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Old 11-25-2012, 03:33 PM   #16
squish
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Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Where the Ghetto meets the sea.
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Riding a motorcycle is an elevated risk activity.

When I came back to riding after a big, life threatening crash. I did something differently. I did, and still do ride much differently then before that crash and fundamentally the sport changed for me, as it changed again as I lost four friends to bike wrecks since then, all of them experienced and very good riders.

I met my wife after my accident, so I can't say if I'd stop riding, but we talk about it, well we used to, now we have a kid
and neither of us get to ride nearly as much as we would like to.

But we work on things as a team. Sure it's easy to say you'll get back on the bike, damn her she's just being controlling
but what's more important to you?

my suggestion, take some time, get back into it slowly take a class or two, even take them with her. Gear up and work at being a much safer rider. You will never eliminate risk from what you do, but there are things you can do to mitigate and control the exposure.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:01 PM   #17
Prmurat
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Joined: Oct 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
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3 years ago I was in a bad accident: a young squid crossed a double yellow and smashed into my Norton and me; compound femur and broken humerus. 36 hours of different surgeries, a pulmonary embolism, some huge pieces of metal and a cross tendon, i still limp and cannot extend my right arm (dead radial nerve). My wife forced me to rebuilt the Norton, I sold a lot of my bikes (heavy ones and ones with bad front brake), bought a Spyder and a Ural sidecar... I can ride my XT250, XS650 all day long as for the 3 wheelers bug I am still afraid of the Norton! I am no one to give you advice but I think you should buy a small used 250 and get back on riding slowly . I sincerly hope your wife will understand and be on your side, I will not have been able to do without her!
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:12 PM   #18
redwing51
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Location: Eastern Pennsyltucky
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I, too, crashed and lost memory of the 5-10 seconds before the crash. I have a ghostly vision of someone coming into my lane, but am not sure. I can't imagine what would have made me leave the road. I received a severe dislocation and multiple fractures in my right ankle. Plates and screws and a couple of surgeries. Bike was totalled.During my early recovery, I just couldn't imagine ever getting on a bike again. The thought of riding again was just so uncomfortable. But as the weeks of recovery continued I slowly acclimated to the idea. I had so much time on my hands as I recovered that I would spend time in front of the computer, and out of habit would look at motorcycle stories and sites like ADV. Then I started looking at ebay and craigslist bike ads. Ten weeks after the accident I found a R1150GS that no one seemed to be bidding on. It was also a "no reserve" auction that was ending in 30 minutes. In a brash move I placed a low ball bid to tempt fate. I was sure someone would snipe bid it at the last minute. But no one did. I had just committed to buying a bike that I knew nothing about and had not asked any questions about. I was a little stunned. It was spontaneous move that must have come from deep inside. What could I do but grab my crutches and hobble out to my wife's studio in an adjacent building and confess to my actions. I hadn't said anything to her about getting a new bike at all. After I told her, she took a good look at me and said,"I'm glad, because I know that you love riding..." I fell in love all over again.
Since then, that bike has been to northern Quebec and the Gaspe, to western Ontario, down the Blue Ridge Parkway numerous times, from the east coast to Big Bend. and to New Mexico,Utah, Colorado and back again.
Getting back on was tentative at first, and I have slowed down considerably (usually) and ride more conservatively, but there is some inherent drive to ride. It is a pleasure that I haven't found anywhere else.
All in all, to ride again after an accident is a personal decision, but to me, it feels like I made the right one.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:13 AM   #19
dm635 OP
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Location: Louisville Ky-actually 30 miles east
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All great replies. Even though I took a break when the kids were still young, had a couple more bikes in between. Last one was a CB360 I putted around on after moving out to the country. Rode it for a couple years & just tired of it. In comes the beemmer. I've known the previous owner about 7 yrs. Always on one of his 3 beemers & I would always check them out. Wishing I had one. Since I've been driving old bimmers it was only natural in my mind. Over last winter he said he'd probably downsize. Around June I asked again. Took a few conversations & the R80 was mine. Never had riden a boxer before & spent a couple weeks in parking lots putting it through it through its tests. Braking, handling & low speed manuver. Didn't have any issues on the road & felt very comfortable on my new ride. Was practically on it every day weather permitting.

