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Old 07-23-2012, 08:41 PM   #1
malott442 OP
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Location: Odenville, AL
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Finally, sweating and getting teased for ATGATT finally pays off!

So, I decided Friday that with my wife working all weekend, I should journey to Deal's Gap. I loaded up my Sinus Blue 96 Twinspark R1100RT/R1150R (yes, no lie) that night and slept in to have energy for the next day. The plan was to hit the gap Saturday morning, peruse the local roads and shops, sleep in Franklin, and hit the Cherohala skyway on the way back to Birmingham. The clouds did not look inviting, but the rain chance was at 30 percent: Notice the 30 percent clouds. No worries, I've packed the right stuff.

I left about 7am, and within 30 minutes the bottom fell out. For 150 miles! Rain gear worked flawless (cheapo stuff from Cycle Gear, but worked well for 30 bucks) Entering Chattanooga on I-24 and passing the Welcome Center, I changed lanes from left to right at approx 65mph. As I entered the right side of the right lane, the front end let go. I steered full lock to the left and in an instant the front came back. WOW. Then exactly 1/10 of a second after I thought I just survived a pucker moment- BAM! Low sided.

I was on my belly in the slow lane facing sideways, and knowing I had thin summer mesh under my rain gear, decided to "mummy roll" rather than slide. ( I HATE ROAD RASH!) I held in tight and rolled for over 100 feet, until I was doing about 20mph or so, then threw out my arms and slid to a stop. JUMPED! up and ran to my poor steed, front tire still spinning, dumping oil everywhere from her left valve cover. I picked her up, and everyone is trying to get around me, un concerned with the carnage that just unfolded in my small insignificant world.

One car stopped and four medical students jumped out, yelling for me to lay back down. I refused, explaining to them I never even closed my eyes during the rolls, no extremely hard hits occurred, and once my bike was off the road I would check myself over. I must have looked like the inside of a recycle bin, there were yellow and black shards of rainsuit flopping around all over me. I tore them off and checked myself. Pretty damn good! Bent over, reached up and over, rolled my neck, no pain or "weird feelings". I quickly assessed the damage and determined the valve cover needed sealed up and that was it. I asked the kids for a ride, and they accepted. But, there was another motorist, and this other motorist called 911, so I had to stay at the scene, which I was pissed about for two reasons. I was stuck there watching my free ride to freedom drive off while I was in the rain, and I was stuck in an embarrassing moment with no escape.

I persuaded the lady to pull her car off the interstate to the next exit or back up to the rest stop, but she was too scared to drive because "I have a baby in the back!". She was pissed at me, like I purposely almost got ran over by her. F@$# her, I'm pushing my bike to the rest area/welcome center. And there I waited for a while and tried to remain calm, wondering if I was going to drop dead when the adrenaline wore off. I didn't obviously, and I just have to thank God for letting my life continue past Saturday.

The cop came and left, so I got on the phone with Pandora BMW to get a valve cover: Nothing in stock, damn. I called a cab, and had him bring me to an auto parts store or Wally world, whichever was closer. He took me to wally, and wouldn't you know, they had all I needed. A few quarts of oil, four sticks of JB putty, brake cleaner, towels, boots, rain suit, and some caffeine for 100 bucks! Sweeeeet!

Arriving back to my bike, the sun suddenly appeared. I assessed the damage, and found this:


Glove box, left fairing, mirror, valve cover, valve cover guard (not much of one, plastic and never re-using those) case cover are tore up quite badly. Clutch lever has just a little circle abrasion. I cleaned the bike's wounds, sealed the valve cover from inside and out, finding one bolt stripped from the impact, and ended up with a rather nice cludge, even adding meat in case I fell again!!!

I filled the bike with my high budget funnel:

And went inside while the fix cured and assessed my damages. Two small scrapes on my hips, a hurt knuckle from the abrasion with the inside of the glove, and a scrape on my calf from the initial impact. My 2 piece was full of holes, my shoei was gouged, my boots were ground into the steel toe on the left side. Gloves were in great shape, but no longer waterproof.

