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Firepole

Crash and Burn

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Firepole

First Off...I'm OK

 

Trip Report.

Friday April 27th.

I ride my 04' R1150-RTP from the Philly area towards Columbia SC where I will meet about 100 "close" friends for a little Saturday ride in the country. It's mostly sunny and cool most of the way down till I hit North Carolina. There had been a freakish snowstorm dumping anywhere from 12-16 inches across most of the state, but luckily it was only about 8 inches where I had to go. The roads were great, maybe a little sandy, when suddenly there was and ice patch about 2 inches thick covering most of the road. Luckily I hit one of these and remained upright, but gave quite a distance between myself and others while looking for the next patch. For the next35 miles, it was stop and go, road and ice, and more than 75 cars in the ditches everywhere. Most were from the night before, but some were recent sliders. Eventually the rainy sleet was present and most folks actually slowed down, enough to make me feel better at least. the sleet turned to rain, the temps rose, and by the time I hit SC, it was almost a nice rainy ride. I checked into the hotel where everyone was staying, chatted with a few friends, and enjoyed pizza with everyone. After some last minute talks about riding the next day, I was off to bed.

 

Saturday, April 28th, 6:00 am.

I walk my bike into a starting position, which happened to be first out bike. I wolfed some breakfast and was ready to ride by 6:30.

We began leaving at 7 and headed out into the 4 points of the compass. As it turned out, there were 2 of my friends going almost the same way as I, so we cut across the state as the sun rose to greet us. Near Charleston I cut off to go see a National Park and everyone else...who knows. Over the next 5 hours I would run into different people at points of interest we were all looking to visit. I was making good time, seeing a lot of sites, and having a ball. Around 4:30, I called ahead to a National Park, a Swamp if I recall correctly, and they said they would stay open long enough to say hi and let me get one of their NP Stamps for my collectors book. Having finished this, I was headed back to Columbia to see my friends.

11 miles south of Columbia SC. and I'm heading North on a 2 lane highway. There is a T intersection ahead with a road off to my right. I see a car turn..now a truck is there with it's turn signal on. Most of us hear that voice in our head that says "turn..turn" and wait for them to turn. OK, Looks like their gonna wait for me then, no problem. I pass the point where I know they should have turned, and for some reason, I have backed off the throttle anyway and covered the brake. When I see the front of the pickup lift up, indicating there is power being applied....I grab as much ABS brake as I can and lean left...slow motion...I see the front of the cab pass before me...will I T-bone them....holding tighter and crossing over the center line now..past the rear wheel....I may miss it.....

 

In South Carolina, there is no helmet law..in fact, I just passed a rider heading south that was wearing T-shirt and shorts...no helmet. It was about 70 degrees out, sunny, and summer was calling me to embrace her with all my senses. Common sense won out.

 

I was wearing Oxtar boots with shin and ankle padding. Joe Rocket pants with hip padding. Joe Rocket jacket with shoulder, elbow, and back padding. Some summer padded leather racing type gloves. Full face flip front helmet with the visor cracked about 1/8" so I could smell summer..

 

BAM....I must have clipped the bumper with my crash bars (How appropriate) ..pushing the bars into the tank and rupturing it. I feel and smell gas everywhere. Some even flew up the visor hitting my cheek and making my eye sting a little. When I felt the gas bath..I wanted nothing to do with an ignition source like my bike...so I let it go. I went head first sliding about 40 feet and coming to rest on the center line...with my bike about 2 feet off the edge of the road. Lie calm..still...eveything feels allright....I lift my head and hear a "whoosh". Being trained as a firefighter...I know this is the sound of ignition...I look over and see flames rising from the RT. I move my right leg and feel there is something wrong...so I won't be able to stand. Smelling gas all over me, I hear Curly from the Three Stooges yelling "Woob-woob-Woobwoob" as I scoot my ass across the lane and onto the far shoulder. I'm safe from ignition unless something blows over and hits me. Two witnesss help me to my feet and I immediately start taking pictures.(See attachment) The first one is about a minute after impact...and I have about 6 more including after the fire is out.

