Showing posts with label accidents. Show all posts
Showing posts with label accidents. Show all posts

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Yoshie will be fixed.

My insurance company did the appraisal today and the damage is NOT enough to warrant totaling Yoshie, my V-Strom Sidecar Rig.

The damage to the motorcycle itself turned out to be minor.

The sidecar is another story.  They're going to replace the sidecar's subframe mount, wheel and fender.  They're also going to replace the subframe mounts that attach to the motorcycle itself.  The only thing not being replaced is the tub and its wiring.

Here's the rub, due to work backlogs at DMC Sidecars, it's a projected 7-8 weeks before the replacement parts will be delivered to the Suzuki dealer for installation!

I am currently waiting on the stupid cow's insurance rep to answer my voicemail as to my request for a "loss of use" rental car from them; the next month after all is usually the snowiest month for the Denver Metro Area usually.

I'll be retrieving the old sidecar subframe/hardware as soon as the mechanic separates it from the motorcycle.  I am hoping to be able to sell it to another stromtrooper who is perhaps looking to "hack" his ride.  Of course, if it looks "bent" when I go pick it up, I will let the mechanic dispose of it as it will be unsellable and really, I wouldn't sell something that is any way unsafe.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Dauntless Sidecar proves to be my lifesaver...

I was basically side-swiped by a 2007 Toyota Corolla driving woman this morning as I rode Yoshie, my V-Strom DL1000 Motorcycle with Dauntless Sidecar.

I was traveling westbound on a three lane highway known as Arapahoe Road, and had just crossed under the overpass that is the I-25 Super Slab that crossed the Denver Metro Area going North/South.

I saw this silver car exiting the I-25 and turning right to enter Arapahoe Road.  I kept an eye on it as there was nothing between it and the extreme left lane where I was traveling.  Instead of just driving onto the extreme right lane, she proceeded to cross over all three lanes immediately and as I jammed on the horn and started braking, she went right for me.  I swear, I don't think she even looked!

I was trapped by a 4-6 inch high concrete median to my left and could not dodge, still I saw I would not be able to stop in time to allow her in front of me, I started swinging into the concrete median to try and swerve away from here, raised concrete curb be damned.

It was not to be, the right front corner of my sidecar subframe apparently was hit by her left front wheel.  I of course lost all forward momentum at that point for a second or two, I heard metal and plastic crunching noises, remember seeing bits flying in the air as I was thrown forward into the windshield of my motorcycle.

I must have been holding the grips pretty good at this point because once I hit the windshield, I think I bounced back into the saddle.  The rig was now moving forward once it lost contact with the car and I was able to regain control of her and bring her to a shuddering stop by the concrete median, and clear of traffic.

I say it was a shuddering stop because I could not actuate the clutch lever.  Turns out I somehow held onto the control assembly hard enough to twist the thing forward about 180 degrees so the lever wasn't where I was expecting it to be!

I got off the motorcycle, checked for oncoming traffic from behind me and was clear.  The idiot cager had been stopped by the damage inflicted on her car by the sidecar's subframe.  A couple in another car stopped and asked if I was OK, I told him that I thought so and asked them to call the police, which they did.  Whoever you were, good samaritans, my thanks again.

 The Toyota Corolla that hit me, initially came off worse from
the encounter, I thought

That dent on the wheel was where I think it hit the beefy steel tube
that makes up part of the subframe assembly for the sidecar


 What a flimsy bumper on the Corolla, it's really just a damn plastic cover

 Where the van is passing my shadow, is where I estimate the impact occurred.
I am standing on that damn concrete median that separates the
West and Eastbound lanes of Arapahoe Road.
The above is looking west.  As you can see, I drifted for quite
the distance before I regained control.

 A police officer from Greenwood Village showed up in less than 30 minutes 
and got our stories and information.

 I thought initially my damage was limited to a broken wheel fender on the sidecar
and a dent on the subframe tubing plus scratches.  Not too bad, I remember thinking.

 Above it the main impact point on my rig by the Corolla
There's a dent on the tube, probably where her wheel rim hit it.

 The broken stub where there used to be a mount for my phone/GPS.
My jacket must have caught it and broken it off as I was flung forward.

The bracket that used to secure the front of the wheel fender.  
It broke from the fender's fiberglass unsurprisingly, but note the
impact managed to break one of the mounting bolts!

The officer gave me his card with the case # of the accident report he'd be filing, he assured me that he'd be charging the idiot driver with careless driving and told me I was free to go.

