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Discussion Starter #1
Well, sadly,my little CBR is totaled.
I was riding solo around 9:30 am on June 17th, a gorgeous Sunday, Father's Day in the U.S., in North Central Illinois heading down to the area around Starved Rock state park. I came to a 4 way stop, and things went bad.

All four stop signs had vehicles at them. I proceeded to go straight through the intersection when it was my turn to go. I glanced at the other vehicles waiting their turns, and noticed that the vehicle on my right was also moving, coming directly towards me. In the very short amount of time that I was afforded to make a decision, I instinctively steered to my left, I guess in an effort to position myself parallel with, and moving in the same direction as, my perceived threat. I also, unfortunately, applied WAY TOO MUCH got damm front brake.

I think everyone knows the consequences of doing that idiotic thing.

After doing what must've been an excellent imitation of Superman, my helmeted head and gloved hands struck the pavement much harder than would be expected from travelling approximately 12 MPH. One of my lasting impressions is of how amazingly hard my head hit the ground while going so slowly. Without a helmet, I'd be missing a lot of skin from the right side of my face and scalp, and probably wouldn't be typing this out right now. After the dust settled, I managed to get to my feet and do a quick once over of my condition. The first injury I noticed was a small patch of road rash on my right forearm that managed to make it's way through the mesh sleeve of my Joe Rocket jacket, a little blood, no biggie. At first, I thought that might be it. Nope. While undoing the fastening devices of my helmet, I noticed that my fingers on both hands didn't really act the way I was used to while unbuckling my helmet. Anyway, I was able to get my helmet off but not without some difficulty. After the helmet fell straight out of my hands to the ground, I looked down at my wrists and noticed that both of them had managed to acquire a few very oddly shaped angles that weren't there just a few hours earlier that morning. Dangit.

By this time, people were all around me asking me a hundred questions at once. It was slightly overwhelming and luckily one samaritan kind of took charge. He quickly noticed my wrists, grimaced, and had me go sit down on the roadside. He and another bystander were kind enough to lift my bike up and get it off of the road. 911 was called, and soon I was in the care of some of Kendall Counties finest EMT's, and on my way the the Emergency Department.

To wrap this up, my scaphoid bone is fractured in both wrists and my right wrist also has a fractured capitate and pisiform, along with a broken rib on my right side. I'm scheduled for surgery on Tuesday, July 3rd to reconstruct both wrists. Along with the wrists and rib, the only other injuries are two bruised knees and the tiny bit of road rash on my forearm.

I'm going to get a new bike as soon as possible, and I'm for damm sure going to continue to ALWAYS wear gear - I'm absolutely shocked by how hard my head struck the ground. I wish everyone out there who rides without a helmet had some idea of how, even in a "slow" crash like mine, such enormous forces are developed. My helmet, in my mind, saved my life. I didn't even have a headache or sore neck afterwards, and the rest of my gear performed amazingly as well.

I've taken from this wreck a much healthier respect for the braking characteristics of a motorcycle. I DID take the MSF course, and I DID know the theoretical consequences of using too much front brake. I also had practiced what I thought would be useful panic application of the front brake, however, practice and actual situational deployment are two very different animals. But, I sure know now.

Please, PLEASE gear up - at the very least wear a helmet. What happened to me could happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. It's just not worth the risk to go without one. Be safe, not sorry.
 

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Dam - sorry to hear that!

Bad enough, but glad it wasn't worse for you. Definitely utilized the gear for its intended purpose.

My boys always wear gear, and have to push their friends to wear it. The other day a friend on a HD dropped it at about 10 MPH with a passenger. They both got scuffed up a little, and the passenger (shorts and a T-shirt I believe) must have had no idea that could happen on a motorcycle - as she was apparently quite mad.

They had just been out on the highway doing 70+.

Took a ride last weekend a few hundred miles north in WI, and was amazed at the amount of riders (almost all on HDs) that had no gear on themselves or their passenger - dozens.

We had 2 HD riders from Chicago (cycle club jackets) pass us at over 85 and chop across the front of my son no more than 2 feet off the fender. We were in the middle lane. No gear (other than the jacket) and feet up on the hwy pegs. Swerving in and out of traffic the entire time. No clue.

It just doesn't take much speed at all to ruin your day. People just have no idea what happens when the s*** hits the fan - especially at those speeds.

Heal up quick - and let us know what you are getting for a replacement.
 

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Darn, that sounds bad. I wonder though why your bike was totaled at that speed? Did it hit the moving car? When I was looking for a bike I knew I wanted something with ABS to prevent exactly what has happened to you. We all practice emergency stops (hopefully) but when the real deal comes around with an imminent impact there will always be the urge to squeeze that lever a bit more.


Hope you'll heal soon and well.
 

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I am sorry to read your story. It sucks when other drivers "do not see the motorcycle".

I did a dumb thing myself a few years ago, so I can commiserate.

