Why you'll never see us riding Mulholland

Dailies -


Mulholland_lowside.jpgYou’ll never see one of us riding The Snake, The Dragon or any other destination riding road. Why? This video pretty much sums it up. An overbearing police presence and inexperienced riders riding outside their ability. This guy came around the corner at the limit of his talent, saw the cop, grabbed a handful of front brake and, surprise, lost the front end. Training, gear and judgement were all in short supply.  >

  • Steve

    Unbelievable. I wonder about two things: 1. why doesn’t this guy do a few track days, and 2. why don’t the cops stay off the corners? (I know, so no one can see them until the last moment; that way they can nail your ass with a ticket as they escort you to the emergency room. Good thing this moron wasn’t hurt.) So much for protecting and serving!

    • lars knudson

      That’s a great video. The biker is 100% responsible for his own safety. The cop is off the road surface so no harm there. This is a public road, so anyone can park off the side of the road.

  • No wonder California is bankrupt

    Did you know that California Highway Patrolman get to retire at age 49 with a pension of 90% of their highest year’s salary? The average pension benefit is now in excess of $3 million dollars.

    • Core

      Holy mole’eee

      That’s awesomely ridiculous. Do they fight super villains in California?

  • Greg

    Steve, sorry, but your inference that police were in some way to blame for this collision is completely asinine. Riders such as the one in the video are the main reason why police populate those types of roads to begin with. The bottom line is the rider panicked after seeing the police car and crashed. It’s likely he would have had the same reaction if he spotted the police car being driven around the corner and not just parked near it. Grow up and learn that people have to take responsibility for their own actions.

  • Nick

    that road is covered in sand. police car or not, someone is coming off there sooner or later. of course, the piggy mobile doesn’t help the situation for other riders by driving up on the non existent hard shoulder.

    • Sean Smith

      Erm, maybe the top corner has sand in it from time to time, but Paul usually sweeps it off to keep too many squids from crashing. The snake is fun early in the morning, or after four when it gets too cold for a t-shirt.

      That cop is actually not too bad of a dude (coming from a guy who REALLY hates the cops). The only way he’s giving you a ticket is 1. If you cross the double-yellow, or 2. Crash. I’ve ridden past him with a peg on the ground a few times and never had a problem. It mostly has to do with the fact that although you’re hauling ass, it’s pretty hard to exceed the speed limit by much through that corner.

  • Isaac

    I saw a six car pile up due to an overbearing police presence. I know people have to take responsibility for their actions but that couls have been avaoided. The cop could have simply been parked on the straight. And I think they know that too. I’m sorry but I have to say it’s the fault of both!

  • Greg

    “I saw a six car pile up due to an overbearing police presence. I know people have to take responsibility for their actions but that couls have been avaoided. The cop could have simply been parked on the straight. And I think they know that too. I’m sorry but I have to say it’s the fault of both!”

    I wasn’t expecting the rider in the video to actually respond to this story… surprising…

    • Isaac

      I wasn’t the rider you douche. I have a Yamaha not a Ninja.

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        No personal attacks please guys.

        • Greg

          Sorry, Wes. My fault, I started it. Just irked by seemingly ignorant comments…

  • contender

    The Dragon was worth it, and I live in California. With all the travel gear I wasn’t really dragging knee or anything, though.

    • geonerd

      that is completely subjective. i went to college in asheville and have only ridden the dragon once. there are so many more undiscovered locations in western NC that aren’t nearly as populated.

      the gap has become something analagous to a summer-long version of Daytona. squids, morons, cops and a few genuine gear heads all competing for the same bends over and over and over. all day long. every day of the week. between may and september.

  • http://setthemfree.tumblr.com Sasha Pave

    Growing up riding the canyons of LA, you quickly learn not to ride these roads on the weekends. Especially this section just above the Rock Store.

    I’ve had far too many friends crash when bikes hit them head on when overshooting a corner in the wrong lane. And for the cops it’s like shooting fish out in a barrel.

    I honestly can say that track time and club racing saved my ass.

  • http://www.txsbr.com Benjamin

    A public road is not a race track. That guy rode in such a way that left no room for problems. That’s dangerous for everyone.