Pictures of my gear and the continuation of my adventure at a later time, I need to go to sleep and limp around at work. Two days later the bruises are catching up. Feels like someone threw me off a bridge with no water underneath. But I feel so great, like life has a renewed beauty! It was worth it, somehow.

malott442 screwed with this post 07-23-2012 at 08:47 PM
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:21 PM   #2
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Glad to hear you made it through alright. Sounds like it could have been a lot worse.
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:37 PM   #3
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Glad you got away from that one damn near unhurt, as it could have been so much worse.

Bike doesn't look terrible either considering you went down at highway speed
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:33 AM   #4
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Falling in the rain usually ends better then when its dry.
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:36 AM   #5
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Any idea what caused it?
For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. Robert Louis Stevenson
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:42 AM   #6
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Yeah, wet pavement is much more forgiving than dry pavement. You just have to hope, since you're going to slide MUCH farther, that you don't hit something that doesn't move.
Anyway, nice roadside fix! Glad you came away OK and hope the rest of the ride goes better.

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Old 07-24-2012, 06:15 AM   #7
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I had the same experience many years ago. First rain after a drought, is scary.. All was fine, then wham, no warning, no time to react. Spilled oil, Spilled diesel, the crap that runs out of garbage trucks that they are "supposed" to keep inside. All manner of stuff on the roads.

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Old 07-24-2012, 03:40 PM   #8
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Glad you came out okay and props to you for the repair and keeping your composure.
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Old 07-24-2012, 03:52 PM   #9
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I think the repair ends up being a great distraction from what happened, right? If you didn't have the JB and so on to concentrate on and have something physically to do, one would dwell on pain, etc. You did the right thing.

Enjoy the second chance you were dealt. I had an unrelated thing happen once, and feel like I have wasted my second chance. Be different. Glad your OK. Bikes are just bikes.
Never do anything you would be uncomfortable explaining to the paramedics...
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:28 PM   #10
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All right, so where did I leave off? Okay, to back track and provide a bit of depth..... I had gone on this trip to shake off a "funk", I've been stuck in what feels like a holding pattern of lament and inaction over things in my life that I could change if I really wanted to, and a trip was one of them. For some irrational reason, I keep thinking 115k miles on my motor will be it's downfall, even though I've been re-assured time and time again, "it's fine". My job had handed me a scare of security, something that was my fault, I've also been doing a lot of "growing up", and it can be painful to hang up the wild habits and start living sensibly. This trip was meant to make me forget about it all for just a day or two and clear my head.

What actually happened is that my focus in life transformed, I feel pretty blessed and now look at what I have to be thankful for, and realize that initiating change in my life is possible and easy. (finally, the cup is half full!)

I was happy that the cab was less than 10 minutes away, a really friendly older gentleman that knew the area. I told him I needed an auto parts store and walmart. Walmart was closer, so it was going to be the first stop. I told him I was throwing away the boots, and he said hesitantly, "you can leave them in the back if you want to".... I know that he has a job and can put food on the table, but I also saw the cab rates and knew he wasn't making much more than a fast food employee. It made me feel bad, but good that I could give him something.

On the way in a couple of boys were standing with buckets trying to get donations and I dismissed them, telling them I had no cash (I wasn't lying). Once inside, I found everything I needed, including a new rain suit. I got cash back to pay the cab, and headed out the front door. As I walked by the boys, they tried selling me their cause and I instinctively dismissed them, and said I didn't have any cash. One full second later, I stopped in my tracks, having realize I just lied that little boy and didn't even listen to what his cause was. I turned around and said, "Hey, what are you raising money for again sir?" He said that it was for his little league team's fund for new equipment. I apologized for dismissing him and looked in the bucket to find all of 4 bucks or so in change, with one single dollar in there. I pulled out a 20 and dropped it in and told him "good luck!" His eyes about fell on the ground, it felt good making his day.

Skipping back ahead, I finished the repair and headed for Pandora BMW, 15 minutes away. Like the sock dryer? :)

As soon as I got up to speed, I saw a leak. Damn, pulled off the interstate, detouring to city streets and putted it at low rpm's to the shop. If I kept it under 2500 revs, no leak. I got to the bimmer dealer and was helped by a wonderful staff of friendly and motorcycle savvy people, a welcome departure from the non-experienced pretentious idiots that are in some of the local shops. One beautiful XXXL Scorpion helmet (I'm only an XL in Shoei size, way to make me feel fat Scorpion!) later, I pulled exactly 30 feet down the road to Autozone.

