Ow, my Pride -or- Offs that didn't hurt.

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Tinker1980, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Tinker1980

    Tinker1980 Long timer

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    Had a thought for this a while back... I do hope nobody else has done it. If so, feel free to delete, ridicule, and taunt until you feel I've learned something.

    Ever had a wipeout that was spectacular, but you somehow managed to escape unscathed?

    It happens from time to time, I'm sure. I've been riding off-road for 12 years, on the road for 10, and I'm so fortunate as to be able to say, I've never dropped my bike on the road while it was moving. Off the slab, however...

    ...There have been incidents. And somehow I've managed to get away with it. I can think of two stories that are worth re-telling:

    First one happened below the Hudson Lake Dam near Salina, OK. My late friend Reynaldo and I used to ride there every other weekend, him on a 1992 Suzuki RM250, myself on my 1977 Husky WR250. Below the dam there has to be about 50-60 miles of trails at least. We came to a hill that we hadn't ever seen before, a real monster, a good 40 feet and darn near vertical. There was no way in the world we could ever climb this hill on foot, much less on a couple of old dirt bikes. So anyway we are sitting at the bottom of the hill, talking smack back and forth trying to get one or the other to try riding up this collection of roots and rocks the size and shape of suitcases that kinda looked like a trail, when Ray decides to give it a go, and he goes about 1/4 of the way up before carefully backing down. Said I to myself, "That looked easy enough, I'm going to come back and it it in about third gear, knowing I can back down like he did if I have to." Well ladies and gentlemen, I made it nearly to the top, when the chain jumped off the old Husqvarna, and stopped me dead on the trail. This is when I realized that Ray must have used his front brake to back down the hill so easily, and that my 30 year old steed didn't, actually, have a working front brake. I had to do my very best to outrun the bike back down the hill, so it didn't ride me back down the hill. Only damage was the front brake handle, which reminded me from then on that I didn't have a front brake.

    Second incident didn't involve my husky, I had my little Polaris. It had brakes, which did me zero good. Riding in Sand Springs, OK where the rock crawlers and big 4x4's would play, friend Dan and I came to another really, really tall and steep hill. (You may notice a pattern.) Must have been 100 feet high and 75 degrees. Nice and smooth though, only a few rocks and roots that looked like you could either ride over them, or dodge them. So I decided to forget earlier incidents, and hammered my Trailblazer up the hill. Got about 2/3 of the way up, and lost all my forward momentum. Back tires slipped and spun. Had all four wheels locked up, and the machine slid backwards anyway, picking up speed. I ended up abandoning ship, and watched the ATV I had purchased two week earlier cartwheel down the hill and land.... in the top of a tree. I don't know if any of you have had to remove a four wheeler from the top of a tree, but let me tell ya it's easier than I thought it would be. Bad idea followed bad idea in my case, I had my partner in crime watch the tree bearing it's one Polaris fruit as I... shook the tree... to attempt to get the ATV down. He was to tell me when it shook loose, so that hopefully I didn't have to test my helmet by dropping a four wheeler on it. I managed to get the little two-smoker out of the tree without killing myself for my stupidity, it fell onto its nose, slammed down on it's wheels, and rolled the rest of the way down the hill. Damage to me, none, damage to the ATV... None. Didn't bend the frame, handlebars, didn't break any plastics or damage the wheels. Ride it to this day.

    So, what has happened to some of you?
    #1
  2. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    Not mine, but I was there, even had a photo at some point.

    Near vertical bank a friend on an XL350 took it on, made it to the top, made it above the top, then realized he was going to fall vertically backwards down a 20 foot drop, probably with the bike landing on top of him. He gave the bike a big push, it flopped onto the top, stalled and just lay there, he free-fell about 15 feet, then the slight curve at the bottom caught him and spat him out covered in dust but uninjured.

    Pete
    #2
  3. IheartmyNx

    IheartmyNx Ihave2draft

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    Lol, "Hey look, a rut!" ... At the local Golf Course Crossing. A fairly popular area no doubt...

    Took to the rut a little late, lost it, and backed her in Circle-Track style till she looped around. I almost saved it, but that wound up being the tree's job... Right into the case...

    So having rolled off at this time and not wanting to stick around for the Minority Report and subsequent Self-Imposed Insurance tax hike, I bowed to the jaw dropped on-lookers and quickly sprained my back hoisting my light bike, started it and high tailed it outta there...


