Sport Bikes banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Background: I bought my first bike two years ago this may, took the msf class and never turned back. I fell in love with riding and have put 19K miles on my bike. Thanks to you guys, I bought full gear back when I had money and am completely ATGATT. I have been lucky enough to have not had a get off or even dropped my bike, although there certainly have been close calls. I have committed to a lifetime of riding and couldn't imagine not having a bike to ride. I ride in the rain, in the cold, I just love to ride. Also, I like to ride fast. I try very hard to be as safe as possible but I know I still ride much faster on the street than I should.
So I fell this week and hurt my ribs. There was no motorcycle involved; I tripped over a short fence in my yard I was stepping over and hit my chest on the concrete pretty hard. The shit hurts. Last nite a thought came over me- If I hurt myself this bad falling four feet walking at two miles per hour, how bad could I be hurt if I had an accident or dropped my bike at 35, 50, 70, or 110 mph?
I have always had it in the back of my head how you guys say that everyone will drop there bike at some point but this experience makes me think about it a lot more. I am not considering giving up riding, so I guess the logical answer is to calm my ass down on the road and try and make it to the track one day soon. I do not like the feeling of being scared to ride, which is the one thing I really love. When I get that feeling on the road, I slow down and be extra careful because I take it as intuition or whatever, but I have never had that scared feeling like I do now sitting on the couch and I don't like it.
I know you more experienced riders must have experinced similar feelings, especially after an accident. How did you deal with it? Did you change your riding style and habits? Also, I am now considering a chest protector; do any of you use one as part of your regular gear?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
You're gonna fall at some point. Just accept it and when it does happen it won't be a surprise. You will probably get hurt at some point. I've had surgery 4 times as a result of riding. I have never crashed due to my fault, it has always been because of other vehicles and once from a downed tree in the middle of a corner. Each time it does make me a lot more cautious and scared for a short time but you will get over it and come out a better rider. Just try not to forget about that cautious feeling and use it to your advantage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
What superbike fairings said. Everyone goes down at some point. Mine was a highside that resulted from a car sideswipe me into the side of a freeway on ramp at 50mph, I flew about 20 feet and landed on my chest. My only injuries were a sore back and ribs and I was just wearing race boots, a cheap leather jacket, cheap gloves and a helmet. Im not sure what ATGATT means for you (2 piece suit with gauntlet gloves/ race boots or jacket, over pants gloves and boots) but if youre at least wearing the second option youll be road rash free. Honestly if youre wearing full track gear it is very likely youll come out relatively unharmed.

If you want some evidence check out "mulholland snake motorcycle crashes" on youtube. This is where I ride in Socal and there are always a few getoffs every wek. Many of the people there ride in full track gear (myself included) and when most of these guys go down they are completely uninjured (ussually just pissed at how fucked up their bike is lol). Going ATGATT is good and you'll thank yourself later. Don't focus on the idea of crashing especially when riding, because thatll only increase the odds. No sense in spendin $2 of your $10 worth of attention worrying about crashing. Watch Twist of the Wrist 2 on youtube (bout an hour and a half) if you havent, because that wll help you improve your technique which will in turn help calm your nerves.
Anyways sorry for the rant, stay safe and keep wearing that gear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
how bad could I be hurt if I had an accident or dropped my bike at 35, 50, 70, or 110 mph?
Well, it COULD be fatal. But I think you knew that. Much of it is just the luck of the draw. You could go down at 100, but if you're geared up, and you don't hit anything hard, you'll be ok. You could also go down at 35 and die after hitting something hard & immovable. Just keep that in mind as you ride. Try to make sure you're never going warp speed at something immovable. You can't always do that, but there's no need to do it more than necessary. If the road is lined with trees, you need to slow it down a bit compared to one with lots of runoff areas. Don't explore that last 20% of your speed potential unless you're on a track. A spot of sand can use up ALL of that 20%, and more. Some may recommend leaving 30% or 40% in reserve. My worst crash involved me leaving the roadway at about 40mph, then dropping it on dirt from a full upright position. I don't think I hit anything hard, but I'm not sure because the impact with the ground knocked me unconscious, and I wound up with a broke my shoulder, which I think was also caused by the ground. My only other crash was a wipeout in a curve at about 30mph. I was already close to the ground, and received almost zero injuries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,466 Posts
Street riding is dangerous man. Gotta accept it or move on.

