Made stupid mistake and lived, luckily. - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 31
Made stupid mistake and lived, luckily.

Here's the exciting story that I posted on one of the forums I
frequent:

I had just bought a new BMW R1100S Prep. And yep, that's right, I totaled it. Just turned about 850 miles in the last week for the break-in and rather than get the initial service done, I decided to turn left in front of car. I'm lucky to be alive and lucky to have my right leg attached to my body. Truly lucky. It was about 7:30 pm and it was the corner of Bill France Blvd. and Mason Ave. in Daytona. I was headed north and turning left from BFonto Mason, if you know the area.

After a week of riding every day and getting used to left turn
arrows on the traffic signals, I happened to be at the one light
that I know of that doesn't have a left turn arrow. However, it doeshave a left turn lane. Well, the light changed and I proceeded toturn left. I had turned the bike and was exiting the lane when a girl in an oncoming sedan broadsided me. She had a running start on the light (probably 30 mph) and wasn't able to stop. A friend was next to me at the light and saw the car moving. I heard him yell something and I turned around to see what was going on. When I turned back around, I saw her right front headlight make contact with my bike. The next thing I remember, I was in the air and and upside down. I did a complete layout flip with a 1/2 twist and landed on the asphalt about 8 feet from the impact. My bike was knocked 10 feet in the direction she was headed.

So I'm in the air and I'm clearly thinking, "This is going to suck when I land." I landed on my back kind of spread eagle. I'm laying there looking straight up for about 20 seconds and I'm
thinking, "Holy shit, I think I'm alive and nothing feels like it
is broken." I started wiggling fingers and toes and doing the feeling check everywhere. I realized that my right leg was really feeling funky. I wasn't sure if it was broken or what, but it turned out that I had no breaks anywhere, just ligament and tendon damage to my right knee. I'm pretty sure that it's an MCL tear on the inner side of the knee. There could be other damage, but that's the part that hurts if I move the wrong way.

If I hadn't been on a BMW Boxer with the "goofy looking engine," I think I would have lost my right leg, at the least. The engine
stopped the bumper from contacting my leg first. Also, I was wearing full riding gear. Arai Helmet, BMW jacket with shoulder, elbow and back armor, BMW cordura pants with knee armor, boots, and carbon knuckled race gloves. I literally don't have a scratch on me. There are marks on my helmet, knees of pants and elbows where things impacted, but no abrasions on me at all. I was sent to the ER in an ambulance and after being taken back to see the doctor, I had to CONVINCE him that I'd been in an accident because, visibly, there was nothing wrong with me. My knee was excruciating, though. Still is and probably will be for many months to come.

The bike is totaled. That's my opinion, but from what I know about
insurance companies and motorcycles, they'll call it totaled. There
is no way that the engine took the hit it did without compromising
the frame. Edit: declared totaled by dealer and State Farm on 3/8.

I clearly remember the entire incident. As they say in MSF, there are several circumstances that lead to an accident, but ultimately, it's your fault. Absolutely. I zoned out for a second, didn't read the
light clearly, and didn't triple check for moving cars. No one's
fault, but mine. Not the bike's, not the other driver's, and not the
highway department's. I got complacent for a second because,
although it was unfamiliar intersection for me, it was a very
familiar part of town. That one mistake and the surrounding
circumstances nearly cost me my leg and/or life.

I'll be back riding as soon as I rehab the leg and get the insurance
company to deal with replacing the bike (already taken care of). I
always thought it would be sand in a corner or a car turning in
front of me that would take me out, but it had nothing to do with
riding skills, it was all a lapse of awareness. I've never dropped a bike since I started riding, I've done 4 track days, and I've done level 1 and 2 of Keith Code's School. My skills are pretty damn sharp, not race level, but sharp. Funny how that first accident was so close to being my last.

Crap, my leg hurts! Worst pain I've ever felt in my life. AND, it
could have been much, much worse. Knowing what happened, I'm so lucky to be alive and have both legs that I'm not even that
depressed.

Sorry for the crappy line brakes.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 03:21 AM
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John, glad to hear you made it ok, and that you were fully suited up. Must say I'm happy you posted your full experience

And don't you think its ironic that in one thread you posted, "you might only get one mistake", but you lucked out, getting at least two? Woohooo!

I'll also note, for those noobs who claim to be able to do it all, John's post this past December indicated he's a (relatively) new rider. That the case John?

Take it easy, and best of luck with the knee issue. Hope you're not a big volleyball or basketball fan, cause knee injuries really slow ya down

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Dragging knee is for the track, and dragging tail is for the lot. --Kane Friesen

When you're in a car, you're watching a movie; when you're on a bike, you're in the movie. --Robert Pirsig

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 03:32 AM Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure what I posted in December, but you are probably correct. I'm relatively new to riding. Got my license about a year ago, but have put in about 8,500 miles since then.

Honestly, though, I don't think that the mistake I made had as much to do with being a new rider as it did being a dumbass. If I had been in a car, I probably would have done the same thing. Reverse the entire situation and it is still a very bad scenario for the rider. If I'm ever approaching an intersection where I know a car has a left turn lane, I'll never assume that I've got the right away.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-09-2004, 06:39 AM
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I'm glad to hear that you are okay after the whole incident. I am still surprised that many people, after reading incidents such as this, still don't wear gear when they go riding. Your story is evidence to how much gear can help when the unthinkable happens.

Well, thanks for sharing your experience and I hope your knee heals up quickly.

-Jon
'06 Honda CBR 1000 RR -
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