The value of practice - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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The value of practice

Figured I would share what happened to me today. Driving on a road that had two lanes in either direction, I was in the left lane, two large SUVs in the right. I was going speed limit (35mph) when the two SUVs in the right lane begin to slow down. They appeared to be slowing for a turn into a parking lot, but what I couldn't see was that they were stopping for a pedestrian who was trying to cross (not at a cross walk, go figure). First thing I see is this guy sprinting into my lane so I hit the clutch and brakes hard. I lock up the rear brake pretty quick (guy was only about 40ft away from me) the bike starts to lean left as the rear goes right. Lucky for me, there was no one in the opposing lanes of travel, so I let off the rear brake and get into the lanes going the opposite way to avoid hitting this guy and straighten the bike back up.

What saved my tail was that a week and a half ago I was going for a ride and hit a neighborhood still under construction. I took the time to practice panic stops and learn the limits of my bike. That and I was wearing Kevlar pants and jacket just in case.

Few problems on this green earth cannot be solved by the proper application of high explosives
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 04:16 AM
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Glad you saved yourself, the bike and the sprinter. Part of my test when I got my endorsement was a panic stop. Was the only time during testing we were aloud to lock a wheel. Always a good idea to practice emergency handling. You never know when it will save you.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 05:38 AM
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good to hear you kept the shiny side up. ive had a couple rear tire lock ups and now they dont get me as nervous as before. went out with a buddy and found a parking lot with loose dirt on it and practiced rear brake slides. it helps to know how your bike reacts when it slides. what kind of gun you on red leg? im a 13F with the 1-506 IN and ft campbell. i love my gun bunnies, saved me a couple times.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by red_leg View Post
Figured I would share what happened to me today. Driving on a road that had two lanes in either direction, I was in the left lane, two large SUVs in the right. I was going speed limit (35mph) when the two SUVs in the right lane begin to slow down. They appeared to be slowing for a turn into a parking lot, but what I couldn't see was that they were stopping for a pedestrian who was trying to cross (not at a cross walk, go figure). First thing I see is this guy sprinting into my lane so I hit the clutch and brakes hard. I lock up the rear brake pretty quick (guy was only about 40ft away from me) the bike starts to lean left as the rear goes right. Lucky for me, there was no one in the opposing lanes of travel, so I let off the rear brake and get into the lanes going the opposite way to avoid hitting this guy and straighten the bike back up.

What saved my tail was that a week and a half ago I was going for a ride and hit a neighborhood still under construction. I took the time to practice panic stops and learn the limits of my bike. That and I was wearing Kevlar pants and jacket just in case.
I believe a pair of Depends would have been in order for me. . It is good to do that. A few months back I popped up on a tractor pulling a car trailer (like the trailers you see hauling 10-15 new cars to dealerships) on a road it did not belong on. I locked up the rear tire on my V2K for the first time and it caught me off guard for a second. I made the mistake of not taking it out to an open lot and playing it it under those situations and it almost got me.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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good to hear you kept the shiny side up. ive had a couple rear tire lock ups and now they dont get me as nervous as before. went out with a buddy and found a parking lot with loose dirt on it and practiced rear brake slides. it helps to know how your bike reacts when it slides. what kind of gun you on red leg? im a 13F with the 1-506 IN and ft campbell. i love my gun bunnies, saved me a couple times.
That gun is a M119a2 in full recoil during a direct fire drill. Used that and the triple seven with 4-1FA last year in RC East. Been moved to 1-13Cav for an FSO position since I've been back. Still love a good 105mm "pea shooter" though

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 12:58 PM
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 06:55 PM
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Congrats on keeping the bike under control. It's ALWAYS a good idea to practice panic stops. That rear wheel will almost always lock up in a panic stop, but you also need to use the front brake heavily and keep the bike upright. It's a bit unnerving the first time you lock up that rear wheel, but if you ride long enough, it'll probably happen.

The important thing is don't panic. Work that front brake because that's where about 70% of your stopping power comes from. Also, learn to counter-steer into the slide. In other words, if the a$$ end of the bike is sliding to the right, turn your front wheel to the right. It's just like you see the dirt track riders do. Turn into the skid and stay on the bike.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 08:58 PM
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+1 on Chas63's comments. As much as possible try to not lock that rear wheel, and that takes a lot of practice

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 05:59 AM
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+1 on Chas63's comments. As much as possible try to not lock that rear wheel, and that takes a lot of practice
And, if you do lock it don't let go until you are going very slow or stopped! If you do let it go, the rear wheel will immediately snap around and you will loose control.



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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 02:25 PM
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practice

I purchased my classic 1600 about 2 years ago..I had sold my last bike 20 years ago and had done very little riding since. I knew I was not doing things right when I was riding. I though i could figure it out on my own. I would go around the block rather than do a U turn. Then a truck pulled out in front of me in a round about. Next thing I knew, my left foot was on the ground and my highway bar and left floor board had left a 3 ft drag mark in the asphalt. I wasn't even sure how it had happened. (Now I know exactly what I did wrong) Not a very fun way to be riding.
Finally I got help. I purchased a course from a guy in Florida. What a relief! Best 90 bucks I've spent on my bike. I watched his DVDs, read the training book and practiced. Then I practiced it all with my gal riding with me. Then I took my skills test again and smoked it. I still find a parking lot when I'm out riding and go thru some of the exercises. I'm not a foot dragger anymore and its truly a pleasure to ride my Vulcan. I'm seriously looking at the voyager and the victory cross country tour. It's a harsh winter this year in northern Utah. I can't wait for temps to get over freezing and test riding a few new bikes. Happy trails Bret

Last edited by iamarchie; 02-02-2013 at 09:05 PM.
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