At the track you're pushing your limits and may be more likely to crash because of that, I'd say it's generally safer if you have control of the nut operating the bike. There's the odd tire wall or air fence here and there... But atleast there are no square curbs, cars, trees or poles.

I had three huge crashes near 100mph during my 2012 track season I would have been racing those afternoons if my bike wasn't squished or bent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,272 Posts
I am 48 years old. I've been riding on and off since I was 5 years old. I was street riding at age 8.

My last accident was when I was 17 y/o

Last year, after 30 years, I had a bad crash that totaled my bike, put me in the ER for 3 days, I broke 5 ribs, had 2 small brain bleeds and that was with ATG on, thankfully. It was on a local dinner ride, maybe 45 mph

I didn't remember a thing, so it was easy to get back riding again.

Then, I crashed again. I low sided on a curve, about 40 mph, broke my thumb and banged up my ankle.

I really thought that if I had a third crash, that would be it. At my age, the costs,, the risks, etc...

Then, I was on a ride and slowed to check out the corner of my 2nd crash, and low sided on the opposite side at maybe 5 mph!!

I thought the 3rd crash would be the end of my riding, but the opposite happened. I love riding, and I'll keep riding if I crash 50 more times. All them were flukes, just my bad luck (I've been having a ton of other bad luck in life too)

I can't speak for the OP, I can just relay my own experiences. I thought I'd be done, I was very afraid the next crash would be the last, but I'm over that. Life is full of risks, and riding is worth it to me.

I've changed my style some, I am still having some confidence issues, but I'm not giving it up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
517 Posts
You said ATGATT.

I tripped on the step of a gas station, in full gear. Felt like landing on a mattress, didn't hurt at all.

You could go ATGATT, even off the bike. Just an idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts
Consider that a motorcycle has advantages over cars; narrower to get out a tight spot, better visibility, better concentration on your driving, better acceleration, and most often better braking. The key is defensive driving (a motorcycle NEVER has the right-of-way, always anticipate), and driving for conditions (weather, road condition, traffic, animals, etc). Always hang back enough so you can see ahead and expect the unexpected.
-NO you will not inevitably have a slide or accident on the street if you follow this advice. You can ride 10/10ths on the race-track competing with other riders and you will most likely have an accident before long, but best to stick to 8/10ths on the unpredictable public roads. A 1/4 inch chicken strip on the rear tire is better than sliding on some gravel, oil, leaves etc on the road IMO.
-I only got in one motorcycle accident in 45 years of riding way back when I was 18 and speeding down a wet street when someone pulled out in front of me (I laid the bike down and slid past). I learned my lesson and rode defensively and accident free ever since (knock on wood!).
 

·
HEHATEME
Joined
·
16,189 Posts
First like others have said wear full gear. Leather jacket, guantlet gloves, helmet, leather pants and race boots. Second if you're afraid of how you ride, change how you ride. Stop riding like its a race track. Its not ride like you want to enjoy riding for many years to come.

As far as fear get over it. There are sometimes I just feel uneasy for whatever reason and I do what I can to make my ride safer like riding more conservatively and what not but otherwise its simply a risk you have to accept if you want to ride. If you merely falling somehow caused you to transfer fear onto riding maybe you should stop.

ANYTHING can kill you. You could have been born with an aneurism and die because you bump your head. You could highside and not have a scratch. Shit happens, we can only control so many things. Stop worrying about what you can't control or find another hobby because riding you have very little control over things.
 

·
Mexican Hard Shell Taco
Joined
·
5,894 Posts
I've wrecked hard and spent some time in the hospital...

I realized wrecking doesn't really hurt, it's the recovery that is a bitch.

I just get out there and try not to wreck using the lessons I've learned. I remember that night, when I got to the ER, I was seriously considering giving up riding, I remember everything, it didn't hurt, and I wanted to go home. Next day in the hospital it took me a good 20 minutes to walk to the bathroom, 9 feet away. Three weeks later I was riding my scooter near home against the Dr. advise, still had 3 weeks to go before my collarbone was healed. I couldn't live without riding, that was the lesson I learned...

Oh, and that sometimes, it's out of your control. That's the only time I've wrecked where I couldn't do anything at all to avoid it. Wear your gear, thanks to it I'm alive.
 