The driver of the truck...or course took off, but the witnesses have some good info for the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

 

A quick ride to the emergency room..X-rays...broken knee. OK, th ekneecap is OK, but behind that is a ball and socket...the socket part is cracked almost in half.

My friends pick me up at the hostpital, get my pain meds filled for me, pack my gear in a plastic tub, give me a Big Mac meal and arrange for my ride home the next day.

 

Sunday, April 29th, 7:00 am.

I hopping in the back of a Jeep Cherokee with my buddy Todd Ryan at the wheel. He is going to Mass. and almost right by my home, so he is the designated driver. My job is to pop pills...which I do.

Next thing you know...I'm home and being poured into bed.

 

10 days later...here I am telling my "short" story. I see the Doc again Fiday and he'll make final decision about surgery...but he says as long as I stay off it, I'll heal rather well. I'm sitting in a wheelchair at the computer...I only get downstairs once a day if I'm lucky..the last 2 days I stayed upstairs. I'll be off another week, then maybe back working in this wheelchair.

 

The ruptured tank is the most disturbing thing. I was travelling about 30mph. when I hit...is this something that is common? Is it due to the crash bars? I know I'll be getting another bMw...but another RTP? or an RT....maybe a GS with the steel tank? Too soon to tell...but I really did love the RTP...aka Charcoal Briquette

 

So there you have it.....I can't wait to get out and ride again. (I do have my Harley Ultra fresh from servicing waiting for me to ride....)

311608-Fireweb1.jpg.8455384fee47c8cf77ae59d9092dd9d9.jpg

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leikam

Glad you're mostly OK and were able to get away from the bike before it burst into flame. Nice picture by the way.

 

I don't see how the front crash bar would have punctured the tank. Those bars go up along the front of the tank, but they attach below it. Clearly something gave way, but I don't know what it could have been.

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questrider
Two witnesss help me to my feet and I immediately start taking pictures.(See attachment)
Whoa!! That picture is both incredible and surreal. It almost looks like it's been Photoshopped, but I know from your story that it is not. Scary and bizarre. blush.gif

 

Very glad to hear you are alright (save for your knee). thumbsup.gif That's it, Cary Littell goes down and then I see an RT engulfed in flames: I'm selling my bike!! wink.gif (j/k)

 

Now instead of a Savanna 2 suit, I'm looking for one of those aluminum-foilish textile insulation suits those people who survey and explore volcanoes wear!! grin.gif Of course, if I get one of those I'll have to trade in for a titanium silver RT so I match!! smirk.gif (And have the fastest RT wink.gif)

 

Sure goes to show we all participate in a dangerous activity, no matter your experience or skill or how much caution you exercise. Stay safe out there.

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Mjames

Greg, you being a Fireman, reminded me something of the shoemaker's shoes. eek.gif Glad you're relatively OK,considering.thumbsup.gifYou didn't mention it so I assume you don't have an Aux gas tank or extra gas fittings? I'd definitely forward this picture and story to BMWNA as they might want to investigate or at least put in their database. Always thought the gas tanks were more protected. Since the situation didn't give you enough time to hit kill switch or turn off the ignition, I'm wondering if the BMW has some sort of safety feature that shuts down the engine in a crash? Not positive, but I think my Hayabusa will shut itself down if it goes over.

311608-Fireweb1.jpg

 

 

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StretchMark

Pretty scary stuff Greg. I hope they catch the guy! nono.gif

Get well soon!

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Dennis Andress

Glad to hear you are okay. What a Survival Tale! Write a description of what punctured the tank and sent it along with the picture to every BMW rep you can find.

Edited by Dennis Andress

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Joe Frickin' Friday

Wow. Incredible.

