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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
TL;DR: Lost focus and low sided at ~45mph. I am okay;few scrapes. Bike is okay and rode her home; small tank dent and misaligned handlebar. Brand new windscreen destroyed but for the better. Made me realize I like highway riding without one.

First and foremost, I am 100% okay. Just a few scrapes on my hand, elbow, and hip. My bike is okay too with the exception of a lot of dust, a slightly dented tank, misaligned handlebar, and my brand new windscreen was in pieces.

So here is how it happened. I was cruising on the 154 through the Los Padres National Forest on my way to Solvang, CA. I was taking a very slight right sweeping turn and when I should've straightened out of my turn to start the slight sweeping left, I lost focus. I was enjoying the view of the mountains/canyon to my left and in doing so, I didn't lean enough to the left to negotiate what should of been an easy turn even for a beginner. My photographer mindset overtook my riding/road focus. I felt really comfortable on the easy section and made the mistake of letting my focus wander to looking at the view and thinking about how nice of a shot it would be.

So when I realized I ****ed up, I had dropped onto the gravel going about 45mph, started braking so I wouldn't fly down into the ditch and trees. That is when I laid her down to the left and the brush stopped the bike from going down the ditch. Don't know how far down the bottom was (maybe 20 feet) but the brush stopped the bike right away. All I remember after laying down was contacting the ground, tucking my arms in, and rolling a few times. I was able to get up right away and after a quick self assessment, I realized I was okay and only had some minor scrapes.

A driver behind me saw me go down and pulled over to help me pull my bike out. To my surprise, the only damage to the bike was a slight dent in the tank, a slightly misaligned handlebar, and a sticker turn signal control (sticks when turning on right signal).

After collecting myself, I checked all the controls on the bike (clutch, brakes, shifter, signals) and everything worked fine. So I turned her around and road about 40 miles home. On the ride home, everything on the bike felt normal. No weird vibrations or noises.

Lessons learned:
1. No matter how nice the view is or how straight the road is, stay 100% focused on riding
2. Wear protective gear.
3. I prefer riding on the highway with no windscreen.

As I sit at home typing this and drinking an ice cold beer, I'm thankful this crash very very minor. I replayed everything in my head and know exactly what I did wrong. Weird thing was I was shaken up one bit. Heart wasn't racing, mind was clear, and wasn't nervous one bit to get back on and ride home.

Here's what I was wearing and it's current condition:
Bilt Techno 2.0 helmet-Not one scratch. Head never hit the ground.
Bilt Techno jacket- Abrasions on the right sleeve, right shoulder blade, and middle back.
Bilt Leather gloves- Abrasion through the left palm.
Pants- American Eagle jeans...no tears whatsoever...wicked surprised but then again, I didn't slide on my lower side.
Shoes- Steve Madden leather high top dress boots. Not motorcycle specific shoes but the leather side it's job.

Pictures for your viewing pleasure.
 

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MOD / Rider / Mechanic
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Glad your good, those lessons alway stick the best though.
 
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A lesson hard-won, without a trip to the hospital.
Make sure you check the forks, because misaligned bars could be a sign of a slight twist, often easily corrected.
 

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I'm glad you came out okay!

It's a shame on a brand new bike but those things can be fixed.

Believe me, you aren't the first one to 'get into the scenery' and get into trouble.

Take care and heal.

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good to see you’re okay. I have to work hard to stay focused whenever I ride a new road. Always too much to see. Protective gear did its job. Kept a minor accident from becoming a major.
Thanks! Yeah. This was the first time riding this road on a bike. I drove it once a long time again in my cage. The photographer in me was too focused/concerned with the view. Gear definitely did it's job. I'll definitely be getting even better gear now.

Glad your good, those lessons alway stick the best though.
This is very true.

