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scariest experience on two wheels?


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What have been the scariest moments on a motorcycle for you?


I've had a lot of "skipped heartbeat" moments on corners and whatnot(including a moose stumbling out of the woods mid-corner on me) but there was one time a few years back that really stuck out as being a truly scary experience:


I was travelling from Denver to Vegas in a day and about 40 miles north of Cedar City on I15 in Utah I came up on a dust cloud crossing the hwy.. a huge swath of land was kicking up dirt into the air and it looked like a wall of thick brown smoke crossing. I stopped short for a few moments and decided that it was probably a short trip through and if I just followed one of the semi's heading in I would be fine... ha ha!


as I started riding in visibility dropped down to about zero, I could barely see my instrument cluster and my helmet began to fill with fine dust inside and out. I was travelling maybe 5mph behind this semi wondering how long before someone came barrelling in behind me... suddenly the Semi veered and stopped, half on the hwy half off. I decided stopping was a BAD idea and kept moving forward dragging my feet almost unable to see anything. It started to lighten up in a few areas and I could see other cars in the center divider.. Kept inching forward and pretty soon I got out, coughing and choking and just completely covered in silt.


I stopped on the other side and for 5 full minutes not another car exited the the cloud. about 5min later down the hwy I watched as emergency vehicles raced in the opposite direction.


The entire time all I could think was that if I stopped I'd end up being run over by something much bigger than me.


To give an idea, that night when I got to Vegas and changed out of my riding gear, my boots had dirt inside them, my chest and back were covered in the stuff(through jacket and shirt).. and later taking my laptop out of its case which had been in a backpack strapped to the pillion seat I found that dirt had made its way into everything, had to blow out the keyboard and clean out the cdrom drive.

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Unfortunately, Ive had 2:

1. On a Honda ST 1300 on the interstate riding in the left had lane, an 18 wheeler comes up from my lower right 5:00 position from the right lane into the left. I see him in my mirror but realize he cant see me by hisfront left fender, and hes not going to stop. All I could think was, "This is going to hurt." Instead, I said dont panic and decided my option were either to ditch the bike over the shoulder into the ditch inbetween lanes, or ride along the shoulder next to the truck until it passed and hope I didnt hit anything lying along the shoulder. I could literally reach out and touch the side of the truck while I was on the shoulder. Luckily he passed, and I got back on the highway. Lesson to be learned: As hard as it sounds, dont panic, consider your options, choose the least painful...


2. Turning left off old route 66 on a Honda Gold wing about 5 minutes from my home, a lady mail carrier came up from behind and tried to pass me on the left as I was making my turn, despite my having signalled. She said she didnt see me turning. I caught her in my mirror just in time to swerve back to the right or she would have caught me broadside. As it was, she caught the mirror and knocked the bike out from under me. Luckily I had all my protective gear on and walked away without a scratch. Lesson: Get the best gear you can afford and wear it every time, because most accidents happen within 10 minutes of home; Most accident are supposed to come from the front from your 10-2:00 vision points, but both mine came from the rear, so check those mirrors often.

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Mine was back when I had the FJ600. I was down by the beach with a couple friends when a very, erm, "heavy" girl came up and suggested I take her for a ride. Fortunately her friends called her away but, whew!!, that was close. grin.gif



Seriously, the scariest experience I've had was crashing a GSXR1100 at Willow Springs in turn 9. I survived it with just a few bruises but still . . .

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Oh, man. This takes me back.


Around 1975 and I was an editor at Cycle World. The offices were (and still are) located in Newport Beach. There was a metal fabricator we used for special projects (named Greg, if I recall) whose shop was located on Placentia Ave. in Costa Mesa, just above 17th (for those of you who know it and know how busy it is with traffic).


I had a 175 Can-Am that I was racing in enduros and I'd taken it to him along with a set of Bilstien shocks, wanting him to modify the rear frame section to lay the shocks down (a popular mod) to get more rear wheel travel.


One day at lunch, I drive my truck over there to see how he was coming along with my Can-Am. Things were progressing a bit slowly, mostly because he'd been working on his own Honda CB750 onto which he was grafting a right-side sidecar that he was also fabricating. The bare skeleton was done and the sidecar's wheel was on as was the suspension. We talked a bit and then he suggested lunch. He also suggested we take his sidecar. I foolishly agreed.


