Your favorite near-face plant story?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by malignity, May 14, 2012.

  1. malignity

    malignity The Hurt Locker

    Mar 8, 2012
    Sanford, MI
    I'm sure everyone's got one.. I've got two that I'm fond of. Both were while riding my 1981 Yamaha YZ250H.

    One was when I was going down a steep sand hill in 3rd gear. I somehow got lucky and had a sand hornet fly in my helmet between my goggles and chin guard. Unable to stop because of the sand, I tried smacking the creature from the outside of my helmet as it flew around and became even more pissed. Needless to say, the bugger bit me in the ear and drew blood, then proceeded to immediately crawl down my neck and sink it's stinger into my neck before I tore it in half with a massive flick. I ended up going off the trail and half-way up the berm in the process and almost hit a tree.

    My other favorite was flying around a trail corner in 3rd as well (I love 3rd lol) and I approached what appeared to be a fairly good sized rock, probably about 16 inches in diameter. I stood on the pegs, preparing to get some sick air. Well, being that it was a rock that was clearly in the ground, I expected to hit a stationary object. What I hit ended up moving with me, and though my front tire barely cleared, it caused my rear tire to pop up extremely high unexpectedly and nearly threw me over the handlebars. I slammed on my brakes and regained my composure after the family jewels braced my fall on the gas tank only to see the rock that I hit slowly stroll out of the trail. I had hit a turtle!

    I checked him out and he didn't have any cracks in his shell, so I think I must have just spooked him.

    Alright guys, your turn!

  2. ChristianRider

    ChristianRider SwampFox

    Oct 11, 2005
    I was riding a Honda NightHawk'83 down the interstate at about 7pm, when my ignition became loose - with a logging truck behind me.

    All my lights (and engine) went off :eek1 I was coasting in front of this semi who was already tailgating me, he saw me at the last moment and swerved, when my lights came back on I was in front of his rear axles and behind his tractor. I was riding next to the pipe that connected the rear of his (empty) trailer :eek1

    I try to pull onto the shoulder and the lights and engine go off again.

    I come to a stop - get out my flashlight, and realize I'm about a foot from the tree-line.

    Needless to say I spent the night on the side of the road, no way was I gonna try riding it back that night.
  3. Roadracer_Al

    Roadracer_Al louder, louder, louder!

    Aug 5, 2007
    Oakland, CA
    THis was a little under 20 years ago... My friend and I were sitting at a stop light, waiting to turn left.

    The turn arrow went green, and we started to roll through the intersection.

    I don't know if I heard or saw the car first, but I can tell you that it was a faded yellow 73 1/2 Camaro RS (the one with the split front bumper) and it was flying, probably doing 80 in a 35 zone. I slammed on the front brakes, and my friend went a little past me, but stopped. The Camaro went past my front wheel with about 4 feet to spare, and my friends with about 2 feet. The driver not only never slowed down, but floored it to get through the light.

    It's cliche, but I still get chills thinking about how bad that could have turned out. I still scan deep into crossing traffic for motion.

    GOSTAZ Adventurer

    Jul 10, 2008
    Rockville, MD
    Mine was a classic case of "different bikes do different things". Back in 2007 I had spent a year riding a HD StreetGlide. It was not without its issues, and finally, not being able to stand it any longer, I decided that it was time to see what was available in the used market. I found a cherry ZRX1200. I bought it. Ran like a top, a raped ape, and just worked. Still had the HD, but pretty much resigned to not riding it until it ran correctly.

    I knew enough to be respectful of the power difference, and things were going fine. Fast forward to a gorgeous Friday Evening. I take a local loop that is not really technical, and I have ridden many times. Things were great! The bike was happy, I was happy, good stuff.

