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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The Roar Report - Type 1 Rider
We've all heard the old cliché that there are only two types of bikers, those that have been down and those that are going down. Which are you? Have you ever been down (crashed or fallen off your bike) and if so share your experience.

Good morning everyone, my name is Lion` James and I am a "type 1" rider.

Unfortunately I can remember it as if it were yesterday. April 8th, 2006 I went down for the first time and almost died. This is gonna be a long one so be fore warned that you may want to take the phone off the hook and put the kids down for a nap now.

I had just gotten my first new sportbike about a month prior if even that long. I hadn't put in too much saddle time so the bike may have only had about 400 miles on it. Her name was Brook, my beautiful brand spankin' new 2006 Honda CBR600RR in limited edition Pearl Orange and Black Tribal. I remember asking the salesman at the dealership when I picked her up, "what's the break in like on this bike?" "This is a new CBR600RR, there is no break in on these. Just no full throttle starts and let the tires warm up for about half an hour before you really open her up and fully lean" responded the salesman. Not being nearly as knowledgeable about motorcycles and the sport as I am now I believed the guy, I mean why would he lie to me and more importantly why wouldn't I believe him after all he is the "expert." Well one night (April 7th, 2006) I was out riding in Philadelphia with my club (I was the President of my previous club at the time); it was myself, our VP, Road Captain and our Secretary. After riding around all day and night long everyone left to call it a night except our Secretary and I so we decided to go for one last blast before we too split to go to our respective homes. Well that was a mistake in retrospect but then again I guess hindsight is 20/20 and all that. We were blasting down Delaware Ave./Columbus Blvd. and there's a curve on South Columbus Blvd. (over where they had just built the new Ikea for those of you familiar with south Phila.) that goes from gradual to sharp without indication. I was in the right lane and in a full tuck and lean going about 70 mph and speeding up. I went into the right turn too hot and my bike started to drift to the outside of the curve from the centrifugal force and I'm trying to lean thru it to avoid making contact with the median. Like I said I wasn't as knowledgeable about bikes and the sport so little did I know that 1 Honda coats their tires (crap ass Dunlops) with this silicone based coating to preserve them and make them look nice on the show room floor and that it takes about 500 miles of moderate riding before it comes off. And 2 (which I guess I forgot from the MSF course) that even if you're in a lean you have to look thru your turn and if you look down or to the opposite side you will not go where you are trying to go. I was literally looking at my bike drift to the outside of the lane. I was trying to go to the right with the turn but I was watching my bike go to the left...and fast. Well I drifted too far while trying to roll off the throttle and sure enough my front and rear tires made contact with the median and the bike flipped over three times. I was thrown from the bike down the road and onto the train tracks and rocks that lie between the two directions of this 6 (7 at places) lane divided main arterial road. I hit the tracks and rocks and then rolled and slid a good 10 to 20 feet as my bike continued about 10 feet from me.

My jacket was pulled over my head and my helmet cracked open then rolled off. There was a puddle of plastic, oil and gasoline under my bike and a puddle of blood under me. I came to a stop face down but never lost consciousness. My right arm was under me and I could not move nor feel it. My left glove melted from sliding on the asphalt and my left hand was split open on across my palm. I could barely see thru the blood that covered my face and as I tried to get. My body wouldn't let me move. I remember looking down the road at my poor bike and being only concerned about it and not myself. All I could say was "Oh God!" and a few other choice four letter words out of frustration more so than due to the pain. I was in disbelief that it had even happened. It was so surreal because it all a happened so fast up until the point the bike flipped and then it was all in slow motion. I recall a woman who happened to be driving the opposite who stopped to help happened to luckily be an off duty EMT. She had to forcibly restrain me from attempting to stand up pleading with me to stay down until an ambulance arrived. She called the accident in and before I knew it the EMTs were checking me out and placing me on a gurney.

