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HD fatality accident, braking question

woodsguy

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I'm really sorry for this rider and his family. Just wondering, article says he left a 100 foot skid, is that very far if he was inexperienced and used only rear brake? I assume in that rural area speed limit is at least 60, maybe more. And do the Harleys not have abs? Seems they are leaning towards blaming rider even tho the pickup pulled out in front of him. Either way sorry for the rider and family.
 

woodsguy

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"motorcycle driver hit his brakes leaving at least a 100-foot skid before slamming into the rear of the pickup"
 
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Hate to see stuff like this happpen. Newer Harley’s do have ABS, but obviously there’s lots of older ones on the road. The bike has temp tags on it, so possibly a new rider. I don’t see how you could leave a 100ft skid other than with rear brake only. If you look up braking distances in road tests, 60-0 braking takes about 130ft for many vehicles. So it’s not that difficult to slow down and avoid a vehicle that pulls out and starts accelerating away from you on a 60mph road - if you know how to use most of the braking available to you.
 
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That bike has twin front disks, so it should stop reasonably well even if it won't quite lift the rear wheel. I suspect he just locked the rear. I have an 09 FXD and the single oem front disk was dangerously weak when I got it. That was the first upgrade after more close calls than I care to admit in the first week.
 

woodsguy

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That bike has twin front disks, so it should stop reasonably well even if it won't quite lift the rear wheel. I suspect he just locked the rear. I have an 09 FXD and the single oem front disk was dangerously weak when I got it. That was the first upgrade after more close calls than I care to admit in the first week.
Good catch, didn't notice the temp tags.
 
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I don't want to bash Harley, but I do consider the brakes, suspension and oem Dunflop tires to be completely inadequate to be mixing with modern traffic at speed. They will gladly sell you upgrades though, once you figure that out. The last couple years they have added abs, but the single front disk on sportsters or dynas couldn't lock a front wheel anyway except with a worn out tire in the rain.
 
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We do not know the bike speed, so hard to say if ABS would have made a difference or not (probably, since rider could maintain better control), but you still would have the issue of target fixation even if they had control.

Temp tags expire June 7, 2019, so bought on April 7, 2019.

Regardless, sad to hear.
 
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Road Kings have had ABS on police models since the mid-2000s. Civilian versions started in 2008 I think, but optional.
I can't tell what year this model is since the styling is so classic. It may be readable on the temp tag.
ABS should have prevented the long skid, but may not have prevented the accident if no front brake was used.

RIP rider.
 

2WheelNut

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This is sad to me because it would appear that this fatality was preventable. 1.) 100 feet of skidding could have been 100 feet of swerving. Why didn't he just ride around him? 2.) You can almost stop from 60 mph in 100 feet using proper braking technique. Even if you don't stop, you should be able to drop your speed by at least 40 mph. Assuming he was going 70 and the truck had at least accelerated up to 30, all the rider needed to do was shave 40 mph off his speed to avoid the wreck. That would have been easily accomplished with proper braking. 3.) The helmet in the picture is a small half helmet and the dent in the back of the pickup isn't massive. After braking for 100 feet and the fact that the truck was accelerating away, my bet is that the final closing speed impact was less than 30 MPH. A quality helmet and gear would have likely saved the mans life.

Obviously we don't really know but it sure looks like the rider just stomped on the rear brake and steered the bike straight into the back of the truck. At a minimum, we know that the rider didn't try and swerve as that skid mark is perfectly straight and leads right to the impact.

Take aways from my perspective. 1.) Never stop riding the bike. You best action is to ride around the obstacle. Look where you want to go and go there. 2.) Practice emergency braking and get really good at it. You don't want to be learning how to do it when you need to be executing it perfectly. 3.) When you do go down, you want good gear on. The only way to make this happen is to wear good gear.

I hate to speak ill of the dead but I believe that If the rider had been good at even one of these 3 things, they'd still be alive.

PS...we don't know....but the new plates might mean a new rider. If so, that would explain why they weren't good at evasive maneveurs and emergency braking as those skills take a bit of time to develop and a MSF class helps, but most riders don't leave there proficient in those skills.
 

Jarrett

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I haven't been riding that long and have never ridden a Harley, but I agree with what Dave says above.

I'm a fan of nanny tech on motorcycles. Any advantage it can give me, the better. ABS is a must on something that big and heavy, imo. I assume a long, continuous skid mark means no ABS.
 

woodsguy

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This is sad to me because it would appear that this fatality was preventable. 1.) 100 feet of skidding could have been 100 feet of swerving. Why didn't he just ride around him? 2.) You can almost stop from 60 mph in 100 feet using proper braking technique. Even if you don't stop, you should be able to drop your speed by at least 40 mph. Assuming he was going 70 and the truck had at least accelerated up to 30, all the rider needed to do was shave 40 mph off his speed to avoid the wreck. That would have been easily accomplished with proper braking. 3.) The helmet in the picture is a small half helmet and the dent in the back of the pickup isn't massive. After braking for 100 feet and the fact that the truck was accelerating away, my bet is that the final closing speed impact was less than 30 MPH. A quality helmet and gear would have likely saved the mans life.

Obviously we don't really know but it sure looks like the rider just stomped on the rear brake and steered the bike straight into the back of the truck. At a minimum, we know that the rider didn't try and swerve as that skid mark is perfectly straight and leads right to the impact.

Take aways from my perspective. 1.) Never stop riding the bike. You best action is to ride around the obstacle. Look where you want to go and go there. 2.) Practice emergency braking and get really good at it. You don't want to be learning how to do it when you need to be executing it perfectly. 3.) When you do go down, you want good gear on. The only way to make this happen is to wear good gear.

I hate to speak ill of the dead but I believe that If the rider had been good at even one of these 3 things, they'd still be alive.

PS...we don't know....but the new plates might mean a new rider. If so, that would explain why they weren't good at evasive maneveurs and emergency braking as those skills take a bit of time to develop and a MSF class helps, but most riders don't leave there proficient in those skills.
Great insight for sure. And yes, never stop riding the bike. Try something.
 
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did anyone see the amount of damage on the trucks pipe bumper? Speed had to be a MAJOR factor in this ( I dont see anyway the rider was going the posted 60mph) Still not good.
 

Meriden

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Judging by the tag in the video it was a 1999 HD so someone can say if ABS was available then. Also it looks like the pot was laying in the road and not on the rider's head, so maybe he didn't have it strapped on. Normally EMS will not remove the helmet from a fallen rider.

Moreover there may be another factor in this case is the background lighting. There are a couple of scenes where the emergency workers are lost in the powerful lights of the rescue equipment. While common headlights may not quite that bright, looking into many of the new headlights blinds me. The driver of the truck could have lost the headlight of the bike in the background of oncoming traffic behind him.
 

Ocho

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Shouldn't it be safe to assume no ABS if there is a 100 foot skid mark?

Yes he was according to article, of course it could have been the top hat style??
It looks to be exactly that (from the video).
 
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JQ1.0

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I don't think assumptions can be made about braking distances and whether the front or back brake is used. Rolling traction vs sliding traction. A sliding tire always tends to lead. The skid marks appear to be in a straight line, and uniform width. Published stopping distances are performed on a given surface. As those surfaces change, so do stopping distances. The one thing that seems to be established is the pickup pulled out in front of the bike. Speed of the bike and read and react time very well could be factors.
 
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