    Lol at the two other times, one on a TrailWing as old as the parts bike it came off, the other a sloppy, late, Fish-tail attempt (not including my genuine accident that would be the source of my public ridicule here) but they've all lead to one thing...

    I'm not dead and I'm a better rider with a higher developed sense of caution (that inner voice) because of it.

    Besides, I listen to it more than I do those that ridicule me.
    #3
  4. DaveStockwell

    DaveStockwell Rock Fodder

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Betwix the Cascades and Puget Sound
    1984

    16 years old on my first bike, a 1972 Honda CL450 Scrambler. Hightailing it down a crowed dirt road that had been made flat by laying loose gravel. I discovered the placement of a helmet sized rock buried in the gravel at ~40MPH.

    THUMP - Tank Slapper - High Side - Tuck and roll into the berm which flipped me up ass-over-teakettle into a tumble weed.

    Zero injuries due to the crash but I did sprain my toe kicking my bike in frustration before realizing I'd lost my shoe.

    I'm told it was a sight to behold.

    Dad paid for the ice cream that day AFTER he wiped the tears from his eyes from laughing so hard.
    #4
  5. Yossarian™

    Yossarian™ Deputy Cultural Attaché

    Joined:
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    Two recent ones come to mind; perhaps I'll add more as my memory banks kick in.

    #1 Riding forest trails in the Boston Mountains (Ark) I was attempting to skirt a puddle in the middle of the trail (don't ask me why, the bike and I were already plenty muddy) when I took the line a little too wide and my left handguard (Cycra pro-bend) smacked a trailside tree. What would normally have been a little oopsie at low speed turned into a smack-ya-down at 25 mph. In an instant, I found myself on the ground with my bike merrily chugging along next to me.

    #2 I had taken my kids to a private riding area. I was experimenting with the bike and decided to make a run at the widowmaker hill climb in the rough section of the forest. The trail was bracketed on both sides by trees. Needless to say, I didn't make it to the top, but went left off the trail as my momentum ran out, and looped the bike. I went tumbling down the hill like a rag doll, but the bike decided that it liked living in the nearest tree branch in an upside-down position. The biggest challenge I had was regaining that hill and trying to wrestle the bike from the clutches of that tree.
    #5
  6. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

    Joined:
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    Location:
    The Submarine Mines
    12/26/12.

    I'd made arrangements with my ex to use her garage for a major overhaul of my GS. Part of the deal included the use of her bike so I could get there and back. I was watching a snowstorm all afternoon, and when it was about 1.5 hours out, I left for home. I live ~30 minutes away, so the extra hour gave me a nice cushion in case the forecast was wrong or I ran into trouble.

    And I ran into trouble. I'd stopped on the way for what was supposed to be a very quick moment at Wal-Mart to get some degreaser for the next day. While I was there, I'd somehow lost control of the key to her bike (and my apartment, I had them clipped together) and spent the next two hours frantically searching the store for them. Eventually, they were found under a shelf.

    And that puts me riding home at night during the first winter storm of the year. I made it about 1/2 way home through whiteout conditions when I slid on a patch of ice approaching an intersection. The bike went down on its left side and spun twice, with me sliding along behind. I wasn't injured at all, I was going maybe 25mph and all my roadsurfing was on snow and ice. I picked up the bike and stashed it in the yard of the guy who witnessed it - he was on his porch, having a smoke. He offered to call the cops and EMTs for me, I declined. The damage was limited to a broken mirror, and my 'stitch had prevented me from even being bruised.

    Riding the rest of the way back to my apartment seemed like a very poor idea given the conditions, so I called for a ride. Except my go-to rescuers weren't home at the time and not expected for over an hour. With that in mind, I took Shanks' Pony the mile and a half to a pub in town and had dinner in the warm and dry while I waited.