Even more foolishly, neither one of us wore helmets. They weren't required in CA at the time and although I always wore one, we were only going to a burger joint about a half block away. No problem, I thought.


So I climbed into the sidecar, sat on some frame rails, grabbed some other frame rails for support, as Greg fired up the Honda. No sooner did it fire, than he stomps it into gear and pulls out part way onto Placentia Ave turning left. The cold engine coughs, we hesitate a second or two, then it catches and as we start to swing into our lane I could hear the squeal of car tires behind me. Right behind me. Right, friggin behind my head.


I immediately turned my upper body just in time to see the left chrome bullet from the front bumper of a Buick, about to have its way with my right ear. The grill said "CK", and that's exactly what I could see with my eyes, a C with the left eye and a K with the right eye. If these letters were preceded by BUI, they were either beyond my peripheral vision or obsucred by the curvature of the grill. My face was that close. I could have kissed the chrome.


I yelled at him all the way down the block. Perhaps it was nerves, but all he could do was laugh about it at lunch. Laugh and shake. Me, I just shook. Vibrated, actually. Needless to say it wasn't a pleasant meal. That's about as close to dying as I've ever come. Given the pointy nature of the chrome bullet on the bumper, it truly was a matter of an inch-and-a-half.

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Neat thread! I always like reading about various problems. Here is mine; Not counting my actual wreck (to quick to get scared) my worst moment probably was back in 83 or so. I was running up from Newport RI to Boston before dawn. I was late for work so I was traveling a lot in excess of 100 (speedometer only went to 85.) I was coming up on two cars, one in the left lane and one in the right lane leaving the middle lane clear on the six lane highway. It wasn't a problem to take the middle lane but as I approached with probably a sixty MPH overtake the car in the right lane pulled into the middle lane showing me a car in the right lane in front of him. My hole was gone. I locked the brakes and decided that my best chance would be to reduce my speed diferential and try to stay on the trunk of the car I was about to hit. (Yea I know, it probably wouldn't have worked but it was all I could think of) Of course hearing my brakes behind him he pressed the panic button to the left of the gas pedal. As I came up on the car I realized that he had pulled ahead enough or the others had slowed enough and there was a slight gap between him and the left hand car. I let up on the brakes and whipped around. I decided that perhaps keeping the speed down to 85 or so before it got light might be a wiser choice than killing myself

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In over 40 years of riding I've had my share but the scariest that comes to mind didn't happen to me but was one I watched. When I first started riding motorcycles there was no endorsment or helmet required in our state. There was a motorcycle rental company located in a town about an hour away at the base of the Laurel mountains in western Pennsylvania. A group of us (16 to 18 year olds) would drive up early on a Saturday, rent 90 - 170 cc Suzukis and ride up into the hills (often 2 up) and take turns riding, on and off, the back roads.


On one particular occasion we had a friend with us who was completely new to motorcycling (unlike we seasoned veterans grin.gif). We, in our infinite motorcycling wisdom, chose to teach him the basics in a small clearing in the forest before venturing onto the road. After explaining the various controls he gingerly let out the clutch and promptly dissappeared into the tree line amidst his hysterical cries of "Bobby, Bobby, Bobby . . ." (Bobby was one of the other friends acting as instructor). We sprinted on foot into the trees and within 30 feet found our friend, perched on the edge of a cliff that plunged at least 100 feet into a shallow pool at the base of a waterfall. He had bounced, completely out of control, toward the edge and had somehow managed to navigate between 2 closely spaced trees and wrap his arms around each. He had effectively placed a scissor lock on the little Suzuki and was holding it while his arms clamped the trees. We ran up and grabbed the bike by the back wheel (the front was dangling over the edge) and pulled it, and him, back away from the edge.


I'm sure that in the hours (perhaps minutes) following the incident that our teenage bravada had us laughing and joking about it. But I'll never forget the horror that first swept over me when we found our friend in such a precarious situation.

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Been run over, run down, run off, run out of gas.

Shot at, cussed at, and in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Was too young to know better and too old to try.

Ridden through rain, snow , sleet, hail, and Kansas.

Ridden through hurricane feeder bands where 4 wheelers were pulling over and visibility was nil.

Those haven't been the scariest.

