Possible Riding ending injury: need advice.
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  1. #1
    Senior Member DRF64's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Well guys this is the topic I had hoped I'd never have to post. It's taken me a month of thinking about it and now I need input from you all.

    First off, I'm getting back into riding after 30 years. When I was 14 I got a used honda trail 70 and rode that thing until it died and I loved it. I also rode my neighbor's bikes, nothing very big at all and no street bikes.

    This year I decided to get back into riding both trail and street. I bought a new TDub in March and I passed my cycle endorsement test in April. I then rode it as a daily commuter up until I wiped out on June 19th. I thought of myself as a beginner. Early on Saturday and Sunday mornings I'd ride around the country side and in town. I used empty parking lots to practice braking, swerving and preparing for the unexpected.

    So here is what happened: On a clear warm afternoon in June I'm taking a left hand curve and before I can react properly I realize I'm swinging too wide right and I'm too close to the curb. I can brake or lean, not both. I chose to lean and here's what I don't know: did I lean too hard, or not hard enough? Unfortunately I also looked down instead of keeping my eyes on the rooad. I think what happened, judging from looking at the curb a week later, is that i caught it with the right side of my tire. All I know is that both the bike and me ended up on our right sides. My helmet was so full of dust I couldn't see. I apparently hit hard on my right side based on my injuries and my right leg must have landed under the bike. I must have laid it down on a concrete driveway and slid into dirt. I'm not sure of my speed. I estimate about 25 or so.

    The bad for me: fractured right clavicle, badly bruised right shoulder and right leg.

    The bad for the bike: The bike was in surprisingly good shape. Three contact points were ground down slightly: Ball of front brake handle, passenger peg mount, and end of axle bolt on right. That bolt hole on the left side of the front fender was cracked through. Not sure how that happened. The back side of the right mirror was scuffed and knocked loose, but tightened down just fine later. The end of the throttle grip was torn and the plastic tube inside was scuffed a bit. It got dirt in it but it seems to work fine.

    I got up immeditely, hit the kill switch, went to hoist the bike and realized my right shoulder hurt like the dickens. On second attempt I hoisted the bike, started it and rode it home with the right mirror flapping in the breeze. I parked the bike in the barn, changed clothes, and realized my clavicle was fractured from the way it felt, looked and sounded.

    The good: I was wearing a helmet, gloves, kevlar jacket, and kevlar pants with knee pads as well as boots. There are ugly tears on my gear, and my boot buckle has a frightening amount of metal ground off of it, but I had no road rash at all! And...I'm alive and feel like God has used this to make me focus on a lot of things in my life. And my bike seems fully operable. I had my buddy who rides dirt and trail take it out on the trails and he said it's fine. Everything works, nothing is bent. I think a heavy skid plate and front and rear cycle racks really helped.

    The bottom line is I feel so stupid. I've taken that curve a hundred times before without thinking about. The real problem was on that particular day i had a problem come up that was weighing on my mind. I was thinking about that and not the road. Probably the first rule in MC safety and I messed up.

    Now....will I ride again? I don't know. What do you guys think?

    Have any of you come back from a pretty serious injury and kept riding? Part of me says hang it up. Another part says live and learn. Another part says stay off road and no more street.

    I know now that I'll never make it a commuter again. Too many things happen at work and I take them home with me.

    Thanks for listening, any of you who have taken time to read this. It feels good to get it out in the open.


  2. #2
    Senior Member TWBARR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Good story with a good ending. Glad you are alright and the bike will ride again. I have not experienced anything like that on a bike, but it was a different story with a horse. I ride cutting horses and was on the ground with another horse with calf on a rope tied to horn, when my buddy was on another horse and got to close and the calf got up under the horse. The horse just reacted and kicked me twice. Once caught my left knee and the other caught the right side of my stomach and my forearm. Horse kicked me about two feet off the ground and flew back five feet. Only thing was heavy bruising and broke my ulna. Was out of riding and heavy working for 10 weeks.

    What I have learned from getting bucked off horses and this injury is that you have to face your fears and ride again. It makes you more cautious and aware of the situation.

    Ride again my friend and enjoy the new knowledge that you have from this experience.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ayers Garage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Stuff happens to everyone. Every rider will go down if he rides long enough. Don't beat yourself up over it (no pun intended).

    Everyone should read this book...

    It helped me to learn something take I simply couldn't wrap my brain around at first.

    When you overcook a curve and you're drifting wide, lay the bike lower and roll onto the throttle. Right in the middle of a horrifying moment, the last thing your brain tells you to do is hit the gas. But, it works. Adding throttle stabilizes the bike and plants the tire even harder onto the pavement and you roll right through and out the other side.

    Read the book. It's worth the 12 bucks.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member old mad max's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Gobles, michigan
    I do feel your "PAIN" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've been riding for 44 years, Over 200,000 miles.. You bet I've been grounded before.

    Once falling on a corner that had oil dumped on it when a truck turned off a gravel road to cut the dust down..

    I was hit by a deer once.. knocked me right off my bike real quick.

    Got rear ended by a 16 year old "NEW" driver.. My bike got stuck between his bumper and grill... It was standing up on it's own.

    The final time was a real screw up by me.Going into an intersection and miss judged a car, hit the gas to hard and dumped it.

    Yes that's a few times, but in over 40 years and 200,000 miles I'm hoping that I've learned something that could prevent another boo-boo.

    I say yes!!!!!!!!!! Get back on your stead........ Just remember it's not a four wheeled car.. Have fun. Oh ya.. Keep the rubber side down. OMM.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Phantom99's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    San Diego, Calif.
    DRF, a few years ago I had a confrontation with a deer. It came out of some bushes on a narrow mountain road, hit my front wheel and pitched me under the bike. The bike was not badly hurt since I saved it from most of the impact. I was able to ride it home which was an hour and a half away.

