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Discussion Starter #1
I went for a ride with a new rider of 6 months. He had just traded up to a Triumph Daytona. He was nervious about an up coming group ride in the mountains so we did a pre-ride. He did well up to the second mountain climb and then had a close call. He later said he was concerned with upcoming and oncoming traffic but felt the bike act weird in the corner. My felling is that he had a classic Target Fixation moment compounded by slippery yellow lines. His approach into a corner and his lean angle definately need improving too. We would both appreciate if yall would "Analyze This" and add any and all feedback to help a new rider out.
http://youtu.be/_K7q6eQq-wY
 

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I don't think he has enough saddle time. It appears to me that he didn't think he could make that gentle curve with the oncoming traffic. He then target fixated on the vehicles coming towards him. I am glad he broke out of the target fixation as he could have very easily hit one of the two head on if he hadn't. I did not see anything wrong with the bike. What he felt was probably the bike going onto the painted stripes and the change in traction.

Question. Has he taken a MSF Riders Course? He should have known to "look where you want to go." He is not ready for a group ride by the way.

Namaste'
Doug from Kentucky
 

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Ya, I'd agree with you. Looks like he over cooked the turn, panicked a bit, laid on the brakes, caught the slippery yellow line, all perhaps due to a bit of target fixation on that partucular corner. He wasn't looking ahead, got fixated on the problem at hand.

He started on the outside of the turn. Practicing "racing lines", going inside to out would help that as you don't need to lean the bike as much. Here's a nice little summary tutorial on riding twisties. I particularly like what Scootz wrote at the end.

http://www.meetup.com/LAScooterGroup/messages/boards/thread/10308898

When I ride twisties, I look up ahead and try to plot as straight a course as possible through them. This will inevitably lead to an inside-outside of the lane path. One worth practicing. The trick is to read the road and know when you're actually gonna have to turn, in which case you should set up on the outside to go in.

Hope this helps. Wishing your friend good luck.

Oh, beautiful road btw.
 

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Thats way too much bike for a novice! Keep riding that fast and he'll be another statistic! And SLOW DOWN! This guy is not ready for any group rides.

Looks like a simple case of not looking into the corner. I'd bet money he's looking directly ahead to where the bike is pointed and got scared - typical rookie mistake. Where you are looking is where you are going to go. Have him practice looking deep into the corner with his head level to the horizon. This will help negate the feeling that the bike is leaning at an extreme angle and it helps to pull you into the corner.
 

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Kudos to your friend for getting himself out of that mess ...... A smack in the back of the head for getting himself into that mess in the first place! Not the bikes fault. Either he was going to fast for conditions or to fast for skill level??? Maybe a little to much showing off for the camera? Glad he is ok and you don't have a video of his demise. SLOW in ..... Less slow out.......

Constructively, Sirkitrider
 

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Seems like he hit the front brake which would make the bike stand up thus causing him to go wide. A track day course is in the books for him, as most bike riders ride for the thrill of the cornering and that's were 70% of bike accidents happen. Riding in a strait line is relativity easy ,maintaining a line through a corner at speed is NOT. Track day courses teach you to do this and lots more
 

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Yikes, that looked close to tragedy. I can imagine target fixation caused it, staring at that oncoming car. The curve looked very gentle. He had two open lanes, ahead and to the right, so it seemed especially odd.

Aside from target fixation there might be a lack of instinctual priorities from lack of experience. Drifting head-on is worse than anything that might happen from an odd handling moment, even if he was riding over some gravel or tar snakes or had a deflating tire. Crossing the double-yellow line is, itself, such a high priority to avoid.

Slightly deeper or subtler, he should have been placing himself further right in his lane just on principle of giving some cushion between himself and traffic passing in the other direction. How many times do we see oncoming vehicles swinging wide, into our lanes, in the twisties?

+1 for suggesting he take a MSF or equivalent class if has has not yet done so. That Daytona may be too much bike for him that doesn't seem to be what caused this close call. That same fixation can happen on a bicycle.
 

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I've actually had that fixation on a bicycle and spent several days in the hospital because of it. Glad he came out without hitting anyone. +1 on the MSF course; +1 on he's not ready for a group ride through the mountains yet. But a big +1 on your videotaping this so he can watch and learn from it.
 

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it was a close call but he had plenty of space between him and the car, to me, he turned wide, hit the brakes and freaked out when he saw the car coming adding to target fixation.

not a big deal though its part of motorcycling, learning from this things.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Some responses to your points made:
Speed was a factor he and I do believe. The lead rider did accelerate into the curve to pass the vehicle ahead. Up until then we were at or below the speed limit.
He did take a MSF course but has little saddle time which is/was my concern.
He will go to the meet-up but he will not ride with the 150+ going. We will get him more saddle time before a big group adventure.
I too think that bike was a bit of a leap for him and his skill level...and definitely more/better gear.
Oh yea, and he was clueless that I was videoing it at all.
Josh thanks you for the input and support! ;)
 

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Scootereno,
Your a good friend and mentor. He is lucky to have someone to help him learn to ride. I had a riding buddy that got me into riding. Good friend - lousy teacher. About all he ever said was "they will try and kill you" and "don't kill the motor in a curve". I did learn a lot from following him though. As we know there is more to riding than learning the controls.
As to the gear, I wear all the gear I got all the time - helmets, gloves, boots, jacket..... I'm a mucho grande person so I can't find any pants in my size that I can afford:(
Don't think jeans would have been his biggest worry had he hit the car! I've been down a couple times ........ still ride in one pair of those battered jeans. They are ventilate now.
Sirkitrider
 

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Target Fixation and Locked Elbows

My guess is he target fixated on the oncoming car, then locked his elbows so he couldn't turn the bike. Panicked, then hit the front brake.

