Reconstructing a motorcycle crash requires specialized knowledge of motorcycle operations, motorcycle dynamics and rider input to determine what actually happened in the crash. Steering and braking techniques set a motorcycle apart from other vehicles. The rider uses different steering techniques depending on speed and may have to independently control the front and rear brakes when stopping. In a crash, both pre and post-impact events will leave unique evidence that can be misinterpreted by an investigator unfamiliar with motorcycles.
Unique aspects of motorcycle reconstruction include:
- Single track vehicle dynamics and stability
- Steering and counter-steering
- Proper riding techniques
- Front and rear brake usage
- Lane positioning
- Hazard avoidance, conspicuity and crash avoidance maneuvers
- Rider skill, training, experience
Dwayne Owen has been riding motorcycles for over forty years and has investigated hundreds of motorcycle crashes during his career. He has also taught over 100 students through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Rider Course.