    There is a certain point in this loop that features a really nice exit from the GW Parkway onto the Key Bridge. This is a bridge that takes you from Virginia into the District of Columbia. I had my sensors up, after all, its Friday night, right? Banked into the approach, I make it off the on-ramp, and onto the bridge. All of the sudden? HID Headlights, and some very expensive car looks as if it is going to eat me. I grabbed a handful with my right hand, and you guessed it. SKYWARD. Still a little cranked over on the right. Ok, I am out of the way, but on one wheel. I was less than graceful with the return of the front wheel to the tarmac. Two wheels on the road now, but I got a combo of pogo and slappy going on. On a bike I have owned for a WEEK. Nothing other than "lucky old fart" karma saved me. Somehow, I got the bike slowed down without killing myself. I made it out of the District into MD. I think I forgot to breathe for about 5 minutes. I decided to pull into a gas station. After sitting for a minute, I notice a guy walking over to me. Apparently he saw the whole thing. With a smile, he handed me a lottery ticket. His only comment? "Tonight's yer night, dude!" I can only imagine what went through his head. "Hey that guy on the green bike is gonna get squished....hey, green bike guy is gonna live... well... maybe not... bounce 1, bounce 2, slow it down, slow it down, bounce 3, bounce 4, dude, this guy is gonna drop this rig into oncoming traffic... no, hey, dude made it.... I think... still up, still up... Wow, look at his legs shaking.. if that dudes head doesn't explode, he MIGHT live...

    5 years later, and every time I cross that bridge, I think of that night and the abject terror which it caused. Still have the ZRX and still love it. Gave up on the HD, and found out through the grapevine that not too long after I cashed the check on it? Wadded into oblivion.

    I really am thankful for being lucky that night. In the 5 years since? Done a little riding, had a lot of fun! I learned a lesson cheaply. Scared myself straight, as it were...
  5. marine_mike

    marine_mike Banned

    Apr 30, 2012
    Mount Clemens, MI
    I don't mean to laugh at your "almost misfortune"..... but that was funny. Glad you made it out in one piece.
  6. miguelitro

    miguelitro Chuchaqui

    Nov 4, 2008
    Salinas, Santa Elena, Ecuador
    I was racing a national hare and hound about ten years ago and was in fifth gear through some big whoops paralleling a big wash. Man was I flying, rythem just perfect, doubling whoops, tripling whoops, riding through a dozen at a time without putting down the front tire. Came up on big one as the trail had either curved or the wash had turned and caught a couple feet of air. No big deal,except the wash dropped out about six feet. No big deal, I'll land on the down slope where it drops out another ten feet, nope. I landed about two thirds of the way across the wash, about 75' from the top, on flat ground. Both feet came off the pegs, I'm laying on the seat still moving pretty good and when I can look up there is a palo verde tree, really spiny, twenty feet in front of me. I "layed her down" lol, slid right up to the base of that tree sideways and when I hit the sand banked up around it the bike stood up, I had pulled the clutch at some point so it's still running, I dropped it down to second gear and rode on the side of the race course for a few minutes before going on to finish and then have few extra post race beers!
  7. rtadlock

    rtadlock Long timer

    Apr 21, 2010
    I had my first helmet cam back in 2007, so luckily I got this on video. I had an SXV 450, and I just got used to flogging it everywhere. So in this video, I come cruising up to this stop sign intending to turn right. I pull of fast, don't even put my feet down, then turn right and take off pretty aggressively. I hardley get started when the back tire breaks loose and I spin 180 degrees to a stop. I was dissoriented as F, and look up and I'm facing the turn I just left. I have no clue how I didn't high side. Chalk this one up to cold tires and a tool twisting the throttle.

    <iframe width="480" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  8. anmut

    anmut Adventurer

    Apr 5, 2012
    I saw a big dark spot on the road you pulled out on and spun on, right on the seam of where the stop sign is. Shadow? Oil? Water? Cool video though!
  9. Jocassee

    Jocassee Petrolhead

    Oct 7, 2010
    Souf Carolina
    Riding my DR650 last summer I hit a patch of gravel on a y-intersection with a seam and a pretty quick rise in elevation. There was some gravel in that seam and as the (sucky) suspension thumped into it the rear tire washed out and the thing damn near threw me. I layed out over the bike and got my feet on off the pegs to steady her out, and it worked. Just instinct I guess, I hadn't been riding long enough to know what to do.
  10. Mazaev

    Mazaev Been here awhile

    Jun 6, 2011
    The rotten apple.
    Riding some twisty roads coming from Four Quarters in PA on a fully loaded V-Strom and sped up into a curve. Turned out the curve was blind-er than I thought and abruptly ended in a T. Hit the brakes hard only to realize that there's a massive pile of gravel in the road. Let go of the front, fishtailed through the intersection into someone's backyard and somehow held it together as I managed to bring it to a sloppy stop. Super lucky that there wasn't a pick-up coming through just then.
  11. crazyjeeper

