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Old 09-04-2014, 07:28 PM   #1
matthewg123 OP
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(also) got hit by a truck (9/4/14)

Riding home from work today, I was riding behind a Tundra who was obviously looking for an address. (his) left blinker on, he slowed down to 15MPH in a 25, looking for a left hand turn. I slowed, waited for his turn, and signaled right to pass (on the right, which is legal to do so here in Maine). The driver decided to turn into the right shoulder to initiate a sweeping U Turn, locking horns (helmet, L handlebar, L Footbeg, L side bag) with the passenger door of the pickup.

I rode it out (nearly missing a BMW 3 series and 7 series sedans, parallel parked on the R side of the road, until it was apparent to the older gentleman in the Tundra that we had indeed collided, which he decided to pull FURTHER to the right, forcing me against the granite curb and low-siding my 1985 BMW R-80.

The Beemer spun on its R peg, turning on the rear wheel at idle until I was able to grapple her to a stop and kill the switch.


I am physically fine, although my jacket, gloves and helmet are TOAST (small change). I've been on MAXBMW's dealer catalog and have so far tallied $1307 in parts alone, with $474.00 in gear. We have the same insurance company and HE was written "at fault". Let's see what the shop says about my whip and the insurance says about the incident. his truck has visible marks on the passenger door (front) from my helmet, handlebar end, and foot peg.

(I think the Beemer won, to be completely honest)

Slowly convincing my mother that I'm a man made of metal, forged in the depths of Mordor.
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:14 PM   #2
ObiJohn
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Glad to hear that you're not hurt. It could have been a lot worse.

I think these accidents are caused by motorcyclists assuming that the car is going to do A, so we can do B... and then the car doesn't do A and now we're in a world of hurt. The best course here is not to assume (not to pass on the right or left) until the car's course of action is so explicitly clear that there is absolutely no doubt. If that means you have to stop... better than fixing your bike, replacing gear, or a trip to the ER or morgue.

I know, it's fun to ride aggressively on a motorcycle... but we occasionally put ourselves into a corner that we can't get out of through aggressive riding.

I'm a pilot, also, and my father was a naval aviator with hundreds of night landings. He confessed to some stupid stunts as a young pilot (including looping a large suspension bridge across an East Coast harbor at night... with a four-engine patrol bomber!)... and then his squadron commander set him down and told him the old maxim, "There are bold pilots, and old pilots... but not very many old, bold pilots." I think the same maxim applies to bikers.
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Old 09-05-2014, 02:54 AM   #3
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I don't trust people's indicators at all. Half the time they are on when they shouldn't be and they don't even know it. I am far more comfortable with:

a) assuming they wont necessarily do what their indicator says
b) assuming they may well do the exact opposite

I try to treat it like a driving video game, where everybody IS out to get you at all times.
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Old 09-05-2014, 04:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObiJohn View Post

I'm a pilot, also, and my father was a naval aviator with hundreds of night landings. He confessed to some stupid stunts as a young pilot (including looping a large suspension bridge across an East Coast harbor at night... with a four-engine patrol bomber!)... and then his squadron commander set him down and told him the old maxim, "There are bold pilots, and old pilots... but not very many old, bold pilots." I think the same maxim applies to bikers.
His ego was writing checks his body couldn't cash?



Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewg123 View Post



Slowly convincing my mother that I'm a man made of metal, forged in the depths of Mordor.

Don't believe it!

Source: was once made of metal, forged in the depths of Mordor.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:00 AM   #5
fratermus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevsta View Post
I don't trust people's indicators at all. Half the time they are on when they shouldn't be and they don't even know it. I am far more comfortable with:

a) assuming they wont necessarily do what their indicator says
b) assuming they may well do the exact opposite
I made an error and believed a "indicate right then turn left" driver in the 90s. Luckily I was in a van and not on the bike.

Taught me to use blinkers as one point of information but not a reliable one.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:07 AM   #6
Test_rider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevsta View Post
I don't trust people's indicators at all. Half the time they are on when they shouldn't be and they don't even know it. I am far more comfortable with:

a) assuming they wont necessarily do what their indicator says
b) assuming they may well do the exact opposite

I try to treat it like a driving video game, where everybody IS out to get you at all times.
I was behind a car that was signaling a right turn and began to pass them on the left. Suddenly they turned left into me. I slammed on my brakes and veered left, jumping the curb. Fortunately there was no damage to anything or anyone.
When I spoke with the other driver, she claimed she had her left blinker on. I said, no, you had your right blinker on. Turns out her left blinker and brake light were out . She was pumping her brakes and it looked like she was signaling a right turn.
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Old 09-07-2014, 04:40 PM   #7
matthewg123 OP
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Now up to 2,300 in parts alone. They might try to total the bike to save money. I can't find more than 5 monolever R80's for sale on the 'net, so good luck convincing me she's not worth repairing.

