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VACommuter 11-18-2012 12:47 PM

Commuter Sumbitch!
So Wednesday last week I had another event where I "departed flight". 0300-ish I'm hauling ass on my normal morning commute. Doing around 70mph indicated in the middle lane of I95N heading to work in Arlington VA. I start to get the loose rear end feeling and by the time I realize what it is I'm starting to fishtail. I close the throttle and start to drift left into the left lane and shoulder as there were tractor trailers in the right lane. I just entered the shoulder and tapped the brakes to bleed of more speed when the rear end made one more huge cycle to the right and then the left when she promptly went down. It happened so quick. I remember thinking oh shit, and then thinking I got to get to the shoulder and slow down. At some point I was laying over the bike as it was sliding and when all motion stopped the bike was about 10-15 feet infront of me in the shoulder on it's left side still running. I crawled to the jersey barrier and pulled myself up to gather my wits. Walked over to the bike and sut her down. Pulled her to the middle of the shoulder and tossed her up on the center stand. I was amazed that I seemed unscathed. Traffic is still hauling ass by at speed. I dig out my phone and then spend a few frustrating minutes dealing with Progressive. Nobody stopped to help but someone thought it was dramatic enough to call the calvary. Fire engine, ambulance, and two state trooper cruisers show up. First cruiser on the scene promptly gets a flat and has to get a service truck out. I tell EMS I'm fine, sign and they depart. Progressive cant confirm my policy so Trooper gets me a tow truck in a few minutes. Now I'm starting to limp a bit. Bike gets loaded on a flat bed and we head home. Left foot is throbbing and hurts like the dickens. Get home and get bike in the garage. Take off my gear and notice that I'm leaving little bloody footprints on the floor. Head to Stafford Hospital ER and they confirm open fracture of the great toe. Antibiotics and narcotics and crutches and I'm home for a few days. Only injury beside the toe is a small mark on the top of my wrist. I'm guessing I hit the bark buster sometime during my "launch". I always ride maximum ATGATT and had extra layers on due to the 30 degree weather that morning. Obviously I got a flat rear tire. Brand new tires front and rear I mounted last week. Test ride around the hood and checked the pressure over several days before this commute in. I have successfully mounted tires in the past. I suspected some sort of catastrophic failure due to road debris. Especially since the first trooper on the scene also got a flat. Cursory examination of the tire shows nothing that I can see. I'll have to pull the wheel to be sure though.

Here are the pics.

Seems that this ER shot should have a toe tag dangling. Huge antibiuotic shot in the thigh also hurt like hell. I had the curtesy of almost ripping the toe nail off so they didn't need to drill to relieve the pressure.

Broke the big toe bone at both ends. Typical compression type fracture according to ER doc. Saw orthopedic surgeon two days later and he reconfirmed everything the ER doc said. Nothing to do but buddy tape it and wear the boot.

The culprit. This is my 2003 KLR 650 that is my dedicated commuter bike.

Front of AFX-37 Helmet. Chin vent gone.

Sun visor cracked. Scala Rider stayed attached.

Right side of Bilt Jacket took some rash at the lower pocker area and elbow down to a little bit of the armor.

Had on Gerbing electric gloves. Not a mark on them. I think my Hippo Hands kept my hands in the brush guards for the worst of the slide.

VACommuter 11-18-2012 12:57 PM

First gear pants: Had long johns and a second rain liner underneath. Damage to both lower outer leg areas.

Left Bilt boot showing where I'm thinking toe contacted the road under the force of the bike. Nothing dramatic. Just some rash and mild deformity.

Left hand HippoHand.

Here still on bike.

Left hand Happytrails Pannier grounds down. Still opens, closes, and latches fine. Probably no longer waterproof though.

Some front fender contact.

Left side windscreen and fairing rash.

Right side fairing breakage.

Bottom line is I need to figure out why the tire went south. I did re-use the tube but I partially inflated it and did a leak test in the sink which it passed. I remember it popped nicely when I seated the bead.

Maybe I should stick to my Hack Rigs!

Be safe out there.


blaster11 11-18-2012 01:10 PM

Glad to hear it sounds like everything will be fine....nice bootie! :D

Scotty P 11-18-2012 01:18 PM

Hey Mike,

Motorcycles can be dangerous........:lol3

Sorry Brother, Too soon?

So how long for the toe to heal up??

Eddy Alvarez 11-18-2012 01:24 PM

That's very scary! A get off at 70 mph on I-95N in the dark! It could have been so much worse. Like "one of those rigs running you over" worse! :eek1 Thank God you are okay!

Dorito 11-18-2012 01:30 PM

Miracle Thread!
There are so many miracles here. First, all said, your human bounced incredibly well! Secondly, you really got the KLR to 70MPH on the flat? Guess it's time to update the footer though :D

Lastly, if you need anything give a shout. I've been honing my yard cleaning, house cooking, bed-side manners A LOT in the last 8 weeks.

macaroni 11-18-2012 02:36 PM

Lastly, if you need anything give a shout. I've been honing my yard cleaning, house cooking, bed-side manners A LOT in the last 8 weeks.[/QUOTE]

Oh can you boil water now? :rofl

Mike: hope you heal soon!

eddie bolted 11-18-2012 02:59 PM

Secondly, you really got the KLR to 70MPH on the flat? :rofl:rofl:rofl

eddie bolted 11-18-2012 03:02 PM

Glad your allright MIKE.

Dorito 11-18-2012 03:04 PM


Originally Posted by macorell24 (Post 20071876)
Oh can you boil water now? :rofl

SHUSSH you! I have found a niche market with one-footed men and my cooking. Hindsight, maybe there were other reasons they don't run when the smoke alarm goes off?

tom c 11-18-2012 03:33 PM

Thanks for the pics and excellent play by play. Glad you are not too banged up. Take it easy on that toe my friend.

Motocox 11-18-2012 03:34 PM

Glad you are mostly OK. That's a scary get-off! Heal up quick.

astroguy 11-18-2012 03:42 PM

Man, I've never had a flat at high speed on any of my many bikes !
Is it normal that you'd go down with a rear flat? or is there anything you can do?

6USMC6 11-18-2012 03:55 PM

I've had two blown tire episodes. One on a race track at 130 that became an immediate high side followed by a low side. Bike was a mess, I still hurt - and that was 43 years ago.

The second one was at 50-60, going under Dupont Circle on one of my XS650's. I bounced the bike off of the curb and kept it from going down. This was in 1970-71. Both were caused by blown tires. The race wreck was odd. New tires, warmed up, dry surface. The Dupont circle blow out was from debris on a well worn K-81.

Heal fast Mike.

motomandan 11-18-2012 04:05 PM

Glad your OK! I have seen many used tube failures in my years with bikes and also in the ten years I have owned my shop. Used tubes seemed to be easily pinched during installation. Most likely due to the old tube being stretched out. Used tubes also have a high failure rate around the valve stem. I wont install tires without new tubes. We also recommend new tubes to to all DIY tire purchasers. Never tried but I was told AFX would replace your crash damaged helmet at no charge. I will look into if you want. We have sold many AFX helmets, but havent had one crash tested that I know of.

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