I got my helmet back on, checked for traffic and motored towards work as it was closer than home at this point.  Yoshie felt a little funny at first, kind of wiggling a bit underneath me but she soon settled down and I didn't notice anything else bad.  I noticed my throat had started hurting at this point, but only when I swallowed.  "Weird" I thought but figured it would go away.

I kept reliving the impact moment in my mind and counted myself damn lucky at this point.  Figured I'd order another bracket and wheel fender and some touch up paint and Yoshie would be good to go!  Nope.

As I was walking into work, some guy who works there followed me in and he asked me: "Did you know your rear tire is wiggling back and forth when you're moving?".  I stood there and said "No, you mean the tire in the sidecar?".  "No", he said, the one to the rear of the motorcycle.  Damn.

I headed up to work, to call the insurance companies involved, the doctor to make an appointment to check me out and yeah, there was work to be done.  The morning flew by in meetings, my throat continuing to hurt when I swallowed.  Not sure how I managed to hurt it, am thinking perhaps as I was impacting the windshield, my helmeted head must have snapped forward, and I pressed my neck into my chinstrap buckle assembly?

I left work shortly after 2:00PM, thinking to go to the doctor on my relatively undamaged rig to get myself checked out.   I took a closer look at the rig in the parking garage and I was dismayed to find the rear wheel looked liked it was bent, as if the swingarm had been twisted slightly!  I also now saw from the front that the subframe mount hardware on the motorcycle appeared bent towards the right side of the motorcycle!

 Note how the rear tire is off-center now, probably not a good thing.
I am told by Oscar, who followed me to the dealer part way that he could see
it moving sideways by a good two inches as I rolled along.

The front wheel is lined up straight, not the subframe mount 
hardware was bent towards the sidecar.  The vertical
arm, onto which the sidecar is attached by the support arms, 
should be straight up and down!

 The scuff/rubbing marks etched onto the left side subframe mounts
 indicate that the motorcycle was forced by the impact into that concrete
median.  Above is the leading edge of the subframe.

Above is the trailing mount of the left subframe.  Check
out the scoring caused by contacting the curb on the raised median.

 Above is the axle nut and right side tensioner screw.
The screw is supposed to be centered in that rectangular opening, 
pretty much in-line with the hole you can see behind it.
"not quite aligned, is it?"

Same damage on the left side tensioner screw.

So, riding to the doctor's was out.  I elected to slowly ride to the nearby Honda/Suzuki Dealer on Arapahoe Road and have them assess the motorcycle and sidecar for damage.  Who knows, with all that force impacting the sidecar, it surely got transferred onto the motorcycle's frame by the mounting hardware!  I could have hairline cracks in the aluminum frame for all I knew.

I got to the dealer with no issues.  As I rode there, I could feel I was tilted to the left and the rig was not really tracking very straight at times.  Damn.  Got the rig checked in, but the shop won't be able to look at it till this coming Tuesday.  Coincidentally, that's when the idiot cager's insurance adjustor is able to go look at it also.

My loving wife came and picked me up after her work was done (I'd called right after the accident and she knew I was not injured) and we went home after taking off all removable items from the rig.

So, the ruggedness of the Dauntless Sidecar subframe saved my butt today!  Ironic isn't it, I had no issues yesterday in a heavy snowstorm on snow/ice-covered streets but today in bright sunshine and dry roads some careless idiot tries to take me out!

Now I have to wait for Tuesday afternoon for the damage appraisal.  To my eye, my Yoshie may not be repairable but we'll see.  I know that if the sidecar's subframe is bent, am pretty sure it's not fixable without shipping it back to the manufacturer in Enumclaw, WA.  

I know, I know, it's just a motorcycle, and I should consider myself lucky.  I do, I really do.  The motorcycling gods were really looking out for me this morning.

27FEB11: Update:  Rode through the cursed intersection this morning, a bit nervous I'll admit, but no issues.

Here's a googlemaps shot of the intersection in question.  The red line denotes what I remember the stupid cow took as a path to the lane I was occupying.  The black X is the collision point.  That's where I saw bits of plastic from the accident.  I estimate I was just in front of that gray car to the east (left) of the X.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Maria's Fully Repaired

Even though she's been back home with me since 08JUL08, she came home with her damaged fairings replacements on backorder through the Beemer dealer: LINK

Yesterday I rode her to the dealer and left her with them since they finally had time to take off her damaged right main panel and her front panel surrounding the headlight and put on the new ones which had been sitting in their staging area since the end of July I think.

There had been no rush or need for me to pressure them for an earlier date since I had Brigitta to supply my daily riding "fix" and you could hardly tell the plastic was damaged on Maria. Heck, I usually had to point it out to people.

