Motorcycle Forums » Biker Chat

Loose Sleeping Bag Causes Motorcycle Wreck

    • 5417 posts
    July 31, 2011 10:11 AM PDT
    This is why I ALWAYS use more straps and tie-downs then necessary.  And I check every single one of them everytime I stop.

    It just doesn't take all that much to cause a major problem on a motorcycle...


    A New Jersey motorcyclist was critically hurt Saturday on Interstate 78 after a strapped sleeping bag came loose and fell into his rear wheel, Pennsylvania State Police said.

    Kyle M. Capabianca, 23, of Lodi was thrown onto the westbound highway about 4:40 p.m. in Upper Macungie Township, sliding 10 yards before coming to rest where the road merges with Route 22, police said.

    Capabianca, was listed in critical condition at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest on Sunday afternoon.

    Police said the sleeping bag was strapped to the back of Capabianca's motorcycle. After it fell, the wheel locked up and Capabianca was unable to keep the bike upright, police said.



    • 0 posts
    July 31, 2011 10:17 AM PDT
    Shit mate thats a bit of bad luck aye..What I do is put a;ll my shit in my old duffle bad and strap it on that way you only have to secure one bloody bag not a whole heap of shit..Easier to tie on that way and can stack a slab of beer to the top without scratchin your fender..CHEERS BOOF
    • 21 posts
    July 31, 2011 11:38 AM PDT
    No kidding, Lucky! That's not too far from me - haven't seen it in the local news
    • 2072 posts
    July 31, 2011 12:31 PM PDT
    That's why if I'm going to be carrying that much "Stuff"..... I pull my trailer !!!!

    And Boof...... It will carry a BUNCH of beer !!!!!! 
  • July 31, 2011 1:16 PM PDT
    Man that really bites. I hope he makes it.
  • July 31, 2011 1:36 PM PDT
    I hope the young man makes it!! The lidsaks with the straps take care of my gear when I'm fully loaded.
    • 2976 posts
    July 31, 2011 2:07 PM PDT
    Hope he pulls thru ok !!!
    I use the same method as Boof,one big duffle bag for the crap that wont fit in the bags,or use my bike cover as a bag n roll everything up,tent,sleep bag,tarp,a/mattress.etc.
    • Moderator
    • 1507 posts
    July 31, 2011 2:25 PM PDT
    I use the same method as BC... trailers rock!!
    • 6 posts
    July 31, 2011 2:54 PM PDT
    Get a book on knots, get two books on knots, get two books on knots & a copy of the "Boy Scout Manual"

    Learn at least 7 knots & their names. - Keep a piece of line in your pocket & practice knots (great way to pass time)

    When purchasing line go for quality, parachute chord is great but sear or whip the ends to keep it from fraying

    The "Teamsters Hitch" (a.k.a. "truckers hitch") is especially handy for securing loads & quick to untie..
    Check your load in every direction before starting & every time you stop.

    Bungees are great for small, unimportant stuff that you don't mind losing but do not trust them when a loose load could present a problem of any kind.
  • July 31, 2011 2:55 PM PDT
    ...and if the BIG trailer's a'rockin' don't come a'knockin'!!
    • 59 posts
    July 31, 2011 2:57 PM PDT
    Duffel works for me.
  • August 1, 2011 5:11 AM PDT
    I always carry my sleeping bag in a luggage bag with a pillow at each end. The D-rings on the bag make good tie down points in addition to the pulled over bungees.
    • 5417 posts
    August 1, 2011 7:12 AM PDT
    Riding two-up means I carry the camping gear and clothes for two as well as all the CycleFish stuff, so my bike can get pretty full.  But I load it very meticulously ensurung that everything is secure and well balanced.  I also check EVERY strap and bungy EVERY stop.


    • 0 posts
    August 1, 2011 7:59 AM PDT
    Seems like a $5 motorcycle cargo net would have a cheap investment for this person. I have 2 with me usually.
    • 2072 posts
    August 1, 2011 12:35 PM PDT
    Lucky....... Thought you were gonna get a trailer !!!!
    • 5417 posts
    August 1, 2011 4:34 PM PDT
    Still on my to do list Rob...
    • Moderator
    • 16585 posts
    August 2, 2011 1:41 AM PDT
    Here is my near tragic story...
    Failing to pay attention to detail can, as we all know, cost us dearly. On a beautiful summer morning in the Adirondacks I loaded up my former ride, a '93 FXDWG. My riding partner had her own ride so I was not really over loaded. The luggage that nearly ruined my life was a modest size camera bag, filled with two camera bodies and multiple lenses. I would set it on the top of the right saddlebag; with a two-inch wide nylon strap with one of those snap-locked nylon buckles.

    This strap was run between the rear seat and fender, back over the top of the seat and around the bag vertically. I also had a bungee run front to back over the bag to prevent fore / aft movement. The strap was about two feet too long so I would roll up the excess and tuck it in a rear pocket of the camera bag. This had worked well for me several times.

