Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Madison Heights, MI
Why I plan to invest in engine protection...
Saturday, July 9, 2011. Approx 10:00, EST.
Leaving a cafe parking lot, turning back on to West US-6 to continue my 700 mile trek home after a week in Boston/Danbury/Tunkhannock.
Sharp right turn downhill at 3-5 MPH. A car coming up the hill in my lane. With a gut-reactionary handful of front brake to keep me out of her path, my handlebar tilts to full lock. Velocity drops to 0 (along with my balance).
The right foot goes out, searching for support...but finds only air as it drops 6 inches onto the low downhill side of the bike. I've already gained a falling velocity with my recently filled tank, and when my boot finds gravel, the wraith of gravity has already taken a strangle hold.
With all the agility and grace of a flipped cat, I land safely on both feet. My iron and plastic steed is not so lucky. The elderly woman driving up the hill pulls over and steps out. "I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry!" The look on her face tells me her sentiment is genuine, but I'm only angry at myself anyways. A little more caution and foresight would have prevented this tragedy for my beautiful Beatrix (Blue K7 650).
"Gotta get her outa traffic." I step to the low side, sink to my haunches, pull the right side control in tight, and with the small of my back to her seat, I give a hefty heave and lift. I've never lifted a downed bike bigger than my old RT-180, so I'm surpirsed how quickly the Strom comes back up with this previously unpracticed technique.
I wheel Beatrix to the side of the road, drop the kick stand, and take a deep breath before I assess Damage Control.
Surprisingly, the only victims are a turn signal assembly, a knocked tip of the brake lever, and an unnatural bend to my throttle side Napolean Bar-End. All body work looks clean. No leaking fluids. Breath exhaled.
I assure Grandma that I'm completely fine, that it was not in the least bit her fault, and I thank her for her time and concern.
Re-saddle myself. Flick the kill switch back to on (hm..I don't remember killing the engine before going down...strange) and she rumbles back to life. A few parking lot figure-8s to verify steering and control. Head over to the local carquest for a new bulb and some electricians tape, and I piece back together the signal.
All in all, I got lucky. I'm sorry Beatrix, Daddy loves you and he promises to never drop you again (I hope). They say there's a first for everything. Well, whoever "They" are, they were right.
All in all, after an 1800 mile trip solo, I've ended up with an excuse to switch to Buell signals, I get the shortened lever I always wanted, that mirror never looked right anyways, and now I rub my hands together hungrily as I consider a SW-Motech protective convenience makeover (Bars/Guard/Centerstand). Not too shabby.
Ride safe, folks. Keep the shiny side up, and may all your inevitable get-offs be done exiting parking lots at low speed with nobody around to run you over/laugh at you.