Any new riders have their first crash?
September 8, 2009 at 3:34 pm #3406Korny12Participant
Hey all. I am a new rider – passed my MSF course about 3 weeks ago – got an ’09 250cc bike as my learner bike. I chose this size thinking I would prefer to learn on a small bike I can handle and control versus being “that” rider that immediately goes out and buys a huge bike. I felt that if I make any mistakes they will be less forgiving and also not allow me to have that “forget it I just won’t ride again attitude” I made the stupidest stupidest mistake – one in which I knew better. In following a country road something caught my eye and I glanced over taking my eyes off the turn and not following the turn all the way through as taught in my course and as I have read a thousand or more times. I was doing about 40mph and fortunately there is minimal damage to the bike and I am very bruised and sore- might have broken a rib or two but I did not go to the ER. I was proud of myself (as was my husband) that I got back on my bike and rode it home! Is this a typical beginner mistake? I asked my husband was it too soon for me to take this 30 mile excursion with him- he said no way and I also agreed that up until this blunder I was killing it and riding awesome- he was so proud! I am so upset with myself and my pride is hurt- thankfully my injuries are not serious and could have been alot worse. Just thought I would post this to hear other stories etc.September 8, 2009 at 3:49 pm #22242megaspazParticipant
What? crashing? Nope, not exclusive to the realm of beginners.September 8, 2009 at 4:12 pm #22243WeaponZeroParticipant
I’ve gone down twice sine I started riding a year ago. Once because of kids on the side of the road pelting me with rocks as I rode by which caused me to lose control of the bike, and the other was a rear wheel lockup which led to a 25mph highside. Both the bike and I are fine. I had to replace the left side mirror and shift lever after the first crash. I wear full gear when out riding so I wasn’t hurt at all either time.September 9, 2009 at 2:48 am #22250owlieParticipant
I haven’t gone down going that quickly, but I had my first crash within 30 minutes of starting out on my new motorcycle. I turned off the road onto a gravel drive too quickly and laid the bike down. Mostly injured pride, and a few scratches to the bike. Like you I picked up my bike, got back on (after snapping a photo or two), and continued on home.
I’ve spent a lot of time in the last couple of weeks just asking if I want to keep on riding, much less whether I want to go on a 30 mile ride with another rider. Only you can make that decision for yourself.
I guess if I was looking at your question for myself, I would ask myself the following questions:
1) Am I comfortable enough on a bike to be riding in whatever traffic and road conditions will be present? (Am I still thinking about the mechanics of shifting, turning, stopping & starting, etc. If so, is it a distraction, or just a reminder?)
2) Am I familiar with the route? I would look at this one separately from the first item, more from a perspective of “am I going to be distracted by trying to figure out where I am supposed to stop, turn, slow down for railroad crossings, etc.” than is the traffic going to be heavy, am I going to have to unexpected construction, etc. I guess I’m trying to break it into dealing with the expected vs. the unexpected.
3) Am I comfortable riding while my husband is watching? For some people, this makes things harder rather than easier, no matter how supportive the spouse is…
Like you, my husband is super supportive (even though he isn’t a rider). He has encouraged me through all the ups and downs (and there has been more than one) of this new experience. But in the end, you are the only person who can decide what your level of comfort is.
Best of luck!
OwlieSeptember 9, 2009 at 3:26 am #22251eonParticipant
I made it through my first year and 9000 miles before my first crash but I made plenty of mistakes before then, and in my book a crash is just a mistake that hurts a lot more! Analyzing your mistakes is where you really learn so that hopefully you don’t do it again. Some are easy to understand, like inattentiveness, some are more subtle and require some thought and maybe advice from more experienced riders. You and I will be learning (and making mistakes) for a long time to come but hopefully the crashes are at an end
+1 on Owlie’s comments on the hubby thing. If riding with your hubby makes you ride outside your comfort zone then it’s better if you delay that excursion. But 30 miles sounds like a nice distance. It will be over in a flash and you will be wanting more.September 9, 2009 at 3:29 am #22252briderdtParticipant
Well, it was the second — the first doesn’t count because (1) it was in my garage, and (2) it didn’t go all the way down (I was pinned between my bike and my wife’s C50).
Anyway, the actual on-the-road drop was at a stop sign, with cross traffic. I was turning right, and as I started off, I thought I was in first gear (I was in second). Just as I was tipping into the turn, the engine died. I put my foot down and tried to save it, but I ended up stepping off and easing the bike down. No damage, fortunately.September 9, 2009 at 4:30 am #22254owlieParticipant
I did the 2nd gear at the stop sign thing last weekend. Thankfully, I didn’t drop my bike, but the catcalls of the two punks in the car behind me were more irritating than the stupid mistake. Grrr…September 9, 2009 at 5:32 am #22255zipperZeeParticipant
I do the gear thing all the time…thank goodness I’m not alone.
There is this uphill left to right corner that ends abruptly in a stoplight in downtown Vancouver and its really tricky to navigate, because 1) you have to stop right after a right turn, trying to bring your bike in a good position AND have it stop straight, which is harder to do than it sounds cuz of the downtown traffic and 2) its uphill.
Moreover, I have to turn left to go to Stanley Park. Ends up being quite the doozy.
I was waiting behind a couple cars, in a bad lane position and the light turned green. I revved the engine a little and started to engage the clutch…nothing seemed to move so I gave it a little bit more gas. Still nothing happened. I was really confused than cuz I wasn’t in neutral, the light wasn’t on, and the bike didn’t stall either.
