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Old 06-26-2010, 06:13 PM   #1
flyingreg OP
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Location: Bakersfield, CA
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Diesel Fuel + Two Wheels = Crash

On Tuesday, 6/22, I was traveling home from a trip to Idaho only 450 odd miles left in a 3000 mile week. Me and my riding partner, Dennis on a KLR, me on a 12GSA, were traveling on CA49 about 60 miles North of Nevada City. The day had been going great beginning at Lakeview, OR, taking all the good roads. I was traveling at a relaxed pace so Dennis wouldn't have to whip his KLR to keep pace. I approached another left hander, like a thousand before it, setting up for the entrance to the turn. It was about 4:30ish and the road was pretty shaded. As I made entry and was beginning to accelerate out of the turn, I see something on the road and immediately the bike slams down hard onto the pavement. I realize the front tire hit fresh diesel fuel and I am sliding down the road. The GSA does a fast 180 running over my left foot, grinding off some of the toe leather, twisting my knee and ankle. The only thing going through my head is that I am going to hit the armco barriers. The bike gave me a good shove and I am now sliding on my back headfirst. I estimate I was going about 40-45 when I went down. I am lucky and hit the guard rail post at maybe 4-5 mph. The compression is tremendous and I see stars for a few seconds. I hear the James Gang playing on the mp3 and think this isn't really happening. I'm pretty stunned and disoriented when I see Dennis standing over me. I can't hear him because all I hear is James Gang singing, "There I go Again." I flash him a peace sign and he heads for the bike, trying to pick up the beast by himself. I yell for him to wait and I quickly make sure everything still works, and it does. So up I get and help Dennis right the bike. There was a small turn out at the corner and I roll the bike back the 100 or so feet. A local contractor stopped and he puts out flares and has one of his work crew start throwing dirt on the spilled fuel. This was a good thing as I counted maybe a half dozen bikes come through that corner within the next few minutes. I assessed the damages and the bike and I are rideable.

I was wearing full gear which saved me from serious injury, I am only bruised and sore. The Cycleport mesh kevlar is incredible stuff. A casual look and you wouldn't even know it had just slid 80 or so feet on rough chip seal asphalt. The gloves, boots, and helmet are ruined, they did their job. The insurance company and the dealer are evaluating the bike. The frame may be bent, and if so, my insurer said they will total it out. The damage doesn't look too bad and I am hopeful as it has been a good ride. Several things don't line up very well, foot pegs are now at different height to ground, PIAA's are frame mounted and now sit at an angle, stuff like that. Bikes can always be replaced, wear the best gear you can afford.

Here are some pics:

fuel in the corner





The bike doesn't look too bad... just a bit of road rash and a little twisted. The Micatech cases are incredibly strong, and except for the road rash and tweaked attach points are still solidly attached to the bike.



The ADVDesigns crash bars worked extremely well, worth the money I paid.


Be careful out there, there are forces working to put you in the grave if you're not.
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:18 PM   #2
Patrick46
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Good to see that's you're posting this from the homefront, and not from the ICU.

Before anybody starts to slam you about your poor riding skills...I'd say that you sound to be competent, and as your ATGATT, then you have brains and know how to use them. (plus the James Gang is a +++)


Sounds like you'll be back in business in short time.
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:24 PM   #3
rudyhassen
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I cringe when I hear these stories. I don't know you, but am VERY glad you're OK. As a minor point, I was interested to hear a real world review of the Kevlar. Thanks for posting this cautionary tale.
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:35 PM   #4
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Diesel fuel. Ugh!! Glad to hear you emerged relatively unscathed. That stuff is nasty.

I was cruising down Topanga Canyon road on my 12GS a couple of years ago. At the apex of a nice right hander I spotted a barrel on the side of the road. There was a small stream of liquid leaking from the barrel across the road. The spidey senses went off and I quickly straightened the bike up to run over the stream. The big GS still went sideways at 50 mph, but once through the stream I was able to gather it back up without much of a tankslapper. It was home heating oil or diesel...

