Mark Kircher, a Milwaukee lawyer who is national counsel for Harley-Davidson in the case, said no two-wheeled vehicle is immune to a wobble but that motorcycles can be designed to recover from wobble quickly.
"This model motorcycle was extensively tested and validated," Kircher said. "The investigation suggests that [the wreck] was caused purely by the speed he was riding, the corner he was riding in and the [wind] from the truck he was trying to pass. He encountered a bag of concrete. That's what caused the motorcycle to upset and caused him to come off of it and get injured."
While I have no idea how much "wobble" at elevated speeds your typical Harley has, I would have to say that I mostly agree with the Blood-Sucking Lawyer on this one.
Wouldn't matter if he was on a BMW, a 'Busa, or maybe even in a car - striking an 80-lb bag of concrete (was it still "mix" - or had it gotten wet and hardened while sitting?) while fighting the turbulence in a Semi's wake, on a curve. >shakes head sadly<. Perhaps the wobble contributed to the crash, yes?
Offhand, I would say he was breaking the 12-second rule, or he wouldn't have struck the debris (attack of the 50-foot-stare is one of my own most egregious errors - but I work on it daily). It's even possible he saw the debris in time, but underestimated the ground-clearance of his machine - hard parts are usually a major limiting factor in relation to the tire's adhesion with the road, when cornering hard.
Mind, I'm not beating the man up - he's gone, and is unable to defend himself here. Having recently lost my own Father, I certainly feel for his family; one really wishes he hadn't tried to overtake the Semi where and how he did (I remember reading of this incident when it happened several years ago).
Who knows, some people think Harleys are the best bikes ever made and feel cool cuz they ride one. As advanced and well-made as other brand's motorcycles are, I also wonder why the police force would choose Harley.
Yeah I missed the part that he ran over the concrete bag, then the bike wobbled. I'd be pretty scared if I hit one on my CBR1krr and am pretty sure the bike would unstable itself. Anyways, I would still choose BMW over Harley, especially for police work
I have a good friend that had the same type of wobble show up while passing a truck with his Electra-Glide. Scared the crap out of him. He still has it but no longer runs it that hard. He figures his Bigdog is a better high speed bike.
It's too bad that we have a culture now where everyone who undergoes a personal tragedy believes they have the right to become independently wealthy. I'm very sorry for the officer and his family, but if the same thing happened to me I'd have no one to blame but myself. A professional rider especially should know the capabilities and limitations of his machine and ride it accordingly.
I'm sick of paying thousands of dollars each year for the things I buy because of the liability premiums the manufacturers have to carry. Why should they be held liable for the incompetence and bad judgemant of the users?
What about the guy that left the bag of cement there? How about suing him? Not deep enough pockets, that's why. Or how about suing the road department for not cleaning up the shoulders? This lawsuit is simply a result of an ambulance chaser coming up with some BS excuse to sue the deep pockets.
Damm all bottomfeeding lawyers and the culture of greed that supports this system of shakedowns.
I read the article to mean that the bag-o-crete was on the shoulder, and that he hit it after being forced onto the shoulder by the semi's wake, wobble or something else. It was the bag that ultimately caused the crash, but not the events leading up to it. Clearly there is a lot that is unknown - at least to us.
As far as operator skill and knowing the bike's limits, motor officers are highly trained riders, typically able to do rather incredible things with those big heavy bikes they ride. Obviously I can't speak for the poor guy here, but I wouldn't assume that he didn't know the machine's "normal" limits. Maybe the combination of speed and aerodynamics initiated an unlikely, but very dangerous condition. Now whose fault that is...
I mean no disrespect to officer Paul, and godspeed to him. However, using a POS like that one to high speed chase a criminal, is a crime in itself, a crime commited not only by his superiors for allowing it, but specially by the motor company for selling such trash to our finest in uniform. And the idiot who states that they oscillate a little at those speeds, has no idea of what a TANKSLAPPER is all about, he should be SLAPPED for such an assinine statement.
Without delving further into my own personal problems - when my Father was killed in March, the Lawyers literally came out of the woodwork. Some it took several firm "No's" to get them to go away. My Father believed in personal responsibility - *HE* made the mistake that took his life, and no amount of settlement money will ever bring him back.
I believe that were my brother and sister and I to pursue some lawsuit against his employer, their parent company, or the equipment manufacturer - he would literally whip my A$$ off (were he alive to do so). It was tempting; most of the Blood-Sucking-Lawyers were talking $1M to $4M in settlement (before their cut, I assume). But my Father raised me better than that.
I'm not saying anything about the Officer's Widow - it's not my Family, and not my place, and our decision should reflect in no way on his Family's decisions. This is merely my own situation.
Funny, isn't it. When the Big4 sell sportbikes with high speed stability problems (like the recent ZX6) the clowns say, "Just add a steering damper." When HD has the same problem it's, "Kill the criminal bastards for selling crap."