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I tried to evade impact, but.........


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First off let's just say that with all things considered, I am doing quite well.


Okay, now for the story:


My daughter Krista had a school project yesterday that delt with life in the 80's. She is in a class called American Studies where history and english (literature) is combined. The kids do these projects often. This weekend we assembled a large indoor diplay which included a 12' replica of the Berlin wall and my 1981 R100RS.


I went back to pick up the bike last night and was on my way home when a young lady approached rapidly from the right. She was on a connecting side road. I was in the right land of a four lane boulevard with a median and had just been passed on the left by a SUV. I saw that she had no intention of stopping and swerved hard to the left to avoid the un-avoidable. She not only ran the stop sign, but had intended to pull across the boulevard and cross the median as well.


I grabbed all the brake that the RS had, but let's face it, they are nothing compared to the modern era machines. I think that I skid a few feet, or she did. I heard the screach as I braced for impact.


I hit the right front fender of the car and let go of the bars to get ready for the flying lesson I was about to embark on. I flew up and over the handle bars and torn the windscreen from the RS. I think I ended up 15' or so from the impact sight as I hit the pavement and rolled a few times. I laid there for a second and just could not believe that it had happened that fast. I felt okay and then heard a car buzz by me and saw lights approaching. I was on the back hill side of a very slightly raised RR track crossing.


At the vintage rally I attended two weeks ago, I attended a seminar on accident scene management and I immediately recalled the first thing to do when approaching a scene. It was prevent further injury. In this case as well as many others, it was to get off the road surface if possible.


I got up and felt my left knee in quite a bit of pain, but I could hobble to the side of the road. The girl who hit me was out of the car and screaming/crying "I just hit a guy on a motorcycle! Oh my God". She kept repeating herself and I yelled that I was okay but had to lay down. I then looked over at the bike which was in the middle of the median and decided to go over and turn off the gas petcocks and ignition. The bike was not running at that point but gas and oil was on the road surface.


As I hobbled back to the side of the road I had a set of headlights come right up to me. It was my lovely wife Suz'anne. We had just departed company at the place where I picked up the bike and she had a funny feeling to come my way. I am glad that she was one minute behind me and did not witness the incident.


A mother and her daughter saw the entire thing and gave a statement. The girl admitted fault and gave all her info to the police.


Okay, now for me. I was put in an ambulance and taken to the ER. I ended up with a large 2" cut vertically on the knee. It was open about 1/2" and about 1/2" deep. It was very clean. I had x-rays, but nothing bad was dicovered there.


I ended up with a bunch of stitches, internal and external and will have to stay off of it for a few days, or at least not bend it. The Doc says that I will be out of work for 10 days or so.


Of course all I can think about is the work at the house that I have to do. I guess that can wait and I can lay here and think about how things could have ended up. I was number three for the day with M/C accidents at the ER. The first guy did not survive. The second guy was all torn up with broken bones and long deep cuts.


Lessons learned here are:


1. It can happen to anyone. After reading the article about Larry Grodski (sp), I realized that we are all an incident waiting to happen.


Jeff Burns post the other day was a chilly reminder as well and I am so happy that they escaped impact.


2. Practice emergency handling and take riding classes. Riding Smart is an excellent way to spend a weekend working on those skills.


3. Wear all the gear, all the time. If I had my riding pants on, I would not be laying here typing this. I believe that my knee tore the windshield off the bike and caused the cut. Knee pads would have saved that from occuring. I did not hit my head, but I ended up with a few very small scratches on the helmet. The BMW club jacket held up very well from a 40mph impact and roll. That clothing is well worth the money. My mesh First Gear would not have held up so well.


4. No ride is "just a short ride." I don't treat any flight that way and I will no longer treat any ride regardless of distance that way again.


Okay, the bike is trashed but I have not seen it. I know the fairing is toast and the head was torn open. I will look at it today and see if it is salvageable.


I will get the police report and start the ball rolling on the claim thing.


I will keep everyone informed.


Be safe and ride defensively!!!! They are trying to kill us!

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frown.gif how to respond? first of all glad you're ok and could type this report. we all learn from others misforturnes and your message is well taken. really glad you're ok... did i already say that! BTW-what did the driver say she was thinking/not thinking?
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Joe Frickin' Friday



Glad your injuries were relatively minor.


So was she intending to run the stop sign and just didn't see you, or did she totally not see the stop sign?


You said "last night." Was this still daylight, or after dark?


I grabbed all the brake that the RS had, but let's face it, they are nothing compared to the modern era machines. I think that I skid a few feet, or she did. I heard the screach as I braced for impact.


