Crash

Watch what happens when the engine of a Kawasaki Ninja explodes at 300 kph.

Watch what happens when the engine of a Kawasaki Ninja explodes at 300 kph.

And it was a modified Ninja running at 300 hp and 24 psi

When factories make machines, they do so with extreme accuracy and precision. With a good amount of tolerance levels, their machines are made to last quite long. And if the supercharged Ninja H2 is what we talking about, it is the most technologically advanced machine to come out of the famed Japanese green outfit that created a new benchmark in the industry both in terms of construction and packaging.

When you take that 207 bhp monster and pump it all the way upto 300, you cannot expect even the best of Japanese engineering from saving your arse. That is exactly what happened to one unlucky Ninja H2 which ended up with an exploded crankcase when the bike was running at a whopping 300 kph in a motorsport event.

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What do you do when you get thrown off your bike at 250 mph?

What do you do when you get thrown off your bike at 250 mph?

Ask how Chris Matheson feels about his safety gear.

When all of us rant about wearing your helmet and your riding jacket at all times on the road, we weren’t just being pushy. Every motorcyclist would have had a bad fall on their ride at one point or the other and some might even have succumbed to it, unfortunately. And most often than not, that would be because the rider just did not care enough to protect his head or his body from the fall.

A few get lucky without a scratch on their body and a few come out with broken bones and fractures. Nonetheless, it is common sense that a helmet and protective suit and gear goes a long distance in minimising the effect of a fall. That is exactly what happened to Chris Matheson here who flew off his drag racer at 250 mph.

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Road rage and how not to get all wired up when it happens to you.

Road rage and how not to get all wired up when it happens to you.

We know you have been there and it is important you deal with it with a cool head.

We all do have some bad days and some good. And invariably it affects our riding styles on that day. All is well and good until you are a happy person under the sun, but on that unlucky day, your head is filled with all kind of thoughts, and in a jiffy, another distracted driver in a car is taking up your space in your lane and decides to cut you passing from behind.

All hell breaks loose in your head, and that adrenalin surge kicks in transferring all the blood to your muscles, charging it up for a big fight. That burning rage of anger will make you do some regrettable stuff including chasing that other driver at breakneck speeds, darting other road users, pounding on hoods, yelling and threatening. And if by any luck the other person is having a good day, he might end up apologising. If not, what happens next is the brutal Road Rage.

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Honda Apologizes To Casey Stoner For Throttle Mishap That Led To Crash At The Suzuka 8 Hours

Honda Apologizes To Casey Stoner For Throttle Mishap That Led To Crash At The Suzuka 8 Hours

Honda Racing has taken the unprecedented step of publicly apologizing to two-time MotoGP champion Casey Stoner after the rider’s crash at the Suzuka 8 Hours led to him sustaining a broken right scapula and a fractured left tibia.

In a statement, HRC addressed the controversy surrounding Stoner’s crash, admitting that a stuck throttle on the team’s factory racing bike led to the high-speed crash that sent Stoner straight to the hospital. It was an ignominious end to Stoner’s highly anticipated return to motor racing since his retirement in 2012. The team also admitted that the problem had never “arisen before” and is now in the process of installing a new throttle design that will be used for future endurance races.

Stoner was actually leading the endurance race for HARC-Pro Honda, which was looking to win its third straight Suzuka 8 Hours race, at the time of the crash. Unfortunately for both the rider and the team, the damage sustained by the bike squashed the team’s bid for a three-peat. The Yamaha factory squad ended up taking the chequered flag on the back of sterling rides from Pol Espargaro, Bradley Smith, and Katsuyuki Nakasuga, winning the iconic endurance race for the first time since 1996.

The nature of Stoner’s crash was horrific to say the least and while a broken right scapula and a fractured left tibia are nothing to sneeze at, the rider was fortunate to have escaped with more serious injuries.

I wish Casey Stoner all the best in his recovery and I hope that we’ll see him ride again in the future. It would be a shame if his crash at the 8 Hours of Suzuka ends up being the last time we see him in a racing bike.

Continue reading to read more about Honda’s public apology to Casey Stoner.

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Rider Carl Sorensen Killed During Practice Run At Pikes Peak

Rider Carl Sorensen Killed During Practice Run At Pikes Peak

Tragedy has struck the 93rd Pikes Peak International Hill Climb when 39-year old rider Carl Sorensen was killed after losing control of his bike close to the summit of the mountain course.

Local reports indicate that Sorensen was on one of the last left-hander turns close to the end of the route when he lost control of his Ducati 848 Superbike. No guard rails were in the vicinity so Sorensen and his bike ended up going over a cliff where he was killed in the fall.

It’s a devastating and ominous start to the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, which ironically doesn’t have too many deaths on its docket despite being regarded as one of the most dangerous races in the world. In its 93-year life span, the PPIHC has only seen six fatalities. Some people, including me, will still argue that it’s six times too many, but compared to other races, Pikes Peak ironically has a low casualty number.