Hate to keep bringing up the wife, but that will/may be my hurdle. When I told her I was getting the bike her 1st response was don't expect me to get on it. In Houston we rode a lot, but that's a different life. As already posted maybe a refresher course is in order. Do I feel I need it, no. But a little learning never hurt anyone. I've got at least 17 yrs in the saddle & fortunately the only time I went down on the pavement was on my 1st bike. Going uphill to the left on kobbies in heavy rain when it happened. Fairly low speed, but had a black left knee for months. As I age (54 now) I feel more careful & alert of my surroundings than ever before on 2 wheels. I've slowed down a lot, don't take chances, & like to leave myself with plenty of room all around planning a way out if needed.

Whether I get back on or not I still have to put the bike back together. It tumbled a couple times & did some damage. Handle bars, forks, mufflers & a whole list of smaller parts to put it to its former glory. Jug bars really helped here & will need straightened. Forks were straightened on my press just to take the front wheel out of its bind.Not for riding, even though it's been up & down my road to check frame balance & that it goes through the gears. Feels like it did before. At this point I'm definitely getting back on. It may end up sitting in the garage a year or 2 until the wife comes around, but no plans to sell.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:01 PM   #20
Wirespokes
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Sounds like a plan is coming together. I like that.

It's a funny thing about the memory loss - I too don't recall my wreck. As a matter of fact, when the cop asked me what happened and I told him I hit a deer, I wasn't very positive about that. It was like I remember three pictures before waking up on the rocks below - seeing the elk suddenly directly in front of me like a David Copperfield trick, seeing the brown fur when my helmet hit his rump, and trying to stop the tank slapper that was taking me towards the shoulder. But I didn't remember any of that when talking to the cop afterwards. It wasn't till I saw the bike several days later and the patch of brown hair on the left side fairing that I knew it was for real!

But I sure don't remember leaving the pavement and riding the bike over a 20ft embankment, and evidently flying from the bike and landing on a boulder where the top and front of the helmet got scraped up. It's kind of weird having no memory of something so significant.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:06 PM   #21
bmwblake
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i hit a deer as well. i remember the entire thing. i'd much prefer to have those few moments not in my memory.

i got back on as soon as i was out of the medical boot for a leg break. i continued to commute to work daily but rides out of town came very slowly and i rode slowly as well. take your time and work into things slowly.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirespokes View Post
Sounds like a plan is coming together. I like that.

It's a funny thing about the memory loss - I too don't recall my wreck. As a matter of fact, when the cop asked me what happened and I told him I hit a deer, I wasn't very positive about that. It was like I remember three pictures before waking up on the rocks below - seeing the elk suddenly directly in front of me like a David Copperfield trick, seeing the brown fur when my helmet hit his rump, and trying to stop the tank slapper that was taking me towards the shoulder. But I didn't remember any of that when talking to the cop afterwards. It wasn't till I saw the bike several days later and the patch of brown hair on the left side fairing that I knew it was for real!

But I sure don't remember leaving the pavement and riding the bike over a 20ft embankment, and evidently flying from the bike and landing on a boulder where the top and front of the helmet got scraped up. It's kind of weird having no memory of something so significant.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:06 AM   #22
disston
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Location: Silver Spring, Md
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I went down at 50 mph, slid about 25 feet on pavement. Remember it all. Saw my bike flip 360* in front of me. Felt my helmet hit the pavement and recall thinking, "Oh, that's why I wear a helmet."

