When did you have your first crash? - Kawasaki ZX-10R.net
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post #1 of 70 Old 04-11-2010, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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When did you have your first crash?

Dudes,

Just got back into bikes after a 3 year hiatus. My last ride was an F4i, and I sort of acquired this ZX-10R as an accident. Just kinda happened at the exact right time for a great price, so I figured "I'll give a liter bike a try."

Anyway, I live in upstate NY so I'm no stranger to the twisties. I consider myself a good rider, however I know the difference between a good rider who's never been to the track and a rider that's had just one track day is a huge margin of ability and skill. I know this because I track my GTI regularly, and I'm soon to be an instructor with the Audi Club of North America so I know how much good can be had from just one track day.

But 4 wheels is much different than 2. I guess the crux of my question is, who here has casually gotten into the track day thing, and dumped their bike at some point? As an advanced level car driver, I know that one's sense of self preservation usually keeps them safe on the track in a car, but I think there's a lot more leeway when it comes to communicative feedback from the car vs the bike. I've been poking around this forum and found a disconcerting number of posts where guys are talking about hammering it on the track, they crash, but "I don't know what happened." In a car, if you crash, you obviously did something very wrong, and you know exactly what happened. As a casual observer, that doesn't often seem to be the case when it comes to motorcycles.

So that's my main worry. I know the level of performance of the motorcycle would far exceed my abilities for a long time should I get into track days. But I would just like to be made more aware of my limits on the bike, as I'm keenly aware of in the car. I rarely drive a 8/10ths on the street, but at least I know I can if I need/want to. I would like to have that in reserve for the bike as well.

Sorry for the long post. If this has been discussed elsewhere please someone feel free to send me a link to the thread and we can let this one die. Thanks.

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post #2 of 70 Old 04-11-2010, 07:11 PM
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Never ride beyond your own limits, EVERYONE has and/or will go down at some point...just a matter of time is all. respect the bike and what it is capable of and don't try to ride faster and harder then you can handle. even with that...sometimes shit just happens. be safe and have fun, that's the main thing in my book!!
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post #3 of 70 Old 04-11-2010, 07:13 PM
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Myself and a friend have examples from this weekend. I went down on the street. He went down on the track. I know what happened with mine. Simple case of a little wide and washed the front in sand and gravel at low speed. My bud lost the front on the lap after his personal best lap. At the track (or street) the bike goes out from under you so quickly you need the advantage of others POV to put together exactly what happened. Added to that you many times slam your head on the ground just compounds the confusion. Many riders have a hard time getting back up to speed b/c they never really know the cause. It's human nature to want to understand what was done wrong and how to correct it. Many times that data is scrambled.

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post #4 of 70 Old 04-11-2010, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Bah, I guess "everyone goes down" and "shit happens" weren't the two things I was most looking forward to hearing. How about "when" does everyone go down? When their novices? Intermediates? It would really be my main goal not to go down, as it were. Honestly, I think I would really just want to do a couple days to hone my skills, not try and be the next Rossi. Tracking my car takes too much time and money anyway, I don't have much left over for the bike...!

Edit: PS, I did go down on my F4i on fresh greasy tires doing about 30 mph when I went to school in Miami. Does that count as getting my crash out of the way, or do you have to be going 100+ for it to be legitimate?

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Last edited by StreetSpeed; 04-11-2010 at 07:16 PM.
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post #5 of 70 Old 04-11-2010, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by StreetSpeed View Post
Bah, I guess "everyone goes down" and "shit happens" weren't the two things I was most looking forward to hearing. How about "when" does everyone go down? When their novices? Intermediates?
You may not want to hear it, but its gospel. EVERYONE goes down. The bud I was speaking of never went down till two weeks ago. Loved to point that out. he's been down twice in the past couple of weeks. He's getting quick and pushing his limits (track). ..it's bound to happen. I've been riding 33 years, 23 on the street. I've gone down 4 times on the street, never on the track. This weekend was a bone headed move for me. I knew the road was dirty but went wide anyway (my favorite line) b/c traction had been good despite the dust/sand/dirt. Bud thinks he used the tires one too many days. ..no real clue... he hit his head.

