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Came Off This Evening

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Master Shake, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. Hey everyone,

    Despite my diminutive post count I've been a lurker here for some time now. I've had my learners license for about 2 1/2 months , and I bought my first bike (used VTR 250) about 8 weeks ago. I acknowledge that I'm still very new to everything and I have very little by way of actual riding experience but I consider myself to be a pretty good rider in the circumstances. I've ridden push bikes since I was a kid and more recently i've belted around South East Asia on motorbikes and scooters so I'm not a complete novice, not that any of this matters anyway.

    I had always wondered why people recommended naked bikes for their first, because i'd been riding for these last 6-8 weeks without any drama, and perhaps foolishly, I was not able to foresee a scenario where I might possibly damage my bike, fairings or not.

    Fast forward and I was coming home from Uni today (UTS Ultimo Campus) in heavy rain. No biggie I thought, i've done this before; just be careful and everything will be fine. After all i've had to endure the rain for the past month and half without any problems. So I was riding along the Western Distributor (links Anzac Bridge to Harbour Bridge) and I felt the back wheel start to skid so I slowed gradually and corrected, no problem.

    So I'm riding along, obeying the speed limit (70km/h) as I come into the final bend before the freeway narrows to the Harbour Bridge. If anyone drives/rides through this area they may have noticed that there are some metal/steel rails/girders implanted into the bitumen, intersecting a number of the lanes. I've never known what they were for, but alas, today they were my undoing.

    My wheel hit the metal and the bike lost traction and went into a skid. Basically I controlled it, as much as one can when skidding along the wet tarmac at 70km/h until I stopped, bruised and battered. Fortunately the car behind was quick to react and stopped, blocking the lane from any cars that might potentially clean me up. I pick the bike up with the help of the good Samaritan, who made sure I was ok, and I rode home minus a front brake leaver, with two bent mirrors, an indicator hanging from a wire and a slightly dented exhaust.

    At the time I was very calm and in control, since then i've felt the effects of delayed shock. The only injuries I sustained were to my legs, one of them is torn up pretty badly (road rash) whilst the other one has this massive mound/bruise and i've got a sore ass. Upper torso/head fine.

    I apologise for the length of this thread, I don't know what responses I expect but I just needed to get it off my chest. To be honest, I don't really feel like there was much I could've done. I don't know if that's being naive or not, but I don't honestly believe that going 10km/h slower would've changed things, and I was not exceeding the limit anyway. Fortunately insurance will cover everything but needless to say riding home after an accident without a front brake in the pouring rain with a massive rip in your jeans was a bit nerve racking.
  2. In hindsight things could've been much worse, I could've been hit by car coming through the corner. That in itself is a miracle because it was around 5:30pm when it happened so peak hour traffic was just beginning.

    Unfortunately I wasn't wearing my leather pants (had jacket/gloves/helmet on), but the injuries could've been worse. The bike's chassis is unblemished, the only problems as I said are a missing front brake lever (didnt think to go look for it), a slightly mangled indicator and a mildly squashed staintune pipe. That is of course assuming that there's no internal damage.

  3. A baptism of water, rather than fire.

    Metal sections in the road are diabolical, even more so when wet (just ask the Melbourne-ites and their tram tracks.)

    I do suspect that your earlier srear-wheel slide may have indicated some diesel or oil on the road, and if that continued along to where the steel is, then you were doubly snookered.

    Ok, that's the end of the philosophical bit; now for a rant.

    Pity you chose this day NOT to wear protective gear on your legs as well, eh??

    All The Gear All The Time, OK???
  4. roadrash.
    theres your first problem.
    buy some proper motorbike gear!
    you are lucky this was in the wet, it saved ALOT of friction.

    also, by the sounds of it, those metal strips run perpendicular to lane direction? they are probably expansion strips for a bridge or part of the road, roads expand a fair amount on hot days.

    if your rear is simply losing grip in the wet when you are cornering, you either need a new tyre, or need to slow/smoothen your control inputs. i used to ride a VTR, and plan to get another when i get the licence back. theyre an awesome bike, capable of so much! with the low down torque u need to be smooth and gentle with the throttle in the wet though.

    either way, learn from it as mcuh as you can, so it doesnt happen again.
    good to hear you are (relatively) ok :)
  5. Sorry to hear of your off M S, but glad to read you're well enough to be able to post it here. As you said, it could've been worse.

    Just curious, what the heck are those "metal/steel rails/girders implanted into the bitumen"? They sound diabolical.
  6. oh coz u ride a VTR250, and went down on the right (exhaust), go look at your rear swingarm. this is classed as structural. there will no doubt be a mark/scratch where the exhaust rubbed on the swingarm. this alone made my old VTR an instant write-off :? structural damage or some crap. if you are going thru insurance, lets hope they dont notice it :?

    you had leathers, but you wernt wearing them? lol, hopefully this will change ur mind to skimp
  7. Getchaself into a hot bath NOW!. Or failing that, a long, hot shower. If you don't, you'll wake up tomorrow with every muscle seized. You probably still will actually, but you might mitigate it a bit.

