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Always leave yourself an avenue out of trouble. Today I didn't do that and I almost paid dearly for it.

Today I was on traveling east on the Interstate going through a construction area coming into town. I was traveling in the left lane on my wing. There was a concrete barrier just at the edge of the left lane leaving no left escape and there are cars lined up in the right lane and very little room to split lanes. I and the cars in the left lane were doing about 55 (the speed limit). The cars in the right lane were doing about 40. I knew I was in a bad situation if anything happened. Suddenly, a tractor trailer swings very abruptly into the left lane maybe 40 feet in front of me. I hit the rear brake pedal hard and the front brake slightly. The rear on the wing locks up and begins to slide to the right. I slightly counter steered and released the brakes and the bike straightened out and then I hit the front and rear brakes again only this time harder on the front and less on the rear. I was back under control and about five feet from the trailer bumper going the same speed as the tractor trailer.

While all of this was happening I saw in my rear view mirror, the little red pick up that had been following me sliding sideways and his rear end moved left and struck the concrete barrier. I guess I instinctly looked in my rear view to see if I had trouble coming up behind me. Once I was back in control, I saw lots of cars spread to the right in my rear view mirrors.

My evasive maneuvers seemed all in slow motion. Once I was in control again the adrenaline rush hit me. I eventually moved to the right lane, hit an exit and went back to the scene. Miraculously only the little red pick up sustained any damage. The guy driving the pick up said, "When I saw your brake lights light up and the tire smoke and your motorcycle slide to the right, I figured you were going down and I didn't know if I could get the truck slowed enough to miss you. How did you save yourself?" I said, "dirt bike instinct I guess." It took a while for the adrenaline to subside.

Here's some info for you. Without ABS and with the linked brakes, the wing's rear will lock up first with heavy rear brake pressure. With proper emergency braking, the wing will brake very hard quickly and stay pretty level. I didn't notice very much front end dive even when I hit the fronts hard the second time. The bike will not "shimmy" or feel wobbly when the rear slides out. The Honda engineers built a strong, balanced, big bike with strong brakes, but I would recommend ABS if you are looking to buy a bike in the future. Your hands will shake considerably after you experience a close call.
 

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Glad you came through it all with just the shakes :!:
 

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Hardway,

That sounds like some might fine maneuvering. Good job keeping upright and out of deeper trouble. I'll second your comments about ABS. Since they're available, I wouldn't ride without them.
 

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A great testimony for ABS.

Mike
 

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A little over a year ago a similar thing happened only my '95SE was totalled when a truck and trailer pulled in front of me. It's the main reason my 1800 has ABS.
 

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Glad you made it! I have ABS, for that reason but hope i'll never need them!
 

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Had a deer pop out in front of me on hwy 8 in Wisconsin. You cheese heads out that way know there are no fences to keep Bambi at bay and off the highway. Anyway, I slammed on both brakes and never even felt the ABS kick in on my bike. Bike slowed down way fast and Bambi went on her way to get killed on a different day.

Question - like in a car/truck system, do you feel any pulsing in the brake or foot pedels or pulsing elsewere in the ABS system?
 

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Thanks for posting! That's a good reminder for all of us. I also commend you for not making excuses, and admitting that ABS can be a benefit, even though you don't have it.
 

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Ok, I don't know how this would change with ABS or a linked breaking system... but I thought (from MFS course) that if you lock the back wheel, your best chance to survive was to ride it to a stop... Releaseing the rear brake while skidding can lead to high-side (if the bike isn't almost perfectly straight!).

Do I remember this wrong?

I'm always harder on the front than the rear anyways, unless Im in a corner.
 

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Thanks for posting as it is a great reminder that things can happen any time.

I have joined the camp that my next bike will have ABS as well.
 

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Sounds to me that an excellent job of control was performed. However, had he read the post concering winter air in the tires, this may have been avoided en-tire-ly.
Glad you are OK!
 

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daver said:
Ok, I don't know how this would change with ABS or a linked breaking system... but I thought (from MFS course) that if you lock the back wheel, your best chance to survive was to ride it to a stop... Releaseing the rear brake while skidding can lead to high-side (if the bike isn't almost perfectly straight!).

Do I remember this wrong?