In the short run, I'd suggest he go to a school parking lot on a weekend when it's empty, and figure out a nice easy course with a couple of turns in both directions. He should run the course in 3rd gear and work on not using the brakes at all, and I want to emphasize that he should go slow. Coming into each corner he should turn his head in an exaggerated way to help his muscle memory, and he should flap his elbows up and down while leaving his hands on the controls to make sure he isn't locking his arms. All the while, he should sing or talk his way around the course to make sure he isn't holding his breath. This should be like martial arts training - big movements, made slowly to get the correct form, with an emphasis on repetition. Breaks between exercise sessions and a change in the the circuit layout would be ideal.

When he's got a few months under his belt he should look for some advanced training, especially something on a closed circuit. I'd also recommend the excellent riding books 'Proficient Motorcycling' by David Hough and 'Total Control' by Lee Parks.
 

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I'd also recommend the excellent riding books 'Proficient Motorcycling' by David Hough and 'Total Control' by Lee Parks.
I also recommend "Proficient Motorcycling" by David Hough to all riders, new or experienced. The book is just that good. I take my copy out and reread it every spring. Mr Hough also wrote another book called "More Proficient Motorcycling" that is a volume two to his first book. It also gets a yearly read here at my house. As to "Total Control" by Lee Parks, I can't speak to that book as I don't have it.

Namaste'
Doug from Kentucky
 

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Can't add to what has already been said, but out of curiosity about how fast was he going? Has he had a chance to see the video later to see what he was doing wrong? Hope his skills improve before he becomes road kill.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
His speed was an estimated 40-43 in a 35 zone.
Yes, he asked me to post and has watched this and the whole ride video.
This afternoon he said he could see how his entrance into the curve was different from most of his other's and admitted to sensing "Panic".
Thanks for the Great suggestion on the Hough books....should have thought of that one myself.:violent1:
His birthday is next month and a perfect gift.
 

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I have watched this a couple of times and it is absolutely nothing to do with the bike it is all to do with a rider who had his thumb up his bum and his mind in neutral.

Either that or he is just clueless about roadcraft. His lane positioning ( bearing in mind that he is riding on public roads at pretty low speeds) is shocking and he seems to pay no heed of the need to maintain a safety bubble.

Back to school I am afraid - no shortcuts.
 

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Another book I like is: The Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Guide to MOTORCYCLING EXCELLENCE Second Edition <Sills, Knowledge, and Strategies for Riding Right> by MSF Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

I took a refresher course back in March 2013, but what the MSF course has is just a brief brochure whereas this is 192 pages. For him Chapter 14 on Safe Cornering Techniques would be a nice refresher as well as more saddle time.

He is very lucky to have you as a mentor.
 

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I got this feeling that he hit the front brake hard in the turn. If you hit that front brake you're going to stand the bike up and head right into the oncoming traffic. What's just as bad is that as this happens the instinct is to hit the front brake harder which will just make things worse.

No matter whether this was caused by target fixation or by "standing" the bike with the brake, I think there is no question that he had a second or two of panic and then recovery.

The worst enemy of less experienced riders is panic. We all know that motorcycles or scooters behave intrinsically different then cars. When riders panic they react with the set of emergency skills that their car driving has trained into them. Those reactions can easily kill the rider. Last spring I watched a Harley rider go down in this sort of way. He hit a patch of sand left on the road in a turn. The sand caused his wheels to lose traction and his bike started sliding out. Rather then riding through the moment he jerked his handlebar to the right trying to correct his left slide. As this happened he got past the sand and the wheels caught full traction with the front wheel now aimed at the right shoulder. His pig, I mean Hog, went with the forces of physics and crashed off the shoulder on the right side of the road. That episode seemed to have done thousands of damage to the bike and caused him to be carted off to a hospital when he woke on the side of the road. Of course he thought a "German Army Helmet" was sufficient.

Had he not panicked and just rode with the bike, he could have corrected the situation easily after he was past the bad spot. It's my opinion that when youhave almost no traction you have almost no ability to correct. So it's all the easier to make some awkard car style "I'm turning the steering wheel correction".

In reading these comments I saw a number of "He looked the wrong way and the bike followed where he looked" comments. While there is always truth in "The bike will go where you are looking" thoughts. You have to ask why does the bike go where you look? I believe and I'm not alone in this thought, that the bike goes where you look because your body follows where you look, and you are therefore shifting your balance and weight to make "The bike will go where you are looking" idea come true. I have a very bad set of disks in my neck and I'm challenged to turn my head very far to the right or left. I've ridden over a hundred thousand miles with this physical issue on bikes that are fast and heavy. It's not so much of a problem for me as over time my body is trained to have my weight where it belongs and to use the skills of counter-steering to have the bike go where it belongs.

Given time and experience I bet your friend in the video will become a fine rider. He just needs practice and coaching. The various comments here saying that he should achieve more experience on easier bikes to control then that Triumph are very true. I learned how to ride on Yamaha 125cc scooters in another part of the world and transitioned into a Honda Silverwing. In the beginning of riding on the Silverwing I was just lucky that I didn't get killed as it handled so different then a Yamaha Nuvo 125cc scooter. After the Silverwing I went to the Burgman 650 and an FJR 1300. The transition to the Burgman was sheer pleasure because it's much like the Silverwing but easier for someone like me to handle. On the other hand going to the FJR was a dangerous transition. The differences between a Maxi-scooter and a sport touring motorcycle are substantial and it was easy to lull myself into thinking I was experienced and could handle it better then I could in the beginning.

BTW I've read Proficient Motorcycling and it was a great experience, it would help your friend. Nothing will help him as much as time in the saddle with an experienced friend or friends coaching him.
 
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