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Four weeks ago, the weather had finally warmed up in the mountains of New Mexico and it looked like a good day for a ride. I was on my '14 Vintage and my friends (husband and wife) drove my '18 Vintage with DMC sidecar. Late afternoon, we returned and decided to stop at the only restaurant within 20 miles of my house for dinner. The parking lot was crowded but there was available parking for the bikes in one corner. The restaurant sits high on a slope about 50 feet above the highway and the parking area is on the slope in front of the building. We parked in the available corner space and decided that the weather looked like rain clouds building quickly and maybe we should take the bikes home (only a mile away) and come back in the truck. At this time, I am parked so that I must make a right turn 180 degrees to get back to the highway. The U turn required that I pull forward, uphill, and turn right. There was plenty of space to my right side to make the turn. The pavement under me was old asphalt and I had to clear the area so that the sidecar could follow. Halfway through the turn, at about 5 MPH, the front wheel skidded on loose gravel from the deteriorating pavement. The gravel was from the asphalt and the same black/grey color and I had not seen it. There was no saving it and the bike went down on the right side. My right leg was still under the bike and my left leg still over the saddle. The engine was running. I had hit the ground on my right clavicle and the back of my head hit hard on the pavement. I was stunned but had the presence of mind to shut down the engine. I was hurt but wanted to get out from under the bike. Thankfully, my leg wasn't trapped and I was able to slip out and stand up. Two other bikers saw me go down and ran over to pick up the Vintage and put it on the side stand. I was grateful for them because my pain was bad enough that I could not have picked up the bike. 5 minutes later and after some self analysis, I knew that I had cracked a rib. No other injuries. I rode the bike home and went back later, in the truck, for dinner. Lessons learned: 58 years of motorcycle riding does not make you impervious to an accident at age 74. Front and rear crash bars kept me from being pinned under the bike. I don't care what the manufacturer calls them, they are crash bars and they are designed to protect you, not the bike. They worked perfectly and the only damage to the bike was some minor scratches on the crash bars. My Shoei helmet also worked perfectly and despite some damage to the helmet, my head is fine. Yesterday, I took the Vintage out for a 60 mile ride and life is good again.
 

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I did almost the same thing on a sandy gas station driveway. That really sucks. The crash bars helped the same as yours did. :mad:
 

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After riding,also for 58 years,[I am 72] I too got caught up in a similar situation not too long ago,but for some reason did not drop the machine.PHEW!! But I can identify with your dilemma and am glad you came out of it with only minor injury and damage.And as I'm sure you know,it could have been a lot worse!! Ride safe my friend!!;) Dave!!!
 

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Just remember that after impact it is a good practice to replace the helmet. Glad a broke rib was the only injury.
 

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Just remember that after impact it is a good practice to replace the helmet. Glad a broke rib was the only injury.
Glad you are ok, going to be tender awhile. I agree with Flashman, most helmets are designed for a single impact regardless of the speed.
 

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You definitely flew the chair, but you flew it just a little too high. Lol! Glad you are OK, and everything is right with the world again.
 

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I've never thought of crash bars as designed primarily to protect the riders legs from being pinned rather than protect the bike from damage, definitely makes sense. Glad to hear they did their job in a situation that could have been a lot worse. Every time I hear a story related to being trapped under a bike in a crash it reminds me of the time that a friend of mine took his KLR 650 trail riding at sunset, he ended up crashing exactly the same way you describe: uphill U-turn to the right, lost traction at the front wheel, dropped the bike downhill on its right side, but being a dual sport it didn't have crash bars (at least not in the same sense as a cruiser) and he ended up trapping his right leg under the bike (in addition to a broken rib). It took him 45 minutes to wiggle himself free and probably another half an hour to get the bike upright and back down the trail.
 

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I'm glad you're mostly ok you tough old SOB and I don't mean that in a derogatory way, I mean it as a badge of honor. Ribs are the worst, shallow breaths for several weeks and no coughing.
 

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Wow BAD that was bad and too be honest we all have those moments , the main thing here is that you are ok and well. Sorry to hear about the fall and the bike but I am sure you are not alone in dropping your bike. I have done it and not as lucky as you were with minor damage as mine was over
$11,000.00 AUD most of being cosmetic .Thank god for Insurance. I wish you safe travels in the future.
 

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I have dropped my bike 4 or 5 times during low speed maneuvers. No shame. It's a badge of honor.
 

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Thanks for posting and glad you and the bike came away okay. I hope the rib heals quickly. You are correct, our long years of riding don’t make us impervious to stuff like you related. We learn from things though and that is worth a lot. Ride safe my friend.
 

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Awesome to hear you are still riding at 74 & can walk away from a spill at that!
Hear quite a few stories of people goin down due to loose gravel, am always on the look out but looks like it gets you no matter what
 

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Good to hear you're ok BAD, for the most part. I bought my pre-loved '15 Vintage late last summer. Bike already had front crash bars but my 1st add on was the rear bars. That, because I have experience LOL.... I had tipped my Road King over twice in the past few years. And with the Vintage I knew/know it's just a matter of time :rolleyes: I'm just a youngster of 68 years and about 50 years of riding. But even at my tender young age I've learned the value of the crash bars :D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Just remember that after impact it is a good practice to replace the helmet. Glad a broke rib was the only injury.
I certainly agree and have retired the helmet. Shopping today for a new Shoei Neotec II.
 
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