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  1. #11
    Super Member bigborer's Avatar
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    Feb 2017
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    Re: Helmet and lightning

    It's not always that easy to get out of the storm.

    Few weeks ago I took half a day off to ride the FZ6 in the nearest rural area near my city, where the traffic is light, the roads are good, it's moderately twisty and there's rarely police. Online weather said ~30% chance of rain.

    There were very few and thin clouds and it was mostly sunny... until after some point, in about 20 minutes at most, the sky turned black in almost all directions. The moment I saw that I turned to the nearest highway entry point (10 minutes away), hoping to get home as quick as possible, before the storm started.

    I was at about 80kms from home, and rode that highway as fast as safely possible for a naked bike and moderate wind (about 180km/h), hoping to outrun the storm. In about 10 minutes I started to feel some tingling on my biceps, one of the few vented areas on my leather jacket. 5 more minutes, and the tingling got more painful, so I slowed down to about 140km/h and noticed that what was causing me pain was hail (it took about 5 days for the bruising to heal!). After the short time it took to take a few peak looks at the hail, trying to spot the largest one sitting on the tank, it suddenly started pouring rain and lightning everywhere.

    This was the closest I'd ever been to lightning, as one bolt struck an electricity post about 2-300m right in from of me. 2 minutes later, due to the rain and wind it took so much concentration just to ride at 60 km/h, that I couldn't even "admire" the lightnings near me any more.

    And no, there are absolutely no gas stations or restaurants or anything that I know of in that area.

    So yeah... sometimes it just is what it is, and all you can do is just ride it out, hoping that it's not your time yet.
    2004 FZ6 with R6 Fork and brakes, Leo Vince SBK Carbon Exhaust, Venhill SS Race brake lines, APE manual CCT, CBR 600 F4i rear shock

  2. Thanks Motogiro, ShoopCE thanked for this post
  3. #12
    TownsendsFJR1300 (OP)
    2007 FZ6 TownsendsFJR1300's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Cape Coral, Florida, USA
    49 Post(s)
    1 Thread(s)

    Re: Helmet and lightning

    Florida IS the lightning capitol of the world..

    I've seen it take out two palm trees across the canal from me (I was on the covered patio) and once, while working(had to be there), a bolt hit maybe 100' away.. Holy crap....

    Being summer is the rainy season down here and with that comes daily thunder storms/lightning. If you can hear thunder, it's time to get inside, get under an overpass, etc... Fortunately, it usually blows past pretty quick.
    2007 Yamaha FZ6- BD43 headlight mod, PIAA bulbs, Stebal air horn, Scorpion SS pipes-(no DB killers), Speedohealer, HEL SS brake lines, Fenda Extenda, K&P SS re-usable oil filter, custom mounted BMW style electrical outlet(L.S.), Techmount GPS mount with handlebar bar risers/set backs, additional helmet lock, custom mod'ed seat(Spencers), Hyper light-rear running/brake light, custom radiator/fan protector, Techspec tank pads, Grip Puppies, Yamaha rear rack with custom aluminum flat rack.

  4. Thanks Motogiro thanked for this post
  5. #13
    Vrrroooooom! Helmet and lightning Motogiro's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    San Diego, Ca.
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    Re: Helmet and lightning

    We rarely get thunder and lightning here but one day we had a group ride. We were on Old Hwy 94 headed east. The sky quickly turned dark ahead of us and we could see the lightning strikes ahead of us. We got the group turned around and knew we had to get away as quickly as possible. We huddled in an underpass and one of our riders was an AC130 flight engineer from our MCAS Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. (Remember Top Gun?) He had a cool doppler app on his phone and got us pointed west bound to head away from the storm. It was almost too late as there was a wall of black to our north and I could see bolts stretching from behind us and hitting ahead of us in the mountains just northwest of us. We couldn't go south because south was Mexico and we were almost at the border fence. All of us were in the triple digits because it was one of the worst storms and it came fast on us. There was no weighing a speeding ticket against a strike. I don't think CHP wouldn't understand what we were up to anyway. We all made it to safety.

    Thank you Chris @Eng for help getting us out of that?

    Oh yeah I have a doppler app now!

    We have a member on our forum that is the survivor of a lighting strike.

    My wife was in a phone booth on the phone when lightning hit near her location. She shot out of the booth and over a chain link fence she could never scale normally.

    My kids went running away once when I hooked up some 8 foot florescent lamps to a long dipole antenna and grounded the other other ends of the bulbs. I told them look! That lightning bolt was about 1 mile away and look how bright these lamps get! Those strikes were inducing enough emf in that dipole antenna to light those florescent lamps. Of course I quickly grounded that dipole and got away fast....

    Oh yeah....... Wanna know about how far a strike is from you? Sound travels at 1096 feet per second at sea level, about 70 deg F or rounded off, 1100 feet per second. When you see a strike, count, one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand...... When you hear the sound, multiply the seconds times 1100 feet.
    Last edited by Motogiro; 06-15-2019 at 06:02 AM.
    If you can't fix it by hitting it with a hammer, it's electrical!

    SoCal Hoon

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