    Whether it’s a cop car, a rock slide, or an animal crossing, flying around a blind corner anywhere near the “limit” is a matter of faith. Not skill.

  • Random

    Should we stay out of any nice curvy roads because some morons think they are Rossi in them? Straigth roads are boring, and changing directions is what modern bikes are made for, after all.

    Obviously, if you can’t enjoy yourself at reasonable, sane (and preferably legal) speeds you should be doing a few trackdays, not blaming cops.

  • http://psrey.com/wp @Reyzie

    It doesn’t appear to me he’s going that fast? I’m not seeing knees down in the turns, no blown double-yellows or anything egregiously unsafe… Looks like he simply made a mistake. It can happen to the best of us!

    • CafeRacer1200

      Agreed. If he’d have been really flying, that bike would have been over what looks like a pretty serious precipice. I understand the reaction, but geez, he was getting a ticket anyway at that point. Might as well wait for the cop to turn on the lights and not wad the bike. Hindsight is 20/20 though.

  • TeeJay
  • jwinter

    Cops in California are the worst and dudes that drive beyond their limits are a close second.

    I’ll usually side with the party opposite the police but after nearly getting killed by guys doing wheelies on bikes at insane speeds on the Willamsburg bridge, in traffic, I can see that both parties are sometimes to blame.

  • http://www.damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

    We should set up a Hell for Leather trackday here in the NorthEast. NH maybe?

  • MP

    I’m more interested in who was filming that. You can’t go to the shitter without a camera on you these days!

  • kidchampion

    Even at a relatively low speed, that could have been really ugly had there had been a car, or another bike, traveling in the other lane.

  • Baron Von Dangerously

    He should have realized that the second he came around the corner, he was caught. No need to dive on the brakes like that, just deal with it and use your brain. If there was a car coming in the opposite direction, he would have been in some serious trouble.

  • PC Paul

    Well, not to be a rabid cop supporter, the cop has every right to be where he is and the rider is 100% responsible for his crash. It is a public highway, not a race course, and riders need to be responsible. That said, I have done EXACTLY the same thing this guy did with pretty much the same results. There was no cop there, but here was a BMW car crossing into my lane and I made the wrong response. Never grab front brake in a corner! Maybe you can feather it a little but grab a handful and hello pavement. :-)

  • Jason Stone

    I don’t think the rider was doing anything illegal to begin with. He was just startled by the cop sitting there. As a reflex anytime we are doing something “fun” in a car or on a bike you double check yourself when you see a cop to make sure, guy did that and tapped the front brake in the corner, he had no reason to and the cop had nothing to pull the guy over for.

    • Tom

      I agree with Jason. I’m really tired of watching people going the speed limit hit their brakes when they see a cop. It’s as if everyone thinks that whatever they do is inherently “bad” and when daddy cop sees you, he’s caught you up to no good so take your medicine to make you better. Fortunately thought crime is a still a ways off, but probably getting closer. The way that guy was going, he was legal. I don’t see a problem with putting a little smile on your face once in a while, but I’m sure they found a ticket for him somehow.

      • Si

        I was chatting to a guy the other day who said, “When ever I hear a siren the first thing I do is look at my speed-o. Even when I’m on my police bike! and it’s my siren, after I’ve just started hearing over the wind noise when I slow down.”

  • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D.

    Squids and Pigs don’t mix. But that guy was clearly over his limits; any good rider wouldn’t be so startled by a cop that they think grabbing a fistful of front brake is a good idea, track days or not. He wasn’t even going that fast. You should have your had checked if you need to be riding a super-sport at anything above 70% of its limits on a public road to have fun.

  • Mike B

    I don’t see where he broke the law here at all. I don’t know what the speed limit is around that corner of course, but he couldn’t have been that far over it.

    What happened was that he saw the cop, he’d probably been speeding before, and he panicked. Guilty conscience. He wouldn’t have been pulled over at all if he’d have just kept going.

    Actually, there’s no evidence here that he did get pulled over, or issued a citation or anything. I saw the cop drive up and put his ambers on. That’s a standard response to an accident. He shielded the rider and the bike from traffic with warning lights flashing, and then got out to help.