I bought four more sticks of the good stuff, and this time sealed from the inside instead of out, taking extra care to seaming the putty smoothly and gap-less at the edges. I also allowed more cure time, and ran across the street and grabbed a Hardee's burger, mushroom and swiss. I finished my sandwich just in time for the rain to return, and scrambled to get my stuff inside. After about 10 minutes, the skies held off long enough for me to pack up and make my escape. The trip to Deal's was quiet and uneventful (finally)

Deal was a little wet, but still a blast, and I stopped at the dam for a few glamour shots:

Kill boy was still out for one of my passes.

Now I know what scrapes first on the right side and scares me (trailer hitch!)

Saturday night I was too late to eat at the border, so I continued on down to Andrews, NC. Beautiful scenery, the town is in the center of a valley. Breathtaking sunrise, by the way. I ate at a small bar named Loafers, and the people working and drinking couldn't be a better example of country hospitality. I plan on going back next time I'm through! One place I won't repeat is the Comfort Inn in Andrews. Over priced and the breakfast was a true joke. I had a tent with me, but after being soaked in rain and sweat all day in between crashing and riding, I was ready for a soft bed.

Sunday was beautiful, Fontana dam, Cherohala Skyway, the slow way home. Everything was beautiful. All three photography companies were on site, so I made sure to get some picture opportunities in.

a little time to goof!

I even got a genuine dragon fail picture, though I was too sheepish to do it on killboy

I did end up on killboy's weekly highlight list!

It's been four days since the accident, and my soreness is nearly gone. My right ankle has a sensitive spot, and my abrasion on my knuckle will be there for a while (does not cause any problems).

On to gear condition. My gloves were Frank Thomas all weather gloves. Without waterproofing treatment from time to time, they absorb water quickly. They held up better than expected, and are re-usable in cold non wet weather.

My suit was a bilt cheapest two piece, I think I paid about 150 for both pieces. Both seams gave out on the pants, and I had a small hole at the left front pocket. They have abrasions ALL OVER. Saved my bacon!

The jacket had three holes: Both elbows, and a small hole up front from something snagging it. Neither piece is re-usable, but for the price, they did their job. From now on, I will weat something slightly thicker. If it had been dry, this report would've been uglier no doubt.

I guess this concludes my weekend adventure crash experience. I had a wonderful time, and can't wait to go back. Most importantly, the bike damage is superficial and really not that extensive. It was a pretty cheap way to open my eyes and change my perspective. Lesson learned? Never give up.

malott442 screwed with this post 07-25-2012 at 09:37 PM
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Old 07-26-2012, 08:06 AM   #11
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Glad to see it didn't ruin your trip ... and now you've got a bad ass story and battle scars to prove it!
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:55 PM   #12
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Thanks for sharing--and good fortitude demonstrated by continuing your trip.

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Old 07-26-2012, 06:06 PM   #13
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I notice you use a modular helmet which I've come to love and will never switch back . How did it hold up and perform in this case? Did it take any significant impact to the latch mechanism?
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:29 PM   #14
malott442 OP
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Originally Posted by baloneyskin daddy View Post
I notice you use a modular helmet which I've come to love and will never switch back . How did it hold up and perform in this case? Did it take any significant impact to the latch mechanism?

The helmet worn during the accident was not modular. It was a Shoei RF-1000 full face. It held up great though. I did have a Nolan about 5 years ago that I slammed as hard as I could on the pavement just to test the latch mechanism, and it held better than the rest of the helmet. I could not imagine it being too much more dangerous than a full face, unless you are an idiot like I am that rides with it open at slow speeds. I would imagine the heavier weight would also affect neck injuries.
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:46 PM   #15
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Glad you made it through and are doing well. It's an inspiring story and I'm amazed that you continued on with the adventure. Many would have called it a day, returned home to lick their wounds or possibly stopped riding for awhile or forever. Enjoy your new perspective and safe travels.
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