Ooops! Crashed the Gixxer today!

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by TonyBKK, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Good fun at the BRC today- a ton of bikes out on account of the holiday. Things were going great and I was getting comfortable and pushing the pace, then I crashed... :oops:
    Grabbed too much brake at the end of the straight and the front end went out from under me. I dunno... I brake way harder at the end of the straight at BIRA and have never managed to lock up the front wheel there- the surface at the BRC must be a bit slippery compared to BIRA...

    Track fairings are pretty knackered but hopefully they can be patched up.


    Snapped off my Pazzo brake lever, slider, swingarm spool, mangled the throttle grip, bent the right re****t and a nice dent in the tank, shouldn't be hard to fix.

    Thank goodness I was wearing full gear- I slid a good 30-40 meters down the pavement before ending up in the dirt. Bruised hip is my only complaint, but man did my suit and gloves and boots get rashed up. There were a lot of fellows out riding in jeans and sneakers- I hate to think what would happen if one of them goes down...

    Woohoo! Can't wait to hit it again!

    Ride On!

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  3. johngooding

    johngooding Ol'Timer

    Taken in the spirit of a true racer. Glad you are OK and that the gear took the damage. Good excuse to get some new stuff. Do you really mean "Can't wait to hit it again!".
    Take care. John
  4. Muzz

    Muzz Ol'Timer

    Nice one Tony. I still have 4 TZR 250's. My intention was to keep knee gragging till I was 50! Stillhave the bikes and still have the knee's. Got ridof my last GSXR1000 about two years ago, Ilove may Yamaha Nouvo though. Sign of the times an my age! TZ750's would rip my bleedin arm sockets out now. Good on ya son! Take care out there! Muzz
  5. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Sorry to hear of your crash Tony ! Luckily you are still in one piece and just a little bruised 5555, I think the bruises hurt more on the psyche than on the body......Well you don't have to wait, there's still the ER6N to "brake too hard" 5555. Mai pen rai, fairings & tank can be fixed but not any serious damage to your body which luckily didn't happen. Keep on racing 5555 !!! Cheers, Franz
  6. Changnoi1

    Changnoi1 Ol'Timer

    I reackon the Small Print was busy with other people that day!

    Some pic's of your suit, gloves and boots would be good to see .... as reminder to ALWAYS wear them.

    Take care ... or better take a soft massage I once had a big car-crash which my body started to realize about 12hours after the crash (while I was wondering why the bloody hell the doc did give me pain-killers),
    Chang Noi
  7. feejer

    feejer Ol'Timer

    Glad you are OK and didn't get tangled up or under it. I took a spill on the FZ1 last Sept after getting forced wide by some idiots in a jeep (didn't stop). Got on the fringe in some loose gravel and it slid and then hooked up again and slingshot me over the bars. Bike was just scratched, but I came down on my left shoulder pretty good and I thought for sure my collarbone was trashed.

    Was able to ride the 30 miles home hurting and had the wife take me to ER. Doc x-rayed and said no break, but the AC joint is sprained pretty good. Gave me a nice fat shot of Dilaudid and I was floating in the clouds for the rest of the day. But then it wears off..............not too fun for a month or so. All good now though. Good luck getting the bike sorted out.
  8. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Cheers Franz and everyone else for your kind comments- gotta love GT-Rider :thumbup:

    Embarrassing as hell as today was a national holiday and the BRC was packed - around 100 bikes I'd estimate along with a lot of folks just there to watch. :oops:

    Have to say I was impressed with how many people ran over in the mid day heat to help me out and check to see if I was ok. They walked my bike back to the paddock area and even brought me a cold drink. Nice guys all around.

    Tomorrow I start sourcing parts and find out if the fairings can be repaired. I was way overdue for a crash- glad it happened on the track.

    Ride On!

  9. FrankT

    FrankT Ol'Timer

    Hi Tony, good to hear you are ok, the rest can be repaired, and good to see you haven't lost your enthousiasm, cheers, Frank
  10. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    Good to hear that you could walk away from this prang.
    I'm sure the next iteration of your Gixxer will be better than before.
  11. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer


    Ordered new race re****ts from Moth Racing today but alas they won't be ready until after Songkran.

    Dun worry- I ordered mine in Black ;-)

    Perhaps that will give me enough time to get the tank and fairings repaired. Ordered two sets of new shorty levers, cuz it sucks when you snap one and don't have a spare handy.

    I managed to snap off the bracket that holds the RH Swingarm spool...
    Bit bummed about that- hopefully I can find a shop that can weld a new bracket on- doesn't have to be pretty, but has to be strong enough to support the weight of the bike.

    I was tempted to get some of these Gilles Tooling Chain Adjusters and stand hooks until I found out how much they cost- Yikes! :wtf:

    Ride On!

  12. johnnysneds

    johnnysneds Ol'Timer

    Good to hear your OK T and great you don't sound fazed by it...
    Did your suspension bottom out braking in a straight line? or leaned over, front wash out at end of straight etc. Always good to analyse what went wrong. Do you have a tywrap on one of your front forks? The more I got faster at Bira the further down the tywrap went and I was continually making adjustment to the forks to suite. Were talking a few mm before it bottoms out! when this happens you obviously have no suspension and there's only one thing left to happen when your hard on the brakes..