A motorist couple passing by that saw the whole thing were staring down into my helmet when I opened my eyes. I do recall that I thought I should move slowly, find out if I have movement. So I wiggled my toes and flexed my legs. Then all of a sudden I sat up. The couple were startled a little. They helped me retrieve my bike from the ditch. I set it up on the edge of the road and picked up pieces of the windshield. I was digging the dirt out from between the fins when a cop showed up. He was amazed that I was moving around. He fortunately never asked for Drivers License or other papers. I had insurance but no Motorcycle Endorsement in those days. I commented that I would be heading South on Rt 1 instead of 95 since I did realize I was shaken. I rode home, maybe 15 miles. As I was leaving the Fire Dept showed up. I waved and hollered to them that I was OK.

The next day I started to ache. Holes in the elbow of leather jacket, but that jacket saved me much more injury. Elbow was badly scrapped. Hip was also scrapped some. I limped for a year after this.

I was going too fast for the ramp I was trying take onto the Interstate. I had been a much faster rider almost 15 years before but now after not riding for too many years I had to learn to ride all over again.

I'm single. It's a different World for most if they are married.

Edit: I had to ad this later because this is the thing you wanted to know about. I said that I was conscious. This is true. I remember going down, sliding on the pavement, hitting my head and seeing the bike flip over. I lost consciousness for a minute or more after I came to rest. But I never lost any memory of anything leading up to this point.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:39 AM   #23
dm635 OP
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Location: Louisville Ky-actually 30 miles east
Oddometer: 382
Thank you for sharing your experiences, especially the not remembering part. At least I know I'm not crazy. And to be honest I'm so glad I don't remember using my face for brakes. Had my gear on, thick Carhartt jacket, boots, gloves, glasses & the wrong helmet. The 3/4 helmet caused the left side of my face to be a scab with plenty of stitchs. Going to have a few scars especially where muscle was stitched together before skin. I'm no beauty queen so not worried about the new marks. Have started to grow my 1st gotee to cover what was left on the chin..Never found a comfortable full face helmet, but won't get back on without one. I know my gear wasn't the recommended wear, that'll have to change as well. But at least I was wearing something. The only wear through on the jacket was a small spot on the left shoulder. Everything was cutoff on the helicopter ride, don't remember that either. Perhaps a rational person would be satisfied to be on their feet with everything working & hang up the helmet, but I am under the mindset that I must continue to ride.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:38 PM   #24
Moonshiner
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Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Twin Cities of Minne-snow-tah
Oddometer: 183
I started riding at 13, stopped at 21 when I moved from a rural area to an urban area. I was newly married, lived in an apartment, and it just wasn't practical at that time to have motorcycle riding in my life. At 16, on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, I met a pickup pulling a horse trailer, a neighbor of ours. No problem, huge dirt cloud, I could get through this. But his hired man driving the '64 Impala didn't see me, didn't stay to his side of the road, and my left knee hit his driver's side fender. Recovery was 82 days in the hospital, and 6 months on crutches after that. With some obvious mixed feelings, my dad decided that we could fix my motorcycle. I rode it until I moved to the city.

I took about 19 years off. When we moved to our first house, our backyard neighbor was a diehard BMW rider, airhead at that (oilheads weren't around yet, this was 1980). I lived my motorcycling life vicariously through him, watching him work on his bikes, listening to his tales of all the rallies. It just wasn't the right time for me to return to motorcycling; I had small children, was busy at work, money was fairly tight, etc. etc. Then, in 1999, I decided to return to riding. First I bought an '84 700 Shadow, then I bought a '77 R100RS, which I still own. This was followed by a '77 R100S and a '94 R1100RS. My wife was not happy about me riding, but didn't protest too loudly, since she knew I enjoyed it, it made me happy, and frankly, I didn't have any other habits or vices to worry about.

In 2007, I rear-ended a van that was stopped in traffic, or should I say, stopped rather quickly without the benefit of brakelights. I did this on my RS, and we all know how wonderful those brakes are. Bottom line, I should've left more room ahead of me, I should've been paying closer attention. The good news is that I was completely geared up, and as I tumbled through the air, I landed on my stomach, right on the centerline of the highway, and looked up to see the oncoming traffic parting as Moses did the Red Sea. I was stiff and sore, but that was it. My wife was furious, sick to her stomach, and just plain not happy at all about the situation.

