Off-Road Motorcycle Accident Reconstruction
Off-Road Motorcycle Accident Reconstruction by Dirt Bike Enthusiasts
The investigation and reconstruction of off-road motorcycle accidents requires an understanding of motorcycle dynamics and the effect of a rider’s inputs on the handling and response of a motorcycle. Veritech Engineering’s motorcycle experts have over 40 years of experience riding and racing off-road motorcycles, combined with 8 years of experience working for a major manufacturer as a design and testing engineer for the development of power sports vehicles such as motorcycles, ATVs and UTVs. This hands-on experience, combined with registration as Professional Engineers and Certified Forensic Engineer in the area of mechanical engineering, gives them unique insight and understanding into the dynamics and rider actions associated with off-road motorcycle crashes. The combination of training, education and experience gives our experts unmatched credentials and authority in the area of motorcycle accident investigation and reconstruction. Additionally, our lead motorcycle expert has been qualified by both state and federal courts around the country, and internationally, to give expert testimony in the areas of mechanical engineering, accident reconstruction, motorcycle vehicle dynamics and motorcycle riding techniques and practices.
Types of Off-Road Riding
The popularity of off-road motorcycling, a.k.a. dirt biking, has historically been limited to either motocross style riding or enduro riding. Motocross riding focuses on a rider circulating a course that has been prepared with obstacles such as jumps and whoops. The rider is often focused on circulating the course as fast as possible thereby challenging himself, and his competition, to develop their riding skills and course knowledge to achieve a faster lap time. Although it is not required, many motocross riders aspire to compete against other rider of similar skill level in an organized race.
Motocross races are held virtually every weekend throughout the year at various closed-course tracks around the country. There are amateur level races, which offer competition groups based on age, skill level, or motorcycle size, and there are professional level races for highly skilled riders which typically group racing classes based only on motorcycle size.
The second riding style mentioned above is enduro riding. Enduro riding, which is sometime referred to as “trail riding”, differs from motocross in that enduro riding takes place on un-prepared trails. Common settings for enduro riding include mountainous terrain, deserts, and wooded areas located away from populated regions. Trail riding can be enjoyed in either a competitive setting or a family-oriented leisure ride setting. Competitive trail riding has several primary formats; enduro races, hare-scramble races, and hare-and-hound races. Official enduro style racing has traditionally been a timekeeping event (where riders try to maintain a pre-determined speed over an unfamiliar course around 100 miles in length) but more recently the popularity of “special test sections” is increasing.
Hare-scramble racing, sometimes referred to as Grand National Cross-Country (GNCC) racing, entails multiple laps on a natural course with each lap being on the order of 5 miles or longer. Hare-and-Hound races, also known as “desert racing”, are high-speed events through the desert over distances of 100+ miles that can be either point-to-point races, or a few long laps.
A subset of off-road riding, often termed adventure riding, combines components of on-road motorcycle riding with some trail and dirt road riding. Adventure motorcycle riding is very popular in mountainous regions of the country and may require the rider to travel many miles, sometimes hundreds of miles, across challenging terrain. The motorcycles used during adventure riding are often relatively heavy, but have exceptional power and suspension designed for off-road trail riding.
Trials and Hard Enduro:
A third type of riding, which has historically been more popular in Europe, is called trials riding. Trials riding uses a specialized form of motorcycle which is lightweight, moderately powered and is not intended for distances greater than a few miles. Trials competitions channel the riders through very short courses over extremely technical terrain with the rider having the goal of negotiating the terrain while maintain their balance without putting a foot on the ground. Professional trials riders are able to negotiate both natural and man-made obstacles that are upwards of five to eight feet above the ground while maintaining their balance.
A relatively new type of riding, called hard enduro, has recently gained popularity in the dirt bike community. Hard enduro combines elements of traditional enduro riding with elements of trials riding. Hard enduro riders use typical dirt bikes to negotiate extremely difficult natural terrain on a course that is approximately 50 miles in length.
Regardless of the style of off-road motorcycle riding, Veritech’s motorcycle experts have the experience and training to assess your dirt bike case and provide forensic engineering analysis and accident reconstruction services with true expertise as a motorcycle expert.
Please contact our off-road motorcycle expert, Mark Kittel, P.E., D.F.E. at 303-660-4395 to discuss your case and receive a free initial consultation with honest and candid comments.