    To be honest, I've never been too sure why non-directly involved muscles take such exception. I've always just assumed it's 'cos of the massive squirt of adrenalin that a crash brings on.
  8. thanks guys, I appreciate all the advice. I might go have a hot shower in a moment, seems like a good idea.

    typical murphy's law, the one day I don't wear the pants I stack it, o well. fortunately I was wearing all the rest of my gear so it's only the legs which got hard done by.

    the staintune looks to have taken all the impact and is pretty ground down. if it's a write off, won't the insurance co just have to replace it? i've got comprehensive insurance so im not worried about whatever excess I have to pay

    all in all, an expensive and painful learning experience, but i'll definitely be more careful next time (not that I wasn't already, but more so than today).
  9. may i suggest no hot shower/bath?
    muscle damage needs to be iced to stop/slow internal bruising, for up to 72 hours after. only after that would u apply heat to promote recovery.

    saying this, i had a hot bath after i crashed haha, does feel good tho :grin:
  10. While sad, it's hardly surprising given the weather. Nearly all of my offs were in conditions like this. Nearly lost it yesterday going uphill. Too much throttle, a little lean angle, wet road, the usual. Anyway, hope you heal up well and the repair bill isn't too bad. Take care - and remember to take it easy in the wet :)
  11. Master shake, I sympathize as my introduction to tram tracks in winter of 1980 resulted in me writing off my BMW 750/7 and introducing me to the Alfred Hospital (where I ended up working later)

    What others said holds true ALWAYS, our airbags are good gloves, good jackets, good trousers ( wear either leather or good quality Textile with as much Armour as you can get, good helmet (most are good enough but fit is critical) and GOOD boots (they have saved my legs a few times)

    Bikes are always replaceable items (especially if insured) you are not.

    Take care, heal quickly and make a point of analyzing each and every accident or near accident and imprint the issues to do with the cause of the accident in your memory, it will help build up a safety database that you will recall when needed.

    Stay safe.
  12. sorry to hear about the spill mate, my only advice would be to kerb overconfidence. I find that everytime I decide my skills on the road are better than everyone else's I have problems and near misses. I agree with what cookie said about the safety database, if you are thinking about the consequences of your actions while riding, I think you tend to take a few less risks.

    Neway that's my two cents, if it was terrible please feel free to flame, heal up well and hopefully you get back on your feet (and wheels) soon :p , I have had my fair share of uni rides home and they can be quite treacherous. I don't know if I shared my story of hitting a rock. Yes a rock, I have a story about a rock...and it's interesting!
  13. on inspection of my post i just realised im going to have a hoard of people telling me he wasn't being overconfident. To counteract this I will say, be realistic about where you are at, if you felt the wheel whip out before, drop 20 K's off, those few k's really can mean a world of difference, even if it doesn't seem that way.

    lol, I worry too much about being flamed, I think i really should work on my ""self confidence" :rofl:
  14. [​IMG]

    buuurn N4R :p
  15. Nearly lost it in the wet today as detailed on another post.

    Could not believe how easy it was to come unstuck on roads I've travelled so many times before.

    Sydney's full of fun things like part buried steel tracks and girders. Some are a left over from the tram era, some seem to serve no purpose at all but you'd swear theres a town planner somewhere assigned to keep the motorcycle population contained.

    Get a pair of draggin jeans for uni if leather pants are a little loud for the lecture hall.
  16. Common feature in VIC roads.

    Had an off just 3 weeks back - wet tram tracks. Thing is, I was crisscrossing the tracks at least 1/2 dozen times before that skid. I put it down to the angle and the fact I was on 1/2 throttle at 50kmh. Leather pants & armoured textile uppers saved me, got away with a bruised knee. And very minor damage on the (L) side of the bike.

    I find it's all a learning curve. Don't blame yrself or yr 2.5mth experience. I been riding since age 12, take off 5 or so yrs break. First time I came off riding in winter in UK, when the kind motorist who helped me up mentioned "black ice", I didn't even know what that was, coming from the tropics!

    Got a fractured & still protruding clavicle from another fall.

    We all learn, mate, and the real shame wd be if you gave up m/biking after an off.

  17. Thats bad luck MasterShake, still sounds like it could have been a lot worse and at least you managed to walk away from it.
  18. thata sucks mate. as everyone else has said before, all the gear all the time.
  19. Sydney riders ought to have the pleasure of the Pittwater road.

    It has all these rubber gap fillers all over it, or gaps in the road. Especially around Dee Why, Colloroy areas.
    Bloody horrible and thats on a nice day.

  20. much kudos to everyone for the sympathy and related tales, its comforting to know you're not alone out there.

    to be honest it hasnt deterred me from general riding but it has made me more wary of wet weather riding, and i'll now be more conscious of the particular road conditions. regrettably this is a road I commute on everyday to uni so its going to take a while for me to gain confidence on this stretch of road again

    i drove through the corner i lost it on last night and i discovered my foil, whereas metal expanders had been fitted perpendicular to the traffic direction (running horizontally across the road) earlier on the freeway, where i went down there was a metal expander/girder running along the length of the lane so because of the natural curvature of the corner i turned the wheel as it hit the metal. due to the uphill slope my throttle work probably contributed to the fall

    lesson learnt, first thing tomorrow im getting some draggins. getting a quote on the damage tomorrows so fingers crossed its not too bad.