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Saturday, July 9, 2011. Approx 10:00, EST.

Gaelton, PA.

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.

Going...going...going...OH $**T...gone.

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.
 

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. . . may all your inevitable get-offs be done exiting parking lots at low speed with nobody around to run you over/laugh at you.
As if. I invariably drop it with a Standing Room Only audience. They just shake their heads and walk away. Sorry about the drop, but like you, I've learned to regard damage as an opportunity. When I had a Concours there was a permanent thread on their forum on dropping, so people could commiserate.

Me: "Hi, I'm Terry and I drop my bike."

Group: "Hi, Terry."
 

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yup. just dropped my wee last night at the hotel, in the parking lot at 0mph, last night of a 25 day 9000 mile trip. gotta get them crash bars. I don't think there's even a scratch on the bars or handguards or anything.
 

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:confused: i dunno, but it sounds like danthemanc1 and rconti's experiences argue for the superfluousness of additional protection.
 

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Knock wood but I've been riding street bikes for 26 years and never dropped a bike...I've had one tip over parked due to soft asphalt. If I had to do it over again I'd probably pass on the crash bars on my wee.
 

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[...] 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.
So, why do you need engine protection then?
I thought this was going to be an oil thread...
 

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:confused: i dunno, but it sounds like danthemanc1 and rconti's experiences argue for the superfluousness of additional protection.
Thanks, I thought perhaps I misunderstood something. Maybe those guys work for the TSA: regardless of the outcome of an incident, the result is always more money spent on dubious protections. :confused:
 

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Dropping a motorcycle or get offs= matter of when, not if. Glad you and your bike are ok. I'm planning on the same additions to my bike. And just like the rule of thumb for dropping a bike it will be a matter when, not if.
 

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In nearly 20 years of riding and over a million kilometres, I have dropped bikes three times.
Twice the bike was stationary, and once it was moving at 50 some km/h when I hit a patch of ice.

One drop caused no damage, and the other two combined cost me three turn signals and one brake lever. That's a lot less money than crash bars.

If you want to spend money on your bike instead of riding it, that's fine, but don't try to justify it this way. I advise you to spend the money on gas, or maybe ABS; those two items, combined with luggage space are the only real things of value when you're talking about motorcycles.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Does not compute.
I trust no one on the road. If I get run over because grandma was in my lane, though it might have been her "fault," it makes me no less dead.

::puts on Greywolf Hat::

Most every motorcycle accident on the road is avoidable if the rider exhibits the exceptional caution deserving of such an exceptionally dangerous enterprise as riding a motorcycle on public roads...and even then, people still die/get maimed.

She knew her mistake, and I was not going to throw down on an old lady for her mistake. I was fine, the bike was mostly fine, and I was not about to let this opportunity to build some good karma for my trip ruin my day.

With respect to whether or not it is cost effective to put the crash bars on...that issue is irrespective.

I work in the auto industry as an engineer. I hate the talking head perspective that promotes "Well, as long as it's cheaper to keep fixing when it breaks than to solve the core problem, we'll just keep fixing them."

Plus, I like the crashbar look. And as you know, motorcycles are just as much about style as they are about riding. Heck, that's why God gave Chrome to the recliner guys. Plus, crashbars tell the chicks "This dude means business." And when it comes to chicks, business is what I mean.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
In nearly 20 years of riding and over a million kilometres, I have dropped bikes three times.
Twice the bike was stationary, and once it was moving at 50 some km/h when I hit a patch of ice.

One drop caused no damage, and the other two combined cost me three turn signals and one brake lever. That's a lot less money than crash bars.

If you want to spend money on your bike instead of riding it, that's fine, but don't try to justify it this way. I advise you to spend the money on gas, or maybe ABS; those two items, combined with luggage space are the only real things of value when you're talking about motorcycles.
I appreciate your concern, but I don't plan to be as skilled/lucky as you.

That, plus I'm American, which means I can waste my money however I please.

You and I simply have a different concept of value. I spent $8 on a cargo net, and now I can strap my duffel bag to the passenger seat/luggage space. When I worry about rain, I pack my clothes into a garbage bag before it goes in the duffel. Why should I waste $200+ on racks and cases when I already solved the problem with some creative strapping and package work?

