Very nearly taken out! - Triumph Bobber Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Very nearly taken out!

I知 sure we all have a few near misses whilst out on the road but on this occasion I have no clue how I managed to avoid damaging myself and the bike on this occasion.

So to set the scene... I知 filtering past stationary traffic when without any indication or warning an idiot sat in line decided to agressively turn directly in front of me in order to turn into the petrol station across the road. Desperate not to damage my bike I just kind of leaned into the car with my left arm and shoulder and went with it. Some how I managed to avoid contact between my bike and the car and once he had straightened up I just coasted away to the right. The guy didn稚 even realise what he had done... until at least I pulled up alongside him and let him have both barrels. To the guys credit he held his hand out to shake mine and to say how sorry he was. I simply ended by pleading with him to learn from this and to always check his mirrors before making a turn.

I pulled out of the station but a little further up the road pulled in to reset and gather myself. All I could think was **** that was so close, and that even though I would consider myself to be a very diligent rider... this kind of thing really can happen to the best of us!

Ride safe guys!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 03:33 PM
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Glad you池e ok. At least it was honest (though no better for you....) , here everyone drives with a me first / me only attitude. The metro Atlanta area is a tuff crowd........

So far behind , I think I'm in first place.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 03:42 PM
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No matter how many years riding experience & courses we have under our belts, situations like that (and coming out of them) depend on pure reflex and a lot of luck. I知 VERY glad you had a pinch of both and came out unscathed.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 03:54 PM
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Mike, one of the best things I ever did was do an IAM Advanced qualification. Look on the IAM website and there are two Kent groups East Kent Advanced Motorcyclists and Kent Advanced Motorcyclists. In my case they certainly weren't all bearded pipe smokers, riding classic BMW's and I bet the Kent groups are the same. Apart from anything else, the course is FUN, you ride with an Observer, stop, chat about it, ride on. IAM isn't plodding along, and the Essex Group's catch phrase was "it's not how fast you ride, it's how you ride fast".



Early on, I went out on a group ride one Saturday, a group of about 30 using the "Marker " system where the leader indicates to the rider behind him to stop at a junction, indicate the direction, and then when "tail end Charlie" arrives, pick up in front of him. That means you get to ride behind the leader every now and again. This was an old guy in his late 60's 2 up with his wife on a ST1100 Pan European. On a lovely set of twisties, he left me for dead...



If you pass the test, you'll get 10% off from most bike insurers
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 04:06 PM
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I completely agree about the courses. I wish I could take more - but as usual, there are simply none on offer here in Mallorca.
I enjoyed every minute of every course i did & 20 years on I am still absorbing the things I was taught.
Braking, evasive maneuvers with target fixation, reading the road, unlearning bad habits, etc are things as riders we should all learn, practice and refresh - always.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 06:33 PM
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So glad it was just a 田lose one and nothing more. Ride safe.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 06:41 PM
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Thank goodness you are okay Mike.

Scary times indeed my friend. Take care.

Cheerio,

Roy
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 07:04 PM
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Mike, I'm glad you and your bike are okay.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 07:24 PM
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I had a very close call 11 years ago that I think contributed to a nine year break from biking:

Had been riding my Speed Triple 955i to work in the morning, country road - we have somewhat hilly terrain and curves here, but I had gone this road daily for many years, to set the scene. A truck with a couple of cars behind. Legal speed limit for trucks on country roads in Germany is 60 km/h to further set the scene. Queue-jumping was not a real option because of too many curves and the cars not really keeping distance.

Overtaking spot coming up, looong left curve (probably 400m visibility) through a basin, downshift to 2nd. Coming around the curve, scan the road and horizon, all good to go - rip open the throttle, left blinker, and GOOO. I don't want to mention the speed here, but just imagine those 955cc and 120 hp at work for a few car lengths after starting at 60 km/h in 2nd... of course carefully scanning the cars I'm overtaking to make sure no one pulls out in front of me - when I suddenly saw a red van in front of me, about 100m away, heading straight at me! Where the f... did he come from?

I slammed both brakes (good thing I practiced that before) and tried to pull over to the right. Going way tooo fast to ever make it into a gap, still flying past cars. Squeezed into the median, as far right as I could go. Saw the van get bigger, shocked faces behind the windscreen. Braced for impact. Lots of pain. Opened my eyes: WTF, still riding more or less. Not fully in the seat, bike wildly flapping left right and using up more than a lane, about to high-side. Heading directly for the rear of the truck I was trying to overtake, no idea at that point if I still had cars to my right or not.

