back to article Motorbike crash man fails to notice loss of leg

A Japanese motorcyclist failed to notice his right leg had been severed below the knee in a collision with a motorway central reservation, and he travelled a further 2km before spotting he'd left something behind at the scene, the Guardian reports. Company worker Kazuo Osada, 54, was on a jaunt with 10 other bikers yesterday …


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  1. Marcus Haas

    And he didn't notice his rear brake wasn't working?

    The rear brake is operated by the right foot and one would normally use it, surely he'd have noticed he wasn't slowing down as fast as normal?

  2. Jock Busuttil

    Not noticing

    Presumably he might have twigged something was afoot (or not - sorry) by his inability either to apply the back brake, or change gears...

  3. cor


    He was clearly legless when it happened.

    Probably full of Kawa-saki.

    That's what happens when you 'put the foot down'.

    He obviously was in knee'd of help.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did they breath test him

    It sounds to me as if the police should of breath tested him, as he was obvioulsly legless

  5. Peter D'Hoye


    This certainly falls into the Bootnotes category

    FYI, the leg was too much damaged so they weren't able to attach it again...

  6. cor

    Groan II

    Was he riding a 'chopper'?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I guess he had...

    ...chop suey. *boom boom* /Basil Brush


    The boy stood on the burning deck

    He lips were all a quiver

    A gust of wind

    His leg blew off

    And floated down the river

  8. Martin Benson

    Groan III

    Sure it's not an urban leg-end?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    - 2km on a bike is not that far, especially if moving at limb-severing speeds

    - yes, it is amazing what your brain will do to keep you from passing out

    - lets hope they were able to put it back on, that's not exactly an easy procedure

  10. Cyberspice

    Someone who never uses his rear brake...

    Most motorcycles have independent front and rear brakes. The fronts are controlled by the right (throttle hand) and the rear by the right foot (on most bikes - old Brit bikes have the rear on the left foot). 90 odd percent of your braking comes from the front anyway but this guy obviously didn't use his rear...

    I once heard a story of a guy (who was dying of fatal disease and so was rather nuts when he rode) who once got hit by a car. He came off his bike; Stood up; Walked down the road; Picked something up off the road; Went to the car driver who was now parked up and shaking; And waving his now separated thumb which he'd collect from the road said "Look what you bl**dy did!". He then got on his bike and road off...

  11. mcnicholas

    Poor jokes

    Some of these comments have really gone out on a limb to be funny...

  12. John Goodwin

    Burning deck part II

    The girl stood on the burning deck,

    the ship was all in bits,

    She gave a cough,

    Her leg fell off,

    And so did both her elbows ..... boom booom

  13. Mark Harrison

    Arrived at the junction...

    I think some of your correspondents are missing the point about being able to operate the rear brake, the article clearly says "He clocked his loss when he subsequently arrived at a junction". It appears as though a zealous editor may have removed Lester Haines further comments of, "... and raced through it at 100 mph".

    Was his failure to operate the rear-break what caused him to "clock his loss"?

  14. Matt

    Burning deck part III

    We lay along the riverbank,

    My hands were all a quiver,

    I gently undid her suspender belt,

    And her leg fell in the river!

    I've been dating Heather Mills....

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Er, many modern machines have the rear brake linked to the front, so the operation of the hand lever (front brake for non-bikers) automatically operates the rear as well. It's only for occasions when you want rear only that you need to use your foot. Maybe that's when he noticed.......


  16. Ivan Headache

    Burning deck part lll

    The boy sat on the burning deck

    His feet were in the water.


  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Groan IV - The Return

    I say it's thigh time someone did something about those dangerous medians. If the civil engineers had calf a brain they'd have made them safer.

    Do you think his bike got toed home?

    It just says he was a 'Company man' - I suppose that if he worked in the insurance business, the shoe is on the other foot now.

    Even if he gets back to riding after losing that limb, he won't be half the man Alex Zanardi is.

    And finally, even though he rode more than a mile after clipping the barrier, it was still only about one foot away...

    I'll be here all week.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Or maybe he went to support the bike with his right leg and it tipped over. Adding insult to injury... :-/

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Marcus Haas' comment...

    Marcus, bike riders rarely use the rear brake unless really necessary. Most of the brake power is on the front wheel. Any biker worth his salt knows this.

