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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, the very first time I rode my bike on the road, I put it down.

I had been practicing for a couple days in the parking lot at Plaza of Nations, doing U-Turns and slalom, when my friend who was teaching me said I should be ready do drive the bike myself over there for practice, as he had just insured his bike, too.

Only 20 seconds into the ride, a guy to my left cut straight over in front of me in his Acura, without looking, as his friends had just yelled "dude, over here!" from the sidewalk. I had to lock both brakes to avoid hitting him but skidded out in the process.

I had my friend as a witness, and he said I did nothing wrong, other than being in the guy's blind spot at the time, and that locking the brakes was pretty much all I could have done. It was either go down or go over the car. A cab driver also came over and gave me his card. He said the guy didn't even look, and he just cut over. This wasn't a lane change, it was pretty much a swerve.

I got just a minor scratch on my hip, thanks to my brand new Shift jacket (bought that day!!!), and some loonie sized bits of road rash on my right thigh and knee, thanks to the fact that I was only wearing jeans. The bike had the thin little engine cover ripped off (it just goes on with adhesive), slight damage to the bar end, and the front wheel is now slightly bent, as in the wheel itself is fine but the alignment is off.

I made a claim with ICBC and I'm pretty sure they'll find him at fault. I mean, I'll be pretty shocked if they don't. Looking at his car, he definitely had other accidents, as well. I'm going to take my bike into the ICBC garage on 5th and Cambie, but the thing that worries me is that they'll probably exaggerate the cost of repairs, and I'm found liable in any way, I'm worried about paying an arm and a leg. I'm wondering if anyone can comment or has similar experience. Also, there's scuffing and an inch long tear in my new jacket. Should I have then replace that as well?

Thanks
 

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Fastronaut
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Your first mistake was being taught by a friend.

Give up on your friend and plan to attend a proper training school.
 

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oh no, i've been spotted!
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If he's found 100% at fault, you can go after him for all your damaged gear. Just demand a brand new replacement for your jacket.
 

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BannedSpammer
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Sounds very similar to the accident i had a couple weeks ago. If there are witnesses, you are highly unlikely to be found at fault, from the sounds of it. And in that case, all expenses will be paid by the other party's insurance. You should get your bike repaired, a new helmet and new or repaired jacket out of the deal, and go to your doctor to document your injuries.
 

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Ridin Dirty
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I had my friend as a witness, and he said I did nothing wrong, other than being in the guy's blind spot at the time
ah...that is something wrong...... BIG WRONG.... glad you are OK.

something you will learn is to see these things as possible, seconds before they actually occur....
 

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BCSB Public Relations
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You're lucky you have witnesses, as without them you'd be completely out of luck. As it is, I'd say you're about 50/50 in terms of being found liable for anything. Sounds like there was no contact made with his car, which is always an issue in cases like this, but your witnesses may be able to "balance" things out.

From the sounds of it you need to take a proper riding course and learn how to survive on the road. Had you done one, you would have been taught to not stay in blind spots, keep a dominant lane position, to be always scanning for hazards (like the douche that cut you off) and how to do some more-or-less "emergency" braking.

What bike do you ride? I'm surprised to hear that an engine cover is held on with adhesive - that doesn't sound right at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I ride a GS500. It's just a little plate that's held on with white paste. It's not quite the engine cover, it's just to access a bolt to turn it manually if you're servicing it.

I couldn't really avoid being in somebody's blind spot for some part of the ride. I wasn't just hanging out there, I think he had just passed me. I honestly don't see how I could be found at fault at all. I think the problem was that I allowed myself to get distracted for a a split second by the guys yelling to him and we passed them. They were only a couple meters away from me and they frantically yelled to get his attention. If I had been looking at him the whole time I MAY have been able to brake in time.

I'm going to take a training course, but I was just practicing in the mean time in parking lots until I could afford it. I wanted to pass the skills test and then just take a safe riding course. The ride from my place to the lot was less than a minute.
Nothing like this ever happens to me in my jeep, but then again, my jeep's a lot easier to spot than my bike...
 

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backslider
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Wrong wrong wrong ...

you should NEVER lock, or have to lock, your brakes up in an emerg situation. Your stopping efficiency is at a max when you are braking close to, but not past, locking your tires up.

TAKE A COURSE!!
 

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^What K-rod said. U-turns and slaloms... ok sure. But you should also be practicing threshold braking. Locking up is just a sign that you're still not 100% familiar with your bike. I'll usually mistakenly lock up the rear a few times in the early season but you can bank on going down if you lock up the front. Blindspots are a huge no no as well. Ride like everyone out there is trying to kill you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
you should NEVER lock, or have to lock, your brakes up in an emerg situation. Your stopping efficiency is at a max when you are braking close to, but not past, locking your tires up.

TAKE A COURSE!!
Right, like I said, I'll be taking a course.