The ride to the hospital seemed like the longest of my life, not because I was in such pain and couldn't wait to receive medical attention but because I had to make "the call." Anyone who's been down and has a significant other in their lives knows about "the call." That's the phone call you have to make to your wife (for me at the time it was my live in girlfriend) to let them know that you have just been in an accident while riding your bike. Hopefully that call ends in the words "but I'm okay" but in this instance it did not. I have never had to be the guy who made "the call" on behalf of a friend who was unable to make the call himself but from what I hear, that too is a pretty scary phone call to make. My girlfriend at the time took the news better than I expected but she also may have been in a little bit of shock. While I was strapped down to the gurney like some sort of mummified NFL player being carted off the field giving the thumbs up to adoring concerned fans, the EMT in the back of the ambulance with me was holding my phone to my ear while on speaker phone. Mind you it was a little after midnight and when she answered the phone with a very monotone and foreboding "what?" I could already tell that she knew what my next words were going to be. She later told me that had it been my friend's number that appeared in the caller ID she would have panicked but since I was able to make the call myself she knew at the very least that I was alive and not hurt too badly to call her. I'll spare you all the details of the emotional scene that ensued at the emergency room when my girlfriend, parents and friends showed up and get right to the laundry list of injuries. The doctor who saw me asked me if I had lost consciousness to which I responded "no." He found that hard to believe after seeing the results of my cat scan. He also asked me how fast I was going to which I replied (after looking around to see if there were any cops present) "about 70 maybe 80 mph." He looked at me startled and after a pause said "there's no way you were going that fast otherwise you'd be dead right now." I found that a bit on the blunt side and just figured that this particular medical professional had no bedside manner whatsoever. He asked me how fast I was really going and again I told him about 70 or 80 mph. He then proceeded to tell me that I suffered a concussion, laceration to the head, broken pinky finger, chipped knee bone, bruised muscle in my hip, nerve damage in my right arm, sprained both wrists and an ankle, required 10 stitches in my palm and a stinger in my shoulder. After he ran down the list of injuries he told me I should go out and buy lottery tickets when I get out of the hospital because I was one lucky guy. He told me that quite literally I shouldn't be alive based on the speed at which I was riding and the injuries I sustained. This was all after I had been thoroughly check out and over, pricked and prodded, stitched up and sewn back together, medicated, scanned and scanned again. After things had settled down a bit and I was expecting to be told when I could leave the doctors came to me with what was probably the hardest thing I had to hear in my life up to that point. "You may never regain total feeling and complete use of your right arm and certainly never ride a motorcycle again." When I tell you that those words hurt worse than the crash itself and that my heart skipped a beat, it doesn't even begin to convey the aguish I experienced at the thought of either of those lots of news. How could this be? How could something I love to do so much be suddenly taken away from me like this? How could I not regain the use of my arm? I felt like getting up out of bed and punching that quack of a Dr. in the throat for saying that but I decided that just as soon as he said it to me that I was gonna prove him wrong. Damn the doctor's "wiggle room diagnonsense." Damn the picture my injuries painted and damn the 4 month long pity party that I would go on to throw for myself after being discharged from the hospital 3 days later.

Long story even longer, 9 months, physical therapy, many tears and much depression later I was back on two wheels and had both regained the use of and feeling in my arm. I would later purchase and throw a leg over the same bike. To clarify, not the exact same bike because she was totaled after flipping over three times (may she rest in pieces), but I managed to find another 2006 limited edition Pearl Orange and Black Tribal Honda CBR600RR. I've since had two more bikes, improved leaps and bounds as a rider, taken the MSF ERC, completed a few track days, enhanced my two wheeled education and even had another accident which resulted in surgery and let's just say I can no longer simply walk thru a metal detector at an airport.

So that's my 1st crash story. Thanks for coming along on this ride with me and I hope I didn't scare any of you with my horror story. I am definitely a "type 1" rider, which type of rider are you are you?

Until we meet where rubber reaches the street, R.I.D.E. safe & often,

Lion James
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Man, re-reading that brought back a bunch of memories. I don't think you ever forget your first of many things but the motorcycle crash is a big one.
 

