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Thread: Close Call

  1. #1
    Commuter Extraordinaire Close Call
    Close Call
    SergeantChuck's Avatar
    Bike: NC700X
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Cabot, AR

    Close Call

    I don't write this for a pat on the back or good job comments. I write this as food for though to all the new riders on this forum.

    Yesterday I was riding home in heavy traffic. This is nothing out of the ordinary for the Little Rock area and many of you ride in congested areas too. I was in a column of cars in the left lane and we were traveling at about 75mph. I always try to maintain a three car distance but that is easier said than done. Someone always feels the need to fill that gap. I also make it a habit to occasional look ahead. Not just at the car directly in front of me but maybe three to five cars in front of me. Iím primarily looking for break lights.

    All was well until about 20 miles into the ride. We were moving along when all of a sudden a tire flew up in the air about 15-20 feet. This was in lane directly in front of me. I immediately hit my brakes (quickly check behind to make sure I wasnít going to get rear ended) and began to slow down although there where no signs of any other car stopping. Two seconds later that changed. The ten cars to my front all began to brake hard and swerve back and forth. They obviously had not seen the tire flying through the air and were now reacting to the car which had been struck by the tire. What I did not know until about 10 seconds into the accident was a large motor home was also swerving out of control in the right lane because it had lost a tire from the car hauler it was towing.

    Several cars pulled off to the side and I was able to pass through the mess without a scratch. There wasnít any major damage to any cars although two cars were hit pretty hard by a flying tire. There may have been a couple cars touch front and rear bumpers but nothing that would have cause injuries which was an amazing feat in itself.

    The whole point of the story is to stay alert. Try you best to maintain a safe distance and scan ahead. I saw this entire accident unfold in my head before it even happened. Youíve almost got to adapt that type of mentality.

    Like I said Iím not looking for praise. Writing this so it can be used as a tool.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Bike: NC700X
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    North Carolina
    Glad you came out unscathed. I try to just totally avoid congested traffic if possible and travel quite roads. But that's excellent advice for any road!

  3. #3
    Senior Member anglachel's Avatar
    Bike: 2012 NC700Xc
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    15-20 feet up in the air the cagers probably couldn't see it through their roofs...

    I often feel safer in congested traffic on the NC vs. the cage on account of the improved visibility I have... and the ability to actually see 4-5 cars ahead (either by going to the far edge of the lane, or looking over the top of sedans...

    Glad to hear you managed to roll right on through, and keep your tires on the ground despite what others were doing at the time.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Close Call bamamate's Avatar
    Bike: NC700X manual
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Conway, AR
    Good write up Chuck. When teaching my daughters to drive I constantly quizzed them on how far ahead they were looking. Also did that with vehicles on the side of the road….what’s the yellow car in the drive doing…did the truck 10 cars ahead tap it’s brakes…..type of stuff.

    Previous: Kawasaki MT1A 75 (small fat tires, auto clutch), CB400 (Hawk), and after a 20+ year hiatus a NC700X

  5. #5
    Senior Member Close Call dduelin's Avatar
    Bike: NC700XD, ST1300, Elite 80
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    North FL USA
    Heads up riding, thanks for sharing the experience!


  6. #6
    Super Moderator Close Call 670cc's Avatar
    Bike: NC700X, GL1800, KLX140G, CRF250L Rally, Ruckus 50
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Yep. Flying tires on the highway is scary. I saw a tire bounce out of a recycle tire truck on the opposite side of the highway once. Truckers don't secure their load. Major hazard if you're on a motorcycle.

    Thanks for sharing your story.
    GWRRA Member
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  7. #7
    Senior Member OldJeff's Avatar
    Bike: Silver 2013 NC700X
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Excellent point! I always try and look as far ahead as I can and that practice has got me out of situations before I ever was really in them.

  8. #8
    Fixed Idea Close Call
    Close Call
    L.B.S.'s Avatar
    Bike: CBR125R NC700XA
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Thanks for the good outcome of the tale, SGT

    Kind of related: 1992. My buddy's girlfriend was driving home from the dealer, after getting her brand new Ford Ranger pickup serviced. The front driver's side wheel sheared all the studs, flew off at highway speed, and went rocketing up ahead into oncoming traffic, bouncing into and over other cars, through barricades, signs, you name it, that wheel hit it. It took out at least two cars windshields, and caused multiple other cars to smash into each other trying to avoid it.

    It took a long time (all three of us rode our motorcycles back and forth along that particular stretch, commuting) to pass through that area without still seeing damage left behind from that berzerk missile wheel.
    Chillin' with Cybersix and Data 7 in Meridiana

  9. #9
    Senior Member Close Call itlives's Avatar
    Bike: 2012 NC700X, 2012 Super Tenere
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Shreveport LA
    Thanks for the write-up Chuck. I really like buzzing along the interstate but am constantly a little mind-tense at those speeds.

    The other thing that I'm a little scared of is the "thing" that's small enough for a car to pass over but big enough to cause us a bad day. I had that happen coming home from N.C. at night. I was doing about 75, checked the mirror, looked back up and just missed a box that came almost up to my foot peg. There was something in the box heavy enough to keep the car from moving it as it passed over it. Glad I didn't find out what was in it!

  10. #10
    Bike: NC700X
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    West Olive, Michigan
    Good Info. I'm always trying to look 12 seconds ahead of me for reasons just like that. I had a guy a month ago loose his ladder on this Explorer in front of me, but since I had enough following distance I had time to get out of the way. The car that I was passing in the left lane swerved off to the shoulder of the right lane to give me room if I needed it, gives me hope that some people still look out for motorcycles.

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