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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, perhaps I need to be talked off the ledge, or perhaps, cheered up a bit. I'll feel better getting this out there, anyway.

I just got into the office. This morning, on the ride in, I parted company with the Bonnie. As I understand it, it is much easier to operate a bike while upon it.

I blame myself. I was coming up to a light - there was a lot of room between the lanes/cars, so I thought I would move up to the front (yes, lane-splitting). I do this all the time - carefully, safely, slowly.

The problem was this was a construction zone. Uneven pavement between the lanes, which I SHOULD have seen. As soon as the front wheel ran along the higher surface (at a very low speed), I got tossed. I've been street riding for 25 years now. I know better.

The lack of damage to the bike was remarkable. Cases and tank are fine. The mirror was scuffed. The back tip of the muffler has a few scratches. The leading edge of the front fender. And the brand new saddlebag.

I inspected everything on the side of the road very carefully, including myself. Nothing sore. A scuffed boot. Even the jacket was fine. I started it up, and came here into the office. Nothing tweaked. Pretty lucky.

So while I consider myself most thankful, there is pause for reflection. This has not been a good year. After 24 uneventful years of riding, I've gone down twice this year, including earlier this spring on a friend's Harley in downtown LA after hitting something slick (similiar incident, minimal damage).

Do I hang it up? Probably not, I love riding too much. What say you folks out there that have been in a similar situation? I'm in a bit of a funk right now.

Thanks.
 

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happened to me twice in my first year within a month or so of each other. first was a sub 1 mph slip on dead leaves while parking and, at the end of my first season last december, close to freezing, accelerating as i crossed over a manhole cover at around 10-15 mph. next thing i knew the back end was out and i was on the ground. busted shift lever, left indicator, left exhaust, left pinky finger. put it up for the winter, rode it a couple times when there was a day over 50, put on new shocks, and got back on with a little more respect and new gloves in the spring.

looking back, having the winter away meant that when i was back on it full time had a smile a mile wide and was in the swing of things straightaway.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. In the end, of course, it could have been a lot worse. Road Dog - I LOVE that song. I think that'll be the theme going through my helmet on the way home tonight. :D
 

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Hitting the ground every now and then (hopefully as rarely as possible) is an inevitable event on a two wheeled conveyance. Assuming you don't get injured, it has the added side effect of making you realize that riding a bike takes constant mental vigilance. Pilots call it "Total Situational Awareness". Don't quit.
 

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OK I'll admit

Thanksgiving day I tried the Bonnie on a hill climb. Not REAL steep but steep enough to be the favorite neighborhood sled riding hill when I was a kid. Its covered in ankle deep grass right now and had some furrows ploughed across it years ago to help prevent erosion (So its always been bouncy). Anyway the machine rode up the hill like a pro through the furrows and everything. But when I got to the top (not really the top though, up to the woods line but still on the slope) I tried turning around slowly. I was not used to turning around on a slope like that and went over. It was kind of a slow motion fall into the soft grass. There was no damage to the machine or to me other than the clutch lever. My pride was damaged a little though :) The lever seemed out of line just a little bit but worked fine. The next day I thought I would try bending the lever back in line but with just a little bit of pressure it snapped right off. (Glad THAT did not happen on the road) I pinned and then epoxied the lever and bolted a piece of plate metal over the break too. It seems stronger than original.
Anyway, I have a few years of riding in. The last time I remember laying the bike down was in 1978 riding up the switchback trail in Rocky Mountain National Park with the old Bonnie while trying to pass a string of slow moving cars. They were going too slow for my first gear. Anyway it happens. Maybe the pride gets a ding or the superstitious feelings come up. But this downer is not anywhere close to making me think about anything like quitting. I'd rather figure out how to turn around correctly while on a slope :)
 

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Cured from riding in the center of a lane at intersection...

...BRAND NEW 1973 Suzuki Savage 250; headed to a job interview when, in traffic and coming to a stop, went down hard for no apparent reason. Saw a long stream/puddle of amber gold fluid down the center of the lane where I went down. I guess someone just had an oil change and the drain plug wasn't tight and fell out. Whatever. Made me a lot more careful about riding in the center of the lane!

I went to the job interview dirty and a little bloody and still got the job...

Probably nothing you could have done to avoid the hi/lo pavement. Glad you are ok and keep riding!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks so much all. I was so damn mad at myself this morning. Sometimes you just need to sort things out in your head. Almost felt like a confession...

There was something I could have done. I should have seen or at least acknowledged the possibility of a problem, since I knew I was in a construction zone. Brain farts can get you hurt or killed. Perhaps I needed a reminder. Yes. I learned from it.

I just got home and gave the bike a good-lookover, and will be heading back out there to give some bolts a check, see what else I can address.

If there's a silver lining, or maybe good fortune in my misfortune, is the aforementioned lack of any real damage. I need a mirror first and foremost, it did not break but is scuffed pretty badly. The right-side muffler has some scratches, but not too bad and not necessarily in view. The turn-signal LENS has a scuff. The brake lever BALL has a scuff. The saddlebag (new Triumph fabric) is a bummer but even that does not look too bad.

