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Old 03-18-2013, 01:48 PM   #1
TexaNate OP
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Yay spring break WOOclunkshkkhkhhh...

I only get to ride 3-4 weeks a year, so I like to make the most of it. On the other hand, every time I start riding after a few months in school, I start out in what my dad smugly calls "noob mode". I make silly mistakes and I drop in the dirt (where I ride most of the time). He has a point - it pays to start slow. Having just got in town on Thursday, I spent Friday getting my WR250R all tuned up so Saturday I could have a good ride - just a couple miles down the street getting to the off-road playground.

Well, that was the plan. I pulled out of my driveway on my WR behind my dad on his CRF250L and took the first few corners. It felt good. Last I rode was December (it's Texas - December is our riding season) and today I was enjoying the freedom of a nice day on the bike.



Less than a mile in, we came upon a roundabout. No one coming, no problem, right?

I approached it at some speed. I can't say I know for sure (my speedo is confused by my low-speed sprockets) but I'd say 35mph. Quite quick for a relatively tight corner - and I felt the speed. I countersteered right by pushing on the right handlebar to enter the roundabout. The motorcycle leaned nicely. Once inside the roundabout, I countersteered left to follow it. So far so good. The bike was lighter than I remember and it darted left.

The excessive countersteer plopped the motorcycle on its left side in the roundabout. I think the left footpeg hit the ground and took weight off the rear wheel - that or the knobby (Maxxis IT Desert - not a good tire for supermoto-ing around roundabouts) rear was overloaded and slid off on its own. There was also a bolt on the ground that may have gotten under my tire and pushed me over the edge of traction. I did not snap off the throttle or touch either brake - there was no "panic moment" that I remember. I'm pretty sure I just came in a bit fast, leaned too far and actually leaned the bike into the ground (it had been a while since my last ride and I had forgotten just how light this bike is). However it happened, that back wheel immediately slid out from underneath me and I fell over. You can see a couple of spots where my footpeg (white), handlebar (black/white) and my the plastic scraped and then a spot on the curb where the tire MAY have hit it? I'm not so sure.







After I separated from the bike, I think the rear wheel rebounded off the curb. I think I tumbled once or twice and slid 50-60 or so feet to the exit of the roundabout - that's where I wanted to go, but I would have preferred to keep the rubber side down. As my helmeted cheek smooshed into the pavement and slid, I had time to congratulate myself for wearing a full-face that day! From now on, I'm wearing a full-face all day errday. My FirstGear jacket absorbed the tumble and slide nicely, with just a small cosmetic tear on the front of the left shoulder. However, there's a bigger tear on the inside of the right elbow.





My Slider kevlar pants tore a little on the right knee during the tumble. My gloves (there's no brand name, but they're mesh and leather) protected my hands from any abrasion and my O'Neal MX boots kept my calves from getting crushed or burned by any part of the bike that fell on them.



After the wreck I got up, checked myself, checked the bike - everything was OK. The shift lever was a little bent but it bent back easy enough. The cool thing about buying a used bike: the previous owner has already bestowed it with some scratches on the plastic so you don't feel too bad about the little scuffs. I'm actually not sure the plastics even touched the road - the bike seems to have slid on the footpeg and bar. My (full-length) Renthal Contour isn't bent and the footpegs aren't any more scuffed than they always have been. My GripPuppy on my left handgrip is a little torn but it's hard to tell how much of it is from this particular faceplant. My OEM clutch lever is a little bent but perfectly useable. I may switch to one of them fancy pivoting ones in the future if I can find a nice blue one for less than $100 with a matching brake lever.

Damage to me - I jammed/hit/overextended my right forefinger somehow and thought I might've broken it (it's stiff and sore and felt a little slide-y at the knuckle, if that makes any sense) but I got an X-ray at an urgent care and the doc says there's no fracture - just soft tissue damage. Since I wasn't wearing knee pads, I skinned my knees a bit, especially the left one - it looks like any other bicycle crash. In the future, I'll be wearing pads in the knee pockets of the Slider pants! In the space between my motocross helmet and the goggles, it looks like the pavement may have JUST grazed my face. It gave me a shallow scar. My girlfriend likes it but it shouldn't be permanent.





Lessons learned:

1) 250's don't need much countersteering to get leaned over
2) Don't push it when you first start out after a long time because your brain is still getting reacquainted with the bike - fall over in the dirt that you're riding to, not the street that leads to it
3) Those "extra bits" of gear (Slider pants, tough jacket, full face helmet, gloves) may not save your life but they'll save you a trip to the hospital and a LOT of pain.
4) If you fall over and decide to go to an urgent care to get an X-ray, think twice before telling them you got hurt in an automobile/motorcycle accident. The first one I went to said they can't even look at auto/moto accidents (probably a liability thing).