  20. Jacob


    As mentioned before most breaking is being done with the handlever, however when you stop you tend to use your right leg to support the bike as opposed to the left one which you use for switching gears.

    So if he found out that way I`m sure it must have been quite a peculiar sensation not to mention a shock to suddenly notice the bike tilting a lot further to the right then expected.

  21. Torcuill Torrance

    Obligatory Python...

    'tis but a scratch!

  22. Ian Ferguson

    Rear brake

    I rarely use the rear brake (right foot), and then mainly for low-speed manouvers. And if he was going down a motorway he quite possibly didn't need to change gear (left foot).

    I suspect he arrived at the junction and tried to do one of the above, or (more potential for amusement) stopped and tried to put his foot down.

    Reminds me of a story I heard. The storyteller was pulling up at a junction, behind another biker. The other guy stopped, and promptly toppled over. He helped him up, and the embarrassed biker explained that he'd been riding with a sidecar for years, but had just removed it, and kept forgetting to put his foot down.

  23. Dennis

    Re: Brakes

    "Er, many modern machines have the rear brake linked to the front".

    Okay, so he didn't need his right foot for breaking. But, what happened when he reached the junction? He'll need to put at least one foot on the ground. If he left his left foot on the gear shift ready for a quick getaway then he found out about the missing appendage when the bike fell over.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Uxbridge: By God, Sir, I've lost my leg.

    Wellington: By God, Sir, so you have!

  25. Jason Hall

    Erm... Stefan

    "bike riders rarely use the rear brake unless really necessary. Most of the brake power is on the front wheel. Any biker worth his salt knows this."

    Erm... maybe *YOU* only use your front brake, but the Institute of Advanced Motorcyclists and ANY Police rider would tell you otherwise.

  26. ScruffyJack

    His mates

    A few things thoughts on this report:

    1) How did the guy pick up his bike after the crash? Obviously has a good sense of balance and a strong leg (the one still attached).

    2) How did his mates not notice his accident? I guess they must have been in front when it happened and he caught them up (presumably at the junction). His mates must have been wusses.

    3) If he did catch his mates up he must have been going at a fair clip and possibly getting his knee down!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reminds Me Of A True Story

    When I were a lad we were out one day and stopped at a set of traffic lights. Dual carriageway so no surprise when an old git came up on a motorbike to the side of us.

    He stopped gracefully enough, and then fell over. Naturally we helped him to his feet, when we were told that he had taken the sidecar off the bike that morning....

  28. Dillon Pyron

    Blood loss

    Losing your leg below the knee would result in massive blood loss. I'd be surprised if he hadn't fallen off the bike in another minute or so. Traumatic amputation requires immediate attention.

    Do we have verification from an independent source? I'm not calling bullshit, just a little skeptical.

  29. Drarok

    Dear oh dear

    There are some woeful comments on here. Use your right foot to balance at a junction? Wrong. Keep your right foot on the brake, illuminating the brake light so people don't crash into the back of you thinking you're moving. Also, when people pass you on the right you won't get your foot crushed. You leave it in 1st gear so you don't need a foot on the gears for a "quick getaway".


  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Dear oh dear

    IANAB but...

    "Keep your right foot on the brake, illuminating the brake light so people don't crash into the back of you thinking you're moving"

    does the brake (hand) lever not do that?

    "Also, when people pass you on the right you won't get your foot crushed."

    how far out are you sticking your leg?

    woudnt they take out a mirror with them? (that they could presumably see)

    you are in a lane, arent you?

  31. Alan Donaly

    leg gone I guess

    I tracked this down from reuters

    "The man and his leg were taken to a hospital, but the limb had been crushed in the collision, the paper said."

    OK what paper if the guardian got this from reuters I think

    they have all been duped anyone speak japanese and read

    Tokyo newspapers.


    if Reuters can be believed and many times it can't he didn't get

    his leg sewed back on. Reuters stories all seem a little flakey.

  32. Neil Jones

    You missed one!

    What's Japanese for "I'll take you to hospital, hop on the back"?

    I'll get my coat...

  33. Adam

    re: re: Dear oh dear

    Actually, he's right. When I was taught (1999) I was taught to keep the right foot on the brake when stopped for three reasons:

    1) illuminate brake light

    2) if you ARE rammed, you are less likely to end up beneath the rammer than if your front brake was on

    3) it keeps your right leg out of the way of any cars that may be beside you. When stopping at junctions and lights, many bikers filter to the front of the queue in which case they are NOT in a lane.

