Crashes: How Many.

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by corndog67, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

    Dec 27, 2006
    chico,just below rag dump(nor-cal)
    Ive always pushed it pretty good on dirtbikes,sliding is when its fun,slide the front,slide the back,slide both ends,pitch it in without shutting off when possible,even at 55 years old I try to hang with the youngsters or pass em.
    I dont generally crash when sliding,I feel more secure when the tires are drifting so I dont have to wonder when they will break loose.

    But I tip over on singletrack from time to time,usually just awkward tip overs,this last weekend I swear I saved 3 crashes in 2o feet before I stepped off in an off camber rutted turn full of sticks/rocks. Climbed to the high side of the bike and took off quick fanning the clutch like a fool.

    Ive always had a street bike since about 1974 but once I figured out what not to do,no crashes there. Dirt riding skills save your life on the road no doubt about it.
  2. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

    Dec 28, 2001
    New Zealand
    I thought I came off a lot on the street, but after 43 years I might've forgotten some...counting on my fingers I only get to 12...I thought it was more. Into the hundreds off road. Most on British bikes - steel levers, solid footpegs, very crashable...I have pounded footpegs back into line with a rock. Most at fastish around town speeds...fastest at 60mph when I put my 3 week old Yamaha into the side of a van, I'd had a bike to bike crash off road the first week. I can go out into the shed and still see the scars on my 1974 Stornello that I highsided in 1985 - dents in the tank from the forks, ball end off a lever, dented tail light, dented headlight rim, and it still has no instruments as I smashed the housing, rode it without instruments after that.

    So what have I learned ? How to crash mainly, it's a skill learned by repetition. It becomes a slow motion thing...a different time, a different place. I remember crashing my 1961 Norton 600 Domi on the way to work on my 26th birthday - as I peeled into a 50mph corner I saw my mirror shatter and twinkle onto the road...''Oh, that's strange, I thought, I wonder if I've just gone down?'' Next I feel a thud and a rumble though the bars...''Yep, looks like she's down.'' I had enough time to react, push away from the bike and get a good slide into the curb. When I went to pick up my bike, another rider was already picking it up for me. He'd been coming the other way, had enough time to stop, get off his bike, get across the road and pick up my bike before I got there. I remember the rivets from my Levis burning into my hip, big graze on my belt, no damage to me, got on my bike and carried onto work. Straightened the footpeg at lunchtime.

    I haven't crashed on the road since 1990, bikes don't crash well these days, and I hate fixing that stuff. I'm not a squid, just someone who thinks you don't know where the limit is until you can look at it from the otherside. Was I stupid, was I lucky ? Maybe, but you make your own luck, it's not given.
  3. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Sep 8, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    Sounds a lot like me, and yes, the old bikes did crash VERY well.
    I can not remember breaking anything in many crashes.
    Bent lots of stuff up, but never broke anything that I can remember.

    And I did get very good at falling, since I did it a lot and rarely got hurt.
    But I discovered bones break easy when you get older, and maybe in-crash reaction times get a little slower....
  4. BanjoBoy

    BanjoBoy I like pussy

    Mar 18, 2009
    Northern CA
    If yer not crash'in, yer not ride'in! :muutt

    Back in the dark 'ole dayz of bias plied tires, fish oil suspensions, 'n the dreaded drum brakes, I used ta low side frequently; I may have bailed as many as 20 times on the street? Maybe triple that fer the dirt? 1,000 git offs iz quite impressive!
    I haven't bailed on the street on radials; yet. Recon I better try harder! :lol3
  5. Krono

    Krono Been here awhile

    Oct 29, 2012
    How many ... ?

    Once only may be too much, obviously, but I was lucky on this one : I front smacked a car in a blind corner (HE "shorted" in the left lane) quite fast. Hopefully i was riding an enduro bike high enough, and made a big air over the roof of the car. Bike and car totalled ... but no injuries at all.

    That day, I remember I didn't wanted at all to go where I had to (exams...). Interesting, isn't it ?

    Only one incident here for 40 years ... and since I keep my mind up and positive when riding.