Today was a rainy day here in the Denver Metro Area, but no matter, for I was able to pick up Maria at the dealer and ride her to work. The rain was light and soft on the way there, so light I didn't bother to put on my rain gear.

Maria was alone in the work parking lot, getting soaked all day as I worked, waiting for the worst of the rain to clear.

By 1530, I was ready to go, it was still raining pretty good so I went through the PITA ritual of donning my raingear. My loving wife calls it the banana suit since it's bright yellow. I figure it keeps me dry and perhaps the cagers out there in the rain with me will actually see me.

The ride home was pretty uneventful, just rain and droplets on the helmet visor to deal with. As always, I rode very timidly on the curves where normally I like to exercise good "lean" angles. Cagers pretty much gave me my space, possibly to avoid burning out their retinas as their headlights shone on my yellow rain gear.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Maria is Home!

I rode to and from work today on Brigitta, came home in some light rain with some strong winds thrown in for good measure.

After failing to line up a ride to the beemer dealer with my neighbor, I had a thought and called the dealer...they agreed to send their truck out to pick me up! Now that's service, or they couldn't put up with another day of me asking about my motorcycle! : )

I got there shortly before 530pm, exchanged some clamps for the R80, and took receipt of Maria....she looked....GREAT! The right fairing is still on order but her damaged fairing mounts up well, the new mirror seemed secure enough and the damage is barely noticeable under the right mirror mount:

The rough triangular area is all that's visible of the damaged area

I have to tell you, she felt like the size of the Titanic when I got on her after more than 32 days of not riding her and riding Brigitta instead during most of that period! Wow, I thought, she's a big beastie, was my initial thought!

All grins, I think the people nearby must have heard me chuckling to myself in my glee, I fired her up and felt her big bulk come to life under me. It was a great feeling.

I rode her home in rush hour traffic and was not able to open her up till I got on Quincy Road. By then I had somewhat re-familiarized myself with her shifting requirements and throttle response. Very much different from the R80 which requires more forceful shifting motions shall we say?

I was all grins as I got used to riding Maria again, taking familiar delight on the curves and remembering how quiet she is really, I believe the R80 is louder!

Back to one foot being on the ball of the foot when standing astride her at stoplights though. She's definitely wider and higher up than Brigitta in that respect! Its remarkable how different the two motorcycles are from each other.

I did a victory circle around the cul-de-sac once I got home before parking her next to Brigitta and making the introductions:

The Girls


You'll note the missing reflective black material I need to replace

Introductions over with, I took some pictures of her new right profile items, excepting of course the big right-side fairing. That'll come in some day. In the meantime, her old fairing looks just fine to my eyes:

New mirror housing, valve cover and valve cover guard

Those Beemer "Jugs" sure are tough, the cover took all the damage along with some wiring to the spark plug!

I am still grinning as I type this, I called my loving wife with the good news and she sounded glad as well that Maria was back home where she belongs.

Her replacement topcase is on order as well, I recovered the damaged one for parts and such. I have to now find out if the insurance company will pay for the black reflective stickers I had on the old lid that was damaged.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hoping to bring Maria home tomorrow

Not sure why I did not think of this before today, it should have been the first thing out of my mouth when the BMW of Denver's service manager told me they had all the parts needed for Maria except for the right side main fairing which was on backorder.

I got a call from Progressive Insurance "updating" me with this information again today and I asked the agent if I could just ride Maria without the fairings while I waited for the backordered fairing to arrive. The agent said he was fine with it, up to the dealer really.

I hung up with Progressive and called up the dealer. Took me a while to get through to them since they were really busy today. Ended up going through the General Manager who got the word to the service manager about me taking Maria home sans fairings.

I am happy to report they both agreed and they'll start putting Maria back together tomorrow, there's a good chance I'll be getting a call from them saying to come pick her up. Just in time for the long weekend! Here's pictures of when I had Maria without fairings on a test ride after her 54k Miles Services:





Not too bad looking, am sure it'll catch people's eye, specially other RT riders!

I sure hope I can bring her home tomorrow. She's a much better long distance tourer, I bet, even without her fairings than the R80. Wish me luck.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Delay due to Plastic and minor sorting out for Brigitta

I went by the Beemer dealer yesterday to pick up some sundry parts of Brigitta that were either missing or needed OEM replacement.

While I was there, the service manager stopped to talk to me and said all the repair parts had arrived for Maria, the 1150RT except for the large right side plastic fairing piece. This piece is on backorder with no real status as to it's arrival. I guess it's good that I got my spare motorcycle Brigitta eh? I can't imagine how I would deal with no riding for however long that backordered item takes to arrive! It could be weeks, perhaps months! Arrrrgggghh.