I'm always harder on the front than the rear anyways, unless Im in a corner.
Nope, you got it right :D
 

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joel3078 said:
Question - like in a car/truck system, do you feel any pulsing in the brake or foot pedels or pulsing elsewere in the ABS system?
Not sure if you get any riding in this time of year, but I would suggest at your first opportunity to take the wing down to a parking lot or other open, clear space and try it out. Start with some very hard braking from maybe 20 mph and then as you get the feel for it, try increasing 5mph at a time until you are comfortable doing it at 45 or so at least. You will feel the pulsing but it will stop you QUICK! You need to know what she'll do before finding yourself in that panic situation.
 

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daver said:
Ok, I don't know how this would change with ABS or a linked breaking system... but I thought (from MFS course) that if you lock the back wheel, your best chance to survive was to ride it to a stop... Releaseing the rear brake while skidding can lead to high-side (if the bike isn't almost perfectly straight!).

Do I remember this wrong?

I'm always harder on the front than the rear anyways, unless Im in a corner.
HARDWAY, thanks for sharing. I've only had my non-ABS Goldwing for 19 days now and haven't been riding for about 10 years. I am concerned about getting into a situation like yours. I wanted ABS above all else but couldn't afford to buy a new GL1800, let alone the GPS and a Comfort package options.

DAVER, it's clear that I need to take the MFS course because I have no clue what "high siding" means or why releasing the rear brake would cause any surprises. With that confession said, I've been riding motorcycles since 1957, never having any training. I thought that I understood all of the important concepts but realize now that I don't. Experience alone isn't enough.
 
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Hardway said:
I hit the rear brake pedal hard and the front brake slightly. The rear on the wing locks up and begins to slide to the right.
I applaude your ability to avoid disaster and am glad you lived to ride another day. However, from the MSF Training Course, hitting the rear brake hard and the front brake slightly is the exact opposite of how a panic brake (or any braking for that matter) should occur. As noted by a previous poster, its a damn good thing you didn't high-side with that rear brake locked up.

Assuming good road conditions...front brakes account for at least 70% of a motorcycle's stopping power. You may wish to rethink your braking technique before "next time" and attending an MSF Training Course would be a great idea. Never too old to learn and the classes are fun. I took the class after riding for about 20 years and learned some things I had never even thought of.

Glad you're ok. :)
 

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K8KQD - Hope this helps - Lifted it from another site.
"High-Side"
When a motorcycle rider gets thrown off his motorcycle by being ejected up into the air and over the bike instead of simply falling down along side a falling bike (see low-side). The motorcycle, like the rider, will almost always also be thrown into the air following that rider.

This usually happens as a result of losing traction on the rear tire then suddenly regaining it after the the rear of the motorcycle has slid sideways a meaningful distance.

If there is only a momentary loss of rear-wheel traction, or the rear-end of the bike has not slid meaningfully to the side before traction is regained, loss of control of the bike usually does not occur and the rider is NOT tossed off the bike.
 

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daver said:
Ok, I don't know how this would change with ABS or a linked breaking system...
The GL1800 has linked brakes.

You are right about the brakes. Unless you regain control very quickly you will highside when you release the brakes. He let go before the bike had slid too far out of whack.

Glad you survived.
 

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I'm glad you came out of it unscathed. :D Thanks you for sharing your mishap so honestly. It is a lesson and needed reminder for us all.

When I went Wing shopping, the only MUST HAVE in my mind was the ABS. I didn't really want all the stuff (some have called it "crap") that comes with it on the '06 and '07, so I looked for an older bike, and would recommend that tactic for others. Maybe Mother Honda will get the idea if they don't sell as many new, fully overloaded bikes as they've planned. Wishful thinking, I know!

I was insistent on the ABS in part, because I'm such a new rider, and I recognized that I could easily get in a jam before I had the experience to execute an emergency stop safely without it. I love this new (for me) sport, but I don't kid myself, it's dangerous. I do all I can to minimize the danger without destroying the fun. Someone above suggested practicing, and I do that when I can, and whole-heartedly join in the recommendation.
 

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Glad nobody was hurt. Hope you ordered a set of tires from Hal as you probably have a flat spot on the rear now. Had a similar experience a few years back, had to pull off the road until I quit shaking.
 
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