    The damage doesn't look too bad, im sure you'll have it back on track where it belongs in no time.
    I think the spool carrier will be ok after a weld. The top section which is still there will be taking all the load.
  13. brian66

    brian66 Ol'Timer

    It is very rare to lose the front end at the initial braking point. Even if your forks bottomed out the rear should lift before the front tyre loses grip.
    If you did drop it at the initial braking point, to me it indicates a set up problem with the bike and you may have reached the limit of that set up.

    To drop a bike under hard brakes and still vertical would indicate three things to me. Your front tyre grip is very poor or there was something slippery, like oil or coolant water on the track. Or your front suspension is too hard on the compression and the weight transfer is not fast enough.

    Too much brake, applied too quickly, especially with the top quality brakes on that bike can retard the front wheel quicker than the weight transfers to the tyre to get the front tyre planted into track and gripping.

    I have Ohlin’s forks which come with a stroke indicator ring on one leg. I consider myself as a very late braker and I regularly bottom out on my blade. (I know this as the indicator ring is at the end of the mechanical stroke length after a track session) and lift the back end but I have feel in the lever all the time.
    You may have simply applied too much brake pressure too quickly. Also, you may not be far enough forward with your body when braking. This is important to load the front tyre.

    If you were already into the corner and leaning over and still hard on the brakes I could understand the front tucking but even then the rear of the bike would be squirming around because it would have no weigh and therefore little grip and you would know you were on the limit.
    There is nothing wrong with falling off if you know why. If you don’t understand exactly what happened it become a confidence issue for the next time.
  14. johnnysneds

    johnnysneds Ol'Timer

    +1 for this comment Brian. The reason I asked what happened initially was because of this. Wouldn't like him to return to the track thinking his ability wasn't up to scratch when it could have been a bike set-up issue or something on the track. More info from Tony might help to understand what went wrong.
  15. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Good points Brian and Johnny,

    Definitely have to learn from our mistakes and I've been giving this one a lot of thought. I'm a track novice and consider this a valuable learning experience :)

    Everything I know about race suspension set-up is from what I've read, but I have very little real world experience setting up or diagnosing suspension. I think I have the preload set higher than it should be for my weight. I had the forks rebuilt when I replaced the steering head bearings and I set the compression damping to the factory settings and I set the preload a few turns stiffer than factory setting. I haven't touched the rear preload or damping since I got the bike and the previous owner was quite a bit heavier than me... Haven't measured the sag, but my seat of the pants measurement tells me that it should be lower. After speaking with suspension guru Garry Johnson at BIRA a couple of months ago I learned that it's better to be too soft than too hard and I had intended to soften the Gixxer a bit but never did get around to it.

    Another thing I should probably consider is that in track fairings the bike probably weighs about 20-30Kg less and I should soften the suspension accordingly.

    As Brian said, normally I can get the rear off the ground before I lose traction at the front, so I remain a bit puzzled about the cause of my spill. I try to be smooth with both throttle and brakes. One of the reasons I'm slow is because I'm usually on the brakes earlier than I need to be and on the gas later than I should be.

    Body position on the bike- I'm usually right in the center and don't move forward and back much. I scoot off the saddle and get my knee out before initiating the turn. Perhaps that's something I should work on- position myself more forward when braking hard to put more weight over the front.

    Another thing that I neglected to do was practice hard braking with the new pads to get a feel for the point where I can lock the brakes.

    Tire pressure may have been just a bit high- I inflated the Diablo Rosso to 30psi cold, front and back. Normally I run the front at 28, but on a slow little track like the BRC I really didn't think 2 psi would make a big difference. I'd already gone around the little track a couple laps and binned it on the 3rd lap so I don't think cold tires had anything to do with it.

    The new EBC HH pads have A LOT more bite than whatever pads were in there when I got the bike, so I don't know- perhaps I was just too hard on the brakes... I locked up the front while braking BEFORE the turn. I generally try to avoid braking in turns.

    Had an interesting conversation a while back with some Thai racers who say they like BIRA and Thailand Circuit because they get much better grip on those tracks compared to tracks such as Kaeng Krachan and Bonanaza Circuit where they say the pavement used is more slippery. No idea what kind of surface they've got at the BRC, but it's the kind of facility where they invest the absolute bare minimum to keep running. They had to repave the track after it was flooded last rainy season but already the new pavement is breaking up.

    It's a fun little track- you can't expect much for 300 Baht ;-) I'm pretty comfortable sliding through the corners on my ER6n, but I get a bit freaked out whenever the Gixxer starts to slide. But again, there was no slide the day I crashed. One second I was up and starting to brake, next thing I was down sliding along wondering what the hell happened...

    Bit of a mystery to me really, but I'm itching to go back there and focus on that spot to try and figure out what I did wrong.

    Ride On!

  16. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Whoa! Good to hear you're ok Tony.
    Thanks Brian for the input & analysis on what may have breen the cause of Tony's spill.
    I hope you can work out what went wrong Tony & that you get back out on the track again asap.
    Good luck, have fun & take care.
  17. JohhnyE

    JohhnyE Ol'Timer

    Tony this is exactly what happened to me at Bira a couple of years ago. While I'm sure my bike could have been set up better suspension wise (it is pretty good) my analysis following a lot of deliberation was exactly what Brian has said - a big handful of front brakes too hard and too quick. One minute upright, braking before the corner and before you know it your'e on your head before I even turned the bike.
    I must say as an old bloke the biggest problem for me has been getting used to radial master cylinders and calipers. Unless I change my bad braking habits developed over years of using old style brakes I'm afraid it's going to happen again.
    I can always go back to my old slow Honda on which I've never had a problem.
    Anyway at least your bodily ok unlike me.

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