    I just came out of a fun tight turn and was entering a small town. BAM! Slam! The rear of the bike felt like it bottomed out and then was OK. Thinking I hit a massive pothole or an 8x8 on the road I checked my side view to see and a horrible vision was presented to me. I saw my camera bag (with thousands of dollars of equipment inside) tumbling down the road at 35 MPH. Crap; what ever I hit dumped my bag.

    Pulling over quickly I scrambled back to get my cameras and happily discovered that all was well inside except for a cracked lens on the flash unit. Next I looked over the bike and discovered the two-inch strap was shredded and about two feet shorter. This two feet of strap was tangled in the spokes, strange though the snap-buckle was still connected. The excess rolled strap came loose and tangled in the spokes and when it ran out of strap to eat it slammed the rear suspension down hard. Have you ever tried to break one of those two-inch nylon straps?

    Fortunately the only damage was minor and the lesson learned was immense. NO LOOSE OVERLONG STRAPS! Imagine if this had happened just seconds earlier while I was banked in the turn I had just come out of. OH and I now buy nothing but Tamrac bags for my gear.
  • August 3, 2011 5:57 AM PDT
    I carry lots of bungy chords, straps and zip ties every time I load up and hit the road! Yeah, I'm THAT guy! I've even road with some fellers and along the way I let them know when their load is looking a little uneven, flapping, wobbly and offer them options from my saddle bag of the items listed above. I was on my way to Spokane WA once with a friend, we were traveling out of Seattle and noticed a quick stream of items had blown past me, my good friend was leading the ride, I pulled up along side him and got him to stop as he had not noticed the sudden barrage of toiletry items so I assumed it was his.
    Upon stopping and inspecting his bags (he rides a 94 Softail Nostalgia) that he did not have saddlebag supports... turns out that the right side had shift and the brake rotor had been grinding against it... the fix was to pull the bags up higher so there was no chance of that re-occurring for the trip. Funny thing to note (and only HE has the pictures to prove it) his tooth brush had melted on his muffler and we removed it he said "wow, ok, next stop Walmart!" and my advice to him that his next stop should be Harley Davidson so he could pick up a set of saddlebag supports! $125.00 later after following my advice and doing a road stitch job to his saddlebag (involving a pocket knife to pock holes big enough to put zip ties on to use as the stitching) we were back in business. Though it wasn't life threatening, it could have been had that bag shifted a lot harder and made contact with the rear wheel and gotten in those spokes!
    I try to remain vigilant when it comes to my load plan (retired military), I pack the same way EVERY time, if I add or subtract anything I make sure to keep an eye on it til it does in fact work correctly or I go another direction and try something else.

    Needless to say I have mysteriously lost some items that I know I had packed and I know it was probably me being in a hurry! But I write it off as something I probably shouldn't have with me anyway! LOL

    Also something to point out... make sure you have the right part for the right equipment! I see it a lot, people improvising when they shouldn't or don't have to. Be safe out there brothers!
  • August 3, 2011 6:02 AM PDT
     Heading to Centralia MO from Phoenix AZ then onto Sturgis SD and then Seattle WA!
    • 7 posts
    August 6, 2011 5:46 AM PDT
    A lot of really good tips, and thank you. I had saddlebags, but no supports. This time around, I'm gonna make sure, EVERYTHING is where it should be, and no long, or loose straps, ties, bungee's, or zipz!
    Wow, I gotta shiver reading some of them stories.....Ride Free
    Tweek
  • August 10, 2011 10:15 AM PDT
    Bungee cords fatigue with heat and age. I only use straps and carry spares. Compression bags for all the stuff before it's loaded to reduce any movement at all. I also check everything at each stop.
  • August 13, 2011 10:51 AM PDT
    That they do, I got through plenty of em that's for sure!
    • 6 posts
    August 22, 2011 3:28 PM PDT
    Constrictor Knots keep the sleeping bag tightly bound.

    Teamsters Hitch w/ Larks Head Hitch securing it to the rack & Butterfly Knots to form the loops (tho Slip Knots would have done about as well) secure the sleeping bag & the tent to the rack. - Sheet Bend keeps the ends from flapping about

    Sinnet Knot takes keeps the draw string on the bag covering the sleeping bag from getting tangled.

    Straps are back-up security for everything. - Ditto bungees

    Don't care about the sleeping pad - Can't hurt anything, including me

  • August 22, 2011 3:33 PM PDT
    That is why I pull a trailer every thing is away from my back tire.
    • 611 posts
    August 22, 2011 6:53 PM PDT
    Thanks to all for the info, stories and advice. I have never had something come loose and get in my spokes... However, I was riding back from a run & when I was packing, I had neglected to put the rain fly for my small dome tent into the tent bag. So I just casually slapped a bungee on it to hold it down. I carried my dome tent on the front forks (extended springer front end) and somehow that rain fly came loose... and wrapped itself around my head! Oh yeah, that was a 'Pucker Time'! The bros I was riding with at the time gave me sh*t for months after that. Funny now, not so much then.