WP ESA front shock and dropped 07 GT (long post) - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 2011, 12:43 pm Thread Starter
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Stock ESA front shock and dropped 07 GT (long post)

I dropped my 07 GT on a wet freeway onramp at 35 mph - $8500 , all plastics, all paid for by insurance, no injury. Picked the bike up and continued to work. This was the first time I'd dropped a bike in 50 years of riding. Bike was well maintained, tires, Roadsmarts, in good condition and good pressure.

So what happened? It's important to me that I fix the problem - I hate being a little nervous every time I'm in a turn on freeway. Been riding in rain for last 30 years, and can't just chalk it up to bad luck or bad riding (a possibility, I know). I surmised it was oil put on the road by the California metering lights: I was using the cage lane because metering lights were off and it was after car pool time. Good theory, but I watched the road after that cause I ride it every morning to work, and couldn't see anything convincing.

An employee at my dealer said I should look for changes in the slope of the on ramp that could change attitude unexpectedly. This morning I found it - a bump - the kind you go over 10 times a mile. It made me think though - with a wet road and a front strut with excessive rebound damping, it could put me down.

I ride with the ESA in the normal setting because the bike wallows on the freeway with the comfort setting and the rebound damping is a joke with the sport setting: about a 4 second rebound on the rear wheel

So tomorrow I'm going to install the front Wilber I bought for this bike 2 years ago. (Why now you ask - that's another warranty story.)

The $64K question is - how can I tell if my stock shocks were at fault, and how can I tell when the Wilbers are adjusted properly? I can barely move the front with the stock strut when I jump on the handlebars, and I'm 200#.

Guy Howard
K12LT 05 (sold)
K12GT 07 - build 12/06 BMSK-P ECU (ASC retrofit), V.3 airbox, new o2 sensor @18k, PowerFrk module @25k

Last edited by howfly; Mar 9th, 2011 at 12:56 pm. Reason: Accuracy
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 2011, 12:56 pm
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Geez....first off. Glad you're OK. But sometimes trying to single out one issue for being at fault just isn't possible. It was wet and shit happens. Are you sure you didn't do any other damage sliding it? I don't think a 4 second rebound is normal under any setting.

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 2011, 12:59 pm Thread Starter
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No other damage - dealer went over with fine tooth comb for estimate. 4 second rebound was measured 3 years ago. The tech commented 'I sure wouldn't take the bike on the track'. Should have been a clue. I tried to get them to get the dealer to set it up different, but they just shrugged and said the computer wouldn't let them. I am pretty leery of the stock ESA at this point.

I had rear bags on, so they and the fairing took the brunt of it.

Guy Howard
K12LT 05 (sold)
K12GT 07 - build 12/06 BMSK-P ECU (ASC retrofit), V.3 airbox, new o2 sensor @18k, PowerFrk module @25k
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 2011, 1:02 pm Thread Starter
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By the way - I'm not trying to pin blame on anyone - just trying to correct a possibly dangerous situation with my daily ride.

Guy Howard
K12LT 05 (sold)
K12GT 07 - build 12/06 BMSK-P ECU (ASC retrofit), V.3 airbox, new o2 sensor @18k, PowerFrk module @25k
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 2011, 4:46 pm
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Are you sure you weren't accelerating too hard on a slippery wet road?
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 2011, 4:56 pm Thread Starter
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Certain. Descending freeway cloverleaf, constant low speed, no acceleration or deceleration, neutral throttle, no brakes. I said 'onramp' in my description, which wasn't entirely accurate. Bike equipped with ABS and traction control. Also, I would describe the road as damp, not wet. It had rained maybe a half hour before.

Guy Howard
K12LT 05 (sold)
K12GT 07 - build 12/06 BMSK-P ECU (ASC retrofit), V.3 airbox, new o2 sensor @18k, PowerFrk module @25k
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 2011, 7:37 pm
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Hitting oil on the road is the only thing that will do what you described. In that case...not your fault man!
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 2011, 8:59 pm
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Lean angle

Could you posibly have been leaned too far inside the turn for the conditions?.(You said it was a clover leaf so I am assuming you were in some form of a turn.) Did you low side or high side? Did the bike slide out from under you or did it just throw you down? How the bike went down may help in building an understanding of what happened.

Glad you are OK and feeling up to riding again.

Francis
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 2011, 11:44 pm
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I'm inclined to go with the "conditions" theory here.
Wet roads are not necessarily a problem. But if it has not rained in a few weeks, I NEVER ride immediately after/during that first rain. The time between first rain and the time it takes to wash the oil off the road is about the worst possible conditions available. If I were to guess, I would say you simply became a victim of the conditions.
Glad you're ok.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 2011, 11:55 pm
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For $8,500 in plastics I'm surprised they didn't total it since trade-in on a 2007 is only $9,100.

Biggest issue around here is sand on the roads. Cal-Trans uses some really round river bed stuff and you can fall just walking on it. Some areas up north use a red pumice and it seems less slippery.

They also used to clean the roads with a large flatbed fan on a trailer to get the stuff off the roads in the spring, but the air quality people put a stop to that so the dirt remains until the cars wash it off to the side or near the center line. You used to be able to see the forestry service pulling the fan trailer thing in the hills for all the dirt it raised on the forest service roads that are paved and they cleaned off.

But now we have potholes and sinkholes to deal with. I stopped riding at night for all the road damage we have near here. I-5 is a motorcycle disaster area north of the LA area in the mountains. Holes are about 6 inches deep in areas and they don't seem to fast about fixing them.

Mack
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