Haybusa Parts and Service Member Support

Author Topic: Fatalities in LSR  (Read 53155 times)

Offline scott g

  • SGR
  • Post Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 1033
Re: Fatalities in LSR
« Reply #250 on: October 09, 2017, 01:12:22 PM »
The season is almost over, and almost everybody remains safe and sound !

We attended the BARBER VINTAGE WEEKEND and found some folks
willing to discuss our safety problems.  Among those participating
 in those discussions was Leif Gustafsson, a past MotoGP winner,
and the owner of Gustafsson Plastics


who have supplied small-production motorcycle fairing windscreens since 1968.

Between us (My first race win was in 1967), we have more than 100 years experience in the field.
When given the choice, I have ALWAYS specified GUSTAFSSON WINDSCREENS.

Here's one of the reasons:

Leif and I discussed the " windpipe" injury and "cutting" problems.
When I questioned Leif about the Mika Kallio situation, he immediately
responded in his still slightly accented Swedish voice:

"If the rider is going to contact any part of the bike with an unprotected
portion of his body, that that portion of the bike must be "softer" that that
 part of the rider's body.  The windscreen is a special case. 

We have always recommended that for racing the windscreen should be
 a "breakaway" part that will exit the bike before the rider's body is injured.
This is often accomplished with soft plastic fasteners.

 If the "breakaway" mounting style is NOT used, than a special plastic
 must be used that will not shatter and produce sharp edges that will cut the rider.
 It is VERY hard to find a suitable plastic formulation that will allow this.

An added concern is that the plastic not turn yellow when
 exposed to the strong UV light on racing days.

We have never found a plastic - regardless of cost - that can perform
ALL these jobs, so we have to prioritize the needs.

We prefer to never expose the rider to possible injury, but we cannot
control - once the screen leaves our shop - how the user installs the product."


Offline bowches

  • Apprentice Post Whore
  • **
  • Posts: 8
  • Gender: Male
  • Enthusiast
Re: Fatalities in LSR
« Reply #251 on: October 11, 2017, 03:11:06 PM »
It would be really amazing if someone were to develop a robot to do some high speed testing like Yamaha are doing with Motobot.....

You would be able to do plenty more runs without the risk of a human being injured, that would help alot to gather data right?

What do people think?

Offline speedduck

  • Post Whore
  • ****
  • Posts: 659
Re: Fatalities in LSR
« Reply #252 on: October 12, 2017, 09:07:13 AM »
Bad idea, the whole point in LSR is that there is some kind of danger factor present, otherwise my mrs would be running records and i would be at home watching Deadliest Catch on tv

Offline scott g

  • SGR
  • Post Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 1033
Re: Fatalities in LSR
« Reply #253 on: October 15, 2017, 07:03:14 AM »
... the whole point in LSR is that there is some kind of danger factor present,
otherwise my mrs would be running records and
i would be at home watching Deadliest Catch on tv...

And, thinking about risk, do try to watch
the last lap of the Japanese Grand Prix; a HUGE battle between
Marquez on the slipping 'n Sliding Honda (it was a rain  race)
 and the constantly wobbling Ducati of Dovizioso............

The point for us is that is is highly possible that the bike will
 want to pitch us off (Dovizioso) or jump out from under us (Marquez).

Risk is always with us.

Perhaps the point (for us) of the Dovizioso / Marquez battle
is that experience is such a factor.

We can be absolutely certain that neither rider experienced
these horrible (and potentially fatal) problems for the first time today. 

They were able to just continue with their jobs,
and make adjustments as they raced.

Inexperienced riders almost certainly would have been on the deck.

Facing these situations - and developing mind / body memories
of how to surmount them - allows riders to survive to race again.

Offline scott g

  • SGR
  • Post Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 1033
Re: Fatalities in LSR
« Reply #254 on: November 24, 2017, 01:40:32 PM »
As we drift toward the 2017 final Holidays, and a season of good cheer, it seems to be a good time to take stock, and review where we are on safety.

That I know of, we have not lost a single LSR motorcycle rider’s life in the 2017 season.  That is a great relief, and hopefully is the beginning of a trend to the better.

Speeds in LSR are increasing gradually, with records set higher.

Statistics are a little hard to come by in LSR, since most – virtually all – tracks do not report accidents, and do not analyze the causes.

This is in stark contrast to MotoGP.

MotoGP is probably the most exciting televised motorsport, and has many hundreds of millions of viewers world wide.  Crashes are very visible, constantly analyzed, rarely fatal, and most instructive.

I have been lucky to have lived through the entire history of MotoGP, which started in 1949.

In the 1950’s; the first full decade of MotoGP; there were 28 fatalities.  That’s a rate of one DEATH per every 2 or 3 races.  This was obviously unsustainable to the modern plan, but the men were quite brave and very unlucky.

The 1960’s, with 25 deaths and the 1970’s were not much improved, with 24 fatalities.  Those decades showed fewer deaths PER RACE, simply because there were more races.

In the 1980’s, with the power of Kenny Roberts focused on safety, the toll reduced to only 14.  With many more races on the schedule, that represents a large improvement in overall odds of survival.

In the 1990’s, there were only two (2) lives lost, and from 2000 to 2009, there was only one (1) rider lost.

For sure that is an almost inconceivable improvement.  When one considers that there were more races, more racers, and tighter competition, MotoGP suddenly changed from a killing field to something reasonable.

How did MotoGP do this ?

Better track safety ( think:  Gravel traps instead of Armco, run-off instead of walls, better helmets and leathers – now with airbags) better rider training ( virtually all modern MotoGP riders are graduate of Moto2 and Moto3, and many raced as youths in national series.) but most importantly, MotoGP has the power, budget and desire to investigate analyze and publish the findings of EVERY SINGLE CRASH.  In 2017, that was almost 1,200 crashes with Moto2 and Moto3 included – with no fatalities ! 