Part #1 above is what's backordered

About Brigitta, my now main motorcycle for the near future, she needed a new brake line clamp, #11 in below diagram:



She was also missing one of two tension springs for her centerstand, #2 below:

Brigitta came to me with only two keys, one for the ignition (not the original one) and one key for the hardbags. Neither key would lock the seat and so someone could remove the seat and steal the toolkit and whatever else I'd stored in the tail section. Not good, so I decided to get a key coded with original keycode from BMW and lo and behold, now I can lock the seat. One more key to carry around of course, someday I'll probably remove the seat lock mechanism and have it keyed to the hardbag key perhaps.

The only thing I can't lock on Brigitta now is her steering lock. Not sure it's a priority.

Finally, I had the vintage motorcycle mechanic at the beemer dealer look at Brigitta's rubber fork covers, #18 below. He approved of their use but confirmed I need to order the clamps for the upper end, #19 below:

So far, no major expensive parts needed for Brigitta, which is good since we recently received the bill for my Emergency Room visit after the accident. Yikes.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Riding Skittishly

So, while I do have a great excuse for doing so, its still weighing on my mind that I am riding the R80 in a very skittish fashion.

Yeah, I recently had a crash and it's a new to me bike the R80, I'm relearning the art of manual braking instead of ABS braking and my shoulder still has the occasional twinge (but not while riding).

So I've got plenty of excuses for my ultraconservative riding style; I have to build up my confidence up a bit more on the R80, she and I are getting used to each other slowly but surely. She sure is a different motorcycle than what I am used to. Her lack of any fairings and windshield increase one's "exposed" feeling as well.

This is not to say I rode like a squid before the crash! Not at all, but I used to lean the motorcycle more into the turns before, and barely do much leaning now.

Hopefully, as my confidence on the R80's cornering abilities grows; and I know they can turn much better than my 1150RT; it will bring back some of the "fun" of riding a motorcycle. You know, the feeling that you are "one" with the motorcycle and you don't have to concentrate to make it go where you want it to, that feeling. Right now, it's mostly a mechanical exercise to me, still better than a car. : )

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Apparently, I've a KBC Head

My first and only motorcycling helmet has been a KBC Silver FFR helmet.

I bought it, in the dazed minutes after signing the contract for my first motorcycle, a 2006 Honda Shadow Aero. It fit well, was a flip up that I could keep my glasses on while putting it on and the color matched my new motorcycle. How little I knew of motorcycling then.

My recent crash now necessitates my buying a new replacement helmet as the integrity and soundness of mine is in question. It's also pretty scratched up from apparently rubbing on the pavement during my sliding on the I-70 superslab.


Over the last week, I've gone to several helmet dealers looking at SHOEIs, ARAIs, ICONs, and HJCs. They either did not fit in terms of my chin touching or nearly touching the chinbar, or did not have the right color available (ICON) or simply I did not like their fit.

Yeah, my hurt shoulder hurt each and every time I pulled a new helmet onto my head, specially the full face versions.

There I was ready to spend almost $500 for a Shoei and it wouldn't fit!

So I ordered online for the same model helmet from KBC but in White this time for more conspicuity. It should be here Tuesday of this week I hope.

The above pic shows the helmet I ordered

Though in Silver, these pics show the flipup and dark visor options I'll have


Overall, I've been satisfied with the KBC FFR Flipup helmet:

It protected my noggin obviously during the crash. I apparently did not impact on the chin bar since there's no scratches though.

It vents "ok" in the summer though I confess I tend to crack the visor open a bit for more air.

Great during winter riding, with a balaclava underneath of course.

It's subject to wind noise at highway speeds while on Maria but not on Brigitta, so Maria's fairings are causing part of the problem? Hmmm.

It's not the lightest of helmets, it starts hurting the top of my head a bit after about 4-6hrs of riding, specially if I don't take it off during fuel stops.

During heavy rain, it tends to allow a drop or two in, on the inside of the visor.

Check the screws holding the flipup component in place, they do come loose sometimes!

It lasted over 36k miles, a little over two years....probably would have been fine for at least two more if not for the accident.

I love the dark green visor option. I'll be keeping the visors when I turn the old helmet in to the insurance office, once my new helmet is on my head!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Cleared to Ride

Saw my "regular" doctor today, he looked at the xrays, confirmed the separated shoulder diagnosis given by the ER. After conferring with the ortho guys, he said that surgery for this type of injury usually is ineffective and same for physical therapy.

