How to Get Yourself Killed Speeding on A Motorcycle in a Curve.

I am posting the below video courtesy of youtube.com. This video clearly shows how quickly doing something stupid like speeding at speeds of 100 plus on a motorcycle, on Canyon Roads, can get you killed. The video clearly shows what a motorcyclist usually sees right before they are about to die. He got lucky.

This video personally really pisses me off because I ride the Angeles Crest Highway all of the time, and I observe sport motorcycle riders racing there each and every time I ride the Angeles Crest Highway. I have nothing against sport motorcycle riders. I have many sport motorcycle clients. I do have a bone to pick with riders of any type of motorcycle that are doing everything they can to give us bikers a bad name. Antics like this give fodder to the general public and the government to regulate motorcycles, and motorcycle riders. As usual, it is always the guys and gals that follow the law that get screwed.

If you want to race your motorcycle, join the AMA and do it legally. Take if off of the public roads!

The guy in the video is damm lucky to be alive. This video is a prime example of how not to ride a motorcycle, and how to get yourself killed on a motorcycle. The motorcycle rider in the video is clearly violating the law and risking the lives of others for a quick thrill.

I say it is time for all bikers whether they are cruiser motorcycle riders, sport motorcycle riders, touring motorcycle riders, etc., to band together to put these idiots who want to race on public roads out of business, before they put us out of business. There is nothing better than a little peer pressure to let these guys know that they are assholes and ruining it for the rest of us. We will all suffer due to the antics of a few bad bikers.

Look at the video and tell me what you think!

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By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2007

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27 Responses to How to Get Yourself Killed Speeding on A Motorcycle in a Curve.
  1. Susan Cartier Liebel
    May 24, 2007 | 9:17 am

    Wow! That’s pretty nasty. What about those other drivers? What must they have been thinking? I have many friends that ride, many friends that have been critically hurt. And I’ve been on highways where irresponsible bikers pass me on the left hand shoulder or speed on the yellow line between traffic lanes. My brother and his friends are extremely responsible as are the majority but it’s still extraordinary frightening. You’re right. This guy/gal was lucky!!

  2. Cindy Mansu
    May 24, 2007 | 10:46 am

    What in the hell is wrong with people, safety and common sense is an issue any time
    your on the road but it should be greatly heightened when riding a motorcycle.
    There is no room for stupidity on a motorcycle. In calfornia where motorcycles
    can ride between two cars, that scares me to death, We see it all the time and
    know that it will turnly deadly one day. There is no place that i need to get to
    so badly that i would put my life on the line. Cruise and enjoy it, isnt that
    what its all about

  3. Gary
    May 24, 2007 | 11:45 am

    Wow, that guy almost hit the first car and then narrowly missed a head-on and could have hit the guard rail. He was lucky the on coming drivers probably saw him and slowed down.

    Many years ago, there used to be something called the “breakfast run” that went from the Mill Valley heliport near SF, Ca. to Point Reyes Station along HWY 1 on the coast. Every Sunday morning, this group of about 20-30 racers would make the run, hitting speeds of 120 mph on straight stretches of road.

    On one unfortunate ride, the leader, I think his name was Bill Boyd a professional racer, side swiped a car, went flying and cut off his leg at the knee on a road sign. After he healed, you guessed it, he made a special shift lever where could bump it with his stump leg and was back hitting 120 mph. I don’t know what ever happened to that group but it was common to see near side swipes with cars going into curves too fast and many ended up in the hay fields or creeks.

    The Highway Patrol tried everything including road blocks to try and catch them but they weren’t too successful.

  4. sandie [ Member]
    May 24, 2007 | 12:26 pm

    “YIKES”!!!!

  5. Cindy Mansu
    May 24, 2007 | 1:20 pm

    I did read your article about lane splitting and I do agree if done safely and wisely
    its cool. But the ones i have seen first hand dont do it for the reasons you mentioned
    they are in such a hurry to get where they are going its puts everyone at risk. And
    again i agree with you, it only takes a few speed racers to ruin for the rest.

    I cant say it enough, CRUISE AND ENJOY AND DONT BE IN A HURRY

  6. Biker Betty
    May 24, 2007 | 6:54 pm

    Hopefully that motorcyclist learned their lesson, some do. That was scary to watch.