Impatient drivers behind me started passing on my left didn’t help with my panic either. I ended up stomping down on the gearshift and it turns out I was in second.
After that I’ve gotten into the habit of stomping down at stoplights whenever possible, to check that I’m in first gear.September 9, 2009 at 5:47 am #22256chipshotParticipant
Sorry to hear that you crashed, but I also did on my first ride. I wasn’t going nearly that fast, in fact I was making a left turn from a stop. I was in my neighborhood on a street with virtually no traffic (thankfully). The street I was turning onto was kind of narrow and cars were parked along both sides. I hit the throttle too hard during the turn and I target fixated on the car and curb that I was rapidly approaching. Luckily I went into the curb instead of the car, but I tried to save the bike by putting my leg down and really pulled my hamstring. Didn’t make the save either, but the footpeg kept it from going all the way down, so I got it back up and turned it off just before I puked on the side of the road.
I sat there for about 15 minutes trying to figure out if I had torn my muscle or not. There were two ladies across the street that saw me do it, and they quickly turned and walked away. Thanks for asking if I was okay!
Anyways, I gathered myself and got back on. I almost went straight home to ice, medicate, and wash the taste out of my mouth, but I turned back around and did the same corner again before going home. I knew I couldn’t carry that memory or it would weigh too much on my mind. This time, I took it slowly, looked where I wanted to go instead of at the cars and curb, and made it just fine.
I’m kind of glad it happened. It really deflated that initial enthusiasm, so I’m far more careful now than I would otherwise be. I remember thinking just before my crash about how confident I felt even though I’d only ridden a total of 10 hours on a motorcycle at that point, and not in any traffic or intersections. Then…BAM! Really brought me back to reality in a quick way. I’m hoping the pain in my leg stays around for awhile, because it’s a good reminder for me to be careful everytime I have to throw my leg over. Take care, and I hope your ribs heal up soon!September 9, 2009 at 1:35 pm #22258briderdtParticipant
Funniest part of the whole thing, and quite embarassing, was the 65-year-old lady who got out to help me pick the bike back up…September 22, 2009 at 5:37 pm #22475KchakaParticipant
One crash in first 900 miles was a real duh moment. HEading out to my boys baseball game to watch him. Going through a small (and empty) traffic circle into the field parking lot; I took my focus off the road and began looking up at the fields to see which field my boy’s team was playing on. Looked down to see a small pothole right in front of me. Ended up with a panic’d evasion around the pothole and directly toward a large boulder on the side of the road. Sight-fixated on the boulder and ended up dumping the bike at ~20mph to avoid the crash. Was fully geared up, so only a slight bruise to the knee, a big ding/scrape on the tank, and a slap to my pride. Was a good learning experience for me with harmless consequences and has re-focus’d me on my attention level ever since.September 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm #22477AParticipant
I’ve had two get-off on motos, one time when the front tire went flat on my KTM 640 while traveling on I-95 highway going at 65+mpg… tankslaper style front end when I try to slow down.. until the tire completely ran out of air, centripetal force can not sustain the shape of the front tire alone.. I had to slow down or ride a wheelie all the way home. I fought witht he front end until it slowed down to approx. 35 mph, laid the bike sideways and slid away from the bike on my butt.. The minivan traveling next to me stopped to check me out, driver was impressed how long I kept the bike upright, he thought I could have ridden the bike on a wheelie until I figure something out.
Second crash was on my 2002 BMW R1150RS, I had stayed up until 4AM fighting with an ex-girl, following morning I was on a spirited moto ride. Overnight it was very windy and lots of branches and derbis litter the roads. At one point there was a good size log that came down right in the middle of a blind lefthander curve. Sleep deprived and torget fixation got the better of me. Front wheel runs over the lgo while leaned over, bike lowsides and I let go of the bike and slid on my butt again.. bike continued on but manage to do a somersault in the air, lands on the grassy downward slope and come to rest in a ditch. Those BMWs take a beating and keeps on ticking.. fixed it up 4 months later and rode it for another 24,000 mi. before selling it.September 22, 2009 at 7:59 pm #22482WeaponZeroParticipant
What kind of jacket is that you’re wearing?September 22, 2009 at 10:29 pm #22484AParticipant
Vanson, leather jacket in grey color.September 28, 2009 at 1:22 am #22549hahcohParticipant
thats quite a 1st crash. mine was more benign. i was making a sharp left-hand turn from a stop (pressured by traffic, of course) and all of a sudden the bike was laying on the ground a couple feet in front of me. i picked the bike up in a surge of adrenaline, then made a white-knuckle ride back to the house (i was quite scared of the bike at that point). multiple people were stopping and asking if i was ok. it was a very nice gesture but … wow … extremely embarrassing.
i took 2 days off from riding and then got back on it and rode. i was afraid that i didnt get back on it as quickly as possible, i’d never get on it again. feeling real comfortable on it right now, but then im purposefully staying in my comfort zone. there’s no substitute for experience, i dont think.
hope you’re not discouraged. i know i was tempted to be. btw, this was only the 3rd time i had ridden this bike (my 1st bike) which i had just bought the previous week (a used honda shadow 600). i was actually told by an experienced rider that, paradoxically, this little incident is probably one of the best things that could happen to me early in my riding career.
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