Below is an after-action report I wrote up after an incident I had on the bike yesterday.
Any comments, input, suggestions, criticism, etc. would be much appreciated. Thanks!LOCATION: Tiburon, CA
WEATHER: 70°; Sunny, no wind
DATE: Tuesday June 6 2017
TIME: 4:25 pm
DESCRIPTION OF INCIDENT
As noted in my other posts, I am a new AT DCT owner with many years of large (600cc) scooter experience but only one previous motorcycle, a 1997 BMW F650. The AT is the largest bike I have owned and has the highest CG.
I recently upgraded a numbed of electrics and other gear on the AT, adding an Eastern Beaver PC8, Koso heated grips, Batzen adjuster, BMW Motorrad Navigator mount, and prewired for a Denali Soundbomb and Rigid LEDs. The extra wiring was zip tied into a bundle and wired to the outside of the left radiator guard.
I left work in San Francisco at 4 pm to meet might wife at a UPS store in Marin to have some documents notarized. I was commuting over the Golden Gate Bridge, a distance of about 9 miles / 25 minutes. I was wearing a heavy adventure jacket and overpants, along with my Shoei Neotec and gauntlet gloves.
As usual in the summer, the wind over the bridge was gusty and I found the freeway portion of the ride to be stressful. I was relieved to pull off the freeway one exit short of my destination due to traffic. I took a back road over the hill to the main road into Tiburon. I made a left at a light and then a right into a small shopping center parking lot. The UPS store is at the end of the lot. I pulled into an open "herringbone" (45°) parking space. All spaces to my left, right, and ahead were occupied by cars.
The electrical work had messed up the bike's control panel clock so I didn't know what time it was. Leaving the engine running and in S1, I used my right hand to remove my phone from the overpant thigh pocket to check the time, as if I was early I was going to cross the street to get some gas. Seeing that I had only five minutes, I decided not to get gas. I put the phone back in my thigh pocket and went to shut off the engine.
As I looked down to my left for the kickstand, I put my right hand back on the handlebars. All of a sudden the bike lurched forwards. I remember being very surprised at what was happening but not taking any action. I drove forward about 6 feet before hitting a parked 1990s Japanese sedan. The bike tipped over to the right, pinning me against the hood of a large SUV. The engine stopped.
I looked up and saw that there was a driver in the sedan, which was facing away from me; I had hit its right rear fender. The driver got out and asked if I was okay, by which time I had raised the front of my helmet. I told him I was but asked whether he could help me lift the bike. I felt like I could lift it myself but could not reach the kickstand and was concerned that the bike would tip over to the left once raised. I pointed him to the kickstand, which he lowered. We then raised the AT onto the stand and rolled it back a couple of feet.
My arm hurt where it was pinned to the car, but didn't appear seriously injured. I also had a scrape between my right index and middle fingers, which I noticed when I removed the glove.
The AT had almost no damage. There were some rub marks on the left fender and a small scuff on the left headlight, which I only discovered later. The right mirror was shifted out of place but the stalk had not moved.
The car had quarter panel dents and a cracked fender. It was a beater so I don't know what was damage was done by the collision and what was pre-existing. I shared info with the driver, who left soon after. The SUV appeared to have no visible damage.
Initially I was concerned that one of two things had happened:
1. A DCT gremlin had caused an Audi 5000-style unrequested acceleration
2. The throttle-side cable run from my installation of the Koso heated grip had somehow caused on something and pulled the throttle open
However, upon further reflection (and inspection of the heated grip cable) it seems that the simplest explanation is that I pulled down on the throttle while leaning my body left to identify the kickstand.
I had no further issues and noticed no strange behavior when riding the bike home or to work this morning.
Incident was caused by rider error, specifically:
1. Failure to disengage transmission when coming to an extended stop;
2. Failure to exercise adequate throttle control;
3. Failure to recognize or subsequently control motorcycle's response to unexpected control input.
1. Make it a habit to switch to neutral or shut off engine for any pause in riding that happens outside of a trip (i.e, stop sign or stop light)
2. Maintain better throttle awareness
3. Consider and practice (to the extent possible) proper control inputs for unexpected behavior of the motorcycle (or road hazards)