What are the special risks of motorcycle LSR that help produce a fatality rate that is so much higher than MotoGP ?

Certainly experience is a factor – this for the most part an amateur sport.

Run-off room at Bonneville is unlimited, and generous at most paved LSR tracks.

Protective gear for riders is certainly much better than in the 1950’s, but few riders compete with “air bag” leathers, in spite of their relatively low cost…….

Most MotoGP riders regularly use air bag leathers and both back AND chest protectors.

In MotoGP, there is – relative to LSR – an infinitely higher chance of multiple riders – and bikes – coming in contact with each other.  It may be much easier to protect the rider who falls to the track as opposed to protecting the rider whose 300 or more pound motorcycle catches up with him and jumps up and down on him for a while…..

It may be impossible to isolate a single cause of our problems, and we make no real progress until we do our investigative homework…………

Offline bowches

  • Apprentice Post Whore
  • **
  • Posts: 8
  • Gender: Male
  • Enthusiast
Re: Fatalities in LSR
« Reply #255 on: November 25, 2017, 02:37:49 AM »
Hi Scott,

That was a very nice read, what you wrote....but surely the LSR Speeds are much higher than motogp and thus that is where the risk increases. The fastest speed a rider has fallen of in MotoGp is 200mph and it was Shinya Nakano in 2004. He was fine and was wearing a Shoe helmet. But 200mph is slow in LSR right?

There has got to be some sort of protective gear that gives you that protection when you fall off you know....we got to have room for error....


Online Oz Booster

  • Site Donor
  • Mad Post Whore
  • *
  • Posts: 3863
  • aka Maj T
Re: Fatalities in LSR
« Reply #256 on: November 25, 2017, 12:26:06 PM »
There are a few differences to gp that will influence the outcome   ,
As Scott said the weight of the bike
We are older (although some of us may be younger than Rossi ;)  ), in the most part less fit , and carry more weight
The airfield have some objects like nearby tree lines or landing lights that could possibly be safer with an airfence
chances of low side to highside i think currently in GP favor the lowside and for us probably highside

After my off this season i am looking a lot closer at my gear and setup, currently comparing airbag suits for fit , function as well as being able to conform to the current regulations , its  sort of like the fast , reliable ,cheap thing so far i can only align 2 at any time   
Official Site Donor

Online RansomT

  • Post Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 1101
  • Gender: Male
Re: Fatalities in LSR
« Reply #257 on: November 26, 2017, 12:01:52 PM »
Well for starters:  Considering just at the last MotorGP event, Valencia, they had 71 crashes total. And with the "mountain" of crash analysis information that MotoGP has that the riders can draw from, it is if the MotoGP riders "practice" crashing.  IIRC, a couple months back I watched the qualifying rounds (Phillip Island?).  Watched a rider do a high speed lowside. While sliding, he hopped up, ran, then jumped over the fence, grabbed a photographer's scooter, raced it back to the pits, jumped on his back-up bike to try and do a qualifying lap with it.  All without taking his helmet off.
Fastest 1.5-Mile Pass - 252.222
Fastest 1-Mile Pass - 244.2997
Half Mile - 211.47
Fastest Nitrous Bike
Production Bike
211.079 LTA. P/P 1350

Offline scott g

  • SGR
  • Post Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 1033
Re: Fatalities in LSR
« Reply #258 on: November 26, 2017, 03:47:30 PM »
Absolutely right, Ransom !

One of the foundations of education,
as articulated by Johnan "Bubba"Pestalozzi,
was Learn by doing, and that certainly applies to crashing !

These MotoGP guys crash a lot, because they are on the edge.

 They are on the edge because they can be.

They can be on the edge because, for the most part,
they do what Dave Aldana once said:
"You don't know how hard you can go until you crash."

When Aldana said that in the 1970's, he was criticized
for being so cavalier about crashing, but he was right.

SO: The MotoGP guys go out, go as fast as they can,
sometimes crash, and learn from it.

We can suspect they do other things, like find out
how quickly they can accelerate without throwing too big a wheelie.

Or if they can ride out a big weave from the rear tire. 
Maybe what causes a wobble, and how to get  out of it.

The fact they can do this with relative impunity does
not mean that we in LSR can't practice,
it;'s just harder to get the track time.

You ( or I) could practice what happens when
you lose forward vision (Think: oil all over the
windshield and helmet shield),
by closing your eyes for 1,2 maybe 5 seconds.

I do it......................

Offline MJ Williams

  • Rider
  • ***
  • Posts: 454
  • Gender: Male
Re: Fatalities in LSR
« Reply #259 on: November 26, 2017, 06:22:42 PM »
I've thrown several bikes (and myself) down the road in my road racing days and have only had to visit the ER twice over a 10 year career. Once was after my first high speed crash because I didn't have the knowledge of what to do. It made me seem "not quite" right in the head when I said the more I crashed, the better I got at not getting hurt but it is true. You learn to slow your mind down, spread out, not tumble, steer/slid and ride the crash out.
When Greg pitched his bike at Colorado (and slid 1001 feet) he told me that he slid and when it got hot on one side he rolled to the other side until it got warm and switched back until he stopped. That is not generally knowledge you are born with, that is hard won experience.

Don't know how one is going to practice crashing and don't really advise it but there is validity in the, having previous crashing experience, argument as one reason that serious injuries per crash are less in professional motorsports. 
Have a Harley, spent lots of money on it, thought I had a fast motorcycle, bought a Busa, realized all I had was a fast Harley, not a fast motorcycle!