A lesson hard-won, without a trip to the hospital.
Make sure you check the forks, because misaligned bars could be a sign of a slight twist, often easily corrected.
Thanks for the advice! I'll be checking it out in a few weeks. Going out of town tomorrow so when I get back I'll wash her up and fully inspect/fix her. I'm just gonna stay away from her for the rest of the day today lol
 

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Glad you are okay! Gear did its job and good on you for being properly protected. Thank you for sharing this experience. Your lessons learned might prevent another rider from experiencing something like this or worse!
 

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1. No matter how nice the view is or how straight the road is, stay 100% focused on riding
-For now maybe. Eventually you'll learn to be able to ride and do some things almost automatically, but still be able to enjoy the scenery and the ride. It takes miles and experience to learn how to balance your attention in the right amount, and to know when to switch your focus, but you'll get there if you persevere.

2. Wear protective gear.
-Once you get more comfortable riding, try this, just for fun: Take a short ride down a highway with the bare minimum of gear you can legally get away with. You might be amazed just how much better you immediately get at riding. :)

3. I prefer riding on the highway with no windscreen.
-Me too! (Most of the time.) For day rides I love the feel of no windscreen. For longer rides I have gotten to appreciate a windscreen though. They really help when riding through heavy rain, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
-For now maybe. Eventually you'll learn to be able to ride and do some things almost automatically, but still be able to enjoy the scenery and the ride. It takes miles and experience to learn how to balance your attention in the right amount, and to know when to switch your focus, but you'll get there if you persevere.



-Once you get more comfortable riding, try this, just for fun: Take a short ride down a highway with the bare minimum of gear you can legally get away with. You might be amazed just how much better you immediately get at riding. :)



-Me too! (Most of the time.) For day rides I love the feel of no windscreen. For longer rides I have gotten to appreciate a windscreen though. They really help when riding through heavy rain, too.
1- Absolutely agree. I'll be back in the saddle in no time!
2-I'll stick to all the just in case lol
3-It doesn't rain where I am :)
 

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Well certainly glad you are okay and injuries relative minor. Drifting is what I call it. Both in mind and scooter. You "think" you know where you are then realize you aren't where you thought or should be. I've ridden in the Los Padres National Forest and it is very nice. Seen much better and maybe it's good this happened now rather than 400 miles away where the canyon bottom is several hundred feet down and no railing to keep from going off the road. Eye is correct, you'll learn to take several quick looks instead of one long look. The scooter must be your primary focus. Make U-turns if you want to see more. Strangely, I'll make a U-turn on a bike in a heart beat but I almost refuse to make one in a car. U-turns are just so easy on a bike that if you aren't doing it you are missing a lot. I've been known to ride 8 hours and only get 50 miles from where I started when touring across this great land. The bike can be fixed but I'm rather surprised a turn signal didn't get broken. That's usually one of the first sacrifices in a minor crash like this. I do think you'll change your mind about a true windshield if you ever get to riding in the 500 to 3000 mile range. They really help with fatigue and as Eye says, rain, as well as sleet and hail.
 

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Glad you are okay, you learned a hard earned lesson. One that most of us have learned at one time or another.
 

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Lessons learned:
1. No matter how nice the view is or how straight the road is, stay 100% focused on riding
2. Wear protective gear.
3. I prefer riding on the highway with no windscreen.

As I sit at home typing this and drinking an ice cold beer, I'm thankful this crash very very minor. I replayed everything in my head and know exactly what I did wrong.
Thanks for the detailed write-up and pics! I can definitely relate to losing focus (oh, look at how the wind rustles the beautiful foliage just so. Pretty! :smile_big:) on straights but also in the turns. I'm usually good at recognizing my wandering thoughts and getting back on track quickly. Glad you (and the bike) came out relatively unscathed and with a cool biker story to tell!
 

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you need some better gloves buddy. These are the ones I use both from Knox. One pair for cruiser and one for sportbike. $50 for cruiser ones. Notice the slider. It would have saved your hand right where you got road rash. I always have sliders. Gauntlet ones are tested and one of the most protective gloves i have seen. $300 but worth it. crazy looking gloves but even protection against sharp objects. glad youre ok. Ive been down a couple times.
 

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