I took a ride up to Mt. Lemmon this weekend before it gets icy. Two of my sport bike buddies and I ride up to The Saw Mill for brunch every couple of weeks. I love that ride because the 'Busa just eats the corners up. This weekend the children were hanging with friends so the wife decided to join in. She's got about 5k miles under her belt over the last 4 years- so she can hold her own but she's not a pro. She has a Ninja 650R with about 1100 miles on it. I just told my buddies we'd hang back and meet them at the top because I didn't want to push her out of her comfort zone and we generally fly up the hill.
I let her take our lead and made sure to let her know we were in NO rush. A bout 3 miles from the top she comes out of a right bend and leans into a left sweeper going about 35-40. The turn was shadowed by the mountain and there were t-barriers to prevent rock from rolling into the road.
Next thing I know, she's heading right for the t-wall and low siding on the right..
The last thing I saw (because I was in the turn at that point and couldn't swing my head to the right to look) was her head hit the wall and her left leg was under the bike. I couldn't get off the 'Busa fast enough. We have Cardo headsets- so as I was running back to her, she kept saying, "I'm okay, I'm okay." She banged up her left knee and scratched the shit out of an $800 Shoei... but she didn't break anything. Had she been wearing her riding pants instead of jeans- she probably wouldn't have banged up her knee.
I was able to pack up all the carnage and duct tape / zip tie the faring to a point of ride able. The low beam light was gone and the instrument panel was dead. The after market hand guard saved the break lever. I didn't have my pillion- so I made her get back on and finish the ride to the top. I figured if I had to leave it somewhere, the dinner would be the best place. She was like, "You expect me to get back on and ride?" I firmly said, "Yes. We'll go slow- and I'll talk to you the whole way."
We made it to The Saw Mill Dinner where my buddies were just getting ready to gear up and come down looking for us. After lunch, we secured any lose pieces with more tape and zip ties and I gave her the option of hanging out until I get back with a trailer or riding it home. I made sure she knew it was only a bike and I could care less about the damage, as long as she was okay.
She rode it home
. I had to talk her through some of the corners because she was freaking out- but I explained that she'd been doing this for four years without incident and to remember everything she learned from the classes I made her take when she decided to start riding. It took FOREVER, but we made it home in time to dump it off at the dealer for an estimate.
After reviewing the GoPro- I discovered she attempted to slow down as she entered the curve (which was wet) momentarily locked up the rear break and instead of counter steering and using throttle control- she ignored all the training and went right to Survival Reaction 2-5
Trying not to be a dick (and that's hard for me), we went through the video frame-by-frame and went over everything she did wrong (to include removing her feet from the pegs
). This was an attempt to show her that she COULD have recovered and hopefully (unless she decides to sell the bike) she'll be able to react better if it happens again.
She's not sure what to do, but it's her option. Personally, after watching her reaction and how she handled the moment- I would feel better if she never rode solo again. I know laying a bike down is inevitable- hell- I've done it 6 or eight times. But watching the most important person in the world to you go down in front of you is the worst feeling ever.
P.S. Always carry a small roll duct tape and tip ties... best after action tools available.