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Old 07-16-2008, 09:55 AM   #1
CaptCrash
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Default Motorcycles, Life & Where

Motorcycles, Life and Where by Capt. Crash

Ever heard this: “There are two kinds of motorcyclists, those that have crashed and those that will”? I hate that. Can you imagine saying: “There are two kinds of people, those that have cancer and those that will”?

Not EVERY motorcyclist crashes. It's just that way. As soon as you say: EVERYBODY does, I'll go to the bar and find a one-eyed, grizzled outlaw rider who never wears a helmet and has NEVER crashed! Yes you'll find them. The first thing we need to do is define what is a ‘crash’?

Is a slow tip over in the parking lot during a u-turn a crash?
When you ride up next to your buddies, stop, and just tip over--a crash?
You're getting off your bike in the garage and your boot hooks your grab rail and you pull the bike down--is that a crash?

In CrashWorld (a fully owned subsidiary of Capt.Crash life) the bike falls over, lots of bikes fall over. In fact a majority of bikes fall over at some point. However falling over and a crash are NOT the same things.

A crash is something that starts at speed, and results rider and bike both on the ground. It spits you off. You wind up skittering down the pavement. See we call a bike falling over “a crash” to make it sound more dramatic than it is. It isn’t as stupid and embarrassing to have“CRASHED” in a parking lot as it is to “forget to put the kickstand down and couldn’t hold the bike up”.

I'm always offended when someone equates falling over with a crash. To equate having a car turn into your path of travel at 35mph and then striking that car with slipping in diesel at the gas station is just wrong. They’re two entirely different things. One, the car, was the most common accident that happens to motorcyclists. The other is just the inability/unwillingness/carelessness of not looking where you’re gonna put your feet.

You go up your favorite road, get to speed, get surprised by sand, lose the front, and wind up sliding 300ft--you CRASHED.

Drop your bike in the parking lot?--NOT a crash.

And yes, I have crashed. And they didn’t have to happen and it was my fault. The last one was in a Middle School parking lot, going about 30-35mph. I actually knew there was a high likelihood of a crash. I was pushing it and I knew I was. I also knew in the grand scheme of things that it wasn't a place were things, if they went wrong, would result in a helicopter ride.

See, that's the WHERE part. WHERE are you doing the things that might result in a crash?

A crash generally are caused by one of three things:

1. Going to the edge of the envelope IN THE WRONG PLACE. Yup, this won't be popular but sand trucks never spill on the TRACK. Deer don't jump out on the TRACK. Minivans aren't on the TRACK with you. Diesel isn't drooling out of the VW Rabbit on the TRACK. If you're going to the edge of the envelope, then you should do it in an appropriate place. (I would add doing wheelies in the middle of a pack of touring sportbikes is probably the wrong place--if you're stunting, go stunt, if you're road racing go road racing.) Bottom line is WHERE you do things can mulitply the risks exponentially. Going down at 90 on a track is entirely different than doing it on the top of the canyon.

2. Painfully bad luck--generally exacerbated doing the wrong thing in the wrong place. Yeah, you're pushing the edge of the envelope on the Lowman road and BAD LUCK strikes and you end up running through a big puddle of anti-freeze you can't avoid because you're carrying too much speed. If you had not been riding too fast WHERE you were you'd have had a chance. BUT even at cautious, legal speeds you still might have had a problem.

3. Others poor decisions. Number 1 wreck? Used to be someone left turns in front of you and you hit them rumor is that’s changed. I don’t know; I do know that sometimes you just get reamed. Bad things happen, others make bad decisions and we sometimes have to pay for them. Call it fate.

So what does it all mean? Well, we all had that crazy aunt who said "everyone who rides a motorcycle dies" SHE WAS WRONG. Buying into her nutty cousin's idea that "there are 2 kinds of bikers, those that have crashed and those that will" is CRAP. If you believe that just take a sledgehammer to your bike now--it's gonna get mangled anyway right?

You don’t have to get heart disease. You don’t have to get cancer. You don’t have to have a stroke. You can eat right, you can exercise, you can manage your risk factors—and you may do everything right and STILL get heart disease, cancer or have a stroke. All you can do is manage the things you have control over.

Not everybody crashs. TONS of us fall over. Some of us crash--do not buy into the wrongheaded idea that everyone does. If everyone who rode a motorcycle crashed and died then there’d be a much bigger used bike market, you couldn’t get insurance and the government would be outlawing single track vehicles.

It's not when--it's IF and most importantly where. Where do you put yourself into the risk zone? Where are you engaging in high risk behaviors that increase your chances of crashing? Are you aware of your surroundings when you ride? Are you living a little farther in the future when you’re in traffic?

