When I bought my 2004 Wee 3 years ago, l learned a lot by reading other peoples crash reports on this forum. Unfortunately, over 20,000 miles later, it is my turn to return the favor.
It happened so fast there really isn’t much to report. I was on a 10 day solo tour through CO and was making my way back to OR. I had a reservation in Moab for a Holiday Inn, but my GPS quit working and I couldn’t find it! Heading out of town I stopped at a Motel 6 to get directions. I had just returned to the highway and I was looking pretty far down the road for the hotel entrance when a pickup, pulled off to the side of the road, did a U-Turn into me.
I had no time to react. Game over. Luckily he was going slow, and I didn’t have that much speed, maybe I was doing 30 or 40. Also lucky, I was right beside him as he started his turn so he actually hit me with his front quarter panel rather than me T-boning his door.
Injuries: 3 broken ribs and collar bone on left side when somehow the bike landed on me and a broken right tibia where the truck hit my leg.. I had full gear on (mesh) and not a single scratch on my skin. Bike was not that damaged but insurance totaled it due to its low NADA value.
Lesson learned: - It was 100% the other guys fault and that doesn’t mean much when you ride a motorcycle. Using the SIPDE acronym, my ‘scanner’ was broken. My focus was looking down the road trying to locate my hotel entrance and didn’t see the truck till he was halfway in my lane. It could have been a deer, or dog and the result would have been the same. I needed to have been aware of my immediate surroundings before I let my focus go further up road.
I have now decided that a GPS is more than a neat high tech gadget but for me an essential piece of safety equipment. Mine had quite working a few days previous to my crash and when I look back, I am lucky I didn’t get into a wreck earlier. I remember in Carbondale trying to find a restaurant someone had given me directions to. I’m reading EVERY road sign, looking for address numbers on building etc trying to find it and was completely distracted from driving. A few days later in Durango, the same thing, trying to find the KOA. I got lost a couple times, had to turn around, looking all over the place for signs. With the GPS, a quick glance, and I know the next turn is in 2 miles and can focus on my immediate surroundings again. If it is a left turn get in the left lane early etc. On a previous trip, I was riding in San Fran trying to find a restaurant when traffic was getting really chaotic. I just ignored my GPS telling me to turn, focused on my driving and when everything calmed down I could finally look at it again and it had recalculated the new route based on all the missed turns in the heavy traffic. Perfect.
I have to decide if I will reinvest in a new bike or not. BUT, if I do, I have a metal reminder in my leg to focus on immediate surroundings first before I start ‘sight seeing’ and I will definitely invest in a good GPS before I take another road trip!