 

I took your image and brightened it up a little for clarity:

 

311638-kaboom.jpg

 

I'm glad you had the wisdom to wear protective gear. Your description mentioned Joe Rocket pants with hip padding, but said nothing about the knees. Was there knee armor?

311638-kaboom.jpg.fd90b416b5769c672434aa86d2d4a3cb.jpg

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Laura

First off I can tell you're on pain meds because you mean February 27th and not April 27th???

 

Second...........HOLY CRUD, GREG!!!! Here I am looking for you on the roads of Morris County on my way to work and this is what's going on........HOLY S*&T !!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I am sitting here stunned feeling glad you're not hurt worse and you had the calmness and good sense to get away from that torch but DAMN!

 

Keep us posted on your progress please Greg.

 

Damn!

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Mjames

Not positive, but I think my Hayabusa will shut itself down if it goes over.

 

Just checked and all Suzuki motorcycles now have TO (tip over) Sensors that shut off fuel pump and ignition when bike goes over.

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tallman

Heal quickly and ride soon.

Incredible photo. crazy.gif

I expect to see the Terminator emerge from it! eek.gif

Sobering image and much to contemplate.

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wedgeman

So sorry to hear of this.

 

I would be glad to lend assistance if something is needed in Columbia (i'm about 1.5miles from the capitol, so it's a short trip to where your accident was). Of course a hit & run is nasty--and I'd like to meet up with the morons who didn't have the balls to stick around after nearly killing you. SC drivers are among the worst, in my book. I've had someone pull out in front of me, ruining one truck, rear-end me in my wife's SUV, and TWICE run me off the road (on my RT), and that's just the past 6 weeks, all here in SC.

 

Am curious where the bike is now--did you leave it there, or have it transported home with you? Would be interested in seeing it. Perhaps I could snap some shots of it for inspection.

 

dave

Edited by wedgeman

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SageRider

WOW! One heck of report. Hope the knee quickly and completely heals.

Hope they catch the H&R driver. Tonya Harding should be the one to dispense justice!

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ian408

 

Glad to hear that you're alright. From the picture and the description,

it could have been much worse.

 

Stay off the knee and get better!

 

Ian

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Kathy R

Yikes Gregg - Great report and picture and sooooo glad you will be ok...ouch about the knee. I too hope they catch the jerk. What a coward.

 

I know it's a piece of equipment, but seeing a bike flaming like that - it's as if it's on a funeral pyre!

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Ralph

I hate to hear of a rider going down and especially because of an idiot. And a runner at that. Heal quickly, and ride safe.

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catattoo

WOW...what they all said. That is incredible, incredibly scary. I sure am glad You did not catch fire.... thumbsup.gif

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Venturello

Wow greg, WOW. GLAD YOU ARE OK, but seeing your bike burn... and that knee damaged... damn, again so glad you are fine, sucks to be stuck on a wheelchair for a while but take as much care as you can so you can be riding again soon.

 

BMWs, at least mine, have no sensor to turn off the bike on accidents. I know that first hand, don't ask me why bncry.gif (most of you know). Twice seen the bike on the ground and the engine turning away in gear...

 

I would like to see the picture of the bike afterwards but above all do you know if the cops got the person from the truck? He deserves jail, (and rape and other cruel things done to him) and full financial responsability for this but above it, for running away.

 

Regards, sorry for the bike and injury but glad you are fine. Best wishes,

 

Juan

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Laura

My pain is with the families of the 200 worthlessly killed by terrorists March 11. DAMN MURDERERS

 

We Americans feel your pain Juan. Our hearts go out to you and your countrymen.

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KTM Doug

Wow, gives me goose bumps thinking you could have been on the bike and not gotten away from it. Deciding to leave a still moving vehicle is a difficult one and there is really no time to weigh your options. You did GOOD! thumbsup.gif

 

I don't think I have ever seen a bike totally engulfed more than yours. Sure glad you got off with only the injuries you received. Hope you heal fast.