  6. O.C.F.RIDER

    O.C.F.RIDER Loose nut behind h/bars

    Feb 28, 2004
    Hewitt,New Jerseystan, OBAMANATION
    Well, started this game in 1967 at age 8.
    Like most others that have been riding & racing in the dirt I could never even begin to count how many times I've eaten dirt.
    Street, unfortunately for me my latest one was just this past Saturday on my 2003 ZRX 1200 being a complete & total ASSHOLE. I was just going to go for a easy ride down my most favorite road to see how my throttle sync. worked. The sync worked perfect. :freaky
    Problem was the jerk-off behind the bars.
    I was almost to the other end of this 10 miles of curvy bliss that I ride almost every day, and I see three sporty bikes going the other way at an OK pace. I don't have to tell you what I did.
    After passing the 3 of 'em showing them who had the biggest dick, I then showed them I was a dick. I hit a patch of sand in a right-hander where I have NEVER encountered sand before, at full lean, around 100 mph. :eek1
    The good news here is that I have FINALLY learned a lesson. :freaky
    Almost nobody just walks away from a crash on a little 2-laner in the woods at those kind of speeds. It happens, sure, but not often. All I got was some nasty road rash where my (stupidly) BDU clad leg got caught under the quickly sliding ZRX, some more where I wore through the (once) nice Vanson jacket at the elbow, some where the (very good) gloves twisted just a hair so that the heavy padding was exactly just past where I needed it, black ass cheek, & sore all over. Destroyed a 2 week old Arai. :cry
    Before the other guy's were even off their bikes I was up and like.........................WTF?????? What made me crash??? Well, I found out. Ego+stupid+big speed+sand=hurt rider & pretty used looking ZRX.
    I've had other crashes on the street with only one way back in 1980, and one in 2006 on my KTM 950, being caused by the rider-ME. All the others had liquids from other vehicles, or once, avoiding a DUMP TRUCK on my side of the road coming around a blind turn.
    Road-racing meant quite a few get-offs because I wanted only one trophy.............1st.
    Anywho, I'm now a reformed rider because as stupid as I was on Saturday morning past, I'm smart enough to know that I've probably used up most of my luck. I love my wife too much! And my friends, and my pets. I have a very good life. It's not like I'm going to stop riding, or even riding at a "brisk" pace, but the stupid fast race track speed stuff on the road is officially OVER. I'll be saving to 90 to 95% kind of riding for the woods
    I'm grateful to be alive to type this shit! :D

    Ride On!

    PS...I think I came off around 9 or 10 times on the street. Race-track....uh, a few more.
  7. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

    Jan 26, 2004
    Western Mass
    I remember changing out fork oil in the early 70s, and how bad it stunk. Black oil and smelled like fish. My bike had scored fork tubes from some coarse sand getting caught under the fork seals. Constant pumping slow leak on both sides. I switched to ATF so that the blowback on the bike and me didn't smell so bad. Couldn't afford fork tubes and no point trying to put new seals on scored tubes, so I just kept putting more oil in the forks.
  8. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

    Jan 26, 2004
    Western Mass
    In the rocky, muddy, rooty enduro-type trails that we have here, a full day of trail riding would be maybe 50 to 80 miles. Enduro "key pace" around here is usually either 24 or 18 MPH and only the top "A" level riders can maintain that for an entire day's event and not fall far off the pace. Often in both "B" and "C" classes, nobody finishes before they "hour out" and the person who got to the farthest checkpoint gets the win. For "C" we usually have a shortened course as we know they won't make it all the way.

    Riding in that kind of stuff, one or two drops per day can be quite normal. And I used to ride three times per week! Though not all day all three times. And only in the May to October riding season. Anyway, do the math, not hard to get up to 1,000 get-offs that way.

    Enduro-type riding is a sport like skiing, at similar speeds. And if you do it aggressively to challenge the terrain, rather than carefully so as not to fall, sometimes you do fall.
  9. Import

    Import Been here awhile

    Dec 31, 2012
    Three and counting on pavement...... (been super lucky to date)..and too many to count on dirt, 10 times on one ride a few years ago..... I noticed that as the day wore on and I got more tired, I was reacting too slowly to changes in balance........ And down I went... Bent every corner of he bike.. ( klx650 )... Really hoping not to drop the gs.... It's to bloody heavy.
  10. fallingoff

    fallingoff Banned

    Jun 11, 2011
    syd oz
    don't know

    in the 70's when I was young and stupid

    instead of now just stupid, lol

    anyway under the influence

    heaps but no pain till later

    now with road bikes, just falling over a couple of times

    but on the dirt, plenty

    last weekend one nasty stack and couple of little ones

    hence the name fallingoff,


  11. corndog67

    corndog67 Banned

    Jan 24, 2006
    Santa Maria, CA
    OCF guy, you've mentioned something that has been on my mind lately. Recently, in the Bay Area, a lady was killed when she hit a pallet on the freeway while riding her motorcycle. Purely chance happening, could've been me or anyone here. What really worries me, is my wife getting a knock at the door, or the Sheriffs call, telling her that I've been killed. Really, I don't worry about crashing and dying very much, but I do worry about what would happen with her, and it fuckin' kills me. So much so, that I'm thinking about selling my KTM and quitting riding on the street, so much shit can happen that is beyond our control. You could be the safest, most proficient rider out there, and BAM!, fuckin' pallet knocks you under a truck. I've been doing this for 41 years, it's all I've ever really done. But I still go back to thinking about the knock at the door that ladies family got, or her parents, or whoever.

