Motorcycles

Extraordinarily close call for Gizmag's Loz Blain

Extraordinarily close call for...
Gizmag's Loz Blain comes far too close for comfort during our latest video shoot
Gizmag's Loz Blain comes far too close for comfort during our latest video shoot
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Still frame from the video
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Still frame from the video
Still frame from the video
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Still frame from the video
Gizmag's Loz Blain comes far too close for comfort during our latest video shoot
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Gizmag's Loz Blain comes far too close for comfort during our latest video shoot
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So here's the story. I was out test riding the BMW S1000RR for the latest in our video motorcycle review series. I had a pillion on the back, Karen, taking her first ride on a sportsbike.

Going well under the 100 km/h (62 mph) speed limit, I came up on a blind, cresting right hand bend. Staying nice and wide, I saw a 4WD (probably a Toyota Hilux) coming the other way, about a foot into my lane. No problem, happens all the time - but in general the driver realizes they're running wide, corrects their path and there's no issue.

This guy didn't - in fact, at the last second he ran even wider. I managed to dodge him by a matter of a couple of inches, but ran off the road in the process. Luckily the BMW is laden with smart ABS and traction control technology that helped me scrub off some speed in the grass and gravel, and get it back on the road, leaving us with this spectacular video footage.

BMW S1000RR - extremely close call with oncoming SUV

Karen was fine - right up until she saw the video footage and the gravity of the incident hit home.

But it occurred to me that had I managed to dodge the oncoming 4WD, then run off the road and crashed, the statistics and the newspapers would tell a familiar story: "a 34 year-old motorcyclist and a female passenger were killed today when the rider lost control of his 1000cc sportsbike. It was a single vehicle accident, speed is believed to be a factor."

Perhaps next time you hear a motorcycle crash distilled down to those words, think of this video and realize that not all single vehicle accidents are the rider's fault. Ride safe out there!

Oh, and if anyone reckons they know how to extract a license plate from a few blurred frames of video footage, we'd love to hear how to do it!

The gorgeous (and technology packed) BMW S1000RR - Click here to download a wallpaper image (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag)

View gallery - 4 images
42 comments
Leon Radford
I am happy because you survived this ugly situation and you are right, they usually blame it on the biker, they do it all the time.
Jamie Estep
You should have turned around and caught that A** hole. Scary.
Dave Brough
What am I missing here...? First, there was 'no blind, cresting bend' (check the video), and second, unless the guy was in England (and it didn't look like it), HE was on the friggen WRONG side of the road! [He was in Australia, so he was where he belonged -Ed]
Robert Volk
Wow! Glad everyone is alright- close call that could have been a tragic story. Glad everyone made it through safely!
Bob B
Glad that you are ok. I was traveling directly next to a lady going the same direction through town when she moved into my lane forcing me onto the center median. After she had forced me onto the median she moved back into her lane and never looked back. I didn\'t go down but I imagined the police report. \"Motorcyclist loses control.\"
rseifer
I\'m tremendously glad that you and your rider came out ok in this, but at the age of 77 I\'ve pretty much given up on bicycles and motorcycles on public roads because of negligent, indifferent people like the guy driving the SUV in your video.
This video brings to mind an old acquaintance by the name of Johnny McLaughlin, a harder-than-nails former WWII fighter pilot, who raced and won on bikes here in Southern California for years. I once watched Johnny in a match race here at Willow Springs against Mike Hailwood and Paddy Driver, but he was badly outclassed and eventually dropped his G45 in a turn, and came back to the pits to tell us that he had been injured in the spill--a fingernail had been torn off. But he was truly an accomplished rider and unquestionably fearless.
Some years after the Willow Springs race, Johnny was riding on the road when a car crossed the centerline and took off his left arm. It has always been unimaginable to me that a rider of Johnny\'s caliber could have been victimized like this.
I love bikes, and have always viewed them as huge fun, but the proliferation of bigger vehicles, with many more distractions inside like cellphones, video screens, blaring headphones and drivers with nearly flatlined brainscans, has converted what I used to think of as a delightful diversion into what I now regard as damn near death defying.
Truly unfortunate. But, again, I\'m glad you came through OK. Stay safe.
Ralph L. Seifer, Long Beach, California
Reuben Bakker
Wow. You did a great job handling that situation. That was incredibly close! Glad you and your passenger came out ok!
Pierre-André Aebischer
Hey, This \"at the last second he ran even wider\" is the typical reaction of a driver coming from abroad where they/we drive, you know, on the right side of the road,
(I must confess this did happen to me, I was the wrong guy and nobody was hurt...)
dpark76
OMG...I would have turned around and given him a piece of my mind. I can\'t believe all you did was shake your head and smile.
Flipider Comm
Same distance but I was riding a Trek mountain bike and the driver of the car was trying to beat the traffic light from behind me. All I herd was the roar of the engine. After the passing car. I though how wonderful it would have been to have keyed the side of car as it passed me or futuristic laser defense paint scratchier platform.