Might I suggest ABS on the next bike.

Below is my logic for recommending full-face helmets. I was wearing a 3/4 and riding a cruiser.

 

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I've been a professional driver for most of my life and if I've learned one thing it's that most people who have managed to pass a driving test and acquire a driving license still have no clue what "right-of-way" means when confronted with a 4-way stop (or any other application of "right-of-way" for that matter.) If all vehicles arrive at the intersection at the same time, the vehicle to your right has the right of way. Sounds simple, doesn't it? I can't tell you how many times a vehicle to my right has arrived after me and instead of following that rule will look at me for some clue of what to do. If I hesitate at all they will take that as "permission" to violate my right of way. Even in a 2-way stop where the right of way is obvious, I have had people violate it and almost T-bone me as a result. These are the same people who will surrender their right of way on a dime just to be a "nice guy" and stop dead to let someone who obviously doesn't have ANY right of way proceed through a STOP SIGN, causing a multi-vehicle crash.
Never assume that any driver on the road has the slightest clue of what's expected of him when having to deal with another vehicle at a stop sign, let alone a 4-way stop where the possibility of complete ignorance of the law is multiplied. It's better to wait until your right of way is unquestioned because you're the idiot that's been holding up traffic while everyone else goes and impatient drivers are beeping at you than to assume that any of those other drivers actually knows what the laws are.
 

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Sorry to hear of your accident. Glad you walked away. Speeding healing to you.

What would you have done differently if you were able to do so? You did the best you could and I'm sure your training and quick thinking, along with the safety gear, prevented this from being much worse though.

I sometimes take rides to the bank and market not wearing a helmet. Ugh. I really should not do this. Your post will inspire me to change this habit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
First off - thanks for the kind words and well wishes. I have surgery scheduled for July 3, and I’m a little nervous about that. Ugh.
@Schroeder my bike was a 2011 Honda CBR250R according to my insurance company, worth about $2400. I live in a far western ( fairly wealthy ) suburb of Chicago. Factoring in labor rates, taxes, 80 miles of towing, a couple days of storage and finally replacement parts, the numbers just couldn’t add up for the insurance to rebuild a 7 year old bike to new status. I understand, but it still hurts. I only paid $3,300 for it from a dealer last summer, so I don’t think they’re out of line totaling it.
@trippplep what I’ve learned is to NEVER NEVER EVER panic squeeze the front brake. And yes, ABS will be a requirement on my replacement. I hope you do always take the extra 30-45 seconds to put on your helmet.

Please be as safe as possible out there folks. A whole lot can happen in a split second!
 

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Wow... sorry to hear of your crash. Hope your surgery goes well and you have a successful recovery.

Your incident illustrates that even a relatively slow speed crash can result in very serious injuries. Also illustrates how grabbing a fist full of front brake while the handle bars are turned during a slow speed turning maneuver will snap the bike (and rider) over and onto the pavement in an instant. In fact even a slight application of front brake in that situation can have the same result. Doubtful that having an ABS equipped bike would have changed the outcome either.



Edit: I moved this thread to the Riding Tips forum, as it may help others to avoid this particular type of crash.
 

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Wow... sorry to hear of your crash. Hope your surgery goes well and you have a successful recovery.

Your incident illustrates that even a relatively slow speed crash can result in very serious injuries. Also illustrates how grabbing a fist full of front brake while the handle bars are turned during a slow speed turning maneuver will snap the bike (and rider) over and onto the pavement in an instant. In fact even a slight application of front brake in that situation can have the same result. Doubtful that having an ABS equipped bike would have changed the outcome either.

Edit: I moved this thread to the Riding Tips forum, as it may help others to avoid this particular type of crash.
Good point. It probably wouldn't have mattered.

If the wheel didn't lock, ABS wouldn't have helped. Just the quick, off-balance, stop would have been enough to make you go down.

I recently read something about crashing that made me think of this thread. The writer suggested trying to consciously land on your forearms and not wrists, which of course is hard to do, but something to keep in-mind if the event ever arises. One thing I always keep in the back of my mind is in the event of a car blocking my path, with an impact imminent, I try to remember to go up and over the vehicle if possible and not directly into the side.
 

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Doubtful that having an ABS equipped bike would have changed the outcome either.
Depends on how he went down. If it was a locked up front tire then yes if it was just the brake momentum violently uprighting (is that even an English word?) the bike in the turn then no.
 