Sorensen’s death hits a little close to home because not only is he considered a hometown boy - he’s from Centennial, Colorado - but he’s also a veteran of the Pikes Peak race track. Just last year, he finished in 10th place in the Open class and 16th overall of the event.

This year was supposed to be Sorensen’s third participation in the race, where he was aiming to finish the course in under 10 minutes for the first time. Sadly, he won’t have that chance anymore.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and son, as well as his family and friends.

Continue reading to read more about Carl Sorensen’s unfortunate death at Pikes Peak.

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Franck Petricola Killed In Isle of Man TT Qualifying

Franck Petricola Killed In Isle of Man TT Qualifying

You don’t want to start your day on a bad note, but sometimes you just have to do it so you can get things out of the way. So it’s with heavy hearts that I have to report the tragic death of French rider Franck Petricola, who lost his life in an accident during one of the qualifying rounds at the Isle of Man TT.

A statement issued by the event organizer ACU Events Ltd indicated that the 32-year old Petricola was killed following an accident at Sulby Crossroads at approximately 7:45 pm local time.

While not particularly considered a household name in the motorcycle racing scene, Petricola has been a regular competitor in the IRRC Championship where he enjoyed his best season in 2013 when he finished 11th in the Superbike category. Petricola was actually scheduled to make his debut in the Isle of Man TT in 2014, only to bow out due to injuries sustained in the 2014 North West 200 just weeks prior to the event.

So it ended up that 2015 was supposed to be his first run at the Snaefell Mountain, only for that opportunity to be taken away from him in the saddest way imaginable. The ACU statement also revealed that the Coroner of Inquests has been informed about Petricola’s death and an investigation into the circumstances of the accident has begun.

On behalf of everyone here at TopSpeed, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Franck Petricola. Everybody knows how dangerous Snaefell Mountain is, but it’s still heartbreaking to hear that the track has once again taken the life of a motorcycle rider way too soon than any of us expected.

Rest in peace, Franck Petricola.

Continue reading to read more about Franck Petricola’s death during the qualifying round of the Isle of Man TT race.

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Anti-Helmet Law Senator Killed in Motorcycle Crash

It’s not the best way to start a week, but we do have some sad and terrible news to report. A former senator from the state of Georgia who pushed to repeal motorcycle helmet regulations in the state was killed when his bike was hit by a vehicle.
Joey Brush Jr., who once served two terms in Georgia’s state House between 1992 and 1996 and the state Senate between 1997 and 2004, died as a result of the accident. It’s still unclear whether he was wearing a helmet when the accident occurred.

Those who live outside Georgia may not be familiar to Brush Jr., but those who do know him will remember him as the man who championed the elimination of a state law that required motorcycle riders to wear helmets. At the time of the accident, WRDW-TV reported that Brush was actually on his way to meet state Governor Nathan Deal about a separate bill that would allow riders to treat red lights like a stop signs if their motorcycles did not trigger pavement sensors.

But things took an unexpected turn when Brush’s Harley-Davidson was struck by a car that did not stop at a stop sign. The driver of the car, 49-year-old Kimberly Crouch, has since been charged with second-degree vehicular homicide after being deemed responsible for the accident that killed the former senator.

Continue reading to read more about the untimely passing of Joey Brush Jr.

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Racer Dane Westby Killed In Streetbike Accident

Racer Dane Westby Killed In Streetbike Accident

We start of our day with some somber news to report. MotoAmerica racer Dane Westby was killed in a streetbike accident yesterday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was 28 years old.

According to KTUL.com, the accident occurred when Westby, who was riding a Honda Hawk street bike and was on his way to his parent’s house, lost control of his ride when it ran off the road, slid along a curb, and hit a utility pole. Westby was rushed to a hospital by EMSA after the accident but was pronounced dead shortly after.

News of Westby’s death came as a shock to the motorcycle community with many expressing disbelief that a man who was at the peak of his racing career could be taken away so suddenly and in the manner that it happened.

Dustin Meador, a long-time friend and former mechanic of Westby told Roadracingworld.com that skid marks at the scene of the accident indicated that Westby lost control of his bike after braking to avoid hitting what he believes was someone coming out of a burger joint across the street from where the crash happened.

I’ve seen Westby ride in the AMA Superbike series in past years and I’ve always been a fan of his flair on a racing bike. So I was shocked when I woke up to the news but immediately felt even worse upon finding out that he was actually going to his parents house when the accident happened.

He was scheduled to be part of the Superstock 1000 class of the inaugural MotoAmerica racing season and even drove the pace car for the Daytona 200 a little over a week ago.

On behalf of everyone here at TopSpeed, our sincerest condolences go to Dane Westby’s family and friends.

Continue reading to read more about Dane Westby’s sudden and shocking death.

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Video: A Weekend to Remember Honoring JR Macrae

Video: A Weekend to Remember Honoring JR Macrae

To what lengths would you go to just so you can honor a friend who passed on earlier han he should have. For those who considered motorcycle rider JR Ross Macrae a friend, the first annual JR Macrae Invitational Ice Race is the answer to that question.