    The text message to my ex was very simple: I owe you a mirror. Call me. When she did, her reaction was first concern that I was okay and then annoyance that I slid on the left side. Why couldn't I have slid on the right side, thats the side with all the crash damage!
    #6
  7. surfersami

    surfersami n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
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    Lancaster SC
    Testing a Honda 230L, having grown up on dirt, with minor forays into the paved jungle, I thought - small bike slow speeds, how hard could it be? (Next time those words go through your mind, go to Wal-Mart, and tell the first woman you see she's a fat cow and should really loose some weight. It will result in less damage to your pride, and possibly less personal injury.)
    Continuing on... I get use to the bike (first area of danger) and think it is a fun little ride that would be great for using in far off lands where my colleagues work. Next, I turn into a down hill col-de-sac thinking I'll reach the bottom, make my U-turn and head back to the shop for some basic maintenance checks to evaluate how complicated this little tyke is. At the bottom of the col-de-sac there is grey (read same color as tarmac) mud 1/2" thick mixed with gravel and it's wet. I never knew what hit me. The front washed out so fast I didn't have time to get my feet off the pegs and next thing I know I'm picking myself up off the ground. Speed at time of drop was less than what the speedometer will read.
    Damage to me:
    Road rash through heavy denim shirt, no holes.
    Deep cut on knee through heavy jeans, no holes.
    Very injured pride.
    Damage to bike:
    Handle bars misaligned, not even bent.
    Loosen triple clamp and set it back all is well, no other marks or damage.
    Lesson learned:
    NEVER get complacent, no matter how slow you're going.
    #7
  8. David R

    David R I been called a Nut Job..

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    I was about 16 years old riding a street legal Bridgestone 175 "scrambler" I grew up in the country.

    My friend was on his Honda 350 riding down the street in the city in front of me. I am looking at this girl with long shimmering red hair walking down the sidewalk. Friend stopped for a red light. BAM I ran into the rear end of him still looking at the beautiful redhead. Down I went. No physical damage to me or the bike.


    I am 52 now and remember it well.
    David
    #8
  9. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    I was told my 55mph ragdoll after being hit in the chest by an owl was pretty spectacular. Being young and wrapped in a snowmobile suit spared me from serious damage. The was about 1978 and my old friends still talk about it. So it must have been a good one.
    #9
  10. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    Mar 18, 2007
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    Location:
    OR
    Off Road? Too Many to count.

    Somehow I have always managed to land right and have never broken anything. Good gear helps a LOT to this end.

    Now at 50... I subscribe the the "Ride to Ride Another Day" theory. I don't want to push my luck so the crazy stuff is very limited... Not completely gone mind you... Just scaled WAY back from where it used to be.
    #10
  11. BCKRider

    BCKRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2012
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    122
    This forum and others are filled with anecdotes about the crazy stuff people did on bikes when they were young. My solution is simple. Raise the legal riding age to 40 - on or off road. (I didn't start riding a motorcycle until I was 49, but probably had my head in the right place when I was 40, and I don't mean this to be a draconian law.) So, simply rescind the M/C endorsements of anyone under 40 years of age and don't issue new licenses to anyone under that age.

    Just think how great that will be for those of us over 40! Great bikes will be going for a song. Of course, dealerships who cater to younger riders will go belly up, but I'm more interested in rider safety. Those of us over 40 have a pretty clear understanding that we are mortal. If you are in your teens or 20's, odds are good that you don't get that concept. Should I lower the minimum age to 30?
    #11
  12. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    I am 30. I went trail riding yesterday with a load of riders, most of whom were in their 40s. No one injured, only a couple of dropped bikes. I dropped mine once and managed to pick it up before anyone saw it. Clipped my foot on the (very solid, as it turned out) wall of a rut hard enough that it would probably have resulted in an injury had I not been wearing boots. My pace was below middle of the pack. I only overtook someone once and that was considerably slower and with more space than I was overtaken. I was on a lardy F800GS, most of them were riding small capacity KTMs and Huskys.
    I wouldn't say I was any safer or more dangerous than them. So yes, drop your cut off point to 30.
    :D

    As to "Ow, my pride". I had a spectacular 60mph get-off on the slab where I ended up three lanes and over 100m from the bike. The car driver who stopped to help thought I was dead until I stood up. I was completely unscathed bar some very light road rash, that didn't even need a bandaid and left no scar. I don't have any pics/footage of that.

    Best fail I've personally seen with the rider completely unscathed (despite a GS12 catching him in the leg) is this:
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/AOEclaBwDVA?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #12
  13. Dryslick

    Dryslick Adventurer

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    Feb 11, 2011
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    Location:
    Lake Berkely, Montana
    This was a real blow to my pride at the time - but it's pretty funny to look back on. I took my daughter out for a spin with her TT125. I decided to ride my wife's KDX 200 as the 520 EXC would be a bit tedious putting around with the daughter, right?

