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A post in the repair section got me thinking - How many dumb mistakes have I made while on or around a motorcycle? Countless, but here's what come immediately to mind:

Dropped a Goldwing a few years ago when I did a hasty and careless u-turn.

Hooked up an electronic ignition backwards and let the magic smoke out.

Anyone else?
 

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When I first got my GS850G I tried to show off to my mum that I'm a skilled rider by doing a spirited takeoff on a green light.

Well...my tyres had more than enough traction for the damp road, but they certainly didn't for the slippery manhole cover I rolled over. The rear tried swapping ends with the front and when they got back onto pavement that started a horrifying tank slapper that was so violent it threw my feet off the pegs. I was certain I was about to be buried under my baby, but I let off the throttle, the bike straightened up, and all was well. Thankfully my mum wasn't watching because she probably would have killed me for that.
 

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Oh, boy! How much time you got? :biggrin:

This past summer, I got some new tires scrubbed in and was very excited to hit some really nice back roads at a spirited pace. I wanted to double check tire pressure first, so I pulled into one of the few places left that offers free air. I was impatient to get going so I hopped off the bike and realized right away I had made a critical, not to mention embarrassing, error. Before my right foot hit the ground, I felt the bike push into me. Now, my bike weighs just around 370 lbs or so and I would not normally have any problem lifting it up. But being off balance, I was only able to push against it enough to have what felt like the slowest tip-over ever. The parking lot was crowded and right by a busy intersection, so I was sure that about 100 people watched my "I've fallen and I can't get up!" moment. I was able to get the bike back up in short order and got air in the tires AFTER making sure I'd put the kickstand down... :rolleyes:

More recently, I just tried to do the clean air mod after putting in new plugs and air filter. Bike would start up and run fine for about 10 seconds before the revs would kick up and the FI light would come on. Of course, no one had ever had this issue and I was going nuts trying to figure out what was going. Well, I found out that it helps if you don't leave the hose that connects to the MAP sensor off. It had fallen down inside the frame and I had completely overlooked reattaching it. Took about two days for the overwhelming exhaust smell to clear the garage!
 

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Biker
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Did not do this but saw a guy on a bike do it Fryday evening, he passed me by going over a
double yellow and cut into traffic 4 cars ahead, then going down a steep grade due to r.r.
overpass, once again goes over double yellow and is goosing it up other side of steep grade
in west direction in Eastbound lane. Westbound lane crowded with cars and if a lot of cars
were heading east, well he'd be screwed without the pleasure of enjoying it. There was NO
way, with the steepness of that hill under the r.r. bridge would/could he see traffic coming.

To be frank, I always ask God to make sure I have a helmet full of smarts b4 I get on a bike.

Seems like just another way to flirt with the grim reaper.
 

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I've posted several times here about my embarrassing moments. Several times that sidestand has had me looking around to see how many saw.

 

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All you have to do is go sit in Deals Gap parking lot on a busy day and you will see more than you want. Hmmmm….there's "the guy" who can't stand up his BMW 1600 off the side stand and needs help....the Lady whom is on Heritage Soft tail and can't seem to negotiate the off camber small hill when leaving parking lot and pulls out right the #[email protected]! in front of a pick-up truck then crosses road almost hitting sign and finally gets it straight, really your gonna die soon mama. Hmmm the old guy, wife and granddaughter on a brand new bike w/sidecar same off camber small hill ….…...sidecar rises up granddaughters on the pavement, soon after wife then oh pa rides it through ditch up the hill bike falls back down on him, few broken bones...……good times at the gap. They can't even get out the parking lot let alone ride the 318 corners!
 

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I had a Kawasaki 175cc Enduro, highly modified for short track and TT, that I had raced successfully on local tracks in Southern California and I had decided to do some new rings, porting mods and enlarging the timing of the 'rotary valve' intake system before the next track time:smile_big:

I had just finished the mods and I started it an rode it up and down my neighborhood street a few times to seat the rings. I was really used to the 'powerband,' hitting at a certain point, mid-range, with a very strong surge at top end and I wasn't disappointed as the front wheel easily came up in the first 3 gears and then when the 'new' powerband hit, it hit hard and very abruptly and threw me right off the back of the bike and my helmetless body rolled and bounced down the street:surprise: I was not skinned up nor hurt in any way--weird but 'thank you Jesus.':angel:

However, as I slid off the bike I watched it stay upright, acting like a phantom rider was guiding it for a hundred feet down the street and it center punched a brand new 1972 C1500 Chevy pickup, right in the front bumper:sad:

I had to replace the bumper at my expense and my front forks on my track bike were bent back so far that it was a wonder that they hadn't just sheared off:plain:

Live and learn:wink2:

Sam:grin:
 

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Darn Porky, that sounded like fun. You are so lucky you were not hurt. Apparently the big guy in the sky had other plans. For most that might have been the end of their riding days.
 

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Dumb Mistakes?

Drinking whisky then going out to do wheel-stands on my Kawasaki H2 750 triple.
Looped it at about 90 MPH. Had a little talk with God while doing earth, sky, earth, sky, earth, sky...
Learned the value of riding sober. Also the value of leathers. (My tee shirt and jeans were no help at all).
But I was a crazy kid back then, so there is that.