I just have to let things heal on their own and do exercises that build up the muscles around the shoulder area.

The important question was: When can I ride a motorcycle again? He said, up to you, anytime you feel ready to do so! This was, of course, the answer I sought and hoped for.

Hopefully the insurance guy gets around to looking at Maria soon, I'm being told there were several claims this weekend and they're quite busy apparently. Wednesday looks like the earliest they can get to my motorcycle. Hopefully I'll hear from the beemer dealer soon after with an estimate on how long it'll take to fix her up.

Since my cage gets 11mpg, and I commute 44 miles round trip to work every day, I even got the green light from my loving wife to explore the purchase of a "spare" motorcycle for such occasions when Maria is down for repairs or maintenance or the weather is just crappy for large street motorcycles.

I am thinking a URAL sidecar rig perhaps. Perhaps the 2WD model which can handle snow/mud/gravel with no problems. Whether I seriously pursue one now or do more research will depend on how long before Maria is repaired of course.

Any suggestions from the peanut gallery on what to get as a spare motorcycle? A 650GS perhaps, or a KTM? Not another big motorcycle like Maria, a small commuter type motorcycle.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Nokia N800 Tablet comes through the crash just fine

My Nokia N800 Internet Tablet which I use for GPS, Music Player and Internet access was on the motorcycle when I had my crash two days ago.

It was mounted using the Proclip holder and Ram mount accessories as mentioned previously on this blog: LINK

Since it's only friction and gravity that hold the N800 in place with the Proclip holder, it naturally came loose during the crash and subsequent sliding on I-70.

When I got to my motorcycle to try and pick it up, I noticed it lying on the ground beside Maria and figured it was toast; though the display was still lit up. I threw it in my tankbag along with all the other contents that had come out (I had it only half zipped up) and went to try and pick up my motorcycle.

I was perusing all the gear I got from my motorcycle yesterday and set aside the N800 since it was all crusted over with dried up mud and pretty scratched up, gave it a day to "dry" since last I'd seen it on the highway, it had ice particles all over it.

I turned it on yesterday and she works just fine! Wheeew! As you can see below, the faceplate is pretty scratched up but the LCD screen is undamaged. Not too bad eh?

N800 while using rdesktop to remote into my laptop at home

yep, pretty scratched up

While I surely don't recommend trying this out with electronics such as the N800, its gratifying to know that the events leading to its getting scratched up did not lead to its destruction. Once I get my motorcycle back, will have to figure out a way to keep the N800 in its holder, no matter what until I want it out.

Here's what an AC separation looks like

AC Separation: Acromioclavicular Separation

In addition to quick and efficient treatment from the St. Anthony's Summit Health Center ER, they sent me home with a CD containing the x-ray shots they'd taken of my shoulder. I am supposed to give them to my regular physician on Monday for his examination I guess.

Here's a graphic of the shoulder area from steadman-hawkins.com: LINK





Following are the x-rays I was provided, the first one makes the separation look really bad, but I think its the angle it was shot at. The second one seems more reasonable?


I am thinking that the ligament that binds the end of the clavicle to the acromion is invisible to X-rays, so it looks like there's a complete separation between the bones when there's actually still something holding them together. Looks kind of freaky though, doesn't it?

I am hoping its a Type 1 separation as shown above. I'll find out tomorrow I guess.

I've been able to dispense with using the arm sling since yesterday afternoon. I've got perhaps 80-90% range of motion back in my shoulder and can lift light objects like helmets above my head now. I am, like the ER nurse told me, using "pain as my guide". If I sit for a while without moving the right shoulder, it's a little sore when I move it again but gets better for a while.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Visiting Maria at the dealer's "awaiting repairs" lot

I went to see Maria today, she's waiting for the insurance agency's inspection this coming week to see if she's fixable and at what cost. Kind of depressing to see her in the lot like this:


I took her top case off and used it to hold all the stuff I carry both under her pillion seat and in the "glove compartment". Man, I carry a lot of stuff. This is probably a good time to review why I carry this stuff around with me.

I put the damaged right side system case back on for the insurance agent's review, I think it only needs to have the lid replaced:

Road Rash City

This lid is toast

Here's some more shots of the areas which took the brunt of the sliding on pavement:

The mirror mounting studs are "ground down", note the fused plastic on the fairing

The right side mirror housing, toast...amazingly the mirror itself is fine


Finally, some closeup shots of the right side valve cover:





Not much else to say for today, guess I'll go get myself a drink for "medicinal" purposes.