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Re: How many times have you dropped your bike?

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:22 pm
by ZooTech more careful...??? My son and daughter both ride now and I told them any contact with the ground other than with the tires or kickstand is wholly unacceptable. There are a lot of young motorcyclist "influencers" on YouTube that seem to think crashing your bike is just part of riding, one girl my daughter watched had ditched her little S40 six times already...sorry, Folks, but that'd be like slamming your car into buildings, poles and other cars at least once a week and shrugging it off as isn't...if you've tipped your bike over 5 times, it's not because your bike is heavy...mine is 900lbs, so an ST1300 doesn't even compare...maybe it's just too heavy/tall for YOU...

Re: How many times have you dropped your bike?

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:25 pm
by faded sun
Wow, I'm glad i didn't include all the times I dropped my dirt bike when i was a kid or you'd be sending me to rehab! Oddly enough, I've never dropped the Victory which is heavier than your Nomad. (btw the ST 1300 loaded and with a passenger is also close to 900 lbs so yeah, it does compare)

Not sure how answering a poll about dropping my bike morphed into suggesting to your kids that it's a good idea to crash theirs at least once a week, but I'm glad to hear that you have that under control.

Thanks for the advice.
Ride careful.

Re: How many times have you dropped your bike?

Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:18 am
by ZooTech
Just don't want to normalize the idea of bikes falling over or crashing. It's not normal, it's not part of everyday ownership. Each incident is tragic and usually preventable. You said, "When you ride a bike as heavy as an ST 1300 Honda you are going to drop it at some point". That is defeatist and will be self-fulfilling. You, like the little YouTube chick, have made up your mind that owning an ST (or a "heavy" bike) means dropping it occasionally. It doesn't. Bikes aren't meant to be dropped any more than cars are meant to be crashed.

And I hope your ST1300 didn't fall over 5x with a passenger Nomad weighs about 1300lbs with me, the wife, and a weekend worth of stuff loaded up. Ride what you can safely handle.

Re: How many times have you dropped your bike?

Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:23 pm
by faded sun
Hi there, I really do appreciate your viewpoint and I do agree that it is not "normal" to drop your bike. But I still have trouble agreeing that it is the SAME as a crash. I would like to offer 2 examples that may be information you are not familiar with: 1. the ST models (both 1100 and 1300) have engine guards that prevent damage to ANYTHING on the bike if it merely tips over at a standstill. 2. If you go to, a forum for owners of the 1100 and 1300 ST, you will see one of the items in the profile of each member is how many times they have dropped it. At a standstill. Because it is notoriously top-heavy. At a standstill. Once in motion it is as solid as a gun platform. So I have never crashed on the ST. Ever. I have dragged the pegs in a few corners on the triple nickel in your part of the woods, but never crashed it.

In over 45 years of riding I have had 2 crashes. One was my fault fully. And I take full responsibility for that error in judgement. The other was someone turning left in front of me and try as I might I couldn't avoid it. So I do feel there is a difference between a crash and a tip over. Maybe we should ask the OP what exactly they mean by "dropped your bike".

Re: How many times have you dropped your bike?

Posted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:19 am
by JackoftheGreen
Been thinking a lot about this thread today.

My first bike was a KDX250. That bike ended up on the ground twice, neither of which I would call a "drop". Once when climbing too steep a hill in too low a gear. I started to wheelie about halfway up the hill, and by the crest I simply stepped off the back of the bike. I describe this event in more detail in my blog. The second time (which may have been the first, the chronology of those days eludes me) was while aping around like a moron in my fully fenced, tree-lined back yard. I came too close to an overhanging branch, leaned back, and laid the bike down. I consider both of these to be a "crash", a wholly different event than a "drop".

Neither my Magna nor my Vulcan ever ended up on the ground while I owned them.

I dropped my Ninja 500EX once in the garage. I parked too close to the left hand wall and there wasn't room for the bike to settle onto the sidestand. While trying to extricate myself, the bike overbalanced to the right and I sat it down as gently as I could. That was a drop. My lower back still hurts on cold mornings from that.

The Versys never ended up on the ground.

My Connie I dropped the second day I had it. I was attempting to make a u-turn at the end of a parking stall, with a declivity both into the space and to the left. When I started my right turn, the uphill took all the wind out of my sails and the bike went down on the right side, again, as gently as I could manage. In my defense, I was used to the Versys, which I can turn around in a circle roughly the size of those big fancy dinner plates you get at Italian restaurants. The ones where the server always says "this plate is hot". So chalk that up to new equipment with which I was not sufficiently familiar. In any case, I consider that a "drop".

