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Old 06-18-2013, 04:44 AM   #22
motu
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Joined: Dec 2001
Location: New Zealand
Oddometer: 4,412
I thought I came off a lot on the street, but after 43 years I might've forgotten some...counting on my fingers I only get to 12...I thought it was more. Into the hundreds off road. Most on British bikes - steel levers, solid footpegs, very crashable...I have pounded footpegs back into line with a rock. Most at fastish around town speeds...fastest at 60mph when I put my 3 week old Yamaha into the side of a van, I'd had a bike to bike crash off road the first week. I can go out into the shed and still see the scars on my 1974 Stornello that I highsided in 1985 - dents in the tank from the forks, ball end off a lever, dented tail light, dented headlight rim, and it still has no instruments as I smashed the housing, rode it without instruments after that.

So what have I learned ? How to crash mainly, it's a skill learned by repetition. It becomes a slow motion thing...a different time, a different place. I remember crashing my 1961 Norton 600 Domi on the way to work on my 26th birthday - as I peeled into a 50mph corner I saw my mirror shatter and twinkle onto the road...''Oh, that's strange, I thought, I wonder if I've just gone down?'' Next I feel a thud and a rumble though the bars...''Yep, looks like she's down.'' I had enough time to react, push away from the bike and get a good slide into the curb. When I went to pick up my bike, another rider was already picking it up for me. He'd been coming the other way, had enough time to stop, get off his bike, get across the road and pick up my bike before I got there. I remember the rivets from my Levis burning into my hip, big graze on my belt, no damage to me, got on my bike and carried onto work. Straightened the footpeg at lunchtime.

I haven't crashed on the road since 1990, bikes don't crash well these days, and I hate fixing that stuff. I'm not a squid, just someone who thinks you don't know where the limit is until you can look at it from the otherside. Was I stupid, was I lucky ? Maybe, but you make your own luck, it's not given.
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