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It's not always unavoidable

skromfols

Getting there...
Location
California
I've been riding for 60+ years and have been successful in avoiding serious accidents. I treat every intersection as a potential problem and every door slammer as a potential enemy. But there are situations that you can't anticipate and are unavoidable.

A few years back I bought a used Moto Guzzi 750 Nevada. I added a windshield and saddle bags and used it for day rides. It was a little cramped (I'm 6'2") but not uncomfortable, and it was a nice handling little bike for two lane twisty rides in the Sierras.

One afternoon I was riding on a two lane road just leaving town. There wasn't much traffic and I was doing about 40 MPH. A sedan about 200 yrd in front of me started a left hand turn, and when I saw his brake lights I just touchced my brakes. I believe is used only the front brake, and wasn't stopping, just slowing down a bit. Unexpectedly the front wheel locked up, and I was thrown through the windscreen and went sliding down the asphalt face first.

I was wearing an open face helmet, my army jacket and levi's. I ended up with some bruises, and my face was scraped up pretty good, but nothing that didn't heal.

With 60 years of riding experience I know how to use my brake, and I just squeezed the handle slightly, so there was no reason for the front wheel to lock up. I trailered the bike to the dealership and explained what happened and had them check everything and they could find nothing wrong. There was never an explanation for why the wheel locked up.

My wife of 50+ years has never discouraged my riding, but in this instance requested that I sell that Moto Guzzi and buy something else. The Moto Guzzi was sold immediately and replaced by an Indian Scout.
 

Scott Free

Well travelled
Location
Ill-Annoy
Odd. Any chance you encountered a patch of invisible slipperiness? I once ran into a stretch of fresh diesel fuel on the road, apparently launched from the tank of a semi whilst going around a U-turn freeway on ramp… with no cap on the tank. I saw the stuff, tried to cross it dead upright, and still had a low speed get-off with minor scrapes to myself and the bike. The stuff was so slick that I very nearly fell down just trying to walk across it and assist someone else who had fallen down.

When I see “I just touchced my brakes. I believe is used only the front brake, and wasn't stopping, just slowing down a bit. Unexpectedly the front wheel locked up, and I was thrown through the windscreen and went sliding down the asphalt face first.” I think the wheel may have locked up on the slick stuff (hence the “not stopping, just slowing down a bit,” and then actually locked when you left the slippery stuff and got onto dry pavement.

Ever since that mishap, spilled diesel fuel has been on my list of things to watch for. It is not only slippery, it’s fiendishly hard to see if the sun’s at the right angle, especially if you’re wearing polarized sunglasses (one of the reasons I have non-polarized sunglasses for riding and polarized ones for kayaking).

Just a possibility… especially given the lack of any identifiable problems with the bike.

Does the Scout have ABS?
 

Autopilot

Well travelled
I've been riding for 60+ years and have been successful in avoiding serious accidents. I treat every intersection as a potential problem and every door slammer as a potential enemy. But there are situations that you can't anticipate and are unavoidable.

A few years back I bought a used Moto Guzzi 750 Nevada. I added a windshield and saddle bags and used it for day rides. It was a little cramped (I'm 6'2") but not uncomfortable, and it was a nice handling little bike for two lane twisty rides in the Sierras.

One afternoon I was riding on a two lane road just leaving town. There wasn't much traffic and I was doing about 40 MPH. A sedan about 200 yrd in front of me started a left hand turn, and when I saw his brake lights I just touchced my brakes. I believe is used only the front brake, and wasn't stopping, just slowing down a bit. Unexpectedly the front wheel locked up, and I was thrown through the windscreen and went sliding down the asphalt face first.

I was wearing an open face helmet, my army jacket and levi's. I ended up with some bruises, and my face was scraped up pretty good, but nothing that didn't heal.

With 60 years of riding experience I know how to use my brake, and I just squeezed the handle slightly, so there was no reason for the front wheel to lock up. I trailered the bike to the dealership and explained what happened and had them check everything and they could find nothing wrong. There was never an explanation for why the wheel locked up.

My wife of 50+ years has never discouraged my riding, but in this instance requested that I sell that Moto Guzzi and buy something else. The Moto Guzzi was sold immediately and replaced by an Indian Scout.
Do they still have the linked breaking system on Guzzis?
 

Autopilot

Well travelled
Odd. Any chance you encountered a patch of invisible slipperiness? I once ran into a stretch of fresh diesel fuel on the road, apparently launched from the tank of a semi whilst going around a U-turn freeway on ramp… with no cap on the tank. I saw the stuff, tried to cross it dead upright, and still had a low speed get-off with minor scrapes to myself and the bike. The stuff was so slick that I very nearly fell down just trying to walk across it and assist someone else who had fallen down.

When I see “I just touchced my brakes. I believe is used only the front brake, and wasn't stopping, just slowing down a bit. Unexpectedly the front wheel locked up, and I was thrown through the windscreen and went sliding down the asphalt face first.” I think the wheel may have locked up on the slick stuff (hence the “not stopping, just slowing down a bit,” and then actually locked when you left the slippery stuff and got onto dry pavement.

Ever since that mishap, spilled diesel fuel has been on my list of things to watch for. It is not only slippery, it’s fiendishly hard to see if the sun’s at the right angle, especially if you’re wearing polarized sunglasses (one of the reasons I have non-polarized sunglasses for riding and polarized ones for kayaking).

Just a possibility… especially given the lack of any identifiable problems with the bike.

Does the Scout have ABS?
Diesel spills are a curse. Definitely a case for using all of the five senses we are graced with.
 
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