    The full protective gear saved me from greater injury, but it was not a pleasant experience as you can imagine.

    Ten days later I kept my promise to my grandson. We went dirt riding in Nevada.

    If you ride on the street you will eventually go down, at fault or not. I accept that, ride as sanely as possible and always wear protection. I will continue to ride so long as I can find a way to climb on a bike.

    For others, riding is an option, to me it is not.

    One thing I have learned. If my mind is not clear or if I'm physically below par, I will not ride on that day. One light beer will finish my riding for a day.

    Looking at what happened to you, I can see where you would be concerned. In most similar cases the bike is capable of

    cornering sharper than most riders imagine, and it's possible that simply leaning it and staying on the gas might have saved you. Hard to say, though.

    Only you can decide if riding is something you wish to continue. Painful as it can be, a collarbone is not that big a deal, long term. Your bike seems OK as well.

    Certainly there is no reason you can't continue to ride if you really want to. Those are the key words-IF YOU WANT TO.

    If you are not sure of the answer, give it a lot of thought. Your mental state is the deciding factor.

  7. #6
    Senior Member evan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Woodland, California
    Heal up and get back on the saddle. Don't deprive yourself the joy of riding a TW. My only street accident was I was a stupid 16 year old with my new Kawi KE125 and after a few beers went around a corner in my neighborhood and ended up on someone's front lawn. Not injured (beer and 16?) I jumped back on and was very embarrassed and hoped nobody saw me. Learned a very valueable lesson that day and never have anything to drink before riding and won't ride if too tired. Learn from your mistake and ride on!
    Mike Carter. Woodland, California (NorCal). '89 Tw200 (Black Widow Edition). Blood red Jimbo shield, Cycleracks, Nuvi 500 GPS, Kolpin fuel pack jr., D shield bark busters, 55t rear sprocket, Golden boy front tire, Ricochet shield.

  8. #7
    Senior Member kj7687's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Southern California - Inland Empire
    Hey man I think we've just about all been there. The bad crash that you feel stupid about, getting really distressed and thinking to yourself well, maybe I shouldn't ride anymore, maybe this isn't safe, etc. You must do what you feel is the best choice. Give yourself plenty of time to think about it. I'm pretty confident that by the time your injury heals up, you'll be standing out in your barn and looking at your bike, and you'll just think to yourself "man, I've got to ride that thing again, I just have to". That's how it was for me. I realized that this is my dream and couldn't let anything get in the way, that as long as I can ride I will ride. Just learn from your mistake and be more careful/focused in the future. Without seeing the crash it's impossible to know what happened. You probably either leaned the bike too far to your left and low sided, in which case the left side of the bike would have slid into the curb and then high sided to the right side of the bike when it hit the curb, sliding some more on the right side of the bike after that, or you hit the curb with the front wheel first and high sided. Check the left side of your bike, if there is evidence of sliding damage on that side, that means you low sided and slide first, and then high sided when the bike hit the curb. If all the damage is only on the right side of the bike, that means you hit the curb with the front wheel first, high sided, and then the bike slid on its right side. I think that is the more likely of the two scenarios. You may have leaned the bike enough, but you probably did not lean YOURSELF OFF OF THE BIKE enough. Leaning your body off of the bike to the side you need to go makes your body act as a weight that will pull the bike in that direction, without leaning the bike so far that its tires lose traction and slide out. An easy mistake to make, especially if you're mind isn't on the road. Hope you decide to keep riding, and if so, better luck in the future!
    KJ, just KJ, ok.

    Current rides:
    2004 GMC Sierra 1500, 1999 Toyota 4Runner

    Past rides: 2015 Yamaha XT 250, 1997 Suzuki DR 200, 2007 Honda Ruckus, 2007 Yamaha TW 200, 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 500, 2009 Kawasaki KLX331S; 1994 GMC Sierra 1500, 1987 Nissan Pathfinder, 1992 Acura Integra, 1986 Honda CRX, 1989 Jeep Cherokee, 1994 Chevrolet Astro Van, 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit, 1984 Jeep Cherokee

  9. #8
    Senior Member Bagger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Central WA
    DR, it would be a boring place if we all did just what we are always supposed to do every time, on time.

    I am glad that you are ok, and glad that you are both level headed enough to give this thought, and showing a desire to get back on the bike.

    Ultimatly that is a decision that only you can or should make. To me, it seems like a great learning experiance to build a riding career on.

    Please keep us posted on both your recovery and your mind set.

    "The TW may be slow, but the Earth is patient" - MK

    "If I'm wrong, and it turns out that you hate it, I'll send you all my Barry Manilow albums." LB

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  10. #9
    Member bookm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Stratford, On.
    I'm in the same boat: Long-time dirt rider / New street rider. On many occasions, I've had to put my faith in my instructors insistence on NOT looking down when in a curve, or turning.

    If I "feel" I'm in the turn too fast, I force myself to look WAY up the road to my intended destination and the bike just lays over and goes there

    Second-guessing the bikes maximum lean angle is the most common cause of single-vehicle motorcycle accidents (or so I was taught). My instructor said he's scraped the pegs on a TW200 many times without washing out.
    Screw the house... Let's see the Shop!

  11. #10
    Senior Member bbagwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Salem, Oregon
    Heal up and get back on the bike! You might think about taking a Motorcycle Safety Course in your area. It might teach you some new skills and help build your confidence.
    Bryan Bagwell

    1995 Yamaha TW200

    1983 Toyota PU

    2002 Suzuki Grand Vitara

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