The feeling I had after passing the scene of a motorcycle accident on the Cherohala Skyway involving a BMWSportouring

event participant (El Paseo) really shook me up.

Had trouble getting focussed and the cold/wet/windy/misty conditions didn't help.

For me it was the unknown that became the scariest. Try as I might, I couldn't put it out of my conscious level of awareness.

Every turn and wet spot on the road became a challenge, every wind gust shook me to my core. I rode poorly, and knew it.

That was my scariest moment, to date.

Somehow I don't think all of those moments are in my rear view mirrors and the road ahead will provide another chance to become wiser.

Or not. wave.gif

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Just about one month ago, I took my daughter a run over the "Dukes Pass" at Aberfoyle and just as I had started my overtake manouevre the vehilce I was passing pulled over to the left to let me pass. Needless to say he was watching me in the mirror and not the road as both his left wheels dropped down off the road (only a 6" drop) but when he corrected he veered right over towards us and swerved all over the place just missing us, by which time we were over the far side brushing the hedge.


For a brief moment I could my 12 year old daughter and me surfing the hedge and landing in the field. At the time no more scary than a bad bend, but the consequences of this total non fault incident still sends shivers down my spine.


Seeing a friend come off a machine at speed also scared the sh1t out of me last week, but that's another story! frown.gif(I was 30 feet behind him)

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That's an easy one. Riding on an Interstate highway an 18 wheeler blew a tire and shot it out sideways directly in my lane. I was doing 80 trying to get around the truck since I could smell the problem about to happen. I ran directly over that smoking huge tire with my K1200ltc with a lil ol lady on my passenger seat and the other thing I remember after that was a tiny voice from behind me saying "whoopie!".

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For me the scariest moment came last May on a trip through Nova Scotia to ride the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton. I was with my brother, he on his new R1200RT and me on my K1200RS. I was in the lead.


A deer came out of the woods on my left and I rolled on the throttle and leaned right. I made it and was relieved. Afterwards, my brother told me the whole story. The deer had to jump over me. My brother watched the shadow of the deer's legs cross my back, it was that close. I had also ducked but I don't know if that made a difference.


Afterwards, I was laughing, shaking, and that night, I had an extra beer and a really, really good supper.

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January 2005.


My wife and I were 2-up on the RT, in Mexico, south of Creel and heading for Dorango. It was high desert country, almost no traffic, good roads, well marked.


I found myself in a sharp left turn in the highway, I was doing about 80mph, and there was a 50' deep drop-off to our right, filled with boulders the size of refrigeraters, and lots of cactus. I was going way too fast.


I was convinced we were going to go wide and off the road. ooo.gif


Not without a fight! If it was to be, it was going to be a low-side, and bike first.


I leaned far over, and felt my wife, bless her, hang on tight and lean with me. The tire was running on the white line on the edge of the road, as I saw daylight through the corner. As we came upright, my wife asked, "What the hell was that?" I wish I knew, to this day I don't know where my head was at, and why I didn't see the corner coming.


Lesson learned? Trust your tires, and tires and the bike have much more in them than we think. clap.gif

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It was on the first trip with the brand new '73 /5. Wet Oregon coast highway. Being a dumb 19 year old going into the Humbug Mountain corner at 65. Rear wheel slid out three times. Foot down and kicked it back up twice and then it slid out from under me. The bike did the slow motion sparks and slide while we both went down the middle of the highway in the S-curve.


That wasn't too scary.


Until, as I lay on my back in the center of the road on a blind curve, I remembered that loaded log truck I'd passed a couple of miles back tongue.gif


He never did show up but I certainly could move quickly back in those days. I can still remember the switch from relief to horrow like it was yesterday.


Bike was fine except for a scuffed valve cover and saddlebag. I was fine except for a 2" hole in my rain pants. Once I'd stopped shaking I went on with my trip.

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About 15 years ago, I chased a felony suspect vehicle into a dead end court of an apartment complex. He then threw the old Buick into reverse and intentionally ran me down. I was dragged under the car in a small shower of sparks for about 25'. He then jumped out of the car and ran but was caught by other officers nearby. He went to prison for attempted murder.

My '91 HD FXR-P sacrificed itself to save me.

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Yesterday. I almost ran a red light as I was not paying attention. Damn that GT can stop fast. I was at 50 mph and stopped about 5 feet over the limit line.

