Fall when coming down off the sidewalk
I’ve had my BMW K1600GTL for about a year. It’s the first time I’ve had a bike which is so big and heavy, the possibility of traveling comfortably and with such luxurious accessories meant that I was really looking forward to buying it.
I normally only use it for longs trips all around Spain and Europe since for the city I have a scooter which is much easier to handle. Nevertheless, one day I had to use the BMW and I parked it on the sidewalk (this is allowed in my city under certain conditions).
The problem came when I wanted to get back on the road to return home. As I was coming off the curbstone, I lost control of the bike and couldn’t help falling. Even though I the handle bars tight, the weight made me fall to the floor.
Luckily, I only ended up with a few scratches and the bike has protectors, but the impact was strong and I’ll have to take it to the garage to fix a couple of things.
How can this fall be avoided? We have to say that our protagonist’s motorcycle is very heavy, and no matter how strong you are, its nearly 350 kg make it difficult to avoid a fall if you lose control.
A critical moment may have been the cause of this fall from the curbstone, not because of high speed, but nevertheless dangerous because of the injuries it may cause.
A series of tips to follow:
- Access points: First of all, with a motorcycle (above one, which is so big and heavy), you should avoid the curbstone and look for access points to return to the road (driveways, pedestrian crossings…). A mass with such a high center of gravity is difficult to balance when stopped.
- At right angles: If you have no choice about going over the curbstone, the first thing is to try and do it at right angles to the sidewalk. This way the weight of the motorcycle is well balanced on the front wheel, without tending to fall to one side or the other
- Stay seated and keep both feet on the ground to balance the bike and keep it upright. Use the front brake to allow the bike to go gently down onto the road.
- Diagonally: If circumstance do not permit us to go down at right angles and we have to do it diagonally, approach the edge of the curbstone. At this critical point, turn the handlebars so that the front wheel is at right angles to the sidewalk. Lower the bike gently, but we recommend with a certain inertia so that the bike keeps moving to avoid losing balance to one side or the other.
- Using the brake: When coming down over the curb you should keep both feet on the ground and use the front brake to keep the bike from going down all at once, keeping the necessary pressure on the brake lever for this operation.
- In case you fall: You normally know very quickly if the bike is going to fall. At this moment you should react quickly and realize that it will be almost impossible to hold on to the bike and prevent the fall. The best thing is to let it fall, let go of the handlebars (so you don’t fall with the bike) and jump to one side so the bike doesn’t hit you or trap you underneath. It’s better for the bike to suffer a few scratches than for you to suffer injuries to your legs or arms which may be serious for a fall which you felt was a little bit silly.