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Beware of Baw Baw

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by birdman, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. I have been very reluctant to admit this to anyone (family, friends, motorcyclists) but I had a fall on my 2003 model honda blackbird the day after I bought it. I bought it Friday 15/2/8. The accident (16/2 at noon) was about 2km from the top of Mt Baw Baw in Victoria at Chairlift Gully - which is an unsigned hairpin bend - BEWARE. I had not been there before and didn't know the corner.

    I was taking it easy - last in a group of 3 netriders. The bike rider about 200m in front of me also missed the bend, but he kept it up and went into a carpark straight across - he was riding a 250 which may have helped.

    I had just come around a fairly tight right hander and passed two large snow season signs, I started into the uphill left hander and it became a hairpin. I wasn't going fast but I locked up the front brake! Not good. The bike only slid about 4m.

    I got up and thought "Ohh my bike!", then as I picked it up my shoulder felt weird and thought "Ohh my shoulder!". I immediately changed back to "Ohh my bike!!" and nearly cried after I saw the damage.

    The next day when my wife drove, my brother and I to pick up the bike from the fire shed at the top - she nearly went over the road at the same point in a Toyota minivan - I had to warn her as she began to go across the road. She was driving very sedately and I felt rather vindicated.

    This is the worst bike accident I've had in 20 years of riding. My collar bone came away from my shoulder blade (AC joint separation level 3). The staff at the Baw Baw village medical centre were very supportive and after calling for an ambulance waited with me for it. It took about 3.5 hours to get to a hospital for "treatment" and Warragul hospital didn't have xray manned so I had to head to Casey (Berwick, Melbourne) hospital for xrays - I waited there another 4-5 hours (I guess I was low prioirity since I had already been seen to at another hospital). It was a very long day. I also had to report my accident in person to the closest police station - Warragul (between hospitals).

    I received an infringement in the mail from the Warragul police because I had just bought the bike and the transfer hadn't been processed - it was not registered on the police database.

    I hadn't had time to get it insured since the insurance companies were not open when I got home on Friday. I ordered new bits and pieces as soon as I could (only cosmetic damage luckily). Honda supplies them already painted and stickered - which I thought was great.

    My shoulder has been operated on and I am just waiting now to fully recover.

    Basically - what a week!

    This is therapy for me to finally admit it to all the world. I think I'm prepared for the worst comments you could possibly give me because I have already totally beaten myself up about it.

  2. Well firstly welcome to NR...

    Secondly thanks for letting everyone know about the danger of that piece of rd ..

    As for having no insurance, well i dont need to say do i.. :wink:

    Hope you and bike recover real soon...

    Finally, what the hell was the fine for ?? Thats the one that baffles me.. :?
  3. +1 baffled me also if he just bought it? Did you panic when the corner tightned up and grabbed a handful?
  4. This is a quote from a review over here.

    "Look out for a very sharp switch back uphill left hander a few kays from the summit. Luckily they have now built an overshoot carpark for the unwary."

    Thankfully I read that before heading up there. Still came up as a bit of a shock.
  5. Blue14 - Thanks for your comments and advice. I boil my insurance blunder down to an expensive lesson that could have been worse. You used to be able to get cover notes online, I had quotes and wasn't able to get a cover note unfortunately.

    The fine was because the bike shop I bought the bike from had let the reg lapse for about 5 days before I got it and they didn't action the transfer soon enough - who knew I'd have an incident like this.

    Steve 2909 - I did brake firmly, I didn't feel panicky. It was more likely a combination of straightening up while cornering and braking. Never a good idea to brake while cornering, it was just a difficult corner to plan for. There were plenty of skid marks there - that's always a sign to look out for too.

    Hipster Doofus - Great to hear that there are warnings online. I hope to see if I can get a proper sign put up there on the road where it should be. The netrider plan for the day was the black spur which was changed on the day so I didn't have a chance to do any such checking anyway. My mistake.

    It was a beautiful day for a ride and mostly an enjoyable ride through the fantastic countryside.

    I must also say that the "Red Parrot" cafe in Noojee were very friendly when we returned to pick up the bike the next day. They closed at 5.30pm and we came through close to 7pm (on the way back) yet they still cheerfully served us delicious (and well needed) freshly fried fish and chips. I wasn't expecting to find any places of refreshment open that late in the area. I met some great people through this experience.
  6. You will be right mate.. Just get the bike fixed, get your insurance sorted and away you go.. :cool:
  7. Why would there be "worst comments"? You had an accident. Your pride and joy is scuffed and you're in pain. So, join the long line to the left, and stop worrying about what people think about what happened to you. There but for the grace of God go all of us.....