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This summer I blew out my front tire on a pothole as I was on the interchange between US36 and I76.


As I was bringing my poor footsore bike to a stop, with my back brake only, I suddenly felt my front tire lock up and start skidding. Luckily, by the time that happened I was down from 55ish to about 15 or so. I managed to get it off the highway without spilling it.


Found out that the 'pothole' was really a seam between the concrete and asphalt. The asphalt had been eroding away, and left a jagged canyon that tore a hole in my tire and bent my rim. The front wheel skid happened because, at about 15, the bent rim jammed against the ABS unit and the wheel just quit moving.


Scared the snot out of me-after the fact. At the time, I was too darned busy trying not to dump the bike to be really scared. Later, when I realized what a mess I would have been in had the skid started at 55 instead of 15, then I got the willies.


Lesson learned-what looks like a little pothole (common enough) may really be the Tire Eating Canyon of Doom.


Mark and I went back later, in the truck, to look at it-and you could not really see what a jagged mess it was until you were too late to avoid it-which made me feel better (a little). We also found about 2 dozen hubcaps in the grass right near the hole-so I wasn't the first one to hit it.


We called DOT to come fill it in-and they did so within 24 hours. It is still not great-a bit of a rough ride over the repair-but it won't eat another tire in its current condition.

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Last year I came very close to hitting a bicyclist. He was ahead of me travelling the same direction in colored jersey's and helmet moving pretty quick. Everything was fine until I got about 15 feet in back of him and without looking he decided to make a left turn to the other side of the road. I think he heard me throttle down and brake and then looked. I swerved right, then he swerved right so I swerved left and thankfully I missed him. I had to pull over to catch my breath and calm down. My heart was pounding so hard.

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Pitching this:




and me off a 30' cliff one year ago.


Fortunately, I only remember the very beginning (the lowside) and the very end (me sitting in the dry creek bed below).

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About 1992 on a 1981 Suzuki GS1000G. Doctors were monitoring a black spot on my lung to see how fast it was growing. I was taking every chance I had to ride and was on what I thought was probably my last ride – a self-proclaimed “death ride” – feeling down and pretty sorry for myself. Entering a high-speed turn, Blackie developed a terrible head shake that I could not control. Thoughts of my family and the joy of no more pain flashed through my mind as I prepared to hit the guardrail. I looked down to my right and saw my tires leaving the edge of the pavement. I was too chicken to look at the cliff coming at me in weird slow motion, so I turned my face to my left and looked up to heaven to smile. My body was scared but was looking forward to the peace I felt coming. Next thing I knew I was placed clear through the turn with the bike stable as a rock and traveling straight. What happened was not my doing; I had given up on life and myself. I got thrown back to raise my kids and love my wife. The doctors never could explain how the spot on my lungs was gone the next time they checked me, either. 14 years seem to have warped in the blink of an eye, but the feeling still burns like it was yesterday. Wife still doesn’t know what happened on that trip; only that I was different. I don’t fear much of anything any more, but rest assured that I am still chicken when it comes to hurting grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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...were monitoring a black spot on my lung to see how fast it was growing. ...


Okay, we have a winner.


Seriously though, I feel that God taps me on the shoulder from time to time to remind me...

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Mr. Prescott:


Your postings and perspectives have helped me (and I am sure many others) over the years. Please do not refrain from posting your thoughts and experiences. This board is all about sharing, never topping. I got some hell scared out of me; that is all. My posting was not intended to do anything but share my scariest moment on a motorcycle. Will, what may seem insignificant to you may tie something together for someone else. We all contribute something of ourselves when we post; that is what community is all about. I feel devastated to hear that I may have stopped what you were going to share. That means that I have effectively cut myself off – precisely the opposite of what all of our lives are really about.


I look forward to people sharing what means something to them because it helps me learn something about them – what made them the way they are, and how to really understand where they are coming from so I can get smarter. Mr. Baker gave me the “Chaplain” title to protect me because my perspectives on things that really matter are always a little softer than most; I thank him for it.


Please post, Will, for I have something to learn from and about you.



An Old Softie

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I don't talk about those. However, I offer the following as my most amusing experience on a motorcycle.


