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  1. #1
    Senior Member trmcgeehan's Avatar
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    What's it like to crash at 180 mph?

    Yesterday, we had a really bad motorcycle accident in our little town. Out on the bypass, a bunch of motorcyclists were approaching the town at a high rate of speed. Evidently, the lead cyclist slowed to make a left hand turn. Just then, a cop drove by coming the other way. The #2 cyclist looked back to see if the cop was going to turn around. That's when he hit the turning bike at an estimated 180 miles an hour. Both cycles exploded on impact. The bikes and what was left of the riders (both were wearing helmets but were killed instantly) landed 240 yards from the point of impact -- that's 2.5 football fields.
    This all happened in front of an elementary school in the late afternoon. Thankfully, the school had let out and there were no kids around. What on earth were these guys thinking? Both were in their mid-30's going 180 mph in front of a school. Both were riding pocket rocket rice burners.
    "I am a true laborer. I earn that I eat, get that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness, glad of other men's good, content with my harm." As You Like It, Act 3, Scene 2. Shakespeare.
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  2. #2
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Sometimes you get what you deserve. Nature just cleansed the gene pool a little bit.

  3. #3
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    >>>estimated 180 miles an hour. . .both were wearing helmets but were killed instantly

    Go figger.

  4. #4
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey
    Sometimes you get what you deserve. Nature just cleansed the gene pool a little bit.
    Exactly!! It was time to put a chlorine treatment in the gene pool.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  5. #5
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    I think police speed estimates leave a little to be desired. Most motorcycles can't do 180. Even rice-rockets. Plus at 180 there's no point in looking to see if the cop is turning around, a cruiser can do like 120-140 tops. He'd never catch you.

    That's like the guy who got a speeding ticket on his rice-rocket for 140 a while back. There was an immediate uproar from other rice-rocket fans who said no way was that (particular model) bike doing 140 unless he was coming down a mountain.
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  6. #6
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    I think the 180mph mark is a bit far off.
    The max my coworker ever reached on his bored out harley was 150 and he was hanging on for his life. The most the other guy on his R1 ever reached was 182mph and he had his steering damper adjusted all the way over and had basically his chin to the steering column.
    At anything over 170mph, unless you didn't know any better, you don't pick up or turn your head, the air would basically tear you off your bike, not to mention induce all kinds of weird harmonics in your steering.

    Most 1+ liter bikes stock can reach 180mph, with a turbo, the hayabusa's 1.3L can hit over 200 but at that point, you're not so much as "riding" the motorcycle as you are hanging on for your life. The speeding ticket thing was a guy who was clocked by a cop in a prop driven plane going 205mph by estimating using road markers and a stop watch and at the time he had a 600cc motor, I believe.

  7. #7
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    OK, so what were they thinking going over 80 MPH in front of a school? Any high rate of speed at that location is idiotic. When you street race like that you take many risks. Its too bad these two had to find out just how high those risks are. Fortunately, no children had to pay the price.
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  8. #8
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
    I think police speed estimates leave a little to be desired. Most motorcycles can't do 180. Even rice-rockets. Plus at 180 there's no point in looking to see if the cop is turning around, a cruiser can do like 120-140 tops. He'd never catch you.

    That's like the guy who got a speeding ticket on his rice-rocket for 140 a while back. There was an immediate uproar from other rice-rocket fans who said no way was that (particular model) bike doing 140 unless he was coming down a mountain.
    Sorry Eggplant Jeff, I disagree with you about the speed of a police car. One of the first lessons I learned when I was a young, stupid, street racer, Police have the fastest cars on the planet. Their called 'Motorola'. You're comment is right on about the cop behind you, but he's not the guy whose gonna get you!
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  9. #9
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Police.. car?