Quick decision: jump off and hope for the best or try to lose some more speed first, even that means going for the truck and cars.
I went for option 2. Slammed the brakes again to not rear-end the truck (yeah, I still was fast...), hit a groove in the road at the same time which suddenly put me upright and stopped the flapping.
Slammed the brakes even harder which caused me to go in a straight line, but straight through the gap between the truck and the following car (remember, this was a left curve and I was in the left lane).
Went off the road through a strip of grass (still slamming the brakes). Hit a paved road again which was a parking lot next to the road. Came to a stop. Shakingly turned off the engine, put out the stand, got off. ALIVE.

Turning around, I saw the van in the ditch. Other cars stopping. People shouting at me, reckless driver, I should not be surprised to die - all kinds of funny stuff just flew past me.
I walked towards the van, two people getting out. Friendly reaching out to greet me, shaking hands, "good morning." Them, under adrenalin: "Wow, what a ride... I told him we're gonna flip over, we won't make it, but hey, we made it straight into the ditch. Say ... didn't you see us?"

No, I had not. Still don't know why. I love going fast, but I'm a careful biker, especially if there are any intersections. I make eye contact first. If someone does not look at me, I brake and plan evasive routes. Happened too often, and I was lucky each time. But completely miss a car? Could not happen to me, I thought. Only happens to people in thoughts, not paying attention. Well, it had happened.

So what exactly had happened was that the van driver saw the space didn't work out and he yanked the wheel to the right, going for the ditch - probably saving my life.
I hit the van's mirror with my shoulder at approx. 180 km/h differential speed, shattered it to pieces. I scraped along the van's left side with my handlebar, pulling out my handlebar weight because of friction, melting my textile jacket's left arm, snapping off my clutch lever and putting a huge dent into my front fork's left end stop - this is what made me flap like crazy once I was clear. The van's left side was scraped over the full length. My shoulder hurt like ****, but I was flying high with adrenaline. Funny enough, my left knee and leg was alright. Talk about a fraction of an inch.

Police showed up about 60 minutes later, took photos etc. - an old officer (about 50) and younger lady (in her 20s). He checked the situation, road condition, and said that's at least 400m visibility, how could that happen? "Don't know."
Paperwork: "Do you admit you were at fault?" "No comment." Female officer: "WHAT??? THIS IS OBVIOUS!!! ARE YOU DENYING ..." Senior male officer: "Stop right there, it's his right." Her: "So we have to collect witness data?" Him: "Yeah, you can start questioning right away..." She was pi**ed as .... you know.

Him turning to me: "Before we finish this .... and I don't expect a statement - but you do know who was at fault, right?" Me nodding. Him: "Good. I just don't want to have any trouble afterwards. Now let's take a shortcut. We could fill out a protocol and all that stuff, but ... let's keep it simple." He took out his notepad, just put the sentence "I do not wish to make any statement regarding the accident xxx at xyz on date/time" and just asked me to sign with name and date. Which I did.
I was good to go after that, and in fact I got back on my bike and drove it home, with broken clutch lever and missing handlebar weight, and went to see a doctor after that. Heavily bruised shoulder and arm, changed colours from red and blue to purple to green and yellow over the next two weeks or so. Bought new CNC milled levers at the same time and upgraded to the Speed Triple 1050's wider mirrors, to keep me busy :-)

I did keep riding after that for another year, and I was not afraid of riding, but sold the bike after I had a son and moved to a different house with only one garage at that point.

Of course I still got fined by the police, for "overtaking while it was not obvious I could overtake without issues, and causing an accident". When I started overtaking, it was very obvious to me that there would not be an issue because I had 400m of plain sight. Still did not see the van, though, for whatever reason. Cost me about 200 EUR and three points at that time, which I happily paid considering the overall outcome.

Bought some gifts for the van driver and dropped them off, thanking him again. Got the insurance bill later, damage to the van was approx 6000 EUR.

Funny enough, went to a party a few years later, meeting one of my wife's friend's husband. Talking about bikes. "So YOU are the guy who forced our van off the road? We've been laughing about that story for years now." Turned out he worked at the company who owned the van and I had become a legend there :-)

Tom
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Cheers all for you concern and comments as always.

Hey Tom... epic tale bro... sounds far more of a close shave than my near miss. All the same glad you got away with it
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