  12. Jacl-Kampuchea

    Jacl-Kampuchea Booze Merchant

    Sep 27, 2010
    I see Drunk People.
    I've had four crashes on the road that resulted in injury. Three times mild injuries, once severe enough. That's over 15 years.

    Three of them were just me being young and reckless. One more was me being T-boned.

    I've dropped bikes more often than that, but drops don't count here.

    Dirt don't count.
  13. Bar None

    Bar None Old School Dude

    Mar 2, 2007
    Age 71, started riding at age 13 on a mini bike I made. One serious crash on the pavement that resulted in a broken arm,etc. and bike totaled. Several minor crashes over the years with little injury or damage. Knock on wood.
    I don't count crashes in the dirt.:D
  14. yzmaico

    yzmaico Slacker

    Nov 13, 2010
    Seminole, Fla
    I agree with not counting dirt bike crashes, started in 1971, who knows how many corner slide-outs / hill climb bike-toss.

    Well...I had a major high speed Track Day high-side, resulting in two shoulder operations, hernia repair, three broken toes, one broken finger.

    Ahhh, yeah kinda reconsidering Track time, might not miss it.

    Hang it up, no way. Off road is too much fun.
  15. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

    Dec 1, 2005
    Pacific NorthWet, Napa Valley North
    I used to know a guy who thought like that. He quit street riding for road racing- too dangerous riding on the street. He quit road racing for dirt bikes- road racing was too fast (and a local rider broke his back and spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair).

    He started riding in the wide open desert... where he one day impaled himself on a broken tree limb.

    There is no such thing as "safe". I hesitate to say there's such a thing as "less risky"- I think a given person will take action at whatever endeavor to the level of their personal tolerance for [percieved] risk, so there's only "differently risky".
  16. señormoto

    señormoto Supermoto Abuser

    Jul 10, 2007
    California + Costa Rica
    You can't live life that way; well you can but it's a recipe for neutering yourself. Just go be a hermit if you're going to sell the motorcycle.. and wear oven mitts on your hands at all times, a diaper, and two pair of socks. You never know when you could cut yourself or stub your toe and then piss yourself. It COULD happen! :lol3

    But seriously, just don't commute in rush hour if it feels too dangerous. Be safe and alert when you ride after work or on the weekends. You can die walking in the parking lot at the grocery store, you can die sitting on the toilet, but you can't get the same enjoyment out of anything like you can a motorcycle.

    I used to live in the bay and I know how dangerous those roads can get with all of the moron drivers, and I've had friends die from various moto crashes, but life without a motorcycle is not much of a life.

    Bringing that topic up on a moto forum is asking for responses like this of course. :deal

    Edit: as for my personal crashes, I think it's been 1 totaled sport bike (car door opened on me while legally splitting lanes in CA), one crashed and fixed sport bike (lowside), one totaled 250cc from a 60mph race crash, and an untold number of smaller dirtbike crashes that fall under "becoming more proficient through knowing what not to do".
  17. Aussijussi

    Aussijussi Long timer

    Oct 29, 2009
    65 years old, 50 plus years riding one crash, woman made a u turn in front of me. Never count the ones on dirt. Op was writing about someone crashing 1000 times, that's just ridiculous, you'd have to drop the bike near every time he goes riding, his bike must be a mess, must be having us on.
  18. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

    Jan 26, 2004
    Western Mass
    That's in the dirt, mate. Used to ride dirt 3 or even 4 days per week. Easy to get up to 1,000 if you ride challenging terrain.

    Interesting comparison here. I came up with that estimate after taking a very experienced long distance road rider, who wanted to learn dirt, on a first ride in the woods (that rider had just bought a used a DR-350 for the purpose). That new dirt rider had NEVER been down on pavement, but fell 6 times in six miles of easy dirt and by the 6th time had became too exhausted to pick up the bike.

    Dirt is a different world from road. And that's why there is a pretty big aftermarket for plastic body parts for more common dirt and dualsport bikes. They do get pretty scuffed up pretty quickly.
  19. Homey

    Homey Been here awhile

    Aug 24, 2007
    California Central Coast
    When you don't get up anymore. That's too many.
  20. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Long timer

    Aug 31, 2012
    Phuket, Thailand
    Similar story for many here, many I know, and me.

    Off road, the odd off goes with the territory.

    Riding since '65, licenced since '69 (a couple of weeks after I turned 15). Only crash thus far was in 1976; not my fault, but realised with greater awareness I could have avoided it.

    It doesn't make us immune, but on the road, recognise the risk and deal with it..... or give up on motorcycling. A few add way more to the statistics than they should.