no politics...just ridin'

Eating Road

Last Tuesday night I experienced what all of us hope to avoid - hitting the bitumen for the first time.

The day before I had finally received forward controls from a guy in the US for Snappa's VTX. After seeing them fitted to Angry's bike and then sitting on it, I decided that I would also like a set and so I told Snappa that if he no longer wanted them I would be more than happy to take em of his hands. We agreed that I would fit them and see if I liked them.

Got home from work on Tuesday and removed the floorboards from the bike and then fitted the forward controls - took me about an hour and was really simple. I did a couple of other minor things on the bike that needed to be done and then had something to eat. After that I decided to take it for a test ride to make sure all was ok - last thing I needed was for anything to happen in the traffic on the way to work.
I decided to ride around the school which is about a five minute ride and then call it a night - it was getting late. Coming up to the last corner before heading home I was going a little faster than I usually would when coming up to a corner - mistake 1. I applied the front brakes and then went for the rear brakes. The brake pedal on the forward controls was set further down than what I was used to with the floorboards and when I couldn't feel the rears working I pushed a little harder on the pedal - mistake 2. Instead of coming on as expected the brakes grabbed and as I had a new rear tyre, the arse end of the bike just slid out from under me. I came down on the left side and slid along the road for a bit, stopping just before entering a tee intersection. I immediately jumped up and ran over to the bike which had slid across the tee intersection and stopped at the top of a household driveway - a metre or two further and it would have slid down the short driveway and into the garage door of the house. I righted the bike, had a quick look then started it and rode home.
On arriving home I put the bike in the garage and went inside to sit down - it was then that I realised what had happened. I was in a little bit of pain, but all I could think of was the damage to the bike. I immediately rang Kat and as she lives about an hour from my place she rang one of my daughters who stil live with their mother around the corner from my place. My ex-wife and eldest daughter arrived about 20 minutes later and decided to take me up to the hospital to get checked out.
I was very lucky. The only really deep cut which was on my calf required just 3 stitches - this was from the left side peg and you can still see the impression of the end of it on my calf!! As I was wearing an open face helmet, jeans and no gloves I lost a bit of skin off my hands and face and also lost a bit from my knees. My left shoulder which took most of the force when I hit the ground was sore but no skin missing. I also lost skin on my elbow even though I had my leather jacket on. A bit sore and hard to move around for a couple of days but fortunately nothing broken.
The bike suffered a lot less than I thought it would. A few scratches down the left side - luckily not the pipe side. The front fender lost a bit of paint but the tip protected it from serious damage. The peg on the forward controls scraped a bit and it was bent inwards but I was able to straighten it up. My left mirror and crankcase cover suffered a bit - some deep scratches in both but I should be able to hide them. The swingarm area was also scraped pretty heavily but luckily this is only painted and I will be able to buy some chrome covers for it. The pillion peg - new ones just fitted - also suffered some scratches as well as being bent a little to the rear. I don't want to go on and list everything, but I really am very fortunate that the major damage isn't that bad.
The one single lesson learnt from this?? If I ever modify anything to do with either steering or braking I will always make sure I test it or familiarise myself with it on a straight bit of road at low speed.

Damage to bike - luckily not too bad

Some of the damage to me - again very lucky

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Anonymous The Snark said...

Glad you're OK Beaker. Road rash always hurts. Wise words about testing in a safe environment first before taking a new accessory out on the road.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Lucky said...

Dang! Glad you're mostly ok. Just remember the magic words "You shoulda seen the other guy"

6:20 AM  
Blogger Biker Betty said...

Oh my gosh!!! Beaker, I'm so glad you're okay. Kat did a great thing in calling one of your daughters. Bikes can be replaced, you can't!!

Take Care & Heal Fast,
Betty :)

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow just read your post and glad your OK Video LI VTX Riders

12:20 AM  
Blogger Pheonix said...

G'day Mate ,Hope youre feelin better(youre bike too).

We might see you Friday,
If youre feeling up to the ride.

Kind regards. Pheonix.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Beaker said...

Thanks a lot guys - I was very fortunate and avoided anything too serious. Just a few hundred bucks damage on the bike, so also lucky there.

They say things happen for a reason - well as a result I had to get an ultrasound to check for internal damage. This ultrasound showed that I only had one kidney - something I didn't know.

6:49 AM  
Blogger Durandal said...

Wow, glad that you're ok.

Hope you make a quick recovery.

Do you normally ride with an open-face helmet? Are you considering a switch?

Cheers and good luck,


9:00 AM  

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