You didn't have a chance since the spill was in the direction you were riding. I'm glad to hear the Kevlar did its work. Hopefully the bike is repairable!
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:51 PM   #5
flyingreg OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rudyhassen
I cringe when I hear these stories. I don't know you, but am VERY glad you're OK. As a minor point, I was interested to hear a real world review of the Kevlar. Thanks for posting this cautionary tale.
Thank you for the kind words. I am not known on this board by many, I do ride my share of miles. As for the riding gear, there are plenty of real world reports on the crashworthiness of the kevlar riding gear from Cycleport right here on this board, many with much more horrific crashes than mine. In every one which I have read, the gear did the job of saving the rider from more severe injuries with outstanding results. The stories are worth searching out and reading if you are considering Cycleport for your next set of good kit. Here's a recent one - http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...21&postcount=1 I have been wearing this gear for the last 80K miles and I will not wear anything else when I suit up to ride. I'm certainly not changing now that I have first hand experience of how well it saved my hide.
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:50 PM   #6
husqvarna
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Nightmare stuff

Riding with mainly knobbly tyres in a country with many marginally roadworthy vehicles, this is one thing that really wories me as only maybe super vigilance can save you, maybe nothng. Tanks be to goodness for your ATGATT and guardian angel (s). Also looks like you were actually unlucky, entering the corner almost exactly where the stream of fule had been laid down.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:26 AM   #7
Cale_Kat
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Glad you're okay. There's nothing like going down to reaffirm your commitment to good riding gear.

I couldn't help but notice something strange about the spill. That's a lot of diesel fuel to be sitting in the middle of a corner in (I'm guessing here) the middle of nowhere. My guess is that there was an accident. Possibly a rear ended vehicle that leaked down the road before being flatbedded out of there. You'd expect to find a pool of fuel at the end of the streak but I can't see that in the pictures. Maybe there'd be signs of some clean up.

It might make sense to see if the highway patrol has a report of an accident at that location. If so, there might be someone who was responsible for cleaning up the road but left it fouled. You might follow the trail to collect some sort of compensation for your accident and injuries.

Good luck and ride safe.
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Old 06-27-2010, 12:18 PM   #8
flyingreg OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cale_Kat
Glad you're okay. There's nothing like going down to reaffirm your commitment to good riding gear.

I couldn't help but notice something strange about the spill. That's a lot of diesel fuel to be sitting in the middle of a corner in (I'm guessing here) the middle of nowhere. My guess is that there was an accident. Possibly a rear ended vehicle that leaked down the road before being flatbedded out of there. You'd expect to find a pool of fuel at the end of the streak but I can't see that in the pictures. Maybe there'd be signs of some clean up.

It might make sense to see if the highway patrol has a report of an accident at that location. If so, there might be someone who was responsible for cleaning up the road but left it fouled. You might follow the trail to collect some sort of compensation for your accident and injuries.

Good luck and ride safe.
Once we got back underway, maybe 30 minutes later, we observed more fuel spills in the next few left hand curves, in diminishing amounts until it disappeared after a few miles. I thought it strange in that we were many miles in either direction from any services. My guess, and that's all it is, is that the driver didn't tighten the tank cap and it finally fell off along the route.
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:15 PM   #9
CoffeeGuy
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Glad you're alright.

Looks like your license plate got twisted up pretty badly.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:54 AM   #10
brianstanfill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoffeeGuy
Looks like your license plate got twisted up pretty badly.

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Old 07-04-2010, 07:54 AM   #11
lineareagle
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And the bike? Write off?

Hey Greg, did the bike eventually get written off?

I think the diesel was from a trailer, perhaps a barrel or piece of equipment leaking, seeing as how it is down the center of the lane.

How are you feeling, hope the aches and pains have gone.

Bruce greb.
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:38 AM   #12
mystic red
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Thank God for ATGATT.
I once saw a tanker leave a stripe down the center like that all the way up Highway 12 in Idaho. Left a valve open at a delivery or somethin'.
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:50 PM   #13
brinboise
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Wow, one of my greatest fears=
fuel on road+knobbies+corners. Hope your OK
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Old 07-04-2010, 01:58 PM   #14
flyingreg OP
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I am doing pretty well considering. My back aches and will for a long time, it took a pretty good blow when I hit the armco barrier head first. It doesn't help that I have arthritis in my spine and I think everywhere else. I don't know about the bike yet. Waiting on insurance company verdict. Bike is really in good shape, but my ins. co. is a auto firm and they don't like to mess with fixing bikes. I have been looking at the 990 ADV.......
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:15 AM   #15
Big Duke 6
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Eek Diesel is light oil

This happened here in town-A tractor trailer came into town in a tough direction. As most roads that would be a problem for a TT are not posted well or at all. The driver ran over the granite curb trying to make the turn and did not realize he punctured the fuel tank. The TT left a trail of diesel almost 3 miles long-all the way to where he was supposed to go. Authorities became aware of this whole thing when a bicyclist went down and limped into the nearby fire station. Real scary.Heal well
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