    crazyjeeper Been here awhile

    Jan 28, 2012
    Dallas, TX
    First couple of hours on a dirt bike ever, I'm heading back down Potash road in Moab to get back to our trucks. I was on a rented WR250 which had a little digital speedo. I get to a straight bit along the potash evap pools and really wick it up to an indicated 40mph, which sure felt faster but I thought that was just the effect of being offroad amplifying speed. I came over a slight rise to see a sharp 90 degree corner right in front of me. There is a 5 or so foot drop off the edge of the road to the desert floor. I panic, stomp on the rear brake, lock the back tire and drift the bike with a locked tire around the corner inches from the edge. Other than my heart beating a lot faster than it was before, I made it out unscathed. I made such a deep trough in the dirt road with my locked tire, my dad, who came down the road about a mile behind the rest of our group asked us who made that huge skid mark at the corner.

    Turns out that the speedo on the WR was a bit pessimistic. I reset the trip odo on a ride I knew was 30 miles, and it showed I had done 16.5 miles, which means I went into that corner at 70-75mph. :eek1
  12. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

    Jan 1, 2004
    Prince George, BC Canada
    I don't know if this qualifies but it just happened last weekend.

    Out riding my new-to-me 08 DR 650. Nice sunny day with not a lot of traffic in town as I roll down main street. I'm headed up to an intersection at a good clip and I notice a Chevy Astrovan rolling up to the stop sign. He's looking right at me as he blows through that stop sign and turns right in front of me. Now I'm doing about 50-55 kph and he's approx 15 feet in front of me beginning to accelerate. I grab a handful of brake but there is another car right on my ass. So...forget the brakes. I roll on the throttle and pass that stupid Astrovan like its standing still, blaring that little tiny DR 650 horn all the way.

    Man...people suck sometimes.....
  13. beach23707

    beach23707 Adventurer

    Jul 1, 2011
    Portsmouth, Virginia
    Ten years back, on a Sportster, I was riding along a road that passed in front of a Walmart. An old codger was waiting to make a left out of the parking lot. Looked- didn't see me- and pulled on out. Would have been fine if he kept on going, but he looked left again- saw me coming- and stopped dead in my path, blocking the entire lane. I got hard on the brakes, but knew I couldn't stop in time, so at the last second I did a hard maneuver around his rear, just inches from his bumper and the curb.
  14. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

    Dec 6, 2008
    Littleton, CO
    My first bike, an RT 360 many years ago, following my buddy's car with bad tail lights at night. He stopped to talk to some kids in the road, I didn't know it, and had to go around his car to the right. There was a big mailbox there, so had to fit between the car and the mailbox. Tore my jeans on his bumper, tore my jacket on the mailbox.
  15. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

    Nov 28, 2010
    That is a good campfire-story thread!
  16. Wuwei

    Wuwei Long timer

    May 19, 2008
    New York
    When I was in my late teens I was wailing down a dirt road on my Yamaha 180 2-smoker. The surface was pretty smooth but there were places with lots of loose round stones, and I encountered one of these areas at a sharp curve and I just couldn't hold the road at my speed so I slid off the road, was able to straighten out as I headed off into the forest, managed to miss all the big trees, and plowed through the bushes and popped out on the road again having straightened out that darn corner.
  17. Django

    Django Been here awhile

    Jan 7, 2010
    Greenville, SC

    Everything is fine. I kept the bike upright, which I'm proud of, as after the deer bounced off I got into a bit of a tank slapper. Thanks to the MSF! The oil cooler was ruptured so I wasn't going anywhere. But a fella just down the road helped me out with his trailer and took me across town to Touring Sport. What no one could understand was why a deer was out moving around at 11am in the morning. Well, it turns out the guy across the road, the direction the deer was heading, baits his property for deer, so the neighbor was telling me. :cry

    I was a site, for sure. The damn deer split open. I pulled into a drive way where a woman was outside and she was just staring at me. I was Standing there, all covered in blood splatter and bits of deer flesh, leaking oil onto her driveway. :yikes She turns, walks inside and didn't come back out. :lol3

    Her husband showed up though and he was going to take the deer down the processor! :eek1

    What's for dinner? ROAD KILL! :rofl :huh
  18. motobest82

    motobest82 n00b

    Jun 11, 2012
  19. GDI

    GDI Adventurer

    Apr 3, 2012
    Madison, WI, USA
    I'm riding my ST1100 on the morning commute. It's gray, dark, and dismal as only a morning in October can be. A light rain starts as I roll up to the car stopped in front of me at the red light. We're in the passing lane, and he's the first car at the light. There's a semi-truck to our right in the driving lane.