  10. #10
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    COOOOOOOL! I like the logo, 'To Service, To Protect, To Kill', but i'll bet there's still a radio thingy built into it, probably Motorola
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  11. #11
    NFL Owner monogodo's Avatar
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    My brother launched his GSX-R 750 off a curve into a hayfield at 120mph a few years back. He broke both wrists, cracked a few ribs, lacerated his liver and shattered his spleen. He was wearing a helmet and full leathers. He's still riding motorcycles, and has taken anger management classes so that he, hopefully, won't do it again.
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  12. #12
    Studs Terkel Johnny_Monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvoid
    I think the 180mph mark is a bit far off.
    The max my coworker ever reached on his bored out harley was 150 and he was hanging on for his life. The most the other guy on his R1 ever reached was 182mph and he had his steering damper adjusted all the way over and had basically his chin to the steering column.
    At anything over 170mph, unless you didn't know any better, you don't pick up or turn your head, the air would basically tear you off your bike, not to mention induce all kinds of weird harmonics in your steering.

    Most 1+ liter bikes stock can reach 180mph, with a turbo, the hayabusa's 1.3L can hit over 200 but at that point, you're not so much as "riding" the motorcycle as you are hanging on for your life. The speeding ticket thing was a guy who was clocked by a cop in a prop driven plane going 205mph by estimating using road markers and a stop watch and at the time he had a 600cc motor, I believe.
    I agree. I don't think they were cornering at that speed or looking over their shoulder.

    In my experience if you pass a cop going the other way and you're doing 180 kph you will be about 2-3km ahead of him before he can get up to speed - enough time to lose him by taking the first turn off.

    Also, bikes have rear view mirrors which is what I use to use to see what was going on behind me.
    The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

  13. #13
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    Well lets see... what would happen...

    Lets assume the bikes were going 130 MPH (209KPH)... more reasonable.

    Lets say the bike weighed in a 475 lbs (215kg) and the rider weighed in at 70kg = 285kg

    The kenetic energy of the bike = 1/2m*v^2 = 6.2 million kg*m^2/hr^2 (103,000 approx J). For reference a skydiver in a freefall would hit the ground at nearly 125 MPH (201 KPH) and have a kenetic energy of 1.4 Million kg*m^2/hr^2 or (23,000J).

    There are way to many variables to go much past this, but a rider hiting the floor with virtually no energy transfered would easily break multiple or more bones, do extensive internal damage, etc. The angle of impact, etc would also be a factor in the amount of damage... lets not even go into stress and strain...

    Lets just say a rider at even 100 MPH would have trouble staying alive after such an impact... also BTW if you say, well rider only weighs in a 70 kg, why is the energy higher than say the skydiver... well the flinging action will send the rider at a terminal velocity faster than the bike due to the flipping action of the bike acting as a launching pad, and the kenetic energy increasing as the rider flips over the bike... scary stuff...

    Also I have seens cars distroyed at 120 MPH crashes... imagine a bike... a little more space in the gene pool I think.

    (I can show more calcs if you want)
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  14. #14
    Descends Like Avalanche HigherGround's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by my58vw
    Well lets see... what would happen...

    Lets assume the bikes were going 130 MPH (209KPH)... more reasonable.

    Lets say the bike weighed in a 475 lbs (215kg) and the rider weighed in at 70kg = 285kg

    The kenetic energy of the bike = 1/2m*v^2 = 6.2 million kg*m^2/hr^2 (103,000 approx J). For reference a skydiver in a freefall would hit the ground at nearly 125 MPH (201 KPH) and have a kenetic energy of 1.4 Million kg*m^2/hr^2 or (23,000J).

    There are way to many variables to go much past this, but a rider hiting the floor with virtually no energy transfered would easily break multiple or more bones, do extensive internal damage, etc. The angle of impact, etc would also be a factor in the amount of damage... lets not even go into stress and strain...