    If riding to the book (possibly not, as his riding led to a crash barrier!!!), he wouldn't have noticed until he stopped and went to put the bike into 1st or neutral... falling over, as a consequence OUCH!

    Japan drives on the correct side of the road, so the same logic would apply there as here in Blighty. :-P

  34. Scott Swarthout

    Groan V

    I wonder if he'll try to sue the hospital for failing to re-attach it? If so, I don't think he'll have a leg to stand on.

  35. Aubry Thonon

    Back brakes.

    I don't know how many of the commenters are bike drivers, I am one, and I would guess that a large number of the commenters who *are* bikers would be riding a chopper (seems to be a US favourite) instead of a performance bike, which the poor sod (being nipponese) would have been riding. So... a few comments:

    Any idiot who uses his front brakes to stop on a performance bike from speeds is asking to tip ass-over-feet. You use your back brakes to slow down and only bring in your fronts to increase the deceleration power if you have to. Period. Use your fronts for any other reason (or even have your fingers on the lever) and you'll get a dressing down from most Advance Riders teachers 'round here.

    Back brakes serve a secondary purpose on a performance bike - if you need to take a corner at speeds, you lightly use your rear brakes on the start of the corner - this causes a slight lengthening (I'll skip the actual physics and use Pterry's patented "lies to children") of the base of the bike which helps in leaning the bike into the turn.

    And you use your LEFT foot to steady the bike when stopped. The reason? That's also the side the kickstand is positioned on performance bikes (can't speak for choppers), so the bike naturally leans in that direction when you get on/get off it. Also, since you're supposed to have ALREADY down-shifted to first gear while stopping, you do not need your left foot while taking off... while you might need your brakes NOW because some f*kwit in a SUV didn't stop at the lights.

  36. Gareth

    Suspicious story

    Hmmm.. Man doesn't notice missing leg..? Pull the other one...

  37. Aubry Thonon

    Me Stupid...

    That should read "bike rider" and not "biker driver", of course. Which is why I should NEVER post a comment before my first 250ml of caffeine for the day.

  38. ScruffyJack

    Performance braking

    If you are riding a performance bike in the dry and going at a decent speed you have to use the front brake to make use of the braking power available.

    If you just/mainly use the back break you'll skid because there isn't any weight transfer to the back wheel when you're braking. If you use the front brake it transfers weight through the forks and onto the front tyre increasing its contact patch and pressing it into the road. I've been riding (mostly performance bikes) for 15+ years and could point to other evidence to support this (e.g. bigger twin brake disks and more powerful calipers on the front).

    Just watch Rossi, Stoner and Co in MotoGP. When you see them braking for a corner you will see their forks compress and the back tyre occassionally leaving the tarmac.

    I always thought the reason for using the back brake when you're nearly stationary was because it's less likely to unbalance you when the gyroscopic effect of the wheels aren't in play. The rear brake doesn't cause front fork compression which might unbalance you.

    Anyway, that's an aside (the whole thing about him noticing his missing leg when he stops). If the story is true how did he not notice when he had to pick his bike up to ride off in the first place? (he might even have had to hop over to it if he was thrown off inthe accident).

  39. Doc

    Knew his sister...

    ...she only had one leg. Was a real pushover %-)


  40. b166er

    What did the japanese biker say to his mate?

    Your left leg's fine, I've got nothing against your left leg.

    The trouble is...

  41. Steve Nordquist

    Ganbare Osada-san!

    That stuff about not noticing; think about Anakin whatsisname going through an obstacle (what -is- that traffic feature? He did survive the collision...traffic moving amain I imagine...) on a land speeder or whatever those things are; If you do not forsee things, forget 'em!

    Our budding physician will be pleased to know that thanks to sinuses and other soft tissue features in the knee, as well as arterial oculi and the effect of a headwind on clotting, a biker can do that a bunch of times. The shin having been raptured by traffic is of course a grave failing among hosiers to bikers.

    You have been watching the cinema releases of _The Girl Who Leapt Through Time_, right? This man is 56; of course he leaps forwards as accords his age. Moreover since he is a mature biker he stands a good chance of getting a right prototype pattern rather than the novice practice of just stubbing it in.

    Those biker transhumanists are tough guys.

    Hang in there Kazuo!

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