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Nice writeup man. It is crazy how you remember all details of that day. My first and only crash is still in my mind like it was yesterday. It happened on 5/3/07 and I was riding my 2001 Kawi zx6r. I remember all the clothes I was wearing and everything. I had just gotten off work and went for a little ride before hopping on the highway and heading home. I was going about 45mph and a Mazda Miata convertible pulls out in front of me giving me literally no time to react. I knew instantly it was either rear end the hell out of them or dump it. Before I could even make my decision I mashed the brakes and the next thing I knew I was tumbling down the pavement. For some dumb ass reason, after the 70 year old couple pulled out in front of me, they almost immediately nailed their brakes. My bike slid into the back of their car and I did a few barrel rolls and stopped a few feet from their car. They got out and immediately I popped up screaming "WTF yadda yadda you old sons-a-bitches etc etc" All they could do was keep apologizing to me that they didn't see me coming. Ended up being able to ride the bike home and had some pretty killer roadrash on both knee's and 1 elbow. Had on my old Joe Rocket leather jacket which did an awesome job keeping my body ok, other than wearing a hole in the elbow. My helmet hit the ground at some point but I don't remember the impact at all, there were some small scrapes on it so I replaced it. Other than that I had on jeans and a decent pair of boots.

I ended up buying a new tank for my bike and called it good there. There was some rash on the right side, but I ended up coverting it to a stunt bike(cage, 12 bar, hand brake) later that summer and ended up selling it to fund my 675. Never looked back since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What is it about Mazda Miatas that they don't see (or want to see) bikers? I was cut off by one in Myrtle Beach one night back in 2008 and they did the same thing. Jumped in front of me on an on ramp and immediately slammed on the brakes. I almost lost it but some how I kept it up. I got on the brakes hard, stood up on the pegs and both swerved around to the left (in retrospect to the right would have been safer) and sped up to get away from the prick. The guy had the nerve to flip me off as if I was the one who was wrong. I hope that guy caught Chlamydia later that night.
 

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I came off a harley d sportster 1200 and picked up an 09 daytona. put 2,000 miles on her and low sided around a corner becuase my tires where cold. Thank god i had a helmet and leather jacket. Unfortunatly my feet where only protected by a pair of leather loafer i was waring from work. My shoes went flying off my feet and I broke my left foot. I was in a cast up untill 2 weeks ago when the dealership called me to tell me that my daytona was like new again. So I stayed up untill 2:00 am sawing offmy cast with a ceraded kitchen knife. Lesson learned, I never ride with out my boots now. I could have walked away if I where only waring proper foot gear. Ive only been back in the saddle for 2 weeks now, still a little pyched out about right hand corners. Going to skip barper in cali in spetember to build my confience and learn proper techniche.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Unfortunatly my feet where only protected by a pair of leather loafer i was waring from work. My shoes went flying off my feet and I broke my left foot.
That's precisely what prompted me to go out and buy a pair of Sidi boots. I'll admit that they are not made for walking and can be a little uncomfortable to wear when not on the bike, but that hinged sole is peace of mind for me.
 

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Lion - that is a crazy story! Glad to know that you are alright (eventually) and that you are still able to ride!
I am pretty sure that if I had an accident like yours, I would continue to ride (if I was able)... BUT, I would be too scared to get onto the same bike again, let alone the same year, model and color!

The only story I have, is when I first got my first bike (85 VT500). It wasn't even on the road yet, so I took it across the street and rode it around a bit... When I came back onto my property, I was having a little fun up and down the laneway (grass/dirt with cherry trees on one side and soft sand on the other)... I gave the bike a little too much throttle and then next thing I know, I am on my side with the bike on my leg, laying in the soft sand. I gave myself a quick once over and did the same for the bike... Both were fine... I SHOULD have called it a day right then... But I didn't. I couple more times up and down the laneway... Yet again I gave it too much throttle. Next thing I know, I am on my side again, with the bike on my leg, laying in the soft sand (just about the same spot as the first time). I have myself the once over again... I was fine, except my helmet took a pretty good hit when I hit the ground. The bike had the rear turn signal broken off and a couple scratches (all minor).
After that, I did call it a day... Unfortunately, I had to explain to everyone how stupid I am, and how my bike got damaged before it was even on the road!