    Lets just say a rider at even 100 MPH would have trouble staying alive after such an impact... also BTW if you say, well rider only weighs in a 70 kg, why is the energy higher than say the skydiver... well the flinging action will send the rider at a terminal velocity faster than the bike due to the flipping action of the bike acting as a launching pad, and the kenetic energy increasing as the rider flips over the bike... scary stuff...

    Also I have seens cars distroyed at 120 MPH crashes... imagine a bike... a little more space in the gene pool I think.

    (I can show more calcs if you want)
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  15. #15
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by my58vw
    ...There are way to many variables to go much past this, but a rider hiting the floor with virtually no energy transfered would easily break multiple or more bones, do extensive internal damage, etc. The angle of impact, etc would also be a factor in the amount of damage... lets not even go into stress and strain...
    Well, there's more to it than separating a crash into vertical and horizontal components taking sine-function of impact-angle. Vertical impact may be no more than falling off a dinner-table, but in real life, there's a combination involved. That's because you have friction between the flailing body and the ground. This spins you very fast and the faster you were traveling, the faster you'll spin and twirl around slapping arms, legs and head into the ground with each tumble. If you were wearing leathers, at least that'll keep all the body-fragments together, instant bodybag.

    Kevin Magee got rear-ended by Bubba Shobert at Laguna Seca a while ago while doing a burn-out after the race. The impact was at no more than 40-50mph, and Bubba was in a coma for 11-days and has debilitating brain-damage.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 01-14-06 at 12:44 PM.

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    The sad thing is, any idiot with about $5000 can go buy a bike that will hit those speeds, maybe not 180 but really fast.
    Stupidity+Arrogance+Fast bike=dead.

  17. #17
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Well, there's more to it than separating a crash into vertical and horizontal components taking sine-function of impact-angle. Vertical impact may be no more than falling off a dinner-table, but in real life, there's a combination involved. That's because you have friction between the flailing body and the ground. This spins you very fast and the faster you were traveling, the faster you'll spin and twirl around slapping arms, legs and head into the ground with each tumble. If you were wearing leathers, at least that'll keep all the body-fragments together, instant bodybag.

    Mamola got rear-ended at Laguna Seca a while ago while doing a burn-out after the race. He got hit at no more than 40-50mph and has debilitating brain-damage to this day.
    That is so true,
    It is almost as we have an "average" forward momentum and an "average" coeficient of friction to the ground. It seems that the reason we stop rolling, or forward movement, is to to energy loss each time a body part hits the ground, i.e. the ground absorbs energy and it is transmitted to heat, etc. We can deal with air resistance also, plus what it the guy tumbles in the air abit... hmmm.

    I like the idea of leathers as an instant body bag. Leathers only seem to protect you from road rash. A better solution would be an airbag type of vest which would at least protect your trunk area...

    Answer... do not be stupid on a motorcycle!
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  18. #18
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think they need more stringent licensing requirements. Getting a motorcycle license is much easier than an auto license and we already know many bad car drivers there are out there...

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Well, there's more to it than separating a crash into vertical and horizontal components taking sine-function of impact-angle. Vertical impact may be no more than falling off a dinner-table, but in real life, there's a combination involved. That's because you have friction between the flailing body and the ground. This spins you very fast and the faster you were traveling, the faster you'll spin and twirl around slapping arms, legs and head into the ground with each tumble. If you were wearing leathers, at least that'll keep all the body-fragments together, instant bodybag.

    Kevin Magee got rear-ended by Bubba Shobert at Laguna Seca a while ago while doing a burn-out after the race. The impact was at no more than 40-50mph, and Bubba was in a coma for 11-days and has debilitating brain-damage.
    It is possible to kill or paralyze someone just by twisting their head very quickly but only a few degrees. I heard about someone doing research on pigs regarding this. They have a machine that twists their heads superfast, but only a little bit. They have gotten to the point where they can cause paralysis or death just by adjusting the speed a little. Weird.