Rush-hour and bumper-to-bumper traffic. The guy in the next lane over flips a cigarette out of his car and into my lap. I stood on the pegs and franticly swatted the burning butt off of the bike's seat. My little performance caught the guy's attention; so much so that he was too busy laughing to notice that the car in front of him had stopped. lmao.gif



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I always enjoy your posts.


I have had a number of frightening and life threatening experiences in my life: a helicopter crash at 13,000 feet in the Sierras in January, an engine failure on a commercial jet, a year in the rice paddies and jungles of Vietnam and Cambodia and a harrowing experience in the desert in Southern California without any water. But the scariest experience was on a motorcycle and did not threaten my life at all.


Very soon after I started riding, I came up behind a car that was stopped in the middle of the street for no apparent reason. Thinking to myself, "what is this idiot doing", I pulled around him and passed him at a moderate rate on his right. As I came abreast of his front bumper I discovered that he had stopped at a cross walk and a women pushing a baby carriage was crossing in front of him. I very nearly ran them down. I have never forgotten it.

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Will, of all the risks associated with riding, someone would have to be cold-blood indeed to not cringe at even the very thought of hitting a little child; no matter whose fault. Thank goodness you can not relate to us how difficult it was.

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There was this one time I stopped at the dealer to pick up a new air filter and oil filter setup. And a guy was just trading in his almost brand new GS and he only wanted $10,000 for it. I had just gotten a tax return that was almost exactly the same amount. It was close there for a few minutes, but I leaned in and pulled out and before I knew it I was out the door on my old bike. Talk about sweating!

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Yesterday. I took the bike to do some field measuring at a residential construction site. I was leaving via the 1/4 long gravel driveway with my chin-bar flipped up as I picked my way through the ruts. As I exited right onto the road and began to accelerate, I flipped down the chin on the helmet. In that split second of sightlessness I lost my "line" on the road, continuing right and headed towards the shoulder. It was heavily washed out with about an 8" drop off.


There was no avoiding going in so I held on tight. After smashing into the rut and ramming my jewels into the tank, I pulled violently left onto the road. Somehow I made the unconscious act of pulling in the clutch, which was good since I rolled the throttle and red-lined due to the panic mode I was in. If it wasn't for pulling in the throttle, I would have smashed into the woods across the road.


Luckily, no damage to the bike other than a serious bottoming out and scraped side stand. The insides on my left knee and elbow are tender and bruised, probably due to the rapid change in direction which slammed me forward and left. My left foot is throbbing and turning colors; I have a 2:30pm appointment to get that looked at. Oh, yeah: I had to discard my boxers when I got home. crazy.gif

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  • 2 weeks later...

In 1971, in Queens, NYC, I was riding my CB750 in the middle lane of the Van Wyck Expressway. A car came down an entrance ramp and came right across the right lane into my lane. At the same time, a car passing me on the left moved into the lane in front of me. They broad-sided each other right in front of me, bounced off to the sides, and after I accellerated through the gap, trying to avoid the flying debris, the one on the left bounced off the guard rail and came back across both lanes hitting the one on the right again behind me. I pulled over and checked my shorts. It took me about 10 minutes to compose myself enough to continue the ride. No one was hurt.

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I pulled into my driveway and found Marty Hill's bike parked there................................ lmao.giflmao.gif





Wow...I never thought of that.....I better go lay down. grin.gifdopeslap.giflmao.giflmao.gif



Image how Killer feels living in Torrey and not knowing who's gonna show up in his driveway next.


For example; BeneciaRT_GT, 1Bmwfan, and I could show up and he ain't gonna sleep for days....nor will he be sober until we leave.


He must go to bed every night trying to make it look like no ones home.




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Not necessary the scariest, although there have been some nightmare scenerios in 38 years of riding, but last Summer

I followed an old pickup truck for probably 4 or 5 miles coming into the town of Orangeville, Ontario doing 70mph at a safe distance.

A we approached an intersection we had to stop for a red light, and as we came to a complete stop ..... his complete rear bumper assembly came off and fell to the ground.

Another quick "Thank You" note to the Man upstairs

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Not necessary the scariest, although there have been some nightmare scenerios in 38 years of riding, but last Summer

I followed an old pickup truck for probably 4 or 5 miles coming into the town of Orangeville, Ontario doing 70mph at a safe distance.