  7. Brett Trout
    May 26, 2007 | 3:32 pm

    That is bad, no doubt. Hopefully Darwin will weed this guy out without anyone else being involved. I just wanted to comment that you see a lot more sprint bikes doing stupid things on YouTube, but how many guys riding cruisers attach cameras to their bikes? I do not want people to think all sprint bikers are crazy. When you look at the actual stats, 60% of motorcycle deaths involve riders over 40.

    I am also a lawyer, over 40 and I race sprint bikes. I have never had so much as a bruise, despite multiple horrific crashes. I would really hate to see any limitation on horsepower or speed. I realize this would not affect most cruisers, but we are all in this together.

  8. Nancy Germond
    May 28, 2007 | 11:39 am

    Yikes! This cat needs a risk manager.

  9. DealsGapDragon.com
    June 3, 2007 | 5:25 am

    FAILURE TO COUNTERSTEER is a common mistake. Hitting the brakes makes a bike stand up instead of lean, due to centrepetal force acting on the center of gravity, according to Keith Code at California Superbike School.
    http://www.superbikeschool.com
    http://forums.superbikeschool.com/index.php?s=8d2a4d6c8c3cf5f6814d28627fa1fc95&showforum=2

    Cruisers make this same deadly mistake every day, but at a lower speed, and end up just as dead. The average speed of fatal motorcycle crashes is 21 mph, according to Dr Harry Hurt PhD. Speed doesn’t kill – it’s to sudden stop that gets you. Even the US Govt’s official scientific research proves that speeding on rural highways is SIX TIMES SAFER than driving a posted speed limit. The German Autobahn has safer roads than USA with no speed limits, where anyone can legally drive 212mph, as proven on History Channel TV’s Modern Marvels THE AUTOBAHN.
    http://americanautobahn.com

  10. Ref
    July 1, 2007 | 8:26 pm

    That guy is a lucky mother @#*%&!

  11. rob
    July 12, 2007 | 2:10 pm

    The problem in that video is *NOT* speed.

    The problem in that video is a lack of rider training and poor execution.

    Make no mistake that this applies to *ALL* types of motorcycles (not just the ones depicted in that video).

  12. 81WideGlide
    August 6, 2007 | 8:41 am

    I guess it’s better late than never, however, after having watched the video, I’m not only shocked, but appalled.

    Here in Tennessee/North Carolina we have a similar situation. It’s called Deals Gap. 11 miles of nothing but curves. If one were to have the chance to SLOWLY drive through that area, you cannot count on both hands and feet the number of accidents and deaths that have happened on that route.

    I live near this area. And have, on occasion, sat at the BOTTOM of this little goodie only to watch state troopers, ambulances, etc. all heading up the road to pick yet another individual up because they want to “do the dragon”.

    Supposedly, this year, 2007, they were to have a task force set up to slow the people down. Sad thing is, it’s not worked. And it’s not just the bikes (mostly sport bikes, or crotch rockets as some refer to them as), but it’s the little Gran Turismo type cars that are up there doing the same thing!

    The road is narrow, there are no guard rails in places that need to have them, and even DRIVING a CAR slowly through this area is an experience that will have you holding your breath. I’ve lived in this area now for 10 years, have been to the dragon ONCE, in a car, and I have no inclination to do it on my Harley.

  13. Jonathan
    November 13, 2007 | 6:11 pm

    That squid can’t ride. He/she definitely needs to spend some
    quality time at a track with a good instructor. It is
    possible to ride quickly without attracting a great deal of
    attention. That is key.

    I noticed Gary mentioned about the “breakfast ride”. He is
    referring to the Sunday Morning Ride. To my knowledge it
    goes on today. It starts at Tam Junction in Mill Valley and
    runs up the coastal highway. I rode from early 1986 through
    June of 1989 until the Army transferred me out of the area.
    Bill Boyd was both fast and smooth. Gary’s assertion of many
    crashes just wasn’t true during my years. I rode year-round
    in all weather and to my recollection, there were only a
    handful of crashes during my tenure on the SMR. Usually the
    crashes involved a new hotshot. The ‘old-timers’ would
    usually counsel the dangerous ones to change their ways or
    take their madness elsewhere. The SMR even had a liaison with
    the CHP to address concerns. That was the late Kirk Johnston
    who was tragically killed on the Oakland freeway during the
    ’89 quake.

    Only a handful of the riders were actually racers. Many were
    professionals including doctors and lawyers. On a cold rainy
    day, there might only be 20 or less riders, but on better days
    it wasn’t unusual to have 60 or more riders. There was a
    great deal of comraderie and the social aspect of the ride was
    more important than the speed. We were not outlaw riff-raff.