    We were maybe a 1/4 mile from the truck, nice easy trail, and there's that root I always like to launch off. Blip the throttle on the 520, land about 20 feet later. Hmm, I'll just pin it on the KDX. What's the worst that could happen? :lol3

    Next thing I knew I was flat on my back in the middle of the trail, wind knocked out of me, and the KDX was laying about 30 feet down the trail. Broken rear fender, broken subframe, silencer pointed at the sky. Oh, yeah, and my fanny pack was laying on the ground while the belt was still around my waist.

    My daughter was not impressed. I, on the other hand, was blown away with how much power that KDX had!
    #13
  14. Okie Moto

    Okie Moto GS n00b

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    17
    Location:
    Land of the Red Man
    So here is a running theme for me. I rode an old Hodaka Wombat in the early 90's when all my buddies were riding bikes that were new and in shape. I had one buddy who was itty bitty, we were all in middle school, but this dude was like 4'9" and weighed 85 lbs with no body fat. He was still riding a little wheel KX80 two stroke. We found a big rock and he used it as a foot stool to start my Hodaka so he could ride a big bike, and I swung a leg over this little, in my mind, 80. I was putting in first gear and i pinned. Nothing happened so I kept it there, when that sumbitch came on pipe I wen flying past my buddy with his bike on it's tail dragging my feet down the road. It was hilarious as my buddies pointed out for a long time.

    Fast forward to college, now the early 00's and i had a buddy who was racing enduro on a KTM 300XC-LMNOP something or other. I took it to get some beer at a gas station. When i came back I gave my other buddy the beer and said I want to play around the bike. Next thing i know I am dragging my feet dangling from the bars while this thing wheelies across the bike yard. That thing had grunt from the moment you touched the throttle.

    Only other thing was defeating a strand of barbed wire equipped with nothing but my neck propelled by a snowmobile.
    #14
  15. Import

    Import Been here awhile

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    Dec 31, 2012
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    Location:
    bc
    1978, first bike...16 years old. A Suzuki ap50. Did a favour for a mate out in the sticks. Had a great ride out and delivered a parcel safely....then with the confidence of youth , set off for home ,sure in the knowledge that I now new every twist and turn of the back road...... All went well as it got darker......and darker......then suddenly a bend right...ok ....that turned into a j turn.
    No time to brake ....hold the line and wait for the inevitable..... Slid straight into a ditch, over he bars like off a bucking bronco...... Pitch black now, really worried about losing the keys for some reason.
    Took about an hour to drag it out onto the road....couldn't believe how heavy a small bike sometimes. Bent bars and lots of mud, but all good.... Never told my mum....she never to this day talks about my bikes.........would have ended my riding before it started
    #15
  16. CSI

    CSI Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    801
    Location:
    Kansas
    One on a snowmobile, one on a streetbike:

    Snowmobile story: I was 15 or so...had a Scorpion Stinger 440.....fast machine, BITD. Was blowing across plowed farmland, which had a pristine surface, from the 18+ inches of snow we had received during the previous few days. I am running 40ish, when all of a sudden, the sled starts to violently slow...As I am going over the bars and windshield, in a slow motion handstand, I see wire and fence posts starting to pop up from just under the snow on either side of me....I had run the skis right under the top stand of a barbed wire fence that was buried. I went over, landed on my back, and the slde went over, landing on my legs, with the track still spinning. LUCKILY, it wasn't an Artic Cat....those things came from the factory with a studded belt. Dug myself out from under it, and rode home.

    Bike: While stationed at Ft. RIley, we decided to go to a little bar in GrandView for a few beers and some pool. I lived off post, so didn' bother wearing a helmet (you had to have one to go on post). While at the bar, a buddy ran out of money, and wanted me to ride back to the barracks with him. I borrowed a helmet for the ride. Anyhoo....we leave post (on Grant Avenue), and I pull off on the gravel shoulder to take the helmet off. As I get back up to speed (still on the gravel) I start to angle towards the pavement. Front tire made it fine, but he back tire got hung up on the edge of the pavement, and it pulled the bike right out from under me...