..but he was out again today on his "b" bike...


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post #6 of 70 Old 04-11-2010, 07:27 PM
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I find this kind of funny as I realized I don't know my limitations, more balls than brains I guess you could say. I found this out last week karting with a 2 stroke tag kart and spun out 3 times in 4 laps, twice in the first but kept it on track. Reason for spinning was tires were to cold the first lap and the kart has only 1 brake placed on the rear offset to the left to help with turn in as most courses are turn left. I realized after my session that it didn't worry me and that I generally push to hard. I did have the brains to cut my session short as not to mess up the kart or myself but in actual ability I've always just kept pushing. Now my car experience far excedes my biking experience but still kind of falls into the same place. I never really know my limit or comfort zone until it is too late which is something I seriously need to fix before I hurt myself or someone else. I guess I think I'm better than I really am which I think most people do but by different amounts.

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post #7 of 70 Old 04-11-2010, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StreetSpeed View Post
Bah, I guess "everyone goes down" and "shit happens" weren't the two things I was most looking forward to hearing. How about "when" does everyone go down? When their novices? Intermediates? It would really be my main goal not to go down, as it were. Honestly, I think I would really just want to do a couple days to hone my skills, not try and be the next Rossi. Tracking my car takes too much time and money anyway, I don't have much left over for the bike...!

Edit: PS, I did go down on my F4i on fresh greasy tires doing about 30 mph when I went to school in Miami. Does that count as getting my crash out of the way, or do you have to be going 100+ for it to be legitimate?
you have the right idea but wrong mantality bud, no one wants to wreck..i fuggin hate it BUT there's no kind of scale or anything to show how or when someone could go down...there are waaay too many variables to do that. weather,road conditions,how the bike's running,tires,your mood,traffic,trash, etc........just try NOT to get complacent when riding and me personally i NEVER think i can do whatever i want on my 1o because i know for a fact that if the cards fall right, she will spit me off in a heartbeat. plain N simple man, IF you ride then you will go down, just try to make the needed adjustments with the bike,your mindset,and riding style before and during the ride that way all you have to worry about are the other 3,000 variables out there to worry about. the folks that say "i've never been down" or "i'll never wreck" are either the ones that will go down the hardest when the times comes OR they don't "RIDE" they just put around and focus on looking good at the local bike night. i do not think or try to focus on wrecking because i know it's always a possibility and i don't wanna will it to happen, i just go out to the roads i know pretty well or learn the new roads first and give it hell............that's my riding.
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post #8 of 70 Old 04-11-2010, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlg0987 View Post
I never really know my limit or comfort zone until it is too late which is something I seriously need to fix before I hurt myself or someone else. I guess I think I'm better than I really am which I think most people do but by different amounts.

I give you props AND rep for just admiting that bro!!! most people would never publicly say that BUT we all have our limits and we all push them...it's just the matter of knowing when to back off a lil bit or some days just to call it quits and save it for the next outing.
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post #9 of 70 Old 04-11-2010, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by TMY10ER View Post
the folks that say "i've never been down" or "i'll never wreck" are either the ones that will go down the hardest when the times comes OR they don't "RIDE" they just put around and focus on looking good at the local bike night.
agree and disagree.

My bud that had never been down did over 60 track days last year and is now knocking on 2:00 at ECR. He's done it "right" though. Spent tons of money on instruction and having his suspension redone to match his skill/pace. BUT, it is a plan fact, spend enough time push your limits, you will make friends with Mr Asphualt. There's a reason racers go down at high speeds, slide, then get up...LOTS of time practicing the art of wrecking.

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post #10 of 70 Old 04-11-2010, 07:39 PM
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All my downs where when younger(20-30yrs old now in 40s years) on sportbikes...not sure if the experiences helped but haven't been down for a decade....only a few track days on a ZX9R and 10R but I almost went down at Infineon race track on my ZX9R trying to catch up to a pro...big mistake I ran off the track in the dirt but held the bike up because I didn't panic...anyone can go down street or track NO MATTER HOW MUCH EXPERIENCE YOU HAVE OR AGE.
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