If you got a skid happening, then you were getting all you could out of the brakes - unless that was only the rear wheel? I'm guessing this was the case; I've ridden bikes of the same vintage, and been, ah, unimpressed with the front brake's (lack of) stopping power.


Heal well. Hope you're riding again soon. thumbsup.gif

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What a harrowing tale. . . . I'm very pleased to know that you are, all things considered, OK.


I'm really angry (based on your description) of the driver's behavior. I'm normally not a litigious person. Having said that, I'd sue her, but good.

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Gosh Steve...that sounds real scary. I'm glad that you escaped with your life my friend. Get well!

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Ouch! Glad you got out of it with nothing too serious Steve.


Young girls behind the wheel with a goal in mind (especially in groups of 1 or more) scare the bejeebers outta me.


Glad you're OK, heal fast

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Wow! Like all the others needless to say I am galad and releived you are ok. Are you going to get back on the horse and ride again as soon as possible? Do you think you will be riding differently because of the violence and impact of the accident? I wonder if for those like you who have been in actual collisions eventually return to riding well and fluidly [after all not everyone will run every stop sign nor will every car driver not see you] because there must inevitably be some adjustement period when you get back on the bike or will your riding skills be forever compromised to where you brake to early or needlessly, because of what the next potential idiot might do?

Riding a motorcycle in heavy traffic is such a gamble sometimes that even when we eliminate all the variables and require skills that enable us to adjust accordingly, there is just no accounting for the sheer vulnerability of sharing the road with poor drivers who either don't know how to pay attention or are not skilled to be driving the large vehicles they pilot. BTW you must be pretty tough from the details of what you went through. Nice roll and clear thinking to boot. Tough body, sharp mind there. Glad you're still with us. clap.gifclap.gif

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Steve, Sorry to hear about your incident but glad you're alright. The bike? Don't worry about it, its' just a motorcycle, probably worth more in parts anyway.


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Sorry to hear about it, but glad it's not worse and the other driver is not trying to dodge responsibility. Some things just can't be avoided. There's always something that can be learned and it sounds like you've already touched on it.

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Maybe the driver who hit you won't go on to ever hurt anyone else again. I certainly hope so. If there is any good to come of this, this may have changed her for the better and saved another soul down the road.


So very glad to know you are going to be ok. Hope you mend like a 10 year old.

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Oh DARN !!!! Glad you survived it Steve.... ! Sounds like one of these nightmare things that happen in a flash..... you see it coming and in the last seconds know there is nothing you can do about it... frown.gif


I sure hope that woman learned something !


Heal quickly !!



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As I was reading your story, I visualized much worse injuries. Heal quickly buddy and I hope to see you soon.


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Yikes! I'm glad your injuries were minor. Heal quickly. I know that you keep yourself in good shape and I'm sure that muscle tone helped you weather that unexpected launch.

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Glad you're on the mend.

It can happen anytime, anyplace, to anyone. BTDT.

If I was riding your RS I'd be dead or seriously messed up when the idiot this morning in the jacked up truck

pulled out and passed coming head on to me.

They ignored Motolights and the high beam I flipped as I grabbed my brakes and let the ABS engage whilst preparing to bail out w/or w/out the bike into the ditch.

Slowed from 65 to almost zero and missed impact by 2-3 feet as I angled to the edge. Old style brakes would.nt have done as well IMO.

First priority, heal and get well. The house will get done one way or another.

Warm fuzzies to Su'zanne and the girls.

I'm only a couple hours away if you need sumptin'.

Let me know when you're ready to get back on the horse.

Best wishes.

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Glad you're still on this plane.


+1 on the Ridin Smart thing. BIG +1 on the "short ride/short flight" concept. My young can chukking pal proved that to me last November!

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Thanks for all the replies. I will try and answer some of the question posed here.




It was a night time collsion at aprroximately 10pm. I do not know if she saw me, I guess not. She pulled over immediately and started admitting fault. She had slowed to a 15-20mph roll as she whipped around the corner.


I went out to look at the scene and took several pictures with my camera phone. I will have Suz'anne down load them tonight and see if I can post them.


I ended up leaving the bike and flying/rolling 50' or so.


I tikk picture of the bike as well. The front fairing is scarred on both sides. Head light cover cracked, left mirror broken, turn signal covers broken, subframe for fairing bent, odometer shattered, windshield shattered, glareshield and voltmeter shattered. The tank is dented on the left side and scratched in a few places, right valve cover broken into several pieces, luggage scratched deeply and latch broken. The left side faired well.