·
Live to ride
Joined
·
12,017 Posts
You may want to practice falling. There is an actual art on how to fall properly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
When it's your time it's your time nothing anyone can do about that. You can help yourself out like your doing by wearing gear, slowing down etc... My cure for riding too fast on the road was going to the track. After a few times I became much more aware of all the things I could run into on the street. Plus once you really work yourself and your bike over in a track environment railing around corners on the street just doesn't have that wow factor anymore. Tracking a bike will teach you control much faster than riding street period. So the next time you go for a Sunday jaunt if something happens you will be much more prepared to handle it. Come on up to NCBIKE in Garysburg sometime this summer and see what it's all about. I think that's only a few hours from you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
You may want to practice falling. There is an actual art on how to fall properly.
Funny you should say that, I had my first real good off this year rolling 90 ish in a right hand sweeper. When I came off and started to slide I had my right hand palm down! I recalled the previous days instruction about tucking the arms in making a fist and keeping them a little under the chin, also knees together which I did. I slid off, tumbled a little but was fine. Afterwards upon inspecting the gloves they had ripped thru on the palm. I'm sure if I had left that hand down any longer it would have been rashed up, def an art there yes sir!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
495 Posts
You've survived your twenties, and realized you're not immortal, and shit hurts.

Congrats!

Now deal with that and move on. Try to enjoy life, and be safe about it. But don't stop living.

I wish I had something more profound to say, but the short answer is - you either do - or you don't get on with your life after you come to this conclusion. I can't say what you'll do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,142 Posts
I crashed last year after about a year of riding. I was unhurt except a few bumps and bruises. I went down on the highway at highway speeds. I was lucky in that I just rolled/slid and didn't hit anything, except my helmet hit a guardrail upright right as I was sliding to a stop. I was wearing my full gear, and it saved my ass (literally, looking at the scrapes on my pants!).

I ride much slower now. My first year of riding I always wanted to go faster (though I started on a 250, so I couldn't go that fast), and I didn't find riding all that much fun unless I was railing around some curves. I've since realized that I don't need to go fast to have fun, and I actually enjoy riding more. I've slowed down and just enjoy the ride. This isn't to say that I drive like a 70 year old in a Buick. I usually go about five or ten over the speed limit, but when I ride in a group, I'm generally the slowest and volunteer to ride in the back.

I'm actually glad that I did wreck. I wasn't hurt and it gave me the wake-up call I needed to ride slower. I feel I'm a much safer rider now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
The way I see it is you have two choices. One sell the bike or two except that shit happens get back on that bitch. I prefer to suggest the second. Now like you, I love to ride. For the most part I would ride except in snow and ice. Just over a year ago a female in a mini van decided to do a u-turn from the far right lane. Luckily I just passed another traffic incident that slowed me down. I would say when she turned in front of me it was about 10-15 yards distance between us. I didn't have time to even think to myself "oh shit". I hit her left quarter panel at around 35mph and flew through the air literally with the greatest of ease. Anyways, after my surgery I was told that 4 inches of my femur was crushed to the point that they could only rinse out my bone and then add bone from some dead dude. I instantly came back with a question. I asked if the guy was well endowed. I went on to explain that his DNA could mix with mine and make my manly jewels grow (military doctors have no sense of humor). When I rode I always kept in my head anything could happen, there are two types of riders those that have wrecked and those that will, and always dress for the crash not the ride. Because I alway reminded myself these things I wasn't surprised when I was laying on the ground holding my leg. I was pissed that she did that to me and pissed that no one would get my phone and take some pictures. To be honest I imagined it would hurt more than it did. Like I said shit happens and you must go with the flow or sit on the sidelines.

To me this is the best answer and one of the reasons I have the mentality shit happens so go have fun.

You've survived your twenties, and realized you're not immortal, and shit hurts.

Congrats!

Now deal with that and move on. Try to enjoy life, and be safe about it. But don't stop living.

I wish I had something more profound to say, but the short answer is - you either do - or you don't get on with your life after you come to this conclusion. I can't say what you'll do.
My son died last year at the age of 17 just a month after my wreck. He had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and progressively got weaker until the end. I fought for 17 years making sure he truely lived. He did so many things such as flying a plane to taking several laps at Talladega (NASCAR) at top speed for his 12th or 13th birthday. He really never had fear and when he did show it I reminded him that he had done so much. When you know you are dying there is nothing left but to live. To answer your question about what I did to get back on a bike, I say it is from raising my son.
No one can tell you what you should do. That is something you must figure out. I do hope you put this fear behind you though.
 

·
Live to ride
Joined
·
12,017 Posts
one thing that is important when you crash that first time, blame no one but yourself. 99.99% of crashes can be avoided. All my crashes I ate my pride and admitted what i did wrong.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top