I picked this up off of a couple of other sportbike sites. Some of you have probably already seen it.
First is an eyewitness account, followed by a couple of newspaper links, followed by what is supposed to be a video which I couldn't get to work for me
Grabbed this from an RC51 forum. Text is from the guys first hand view,
below that are links to the actual news articles. Makes you think, at least
Yesterday I rode out with two friends to Area 51 in Somewhere, FL - at least
that's what all the tee shirts read. You've all heard the urban legends of
that mystery land in Florida where developers go in and buy a few thousand
acres, lay down roads (neglect to lay plumbing or electrical infrastructure)
and make little subdivisions they try to sell to unsuspecting seniors and
the most gullible of us. This was that area, it's some 15 years old and lies
south of Sarasota / Brandenton area off I75. Secluded, secluded, secluded -
remotely placed miles from most anything but the very basics. Imagine a
gigantic subdivision with no homes, no streetlights, hell they didn't even
name the streets.
And certainly, no cops.
We went there to see a "Motorcycle Stunt Show Extreme" as it was billed.
Teams of people similar to the starboys and such. Normally I steer clear of
such squidly lovefests but I'd never been to such an event and curiosity got
the better of me so I went. Don't misunderstand me, I couldn't ride a
wheelie more than 20 feet if you held a gun to my head. I only rode them on
a dirtbike as a kid, we've all done that, but on the street? nah.
We saw the result of many years of practice and for what it was, it was
impressive. You name it, these guys could do it. Sitting on the tank with
their legs flung over the windscreen riding gixxer1000 wheelies 250 feet
down the road, 2 and 3 up wheelies, tail grinds, 50 foot stoppies, high
speed opposing wheelie passes with no hands. I was frightened for many of
them but they rode with a confidence seemingly obtained through training and
determination. On guy indeed had it down, he was the leader of M.I. Xtreme
out of Merritt Island, FL -that's where NASA launches the space shuttle -
Carl was his name, early to mid 30's, new GSXR1000 - he was impressive. Not
the average idiot either, good helmet, full leathers and gloves, and riding
Carl was really working the crowd, as he was riding he swung himself around
backward on the bike so he was flying blind, he seemed perfectly at ease
with this position. He hoisted himself up onto the tank, put his feet on the
seat and attempted his wheelie. Twice he failed to signal the stars and we
culd see that he was tiring. He made another pass, reversed his position,
mounted the tank and was flying blind again. He hit the throttle and the
front went skyward. As this was ocurring he also found his weight quickly
transfered to the back of the bike, his arms were behind him and gravity
took over. Continuing to twist the throttle as he began to lose control and,
I believe, he made a decision to bail out rather than face greater disaster.
He was going about 45 +/- mph.
I don't think he realized the consequence of that action before it happened.
Bailing out or falling from a bike going forward, facing the same direction
as you're moving allows you some measure of a controlled fall, facing
backward does not. His feet hit first, his shoes instantly popped off. Next
his butt hit and slammed the back of head to the ground with more force than
humans were designed to take. The first thing I saw was his face shield had
popped off the helmet after he came to a stop, he was only about 15 feet
from me. I could not see through his shield as it was covered in blood. The
crowd swarmed him and tried to offer what menial medical support we could
muster but there was no true medical resources at our disposal.
His head literally exploded inside his helmet, there was a pool of blood 3
feet around in a matter of seconds. EMT's wouldn't get there until someone
could hop on a bike, go find them, and lead them back into this maze of
abandoned subdivision. 15 minutes maybe. We left, as we could offer no help,
didn't really need to be spectators as his friends were breaking down, and
shallow as it may seem we didn't want to deal with the cops.
It was a bad end to a day that we otherwise would have laughed about and
shared some cool photos as we talked how wide the chicken stripes on their
tires were. Don't encourage this behaviour, people actually die doing this
stupid sh*t. Take it to the track where the ambulances are, go fast and get
better with your machines; but these illegal dangerous stunt shows organized
by some 18 year old idiot with no medical support or backup will end
tragically. I know most of us do not, but it merits repeating, don't do
stupid things - the price is too high.
Herald Tribune article on this death <http://www.heraldtribune.com/2news.cfm?ID=58125
Follow-up article <http://www.heraldtribune.com/2news.cfm?ID=58199