So, I'm left with two drops and two crashes. I don't think crashing dirt bikes really counts though, since they're known to get sleepy. One of our other rider coaches drops his SuperT half a dozen times every year while riding offroad, and he's a better rider than god. So that's just offroad riding.

Now, all that said, I think there's a LOT of mitigation in "drop" events. Let's start with something obvious - I posit that a motorcyclist who lives in a home with a sloped driveway is, on balance, more likely to experience a drop than a rider with a more level plot of land. The same goes for a rider who lives in a small rural city with uncurbed roads and gravel approaches.

I also think a rider who regularly rides in unfamiliar locations will rack up a couple more drops in their career than someone who rides the same bike back and forth along the same fifteen miles on their work commute every day. I remember pulling into the parking lot of the visitors center at the summit of Lolo Pass in Idaho. There was still snow in the corners of the parking lot. It was the last weekend of JUNE. I didn't drop my bike there, but someone else might have.

So, while dropping a bike is not ideal, it's certainly not abnormal. I don't believe EVERYONE will drop a bike, and that whole "two kinds of riders" thing is rubbish too. I intend to make it to the end of my riding career without ever experiencing a high-speed dump on the road. Maybe that's wishful thinking, but one of our rider coaches at URE has more than 700,000 miles without a single crash. So it's possible.

Dropping bikes happens. If you drop bikes a LOT, maybe you need more low speed practice or to get your driveway leveled. If you've NEVER dropped a bike, maybe you need to be a little more adventurous. I don't know.

Re: How many times have you dropped your bike?

Posted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:53 pm
by ZooTech
Look, my intent is not to be mean, even if I'm coming across that way. My wife is from Ireland and she's blunt honest - they don't mollycoddle eachother all the time or worry about hurting someone's feelings - and I like their way better and have adopted it. Fact is, this is a public forum, so this isn't a private conversation, it's a public conversation. With that in mind, what you post could be read by a beginner, or someone on the fence about riding, or whoever...and it's dangerous to set the tone that it's okay/normal for your bike to fall over, crash, or the like (for the record, off-road bikes are wholly exempt from this...). I hated this thread 15yrs ago, and I hate it today. The title and poll give new riders "permission" to be careless because, "Ahhh, heck...everyone does it". What if this was a Cesna many "incidents" are acceptable then???

faded sun, I know the ST's well. I'm a bike builder and flipper by trade, I've owned dozens of motorcycles short and long term. I know bikes can be outfitted with damage protection...heck, the Vision (as you know) will arrest a fall EVEN WHILE IN MOTION with a thick skid plate built in underneath the floorboards. That still doesn't make it okay to normalize falls/crashes. Plane crashes aren't normal, boats sinking isn't normal, cars crashing isn't normal...bikes falling over/crashing...also not normal. Yes, all of the above is dangerous, life is scary, life is unpredictable...and I'm a realist, not an idealist...but we mustn't make light, especially in public, of what amounts to failures in judgement, planning, etc... For a newbie reading this forum, it's important to note that for some people, a bike falling over is a clue you're in over your head and to get out while you still have a pulse.

Re: How many times have you dropped your bike?

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:32 pm
by jstark47
There's several ways to drop a bike, and I'm guilty of all of them. For street bikes:

1. No skills. Haven't done this since I was a beginner, fortunately. When I was learning in 2004, I dropped a Honda Reflex scooter. I was practicing emergency braking, did it too hard and locked up the rear wheel. In 2005, when I got my first "real" motorcycle (Triumph Bonneville), I target fixated on the opposite curb coming out of my driveway, stopped the bike before I hit the curb, but was off balance, and went over far enough for the left exhaust to touch the pavement. I got serious, upped my skills and haven't done this kind of stupid stuff since 2005.

2. Cluelessness. This involves getting off the bike and walking away without dropping the side stand. Duh. Did it twice with a Vstrom 1000.... in both cases my brain kicked back in and I caught the bike before it went all the way down, but it was so far over that I had to set it down the rest of the way. One incident was after a long, long day of touring on vacation. The other I have no excuse for... just distracted. Presence of mind is critical for motorcycling. Don't be distracted.

3. Accident. The Vstrom again. Our sport is risky. If you're gonna ride, especially in traffic, you might get nailed. Accept that brutal reality, or get out of the sport. Full story is here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=54584

That's for street bikes. For little dual-sports off pavement, especially in deep sugar sand..... you're gonna drop em.