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Old May 7th, 2018, 05:54 AM   #1
VaFish
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I knew better, why did I ride?

So I've been licensed to ride motorcycles since 1986, probably longer than many on this board have been alive. I've had dirt bikes put me in the hospital three times, but up until last week I had never "crashed" on the street.

This one really pisses me off because I know better but thought it was OK to ride. I was good enough to compensate for a known problem.

So the story starts a week and a half ago. My sportsters front brake pads were paper thin and I knew they needed to be replaced. I swung by the dealer and just picked up a pair of stock pads. Weather and other stuff got in the way of working on the bike and I waited until the last minute. I'm a Patriot Guard rider and we had two missions on Friday so I got up early rushed through putting the pads on and hopped on the bike. Ended up riding 77 miles thinking damn these new pads are noisy, how long do they need to bed in? So I got home, hopped off the bike and looked at my front rotor and it's all gouged up. Who would be dumb enough to install a brake pad backwards (and what fool company would design a brake system that would allow idiots to install a pad backwards?) Yeah I had the metal backing pushing against the rotor on the outboard pad.

So I went inside, did some searching on the internet and ordered some new pads and a rotor. I took apart the front brake and put the pads in the right way. Saturday I took the bike for a little ride, brakes weren't great but I got by. Tuesday weather was nice and I decided to ride the bike to work (new pads and rotor had not shown up yet).

On the way home from work I'm riding in our High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV or Car Pool) It's the left lane of a four lane highway moving at about 40 mph as the three lanes to the right are moving about 15-25 mph of stop and go traffic. My exit is coming up so I have to move over through those three lanes of traffic. I see my gap, signal and move over one lane. Match my speed with the traffic in the lane, look over my shoulder for a gap in the next lane, look back forward and cars in front are stopping. I'm on the right edge of the lane, no escape route, Grab the front brake and stomp on the rear and run into the back of a Nissan Altima. Slam up into the handlebars then get slammed down on my left side looking back at traffic as a big black F250 locks up his brakes and slides to a stop.

State Police and Fire Trucks were there quick. I thought I was OK but firemen really recommended I get checked out at hospital. The fire trucks had blocked 3 lanes of traffic and as the ambulance came up on the right a car tried to get out of it's way while a semi tried to pass everyone on the shoulder, the semi clipped the car with it's trailer, I don't think he even knew he hit them, and kept going. Two troopers jump in their cars and give chase. I get in ambulance and head to the hospital.

Turns out I have some painfully bruised ribs and some bruising on my left leg, but thanks to Tourmaster jacket and over pants with armor, DOT full face helmet, gloves and boots no other damage to me.

Damage to the bike appears to be all cosmetic or to accessories, I had the Crash/Highway bar on the front and saddlebags on the rear that took most of the force on the side, front fender is bent but wheel and fork seem OK. Just have to install that new rotor and pads.
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Old May 7th, 2018, 06:30 AM   #2
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Sorry you crashed, Tom. That's always a depressing thing, but it's good to hear you didn't get overly damaged, so heal quickly!
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Old May 7th, 2018, 07:09 AM   #3
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Glad you came out of it relatively well, all things considered.

Get better soon (the riding season isn't that long) and get back on a sport bike dangit! Them Harleys are dangerous!
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Old May 7th, 2018, 07:36 AM   #4
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Owch, I hate bruised, or broken ribs. Heal fast, and watch the laughing!
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Old May 7th, 2018, 08:01 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jkv45 View Post
Glad you came out of it relatively well, all things considered.

Get better soon (the riding season isn't that long) and get back on a sport bike dangit! Them Harleys are dangerous!
I am trying to decide what to do bike wise.

I could pull all the broken stuff off, put a new front fender on it and get what I paid for it, plus still have the insurance settlement and have a very nice down payment to buy a new bike, probably a sport touring bike.

Or, I could be stubborn and spend the insurance settlement upgrading the front fork and brakes. There is a company that makes brackets for 2000 and up sportster front ends so you can mount GSXR radial brakes and upgrade from a 11" to a 13" rotor. But by the time I buy newer type forks, brackets, brakes, lines, and rotors (maybe even a sport bike wheel and tire) I'll spend $1,500-$2,000 that I will never get back out of the bike. But I would have the best stopping Sportster on the planet.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Z1R rider View Post
Owch, I hate bruised, or broken ribs. Heal fast, and watch the laughing!
Laughing, coughing, sneezing (damn allergy season usually doesn't hurt this much). But I'm already feeling much better and it's only been a week.
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Old May 7th, 2018, 02:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VaFish View Post
Or, I could be stubborn and spend the insurance settlement upgrading the front fork and brakes. There is a company that makes brackets for 2000 and up sportster front ends so you can mount GSXR radial brakes and upgrade from a 11" to a 13" rotor. But by the time I buy newer type forks, brackets, brakes, lines, and rotors (maybe even a sport bike wheel and tire) I'll spend $1,500-$2,000 that I will never get back out of the bike. But I would have the best stopping Sportster on the planet.
Please...no...