In the early days of roadracing, back when I was just starting out and only a motorcycle hobbyist at the time...
The rear brake shoes on my RD350 racer had plenty of lining and plenty of corrosion on the aluminum too.
It never occurred to me that a shoe could break due to corrosion. One did, in the middle of a corner. Somehow I pulled it off without crashing.
But I was a crazy young man back then, so there is that.

Going up a STEEP grade in the Colorado mountains, at about 10,000 feet, I decided to enjoy the view at a pull off.
Keep in mind. I'm a flat-lander.
Turning left I got a little off-balance and needed to put my left foot down, so I did. Problem was my foot was about two feet from the pavement due to the grade. Down I went, no way to catch it.
The bike and all of its soft luggage was all but upside down. Other tourists had to help me pick it up.
(I was very impressed by the concern everyone had for my well being).
But I'm a crazy old fart, so there is that.

There's more but.... :eek:
 

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I have one big mistake, i had to pay a bit for a broken mirror and xrays. That is all your getting from me! Lol
I will say i have learned from it and it will never happen again
 

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In an attempt to see which cylinder was misfiring (4 cylinder Yamaha) I reached over and grabbed the pipes with my bare hand. The ensuing blister was only slightly smaller than the bike.
 

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It's between two, but I'll go with attempting to make a tight ~310 degree turn on a steep downhill. My normal route would have been the 50 degree turn coming the other way but the road was closed so I came at it from the opposite direction. Laid the bike down (550 lbs.) then struggled to push it up because of the steep grade. Meanwhile traffic backed up and watched the 5 minute humiliation show while the stupid motorcyclist tried to get his bike up. They've since put in a "no turn" sign coming from the 310 degree direction. Guess that's one way to enact change.
 

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Stupid Things

Laid my Triumph 1200 Explorer down at a sloping stop sign intersection on it's right side. Lifted the bike up by myself, but need to get it on the kick stand so I could get on it. Tough to manage the balance from the front while holding onto the handle bars trying to make it to the left side. Driver stop and gave me a hand so I could get it on the kick stand. He advised he had been there before too.
 

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Visionary
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I posted this story once before if it sounds familiar, It's a classic OOPS I did everything wrong and dropped my bike story :)

I was making an unplanned, very slow, tight U-turn in a gas station. I was on a week long trip, pulled in for gas and was headed towards a pump when I noticed it had an out of service sign on it. I quickly saw another island was free and decided that a quick U-turn would get me there, so I got that started, but it was tight, and I realized 1/2 way through that I was going to get too close to the curb in front of the building, and this is where I screwed up.

I could have tightening up the turn, (I could have easily, if I had just looked where I wanted to go and not at the curb!), or stopped smoothly with the rear brake after straightening the bike upright, then backed up (had plenty of room), but instead I got slightly flustered, looked at the curb, and while still turning used the front brake and stopped while leaned over slightly.
Even with these bad moves on my part I still almost saved it, my bike is heavy but I got my feet down and I had the weight under control, but what I never noticed was a gravel filled pothole, my foot was in it, and just when I thought I had everything under control the gravel slid under my boot and over we went!

My bike has tip over protection, nothing was hurt except for some serious bruising to my ego (my wife watched the whole thing from her bike parked at the next island), and I even refused help and picked up the beast myself, but I was rattled for the next 2 gas stops that day!

Lessons (re)learned..look where you want to go, not where you don't. Don't use the front brake when moving slowly. Plan ahead, last minute plan changes are not always the best ones, I should have stopped at the dead pump then planned my next move. Look around, watch for hazards like that gravel patch. Don't stop when a bike is leaned over. Remember that the bike is a lot heavier than you, it's weightless when balanced, and 100% impossible to stop once it's past the tipping point.

Be careful out there!
 

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I just remembered another dumb move on my part, about 3 years ago I had just finished putting my stepdaughters bike (800 Marauder) together (she got it as a wreck), and I took it around the block for a spin to see if it was working.
I had been riding a VStar650, similar weight bike but I didn't fully appreciate the difference in the engines, the VSTAR is very docile, the Marauder had a lot more power and torque and it came on much quicker.
So here I am planning on riding it literally 4 blocks, t shirt, sneakers and without a helmet (I never ride without gear), at 20 mph when I see her pull up in her car. She looked so happy to see her bike on the road, so I stopped down the block, waved, then revved it up and took off quick to show her well it ran..she got a show alright...ok, maybe I kind of dumped the clutch. I think the clutch was grabby from sitting for 5 years, that's my story and I'm sticking to it..whatever, next thing I know the thing takes off like a rocket, the darn front wheel is off the ground and I'm going a whole lot faster than 20 mph trying to figure out WTF I should do next.. mind you the last wheelie I did was about 1980 on a dirt bike and I think I probably crashed doing it :)
I got it under control, went around the block again and then putt putted back to the garage and handed her the keys to her bike, told her, see it runs GREAT, your mother can go teach you how to ride it now. :)
 
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