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1985 Yamaha Virago 1000
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure everyone riding has heard the set of excuses used by a number of people when they get in an accident / "HAVE TO lay down the bike". I'm just curious here, does anyone else call BS on that the second they hear em? I had a coworker tell me today about a motorcycle accident where he crashed because a car pulled out infront of him. He explains it to me; He's cruising down the road in his lane going the speed limit, meanwhile there is a car waiting to turn at an intersection. He assumed the car is going to stop before the turn since him as the rider "had" the right of way, the car did not stop and pulled out infront of the rider and the rider slammed into the car. Now, I told him that had he been riding like he was invisible, and been thinking "oh that car might pull out infront of me" instead of; "oh that car should give me the right of way." this would have been avoidable a million times over, but apparently to him he doesn't think so. What do you guys think?
 

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When I see a car waiting for a turn in front of me I "do a dance," weaving back and forth, slow down, ready on the brakes. If that guy goes, I may hit him, but it won't be at full speed. I do lots of things to be seen, and some people I flat out avoid. That guy in the middle lane that's doing 52 in a 60 is probably either texting or stoned. Either way, I'm getting around him and away from him. Trucks I don't mind, but cars come shooting around them, so I stay away from them. And anyone that is a show off, revving their engine, etc...I'm gone.
 

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I posted this awhile ago, about an accident that happened on 10/13/1995.

Not My Fault?
On October 13th, many years ago (1995) I had my first ambulance ride. I always remember the date because it was Friday the 13th.
I was riding home and it was dark I and raining. I had been on the freeway but it was getting to be hard to see so I got off thinking the side roads would be safer.
At the very first intersection a car turned left in front of me. I veered right but hit the front of the car; I was thrown through the air and landed on my back on the other side of the car.

They did a (my first and hopefully last) chalk outline of me and loaded me into the ambulance. The police came over and said “don’t worry, there were a lot of witnesses, it’s not your fault”.
When I told others about the accident I always got the same comment “wasn’t your fault”.
Not our fault always seems to make us feel better and legally it’s a good thing but I’m still riding in an ambulance. Not my fault bothered me a lot. I had crashed before but it was always my fault, usually involved speed.
I wasn’t hurt bad, black and blue from my heels to my shoulder bones, and few cuts and puncture wounds but no broken bones. I walked very slowly for a while.

I rebuilt the bike that winter; it needed a new frame, swing arm, engine cases, gas tank and new paint. The bike was a year old.
I rode the bike that next summer but was very nervous about it. I was slowing down at green lights and seemed to be afraid of everything. I wasn’t enjoying riding and sold the bike the next October. I bought a Jeep Wrangler with air bags and a roll bar!
I had replayed that accident in my mind many times and the car always flashed in front of me, came out of nowhere. One day I realized the car came out of nowhere because I wasn’t looking. I went through that intersection like I owned it, looking straight ahead. I could have changed things, I should have been looking for side traffic and I could have slowed down.
This was my fault because I could have done things to prevent it and didn’t and knowing that made me feel like I had control again. The fear was gone.
And after three years without a bike I was ready to ride again and ride I did!

Better to be alive than “right”.
 

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1985 Yamaha Virago 1000
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Discussion Starter #4
When I see a car waiting for a turn in front of me I "do a dance," weaving back and forth, slow down, ready on the brakes. If that guy goes, I may hit him, but it won't be at full speed. I do lots of things to be seen, and some people I flat out avoid. That guy in the middle lane that's doing 52 in a 60 is probably either texting or stoned. Either way, I'm getting around him and away from him. Trucks I don't mind, but cars come shooting around them, so I stay away from them. And anyone that is a show off, revving their engine, etc...I'm gone.
Yeah depending how much their wheels are turned away from me i'll usually just speed up past them so we can all get moving, but if they're just kinda slowly lurching out or stopped and unpredictable, definitely going to slow down a bit and be ready to break and think of a quick escape path. I think assuming they are going to give you the right away sounds absolutely idiotic, motorcycle or car lol. Stoned drivers going under the speed limit ah I don't need to worry much about, they're just trying not to get pulled over hahahaha am I right? Absolutely screw the texting drivers, the girls working on their makeup in the car, kids and their riced out Honda Accords, and the piss drunk drivers that can barely walk; they all deserve a mirror kiss.
 

