So I've been riding my Wee for a little over a year now, 8600+ miles so far, and another 1k miles on the CB550SC I learned to ride on two years ago. There's a back route to my house that is perfect for a V-Strom -- twisty, paved section with lots of hairpin turns, and then a fun, rough gravel stretch that winds down a small valley and back up the ridge to where I live. I typically ride that road from the highway to my house just because I'm usually in a hurry when leaving my house, but have time to play on my way home.
This morning, I decided to strap my fishing pole onto the bike, and cruise a little ways down the highway to a couple of hot spots to see if the reds (salmon) were in yet (they weren't). Since time wasn't an issue, I took the back route *down* the mountain. I wasn't trying to push it today -- honest, I wasn't! -- but on the last curve, I found myself at about the 90 degree point of the 180 degree hairpin going, "Oh,
...I'm going to go wide." My training kicked in, and I brought the bike upright and hit the brakes to try to slow down.
made it :furious:
I ended up dropping the front wheel into a shallow ditch on the side of the road, bike upright, no damage to anything but my pride. I killed the engine as soon as I was stopped and spent a few minutes trying to figure out how to get the bike out of the ditch. At first rocking it didn't seem to do much good...but then I realized I was still in gear. Squeezing the clutch while rocking seemed to help quite a bit :headbang: and after a few minutes, I had the bike on the shoulder and out of the ditch. I'm really thinking that a skidplate is becoming a must-have item...if the ditch had been any deeper, I would have been balancing the bike on the exhaust -- I had *maybe* an inch between the pipes and the ground when I stopped. I don't plan on an encore performance, but ya' know...I never planned on any accidents I was ever in while driving a cage either, but I keep my bike and my car insured, just in case.
Anyway, here's a few photos of the scene of the crime:
Yes, I left skid marks. There's some on the road, too. :mrgreen:
That's where I came to a stop.
Looking uphill of the curve that did me in...
Lessons learned: I've gotten a bit complacent, perhaps, and since I've been a bit stressed at work lately, I *really* need to be sure I'm not venting my frustrations while riding. I also need to make sure my head is in the game when I'm on the bike. This *could* have been really bad, but fortunately was a non-event. Finally, take it easier than you think you need to when going *down* a mountainside because it's a lot easier to stop or slow down when you are fighting gravity.