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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a little "incident" last week. I was on my way home over Highway 17 from my work in San Jose to my home in Aptos, CA. Traffic was thick and slow, as is usual for this 2-lane road over the Santa Cruz mountain pass. When the traffic bogs down to 10-15 mph, it is my usual practice to split lanes so I can get through the mess of congestion (NOTE: I never go more than 5-10 mph faster than the flow of traffic). On this occasion, a car about 25 feet ahead of me in the right lane decided he wanted to change into the left lane, and started to move over just as I approached him (. . . at least he put on his blinker!). I glance to my right and see that the car to my right has slowed to open up space so that I can move into the right lane. I don't know if this was intentional or not, but it allows me to change lanes to the right so the other driver can safely complete his lane change. As soon as I begin my turn into the right lane, the driver in front of me must have realized that he was about to cut off a motorcycle (I have modulating headlights), and decided to quickly move back into the right lane from where he started -- again right in front of my approaching motorcycle. This caused me to attempt a "panic stop", applying as much front and rear brakes as I could, as fast as I could. Although he was close, I was going slow enough and thought that there was enough space between us that with my ABS brakes, I would be able to stop in time to prevent a collision. To my surprise, the bike seemed to take much longer to stop that I anticipated, and I ended up colliding with the his left rear bumper at about 20 mph. At the time, I almost had the impression that the bike slid a ways before hitting the car, and was even thinking that my ABS had failed to engage.

Luckily, I was not hurt and there is only minor damage to my Wing and even less to the other car (this could have been a lot worse were I going much faster). However, the possibility that my ABS had failed concerned me greatly, and I spent some time the next day testing and re-testing my brakes to ensure myself that it was still functioning correctly. The finding that my brakes were working just fine further puzzled me until I remembered that I have a Throttle Rocker installed on my right hand grip. I recalled a few occasions in the past when I had to brake under near panic situations, and that grabbing the right front brake under such situations caused my right palm to depress the Throttle Rocker (in effect accelerating) at the same time I was trying to bring the bike to a stop (yes, it can be quite a rush!). However, on those previous occasions, there was plenty of time and distance to adjust so nothing bad happened. On this occasion, however, there was no room for error and now I believe that it was actually the Throttle Rocker that was the reason I could not avoid colliding with the car. I am taking a serious look at either getting rid of it, or training myself not to involve the rocker when having to brake under emergency situations.

I just thought those of you who may have Throttle Rockers installed might find this information at least interesting, if not useful.
 

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I have had the same situation happen to me with my rocker. The only difference that I can see between what happend with you and me is that I always pull in the clutch when I brake. So all that happenes is the rpms climb while I brake hard. I have had the bike accelerate with hard braking without a rocker also, so I just pull in the clutch.
 

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I try to get in the habit of pulling in the clutch during an emergency stop. I think they teach that in the MSF course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good suggestion, guys (about pulling in the clutch). My practice, especially when splitting lanes, has been to keep my thumb on the horn button -- making it difficult to pull the clutch lever. I may have to rethink that strategy - LOL!
 

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Glad you didn't get hurt.
I don't have a Throttle Rocker, but a great tip for thoses that do.
 

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Remember wrist position as well. Many people are use to riding with the wrist high on the throttle side and when they reach up for the front brake, automatically revs the engine.
 

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I try to get in the habit of pulling in the clutch during an emergency stop. I think they teach that in the MSF course.


It is such an ingrained habit, that I can't remember ever braking hard without pulling the clutch in. Same in the car...clutch pedal goes down with the brake...

Glad it ended up only being a minor hit..
 

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It is such an ingrained habit, that I can't remember ever braking hard without pulling the clutch in. Same in the car...clutch pedal goes down with the brake...

Glad it ended up only being a minor hit..
Same here, one thing I do when I find myself in situations that may require me to stop quickly like lane splitting or maneuvering through tight spaces is to hover my fingers over the clutch and two fingers over the brake lever.
 

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Glad you were not hurt.

So, why did you split lanes? Is that legal? Appropriate?
It is legal and in some places encouraged in California.
 

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...I recalled a few occasions in the past when I had to brake under near panic situations, and that grabbing the right front brake under such situations caused my right palm to depress the Throttle Rocker (in effect accelerating) at the same time I was trying to bring the bike to a stop (yes, it can be quite a rush!)...
I don't mean to be a smart mule over this Buzz but the first thought that comes to mind is... How far can I throw that Throttle Rocker?

By definition, "panic" is a sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety, often causing wildly unthinking behavior. That's not the time to try working around a known safety risk.

Glad to hear you came out alright and hopefully the repairs don't cost much more than the Throttle Rocker.
 

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I am not a fan of lane splitting and this is just one example of why. I think you should consider ceasing this practice. For me, I find it unnerving when someone shoots through, also I think it's rude. No offense intended to all the lane splitters out there.

Bryan
 

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Had same thing happen on my GS with throttle rocker..lucky I didn't hit anything. I put the rocker in the tank bag never to be seen again. Didn't use on the wing..it has cruise control. Glad your ok.
 

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I don't use the throttle rocker but I traded rides with a friend's Concours and he had one. I had several "incidents" with that thing during a one hour ride, fortunately no accidents but enough to make me never want one. I guess one can get used to it but its not for me.
 

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Throttle rocker

Had the same problem with my throttle rocker on my GL took it off,never had the problem on my St, must be the way your hands are on the grips?
I now just use the cruise control
 

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I took mine off almost a year and a half ago!
 
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