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More often than not, the rider is "at fault" even if legally the driver was. I'm an insurance agent and hear the stories and read the reports all the time. Far too often an accident could have been avoided had one party not had the "I have the right of way" mentality. This particular example is not involving motorcycles usually, but the one I see often is somebody's backing out of a parking space, and somebody else comes running down the lane, can clearly see this person backing out, but drives behind him anyways. They know full well the person backing out doesn't see them, can't see them, or doesn't care, but they're going to go ahead and go anyway cuz "They have the right of way"

Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
 

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1985 Yamaha Virago 1000
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Discussion Starter #6
I posted this awhile ago, about an accident that happened on 10/13/1995.

Not My Fault?
On October 13th, many years ago (1995) I had my first ambulance ride. I always remember the date because it was Friday the 13th.
I was riding home and it was dark I and raining. I had been on the freeway but it was getting to be hard to see so I got off thinking the side roads would be safer.
At the very first intersection a car turned left in front of me. I veered right but hit the front of the car; I was thrown through the air and landed on my back on the other side of the car.

They did a (my first and hopefully last) chalk outline of me and loaded me into the ambulance. The police came over and said “don’t worry, there were a lot of witnesses, it’s not your fault”.
When I told others about the accident I always got the same comment “wasn’t your fault”.
Not our fault always seems to make us feel better and legally it’s a good thing but I’m still riding in an ambulance. Not my fault bothered me a lot. I had crashed before but it was always my fault, usually involved speed.
I wasn’t hurt bad, black and blue from my heels to my shoulder bones, and few cuts and puncture wounds but no broken bones. I walked very slowly for a while.

I rebuilt the bike that winter; it needed a new frame, swing arm, engine cases, gas tank and new paint. The bike was a year old.
I rode the bike that next summer but was very nervous about it. I was slowing down at green lights and seemed to be afraid of everything. I wasn’t enjoying riding and sold the bike the next October. I bought a Jeep Wrangler with air bags and a roll bar!
I had replayed that accident in my mind many times and the car always flashed in front of me, came out of nowhere. One day I realized the car came out of nowhere because I wasn’t looking. I went through that intersection like I owned it, looking straight ahead. I could have changed things, I should have been looking for side traffic and I could have slowed down.
This was my fault because I could have done things to prevent it and didn’t and knowing that made me feel like I had control again. The fear was gone.
And after three years without a bike I was ready to ride again and ride I did!

Better to be alive than “right”.
Awesome story man I'm glad you could share that with us! I feel like I hear too many of those stories working with motorcycles all day, only most of the rider's never get past the point of realizing where they went at fault and most of the time won't ever hop on the saddle again. I think this can teach a valuable lesson here for a lot of riders, and maybe even just a lot of people in general.
 

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"HAVE TO lay down the bike"
I've always said BS to a statement like that. Do your ever lasting best to avoid a crash. Either well before or while in process. You can't apply brakes sliding on the side of the bike. Ride that puppy to the bitter end. You just might not actually crash but avoid everything except the need to change your underwear. But the best way to avoid an accident is to assume they will do the very thing you don't want them to do and slow down in preparation of them doing it. Weave to break your image out from the background of other headlights. You would be amazed how much that helps. And always remember, speed kills. Especially important when coming to intersections.
 