I like gravel roads. Rarely do I ride them. I got lucky this time, I can not afford to count on being so lucky again. All I need is some minor slip up on a gravel road to take me out and thrash my investment.

When I want to know how to spend my money, I ask the girlfriend. When I want people to tell me I'm a fool, I'll make sure to include a question in my OP, asking for advice.

In the mean time, I was simply sharing an amusing anecdote. Thanks for your thoughts, internet stranger, but they are worth exactly what I paid for them.
 

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[...] I spent $8 on a cargo net, and now I can strap my duffel bag to the passenger seat/luggage space. When I worry about rain, I pack my clothes into a garbage bag before it goes in the duffel. Why should I waste $200+ on racks and cases when I already solved the problem with some creative strapping and package work?[...]
Yeah; I hear what you're saying.
While you plan on dropping your bike, I plan to leave mine unattended for extended periods while I'm camping/touring/kayaking.

Hard locking waterproof luggage (which costs more like 600+$) is essential to me; it ensures noone steals my expensive camping gear whle I'm sightseeing a new town, and that my riding gear is still there and dry when I return from a day or two of paddling, or a hiking/camping trip.

I used to do the garbage bag strapped to the luggage rack/seat, but hard cases are much better suited to my purposes.

I wasn't saying don't buy crashbars for the looks, I was saying that justifying them by the cost of a turn signal is not really honest. Speakign of honesty, I'd probably get some myself if I could attach some e21s to them.

My wife is learning to ride, and she'll be riding my wee while I'm on the bmw. I asked her if she wanted crashbars, she said "what for?", lol. I fully expect her to dump the bike once, maybe even twice, but they'll likely be from a standstill and not damaging to the bike.

If you are interested in knowing something about hard bags, I really like my givi e360s; they held the bike up quite nicely when it took a nap once, and resulted in only a broken front turn signal. I think they offer better protection than the crash bars, and they definitely make the bike easier to pick up.

The sidecases also add to in-traffic safety, as they give the bike a much larger visual footprint (I never ride without them), and they discourage me from lane splitting unless I have a ton of safe space.

I know you feel like I've insulted you in my previosu post(s), but the points I just brought up are still worthy of consideration.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Nah, it was the Brickhouse. My stumble came as I was turning right, out of their little parking lot and onto Maple Ave. The oncoming driver over-shot her lane as she turned right onto Maple off of westbound US-6. She was going to the Brickhouse as well.

I'm from Detroit, so I'm not too familiar with the town/area, but I loved that whole stretch of Grand Army of the Rep. Highway, all the way from Westpoint to Cleveland. It got a little slow in through some of the towns, but when I was feeling antsy I just cut south or north into one of the state parks or on a dirt road and wandered for a bit before finding my way back to US-6 in a general westward direction.

That corridor is seriously an Adventure rider's playground. Every kind of road you can ask for. From twisty and smooth to ragged dirt and gravel farm roads. Awesome.
 

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:confused: i dunno, but it sounds like danthemanc1 and rconti's experiences argue for the superfluousness of additional protection.
Sorry I wasn't clear. By "gotta get them crash bars" I meant that they're a must-have. I already have them. The bike fell on the crash bars, saving the fairings and turn signals at least, and the barkbusters handguards, saving my clutch lever (although I have Pazzo shorties so they might not be as prone to breaking as full-length levers).

I was unwilling to take a long trip away from home without investing some money in basic bike protection (and body protection; full Stich and new helmet). Towing and downtime (I work for a living) are simply too expensive. As it is, I have 2 hours of PTO left, back at work now. If I had been stranded somewhere, who knows how much it would have cost me. A few hundred bucks are worth the peace of mind of not delaying my trip, nor making my riding buddies have to make a hard decision to extend a trip to stay with me.

A parking lot tip-over is not exactly a high-risk scenario, but I'd hope the crash bars would protect the radiator if I went down at speed.

I had a number of large (baseball-sized?) rocks come off of my front wheel and hit my skidplate as well. I can't guarantee that any of them would have damaged my oil filter or oil cooler, but I can't see taking the chance.
 

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Rconti, I see. I, too, have crash bars. It just seems scuffing up some aftermarket bars is preferable to scraping or breaking OEM parts.
 
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