education is key...Thank you for adding and making sense, even following my ramblings to understand what i wsa trying to say...
 

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cornering

good call Knight, even more insight into where a lot of riders lack knowledge, experience, and/or plain ol' skill. i have some miles under my belt and consider myself a skilled and seasoned rider, at least for my young age of 26. i don't ride sport bikes and really have no interest in them for the simple reason that i lack the self control necessary to keep my kids from being fatherless. that said, i feel that i handle my 800 plus pound cruiser better than a lot of people with a lot smaller bikes that are out there. i have a considerable amount of off-road experience which i also think helps a lot, and i don't plan on letting either of my kids ride on the street until they have some dirt experience. that said, reading that article still gets me thinking. do i have the skill to do that on my nomad ? would i if the situation called for it ? these are things i wouldn't even think about on any normal day, just due to how i rate my skill and experience level, but put on paper in front of me and all of a sudden i am thinking twice. as i am sure others are thinking, at first you answer to yourself "oh yeah, no problem here", then as you read on and see the statistics that thought changes a little. it is almost nice to read something like that occassionally to keep you thinking. after all, if the thought isn't provoked, then it might not happen, and you might never know how you would fare in that type of situation, at least until it is too late. anyways, thanks for the article, i enjoyed contemplating to myself and can't wait to go out and wiggle back and forth on the bike. ride safe.
 
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