It's on you--not fate. You DON'T HAVE to crash. Control your situation, manage your risk, be aware of your surroundings—and yes, you might crash but at least you did everything you could to avoid it.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:22 AM   #2
sarnali2
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Well I don't know you or your level of experiance but typically when someone comes up the stuff like the above they don't have a lot....

For myself in almost a lifetime spent on two wheels I have crashed, dropped, knocked over, ran over, hit a car with and been hit by cars on my motorcycles. I have run into friends bikes, I have had friends run into my motorcycles I have dropped my bike out the back of pick-ups, I have had them fall off loading ramps and land on me, I have had drunken friends knock my bike off a hill and spent all night trying to drunkenly wrestle it back up threatening all the while to kick their ass when we were done only to sit down and smoke a bowl laughing our butts off, I've got caught in snow storms, hit black ice and fishtailed a chopper @70mph without dropping it, rode bikes with extremely marginal brakes, pushed them a few miles because there was no way I was leaving my baby on the side of the road, gave my two month old daughter a ride on my ZX10R's gas tank, been so cold I couldn't move my fingers, had my face shield ice shut, had my beard freeze to my chest, been soaking wet and half frozen I don't know how many times, had seals blow out and spray oil all over me and the bike, had gas tanks split and fill my crotch with gasoline, had blowouts on a crowded freeway and wobble and swerve over all four lanes......

I could go on, I guess the point is I am one of those gray beared old bikers and trust me I have abused and been abused by every bike I've owned, to say can ride for any length of time and never drop or crash one is beyond my belief, sorry........
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:38 AM   #3
Kenneth_Moore
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This post sort of reminds me of the position that He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken used to take: somehow, with his brilliant riding skills, all-powerful "situational awareness" and amazing I-4 600 would all create this impenetrable shield around his bike. Thus he'd never crash.

It doesn't take that many thousands of miles riding to figure out that there isn't a damn thing you can do about the lady that hauls out of the mall parking lot straight into your right leg. Or the guy you piss off that deliberately nails you from behind.

One other note: if you're "not crashing" in the parking lot at low speed, you either need to sober up or find another hobby.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:40 AM   #4
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That's an awful lot of words to describe a pile of horse crap. Thanks for the pointless and misinformed manifesto.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:45 AM   #5
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I'd say if you get over 1/2 a million miles and have never crashed, buy life insurance now. Sure folks who ride a few K a year may remain lucky, but hardcore riders who commute every day, take every vacation on a motorcycle, a do a few 1000 miles a month of back road twisties throughout the winter and summer are bound to have something happen. I've been hit by a guy who pulled out from a stop sign onto a highway without seeing me, and lost it going completely straight where fresh oil had been laid down for construction without signs posted. I can appreciate your optimism, and we all hate folks who love to share motorcycle crash and death stories and photos, I think to say that all risk can be mitigated is a bit optimistic. There is lot's we can do to reduce risk significantly, mainly involving training, riding defensively, and predicting risk before it arises (sort of riding defensively pt 2).
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:50 AM   #6
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"Ever heard this: “There are two kinds of motorcyclists, those that have crashed and those that will”? "

I not only heard it, I said it plenty of times. Know why? Cause it is true. The rest of what you have to say means nothing.
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:04 AM   #7
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Default Motorcycles Are Dangerous

Motorcycles are dangerous.

The only way you can positively avoid injury in a motorcycle is to stay off of the motorcycle.

Not mentioned in your essay was the fact that the ramifications of a motorcycle crash are much more severe than a similar crash in a car.

Got your Buick stopped at a light and some melonhead in a 1988 POS pickup truck rear-ends you at 10 MPH? Bummer. Couple thousand bucks worth of damage and maybe a sore neck from the headrest and a black eye from the airbag. Same melonhead hits your Goldwing the same way? Total the bike AND the rider.

You can reduce to zero your risk of being injured on a motorcycle by simply not getting on a motorcycle. If safety is your goal, please stay away from motorcycles.

Motorcycles are dangerous.
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:31 AM   #8
Kenneth_Moore
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I wanna be a grizzled, one-eyed outlaw biker who's never crashed! I can figure out the one-eyed and outlaw parts, but where does one go to get some grizzle? And is the word spelled "grizzel" or "grizzle?" If it's applied as a modifier, does one capitalize, as in: "The Outlaw Biker was completely Grizzled?"
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:39 AM   #9
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I was expecting the Jacoby & Myers Personal Injury Attorneys link at the bottom of this thing.
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:48 AM   #10
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Wow. I think that I'm gonna like it here!
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