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 (Minor) Accidents keep "good" drivers humble

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toolboxjesse
Touring Scooter Rider
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Number of posts : 330
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Location : Atlanta, GA
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PostSubject: (Minor) Accidents keep "good" drivers humble   Thu 26 Apr 2012, 09:21

So i consider myself a good driver, considering I have been driving since the age of 12 (more than 25 years now) and I have been driving for the past year almost 500 miles per week in Atlanta traffic, which can test any drivers mettle.

I had a flat rear tire caused by a nail 2 weeks ago. I had planned to replace that tire within the next 1000 miles anyway so I already had a spare in my garage. I mounted the new rear tire myself and afterwards wanted to take my 2003, "Big Red", out for a test ride just to make sure she would be safe for my 90 mile round-trip commute on Monday. For the past few months I was using a scooter dealer to mount my tires since I left my Harbor Freight tire changer in NY for the past year. Now that I had my tire changer back I was happy to use it again and save the $30 the scooter dealer charged me per tire for mounting. (I had forgotten what a PITA manual tire changing is though).

Lately I have been keeping my rear tire at 40-45 PSI and noticed improved tire life and handling at this higher pressure. I filled the new tire up to that pressure before heading out.

As I pulled out of my complex and took a sharp right turn into the street, the back wheel totally lost traction. The bike spun more than 180 degrees and I went down. I don't know if it was residual windex that I had used as a lubricant to mount the tire, or if the Michelin Pilot tire had some sort of compound on it for storage purposes. In either case it kind of ruined my day. Thankfully I escaped with just a scraped knee. The Silver Wing had a scrape on the right side lower panel and the muffler cover. She also wouldn't track straight afterwards. I took her back to my garage to inspect the damage, really hoping there was no frame damage. I loosened the pinch bolts connecting the steering stem to the handle bar clamp and noticed there was a few degrees of play. I realigned everything and tightened it back up and that seemed to fix the steering alignment. I took her on a 10 mile drive and she seems to be fine, although I didn't take her on the highway yet (and probably won't until next week due to my travel schedule) but I really hope she is structurally sound.

Jesse in Atlanta
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Darkeswinger
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PostSubject: Re: (Minor) Accidents keep "good" drivers humble   Thu 26 Apr 2012, 09:38

Thank God that no Atlanta drivers were waiting to pounce on you while you were down. Sorry for your trouble. Hope you heal soon!
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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: (Minor) Accidents keep "good" drivers humble   Thu 26 Apr 2012, 09:47

Yes, very fortunate - glad both you and the Silverwing are okay.

Indeed, tyres do have a coating and I was always advised to 'take it easy' for the first 60 miles or so to give the coating a chance to wear off.
I rode back from my dealer's this morning having had new belt, rollers and rear tyre.
Both boss and mechanic reminded me about the tyre.
It was raining and very windy so I was extra careful.

Question: Is it possible to ride round a mini-roundabout without leaning?
Answer: Yes! Razz
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buddy19520
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PostSubject: Re: (Minor) Accidents keep "good" drivers humble   Thu 26 Apr 2012, 19:57

Motorcycle tires have a compound on them to make them easy to release from the mold used to form them. Usually, you should take it easy for 100 miles or so to ensure the compound is worn away. I think it is very possible you also hit a spot of oil in the road too. I would also suggest lowering the air pressure in the tires to something a little closer to the factory recommendation. My Metzeler rear tire's load rating is 38 psi, and factory recommendation is 32/35 IIRC.

Hope your knee feels better soon. I'm glad it was no more than a scraped knee.
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Waspie
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PostSubject: Re: (Minor) Accidents keep "good" drivers humble   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 08:36

MikeO wrote:
Indeed, tyres do have a coating and I was always advised to 'take it easy' for the first 60 miles or so to give the coating a chance to wear off.

I have in the past rubbed down new tyres with a fine glass paper to roughen up/remove the coating from the tyre mould. Not every time, depends on mood!!!
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Beth_NP
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Location : AR
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PostSubject: Re: (Minor) Accidents keep "good" drivers humble   Fri 27 Apr 2012, 20:49

Boy, I didn't know about this "coating"...now I'm wondering if it contributed to my little fall. I'm such a newbie, it's hard to tell.
Good news is, I've been upright for weeks now and have a whopping 300 miles on it. Smile
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