Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I haven’t purchased my 500 yet but I have permission from the Mrs. so as soon as I find one I like I’ll be joining the ranks.

In the mean time I thought I would share a couple of stories from accidents I’ve had and lessons I’ve learned.

I’ll start with the last one first:

I was test riding a Suzuki GSXR 600 that a local dealership was selling used. The salesman was a friend who wasn’t supposed to let me ride the bike but did anyway with the instructions “don’t wreck it or it’s my ass.”

I knew that it had a problem with wanting to slip out of second gear if you hammered the up change so I was simply gentle going into second and would roll on the power.

I spent about half an hour getting out of town and blasting around on some back roads. I loved the bike! It was smooth and easy to toss into the curves, there was more than enough power to keep me happy and it was surprisingly not horribly uncomfortable for someone of my size. (I’m 6’6” and have gotten used to bikes not really fitting right.)

After a bit of back road blasting and taking corners way faster than I should on a borrowed bike I jumped on the highway to go back to the dealership and talk money. I eased the bike up to 75 mph to keep up with traffic and was cruising along trying to decide how much of a discount I was going to ask for to do the transmission work on this bike, not really paying attention when I heard something start clicking. By the time I started to really worry about that odd noise and was thinking I ought to pull over to check it out there was a very loud BANG and the rear tire locked up!

The one think I’ve always found odd about motorcycle wrecks is just how much time it seems you have to think about certain things. The first thought that ran through my head was “I’m about to have a very intimate experience with the asphalt” as the ass end of the bike was sliding all over the highway. My second thought was trying to explain to my friend exactly why it was that I dumped a bike I wasn’t supposed to be riding in the first place. It was at this point that I decided friendship dictated I do everything in my power to make sure there was no more damage to this bike than there already was so I began the concerted effort of bringing this sliding beast to a safe stop. To this day I can’t tell you how I actually managed that feat, I do remember jumping off the left side of the bike as it was slowing down and running like a mad man trying to keep it up right. Some how I was able to bring it to a safe and upright stop on the side of the road, though by this time the rear tire had a huge flat spot and I’m sure that the transmission was complete junk.

I put the kick stand down, sat down on the side of the highway, lit a cigarette and that was when the shakes started. My hands were shaking so bad I looked like an epileptic in the middle of a seizure! I couldn’t hit my mouth with my smoke the first three tries. The realization that I had been blasting along on a bike with a bad transmission and exactly how lucky I had been hit hard, if I had been in any one of those corners when the trans locked I would have been in serious trouble. The stupidity of it all came rushing into my head like a freight train, I knew better than to take out a bike that wasn’t mechanically sound. My father was the one that taught me to ride and had told me similar stories of locking the rear wheel due to mechanical failure and the importance of making sure that everything was 100% functional before you ever take a bike out on the road. If he had seen me at this point I’m sure there would have been a stern lecture and a rightly deserved cuff on the side of the head.

When I finally stopped shaking I walked up the road to a construction company and borrowed their phone to call my friend and tell him I wasn’t interested in the bike and he might want to send a truck to come pick it up.

That was the last time I ever rode a bike I wasn’t sure was mechanically sound and I’ve become a maintenance freak since then. My wife thinks I’m odd spending so many hours in the garage going over bits and pieces but that was a lesson that I will never forget. I’ve read so many stories on this forum of people dumping bikes due to simple neglected maintenance that it amazes me there hasn’t been more legislation to keep us dumb bikers more safe. So the next time you think that maybe you can put off fixing that problem you have been having with your bike for a bit longer, (Like running on one cylinder the way one guy posted he did) do us all a favor, don’t. It might save your life and the more we all ride safe the longer we stay under the radar of the safety Nazis in the government who would love to give us a few more laws for our own protection.
 
R

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Everything you said seems like common sense, and yet so many people ride unsafe vehicles each day. Personally, if I don't think my bike is safe, it wouldn't leave the garage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,526 Posts
Wow.. running a bike to a stop :eek:

I'm with you all the way about ensuring the bike is mechanically safe.. I don't think I'm a freak though, the ones not checking are ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
It had slowed pretty much to the point where it was no longer wanting to stay up but with the rear tire locked that was still pretty fast for me to be able to run it down. To this day I can't tell you how I actually managed to do it other than the fact that I was determined not to drop the thing.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top