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I don't think in that situation that ABS could have overcome physics. In the split second the ABS may have activated (and there's certainly no guarantee that it would in such a case) the bike is already unbalanced and momentum takes over.
The same thing happened to me when I was entering my driveway at 5mph or less. You're down before you even know what's happening. Luckily it only needs to happen once to be imprinted on your brain permanently.
As far as landing on your forearms, it's a nice idea, but difficult to actually achieve safely. I broke my wrist in 5 places falling off a bicycle long ago, so when I low-sided on gravel several years ago I made a conscious effort to keep my hands on the bars and ride the bike down so my leather-clad forearm and shoulder would take the brunt of the fall. Not only did I end up with a 3rd degree shoulder separation, but the handlebars twisted on impact and the ball on the end of the the clutch lever impaled my thigh an inch deep, causing massive blood loss and forcing the EMT to stick his thumb in the wound on the way to the ER so I wouldn't bleed out in the ambulance.
 

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I don't think in that situation that ABS could have overcome physics. In the split second the ABS may have activated (and there's certainly no guarantee that it would in such a case) the bike is already unbalanced and momentum takes over.
The same thing happened to me when I was entering my driveway at 5mph or less. You're down before you even know what's happening. Luckily it only needs to happen once to be imprinted on your brain permanently.
As far as landing on your forearms, it's a nice idea, but difficult to actually achieve safely. I broke my wrist in 5 places falling off a bicycle long ago, so when I low-sided on gravel several years ago I made a conscious effort to keep my hands on the bars and ride the bike down so my leather-clad forearm and shoulder would take the brunt of the fall. Not only did I end up with a 3rd degree shoulder separation, but the handlebars twisted on impact and the ball on the end of the the clutch lever impaled my thigh an inch deep, causing massive blood loss and forcing the EMT to stick his thumb in the wound on the way to the ER so I wouldn't bleed out in the ambulance.
I agree - it's not a sure thing to be able to achieve.

I did bail on the Interstate years ago when I hit a deer, and for whatever reason did land on my forearms. I had full leathers on, but ended up with raw skin on my forearms from the impact pressure and movement of the jacket over the skin. It was clean and headed quickly though.

Either way, significant impact force is going to find the weakest point (wrist, arm, elbow, shoulder) and break it.
 

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You were lucky. Me not so much. There are so many unknown factors involved in any crash. There's really no way to predict what can happen once the bike starts to go down. If my front end hadn't shifted so violently during the crash I could have walked away from it, even with the separated shoulder. Instead I needed 2 liters of blood, surgery, a week in an unfamiliar hospital and a month of recovery before I could ride again. All for a relatively low speed drop. If I hadn't had the good luck to crash right in front of an off-duty nurse who was sunning herself in her front yard, who immediately saw the damage to my leg and acted quickly to stem the bleeding while the ambulance was on it's way things may have ended much worse.
All of which is to say that "luck" really does have a lot to do with the outcome of any crash. Any time I see anyone discussing what they "plan" to do if they were ever to crash I hear that little voice in my head repeating that familiar saying "Man plans, god laughs".
 

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Discussion Starter #15
@jsonder - Ouch. I'm so grateful I had a full face helmet. The damage on my helmet looks like I might've had the same outcome as you if I hadn't have had full coverage. I'm sorry that you had to go through that.

And re: ABS, yeah I don't know if it would've helped in my wreck. I was travelling somewhere in the 10-12 MPH range, and squeezed the right side lever hard and fast. Before I 100% realized what was happening, my rear wheel was off of the pavement and I was (poorly) imitating Superman. Regardless, my next bike will be so equipped, just in case.

Again- thanks for the well wishes and good advice everyone. Surgery tomorrow, then on to healing and as soon as possible, a new beastie for me. I'm really liking the Ducati Monster range, and used models near me are going for relatively good prices. Is the consensus still that bike shopping at the end of the season, or out of season is usually better for buyers in the internet age? Or has the ability to shop online, no matter the time of year, negated any perceived advantage us folks who are saddled with riding seasons might once have had in the off season?

I have a feeling I'll be offline for a bit, but I'll be reading replies as I'm able.

Stay safe everyone and enjoy the summer :)
 

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Big F1 Fan, I'll have the fingers and toes crossed for you tomorrow.

If you know what you want and how much you are willing to pay, shopping in January and February used to yield good results in snow country. However, if you find what you want, for a not unreasonable price, I'd bite the bullet and get it. Life goes by so fast....

I ordered my 2014 as soon as the dealer had the information, and then waited 2.5 months for my belated 72nd birthday present. I still love the CB500XA; it does everything well.
 

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Good luck today with your surgeries. It must have been an effort to type this.



When you're out of the hospital and can type, let me know if the bike is available as salvage, please.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
surgery update

Well, surgery is kind of done. Due to complications that I'm not 100% clear on yet, only my left wrist has been repaired. It hurts, a lot. I'm grateful that my right has been delayed, I couldn't imagine being in 2x the pain. I have an ortho appointment today to discuss the outcome so far, problems and contingencies.

Thank you all again for your well wishes, they truly do mean alot to me.

And to the member asking about salvage, the bike is the property of Progressive Insurance now, and I guess it's up to them as to it's future.

As time and pain permit, I'll be dropping in here.

Stay safe!
 
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