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As you can tell by my question I am rather new to motorcycles and I wanted to know what the difference between a low side and high side crash was.
 

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Smiley Gladhands
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In a lowside crash, the bike lays down and slides ahead of the rider. In a highside crash, the rider goes over the bike and falls in front of the bike and the bike slides behind the rider. Hope that helps a little. Maybe someone has a small video of each so you can see what I am mumbling about!
 

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#1 Gear Nazi
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Low side: bike basically slides out from under and lies down fairly gently you normally go sliding right along with it

High Side: (this is going to be a very rough definition, not gonna get into detail) basically at some point the bike loses traction and regains it at the wrong time, throwing you off and over the bike. This can and does also happen with a tankslapper.
 

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forgot what the msf told us... highside happens when u apply rear breaks during a skip and u reapply it again am i right?
 

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#1 Gear Nazi
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Commonly highsides are a result of misused rear braking, but not the sole factor.
 

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Watch MotoGP or an AMA motorcycle race. You'll usually get examples of both types of crashes in the course of a day. Or go to UpOnOne.com and check out the race and crash videos. You'll be able to find plenty of clips of both types of wrecks.

Lowsides are ok. If I crash, this is the way I want to go down. Tuck the front end, bike skids away and I test my back protector and neck hump for a slide into the grass. It is not uncommon for riders (especially at the race track) to be able to come to their feet running in a lowside. The most artistic lowside I've seen lately was in MotoGP in Rio this year when Sete Gibernau tucked his front end, skidded out and came to his feet running backwards in this little dance type move. Sucks to fall but he did it with style.

Highsides are almost always bad. They hurt. They're usually violent. On the street, messed up rear braking is the most common cause. Ease to induce with inexperience. Lock the rear brake, rear tire starts to slide out of line, you freak, release the brake and the rear tire suddenly regains traction and snaps back into line with the bike. That snap can be violent enough to throw you clean off the bike. Hence the rule: If you lock the rear, keep it locked until you stop! Opposite applies to the front otherwise you'll get introduced to another variation of the highside, the endo.

In racing, the highsides are often spectacular and varied. One famous incident this year in MotoGP demonstrated the effect of a rear tire blowing out at 200mph. Unbelievable highside and the slow motion of the rider being thrown off the bike and tumbling into the grass is painful to watch. It was miracle he walked away from that. Most of the time, you won't. I've seen collision highsides in amateur racing and helped clean up the mess afterwards. Never fun for all parties involved. Looks great on TV but it is no fun for the cornerwokers and medical crews who respond to them.

FYI, The terms refer to the side of the bike you are exiting from. Lowsides take you off the side of the bike on the inside of the turn (the side facing the ground). Highsides, naturally, exit you off the bike on the outside portion of the bike facing the sky (the higher side).
 

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So Sexy it hurts
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all the above is accurate

the result of a lowside is a few bruises and maybe some rash (where your gear may fail)

The result of a highside is usually a broken collar bone, wrist, leg and some very long weeks with sprained ligaments


WHen the time comes and you have your first spill (it will happen, I don't care HOW long you have been riding accident free.......Taz has just been lucky...that and the poo-boy doens't log alot of miles :twofinger ) there won't be time to THINK........you'll do what you're instincts tell you. And that'll be grab a hand full of brakes......and thats a no no.....you PRAY for a lowside and hope to NEVER experience a high-side.


Just remember, saving your ass by throwing the bike away is a whole lot less painful than the natural reaction of trying to save the bike and doing something stupid to counter the slide...you're not Rossi, so don't think you can pull off his magical saves...cause you certainly can't pull off his magical SPEED.......let the bike go and save YOURSELF!
 

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Braking and high siding has been covered but incorrect throttle control will also send you over the high end. When the rear wheel steps out due to excessive spin letting off the throttle will let the tire regain traction unfortunately the bike is not in a position to allow this to happen without consequence. Even cutting the throttle during a small slide can have bad consequences. Chop the throttle during a heavy or severe slid and the bike will stand up with such force it can send the rider flying.

I’ve been running my last high side through my head for a while now (happened back in July during a track day). The only thing I can come up with is that I was convinced that a low side was inevitable and I released the throttle. I’m 230lbs in gear and I was sent up and over like a rag doll. End result, lots of bruises and a fracture down at the wrist.
 

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thought if you release the throttle the bike will jsut stop turning and it will stand upright its possible to do a lowside with releasing the throttle? i guess so
 

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highsides are more painful, and cost more to repair.
 

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Itchy said:
thought if you release the throttle the bike will jsut stop turning and it will stand upright its possible to do a lowside with releasing the throttle? i guess so
If you're in a turn and you release the throttle, you lose traction...that's a good way to crash hard. Accelerate through the turn...
 

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#1 Gear Nazi
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linuxbikr said:
Tuck the front end, bike skids away and I test my back protector and neck hump for a slide into the grass.
I agree with most everything you say, but I think you have been mislead about the function of the "hump." It's not for crash protection, it's made for aerodynamics, to make the air flow from your helmet and over your back without turbulence, not having the hump creates turbulence and at high speeds, slows you down. Just a little FYI! :)
 

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Linux... well said. Couldn't have explained it any better.
 

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... Highsides are almost always bad. They hurt. They're usually violent. On the street, messed up rear braking is the most common cause. Ease to induce with inexperience. Lock the rear brake, rear tire starts to slide out of line, you freak, release the brake and the rear tire suddenly regains traction and snaps back into line with the bike. That snap can be violent enough to throw you clean off the bike. Hence the rule: If you lock the rear, keep it locked until you stop! ...
Long time, no see on this topic.

What if you squeezed the clutch before hitting the rear brake lever and keep it that way even after the brake release ?
 

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Does anyone else love watching a guy who just lowsided on the track try to stand up while they are still sliding really fast. Its great watching their legs try to move really fast like in a cartoon only to fall again.
 

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Happened to me but I was not high sided, so I'm confused ...
Of course, I'm actually very happy, but the question remains.
So, please, tell me if you know: does clutch grabbing softens bike standup after the skid ?
 
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