To this day, my pride still hurts about it... and I find it difficult to talk about.

And though it was minor, I hope this classifies me as a type 1... Because I am not sure I could stand to see my STR with any damage!

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Scottie, that classifies you as type 1 in my book.

I was so in love with that color on that biike that I searched high and low for another one. Finding a 2nd one was no small miracle and when I did I was excited as a virgin on prom night. Well I guess since I didn't take the hint the first time around God decided to try a little more subtle of a message and the bike was a lemon for lack of a better explanation. Two dealerships couldn't figure out what was wrong with it so they paid off my Honda card and I went on to buy my Daytona 675. Had the first one overheated with no remedy or explanation I could have gotten my Daytona sooner perhaps and I wouldn't have become as invariably changed as I did after my accident. I was actually a much better, nicer and more pleasant person pre accident.
 

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I've been riding on the street for four years, dinked around on dirt bikes for several years growing up, and have never wrecked, dropped or laid down a bike.

My first bike, a Suzuki Katana was dropped by everyone I know. I bought it from my best friend who let a few of our friend try it out and three of them laid it down. I bought it and rode it for over two years without laying it down. I also painted it because the red had turned pink over the years.

Then I bought the 675 and had two bikes for a while, so I let another good friend ride my Katana so we could go out together. We pulled into a gas station and a hear a loud crunching noise and my firend is standing next to my bike on its side. The left side now needed to be repainted.

Then, I though well its trashed one one side I'll let my wife take it around the parking lot. She had been riding a scooter for a while so the basic balance was there, but the bike was probably a bit too heavy for her still. She made a few straight shots just working on the clutch and balance, then she was doing good enough to turn it around and start back the other way. She was feeling pretty proud of herself, and a little 5 year old boy was walking by and waved at her. She tried to wave back at the boy in the middle of the turn and dropped the bike. The right side now needed to be repainted.

I repainted and sold the Katana to a young woman in SF. We stayed in touch for a while after the sale, as she was asking about various things in the 20 year old bike and I wanted to hear how the rides were, etc. The first thing she says is "Well, I dropped the bike in my driveway, but we all wreck the bike sooner or later, right?" And all I can think is "NO, we don't! Everyone BUT me wrecks my bike!"

Fast forward to last week, when I am working on my "never dropped" 675 and I find that the steering stop is snapped clean off. I didn't do it. I don't know how it happened, but something bad must have happened sometime in order to do that.

TL;DR: I believe I will never wreck a bike as long as I keep finding good friends to wreck it for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Depending on the person's understanding of motorcycles and riding you may have to clarify those questions because affording it doesn't just mean "can you afford some touch-up paint or a replacement fairing." I want to know that the person can cut me a check right then and there if need be should they wreck my shyt. And "can you ride it" doesn't mean do you know the difference between the clutch and front brake. It means can you handle it and do you have enough experience riding motorcycles or this type to successfully ride this bad boy without dropping it. If not refer to the other question. If both answers aren't an immediate yes then no ride for you. Any hesitation in saying "yes" counts as a "no."
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
As far as I'm concerned if they take the keys they are agreeing to buy the thing off me if they wreck. Besides, I know which of my friends can afford a Daytona nd which ones can't. My broke pals better not even think of asking :laugh:
 

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Wow Lion, that's a monster of a post. Glad you recovered to write it.

Bike #1 - My first off. Riding through an unfamiliar, narrow, twisty lane, in the rain, at night and at a speed beyond the capability of the headlamp. The road went around a corner and I didn't. Went through the hedge and landed in a pond (at least I already had my wet gear on). I was basically unhurt apart from a few scratches and a bruised ego.

Bike #1 - off #2. Low speed low side. Lack of experience and I took a corner too fast on a wet road. Slid off in front of a car but wasn't badly hurt.