But it's still a - you know.
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Old May 7th, 2018, 02:13 PM   #7
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get well
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Old May 7th, 2018, 04:32 PM   #8
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Ouch! Heal up. I'm glad you weren't hurt more. Thank goodness you were wearing good gear.
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Old May 7th, 2018, 06:16 PM   #9
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Glad you are ok. Tough choices....
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Old May 7th, 2018, 06:49 PM   #10
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Glad to hear no major injuries. Bruised ribs sound better than broken ribs.

I broke a bunch of ribs once and had to sleep in a recliner for 5 weeks. My god that sucked.
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Old May 7th, 2018, 07:59 PM   #11
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Just another reason not to buy Harley.
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Old May 8th, 2018, 04:22 AM   #12
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Old May 8th, 2018, 07:21 AM   #13
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I would not spend that kind of money on a 2000 Sportster especially if it is an 883.

If we work on our bikes sooner or later you may make a bonehead mistake. This certainly not a reason to NOT buy a Harley. Putting the pad in backwards is a bonehead mistake.

I prefer to ride my 2009 Fatboy then any of my other motorcycles. I do like riding my 250 Honda Big Ruckus around downtown St Augustine FL. I like taking my 250 ninja to the This helps keep my skills tuned up.
I love riding my 1980 Honda CX-500 to the Harley bike nights. I tell then it is a VTwin.
My next purchase will probably be a Harley Shovel head. I need an old Harley that i can still afford. What I really want is a flathead, but man do they bring top dollar. Even the shovel heads are getting expensive.

I can't be satisfied with only one type of motorcycle.
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Old May 8th, 2018, 07:55 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by VaFish View Post
, Grab the front brake and stomp on the rear and run into the back of a Nissan Altima.
So did you total the Nissan?

Buy a new Fat boy and put the phase 4 kit in it. You will be amazed!
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Old May 8th, 2018, 08:50 AM   #15
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So did you total the Nissan?

Buy a new Fat boy and put the phase 4 kit in it. You will be amazed!
Barely left a mark on it. State Troop estimated damage at $50.
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Old May 8th, 2018, 09:47 AM   #16
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Heck my Fatboy is only a stage II. The cam makes a lot of difference. It will flat out beat the new 107 Fatboy, but the 114 has got it covered. The 2009 were before cats in th header so the tuner can help pump out the HP.
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Old May 8th, 2018, 11:03 AM   #17
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Barely left a mark on it. State Troop estimated damage at $50.
Did you tell the driver "- that will buff right out"?
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Old May 8th, 2018, 02:38 PM   #18
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Did you tell the driver "- that will buff right out"?
"Sorry man, I didn't see you."
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Old May 8th, 2018, 07:06 PM   #19
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Did you tell the driver "- that will buff right out"?
It's OK, my dad is a TV repairman, he has an awesome set of tools.
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Old May 10th, 2018, 11:29 AM   #20
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That sounds like a hair raising event... Heal quick
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Old May 12th, 2018, 03:15 AM   #21
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That sounds like a hair raising event... Heal quick
If I had any hair to raise.
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Old May 13th, 2018, 03:52 PM   #22
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glad it wasn't any worse than it was
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If I had any hair to raise.
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Old March 12th, 2019, 07:10 PM   #23
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Glad you are ok! is a good news!
Welcome Carlos!

Hope all is well VA, best to you.
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Old April 10th, 2019, 09:38 PM   #24
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Glad you're ok(ish)! Heal up quick!
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Old April 17th, 2019, 06:21 PM   #25
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Glad you're ok(ish)! Heal up quick!
That was almost a year ago. I bounced back pretty quick. The bike only needed some minor work. I just put a new rotor and pads in it. Then riding on a cross country trip last summer it burned a hole in the side of cylinder. I ended up buying a newer 1200 Sportster and continuing my trip.
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Old September 9th, 2021, 03:18 AM   #26
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Glad you weren't seriously hurt !
Personally I abhor riding a bike in heavy traffic ! I would much rather be locked in bumper to bumper traffic in a car than in a bike !
and NO I do not and will never drive between cars, that is a easy way to get yourself Killed and car drivers hate it ! their just as likely to open the door !
.... but accidents like what happened to you just happen... that's why they call them accidents ! the brakes wouldn't have mattered , you would have slid into that car anyway..... there is just too many things to watch out for on a bike
you can't watch them all ! Ride what you want to ride don't be swayed by other opinions but leave the bike home when heavy traffic is going to be the norm... it's safer !
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