    {and don't collar-bones hurt like crazy??} :(.
  8. shoulda got a 'blade, at least they can corner!
    :p :p :p

    shit happens mate, chin up, learn from it, move on :)
  9. Don't reckon you'll get too many harsh comments.
    You got caught out and unfortunately decked the Bird...I dropped mine doing a U-turn, not long after I bought it. :oops:

    Get the bike fixed, mend up, and put it behind you...sometimes things go wrong...but at least it was nothing too serious.
  10. ah shit karl, sorry to hear of all of the extra costs involved....... yes it was my ride and i did change the ride at the last minute (my mistake) to avoid any un wanted attention (which i was informed was happening at the spurs).

    As for the corner Madstu and myself actually stopped on the way back down to get some pics of it, because i thought it wasn't sign posted either but it actually is, although there is no u turn (hairpin sign) there are a large group of directional arrows showing which way the roads goes, though as you say you come up over the rise, the first thing you see is a huge opening straight ahead (guess thats what i saw too, and missed the arrows) so yeah tricky corner that caught you out, agree more warning there would be good, and i get the feeling you weren't the first to be caught out there, and you certainly won't be the last if they leave it signed as is.

    Anyway glad to hear you got you bike back home, if there is anything i can do to help please pm me, hopefully you heal up quickly and are back out on the road soon.

    cheers stewy :)
  11. :cry: Definitely feel for ya. No flaming - we all muck up. Sounds like yours was a common one. At least your lovely lady started to make the same mistake - had to make you feel better :grin:
  12. That Oh my bike, Oh my (Insert injured body part here) Oh my bike triple is certainly known to me. Bad luck, hope the injuries heal and you are back soon. Pay attention to the Physios and do your exercises properly when you start rehab.

  13. I know the corner. Watched two people go off the edge into the carpark run-off thinking "Where are they going?", on my last ride up there.

    Baw Baw, especially as you near the top of it, is a very technical bit of road. I ran off the road myself about 6 corners back from the hairpin you mentioned on my way up (has a big sign just after it). I had a bike that was following me, and I was momentarily distracted by his headlight in the rear-view mirror, and that was enough for me to lose sight of the upcoming corner which tightened after entry, and I had to exit the road hard on the brakes. Fortunately I managed to miss anything hard, but frankly, I was just lucky.

    Take it easy on Baw Baw, especially once you get to the final snow-bitumen section.
  14. I once ran off on that corner too. It's a bugger of a turn because it really appears as if the road goes straight. Don't beat yourself up about it, plenty have come to grief there and sadly many more will misjudge it before anyone bothers to fix it. Just be thankful the parts were easy to replace and hope your injuries heal soon. :)

    As for the fine, I assume you informed the cops of the situation when you signed the contest option? Don't pay for the bike shops mistake. :)
  15. Sorry to hear about your accident. An expensive mistake. Even if you did have insurance they would have declined the claim as the bike was unregistered at the time of the accident.

    Hope you heal soon.

    I thought that Motorcycle shops were legally obliged to ensure that the bike is registered at time of sale - may be wrong but it is definitely worth looking into and disputing the ticket.

    Were you aware it was not registered or did the bike shop give you paperwork indicating it was.
  16. Bugger, sorry to hear it mate.

    But I guess if you can get up, dust yerself off and continue breathin' you're in front my a mile, eh?
  17. Glad to hear you're on your way to recovery, and that your mishap was not as bad as it could've been.
    Seems to me, that bend requires additional signage and 'pronto'. If accidents are common on that bend, WTF are they waiting for?

    Cheers :wink:
  18. Front number plates! They will solve the issue! :roll:
  19. Yep, I'm another victim of the killer hairpin of death on Baw Baw! Couple of months ago I was going up for the first time on the sv650s and went flying over the corner and onto the run-off... thankfully without dropping it.

    So many signposts on the road and I miss the really important one! That is, assuming the corner IS marked?

    Get well soon Birdman!
  20. been there done that on the same corner but kept it on my side of the road and kept it up, another mate also went into the run-off on the other side of the road,but on another trip. no signs to mark the corner needs to be fixed