My turn, KLR and a shattered ankle

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by 2handedSpey, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. 2handedSpey

    2handedSpey bunned

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    Well, FacePlant is the forum you read but hope to never add to. Thank God it was what it was. It could've been much worse.

    As I type this, my shattered Left foot is elevated, in a splint, on Rx meds for pain, hobbling away summer...
    11 days ago-During a 1000 mile long ride, I went down on a completely, non-descript, flat dirt road. Sure, there was previous rain which belied the dry surface on the dirt but nothing of any significance or so I thought.

    My Garmin was changing map sets, so, going about 25mph, I sat down on my seat to verify we were still on the right road, I put my eyes briefly on the GPS, the rear wheel got in a slight 2" rut, I slightly give a little more throttle, the next thing I know, the rut got a bit deeper, moisture under the top layer of dirt was more significant, the rear tire just like ice slid out from under me. Again, going only 20ish, this wasn't even a "whoa" scary moment. It just zipped out, I couldn't save it, and was just going to belly flop in the soft grass. I was simply going to hop off. No biggie. I've had to hop off bikes numerous times before.
    But...

    This time...

    As I am hoping off, the left latch on my Gaerne Adv boot caught the side of the bike. 1 in a million shot. As I hop off, my left foot snatched the bag, the bike rolls on at 25mph . Nothing between me and a fully loaded 500 pound klr but my soft fleshy ankle.

    Full subluxation with a shattered tibia, fibula & talus bone. Trimalleolar fracture. Far out. Talk about a magic BB.

    What could I have done differently?

    1. Stop. I should have simply stopped. Even at 20mph on a relatively safe flat dirt road. I should have stopped, put it in neutral and studied the GPS.
    2. Heavier MX boot. I wish that I would have been wearing an AlpineStar tech10 boot. I know that my Gaerne ADV boots do not have the structural stability to have protected my ankle. Even though it has a steel shank,steel toe, heel cup, and shin bash plate, it doesn't have the lateral support that a heavier MX boot would have provided. If anything, it would have just been a sprain or strain and not a severe, exorcist style head spinning icky mess.


    Ride safe. I was riding AT(good enough)GATT. I always ride safe, hiviz gear, boots, gloves, armor etc.
    In recap-

    1. Stopping, I didnt stop because i didnt want to "lose good time." Now, days, weeks & a projected 3 more months later, what time was I actually saving by trying to look at my tiny 2" GPS screen while going only 20mph?
    2. MX boot- The cost of those heavier expensive boots would have been well worth the medical costs.
    Sidi crossfire, gearne 12 or AlpineStar tech10. Cost a hellovalot less than 1 month off of work, a 5,000 deductible, pain & misery, Rx, arthritis as an old man, crutches, pins, 13 screws, a rod, plate... Etc etc... Just get the beefiest MX boot you can. I was told by other guys but thought my hybrid boots were "good enough."
    #1
  2. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    Real sorry to hear about your injury.

    You are not the first one to crash while fooling with a gps, and wont be the last.

    I hope everything heals up good as new.
    #2
  3. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil

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    #3
  4. GusinCA

    GusinCA Been here awhile

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    Ha, just the other day I was looking down at my tiny Delorme PN-60w screen and it vibrates so much there is no way to read it while riding. And I stopped to read it I literally thought to myself "maybe it's better that I have to stop to mess with this thing".

    I ride in little half boots, but that's because I do a lot of hiking and walking around. On the other hand, my little WR250R doesn't have quite the attraction to the Earth that your machine does... :)
    #4
  5. GusinCA

    GusinCA Been here awhile

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    I used to own 3 KL650's. One got wrecked by a friend of mine who thought it "looked just like my old dirt bike, I don't understand why revving the engine end dropping the clutch would make it take off like that", one got stolen and used in a bank robbery in Sacramento (I guess cop cars and motorcycles can't go up stairways, so the cop who called me asking "uhh, you haven't gotten your motorcycle back by any chance, have you?" told me) and one I sold because it was so light and nimble off road.
    #5
  6. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    I hope you heal up soon and well.

    Yeah, stopping would have been a good move; its kinda like texting and driving.

    Don't push it and follow the docs advice.:1drink
    #6
  7. Wuwei

    Wuwei Long timer

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    Thanks for sharing. I wonder how many accidents are caused, car and motorcycle, by somebody fooling with the GPS? It's interesting what you said about catching the boot, though it's really hard to picture how that could happen.
    #7
  8. Carl Down Under

    Carl Down Under Aussiwican

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    Good lesson! Even though I think I'm careful I probably look at my GPS while travelling too often.