  14. Alan Tipert
    December 20, 2007 | 9:24 pm

    He wasn’t racing, he was riding. They were on a group ride together, obviously, which is what keeps motorcycling as a hobby alive. He bought a performance bike; you can’t blame him for trying to make it perform. What you can blame him for is not holding up his end of the bargain. His bike did fine, but if his pansy ass (which wasn’t afraid to break into triple digit speeds) wasn’t afraid to actually lean the bike into that turn and maintain his own lane, we wouldn’t be having this discussion right now. This isn’t a question of racing or bad sportbikers or anything, just of inexperience and poor training/practice. A good rider could have handled that bike at that speed in that situation. However, hooray for him for handling the situation as well as he could. You’re an idiot for thinking they were actually racing. Racing AROUND, yes, but that’s the fun of it.

  15. Tony
    June 11, 2008 | 4:15 pm

    I’m very late to this party, but I found this link on Google. I too am a lawyer and a sport bike rider. One important thing everyone is overlooking about this video is, when he crossed the centerline, his speedo showed 62! I defy anyone to tell me they wouldn’t drive at 62 on that road! By the time he grazed the car, he had only shed 4 mph from his speed, and instead of getting back in his lane, he headed for the guard rail at about 30 mph. CLEARLY this vid is not about “racing” but rather RIDING when you lack the proper training and skills.

    I have taken many track schools and done many track days. When I ride on the road, I like to go fast. But, my bike is built to more than handle it, and SO AM I. I don’t ride in excess of what I can handle and I allow a cushion to slow to a stop or change myline in a turn if something unexpected pops up around the next bend.

    What killed a lot of the flap about legislating sport bikes is that the Hurt report found that most motorcycle fatalities were attributable to re-entry riders on cruisers, not racer wannabes.

    It is the over 40 year old (of which I’m one) who thought Marlon Brando was cool but couldn’t afford a bike until late in life. He then buys a big Harley and some leathers and a tiny beanie helmet and sets out in traffic to look cool. What normally kills him is turning left in front of an oncomming car, or getting rear ended in traffic.

    The rider in the vid demonstrated what happens when an untrained rider tries to navigate a sharp turn at a reasonable speed without understaning “counter-steering.” He barely even leaned the bike over. If he had any skills, he could easily have made that turn. In my 35 years of riding experience, I have only met a hand full of sport riders who DID NOT understand countersteering and balancing throttle in a sharp turn.I n that same time, I have only met a hand full of cruiser riders who DID understand counter steering and balancing throttle.

    Cruisers are inherantly difficult to maneuver with a long rake and a lot of trail in the front end. They don’t change direction well. Yet, they are the common choice for “re-entry riders.”

    Here in San Francisco, not a morning goes by that there isn’t a downed MC in traffic. Usually, its a reentry rider on a cruiser who wasn’t speeding, but was riding in someone’s blind spot and got side swiped or just wasn’t able to safely handle the bike.

    The DOT helmet standards require helmets to protect you in a crash at speeds under 40mph, because that is the speed at which most crashes happen.

    I’m not naive. There are a lot of squids on sport bikes asking to die. But, I know enough people who are skillful riders who like to “race around” but who I would feel safer riding on back with than a cruiser rider traveling at the speed limit.

    Be careful about affixing blame without information.

    If more of the folks bashing the sport bike riders would take a track school or two, fewer of them/us would die.

    In fact, other than the periodic sweeps by the higher ups in the CHP, most of the cops on PCH would talk to us before the SMR and were usually pretty cool. Most understood that other than the untrained and squids, we were capable of safely exceeding the posted limits by 10 to 15 mph or so, and would admonish us to keep
    within that range.

    Its more important to learn to ride, then to learn to criticize.

    Now go out there and learn!

  16. Marcus Pun
    April 3, 2010 | 8:10 am

    squid.

  17. Anonymous
    April 5, 2010 | 4:00 am

    Wow this was revived….I’m sure there will be many more comments now. I’m shocked. I bet he scared at least 4 people that day. I’m guessing he veered left because of the fellow riders behind him or beside him and he didn’t want to take them out. France has already limited hp. Recently a Californis video was released of a sportbike going around a twisty..a cop sitting there scared him and it looked like he hit the brake going through the turn and crashed. This has been going around lately.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBTGgT_V5F8

  18. Anonymous
    April 5, 2010 | 8:21 am

    no problem. Figured u may have seen it.I’ve seen it frequently recently.