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Venturello
My pain is with the families of the 200 worthlessly killed by terrorists March 11. DAMN MURDERERS

 

We Americans feel your pain Juan. Our hearts go out to you and your countrymen.

 

Thanks Laura, you always so nice. Not my countrymen exactly Laura, I am not from here, but seeing so much gore and blood and destroyed lifes in TV, and the faces of my coworkers today... they where just people commuting to work, whatever their nationality (and yes, in part it is my country, been living here three years now).

 

Felt also damn sorry at 9-11, besides having (unhurt) friends in NY, it is the whole stupidity of it. I could go on for hours to be sure... It is still unsure if it was ETA (the local terrorist group that wants an independent vasque country while only 10% or less of the population there supports them) or Al Quaeda (spelling?). They just found a van with explosives near the bombings with some arab texts and recordings on it. And the whole thing does not follows ETA modus operandi. ETA always calls 30 mins before the bombs so as to have less people injured, fire them at off hours (in the very early morning usually) and they always claim responsability and never target the population in this way. Remember Spain was the only Euro country (besides the UK) to back up the US in Iraq and send troops there. Third country with number of men dead in the war, I think. Not saying it was Al Qaeda, but things are not clear. Spain has parlament and presidential elections THIS SUNDAY and if it is ETA is will sway the vote to one political group probably (the one in power). Everyone is waiting for ETA to speak up, and then we get this van with arab stuff on it...

 

Just seeing TV. Taking a wrecked child chair off the train, fireman besides with a little paper blanket wrapped around... something. 8 month pregnant woman dead, baby died 3 hours later. Baby with parents dead. All the injured on the streets. Etc, etc, etc. TV here is much more graphic than in the states, there is no censoring neither by state or self imposed control (like in the US) so TV is ugly right know. I went to a street rally today (manifestation), will tomorrow. The whole country is in revolt against this.

 

You know the TERROR, after 9-11, quite well. Just left Colombia running from it, and sucks to see it everywhere now.

 

My wife rides a train like that to school EVERY day BTW...

 

Back to topic, sorry to steal thread like that...

 

 

Pd. News just in. In a letter to an arab newspaper in London Al Qaeda claims responsability, says it is a part of a program called 'trains of death'. Responsibles here asking not to jump to conclusions because this newspaper has previously published such claims which after proved to be false... Anyway, guess we'll see, but again, this is very unlike ETA.

Edited by Venturello

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Laura

Okay Gregg........you need to check in with us every once in a while. Your fingers didn't get hurt so we expect you to chime in here once in a while and keep us posted.

 

What I want to know is how? How on earth did you have the calm and presence of mind, after sliding on the ground and badly injuring your knee, to take pictures? Amazing !! Inquiring minds want to know eek.gif

 

Okay.........Juan told me people helped you but I'd like it if you let us know how you're doing anyway.

 

Thanks Juan. The thread was very upsetting to read and I missed the photo op details.

Edited by Laura

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Venturello

Laura, read again. He said the people that where around helped him and then started taking the pictures!! grin.gifdopeslap.gif

 

Even so, amazing he pulled away like that, no doubt he was lucky in many ways, being able to not stay with the bike on the slide, being conscious, not hitting truck dead on, etc...

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BrianT

Scary pics. Definitely forward the leaking tank and fire info to BMWNA. They may want to look at the bike to see what gave way. Glad to hear you're on the mend and definitely repairable.

 

That bastard needs every type of book thrown at him. It's bad enough he caused the accident and fled. But imagine the scenario slightly differently. If you were not able to move yourself away from the burning bike due to your injuries and no other people were there to help you the outcome would've been very different. His fleeing would've left you to die. I'm sure he didn't wait to see if you avoided the fire or not before deciding to run.

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Firepole
Was there knee armor?

 

Yes, and I beleive that is the only cut I got...there is a 1/2" cut right about where the bottom of my knee armour sits...so I think it's from that.

