Guy buys a Harley...dies 3 miles later. Haven't we seen this before?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Thanantos, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,701
    Location:
    Michigan
    Aside from possibly being 205 (jomamma doesn't count DAKEZ), we've seen this time and time again.

    In the end they got another bike out the door. Not FAR out the door, but I bet he paid cash :deal

    http://gawker.com/man-buys-motorcycle-over-wifes-objections-dies-after-801737298

    #1
  2. the_sandman_454

    the_sandman_454 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    430
    Location:
    Coleman, Michigan
    That whole 'training' thing is overrated. I mean why would anybody ever want to have a clue what he or she is doing before jumping in with both feet?

    You'd think in 38 years the guy would've thought to take a safety course at some point. If he did and still wrecked within 3 miles, they should give his money for the course back.
    #2
  3. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    30,482
    Location:
    Western Mass
    Yes, he should be satisfied with that.....
    #3
  4. henshao

    henshao Bained

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    630
    Location:
    The Commonwealth
    How sad. In a way, the fact that Harley Davidson doesn't make fast bikes probably has a lot to do with why this happens. "It's a Harley, what could go wrong?" I guess we should see a lot of squids jump on R1's as their first bike with unfortunately consequences, too, but I personally rarely hear about them. At least, not the first 3 miles.
    #4
  5. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    6,630
    Location:
    the hills
    Really sporting of you guys to get your jollies from a sad death just 'cause the poor bastard was riding a a Harley.


    May you flat 500 miles from any source of compressed air. You are "adventure riders" aren't you?
    #5
  6. Pantah

    Pantah Red Sox Nation

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,361
    Location:
    India Wharf
    I had just returned from Vietnam with a bank account full of flight pay. I had been dreaming all tour about a 1970 Z28 and a Honda CB750. I went to the Chevy dealer first and learned GM was on strike and there were no Z28's to be had. So I bought a Porsche instead. Then I drove to Alameda Honda. They had no CB750's, so I bought a CL450 Scrambler in tangerine metallic orange. :tb

    Of course I had never ridden a motorcycle before, save a minibike several years earlier. But I knew how the controls worked. I made it the 13 miles back to my parents house OK, but it was eventful. :eek1

    I kept that bike for about 6 months. I tried to 'scramble' with it off road and promptly got it stuck in every rut I could find. I swapped it straight across for a used Yamaha RT1 360. I actually learned something about riding on that thing, but it was pretty much all on dirt.

    When I turned 50 I bought a Ducati sportbike. I hadn't had motorcycles since I hurt myself at Baylands Raceway when I was 31. But I remembered enough I thought. The dealer scrubbed the tires for me and handed me the keys. I swung a leg over and pulled onto the highway, promptly stepping out the back as I accelerated away. Scared the crap out of me. I'd say it took about 2 years to get comfortable riding in the street.

    I feel bad for that fellow getting killed on his first ride, but it could happen to any of us.
    #6
  7. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    11,524
    Location:
    New(er) Mexico
    That's horrible, but why do people think they can buy a motorcycle if they have NEVER ridden ANYTHING before, and then go ride it across town?

    Very sad. If he'd taken an MSF, he might have made it to the casino, then, who know how much longer he'd have lived. RIP dude.

    I agree that there seems to be a thought that an HD seems to be a "Safer" choice than other types of motorcycles. Couldn't be farther from the truth. They are all equally dangerous when you have ZERO RIDING SKILL.
    #7
  8. Offcamber

    Offcamber Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,944
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Sad story, and of course the lesson is get some training before you ride...

    When I bought my first new motorcycle in '94 I had very little experience....rode my friends Kawi few times....no formal training. Had learners permit ( which in FL at the time meant you passed the written test) I told the dealer how little and how long it had been since I rode...He suggested going across the street and get the feel for it in the empty parking lot....its was Suzuki GS500E so it wasn't a power house.....anyway I made it home with my wife following me....I took the MSF class shortly after that.
    #8
  9. stevie t

    stevie t some dude, somewhere....

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    280
    Location:
    Ontanamo
    Rip dude....
    Sounds like it was the helmet not the bike that got him......but ya he should have taken a course over the 30 something years he waited...
    #9
  10. Navy Chief

    Navy Chief Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,547
    Location:
    Waynesboro, PA
    Sad Story, This is why I push training on anybody who shows an interest on getting a bike with no experience. It is an easy sales pitch, especially since MSF is free in PA. Explain to them that they can find out if riding is really for them for the cost of a cheap helmet if they don't want to wear one of the loaners, lets them experience riding in a mostly safe environment and they learn something along the way if they decide to proceed. I have had a couple of people who took the course and decided that it was not for them after all...