And yep, got a plate for the Acura. The guy stopped and everything, so that part's sorted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Also, I heard Pacific and ProRide are good schools in the Lower Mainland. Any others, at all? I guess there are none actually in Vancouver.
 

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Lesson learned the hard way; don't ride in blind spots, don't stay in the same position for any length of time (move through traffic), and manage your bubble of safety.
 

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I like traffic cones :S
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keep a dominant lane position
and please tell me how you plan on dominating the lane when an SUV or a dump truck decides to take your spot?

Should be "always keep a way out and be aware of your surroundings if you have to stop (and not get rear ended) or swerve (and not side swipe someone else". If someone wants my lane, i'll be happy to give it to them as long as i get a chance to do so.
 

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I made a claim with ICBC and I'm pretty sure they'll find him at fault.
With witnesses, you'll be fine, and you ought to get 100% of all damage (including to your gear) paid. I had a similar incident 4 years ago when a slower-moving vehicle in the right lane darted into my left lane just as I was passing it. Old bike, cold tires, cold morning pavement... I grabbed brakes and down I went, instantly. There was no contact with the car. The woman didn't even stop, but I had witnesses, and I eventually got her plate. She was fully liable and all my expenses were covered: boots, jacket, pants, bike, etc.

Btw, training is good, but ABS is better... or at least, more fool-proof... That said, you ride what you ride, and there are plenty of empty lots around to practise threshold braking on.
 

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Might have been a better idea to have used your money to take a rider training course, as opposed to buying a bike and not taking a course because you couldn't afford it.

If anyone I know came to me and said "I'd like to get a motorcycle license and my own bike.."

After ensuring they are serious about it, and not just pipe dreaming.. my instructions would be as follows;

(a) sign up for a rider training school
(b) purchase a full set of modest but quality riding gear

Once completed the course, call me and I will help you find a nice motorcycle at a fair price.

Anyone saying to me...

"Yeah, well... I think I'm going to buy the bike and get the license, and then when I get some money together I will take a course..."

I would tell them that in my opinion, they have the cart before the horse and are doing it all wrong. There is no rush to buy a bike.

If you are a good student, you should be able to go through the school... sign up for a road test... and get your full bike endorsement using the schools machine.

Just my .5 cents.
 

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and please tell me how you plan on dominating the lane when an SUV or a dump truck decides to take your spot?

Should be "always keep a way out and be aware of your surroundings if you have to stop (and not get rear ended) or swerve (and not side swipe someone else". If someone wants my lane, i'll be happy to give it to them as long as i get a chance to do so.
What I believe he means is riding in the correct lane position so that you will be the most visible. Where you ride in your lane has a huge impact on how visible you are, and also how much room you have to manoeuvre if you should have to. He will learn this in the course that he plans on taking.

To the OP, seems like you're taking it well and learning from it, which is all you can do. Everyone will bag on this and that but the fact is, you're new. We were all at that point somewhere along the line. Do the things you said you'll do (course, lessons) and you'll be fine.

Totally agree with Bandito. That's exactly what I did, went and did the course, took the tests on the schools bike, passed and then started looking.
 

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countdown to next crash..
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Do you have your license or your permit? As long as you're covered legally it sounds like it should work out okay. One of the guys I work with used to insure and ride his bike without a class 6 or a permit and I've Been hounding him to go get his learners permit at least and I'd go ride with him at that point. Just came to mind and thought I'd ask.
 

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Might have been a better idea to have used your money to take a rider training course, as opposed to buying a bike and not taking a course because you couldn't afford it.

If anyone I know came to me and said "I'd like to get a motorcycle license and my own bike.."

After ensuring they are serious about it, and not just pipe dreaming.. my instructions would be as follows;

(a) sign up for a rider training school
(b) purchase a full set of modest but quality riding gear

Once completed the course, call me and I will help you find a nice motorcycle at a fair price.

Anyone saying to me...

"Yeah, well... I think I'm going to buy the bike and get the license, and then when I get some money together I will take a course..."

I would tell them that in my opinion, they have the cart before the horse and are doing it all wrong. There is no rush to buy a bike.

If you are a good student, you should be able to go through the school... sign up for a road test... and get your full bike endorsement using the schools machine.

Just my .5 cents.
That's exactly why I dont have a bike yet. Bought gear, took a course (Action) and then lined up a deal to buy a bike, only to have the car break down so the money went there.. :(
So ya, fix your bike through ICBC, then park it until a course has been completed.
 

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you should NEVER lock, or have to lock, your brakes up in an emerg situation. Your stopping efficiency is at a max when you are braking close to, but not past, locking your tires up.

TAKE A COURSE!!
It may be wrong, but in an emergency situation, modulating braking to prevent lockup when there's a side of a car heading your way within 1/2 a second, please tell me you are either super-human, or Ben Spies long lost twin. ABS is a no brainer in today's urban traffic.

Steve
 
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