    Now, as to whether he should have been there in the first place, as opposed to staking out a spot where he’s less likely to startle riders in a blind corner… well, I think the police presence on a highly-publicized “rider’s road” is something you have to prepare for and be aware of, but the cops should know better than to hide in places where they know they’ll force a newb to make a mistake.

  • lloydy

    The guy was’nt taking a stupid line , was’nt going stupid fast, he just went down on the low side,-it happens.
    Love the way the cop had to drive his fat ass all of 10 meters towards the stricken rider.

  • Si
    • carbon

      Si, you just made my day

  • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

    I loathe cops but that is rider error. It’s the rider’s responsibility to control the bike, regardless of whether or not there’s a cop parked on the side of the road. Shame about the bike though. I’m glad he wasn’t hurt.

    I ride the socal canyons when I have time but I ride them much slower than most guys I know. Not knowing what’s around the next corner is only cool if you can stop before you run into it.

    As for the retirement benefits for law enforcement and firemen here in CA: that information is correct. Their retirement plans are obscene. One of many reasons the state is going bankrupt.

  • DT2

    I have to say the blame is on the rider here. Mistakes happen. You could even place the blame on the riders who frequent The Snake. The cops patrol that area because people crash up there every single weekend. People come from all around to ride this stretch of road but they don’t “know” the road. They make multiple runs and each time they push a little harder. It’s just a matter of time before you go down. As for the cop, most riders tap their heads indicating you know what. Seldom are you actually suprised when seeing one. And on top of it all, I heard this cop didn’t even ticket the rider. He helped him get back up and let him go. No harm no foul.

  • tim

    Agree rider error. These corners are notoriously sandy, and if you don’t watch and expect that you’re definitely going to go down at some point.

    Also agree that I never go out there on the weekend, no fun, too many people.

  • Steve L

    Funny how no one commented on how that a-hole went by the guy on the bicycle at the beginning of the clip. I grew up riding and driving that stretch of road. Have crashed on it, and been crashed into in my car by a bike. Watched a guy leave his leg between his bike and the guardrail 100 feet further up the street from the clip, and so on… Its a great stretch of road but the cops have been onto it for years now so anyone who is caning it through there, especially on the weekend is just a little dumb. There are plenty of roads that are less patrolled and trafficked.

  • Isaac

    I say just hit the track. And I still say it was the fault of both the cop and the bike. There are safer ways of issuing citations rather than scaring the shit out of some squid coming hot into a corner.

    Think about what your first reaction is when you see a cop. ‘OH SHIT BRAKE TIME!’, that’s what happens and I know they know that. Give people some time to be caught. I really don’t think another 200 yards will make the difference on them speeding. They’ll get caught anyway.

    It’s like sneaking up behind someone and starling them. They could hurt you or hurt themselves. When I graduate the academy one day (long process) I’ll do my job however I will think about the person not being a jackass because I have a badge and that I hate all riders because a ‘few’ have misused their riding privileges.

    PS: Yes Greg, I am becoming one of them. And yes I will be on an RTP1200….probabaly chasing your self richeous ass.

  • Greg

    “PS: Yes Greg, I am becoming one of them. And yes I will be on an RTP1200….probabaly chasing your self richeous ass.”

    Damn! If I wasn’t just chewed out by the editor…

  • LADucSP

    The cops cause such unsafe conditions on the roads here in California. They all do it. They’re the most dangerous thing out there.

    • Sean Smith

      That’s a whole ‘nother can of worms that should probably stay closed for now. But, as someone who frequently rides that road, and the rest of the santa monica canyon system I will say this: There are some real assholes driving black and white cars that cant seem to keep it on their side of the road. The word hypocrite just doesn’t seem to have enough punch to describe how these boys in blue drive.

      Next to the guy that thought it was a good idea to make a u-turn in the middle of the top corner of the snake, the chippy’s are really the most dangerous people out there.

