Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Flagstaff, Arizona
"Crashed" the Vee
I put crashed in quotes because I'm not sure what constitutes a real crash. After a day of riding the '06 Vee, I was coming up the switchbacks from Sedona. Traffic was moving slowly and I was a bit frustrated since the switchbacks are good peg-grinding turf. As the last 15 mph curve approached there was no traffic behind me, so I slowed way down to let the slow traffic get far enough ahead so that I could use the Vee in a more exciting way. The curve goes to the right, and as I was coming into the tightest part, laid over to almost peg contact, a car that had pulled over on the side of the road, was merging back into the lane. I couldn't see if there was oncoming traffic, so I didn't go wide into the other lane. I had to use the brakes. I thought I had it, but at the end of the maneuver I either reached the point that front brake+turn got me, or the rear wheel broke free and the back end slid out. Whichever it was, the bike and I both fell left (making me think it was too much rear break and the rear tire broke free). I bounced once, felt the back of my helmet hit the road (and all I could think was, "God I'm glad I wear a helmet") and it was over.
I picked myself up, grabbed the bike (it's always easier to pick up a bike when your adrenaline is still coursing full throttle through your brain) and got it to the side of the road to assess the damage. Damage to me was a light bruise on the hip. I had full gear on including padded/armored pants, jacket, riding boots, gloves and full face helmet (ATGATT!).
The bike damage was a busted left turn signal, bent shift lever, bent over left bar end weight, trashed left foot peg (the mount is ok); nasty rash on the left upper fairing, SW Motech crash bars, left handguard, left edge of my nice new Madstad windscreen, and left side of the OEM centerstand. The soft panniers on the left rear are scratched up, but saved the rear end of the bike from damage.
Looking at Houseofmotorcycles[dot]com, I figure I'm in for about $200 in parts. I'll use a miller file to pare down the scrapped plastic and then progressively sand to 1000 grit and repaint, sand the crashbars and centerstand and put some paint on those.
I've had the Vee about three weeks, and I'll admit, I was probably riding dumb. I never foresaw that by creating that gap in traffic, I left that car an opening to merge back onto the road, and I was going too fast to fully control the situation. The upside was that I learned a lesson that is only going to cost me money and not my body. The Vee is an awesome bike, but I shouldn't ride it like it's track day on the open road. I'll miss riding it stupid, but I'd rather leave some of the performance behind, than wreck the bike or myself. Coming from my KLR650, I needed to learn a little humility I guess:blushing:
I'm glad I still have my KLR so I have something to ride while I put the Vee back together. I feel really dumb that I "crashed" the Vee. I drop the KLR all the time--it's what it's made for--and I don't let it bother me. What happened today is my first on-pavement motorcycle crash, and mentally it sucks, since it was really my own fault.