Bike #1 - Off # 3. I was late back for work after my lunch break. Rode in to the graveled car park a bit too fast, the front slid out and I hit the deck. Nothing more than a bit of gravel rash.

Bike #2 - off #4. Trying to beat my mates to the pub in the middle of winter. Doing about 60 - 65mph I hit a patch of black ice, high sided and slid for what felt like an eternity. I still remember watching my brand new baby as she continued on her side with sparks flying as the tarmac ground away her extremities. Also trashed a brand new leather jacket, but again I wasn't badly hurt, just a few cuts and sprains.

Bike #2 - off #5. Trying to impress a girl that I had a crush on. Riding by I pulled an over-enthusiastic wheelie and flipped it right in front of her. Typical cus I used to be pretty good at it and that was the one and only time I flipped a bike. I didn't even get the girl either - doh! The really annoying thing was that I hadn't long rebuilt the bike after a so called friend flipped it. He offered to pay for the damage and that was the last I ever saw of him. Luckily I worked in a bike shop at the time and got a good discount on most of the parts. Since then, I won't let anyone else ride my bike no matter how well I know them.

Oh well, youth, bikes and inexperience, its not a healthy mix. The important thing is that I learned from it. Most of all I've learned how much I hate that slow motion feeling when you've reached the point of no return. I'm now on bike #9 and I've not been off in 20 years *touches wood* I've also been very lucky, unlike several other people around me.

As for not riding (or driving) what you can't afford, I'm taking a Lamborghini Murcielago out on a track soon. If I screw up there just might be a certain 2011 Daytona SE up for sale.
 

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i wrecked my first bike in 2006, an 04 Honda F4i, had it fom 1000 miles and about a month before waking up in the ambulance. No recollection of what had caused the accident. My jacket, which probably saved my quite a bit of injuries, was less than two hours old. Bike was totalled, i suffered a couple cracked ribs and a broken collar bone, mild rash, and semi permanent rotator cuff damage - to which has only affected my golf swing.. guess i can forget any dreams of making it to the PGA.. i was a hurt puppy for about a week, then healed quickly.

sucks when you cant learn from such costly mistakes. by chance, i was speaking to a friend who heard about my accident from his boss - his daughter had wittnessed the crash... when asked about it, she had no comment.. .regardless, im sure it was my fault and was a accident that was 100% avoidable had i had proper riding experience. Im just as cautious of a rider as i was from day one, but there is something that can be said for experience - and thats what prepares you for the unexpected. I still get nervous with my abilities to slow the bike down at emergency rates... my next bike must have ABS and a slipper clutch for such events.


didnt get back on a bike for almost 4 years.. bought a buell xb9, put a couple thousand miles on it, then got the itch for a real sport bike(not putting down the buell, it was a great bike), so i scooped an 07 675.


may i never eber eber wake up in ambulance ever again! ::knock on wood:: I ride atleast twice a day, and put about 1200+ miles a month on my bike, hopefully exiting "newb" rider status and into "intermediate" rider in the coming months.. instructor track event to come soon.



I will say this of "dropping a bike", i always felt in complete control of my bikes at low speeds do to the relative light weight of my bikes and the leverage i have with being 6'2.. there have been instances in where my height/leverage alone have prevented a low speed drop... so i gotta give props to the vertically challenged riders who have been able to keep their bike off the ground.


I also have to make mention that California drivers are some of the least defensive/attentive drivers i have ever wittnessed. Trust no one, especially asian women driving toyota camrys(practice assuming there is an asian woman at the wheel of every car and your odds of survival will increase dramatically), and ******* racers in their pseudo baja 500 race truck replicas; just an observation, certainly not the rule.
 

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28 years on the road, more supersports bikes than I can even remember, and I'm yet to crash.

So I guess I'm due to cop it big time next week?

That includes quite a few years of daily commuting in Sydney and Adelaide. Just dumb luck I reckon, but a few years of working as a Ridersafe instructor may have helped.

Mind you, I have crashed my brains out on dirt bikes more times than I care to remember. I've hit trees, lowsided, looped out, you name it. Such fun.


O.B
 
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