Regarding Rick's Products...
I was going to start another thread in here but this one seems to be getting a lot of attention so I'll post this here.
About a year ago I saw that Rick had posted a skid plate up for sale in the Flea Market. I sent him a PM and got a response in about 5 minutes. This was at like 3:00 a.m. mind you! He described his product and we agreed on terms.
I received the skid plate in about a week's time (Canada to Georiga) and immediately mounted it. I took some pictures for Rick of the skid plate mounted on my bike and he noticed that I was using the ultra short rear rack on my Adventure for hauling dry bags. He suggested that I purchase one of his rear rack extenders. After seeing a picture I did just that. Again, the rack arrived in about a week.
While en-route to the RA last year in the Canaan Valley I was traveling on I-81 about 7 miles north of Roanoke. It had just rained, was dark and getting cold. I was traveling in the number 1 lane, with traffic at 74 mph (according to the GPS V). The car in front of me moved about 4" to the left in it's lane and I didn't really think anything of it. Surely if there was something in the road he would have tapped his brakes or moved more abruptly. From under his right rear tire I see a muffler with about 4' of exhaust pipe sliding in the lane. I was cautious as to not to cross my bike up thinking that if I "had" to hit it was best to hit is square. It was sliding at me as fast as I was heading toward it. My avenues of escape were diminishing because I was dealing with a moving object. Thinking that running over the muffler was my best option as it would likely deform under the load of the bike I hit it...
I can still feel the impact of the bars against the inside of my hands. It rotated under the bike bending my brake lever and passenger peg. It broke both my right foot as well as Walgreens Chic's right foot. We pulled over about 1/4 a mile up the road to examine the damage and to the thank God that we were alive. With the bike sitting on the side of the road I could immediately see where Rick's skid plate very well prevented us from going down. The skid plate took a nasty hit and had some deep scrapes. Without it in place the muffler or exhaust pipe could have easily snagged on the center stand or even the cat and pulled the bike to the ground. The skid plate allowed it just glide under the bike and prevented even more damage.
We both agreed to get back on the bike once we realized that it was safe to ride (after I pulled the brake lever out from under the transmission) and rode to the next exit. We figured that our boots being on would keep the swelling down so we went on to the RA and had a wonderful weekend. Mind you, we both limped around for a few weeks but I'll take a broken right foot over any other outcome that evening.
In the end, I repaired the damages over the course of the weekend without ever putting a penny into it. Thank you Rick for making such a great product. Since that trip my skid plate has seen it's share of dirt and gravel and has always left me impressed. The rack extender has proven itself on each and every trip since purchasing it from you.
Good luck with everything...
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