I had my backup "S" to ride while the RS was being repaired. It took me a couple of months to get my riding "mojo" back. My wife has never ridden behind me, she has her motorcycle endorsement and has her own scooter, that she rides infrequently. That said, she'll very likely never ride behind me, which I regret, but on the other hand, that ship has sailed, so I'm not going to push it.

So, to the OP...good for you for fixing up the R80. We want to keep the airheads around as long as possible. As for should you get back on...that's up to you entirely. You're already back on, it sounds like, and aren't riding scared. This is good. How's your wife handling it? Is she OK with it? Does it bother her? How about your children? Do they have any input? As much as I absolutely love to ride motorcycles, it's not worth my wife having constant anxiety when I ride. At this point, my wife is pretty much OK with it, but I know deep down that if I quit riding tomorrow, she wouldn't be shedding any tears.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:05 PM   #25
isdt BMW
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Location: N. E. Ohio
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wreck memory

Riding my hot rod R69S with dustbin fairing, rearsets,cam driven tach, original paint, lady ran light, I stood up and said OhS--t, landed 80 down street in ditch. broken femur, 504 stitches. don't remember flying or landing, never passed out. A week in hospital. Been riding since I was 11, I was 48 when I wrecked, 64 how, was only off a bike for 6 weeks, repaired the bike with good original paint parts, a buddy peiced the fairing back together, still riding it. My wife of 44 years was really supportive and knows that riding and restoring are my passion. If you are not comfortable, take some time away from it, for me motorcycling is theripy.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:05 PM   #26
dm635 OP
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Location: Louisville Ky-actually 30 miles east
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Congrats to all for getting back on. Our hobby has some extreme danger involved. I have 3 children aged 21 to 29. They all came to the hospital once alerted. Wife says my son (26) climbed in the bed with me for a whole day. I was out for 2 days. Wife says I seemed very alert while they were stiching up my face. My son has expressed strongly that he doesn't want me back on. We are good buds & he knows my intentions. I'd have to say it was a traumatic experience to anyone that saw me those 1st couple of days. I was road meat. Friends came too immediately when called. The riders understand my getting back on, though didn't like seeing me that way.

That is why I've said my decision does effect others, some more than others. My family in Houston Has also expressed that I'm done.

Just last night the wife saw a Honda commercial for small riders. I'm now a 1st time grandfather with a 13 month old grandson. She said not to even think about putting young Bishop on a bike when he grows. I replied that was for his daddy. Well daddies a motorhead & Bishop will grow up knowing about machines.

I'm sure my wife knows now that I'll be back on in the wind. Even though we haven't talked about it. She knows it's in my blood. Can't remove it. I live in the country & love taking off for a hundred or so miles. Hate the traffic in Louisville & only deal with it when I have to.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:21 PM   #27
Wirespokes
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Location: Jackson's Bottom Oregon
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It'll be a good argument that you'll always wear the best gear! I'm sure that will help a bunch. How much less would have been your injuries had you been wearing a full face helmet and gear with armor? Probably fairly minor.

Now's the time to get David Hough's book Proficient Motorcycling, along with his more recent books:

http://www.amazon.com/Proficient-Mot.../dp/1889540536

Used copies are certainly cheap enough!
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:43 AM   #28
Moonshiner
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Location: Twin Cities of Minne-snow-tah
Oddometer: 183
For me personally, motorcycling is neither a sport nor a hobby. It's a form of transportation that I use during the months of April through November. Currently, I only ride on the street. When those streets become cold, slippery and/or snowy, then it's time to store the motorcycles for the season.

Good Luck and Happy Riding, DM635. May you ride safe and may your family be worry free. Any time you're on the road, whether it be in 4 wheels or on 2, there are risks involved, everyone knows that. The issue is that, on 2 wheels, the results of a problem can be much more devastating. It's not where ANY of us ever want to be.
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