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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-14-2005, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
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Beginner bike is toast

Well, I finally had a pretty serious crash.

This past week I was riding to work one morning at around 7a. I'd checked all the local and national weather TV radars, forecasts and the like and there was no sign of water or temperature hazards so I opted to ride off to work.

Having gotten 3/4 the way to work, I turned off a state route onto a back road. This intersection is in a small town and about a mile out it winds up a hill with three fun but pretty wide turns. Posted 45 for cars, safe for bikes easily at 65. As I headed up at my usual speed, half way through the second turn I felt BOTH tires start to go out from underneath me. It seemed my options were two:
1) Give it more gas and push more, hoping for a re-grip instead of a low side.
2) Give it the same or slightly less gas and try to straighten out for better grip.

I opted for 2) for a couple of reasons. The upcoming front yard had a variety of very dangerous antique farm equipment on it. Additionally, there was a deep culvert and the concept of sliding personally at a high rate of speed into it didn't appeal to me.

Well, I had hoped to keep the bike along the edge and just minimize the turn radius. Didn't happen, of course.

So, I went off, down the culvert (which was concrete at the bottom), back up, and launched over the gravel driveway that was perpendicular to the culvert. I believe it was at this point I separated from the bike.

I tumbled a bunch and came to rest in the front lawn of a house. As I stood up, I saw the male owner come out (retirement age) and a pickup truck pull into the driveway, both staring at me. The p/u driver had saucer eyes and a gaping mouth. I presume he was shocked that I wasn't only alive but walking toward them, ripping off my gloves and helmet.

I declined an ambulance and sherriff after taking personal stock and realizing I only had a cut in my left hand and a lightly sprained right ankle. The driver left and the owner asked me in where he and his wife entertained me until my wife picked me up.

My race boots' plastic vertebrae saved my ankle from serious injury. Jacket and pants saved my skin, most definitely. Helmet's shot but did its job. My head was completely unscathed and didn't hurt a bit. Thanks Shoei! Gloves got a mysterious cut in them that's straight, short and looks like a razor had done it, yet my snowboard gloves (for water wicking) underneath were NOT cut. This still bugs me.

The root cause is my failure to follow a personal Golden Rule: don't ride tired. I simply didn't have focus to note that when I turned off the state route that the pavement was moist. On the hill, it was VERY wet. My wife noted these things when she came to pick me up, so my failure to recongize a change in environment was ultimately the cause of my crash. I'd certainly appreciate constructive criticism about how I should've handled a two wheel slide, though. There's always room to learn, esp when you've been tossed so far. I estimate distance of my off-road experience at about 100-150 yards.

The bike was $1k when I bought it and I've just got too many things going on to even consider rebuilding her.

As for continuing to ride, my heart's screaming to get back on, but I promised to allow my brain to mull ALL the options over the next six months, which is probably the soonest I'd have funds for a new ride anyway.

My best to all and when my workloads decline I'll see you about more frequently.

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-14-2005, 06:42 AM
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The Mrs. e-mailed us some pictures....looks like the bike is pretty thoroughly toasted. Glad to hear you escaped relatively unscathed! Come on over sometime and we can sit in my garage and make fun of my Buell.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-14-2005, 06:54 AM
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Glad you are ok.

Shit happens. Don't beat yourself up over it. You will be back riding in no time.

Take care
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-14-2005, 06:57 AM
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Glad to hear you are ok, but sorry about the bike. Its moments like this that make you really love your gear right?
Two wheel slides are tricky. You really gotta pay attention to where the line of your bike (between the front and the rear wheel) is in comparson to the line of the turn you are trying to take. If the two arent parallel by more then 15deg, you are in serious danger of a highside. In which case, you really dont want to be chopping the throttle. Its better to lowside a bike than highside it, as I'm sure you already know. Aside from intentionally lowsiding your bike, your options are limited. What you want to do, is regain traction with your front wheel, but keep the rear sliding. Pull the bike up just a tad, and turn the bars in the direction of the slide, like you were drifting a car. When the front tire catches traction, the bike will jerk, and at 65 that might be enough to throw you off. after the front wheel cought, keep the rear slipping and you bring the bike up, dont chop it couse that will high side you for sure. Of course you also gotta have enough road for this manuver. hope that helps

Again glad you are ok.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-14-2005, 07:07 AM
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My first bike 18 years ago was a 86 interceptor 500. I layed that thing down more times then you can shake a stick at, but only one was major. It kept on going though, would love to have one now to play around with.

Anyway it sounds like you did everything you could to save it. You just hit a wet curve to hot. I would of taken the same actions, get the bike as verticle as possible for traction while trying to stay on the road. You might of been able to of given it more gas and spun the rear around to take the turn until you gathered traction, but that opens you up to even more danger including a possible high side.

Sounds like a lessoned learned and you came out of it pretty well. You now know first hand the importance of gear. Spend the fall and winter looking for a good deal on another bike and replacing any of your gear that needs it then get back out there.

I hate to say it, but a possible wreck is just part of our sport/hobby. If you arent willing to wreck then dont ride. And if you do wreck, accept it and move on. You will learn more from 1 wreck then 5k miles of riding.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-14-2005, 09:13 AM
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Hi kanwisch-

Sorry to hear about your accident and your classic Honda Interceptor getting ruined. You'll probably experience some pretty significant body aches, if it hasn't happened already.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery and I hope you're able to consider getting that bike rebuilt since it's such a cool old ride that you'll come to love more and more as the years pass...

~ Blue Jays ~
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-14-2005, 09:55 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Don't know where you live but I have an '84 or '85 Interceptor 500. Since I would like to help you get back on and riding again I could let it go for $250. It got parked about 4 years ago when I went into the marines, it ran and had a new rear tire and chain and sprockets, seat was redone. Then you would have a part's bike too. Glad your ok, I just had a minor wreck and shattered my wrist, so your lucky from a major spill to come out so good.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-14-2005, 10:28 AM
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Glad to hear that you are ok.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-14-2005, 11:12 AM
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Sorry to hear about you bike, K. but glad you're alright. You may not feel like riding right now, but I'll guarantee you'll be dying to ride come next spring...Good luck finding your next bike.......
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-14-2005, 01:56 PM
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Hey kanwisch, glad to hear youre ok. I cant give you any good feedback cause ive never gone into a two wheeled slide on wet roads, but just the fact that you can remember actually weighing options and making a decision in that situation is proof that you are a skilled rider, sounds like you did the best you could have. I have gone into one wheel slides, front and rear and have always backed of and straightened up a bit to regain traction, luckily always had enough road to recover. Props man, thats experience you now have that alot of us dont, sucks that you crashed but rest assured your a better rider now than before it happened, experience is worth a thousand miles, and a billion posts. Keep riding, youve been on the board for a long time and those of us that are used to seeing youre post will miss them.
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