This story has a happy ending. I sure am grateful I was wearing ATGATT and this wake-up call wasn't any worse! I took it easy Saturday and Sunday but today (Monday) I gave the bike a good look-over and went for another ride - I had a blast, everything works and my ego is the only lasting bruise.
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TexaNate screwed with this post 03-18-2013 at 01:57 PM Reason: I left out one of the tears on the jacket
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:37 PM   #2
RollingJ
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Damn Nate, that sucks. I'm glad you're okay and that you were on a lightweight DS.

I don't check here but every once in a while or I would have posted earlier.

The last time (only time) I went down on the street your dad was right behind me. His eyes were saucers, I tell you. Had he been behind you, his eyes would have been plates.

I know you don't ride the WR very often but that your pops takes her for a spin fairly regularly to keep the juices (both the bike's and his) flowing.

Did you check the tire pressure before the ride?

I went down on a hard left turn (highway underpass u-turn exit) while I was pushing the pace a little. I had my left foot way out front and the bike was leaned over like I was roosting a berm. The front end just went away and I slid just like you did. I had forgotten to replace the valve cap, had some Bastrop dirt in the valve, and had about 2lbs pressure in the front tire.

Let me know the next time you are home from school. I'd love to ride with you again, Bastrop, Sam, where ever. I have access to a bad-ass ranch in Smithville and have cut about 4.5 miles of rough single-track you and your dad need to check out.

Oh yeah, I picked up a klx250s for my 14 year and he is tearing up the trails!
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:20 AM   #3
TexaNate OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RollingJ View Post
Damn Nate, that sucks. I'm glad you're okay and that you were on a lightweight DS.

I don't check here but every once in a while or I would have posted earlier.

The last time (only time) I went down on the street your dad was right behind me. His eyes were saucers, I tell you. Had he been behind you, his eyes would have been plates.

I know you don't ride the WR very often but that your pops takes her for a spin fairly regularly to keep the juices (both the bike's and his) flowing.

Did you check the tire pressure before the ride?

I went down on a hard left turn (highway underpass u-turn exit) while I was pushing the pace a little. I had my left foot way out front and the bike was leaned over like I was roosting a berm. The front end just went away and I slid just like you did. I had forgotten to replace the valve cap, had some Bastrop dirt in the valve, and had about 2lbs pressure in the front tire.

Let me know the next time you are home from school. I'd love to ride with you again, Bastrop, Sam, where ever. I have access to a bad-ass ranch in Smithville and have cut about 4.5 miles of rough single-track you and your dad need to check out.

Oh yeah, I picked up a klx250s for my 14 year and he is tearing up the trails!
I heard about your little spill - my dad was terrified! Ever since then, we check our tire pressure with a gauge almost every day before we ride - cheap insurance. After my wreck I checked the tire pressure again, just to see if I had a leak or something - the pressure was smack dab in the middle of spec. The tires themselves (Maxxis Desert IT) are also not DOT, though they're usually pretty rigid and stable on the street - way better than the wobbly DOT "6 Days" shoes that came on the 450 EXC from the factory.

My dad is convinced I hit that little bolt on the ground and that upset my tire. I also noticed that the (new) road in the roundabout was definitely slipperier under my shoe than the road around it, for whatever reason. There may have been other factors but the critical one was rider error. I think I just wasn't used to how light that bike is, got paranoid about going wide and leaned too much.

It would be great to ride with you and your son! You gotta try my WRR and tell me if it feels more like a 250 or a 450. The next time I'm around is (sadly) early June, but once I'm there I'm always on the lookout for new single-track!
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexaNate View Post
I heard about your little spill - my dad was terrified! Ever since then, we check our tire pressure with a gauge almost every day before we ride - cheap insurance. After my wreck I checked the tire pressure again, just to see if I had a leak or something - the pressure was smack dab in the middle of spec. The tires themselves (Maxxis Desert IT) are also not DOT, though they're usually pretty rigid and stable on the street - way better than the wobbly DOT "6 Days" shoes that came on the 450 EXC from the factory
lol I know the feeling, my uncle used to be paranoid with the tire pressure as well. Every day on the dot he would check..
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:54 PM   #5
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Be wary of blaming the bike or the road. It's better to blame yourself. You may not understand what you did wrong today, but you might understand later after you learn some new stuff.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:51 AM   #6
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Another possible lesson, (5). give the tires a few miles to come up to temperature before demanding full traction from them.

Maybe more important in Canada than in Texas, but a factor nonetheless!
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:56 AM   #7
TexaNate OP
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Originally Posted by espacef1fan View Post
Be wary of blaming the bike or the road. It's better to blame yourself. You may not understand what you did wrong today, but you might understand later after you learn some new stuff.
It was certainly a combination of factors, but rider error was first among them IMO. Based on the lack of skid marks on the road, I would bet the tires didn't event break traction - I think I literally leaned the bike into the ground.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:00 AM   #8
TexaNate OP
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Originally Posted by RiderVic View Post
Another possible lesson, (5). give the tires a few miles to come up to temperature before demanding full traction from them.

Maybe more important in Canada than in Texas, but a factor nonetheless!
Good idea! I hadn't thought of that.
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