I don't have a dirt machine yet, so I'm stuck riding more civilized roads. However, here in Montana even civilized roads can get you in trouble because you're still a ways away from help. Yesterday I left work on my Katana 600. I have a set of soft saddle bags I keep on the bike regularly because I haven't finished fabricating my hard bag mounts yet. When I leave work, I'm two miles on dirt before reaching pavement, then another two or three miles to "civilization". About half way down the dirt road I feel something shift on the back of my bike. The dirt road was facing slightly down hill at this point and was rutted. I stop the bike, shut it off, and put the kickstand down and get off the bike (kickstand up higher than the tires because of the poor road conditions). I wasn't off the bike 10 seconds, just getting my helmet off and cussing myself for not checking the bags before I left work... The bike falls over facing downhill
. At first I panicked, what damage had been done? I knew I could get help easily enough (I had cell service), but I hate calling people to come "rescue" me (they were 40 minutes away at least), especially for something so stupid. Seeing gas leaking out of the bike, I knew I needed to get it upright quickly. I went to the downhill side and tried to pick it up. CRAP, didn't realize it was that heavy. It weighs well over 500lbs with fluids and my bags on it. Couldn't get the bags off because one was trapped under the bike. First attempt to lift the bike and I was surprised. Second attempt I got it half way up before I started loosing my grip. Finally, on the third try I managed to lift it up and get it back on it's kickstand. Broke off the mirror, turn signal, bent brake lever, cracked fairing, scuffed plastics, messed up bar end, and a small amount of damage to the exhaust on that side
because I didn't check my bags before I left work and failed to park in a place that would give me the correct angle for my kickstand to be effective
I felt like a dumbass, still do, and feel that way sharing it here. But last night I got to thinking about it more after I had gotten over being pissed and embarrassed. I wasn't in any real danger, but I learned the hard way to:
1) Check the bike over no matter how much of a rush I'm in
2) Park the bike in an appropriate location even if I'm only getting off the bike for a moment to check something
3) The bike weighs a lot more than you think it does, especially when you have to lift it past 90 degrees because it's facing downhill
Not life threatening, or even being stuck in the woods like most people have shared here, but information that could save me from a disaster when I am out in the woods on a different bike at a later point in time. I missed a couple simple steps (I can hear my MSF instructor in my head telling me to check the bike before I ride), which would have only cost me 30 seconds, and now my bike is messed up and I'm going to be out a couple hundred bucks not counting the body work. Relatively cheap lesson, but still sucked...