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Norwegian rider ‘tested’ the guardrail protection

Even Elseth, an experienced Norwegian rider, overturned, hit the subrail – and walked away completely unharmed.

County Road 32 (Fv32) in Telemark is known as the first Vision Zero Motorcycle Road that was built in Norway. One of the measures on Fv32 is subrails mounted on the corrugated steel beam barriers in dangerous outer curves.

news_nmcu_050514_1Mr. Even Elseth, an experienced Norwegian rider, overturned, hit the subrail – and walked away completely unharmed.A bright sunny day in late April this year, rider Mr. Even Elseth was out venting his Yamaha R1 on Fv32. Even Elseth is 50 years old and have had his motorcycle licence since he was 16. He also has roadracing license and regularly attend track days, so he can certainly be considered an experienced and skilled rider. Besides, Even Elseth lives close to Fv32, so he knows the road as his own pocket.

The grip was excellent this dry and sunny April day. Even Elseth kept the speed limit, which is 70 km/h. In the midst of one of the tight corners he suddenly lost the front wheel and the bike fell over in a low-sider. The front wheel probably lost grip on a strip of old oil spill. One can see the remains on the photo that was taken immediately after the accident.

The actual corner is fitted with under-ride protection (subrail) maid of welded PVC tubes. The left turn corner is uphill and so sharp that when he overturned he did not to skid more that 3-4 meters before he and the bike went straight into the subrail. The bike first, followed by Even Elseth. The R1 naturally hit the subrail wheels first. Elseth says he thinks he hit the PVC subrail back first. Like all grown up motorcyclists Even Elseth was wearing full riding gear.

How did Even Elseth come out of this creepy accident? He got up and was completely unharmed! No injuries at all. No broken bones, no internal injuries. Not even a bruise. Leather garment protected against abrasions and the subrail made sure that he did not hit one of the deadly guardrail posts or was sandwiched between the ground and the top steel rail.

Is it wise to invest in motorcycle friendly subrails? Yes, it is. Mr. Bjorn Richard Kirste of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration in Telemark county, being responsible for guardrails, says in a comment that this accident alone justifies the investments on Fv32.