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Old 04-04-2012, 08:25 PM   #1
ChrisWphoto OP
Joined: Dec 2010
Oddometer: 6
KLR650 Venezuela Side Impact Fork Tweak

Ok! So this is my first post from this trip here on ADV but I have been going for 6months now and am trying to visit every country in Central and South America.

But All the insane traffic finally caught up with me and in spite of dumpinp the bike countless times I finally got a in a real accident.

The setup:

I am in Maracaibo Venezuela. It's a city of about 1.5 million but what really sets it apart for me is that the traffic here is absolutely ridiculously, not because it's busier than places like Mexico city or San Jose but because many of the streets that should have stop lights don't and the people seem to take stop lights and signs as suggestions rather than requirements. So normal operating procedure here when there is NO Stop Light to continually edge your way into traffic until you can cross literally forcing your way across.

I have been here two weeks and been in this situations hundreds of times, it just went wrong this time.

What went down:

I was driving down the main street with right of way. I was fully loaded and marveling how absolutely shit the pre-08 KLR brakes are when fully loaded. I am crusing about about 35 miles an hour and glance down at my gps to see where I am suppose to turn. I look up and see a little car way out in the intersecton ahead of me stopped. I assume he sees and continue cruisng at 30mph thinking I can go around him. All this is thought subconsciously I am too focused on directions to really think too much.

Just as I start to enter the intersection the car accelerates and I have that, oh no, oh fuck no. moment. I slam on the brakes (which feel like squishy marshmallows btw) but already know its too late. I end up hitting him just in front of the his trire and slide sideways to hit my right guard against his quarter panel.

Lucky I was able to slow down to maybe 15-20mph before I hit. Still taking out a good chunk of his front quarter panel, bending my hand guards and tweaking my front tubes out of alignment.

The Police & The people

At first I was terrified that I was going to be out maneuvered by the family of the driver and stuck with the bill for the car. But due to my incredible luck a guy I had met at a party was driving by and recognized me. He stuck around to help translate and defend me.

Lucky the cops saw it my way and told the family it couldn't possible be my fault, due to my right of way. The family still wanted to get a second opinion and we ended up waiting in the heat for about an hour until some more of my friends here showed up and talked the family into just calling it a wash and walking away with a handshake and apologizes for the trouble

What I did wrong:

I stayed up till 6am the night before partying, I was exhausted.

I wasn't paying attention to the traffic. I was thinking about directions and my gps more.

I ASSUMED that the other driver was going to give me right of way. Biggest mistake right there. Instead of being proactive I was being reactive and in this case it hit me pretty hard. Even tho I am very glad not to have broken anything.

Question: [B]

Does anyone know of any guides online for straightening the steering/forks?

Website: Edit by pilot: link removed

pilot screwed with this post 04-05-2012 at 06:19 AM
ChrisWphoto is offline   Reply With Quote


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