    Now, this is mid 80s.....I am wearin a sleeveless shirt, and my best pair of parachute pants.....I landed right on my left shoulder and left wrist.....as I am sliding down the road, I can see the car that I had apparently started to pull out in front of sliding straight at me..I knew sure as hell I was gonna get mowed over.

    Had a VERY small raspberry on my left shoulder...that pavement was polished so smooth that I didn't even get any scratches that actually bled. Tore that borowed helmet up tho, as the bike was on top of it, as both slid down the road.
    #16
  17. gots_a_sol

    gots_a_sol Been here awhile

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    496
    Location:
    Charles Town, WV
    I managed to get all screwed up in a rut and fell right in front of another rider. Just so happen to have it on video. This was during a hare scramble, hence nobody stopping to laugh err check on us.


    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/gs2wO5K34iE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    Surprisingly, I wasn't any more sore from that than I normally am after riding. Just a tiny hint of a bruise.



    I low-sided my drz in the traffic circle in the middle of town also. There were about a dozen city workers doing something in the middle of it that got to watch me eat shit. Just some scrapes on the bike and my gear though.
    #17
  18. Superpacman13

    Superpacman13 Been here awhile

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    Aug 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    250
    Location:
    Springfield ORYGUN
    I have a great one for this.
    I was on the dunes with my 450SX, on a downhill between trees. I had slowed at the top of the hill to figure out where to go down so I don't harpoon a tree, once I saw where the exit was I creeped just over the lip of the dune with not much power to coast down. What I couldn't see was that a truck had gotten stuck at the very top of the dune and left a massive hole. I went right into this hole, where the front tire decided it didn't need to move anymore. This started the endo perfectly, I went over the bars, with bike doing a complete flip. Where my body landed was the perfect spot, because my head got sucked up into the rear mudflap by the paddle tire, it was at this point I knew it was going to be bad. The bike stalled with my helmet jammed between the tire and the rear mudflap, and continued to tumble down the hill with my head stuck there. I did about 3 tumbles to the bottom of the hill with my head stuck the whole time, and my body getting whipped around. There was a crowd who thought they had just watched someone die at the bottom of the hill. When I got my head unjammed I stood up to a crowd of about 10 with faces about like this :eek2. I have a new helmet and mudflap now, but I kept the old ones as a reminder.
    #18
  19. ParaMud

    ParaMud Been here awhile

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    Jun 8, 2008
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    Orange, CA
    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/tkRUMYSZmKE?list=FLRn359ei0UMROEA03YHSuOA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #19
  20. cheekorollo

    cheekorollo Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    Sunny Melbourne
    I lived in London for a few years (as all good Australians do- otherwise they wouldn't have anyone to tend the bars over there) and whist I was there decided to get my bike license as it was the most economical way to get around.

    After getting my license (in early Feb!) I picked up my first ever bike... a '98 CBR600F. :eek1 The perfect learner bike! Needless to say I rode it very conservatively, and was never tempted to test out the performance of the thing. :lol3

    On one particularly conservative ride down in Cornwall, running out of time to check in to a hostel, I made a safe and conservative pass on a little hatchback... at around 90 mph. However, this car had been obscuring a roundabout, and 90 was not quite the right speed for this particular obstacle. :eek1

    I threw out the anchors and hauled the thing down to a reasonable pace (or so I thought) but still not slow enough to go round. So I thought I'd go across it. No probs- when I reached the curb I pulled on the 'bars thinking I'd hop up on to it like I would on a pushbike. Needless to say, this had very little impact on the front end of a 200 kg supersport!

    Over the roundabout we went, upright and missing all the on roundabout signage, and then popped off the other side. Just as I was about to complete the thought 'well that worked out ok', the front end started pulsating wildly so I pulled up. The front tyre was flat and the rim so warped I could fit my finger between it and the bead! :huh The back rim was similar, although the tyre had stayed up. Whoops.

    I parked the bike up, walked two miles to the nearest town, Helston, checked in to a B&B, got drunk with the locals and organised a lift back to London with a lesbian and an ex-lesbian!

    I ended up selling the bike to the local bike shop for 600 quid and coming back to Aus shortly after... damn I miss that bike. :cry

    Oh yeah, I don't class this as an off... because I didn't fall off!
    #20