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MC Rider said it well about people who "lay the bike down". It's stupid. Instead of try to avoid the wreck you go ahead a wreck ahead of time on your own. Also, you can't just lay down a 900 pound cruiser going at any kind of speed. Theres too much rotating mass that wants to stay up. I have a co-worker and every time a bike subject comes up thats all he says over and over. You better lay the bike down. I'm not intentionaly going to crash my bike.
 

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The roads are full of idiots. Some drive cars; some ride bikes. "I had to lay it down" is idiot-speak for "I wasn't paying attention"...
 

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Yeah, that whole BS about " had to lay her down" is just that, an excuse for crashing, usually because they grabbed the brakes hard in panic and locked up the wheels.
Swerve, brake, accelerate, do anything positive with a reasonable chance of success and you might surprise yourself and squeeze through. Someone once told me what is supposedly an old aviator's saying, "Never give up, keep flying the plane until your upside down, in the ditch, and on fire".
I like it, and it applies to motorcycles and many other things just as well.

But of course, prevention before the situation becomes critical is always better..
 
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I have always looked at everyone on the road as if they are about to do something stupid. That goes for anything I'm driving.
 

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A class on defensive driving is always a good idea. I reluctantly took one, and am glad I did.
Working in a bike shop, your hear the not my fault all the time. Basket Case Basnet was the best.
But one day approaching the shop on a straight road, he rode to close to the edge and lost it in the gravel.
I saw it all, rounded up the staff and gave them the details, we all worked over to the crash site to hear his explanation.
His usual riding buddy was Clyde the Slide. Both on CB750. UK
 

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What was the explanation??
 

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I don't think I would challenge the fact that you might have time to "lay the bike down" if you have enough time to react and think.
The only time I had an accident (so far) in traffic was in a parking lot of Fort Lewis, WA while in the Army in 1971. I had a small bike I used to go to work on base so the wife could take our only car to her job on base
I entered a large parking lot and was doing about 20 MPH looking for a place to park. I turned my head forward just in time to see a guy pop his clutch in reverse (he admitted that is what he did) with his Toyota Corolla and pull out of a space to my right in front of me.
I remembered trying to hit the brakes but I never made it and I hit him just aft of the passenger door. There were no skid marks from my bike. I had no time to react at all. The impact collapsed the front forks of my small bike and I came up and over the car. My head with a full faced helmet hit face down, cracked and dented the hell out of his roof and I did a summersault over the top of his car and landed face down on the other side of his car.
The good news for me was that the accident was documented by two MPs on bikes and they wrote the car guy up for the accident so his insurance company fixed my bike which would have been a total otherwise with just basic insurance.
I might add that I did not believe in helmets at the time and the only reason I was wearing one was that it was a requirement on the base. I have not ridden without one since as I always think of what would have happened if I had not had it on.
At age 74 now I keep my distance from other traffic and keep them off my ass too. The older you are the slower you heal.
 

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"I had to lay it down" is 'save face' speak for "I couldn't keep it up!"
 

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Try to remember... As they lower the box six feet down, those attending can say "It wasn't his fault", but so what.
I have been riding since ~1970, on and off. I have had a few just ignore the fact that two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time, and luckily have not had to experience that law of physics.
I try to always expect that whoever is driving in proximity to me on a bike is distracted, under the influence, on their way to the hospital with a pregnant spouse, escaping pursuit after robbing a bank, or just plain stupid(and ignorant). If you can keep that mindset, WHENEVER you are around other drivers, you may stay intact over a long time riding.
If you always expect the 'other guy' to do the wrong thing, you may be pleasantly surprised when they don't, but will be a bit more prepared when the stupid occurs. It may save your life.
If you want to drive 'on the edge', at least try to do it where other traffic and drivers won't be taken aback "Look what that fool is doing", get distracted, and do exactly what you didn't want them to do.
Passing grandma in her GrandAm with a speed differential of 40-50 mph may make you feel good, but it may make her surprise reaction something you didn't want her to do. Is it worth it?
tom
 

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[Now that is funny! But much better than "I couldn't get it up"
My wife said something along those lines just the other night. Cold cereal for breakfast again the following morning. :(
 