See, Macrae was an up-and-coming motorcycle racer who had just built up an impressive career competing in the Canadian SuperBike Championships. But an accident at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Montreal on August 25, 2013 changed everything. Macrae was involved in an accident, succumbing to his injuries that ended up costing him his life.

The accident spurred his friends to honor his memory by hosting the annual JR Macrae Invitational Ice Race to pay homage to their fallen buddy. In addition to that, a documentary titled “A Weekend to Remember”, was also developed to honor the life and times of the young rider from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

I personally don’t know who JR Macrae is but I did spend time to watch the documentary. It’s a pretty heartbreaking ordeal that no family should go through. And yet the family of Macrae had to deal with the horrifying reality that one of their own lost his life in an accident that could’ve been avoided.

The video is a sobering reminder to the fragility of our lives and that no matter how high we ride sometimes, it can all be taken away in a blink of an eye. Check out the video and give it a watch. It’s close to an hour long, but if you want to know about the story of JR Macrae and the life that was taken on that fateful August afternoon, the video is definitely worth spending 60 minutes of your time watching it.

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Video: Rider Escapes Car Collision By Rolling Over the Hood of the Car

Video: Rider Escapes Car Collision By Rolling Over the Hood of the Car

You know how people say that sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good? Well, the rider in this video is both those things because he was lucky enough to avoid getting hurt from a car crashing into his bike and good enough to manage to perform a roll-over on the car’s hood before landing on his feet.

The whole episode was captured by the rider’s helmet camera. In it, we see him patiently waiting for the lights to turn green and when it does, he proceeds to go about his merry way. Unfortunately, an idiot driving a Volkswagen Golf runs a red light and crashes into his Triumph Daytona 675. As all that is happening, the rider somehow had the wherewithal to instinctively roll into the hood and pull his lower body up and around on top of the windshield before safely landing on his feet.

It’s an incredible move that likely saved him from suffering a more serious injury. Unfortunately, his Daytona 675 wasn’t as lucky as, according to the rider, the bike was destroyed beyond repair.

We all saw, based on the video, who was at fault here. If I was in the rider’s place, I would’ve probably done more than to scream at the Golf driver for his inane stupidity. But I see where he’s coming from, too. If you can pull that off without getting too hurt by doing it, you’re going to be a little out of it, too.

It doesn’t take away anything from his incredible awareness that probably saved his life in the process.

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Video: Biker Spills in Airborne Crash After Avoiding Car Collision

Video: Biker Spills in Airborne Crash After Avoiding Car Collision

In a somewhat unusual turn of events, a motorcycle rider narrowly avoided getting crushed by an oncoming SUV but ended up hurt anyway after his sudden swerve ended up with him going airborne by at least 8 meters (my own estimate) before crashing down in a heap.
It’s an incredible video to watch, but it’s still pretty terrifying considering how badly hurt the rider ended up being.

I can’t begin to imagine the pain the guy was when he landed back to earth after that sudden airborne crash, but for the sake of the injured fella, I pray that his spill only resulted in a few broken bones.

Given the alternative of getting hit by an SUV, I’d say that he was lucky that his injuries came from his spill instead of the car crash. Something tells me that had the latter happened, they’d be trying to pry some of his remains off of that SUV’s windshield.

Check out the video and try to keep the volume down if you’re in a public place. There’s some understandably NSFW language in there as his ride buddies frantically try to get to him after his crash.

Get well soon, sir, and thank the good Lord that you’re still alive.

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Video: Biker Gets Close Shave With Death After Careless Escalade Runs Red Light

Video: Biker Gets Close Shave With Death After Careless Escalade Runs Red Light

I often give riders a lot of flak for being careless with their motorcycles. While it may seem like I’m singling out these people for their apparent disregard safety, I actually post these videos to make sure everybody understands the inherent risks that come with riding a bike.

If you exercise safety, then you should be fun. But if not, you’re going to get involved in an accident of some sort. I don’t know when, but it’ll probably come sooner than later.

Then there’s this: it’s not always the rider’s fault. That’s something that I also recognize, which is why I’m taking time out from posting hilarious bike stunt fails to show you a video of a rider who came literally within inches of getting slammed hard into a Cadillac Escalade’s windshield.

There’s far less action in this particular video than what you’re used to from me. But pay close attention to the 0:18 mark. The rider is turning left after seeing that the traffic light on his side had turned green. No issues there, right?

Just as he was about to clear his turn, the driver of a Cadillac Escalade decides to run a red light and literally came within inches of slamming into the poor rider. I can’t begin to imagine the damage that would’ve caused if the Escalade was moving a little faster.

The rider might not even be alive right now if that happened. That’s the lesson here. No matter how safe-conscious you are with yourself and your ride, you always need to pay careful attention to your environment, or things like this might happen to you and you end up killing somebody.

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