  • Mike

    I have to agree about The Dragon. I don’t ride it anymore, just to much junk to deal with. Not to say I don’t go there, from the Cherohala Skyway to 129 since I do enjoy The Snake, all the way down to the four lane. As for Mulholland, well, I drove a 36ft. truck up there summer of 08 delivering stuff to Starbucks stores. That was more than enough pucker factor for me to stay off of it.

  • LADucSP

    I just watched the clip again, and I love how the cop takes the chance to peel out and speed over……3 feet!

    The guy’s already crashed, ferchrissakes. And, could be hurt too. But, as long as he can get his rocks off charging over, right?

    Whata f***n a**hole!

  • adam

    hater copz– f- the police

  • pdub

    Woah, lot’s of hate and second guessing the cop here. I didn’t see anything the cop did as possibly wrong. When the guy down he did the best thing possible. He put his car as close to the apex and accident as possible with his amber flashers on. that’s pretty good. Traffic from both directions may see his lights coming into the corner before seeing the bike or man down. As to where he was parked. If you look at it from traffic heading uphill into the corner from the other direction he was actually visible before the corner. He couldn’t be on the straight in both directions. The post that says he helped the rider and sent him on his way without a ticket may prove out that he was there for more than to simply catch people out. I say rider holds the bulk of responsibility here. He may not have been going faster than ability to hold a line but was for sure taking it faster than he had spare attention or room for action for anything unforseen in the corner. This clip proves it. He got in the corner and just the presence of a parked cruiser was enough to overload his abilities.

  • madd matt

    The rider: Darwin Award for utter stupidity on multiple fronts.

    The cop: Batman award for knowing the perfect spot to sit and aprehend a vicious crime.

    No, the cop isn’t to blame, but 100% of reaction to cops, speeding or not, is to grab a handful of brake. That spot probably would cause the front end to wash out at any speed.

    Yes it’s unexperienced rider error, but this is an unsafe place for him to sit.

  • Pamberjack

    I don’t get it – he’s obviously not speeding, so what’s the cop doing? Do American cops hand out tickets for falling of a bike?

    Somebody please explain?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      American cops hand out tickets for everything. I once got one for reckless riding while I was sitting still at a red light. On a BMW 650 GS of all things too.

      • Pamberjack

        So the cop is WAITING for riders to fall?

      • Mitch

        You hoodlum.

  • Pamberjack

    Thinking a little more about this, the whole thing seems weird. Why is the camera filming in the first place? What is the cop doing there anyway? Do they just sit on this road and wait? Is he INTENTIONALLY trying to bring down bikers?

    America is a weird freakin’ place.

    • Mitch

      This particular stretch of road is very popular, a few pro photogs come up on weekends to take pictures. Thousands of bikes and rare cars go by each day, so there’s lots of video and stills.

  • Jerry

    Get a bicycle, moron.

  • erik

    Rockstore/mullholland can turn into a circus quick and there is no shortage of morons up there that are just plain scary so the cops actually need to be up there. As for me, I think the dude isnt really one of them, yeah he $*#( up but everyone does. As for where the cop is, you can see the spot before the approach on the very turn he went down, he just didnt look up.

    For the most part of what I have seen up there, cops really play it light unless your a complete moron or think your drunk. They also do a hell of a job keeping the cars at bay and from what I’ve seen are pressing them alot more.

  • Steve516

    Umm, a bit of rider training might have prevented most of this. First, if the rider was using his vision, there should have been no surprises. Second if the rider was still somehow surprised, training works against some of your programmed reactions and helps you to respond instead of react. Responding means using your head and not letting the adrenaline cause you to react too quickly. Every time you ride a situation will come up where your training has to overcome your gut reactions/instincts/whatever. Also, I’d throw in the mix that the rider saw the cop and target fixated and hit the brakes all at the same time. If he hadn’t hit the brakes he probably would have run wide or over the double yellow or perhaps into the cop. If the road is sandy, then there is more sand on and around the double yellow.

    All the responsibility falls on the rider. He would have made the same mistake if a Lamborghini was parked there.