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I'm sure everyone riding has heard the set of excuses used by a number of people when they get in an accident / "HAVE TO lay down the bike". I'm just curious here, does anyone else call BS on that the second they hear em? I had a coworker tell me today about a motorcycle accident where he crashed because a car pulled out infront of him. He explains it to me; He's cruising down the road in his lane going the speed limit, meanwhile there is a car waiting to turn at an intersection. He assumed the car is going to stop before the turn since him as the rider "had" the right of way, the car did not stop and pulled out infront of the rider and the rider slammed into the car. Now, I told him that had he been riding like he was invisible, and been thinking "oh that car might pull out infront of me" instead of; "oh that car should give me the right of way." this would have been avoidable a million times over, but apparently to him he doesn't think so. What do you guys think?
I call BS on statements like that NOW, but when I first started riding I was known to say the same thing. I remember the exact moment when my friend Scott called me out on it. I said to him something along the lines of "I got cut off this morning twice by stupid cars that just change lanes in front of me." He looked me straight in the eye and said, "ride with more awareness then." I got super defensive at first, thinking that he didn't understand, but then he explained that he always rides as if he is in a video game, and that everyone on the road is trying to take him out. He said I should never be in a situation where I felt like I got "cut off" because I should naturally expect all cars to cut me off and I should be ready for it, with a way out planned. At first I resisted this but once I started riding with the idea that everyone was out to get me, I was never again surprised by the actions of other vehicles. I expected them to change lanes so I altered my position on the road, I expected them to pull out in front of me at intersections so I slowed down and planned for it, I expected cars to not see me and worked on placing myself in the most visible areas. The change in mindset was incredible.

I call BS on a lot of things that riders say when they crash because they tend to want to blame someone or something on the bike. I even had a friend show me a video of his track day crash where he was blaming his suspension for causing the crash when clearly it was poor throttle control. I'm not saying that there is never going to be an unavoidable accident or a crash caused by a mechanical issue, but I do think riders need to take more of an initiative in evaluating any crash or almost crash with an open mind to see if there was anything they could have done to avoid it.
 

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I call BS on statements like that NOW, but when I first started riding I was known to say the same thing. I remember the exact moment when my friend Scott called me out on it. I said to him something along the lines of "I got cut off this morning twice by stupid cars that just change lanes in front of me." He looked me straight in the eye and said, "ride with more awareness then." I got super defensive at first, thinking that he didn't understand, but then he explained that he always rides as if he is in a video game, and that everyone on the road is trying to take him out. He said I should never be in a situation where I felt like I got "cut off" because I should naturally expect all cars to cut me off and I should be ready for it, with a way out planned. At first I resisted this but once I started riding with the idea that everyone was out to get me, I was never again surprised by the actions of other vehicles. I expected them to change lanes so I altered my position on the road, I expected them to pull out in front of me at intersections so I slowed down and planned for it, I expected cars to not see me and worked on placing myself in the most visible areas. The change in mindset was incredible.

I call BS on a lot of things that riders say when they crash because they tend to want to blame someone or something on the bike. I even had a friend show me a video of his track day crash where he was blaming his suspension for causing the crash when clearly it was poor throttle control. I'm not saying that there is never going to be an unavoidable accident or a crash caused by a mechanical issue, but I do think riders need to take more of an initiative in evaluating any crash or almost crash with an open mind to see if there was anything they could have done to avoid it.
It's funny, when I first returned to riding it seemed like I had a near calamity every other day, and they were always because of some idiot that turned in front of me, pulled out in front of me, drifted into my lane, all the usual excuses.

Once I got back up to speed most of these events went away, not because the idiots stopped doing dumb stuff, but because I anticipated what they were likely to do and 90% of the time the issue never happened because I was elsewhere, and the other 10% I was expecting what happened and prepared to deal with it already.
 
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