    My head's not really in the game. I just want out of there, to be someplace other than stuck in traffic when the rain--cold rain--starts coming.

    The light changes to green and the car, very predictably, beats the semi off the line. I merge to my right and give the throttle a righteous twist--not a good idea. The fresh rain on the grease spot in the middle of the roadway combines with the enormous heft of the ST and the less than stellar traction of the Metzler rubber on my rear tire to send the back of the bike hard to the right. I let off the gas like a noob, and the ST gives a vicious shake that sets up a tank slapper. I hang on somehow, but the ST has lost power. I thumb the starter--nothing! I think--hmmm, must have hit the kill switch with the bars oscillating back and forth like that. I flick the kill switch on and off and hit the starter again--stll nothing. There's a semi-truck starting to catch up with me now. I'm thinking. . . . WTF? Sidestand switch? Neutral-switch--that must be it! I starting hammering on the shifter 'til the neutral light gives up its friendly green glow from the dash of the bloated, teutonic-inspired, sport-barge. Hit the starter again, and. . . still nothing!

    By now the semi has figured out that this bike in front him isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Similarly the car in the other lane can see that this motorcyclist is operating at somewhat less-than a competant level. I make my way to the side of the road and watch as the other road users plod on past me on their respective routes to the salt-mines and cubicle farms that call out for their efforts, their desperate lives.

    The rain is coming down more heavily now. Traffic starts to thin as the early morning traffic makes it's way past the stoplight. Finally, I turn the key to the off position and then back on, thumb the starter, and the hefty VFR roars to life! I meekly take my place in line to continue forth towards my daily destination, humbled, yet strangely cognizant of how "lucky" I am.

  20. Geepn

    Geepn Been here awhile

    Oct 16, 2010
    Sunset Side of the Mitten
    It was 24 years ago (same age as my daughter :D) I was riding home from work. The commute was down a straight country road. The road I was on has cross streets every mile. The cross streets have the stop signs and Port Sheldon is the through street. It was about 5:30 pm it was June so the sun was still quite high in the sky (4-5 hours till sun set). I was riding the Honda Sabre, I loved that bike it was the 1100 that I had owned and it was a rush to ride.
    As I was headed west into the sun I was comming up to one of the county cross streets (72nd street) doing the speed limit (55) when a brown Chevrolet K10 short box style side pick up {think this has stuck with me for all this time} approached the intersection from the north (my right) .

    The Pick-up pulled up to the intersection and I saw the driver look left and right then left again and we made eye contact:eek1. The driver proceedes to pull out and make a left turn (cross my lane) to head east. I was less than 50' from the intersection when he pulled out. I grabbed all the brake the bike could come up with and it began slewing right ( this was fortunate). I kept the bike somewhat up right as I passed behind the trucks rear bumper hitting the bumper with my left mirror. The bike and I headed into the gravel on the side of Port Sheldon as the pick up truck continued east on his merry way.

    The bike was on its side in the gravel with miror abraisions as I jumped up and started running and swearing at the truck driver. The truck never slowed down as he drve away. About that time the adrenilin rush started to fade and my knees began to get wobbly, I just sat down and tried to recover.

    About 10 min. later I picked up the Honda (no small feat, I was in much better shape back then) and climbed back on. I slowly motored home (about 10 min ride) and parked the bike in the garage. When I came in the house my wife knew something was wrong. I told her what had happened and that I was through riding until Stephanie (my 8 month old) was old enough to take care of herself.:cry I was not going to put my wife or daughter in a bad position, I had an obligation to tske care of them. The bike was sold later that summer (no regrets).

    Fast forward to April 2011, my son (youngest) turned 21 in March and I began looking for a bike. I always enjoyed the ability to trail ride so I purchased a 2006 KLR 650 from a guy in Florida when I was on Vacation:clap. We had just moved my Daughter to Orlando and had an empty U-haul we were bringing back to Michigan so why not.

    1 year and 7000 miles later and still very happy with the choice. I have some weird thoughts about destiny. I believe my date of birth and death have already been decided (I believe in God) how I get to the end is up to me. I may end up healthy or I may suffer painfully till the end, that is my choice; but the end date is already decided.
    This though process has evolved since my near miss and its the only way I can justify "freak" accidents where people die when they should be alive.

    Just my $.02