  • lux

    I ride these canyons several times a week putting in 100′s of miles and on the weekends the roads are Jammed (More so luckily on Sundays so I make sure to go Saturdays) and yes there are incredibly bad riders out there, From the Biggest Rolling Chrome Circus Parade Harley to the Wanna Be Racer on His Busa, Most the time the ride is quite enjoyable, I see a Sport Bike rider ( or Group approaching in my mirror I will happily move over and let them go As I have gotten Stuck behind Idiots who refuse to move and ruin my ride and make it dangerous by trying to go around them, I also ge the occasional Asshole on a sport bike who blasts by with no warning. Best thing about it is its Forced me and my friends to find even Better and Out of the way canyon roads that aren’t full of these riders. As I said before, its not the bikes I have a problem with, its the people on them. I will continue to ride these roads as they are the best in the world.

  • Dave

    Almost everything has been said, but I did want to comment for everyone that thinks he was speeding.
    A man can run as fast as 27 MPH and that is a world class sprinter. I have had my bike slide out from under me in a corner due to oil. As I slid across the pavement I planted my feet and stood up to “run” off the road. I was going a little over 20-25 MPH and I almost fast planted because my legs could barely keep up with the speed I was already carrying. You will notice our “genius” in the clip was able to get to his feet almost immediately and with no problems. He was probably doing less than 15MPH when he went down.
    I think he “freaked” out because he was getting on it between corners even though he was not skilled enough to speed through the corners.
    Last, I ride that stretch almost every Sat and Sun. We ride up the snake after breakfast at the Rock Store, on our way to ride Old Mullhulond, Decker Cyn, Stunt Canyon (yes that is actually the name of the road, and it is a fun ride), etc. There is a photographer there every weekend. Google Rock Store Photos and you will find a link to his Flickr postings where he posts and sells all his pics from the weekend. You can check out all the bikes and cars at the snake every weekend.

  • http://ridethetorquecurve.blogspot.com hoyt

    cops in corners…

    forget the sportbike rider on a ninja for a moment.

    What if the rider was a brand new rider on a Honda Rebel, learning how to ride, obeying the speed limit. I bet that rider would still get the adrenaline reaction caused by the sight of the police. (very common for a wide array of drivers). This reaction could cause the new rider to make a bad mistake in a critical part of the corner.

    Sure learning to “respond” instead of “react” is part of the learning curve, but in this case, the cop created the situation at a very particular part of that corner.

    How about a rider going in the direction of the cop, while a car going in the opposite direction gets target fixated on the cop and crosses over the double yellow just as the rider is approaching? Point: the cop is in an exact location that adds danger.

    Good post and comments….reminders for all of us, no matter the skill level.

  • shinigami

    Hey, when I was a lot younger and dumber and living it up on the beach in Marina del Rey, I spent every spare moment on that stretch of road in my supercharged MR2 finding the limits of the tires of the day. Can’t tell you how many near misses and how many bikes I saw down up there, but I can tell you, for a young and dumb kid like I was, it was a thrill a minute.

  • RedJet

    I’ve been riding the Snake in Cali, and Tail of the Dragon in North Carolina, as well as a bunch of other roads like them for years and have had no problems with crashes or cops. My friends and I ride our sports bikes relatively responsibly, ride within our limits, and try not to take unnecessary risks. it is possible have a blast without being suicidal or being ticketed.

  • http://www.iwishihadthis.com Adam Gunderson

    Why ticket motorcyclists? I just Googled “ran over by motorcycle” and there was nothing. If a motorcycle crashed into ever the smallest car, the people in the car would be fine. I say let riders assume the risk and let them be.

  • http://www.motohol.com shaun

    funny how I just watched this days ago before you guys made post about it…. :/

  • Timmah

    Folks need to stop freaking out when they see cruisers. Not for nothing, but what if that was an ambulance and in the actual lane? The guy would be dead.

    Does the guy deserve a ticket? Nah, he already dumped and should learn from it. But don’t blame the cop for the guy lowsiding there.


    I blame the cop. Sue him in civil court for damages.

  • Name

    It’s not that much of a loss, I mean the guy was only riding a production Kawasaki. It was probably his first bike and he purchased it because it matched the green in his eyes.

  • Kirk

    I don’t think we blame the civil engineers who built such tempting roads enough. I blame them.