Al in all it does not look that bad, but who is to say. I hope that I will get some consideration with the condition of the vintage machine. I hate to think about the KBB value and end up with little money to replace it.


The helmet was very lighlty scratched, but ALFA (her insurance) said they will claim it as well as the medical bills. I will know more tomorrow.

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First and foremost, I am glad to hear that you are OK and getting better.


Secondly, thanks so much for this write up of the incident. You made a comment about "no ride being just a short ride" and that you wish you were wearing your pants. I usually wear my pants (BMW Cover) but don't sometimes if it "is just a short ride". Thanks for reminding me that there is no such thing as that. Every ride is worth wearing gear for (especially around town where there are a lot of hazards).

Great stuff. Glad you are alright and glad you wrote this piece.



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I glad your OK. Don't like to hear so many of us going down. People just seem to be in such a hurry anymore and just don't take a real good anymore.

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She had slowed to a 15-20mph roll as she whipped around the corner.

I've seen that happen a thousand times, while driving with two wheels or four. These types can't even manage a Hollywood stop; they just roll right through with just a miniscule drop in speed.


As far as I'm concerned, everyone that I can see approaching on a side street is suspect. EVERYONE. They won't see me, and they will hit me if I keep on going at the same pace. So I either hit the horn button or flash the lights, then apply/get ready to apply some brake until I'm pretty sure they're going to slow down or stop.

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Blue Beemer Dude

Steve, so glad that you are (mostly) OK and fast on the road to recovery. These stories are important, I think, to remind us yet again that they really are all out to kill us tongue.gif, and two, that ATGATT really does mean something.


Best wishes,



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Man...what a tale.


So glad you are OK!!!!!!!


I too am curious what the young "lady" had to say for herself!


I had a near miss on the way to work this morning and I was SOOOO mad...usually I let it go but I was ready to throw down with this idiot. Fortunately he declined my invitation to "discuss" it further.


I'm with Tom though in this case that looks like a law suit to me. I mean there's mistakes, carelessness, etc... but this smacks of just total reckleesness on her part.


Anyway...the main point is, again, sooo glad you ok and here's wishing you and the bike well!


Take Care!!

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Get well and ride soon.


Thanks for the write-up, at your expense I'm that much more alert. Thanks tongue.gif

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First off let's just say that with all things considered, I am doing quite well.


That is great news! Heal up quick!


The girl who hit me was out of the car and screaming/crying "I just hit a guy on a motorcycle! Oh my God".


Was she, by any chance, yelling this into her cell phone? And was this a continuation of the conversation she was already having before she hit you? You probably don't have the answer, but I'd be willing to bet on it.


Thanks for the ATGATT reminder.

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I'm glad you're doing okay. It's always good when you can walk (hobble?) away from something like this. Give yourself a few days to heal up and keep a bottle of ibuprofen handy.

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Oh man Steve! That blows big time. Real glad you are o.k. Hang in there and heal up soon. frown.gif

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Glad to hear you're going to be ok Steve.


As someone whose '82 R100RS was totaled by an old woman turning left in front of me from a side street, I can relate to how you're feeling about your bike. Good luck, I hope you can fix it and ride it again.

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Les is more

This does blow! Everytime I see a post like this my heart sinks and my stomach knots up.


I'm so happy to hear that you fared so well!

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As everyone as said already...


Heal fast! Don't worry about the bike or your house - just, worry about getting better.

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Gee Steve, I don't know what to say, other than that sucks and I'm glad you're OK. Ditto what Tallman said. If you need anything, just let me know.

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Steve... Glad you're OK and sorry about the bike. Also glad that your wife and daughter didn't witness this.

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Hey Steve, I'm so sorry to hear of you accident. Thank God you're allright and if there's anything I can do to help just let me know. If you need any help with the insurance claim I'd be glad to show you a few things I'v learned over the last 43 years I've been in the insurance business. Gld Bless and rest and heal well. thumbsup.gif

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Wow, my heart sank when I read your subject line. I'm relieved the you are well enough to write and fill us in, but the whole situation sucks. Take care. Your board buddies' thoughts are with you.



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Boy, oh boy, I am happy to read that you're doing well considering what could have been. Count your lucky stars the other party has insurance at all. I hope you heal well and are able to ride again soon.

All the best wave.gif

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Couldn't hover, huh?? grin.gif


Am very, very, glad that you came out of that ok!!

Oh, and if you have kids, don't tell them unless they are right in front of you......



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