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Firepole
I would be glad to lend assistance if something is needed in Columbia (i'm about 1.5miles from the capitol, so it's a short trip to where your accident was).<snip>

Am curious where the bike is now--did you leave it there, or have it transported home with you? Would be interested in seeing it. Perhaps I could snap some shots of it for inspection.

 

dave

 

Dave, thanks for the offer. The insurance company is trying to find out if the tow company, in Cola, will get rid of it for them...I can't see much being salvaged from it..appreciate the offer tho....

I have some friends in the area..so Y'all outta hook up and ride sometimes...

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Firepole
Okay Gregg........you need to check in with us every once in a while. Your fingers didn't get hurt so we expect you to chime in here once in a while and keep us posted.

 

What I want to know is how? How on earth did you have the calm and presence of mind, after sliding on the ground and badly injuring your knee, to take pictures? Amazing !! Inquiring minds want to know eek.gif

 

Laura... I only m ake it downsatairs to the computer every few days...but it's getting better...right about now I'm wishing we DID have a firepole in this place.

I guess having fire training, knowing personal safety is more important than belongings...I was just happy to be safe...then let my other instincts take over...take pictures of the pretty fire grin.gif

 

 

Geez...there are som many nice wishes from so many...I am having trouble thanking you all...but I do read them all Paperbutt...being a former Chicagoan..thank you....Mr. James...it doesn't have a tip over switch...but I recall after impact that the engine was off as I was sliding.

Funeral Pyre indeed...and from the ashes a phoneix arose...MMMmm(good drugs still)

Last Known photo attached

312285-crispy1.jpg.38e37204c9a23b73bf03174c713698a7.jpg

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AdventurePoser

Wow, Greg..

 

Jennifer and I are sure glad you are ok (well, mostly ok..)Take those pain meds, and recuperate quickly for us, will ya?

 

BTW, that picture could have been Jamie at the gas station! grin.gifgrin.gif

 

Steve

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Laura

I was just happy to be safe...then let my other instincts take over

 

We're happy you're safe also. Didn't mean to nag you to post, just concerned that's all. Heal well. It's just the very beginning of the season and there will be a lot of riding to do. You'll have plenty of time.

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ESokoloff

Gregg, glad you are mostly ok. Venturello, sorry to hear of todays event(s).

Eric

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dj_nj

The RTP is the cool Rally bike- You know it! cool.gif

This Is your once in a life time crash, and you made it clap.gif

Hope this does not set you back too much.

Will we see you at the MD 20/20?

 

Get Well

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HankB

What I want to know is how? How on earth did you have the calm and presence of mind, after sliding on the ground and badly injuring your knee, to take pictures? Amazing !! Inquiring minds want to know eek.gif

 

 

Well, first of all he's a professional fire fighter. Those are the guys running into a burning building while everyone else is running out. blush.gif His training and experience prepare him to remain calm in the face of extreme danger.

 

Second, he knew that if he didn't get the pix, his buddies back at the station would never believe such a story. grin.gif

 

Glad to hear that you were able to get away from the bike before it ignited. Hope the rest heals without any problems.

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Skip

WOW! Very spectacular, and I'm glad you're OK. Add this to the list of accidents that make me really stop and think how fortunate I've been!

 

flamehead.jpg

 

But is there a FACE in those flames? Look at the left side of the fireball... mouth and lips about on a level with the RT license plate bracket, nose slightly above. Swirl in the flames where the eye would be, and then forehead slopes back into flaming red hair.

 

Is this the face of good or evil?

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Joe Frickin' Friday
But is there a FACE in those flames? Look at the left side of the fireball... mouth and lips about on a level with the RT license plate bracket, nose slightly above. Swirl in the flames where the eye would be, and then forehead slopes back into flaming red hair.

 

Is this the face of good or evil?

 

It's the face of Sideshow Bob:

 

bob87.jpg

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