  19. Norman Gregory Fernandez
    May 24, 2007 | 10:05 am

    Yup I know it is crazy. I see it all of the time. The guys that do this stuff are making it bad for all bikers. The guy in the video is lucky to be alive!

    Norm

  20. Norman Gregory Fernandez
    May 24, 2007 | 12:42 pm

    Gary I see it all of the time too. Unfortunately there is legislation that has been proposed to put speed limiters on motorcycles, or to regulate the maximum horsepower on motorcycles. I wrote an article about it. There are times when you do need to have the power and speed to get away from tailgators or other dangerous conditions.

    These speed racers will end up screwing it up for all bikers. They are already vastly increasing our insurance rates by their antics. We as bikers must put pressure on these guys to stop.

    Norm

  21. Norman Gregory Fernandez
    May 24, 2007 | 12:45 pm

    Cindy I wrote an article about Lane Splitting. It is legal for motorcycles in California to lane split because bikers are more at risk from injured in bumper to bumper traffic, because their air cooled motorcycles can overheat in bumper to bumper traffic, and to decrease traffic overall.

    Bikers that lane split must do so in a safe manner. It takes lots of concentration. However and again, it is legal!

    Norm

  22. Norman Gregory Fernandez
    May 24, 2007 | 1:27 pm

    I hear you Cindy!

    Thanks for your comments,

    Norm

  23. Norman Gregory Fernandez
    May 26, 2007 | 4:03 pm

    Indeed Brett, we are in this all together. Thanks for your comments.

    Norm

  24. Norman Gregory Fernandez
    July 1, 2007 | 8:41 pm

    No Doubt. I actually have a video of a similar incident where the guy was in fact killed. Same scenario. He was racing through canyons, went across the yellow line and hit another innocent biker head on. Instant Death. I chose not to put that video on the blog because it was too graphic.

    I think this video makes the point.

    Norm

  25. Norman Gregory Fernandez
    December 20, 2007 | 10:10 pm

    Well Alan my position for comments on the Blog is that I do not censor any comments unless they are bash comments. You called me an idiot for stating that I thought the guy was racing is technically a bash, but I will let it go in this particular instance.

    I run the Angeles Crest all of the time. Sport Bike riders are always up their either racing or pushing it to the limits. They are basically giving all bikers a bad name. The guy in this video is an idiot, and so are you for defending this guy. He did not handle shit. He was a second away from dying. He just got lucky.

    It’s assholes like this who are giving legislatures and law enforcement an excuse to crack down on all of us who ride within the law or close thereto.

    I agree with you that it is not the bikes fault. Yes, I can blame the guy for trying to make his bike perform on a public road with innocent potential victims in his way. There are plenty of private raceways and roads to test your skills.

    Anyway keep both wheels on the road!

    Norm

  26. Norman Gregory Fernandez
    June 11, 2008 | 5:11 pm

    Tony-Tony-Tony,

    I strongly disagree with some of what you wrote and agree with some of what you wrote.

    I ride the Angeles Crest Highway. The speed limit in the area where this almost accident took place is 35 mph. As you can see in the video there is a sign showing an upcoming sharp turn and telling you the speed limit around the turn is 25mph!

    There is no way in hell I would ride any motorcycle on the twistie area of the Angeles crest at 62mph. There are straight areas where the speed limit goes up to 55, and where you might ride faster, however, no way would I be taking a turn like that at 62mph.

    You defied anyone, and I am telling you I am most guys I know don’t race the twisties, especially if you are over 40.

    I handle the motorcycle accidents that happen when guys go down or are taken out. There is no way in hell I am going to promulgate not following the law. You as a lawyer can do as you will.

    I agree that everyone needs to learn how to ride, learn how to counter steer, etc. However, I do disagree with you about the demographics of motorcycle accidents. I get an equal number of cruiser and sport bike cases. On weekends it is mostly sport bike riders going down in the canyons due to excessive speed and racing, whereas the cruisers are taken out by cagers. Both types get equally taken out by cagers.

    Bottom line, rider education and safety is the key to riding safe as you say. However riding the Angeles crest at 62 mph as seen in this video is suicide no matter how good you are, and gives all of us bikers a bad name.

    If you have a need to race, take it to the track.

    Norm

  27. Norman Gregory Fernandez
    April 5, 2010 | 7:09 am

    Thanks for the video link!

    Norm

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