  20. #20
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Well, there's more to it than separating a crash into vertical and horizontal components taking sine-function of impact-angle. Vertical impact may be no more than falling off a dinner-table, but in real life, there's a combination involved. That's because you have friction between the flailing body and the ground. This spins you very fast and the faster you were traveling, the faster you'll spin and twirl around slapping arms, legs and head into the ground with each tumble. If you were wearing leathers, at least that'll keep all the body-fragments together, instant bodybag.

    Kevin Magee got rear-ended by Bubba Shobert at Laguna Seca a while ago while doing a burn-out after the race. The impact was at no more than 40-50mph, and Bubba was in a coma for 11-days and has debilitating brain-damage.
    I've heard of some crazy instances of people surviving motorcycle wrecks because the rider is not restrained like in a car. The two most common causes of serious injury and death in car wrecks are rapid decelleration and trauma (hitting something). That comes from an auto-industry or NTSB (I forget which) study. If you decellerate too fast, the G-forces can actually squish your internal organs or tear the aorta off your heart. This is why modern cars have all these safety features to spread out the decelleration that drive repair costs way up after an accident like airbags and crumple zones. With trauma it's pretty obvious what kills you since you're messed up on the outside, too. If somebody lays their bike over at high speed and there's nothing to run into, they just slide and can often walk away with nothing but some nasty road rash. It's when they hit something solid that being on a bike sucks, be it a car, tree, wall, whatever.

    3-4 months ago, a mechanic at work hit a deer at an estimated 100 mph. According to the first people to find him, he went over the handlebars, the bike literally split the deer in half, and he was found 50 yards down the road from the deer. He was back at work 3 days later as soon as the asphalt burns started to heal. Another guy layed his bike over at the racetrack one weekend and I don't think even skipped a day.

    The Crown Victoria Interceptor package is supposed to be able to do 130-140mph. A 600cc rice rocket can probably do a bit better than that. I don't doubt that a 1300cc Hayabusa can top 200 mph, but I wouldn't try it. Oh, never mind. I just got the part about the 'Motorola' cop car.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member trmcgeehan's Avatar
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    Our local paper showed a picture of one of the bikes. All that was left was the engine with two exhaust headers sticking out of it. These pieces were totally charred from the explosion. Nothing else was left. The rider who was making a left turn and was hit by the number 2 rider was on his way to pick up his four year old daughter at a day care center.
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  22. #22
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Kevin Magee got rear-ended by Bubba Shobert at Laguna Seca a while ago while doing a burn-out after the race. The impact was at no more than 40-50mph, and Bubba was in a coma for 11-days and has debilitating brain-damage.

    That was hideous! I was wathcing that on TV sitting there thinking what the he... <WHACK> Pure carnage!


    I'd love to have a tape of that. I tell people about it and they can't believe Magee's stupidity

  23. #23
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trmcgeehan
    Evidently, the lead cyclist slowed to make a left hand turn. ... That's when he hit the turning bike at an estimated 180 miles an hour.
    Both were in their mid-30's going 180 mph in front of a school.
    Yeah... SLOWED down and still going 180? At what speed were that planning on attempting to make a turn? I think the 80 MPH figure someone mentioned is more appropriate.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Read it again, the guy in front slowed down to take the left turn. The guy behind plowed into him at full-speed, whatever that was. The wreckage and body-parts ending up 240-yards down the road would give us an idea of how fast they were going at impact. I don't have the data to calculate that, but I'm sure the police do, or the NTSB or NHTSA.

  25. #25
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    A friend layed down his 'busa last summer. 80 mph.

    He went skipping across the ground in his leathers. Got up and picked the bike up before his wife, on a smaller machine, came ove the hill. (didn't want her to see him with the bike down!)

    His wife and another rider rode home and grabbed the truck to pick up the 'busa. Friend stayed there on the side of the road with the bike until they returned. Went to work the next day.


    I only hope that if I lay my bicycle down at less than half that speed I have the same luck, but I somehow doubt my wool jersey and shorts will protect me.

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