    Get well soon.
    #8
  9. MotoMind

    MotoMind Long timer

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    Hard bags? I had a couple offs on my WR250R and landed with my foot under my Giant Loop Great Basin soft bag. No problems.
    #9
  10. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    Car or bike, gps, texting, talking on the cell, its all the same thing, and it seems to cause a very high percentage of accidents these days.

    I learned the hard way, when dirt riding, look at the trail.
    Anytime I looked at anything else, even just the trip meter or my speed, or the mirrors, something bad happened.

    You can get away with a glance at something on the street if there is no traffic, no risk of animals, etc, but I never had luck with it in the dirt.

    If I had to have a gps, I think I would not mount it so I could see it.




    #10
  11. Gooch

    Gooch Been here awhile

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    How'd you get out of there? You buried the lede! "Shattered Ankle in the Wilderness: KLR Pilot Survives to Tell the Tale."
    #11
  12. GusinCA

    GusinCA Been here awhile

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    Wow, those are some serious war wounds. We're so lucky to have modern medicine. Can you imagine 1000 years ago, a wound like that? Bite down on something and get out the saw...

    Did you have a SPOT or EPIRB in case you weren't able to ride out?
    #12
  13. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil

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    No shit....I was reading up on treatment of fractures before the discovery of antibiotics and anesthesia. For an injury like mine (open fracture), the treatment was amputation. :eek1 There was no good way to avoid serious infections.

    I am so glad for modern medicine! :clap
    #13
  14. Wuwei

    Wuwei Long timer

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    Was the first version of the KLR available 1000 years ago?
    #14
  15. atomicalex

    atomicalex silly aluminum boxes

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    The boot thing is interesting to me. I purchased a rather high-end pair of touring boots a while back, simply because they fit better than the cheaper alternatives. When I low-sided a few weeks ago, I was rather happy with my heavy-duty boots! It drove home the point to my spouse that there is no "too expensive" gear.

    Heal up and glad you are posting.
    #15
  16. mfgc2310

    mfgc2310 Been here awhile

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    If you had to do it over would you have tried to stay on the bike?

    I realize every situation is unique and there probably is a time when ejecting is best but there is a school of thought that says stay on the bike with feet on pegs until the bike stops hopefully still on 2 wheels.

    I have saved the bike and myself many times by staying on the pegs even when I was thinking this is hopeless. I have also gone down on the pegs and it hurts less than falling off the bike. I would seem you can at least slow down as much as possible before your body takes the hit.

    Should we be practicing to resist the instinct to get off the bike unless the stand is down and stopped. What do the pros teach of course this never happens to them so not sure they even cover this.
    #16
  17. 2handedSpey

    2handedSpey bunned

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    Certainly, I have had many hours to wonder about this too. Once the rear started goi g out, I did the natural "gravel" instinct and gave it a little more throttle to gas it back straight. But, when I did that, the rear just zipped out so fast. The exact opposite of what I wanted to happen. That's when I just said "bail" and tried to hop off the left. Keep in mind, I wasn't going very fast but all of these "micro-instances" happen so quickly it's almost instinctive as opposed to reactive thought. (if that makes sense?)

    I believed I did the right thing. I think the bike being full of fuel, saddlebags packed extra full of camp gear, food, etc was something I probably didn't account for. Hopping off, my left foot just snatched the left side as the bike went down.... Rrrrrip. Twist the foot backwards.
    #17
  18. GusinCA

    GusinCA Been here awhile

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    Wuwei, I had my first KLR650 back in 1986. I don't think the basic design had changed much since then... :)
    #18
  19. jbf

    jbf ???????????????????!

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    Wow, gnarly.


    How did you manage to get out of there with the jacked ankle? What was going through your mind?
    #19
  20. 2handedSpey

    2handedSpey bunned

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    Many things were going through my mind. Embarrassment, frustration, pain. I was never really scared as the five other fellows are all capable and we had two medical providers (one doctor MD) with us in the group. The ride out was painful.
    We rigged up bungee cords to the roll cage of a Jeep to keep my leg elevated. We decided to keep the boot on u til we got into civilization.

    It is now exactly one month since my surgery.
    I am still a bit frustrated and bummed it happened. I still wish I were wearing sidi crossfires, gearne 12's or AlpineStar tech 10's, because I know the injury would have just probably been a sore /sprained ankle. Now, I do PT 5 days a week. I am beginning to stand on the leg and put about 30% weight on it. I wake up at night as a result of pain.
    But, I still miss riding my bike. I've already fixed the windshield. I've gone through all my gear, cleaned it up and finally put it away.

    I want to finish the ride next summer but I have to be honest, when I watch posted YouTube clips of guys on KLRs I get a bit squirrelly and feel a bit uneasy. I'm wondering if this will pass as soon as I start riding again...
    #20