A we approached an intersection we had to stop for a red light, and as we came to a complete stop ..... his complete rear bumper assembly came off and fell to the ground.

Another quick "Thank You" note to the Man upstairs


That's where my bumper went!!!! lmao.giflmao.gif


Did you pick it up for me?

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The near misses have always been more frightening than my actual accidents including a near fatal head-on (to date anyway...) crazy.gif


1) Late 70s in Phoenix. Turn out of a parking lot onto a 4 lane street. Ahead of me on the street is a garbage truck signalling for a left turn from the center lane. As I'm accelerating in the outside lane I draw even with the rear of the truck. At that moment a car turns left across my lane immediately in front of the truck. With maximum braking I just cleared between the side of the truck and the rear of the car with literally less than 1 to 2 inches on either side. The what if's really got to me on this one...


2) Leaving spring Torrey 2 years ago. Come around a corner and there is a deer in the road that I don't see until it moves. I apply heavy brakes as the deer runs off the road. Suddenly the deer turns around and charges me. Maximum braking now, but the deer is on a mission right at me. In my last great act of defiance I yell at the deer assuming I will not being able to avoid the inevitable. The deer stops. I pass by with about 6 inches clearance at my right mirror. I'm reliving this all the way until my transmission fails a couple of hundred miles down the road....

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Merging onto 495 southbound from MD route 210, just above the cluster f--k know as the Wilson Bridge. I was two up with my lovely bride and a buddy leading on his bike. It was this combination of several factors:


1) Some A-hole on a VTX 1800 that wanted to "demonstrate" the VTX prowess from 4 cars back, all the way around us from the entrance lane with no merge.

2) A tremendous amount of traffic

3) The road conditions of "that side" of the beltway and particularly the couple miles leading up to the bridge

4) My buddy's "cup holder" where he wedged a full bottle of gatorade into his seat rail (Corbin saddle for a Victory Cruiser)


It was one of those "slow motion" realities where I almost thought I was using some Uri Gheller mind power to coreograph it all. My pipes are loud, my buddy's are louder and he's got the 100" kit, and the VTX was straight piped.


The VTX roars out around us at light speed across 3 lanes of traffic startling me and every other vehicle, brake lights slam on, Kerry (my buddy) hears the VTX and thinks it's me trying to get him and he instinctively hits the throttle while nailing a massive pothole and I watch this spinning gatorade bottle land and I see it's line - it's coming for my front wheel. The VTX cuts Kerry off coming back across 3 lanes of traffic on to the exit ramp and disappears. I'm still watching Kerry nearly wreck, a gatorade bottle trying to kill me, being mindful of the pothole and not wanting to die, be run over, etc. and I'm thinking "what is Scottie doing behind me - she must be freaking out or did she fall off because I don't feel her holding on." I'm rolling off the throttle, forcing my right hand NOT to hit the brake because that will make the bottle (still coming at my front wheel) an iceskate and watching the car behind me about to rear end me because they're looking at their mirror trying to change lanes...


It was a ton of moving parts, multiple stimuli (vision, hearing, the bike...) and all about 6 seconds. We pull over and Scottie had no idea! She had her iPod on, her eyes closed and was singing to herself the entire time completely unaware that we all almost died. Sometimes you can't create space because you're the only one paying attention! At those times I pray, let my lower brain take over and hang on.


I hate driving the Wilson bridge in my SUV much less on my bike.

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Picture a GF, cute as can be with a bit of a temper.


Several of her friends have pointed out to her that I have been seen in the company of a much younger, extremely cute blonde for a couple of days, while she has been out of town.


My niece and I arrive at GF's house both of us excited about seeing the GF. My niece had never met a GF before and I hadn't seen her for a week. Life was good from my point of view.


GF pretty much went off like a Rocket as I had the nerve to flaunt the new GF in front of her. Near death experience ensued. Niece laughing hysterically inside a full face helmet made me rethink some of the value we place on ATGATT. We all lived but GF never quite forgave me. Niece still tells the story, which is getting better as the years pass.


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I once got caught in a freak thundersnow storm going home, major pucker factor but my scariest moment was the second week I had my RT...


