There is a longer version below. Last Sunday Christine and I went out to meet some of the other forum riders for breakfast. Going down a mountain road I ended up taking a a turn wide, which put me in the gravel. I kept the bike upright and going straight, but there was a HUGE rock in the path. I was slowing down the best I could but the bike hit square on that rock. The bike low sided to the left in the middle of the street. Both christine and I are doing well. Nothing broken or severely hurt, just bumps and bruises. Our gear saved my ass, somehow Christine walked away without a scratch on her gear. I took pictures, but I have to transfer them off the camera and will be posted in a couple days.
Here is the list of damages:
- a completely trashed front rim
- the fork legs snapped right near the lower triple tree, at the steering damper
- blown front tire
- the rotors and brake calipers look visually good, but you never know
- scraps on both side of the fairings (left side is repaintable, the right needs to be replaced)
- the shift lever snapped off (this is a pisser, since I just replaced it!)
- bent brake lever
- cracked turn signal lens casing
- scraps on the brake lever
- missing rear turn signal
- and probably some other stuff that I might be missing not to mention any probably damage to the motor/tranny/final drive
I'm estimating between $5-6k repair bill, the service manager is estimating $10k. He also said good job and glad that I'm okay.
Here is the long theaterical version, I wrote this to help clear my mind, so it might be over the top.
Last Sunday I went for a ride to meet up with a couple other forum riders out near Borrego Springs, the desert east of San Diego. We were supposed to meet up for breakfast and then ride for the rest of the morning/early afternoon. Unfortunately, I crashed on the way to meet them, but the ride up to this point was incredible. Besides the bumps, bruises, and general aches to my passenger, Christine, we practically walked away physically unscathed.
As for the gear, I was wearing my full leather (including armor), full-face Aria helmet, and a some nice new Sidi boots. This was actually my first ride with these boots, which was good I think. Christine was wearing her protective gear as well.
There was a little rain from the previous night, but the skies were cleared and the roads were starting to dry by the early morning. Christine (my passenger) and I were on the bike by sunup. As we started the ride through one of my favorite local roads, hwy 94, we were able to catch a picturesque sunrise through the morning clouds. I was started out ot be a great say. This road runs along the mountains near the US/Mexico border and Christine, counted 23 US Border Patrol vehicles. My count was 18 (although I was more focused on the road), which still surpasses my previous record of 17. After warming up on some nice twists and turns, I cut over to Sunrise highway taking us over Mount Laguna. I was taking this slow, with snow on the ground and with the previous nights rain I was watching for ice like a hawk. As we reached the top, Christine was frozen to the core and we were running early so we stopped at a diner for some hot coffee. On the way back to the road, I slipped on the wet asphalt and slowly laid my bike to the ground, just a couple scratches to show. At this point, I should have gone home, but I wasnít too pissed and didnít let this misfortune turn my mood. Heck, I already had my slip for the day; so, statistically speaking the rest of day was going to excellent (Iíll touchup my bike when I get home). I headed down the mountain into the town of Julian, which junctions with hwy 78 that will take me to Borrego Springs, also know as Banner Grade, for breakfast with the gang.
I started down banner grade. A prime motorcycle road filled with twists and turns, as an added bonus - no traffic. I was having a great time, turn after turn. Scrapping the pegs a couple instances! Christine slapped me a couple times, so I started taking it somewhat easier in the turns. A little later I was coming through a nice sweeping right-hander that put me into a good left turn, Bam!
My rider instincts took over and I was watching a movie in slow motion. I wasnít setup properly for making the left turn and I was thrown off my game. Coming into that turn I knew it there was a problem so I cut down the throttle, but I it ran wide. It was a blur and I recall telling the insurance company there was a little sand that washed onto the road from the previous nights rain that caused me to slip a bit. Anyway, I slowed down the best I could, but the bike ended up heading into the side gravel. Into the side gravel and I found myself with only a couple feet between my bike and a huge rock wall. I was able to keep the bike upright and in the dirt. My biggest concern was slowing down as fast as possible and getting back on the blacktop. Every skill I learned in my safety classes proved worthy of keeping your bike upright and straight, the stuff works. Stay straight, off the throttle, and pull that brake. Unfortunately, in my path stood an outcrop of rocks from the wall. The bike was now slowing to start maneuvering it back to the roadway. There wasnít enough dirt between me and that rock, and with a bang the front wheel hit squarely on the rocks edge. I recall the rear end coming up and thankfully away from the rock wall in to the highway. My body was slammed into the tank and with all my might I held on that bike to keep both Christine and me from flipping over the handlebars. The bike ended up low-siding onto its right side, although there was damage to the left side as well, got me Ė maybe comeing off the rock. After hitting the rock it was somewhat of a blur. The next thing I clearly remember was the bike sliding to a stop in the middle of the street and Christine was lying onto of me. She jumped up into the middle of the road and I told her to get to the road side. I checked my fingers and toes and the then moved off the road as well. After the accident a couple motorist arrived and helped me move the bike out of the roadway. After calling a tow and the insurance, I counted how far the bike slide, 20 feet, so Iím assuming I hit that rock probably going 20-25mph. From the damage that my gear took, my right shoulder and leg hit the ground hard. Thankfully I had my gear, which saved me from road rash, broken bones, and probably a hospital trip. Christine didnít have a scratch on her, just a bruised femur. I was checked out later by a doctor and he called me lucky, just keep up with the pain killer cocktail.
Thanks again Mark, Kris, and Frank for coming up Banner grade, they didnít know I crashed until they saw my bike on the road side. Christine and I thank you again for everything to help us with, the comforting thoughts, the water, the Advil, the ride, and the well wishes. This accident will definitely change my motorcycle outlook and maybe it has stolen my innocence of a rider. The old saying is true, ďItís not if, itís when.Ē
Iím glad to be alive and healthy today.
My bike scarified itself for my safety! Now it is an insurance game. Part of me wants to put my baby asleep, another part wants to resurrect it and prove that Iím not beaten down. I will let the repair shop decide its fate. I will also post pictures of my bike and gear in a couple days.
I hope to see everyone on the road sooner, than later. This experience has made me a stronger rider.