Probably like many of us, I'm a perfectionist, so if anyone has some stock peashooters or mirrors around, I'm all eyes and ears (and yes, have been all over Ebay).

It's still a beautiful bike, and damnit, I'll ride in again tomorrow:cool:

Sorry for all the words, and again, many thanks.
 

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Appreciate that you posted about this, I like to be reminded that at anytime it can happen (helps keep me on my toes!). Glad the only real wound was your ego!!:D
 

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Been there done that. Was lucky only busted windscreen and bummed up shoulder. And then had to explain to wife what happened.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Appreciate that you posted about this, I like to be reminded that at anytime it can happen (helps keep me on my toes!). Glad the only real wound was your ego!!:D
You're most welcome.

A (mercifully quick) epilogue:

I was really pleased with what I was able to accomplish in the garage last night. Basically, if I replace the mirror, and eventually a muffler take-off from somewhere, you'd have a hard time telling.

Rode in today. A really nice, brisk morning, just like those fall days back home in Michigan. I surveyed The Spot while stopped - not one but two elevation changes - one about an inch, the other a bit more. A recipe for disaster running along side it. I could even see where my footpeg bolt made a mark.

I stayed in my lane.:eek:
 

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so if anyone has some stock peashooters or mirrors around, I'm all eyes and ears (and yes, have been all over Ebay).
Robert,

I have both the stock exhaust (unused) and stock mirrors available and they're yours. I had Norman Hydes installed at purchase and I just installed CRG bar end mirrors. So, these items are just taking up space in the garage. I live in south Orange County so I'm close by if you want to pick up the items. Send me a PM and we'll make arrangements.

And, Merry Christmas!
 

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As an avid dirtbiker, I have been afforded to walk away from the countless get-offs and crashes over the many years.

Alot of get-offs in the street are due to the rider not understanding basic principles of traction, suspension, and speed. And of course the limitations of the motorcycle they are riding, but these limitations reflect for the most part the previousely mentioned items.

I am gald to hear that you are well and just a few scratches on the bike.

Don't worry about the crash, just give thanks that it was a good one,and learn from it.

I strongly believe that a person should learn to ride in the dirt before the street.

Cheers, and go faster...
 

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If it makes you feel any better I fell of at 1 kph,in a shopping centre with 1000,well it felt like 1000 consumers eyeballing the idiot who forgot to take his disclock off:)J.B.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks guys...

Funny, in thinking about it, regarding the dirt comment. Waaaaaaay back when, I started in the dirt. I was always going to be a dirt guy, no street bikes. Then, back in high school, I helped a friend tune his purple CB 350 in auto shop. He said to take it for a ride. The dirt-only premise was over. Funny how fast I thought that thing was. :cool:

One thing I have to say: Sometimes good things come out of bad, and never understimate the goodwill of a fellow motorcyclist.
 

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get offs

I have had 2 get offs and both were 30 years ago when I was still little invincible and much less intelligent. The first time was right after I got my 74 CB450. The guy I bought it from had put crash bars on it and the front fender got stuck on the crash bars in the middle of a right hand turn. Luckily it was a deserted street and know one saw me fall. I got up and pulled the fender out until I could get home and remove the crash bars.

The second was on the same bike and my buddy was on his KZ 400. We were going down an unpaved road where they were building new houses. We were being typical bored teens goofing off, gunning the throttle and spinning the back tire. My tire did not spin but the bike took off like a scalded ape. I was hanging onto the grips with my hands and my feet were flapping in the breeze behind me when I came up on the T at the end of the road. I could not get my feet to the pegs so I just clamped down on the front brake. The bike stopped amazingly fast and I didn't. I flew over the handle bars like superman and landed in powdery dust about 6" deep. My buddy was laughing so hard that he fell off his bike. Luckily I only had a thick coating of dust and no injuries. I did learn that maybe that was not a good thing to do and have not tried that again.

30 years later I still laugh about it but I am not invincible anymore and would probably be bedridden for a month now so I try to be more careful these days. I rode that old Honda everywhere and probably sharpened my skills more on the dirt than on the street. I was careless and crazy so I had to learn emergency maneuvers due to putting myself into emergencies so often. With me, wisdom did come with age.

Glad you bike is not serious, and that you are ok too.:D

Pops
 

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After 24 uneventful years of riding, I've gone down twice this year, including earlier this spring on a friend's Harley in downtown LA after hitting something slick (similiar incident, minimal damage).
2 brain farts in 24 years of riding :goofy: ,...........don't be so hard on yoursrelf
 

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If you're going to have a get off..I imagine low speed is the way to go!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Low-speed indeed. It's hard to imagine getting much luckier, other than, say, avoiding it in the first place.:rolleyes:

Hobbit, it was a pleasure to meet you sir - and a huge (sorry) public thank you. I'll happily put her right this afternoon. Pic of the "shop" attached. Part of the attraction in keeping the Bonnie stock (for now) is the other bike makes enough noise for both of them. :cool:

Great little community here, and needless to say, great folks.
 

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