Commuting to work in the blessed I-90 two lane HOV lane into Seattle (may the good Lord not let them convert its glorious concrete into light rail!) traffic was seriously gagged up where I-90 meets I-5 and was backed up way down the HOV lane through the tunnel and part way down the bridge over Lake Washington. The right lane which merges into I-90 proper was moving at a stop and go pace, the less popular left lane which dumps out on 5th Ave is nearly empty. I'm zipping along in the left lane using my since abandoned 'strategy' of riding on the right side of the lane to put my headlights in the mirrors of the slow moving cars in the right lane. I'm going approximately 40-50mph when a guy in the right lane decides he's sick of waiting and decides to cut over in to the left lane when I'm about 1.5 to 2 car lengths away.


I get on the brakes hard, the ABS kicks in but I'm not slowing fast enough, I'm still going to hit the guy, so I get off the brakes, swerve to the left onto the white line and get back on the brakes hard again. By the time the guy realizes I'm there and I feel like I'm fully under control again and not going to die I'm riding alongside the guys front left tire. I gassed it and got in front of the guy. The dude who cut over in front of me used the left lane to run to the front of the line and then cut back over to the right. I'm glad he didn't follow me down to the long light at 5th because I might have done or said some things I might have regretted.


I feel pretty strongly about the RT since then. I figure if I was riding my old cruiser I probably would have gone down into the back end of that guy's car. Oh and I don't ride on the right side when passing slower traffic now, these days I ride on the left, as far over as I can get and I try to limit my speed to not much more than 20mph faster than the slower traffic, it pisses off people behind me but hey at least we're still moving.

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I had a roommate who had just bought a new to him GSXR-750. A very nice ride in great shape. He went out and purchased a set of brand new race leathers to match. He had an old helmet and didn't have the money to go out and buy an up to date and not used for a door step new one so I insisted he take my spare helmet. THANK GOD he did.


By this time, I had already started racing at the track, having seen too many wrecks on Angeles Crest Highway.


I still frequented this motorcycling mecca almost every weekend, time permitting. Well, as it would happen, my roommate wanted to come along as well.


He and I talked about riding your own ride, etc. I told him that I would ride with him at his pace for a while but if I took off, he was not to follow. If I saw him do this, I told him I would back right off and let him go by.


The ride went perfectly all the way to Newcomb's Ranch for breakfast. Needless to say, he was ecstatic and was having the time of his life.


After breakfast we cruised the eye candy in trhe parking lot and he then approached me about continuing up the road a ways instead of going back down the way we came. What the heck! I then alerted him to the nice little left handed curve not too far ahead that has a decreasing radius to it. I told him to follow me until then and that I was only cruising as I had had my fill for the day.


Well, off we go and not two corners into it he blazes past me and dives into the next corner. I let him go but step it up a bit just enough to keep him in my sight. Figure out where this is going yet?


Sure enough, here comes that decreasing radius turn. I knew it before he ever entered the corner that he was not going to make it.


He enters the turn, realizes his error, you see him bobble with uncertainty, he freezes, then brake light, then black tire skid mark, then low side, and he is down.


Not done yet!!!


The bike shoots off the cliff just to the right of this older Nissan 240Z. My roommate, he is now rolling on the ground bleeding off speed.


Suddenly, he rolls right under the back end of the 240Z, I see the back end of the car lift up and then I am by the scene while bleeding off my speed.


I ride up the next corner, turn around and come back to find him pinned underneath the 240Z. I park, take my helmet off and run over to him.


By this time the owners of the 240Z are there as well. There first comment was how the didn't hear the accident but SAW it as the GSXR FLEW over their heads!!!!!!!!!! They were down the cliff edge a bit sitting on a ledge enjoying the view and taking some photos.


My buddy is wedged under the car pretty good but he is breathing. Anther bike comes by and I send him to call for a helicopter, etc. I put the car owner at my roommates head and tell him to hold it still.


At that moment my roommate starts to thrash about a bit and essentially subconciously un sticks himself from under the car! You could visibly see the car lower back down as he rolled out from under the rear.


Now he suddenly takes a very deep breath, let;s it go, and falls completely silent! 1 second, 10 econds, 30 seconds.


Oh sh&%^ I think!! He is dying right here in front of me! At the top of my lungs I yell at him and tell him, "Don't you dare think of dying. Don't you f%*&%^*ing dare!!!"


