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Old 05-07-2015, 08:24 PM   #1
Sl0rider OP
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Joined: Jul 2013
Location: South Australia
Oddometer: 53
Keeping it in the family… kind of… sort of…

Had my first bike-meets-car yesterday. Went for a beautiful ride through the Adelaide Hills (South Australia) from Blackwood to Kapunda, and was on my way home.

Arrived at the main Stirling roundabout, and made my first mistake. There was a vehicle coming on my right (remember, all of you playing in the US and Europe excluding UK, we drive on the correct, that is, left side of the road here in Australia). The vehicle coming was far enough away that I could move into the roundabout and avoid it. Yep, that was mistake number one. You see, the Stirling roundabout isn’t particularly large.

The car about to enter the roundabout from my left, which was required to give way to me failed to give way, entered the roundabout, changed its mind and then stopped, completely blocking my exit. I braked hard, locked my front just prior to hitting the rear passenger door of the car – a VW Golf. I hit at low speed, dropped the bike on its side, and ended up amazingly still on my feet! I have no idea how I managed that, but it says something about the low speed at which I hit.

The car came fully around the roundabout and parked. A kind stranger assisted me with my bike and tank bag which had flown off, bike wouldn’t start, so I pushed the bike off the road to exchange details.

And then things get weird…

The other driver gets out of the car and is upset and incredibly apologetic! And I realise that I know her. She is my sister-in-law’s mother-in-law, out for a drive to see the autumn leaves with a visitor from overseas. So at least swapping details is easy!

Damage tally: VW Golf has large dent in rear passenger door plus some damage to lower sill area. Door still opens fine, though. Bike has broken throttle cable, some road rash to right fairing, and although I haven’t had a really good look over it, I can see much more than that. Suzuki seems to have made my 1998 GSX750f a solid old bike. I can’t even work out what part of my bike made the damage on the car.

The bike is now at the local workshop being checked over properly, just in case there is hidden damage. If not, I’ll touch up the fairing and keep on going. After all, an old ‘f’er with 130 000km isn’t worth much to anyone except me, and the insurance company is likely to be more trouble than benefit.

Lessons learned:
1 – Don’t push into a roundabout. Take your time, because the speed you take into an intersection has to be taken off in an emergency situation.
2 – Practice emergency braking more often. When it mattered, I locked up the front. Even if I hadn’t hit, I was probably going down from the locked up front. It was unlikely I was going to have the reflexes to release and re-brake. I’d grabbed a handful instead of braking properly.
3 – Don’t assume the car is going to give way. If I had allowed myself options, perhaps I could have looked for ways out, rather than just the side of the car.

That’s probably enough for now. As bingles go, it was a good one: no-one hurt, minimal damage. I’ll take that!

Cheers!
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:56 AM   #2
Bill Harris
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Joined: Sep 2008
Location: backwoods Alabama
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Good description and good story. The Third Lesson is the critical one: Never Assume and Always leave yourself an escape route.

We rarely have roundabouts down here (they are usually in rural towns and encircle the county courthouse). Being rare, I usually approach with caution and expect the unexpected...

--Bill
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Old 05-15-2015, 03:33 AM   #3
DanielM
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Joined: Jan 2015
Location: Okinawa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sl0rider View Post
She is my sister-in-law’s mother-in-law,
Cheers!
wait doesn't that make her your mom?!?

Dan
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Old 05-15-2015, 03:41 AM   #4
Sl0rider OP
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Joined: Jul 2013
Location: South Australia
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Hey! Good point!

Fortunately not. She was my wife's sister's husband's mother!

By the way, the damage quote came in at just under $4000 - not bad for what I thought was hardly anything! It really is all cosmetic. Exhaust scraped, fairing damaged, etc, etc. Given that amount of damage I had to put it through insurance, and it's likely the bike will be written off. It has done 135 000km and was going strong - no oil use, no smoke, and good for a top speed of 220km/h indicated (on track of course) so probably 200 true.

Looks like time to look for another bike.
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Old 05-15-2015, 06:05 PM   #5
DanielM
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Joined: Jan 2015
Location: Okinawa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sl0rider View Post
Hey! Good point!

Fortunately not. She was my wife's sister's husband's mother!

By the way, the damage quote came in at just under $4000 - not bad for what I thought was hardly anything! It really is all cosmetic. Exhaust scraped, fairing damaged, etc, etc. Given that amount of damage I had to put it through insurance, and it's likely the bike will be written off. It has done 135 000km and was going strong - no oil use, no smoke, and good for a top speed of 220km/h indicated (on track of course) so probably 200 true.

Looks like time to look for another bike.
yeah... genealogy not really my strong point either... I'm glad you weren't hurt badly... and holy crap insurance is a racket...

at least you have fun conversation points for family reunions.

Cheers,

Dan
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Old 05-19-2015, 04:02 AM   #6
MrVorgra
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Joined: May 2015
Location: Australia, Mackay
Oddometer: 5
40kph - 0 in about 3-ish meters (I never measured it but sure as hell it wasn't much further), Achieved by pulsing the front brake about 4 times a second.

I don't know if I locked it up in those not so intentional practice runs behind other cars, but its seemed to work best for me.

With all being said I adjust my brakes so when you lock them up, you can still turn them by hand (or should I say, back, shoulders and both arms), that way under the weight of the bike the wheel still turns but braking heavily.

Also you literally walked away from that one.
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