Don't want to give up my bike, but accident is changing my mind... - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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So, on Wednesday, my wife got her new helmet in the mail, so after work she wanted to go on a quick ride to 'try it out'. About 5 miles outside of town, on a paved but quiet country road, I started to smell a little smoke (it was pretty faint), but thought nothing of it, since a lot of farmers are burning off their fields. About 5 minutes later, we heard a 'pop', and the bike started to fishtail. When the front tire hit the gravel shoulder, I lost control and we both went over the handlebars. The bike rolled twice, my wife flew about 20 feet past it, and I flew about 20 feet past her. I came away with some bruises & a sore neck, but my wife had partial amnesia for an hour or so, and came away with two broken ribs. She had to spend the night in the hospital. The bike was pretty destroyed -- the upper fairing & windshield were destroyed, the handlebars were bent, the trunk was completely destroyed, one saddlebag was cracked and the other was partially flattened. The aftermarket chrome around the saddlebags was ripped apart, and one of the flat pegs was bent. The rear tire, of course, was shot.
End result is that I swore that I was going to give up riding, because I wasn't going to risk my wife's life like that again. Thing is, we are really into riding, and have really bonded over it. The last 3 weeks, I just restored the bike (re-upholstered the seat, replaced the windshield, tune up & oil change, tinkered with the engine, etc... plus we bought/built a headset system and just got my wife a new helmet. Our first 'long' ride of the season was supposed to be tomorrow, we were going 5 hours to see a concert and spend the night in Casper, WY)
Now it looks like I'd be better off getting rid of the bike and getting into something a-little-less-likely-to-kill-my-wife. Any suggestions for something that would fill the same whole? I used to be really into Miatas, but my wife isn't quite so much, so I don't know that it would be as good. Her favorite thing about the bike was leaning -- a trike wouldn't provide that fun.
Alternately, is there a way to make cycling safer?
Oh, also, any advice for the bike? Fix it up, or part it out? Or maybe try to sell it as-is? It's an '81 GL1100I with 77K miles with a really smooth running engine.
Thanks in advance

Goldwing: verb A state of reliability and awesomeness Harleys attempt, vainly, to attain.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 03:06 PM
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Wow really sorry to hear about your crash,best wishes for both of you on complete speedy recoveries
I know that would most likely spook most people but it's ultimatley going to be a decision you and your wife need to make together. I personaly and most likely my wife as well would get right back on once healed up, maybe a bit more causious for a while
Give it a little time while you both heal up and then talk about it and make a decision you both will be happy with

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 03:08 PM
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Sorry to hear that zibodiz.
You make it into a naked GL.
Or you could get one of these.


Stu
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 03:11 PM
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This is a very intriguing post, mainly because it mirrors my wife's and my experiences in 2008. We had a serious accident and spent five days in the hospital at Marquette, Michigan. Right after, neither of us were too sure we'd ride again...

I was back on a bike that fall, but my wife didn't decide to ride until the following season. As a matter of fact, during the time I'd decided to ride and she wasn't sure, we bought her a Mazda Miata in case she had to follow behind me! We still have the Miata and absolutely love it; she drives and I ride shotgun, which is nearly as good as the bike!

Can riding be made safe? In a word, no.... any experienced, honest motorcyclist will tell you the truth -- that our sport is dangerous, always has been and always will be. But there are different types of danger...mountaineers talk a lot about subjective danger and objective danger: (1.) Subjective danger is something you put yourself into -- like trying a extreme mountain climb before you had the experience or equipment to handle it, and falling off to your death, or riding a fast, powerful motorcycle at 140 mph before you had the experience or skills that such a machine requires, and then killing yourself on a decreasing radius curve... that is subjective danger, and totally avoidable. (2.) Objective danger is danger over which you have no control -- like when a very competent mountaineer gets killed on an easy climb because of being buried or smothered by a totally random, unexpected avalanche. Or like the skilled, trained motorcyclist who gets t-boned by car pulling out of a hidden driveway, or even (as in our case) being hit by a random, unexpected deer bounding in front of the bike going sixty miles per hour.

You can mitigate and almost completely eradicate subjective danger through training, constant caution, and experience, but you can never completely get rid of objective danger. My wife and I have come to terms with that by sitting down and talking it over, and coming to the conclusion that motorcycling might indeed kill us someday, but the high quality that motorcycling has already given our lives is well worth the risk. As somebody once said, "You never get out of life alive anyway!"

First name: Mel (Red\'s: Sandy)

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might be swept off to." (Bilbo Baggins)
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 03:24 PM
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Might take you a while to decide what is best for you both. a big accident like that is enough to make anyone question the safety of motorcycling, especially so soon after the event.
Take your time, the pair of you, to think long and hard about what you both want to do. the secret to getting that right, will be communication and agreement. both of you need to know what you would like to do.
Some pictures of the bike when you can, might give those with an idea, what is best to do, part out, or repair.
for now, both of you get healed, both physically and mentally and don't make any instant decisions.

Glad to hear that you will both mend in time.


Pete




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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 03:30 PM
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It's good to hear that you and your wife were not more seriously injured. You asked for advice. Mine is to take your time in deciding what to do. When the right choice comes to you, you will know it. Maybe you need to take the summer off. This would give you and your wife the off season to get comfortable with a decision. Best of luck to you whichever way you go.



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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 03:30 PM
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BTW. I was seriously injured in a motorcycle racing incident. I was unable to race again due to a physical disability caused by that crash. I now do all my riding on the street.









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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 03:57 PM
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You'll probably want to start riding again soon; your wife might be a different story. It's tough being a passenger in a car let alone one on a bike with zero control.

If she feels up to it, encourage her. EVERYONE has been down to varying degrees. Thankfully, you both walked away in pretty good shape.

Just get some new bars and strip all the fairing/bags. Naked wings are cool too and maybe you can talk her in to a newer wing.

Glad you're both OK. It is a scary thing to wreck on a bike.

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 04:08 PM
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My wife has never crashed seriously on a bike.
She used to have a Yamaha Ct-175 that we rode in the sandy river bottoms. Crashes there were more fun than hurtful.

She has been extremely gunshy since I got hurt with my mixup with the 18 wheeler 3 years ago. But, get this:

When I brought up that GL1800 with Hannigan sidecar 3 weeks ago, she said 'no', because I want to control the bike, and I am clastrophobic about that sidecar's fairing coming down over me."

She wants a Can Am Spyder instead.

You both get yourselves all healed up and rethink the situation. CJ made a wonderful post on the subject that I will only say "perfect".

I am riding again, but I am more cautious than before.

A question? The smoke you smelled. Would that tire have been detectable before you went for the ride? Or was maybe the rear suspension too low and rubbing the tire?

~ John


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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 04:46 PM
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Cousin Jack wrote:
Quote:
You can mitigate and almost completely eradicate subjective danger through training, constant caution, and experience,....
Agreed. My first thought zibodizwas, "how long has he been riding and is this his first bike?" If this last year was your first year of riding, then you picked a very large bike as a starter! I highly recommend that you take some rider training and then get some moremiles under your belt before you ride two-up again. As CJ said, riding will always be somewhat dangerous, but your question was what can you do to make it safer. The answer is make yourself a better rider, which will also include knowing your bike well. I'm very glad youraccident wasn't much worse, as it easily could have been. Prayers for a quick and complete healing for your wife!

John


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Bought with just under 9000 miles on 08/19/2008
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past
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80 Yam Midnight Special 1100
79 Suz SP400 Enduro
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