He suddenly takes a gasping breath and begins to breathe again. He is completely unconcious and remained so. The car owner is freaking and wants to take the helmet off desperately! Again, top of my lungs, I tell him if he so much as touchs the helmet strap I'll kill him!!! Just hold his helmet still and don't move!


Helicopter comes in and lands. We package my roommate up with helmet still in place!!!!!!!!!!!!! Side note: If they are breathing and the airway is not compromised, LEAVE THE DAMN HELMET ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


End of the story: My roommate remained in a coma for 4 days. He did not have so much as a scratch on him. Not a bruise, a bump, or a skinned knee. NOTHING!


Xrays revealed a hairline fracture to one of his cervical vertebrae. CT scan showed a bleed to the brain, albeit, a minor one.


My roommate recovered from this accident with absolutely no side effects. He remained on anti-seizure meds for about 6 months post accident as a precaution.


Doctors stated that his injuries were from the rapid deceleration when he hit the car. Fracture from the rotation as he was rolling along the ground like a log and suddenly stopped. Brain bleed from the same rolling and sudden stop. Brain kept moving inside head!


Cause of the incident: Obvious. Inexperience, the red mist, disconnect between right wrist and head.


Best thing I had after the accident? Two things. 1) His voice saying hello when he came out of the coma. 2) His apology for scratching my helmet! (There was a lot of un spoken understanding in this comment!!) My reply? Keep it. You earned it. Oh, and it's no charge.


Still gives me shivers!

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I was coming down a very steep, narrow and winding one lane mountain road near Jasper, GA on my DR650, riding with my pal in the lead on his DRZ400. This "road" was all pea gravel and slippery as all get out. It had not rained in weeks, so my pal was kicking up a huge dust cloud along with gravel, and I simply could not see a thing if I stayed directly behind him. So, I was riding at his 7 o'clock position, where I could theoretically tuck in behind him if necessary. Problem was, this put me slightly over the

"centerline" - of course, there was no actual centerline nor any other markings on this gravel road.


I'd never been on this road before, so I was staying close to my friend, who knew where he was going. I noticed the road surface was quite narrow, with some really steep dropoffs to my right, and the mountain was to my left. We had ridden many roads like this one before, and had rarely ever seen another vehicle on any of them - they are not exactly deserted, but normally, we would be the only vehicles on them.


We were descending at a rapid speed and my tires both were very near the end of their lifespan, so my traction in the pea gravel was not great. If you have ever tried to rapidly change directions in this type of "road" surface, you can't do it with worn out Trailwings.


As we came flying through a fairly tight right hander, a car was climbing the mountain, heading straight at us. My pal had no problem getting around her, but I was heading straight for her left headlight. She stopped (which is no easy feat on pea gravel even in a car) and through a combination of skill and luck, I braked, put the rear tire into a slide, and slid the bike (upright, of course) past her, I think I missed her outside mirror by one inch. I just kept thinking, slide the bike around her, because this is going to hurt if you hit her!


When we got to the bottom of the mountain, I told my pal to slow his butt down, which he did for the rest of the ride.

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Taking GF to party in Central London on the 400-4 in 84. She's navigating with a small-scale map, using the time-honoured spiral system where you overshoot the junction a little less each time as you get a better idea of how many roads are not included on the map and others are there but not named. No intercom in those days so we'd stop at the occasional streetlamp and shout at each other where we thought we were and where we should have turned off back there and why cant we pay a bit more attention to driving/mapreading. All the time near the party but getting later and later for it. Eventually arrive at the right junction but in the wrong lane, so need to be ready to be first away when the light changes and cut across the bows of the three lanes to my left. Revs up, light changes, clutch dumped, bike surges and we clear the traffic before it starts moving. Except I missed the 'No Left Turn' sign and straighten up to a sea of white headlamps coming at me like that starfield simulation screensaver. Horns blaring and helpful advice from myriad taxi drivers as I swerve between them somehow and so so pleased I have not killed GF or damaged the bike. We got to the party, I was so pumped with adrenaline I could hardly talk and of course couldn't have a drink to help relax.

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Crossing the Rockies on I-70 in mid May in a snow storm. tongue.gif

That's always fun! My 2 scary moments were trying to make the exit while decelerating from 175mph during evasive tactics and that 80mph mountain turn with sand on the road. I made the first but lost the second and dropped 10ft into the forest besides the road.

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