    RIP dude.
    #10
  11. daveinva

    daveinva Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    594
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    Let's start with the obvious and necessary caveat that you can die from anything at anytime regardless of skill, training, gear, etc. Which, for the record, is one major reason I ride: if I can die slipping on ice outside a 7-11, I might as well enjoy what life has to offer, like riding! :ricky.

    I'm also going to assume that he at least had a *license* (would anyone even be able to sell someone a bike without a license?) so this couldn't have been the VERY first time he had been on a bike... right?

    That said, based on the limited information we have, it sure sounds as if the poor man had no training, no practice, and no (useful) gear. Which tells me that for all the decades of love he had for motorcycles, he somehow never managed to acquire any *respect* for them.

    I mourn the tragedy, but I can't mourn the mistake. All things in life, including riding, involve managing risk. So, like, manage it.
    #11
  12. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,803
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    I feel bad for this guys family. As for this only happening to Harley riders, I do recall seeing similar stories of guys buying sport bikes and crashing as they left parking lot. The obvious problem here is people riding without getting any training. I think another problem is that people insist on starting on a bike too big and/or too heavy. When I bought my first bike I had less than 10 miles of riding experience and that was around 8-10 years before buying the bike. I never did crash that bike but I think the fact that it was a 36HP, 400cc street bike probably had something to do with it. That and a lot of luck.
    #12
  13. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    19,747
    Location:
    OR
    I get to know something about my customers. If they didn't ride in I make damn sure they know how to ride out.

    Here in Oregon they at least force you to take the Basic Rider course to get your license.
    #13
  14. joexr

    joexr Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,773
    Location:
    You're Mama
    Same here in Florida. At least for the last 10 years or so.
    #14
  15. JustRon

    JustRon ex-broadwayron

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,335
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    "...would visit the local Harley Davidson shop every week for the last 38 years, and every week for the last 38 years his wife would put the kibosh on his dream"

    ^That's the shocking part of the story to me... how do you stay with someone who won't compromise for that long! And, it's not like he mentioned getting a bike once, and she squashed the idea. Getting a bike was a major part of this guy's existence. The fact that it was a Harley is irrelevant to me (even though I don't like HD's). RIP, dude.
    #15
  16. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    12,961
    Location:
    chico,just below rag dump(nor-cal)
    Yup,any bike is fast enough to take you out if you have no clue.
    Granted Harley's "Lifestyle" does suck people in but it can happen with any bike.
    #16
  17. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,701
    Location:
    Michigan
    Having been a paramedic for 15 or so years now this ranks pretty low in the scale of terrible shit I've laughed at.

    Not proud of it, but that's just the way it is. Laugh or cry is all you can do sometimes.
    #17
  18. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    11,524
    Location:
    New(er) Mexico
    Probably because he didn't really want to do it for 38 years either and used his wife as a convenient scapegoat.
    #18
  19. PalePhase

    PalePhase Humour Noir

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    824
    Location:
    That's neither here nor there
    I've encountered both. When I was just getting into riding, I wanted the bike that had grabbed my attention years before and just would not let go; a Triumph Speed Four. I got conflicting feedback from the few Triumph dealers in the Southeast that had them. When Roswell Triumph was still in business, they had none in stock but assured me it was a great bike to start on but damn the luck they did not have one. A salesman at a dealership in Charlotte had one when I called but was careful to ask qualifying questions, and chief among them was how much saddle time I had. On finding out how little experience I had, the salesman politely but firmly stated that he would consider it irresponsible to sell such a bike to a new rider, and then strongly recommended I spend a couple of years with a more forgiving machine while I developed the basic skills. I thanked him for his time and advice -- which I am very glad I took. He was just very insistent that he wanted live repeat customers instead of dead one-time sales.
    :freaky
    #19
  20. bwalsh

    bwalsh UUU, UUU!!!

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    12,402
    Location:
    Helltown
    Its been my experience that a lot of folks think riding a motorcycle is just like driving a car. Hey, I know how to drive, give me the keys. What could go wrong?
    Its also been my experience that folks will go and buy a bike, the biggest shiniest one they can find, before they even think to take a course or know if they can ride it...without running into something or dropping it multiple times.

    I think dealers should be more wary of folks coming in to buy bikes and be more proactive with insisting folks getting proper training, BEFORE they buy. I'm sure some do, but some are there just to take the money. I'm sure a salesman can spot a n00b rider from an experienced rider if you spend any time talking to them.
    #20