Low speed impact - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Low speed impact

So, I was riding to see a friend, and there was construction works on the road. The ****ers left quite a big hump of dirt diagonally across the road, and when I tried to mount it, the bike slipped and down I go.

It wouldn't be much of a problem (crash bars did their job - even the blinker stayed intact), if there wasn't for a wall on the side of the road, which I hit head on as I tried to get the bike under control. Straight on with front wheel.
It couldn't have been more than 30kmph (18mph), quite probably even less.

I am getting the bike to the shop on Friday, but of course, my mind is wondering if there could have been any serious damage to the front fork from this??

One thing I did notice afterwards that if I take the hands off, it starts to wobble slightly at 60kmph (37mph?). The thing is, I have no idea if it did before as I do not tend to drive without my hands the wobbling is very slight, and it calms down as soon as the speed gets below 60kmph. It also might pull the right a bit, but that could also be due to the fact I have problems with balance (****ed up inner ear).

As I drove ~200km back home through the twisties, it seemed to handle just as before, didn't notice any issues leaning into the curves. Naturally, I didn't really push her before I get her inspected.

So, any experience what I might expect from all this?

To the east to the east / The road beneath my feet / To the west to the west / I haven't got there yet
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 08:32 AM
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The shop should be able to tell you, but I'd think that 18 MPH into a fixed object is enough to bend fork tubes, steering stems, or frames. Depending on the angle of impact, the shocks may have absorbed most of the hit, so hopefully you're OK. The fact that it seems to handle OK to you is a good fact. And the fact that your tire didn't blow and that your wheel was apparently not bent. Perhaps the lower fork legs got a bit twisted in relation to the upper legs, which could explain minor handling issues, and which is a simple and maybe even free fix. Keep us posted.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iherak View Post

One thing I did notice afterwards that if I take the hands off, it starts to wobble slightly at 60kmph (37mph?). The thing is, I have no idea if it did before as I do not tend to drive without my hands the wobbling is very slight, and it calms down as soon as the speed gets below 60kmph. It also might pull the right a bit, but that could also be due to the fact I have problems with balance (****ed up inner ear).

So, any experience what I might expect from all this?
I let go of the bars often when I ride. Never have had an issue with any sort of wobble.

Regarding pulling to the right, this can result from a couple of things. A cross wind can push the bike to one side.

Most roads are built with a crown that is high in the center and tapers to each side for water drainage. Your bike will tend to follow the direction of the crown when you take your hands off the bars.

Also if your rear wheel is not aligned with the front, this can cause the bike to track crooked and turn to one side or the other depending on which way the rear wheel is pointing.

Glad your were not injured. Good luck with your repairs.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 07:57 PM
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Glad you are all well and good. Get the bike checked out and check the front alignment which should give you some info on the damage.

As said, it depend on the angle of impact and speed.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 08:23 PM
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Glad you’re ok.

Nothing extra to add other than what everyone else has said.

Hope the bike is damage feee.

Dave
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 09:22 PM
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Start by inspecting front wheel and tire. See if they both turn true, etc... Wobble is likely caused by dodgy tires.

Pull to one side is usually from misaligned rear wheel because our chain adjustment reference marks can be considerably off alignment. Mine has to be half the distance between two lines of difference between both sides. You can check this with a long straight edge sitting on rear sprocket toward front sprocket.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 06:31 AM
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I would attribute the wobbling to tire balance (which changes with wear by the way); the rim and wheel body is not bent, so the tire is the only thing that rotates and would behave at some speed.

I would expect the forks to be twisted wrt/handlebar as in most crash; minor fix.

The shop will look at it, (how could they tell without dissassembling it? I dont' know for sure but it might be limited to lifting bike from the center (no weight on fork), removing the axle, freeing the fork spring from the top and inserting and rotating both inner tubes to see if they resist or catch due to a bend; basically checking freedom of movement).

