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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.







dan
 

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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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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.
 

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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!
 

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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!
 

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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.



Bag
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Glad you are relatively OK DRF64, & hope you are healing up well. You deserve credit for relaying the incident to all of us, & expressing how it’s made you feel. We’ve all been there, scaring ourselves half to death, coming away with a bit of battle damage. I can’t add anything to what the others have said here, all extremely good advice. I hope you will climb back in the saddle, & give it another go, with more time spent getting to know your bike, you’ll feel better & more confident. And any feelings of self blame for your accident, toss those aside, I can personally attest my most incredible follies were at my own hand. I mostly just laugh to myself about them now, far better than kicking myself. m.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow. You guys are top notch. Thanks so much for the encouragement and advice.



To add to the above:



--I am doing well. I'm wearing a figure of 8 sling for now. I don't have much pain unless I overdo it. The Orthopedic Surgeon thinks I will not need surgery since I'm healing well. I'm just frustrated that my plans for projects on my hobby farm are on hold for the summer. But small price to pay for my overall well being.



--I will read the Hough book. I have it but have not studied it yet



--I did take the MSF course to get my endorsement. It was helpful. I just need to realize if I ride again to go back to the basics and realize I have a lot to learn.





dan
 

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Dan, We are glad you are on the mend. A couple of points relevant to us all.

1. Its common for everyone to say "I've been riding 30 years" or "since I was 11". But while some parts are instinct, some parts of riding take conscious planning, thinking, and daily caution. I teach bicycle safety to adults and kids and while everyone except the 4 year olds who come to my classes think they know how to ride a bike, they all can gain a great deal toward riding safely. The same goes for motrocycling and our need to strategize, practice, and enjoy safety.

2. Broken clavicles are a pain when they happen. Sometimes they heal and sometimes they don't. I have a broken clavicle from a bicycle accident more than 12 years ago and it has developed an artiicial joint (basically the break has never healed and moves around a great deal as I lift my arm, sleep on my side, etc. Its not really painful, but tends to act like an uncomfortable lump that needs to be adjust if my arm is in the wrong position.

3. If you want to ride, you should but learn from your mistake (we've all made them in sports and recreation) and make sure you set an example for your friends and family about how to do it safely. Where what you need to feel secure: leather, armour, helmet. Actually I just decommission a helmet that I wore for the first 6 years of riding the TW. It was a full face Harley Davidson helmet. Call me all hat and no horse if you will, but I felt more secure than if I had a half helmet or anything less.

Ride on but do it safely. Tom
 

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"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger". If you learn from this experience you will be a better rider. I think the main lesson for you should be that, when riding a bike, you need to FOCUS. You say " I've taken that curve a hundred times before without thinking" - and thats that's the problem. It is hard to ride well or safely if you are not 100% focussed on riding. If you ride too much within your capabilities and that of the bike then you are at risk of losing focus through boredom. A good way to make youself focus is to set yourself objectives such as trying to get the line absolutely right on every corner/curve during the ride. Try Taking a different route evey now and then to keep the ride interesting.



As for the crash - you forgot the golden rule. "The bike will always go where you are looking". If you had kept your eyes on the exit route from the curve (and leaned the bike a bit more via countersteering) you would almost certainly have made it round OK. Modern tyres, even big chunky ones like those on the TW200, are capable of a lot more than the vast majority of riders ever ask of them.



Now get back out there and put your learning to good use.
 

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As some of you know my wife took a dive on the Dub and broke her ankle. That being the case she no longer wants to ride off-road. As she said " For me the risk is not worth the reward" It's something for you to decide. Now as for me I've been busted up from crashing so many times I can't remember but I'll never stop riding. As other's have said learn from your mistake and do the correct thing to avoid doing it again. An old jet jock friend once told me this saying. " Get your head in the game before you light the flame"
 

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Never say never! I bought and fixed up a ttr125 for my fiancees christmas present. Second day we went riding she ran into me and fell breaking a finger and a couple scrapes and bruises. After three weeks, while her bruises were fading and her finger was still splinted, she asked to go riding again. That was the day I decided she was "the one"!
 

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Dan,



Parts of your story sound so familiar.



I decided to stop riding for good after my second crash. Both times I didn't get hurt too badly and I started thinking my luck would run out in the third one. After thinking about it, I believe the bottom edge of my helmet broke my collar bone when I flew over the trunk of the car I t-boned and landed on my head. I had ridden out to look at a condominium and during the ride back I was trying to decide if I should buy it. I was cruising through a green light and this guy thought it was OK to run the red because he didn't see anyone.



20 years later I started riding again. One thing I did to justify it was to make an absolute promise to myself and my family that every time I get on the bike I would remind myself to put all other thoughts out of my mind and focus on riding. I actually did pause and think about it every time I got on the bike for the first year or so.



After 4 years I can say that it has become the way I ride. I will catch myself starting to think about work or whatever and re-direct my mind back on riding. There is plenty of time to work out problems later when you are off the bike. I also find the more I focus on the ride the more I enjoy it.



Mark
 

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Sounds like you are very smart, wear the proper gear and have a respect for the machine you are riding. I say you take your experience as just that, 'get back on the horse' and be that much better of a rider.



Be safe!
 
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