Comp Bike Champion Brett Ghedina experienced one of the worst starts of his drag racer career after a wiring fault caused a severe malfunction of the boost system on his machine. The footage of his start and subsequent crash looks pretty brutal, but Brett was lucky enough to walk away from the wreck.
According to Ghedina, his modified Honda CBR motorcycle suffered a malfunction caused by a wiring issue, and the boost control system went all crazy.
He tells that the system went full on as he engaged stage two, a thing that should not have happened. We also saw some photos that were taken trackside during this crash and could watch the surprise on Brett’s face as the front end of the bike started to lift from the track and he understood that things were already out of hand.
As expected in such cases, the bike wheelies violently and the massive thrust, combined with the excellent grip of the rear tire, will make it flip. This happens despite the extra-long swingarm and could only be prevented by a wheelie bar installed on the bike. However, the use of wheelie bars is regulated by the rulebooks of each class and such add-ons are only present in certain races.
Such crashes are not exactly uncommon in drag races, and they can also be caused by improper clutch settings. Most new versions of the sport bikes that are homologated for street use now come with complex electronic systems that mitigate the wheelie effect using various traction control methods.
To a degree, these systems can compensate for adverse road conditions or rider errors, and prevent crashes in scenarios where other machines without such electronics would wheelie and get out of hand.
Watching Ghedina safe and sound, in one piece and laughing about the crash, joking about his CBR and saying that’s “not what it’s supposed to do,” comes as a relief. It looks like he will have to get another bike, as many expensive parts were damaged, and the Honda has been rebuilt three times already.