I would expect most shop to push for a seals+bushings and fork oil change (fair if over 50000km since last change) which gives an opportunity to check properly for bent tubes.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Slight update: my right handlebar end was filled with dirt and rocks from the hit. After I cleaned it, I took her for a quick ride, seemed to me that the wobble is gone.

Still looking anxiously for the inspection on Friday though, to make sure there is no hidden damage I do not notice...

Thank you all for the reply! I will keep you posted after I get her back from the shop!

To the east to the east / The road beneath my feet / To the west to the west / I haven't got there yet
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iherak View Post
So, I was riding to see a friend, and there was construction works on the road. The ****ers left quite a big hump of dirt diagonally across the road, and when I tried to mount it, the bike slipped and down I go.

It wouldn't be much of a problem (crash bars did their job - even the blinker stayed intact), if there wasn't for a wall on the side of the road, which I hit head on as I tried to get the bike under control. Straight on with front wheel.
It couldn't have been more than 30kmph (18mph), quite probably even less.

I am getting the bike to the shop on Friday, but of course, my mind is wondering if there could have been any serious damage to the front fork from this??

One thing I did notice afterwards that if I take the hands off, it starts to wobble slightly at 60kmph (37mph?). The thing is, I have no idea if it did before as I do not tend to drive without my hands the wobbling is very slight, and it calms down as soon as the speed gets below 60kmph. It also might pull the right a bit, but that could also be due to the fact I have problems with balance (****ed up inner ear).

As I drove ~200km back home through the twisties, it seemed to handle just as before, didn't notice any issues leaning into the curves. Naturally, I didn't really push her before I get her inspected.

So, any experience what I might expect from all this?
Sorry this happened to you. There will always be obstacles we have to deal with. Learning how to deal with each obstacle from instruction instead of trial and error goes a long way in keeping the bike upright.

I recommend reading "Proficient Motorcycling" by David Hough and his "Street Strategies" which is a collection of short safety articles he wrote. Had you already studied these books you would have known to mount that obstacle perpendicular instead of at an angle. Same goes for railroad tracks and painted surfaces, etc. I hope you find these books useful and improve you prepardness for the unexpected.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry this happened to you. There will always be obstacles we have to deal with. Learning how to deal with each obstacle from instruction instead of trial and error goes a long way in keeping the bike upright.

I recommend reading "Proficient Motorcycling" by David Hough and his "Street Strategies" which is a collection of short safety articles he wrote. Had you already studied these books you would have known to mount that obstacle perpendicular instead of at an angle. Same goes for railroad tracks and painted surfaces, etc. I hope you find these books useful and improve you prepardness for the unexpected.
Thanks for the reply, I'll take a look at those books!

However, I'll just say that I did try to mount it straight on, but there was little maneuvering space, so I couldn't get it completely perpendicular. I probably wouldn't hit the wall if I wasn't trying to do that, as the bike was already pointed at the road shoulder when it slipped
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 11:47 AM
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...Had you already studied these books you would have known to mount that obstacle perpendicular instead of at an angle....
I shattered my right ankle and fibula in my FIRST enduro back in '75 when I tried to cross a fallen tree at about a 45 degree angle.

Spent three hours on the 'table' while an orthopedic surgeon put it all "back together", and I still have a "pin" in that ankle. Figure that I owe him BIG TIME for the fact that I'm NOT crippled.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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So, I got her back from the shop - she's damage free! Well, almost - the plate on which the footpeg holds on to is broken, already ordered new one; and the brake lever is a bit bent, but I'm just gonna keep it like that and call it character

The important thing is that the forks, frame etc are all ok! So the most damage is to my ego

Thanks to all for you replies!

To the east to the east / The road beneath my feet / To the west to the west / I haven't got there yet
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 11:55 AM
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Good news!!

Break levers BTW are easy to bend back. But be careful and don't do as I did, warm up the aluminum first. The cold piece still bends surprisingly well... until the point where it snaps and you have to buy a replacement... HAHAHA. Now I have some cheap levers that have a fold in mechanism with a spring included, so they just get out of the way when falling.

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