I have always been a "learn from doing" type of guy. Trust me, today riding to the gun show in Bangor, I didn't pass anyone on the right until they had crossed the center line in their turn. I'm still in the "stomach in my throat" phase of the situation.
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:06 PM   #8
scooteraug02
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Don't forget the other similar stunt. You are behind a slow car finally you've had enough and pass on the left. Slow poke was slow because he's turning left into you as you pass.

You now know you could have stopped waited then gone on no damage. Now a lot of your time is wasted fixing your bike. Hindsight.
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:37 AM   #9
ridin gaijin
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Sorry to hear it Matthew and glad you're okay! I hate near misses of all kinds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevsta View Post
I try to treat it like a driving video game, where everybody IS out to get you at all times.
Sad but spot on.

Years ago a rider from Los Alamos shared a piece of wisdom I always try to remember (try to, anyway). He said, Whenever I get into a hairy situation, I always take a step back and think what I could have done differently to prevent that situation from happening.

It sucks that we have to think that way, but we have to constantly improve, otherwise they'll get us sooner or later.
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObiJohn View Post
If that means you have to stop... better than fixing your bike, replacing gear, or a trip to the ER or morgue.
I wouldn't argue that this is a possibility, but if you did this you could also get hit by the car behind you that wanted to go around to the right, but didn't see you.
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:44 AM   #11
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And watch out for cross-wired trailers! I pulled out to pass a fifth wheel camper that was slowing for a signaled right turn. Got even with the front of the trailer and noticed the truck towing it was signalling left! Had to go left with him into the parking lot!

At least it gave me an opportunity to have a chat with him about checking his trailer lights before hitting the road. (Borrowed trailer that was wired wrong.)
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:43 AM   #12
ObiJohn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewg123 View Post
I have always been a "learn from doing" type of guy.
It's good that you can learn from your own experiences... but far better to learn from the experiences of others. Hurts less, costs less.

I think the lesson here is not to discontinue passing on the right, or wait until a vehicle commits. It's to always leave yourself an 'out' if the other guy does something unexpected.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:09 PM   #13
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Hey Matthewg123, glad you are basically ok except for the mental anguish. Secondly, thanks for posting as this is a scenario that we all could get into.

My thoughts are if you repair the old bike with new parts, you know those are in prime condition vs getting someone else's old bike in unknown condition except for visual. My 2 cents.
Cheers..
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Old 09-18-2014, 07:35 AM   #14
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I had a very similar accident in 2012, when a woman in a Mercedes A-Class signalled a left turn and also moved left to the meridian like sha was actually turning left. I passed her on the right hand side, only to discover she had moved left so she would have a good apex for her right hand turn

I slammed into the right rear fender of the car in a very acute angle, not fully in the back thankfully (as I would have if I had been ten feet further back) and scratched up the whole side of the car. To this day I do not know how I kept the bike upright, but I did.

The impact was so hard I bent the footpeg attachment point of the steel frame of my 1250 Suzuki Bandit inward. My left foot would have been seriously injured without solid boots.

Most painful injury was caused by my pants with detachable lower legs. The zipper tore off and each tooth tore a little furrow down the whole length of my leg while pressed into my flesh by the side of the car, it felt like I had been clawed by a dozen wildcats for days.
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Old 10-16-2014, 06:24 PM   #15
NHRstein
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevsta View Post
I don't trust people's indicators at all. Half the time they are on when they shouldn't be and they don't even know it. I am far more comfortable with:

a) assuming they wont necessarily do what their indicator says
b) assuming they may well do the exact opposite

I try to treat it like a driving video game, where everybody IS out to get you at all times.
Good rule of New England Drivers, If they are behind the wheel of a vehicle, chances are they don't belong there. Mass if someone uses a signal that's a polite way of saying "I am going to cut you off". Mass also has the phenomenon of random braking. Also in Mass if someone puts their right turn signal on, there is a really good chance they will turn left or at least counter steer there minivan into a turn that doesn't require such a maneuver.

New Hampshire drivers are terrible as well. No one knows how to do 79 MPH on the highway, they either do 50 in the left lane or 85 weaving in and out of traffic. Good chance if they are doing the later they have a mass plate. Humans are smart people are dumb. Our government has done it's best to protect people from themselves so it's your job as a motorcyclist to protect yourself from their stupidity.

Glad to hear you are OK. Keep in mind you can't assume you have had your crash now you are safe. Many motorcyclists go down more than once. Good luck out there, and do your best to financially punish that driver for being stupid.
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