My Motorcycle Crash

I'm a new rider, only a few weeks on my first motorcycle in Thailand – a beautiful brand new Honda CBR150R and only a few weeks old, until that fateful day at least. I was riding downtown traffic in Bangkok, winding my way around early morning city traffic I was doing fantastic.

Unfortunately overconfidence combined with a lack of experience meant that I was approaching a corner that tightened into a much small street a little too fast, before I knew it I had locked the brakes, at least I think I did, traveled far too wide, over a manhole cover and grassy verge before hitting the curb.

I'll always remember the sound of my new Honda CBR150R smashing into the tarmac and gouging its way along the road, with me close behind. As I continued on my not so lucky way down tarmac I span around to see a large pickup truck bearing down on me, I raised my feet so as not to go under the bumper and hoped for the best.. I eventually cam to a stop – after getting up, dusting off, and waiting for the insurance guy I got home to assess the damage.
The brand new Honda CBR150R F/I was a write-off, but thankfully I wasn't – luck is of course a factor, but crucially I was wearing adequate protection.

People have to be free to make a choice regarding their own safety – personally I wouldn't get on a motorcycle wearing a T-shirt and shorts, but at the same time I wouldn't want to stop anyone from doing so if they wanted to, it's not for me to decide for them. But I hope that more people start wearing adequate motorcycle gear and protection.
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Anonymous User

Thursday, 13 January 2011 @ 07:04 AM ICT
Thank heavens you're OK. Potentially horrific situation, particularly the near situation of being run over!
Several points to give you a perspective, and hopefully inspire you to re-engage with the world of motorcycling :

a) Same sort of scenario happened to me. As a beginner in 1967 riding in Kuala Lumpur, I had 2 accidents on motorcycles. The first occured riding a 100cc Yamaha sports cycle. I was going into a turn too fast, the bike went down at 50 kph, and I received serious road burn on my bare legs, but didn't face a possible collision with other vehicles. Took 6 weeks for the skin to heal. Obvious lesson: wear proper protective motorcycle gear--even in the humid tropics--anticipating that wherever you are riding in the world YOU WILL GO DOWN at one time or another.

(b) 2nd accident should have killed me because I was wearing no helmet or any other protective gear. Occured also in Kuala Lumpur in 1968. After a late night party at 2am, in a fairly drunken state, I mounted my Yamaha 305cc Scrambler, rocketed away on a secondary highway with a 80% curve ahead. Reaching the curve at high speed, I couldn't hold the line and the bike tracked wide and I ran off the road into a concave monsoon drainage ditch, half a meter deep with 90º sharp edges to the concrete. Imagine this: I was thrown off the bike and landed in the ditch in perfect linear alignment with the ditch. What happened to the cycel? Well, it landed up lying upside down on top of me, with the engine still running full bore, with the entire 140kg of the bike supported by the handlebars straddling the monsoon ditch. Not a single kg weighed me down. After collecting my wits, I crawled forward along the ditch, stood up, hit the electric kill switch on the bike, and collapsed with heartfelt thanks that I had miraculously escaped being crushed and mangled in the crash.

Since that time, I have modified my behaviour and have had thousands of accident km of safe motorcycling in Canada and the US on a Yamaha 650 Seca (1982), Yamaha XT225 (2006), and Yamaha FZ1 (2009). To state what you may already have guessed, one simply must stack the odds in your favour by: taking a motorcycle training course which I did years after "teaching myself", using 1st rate protective clothing, driving mostly during the day and in the dry, favouring rural over urban travel (if an option), watching the booze gauge, using high quality tires, and adjusting speed to the conditions.

Have fun!
John McEachern (age 71)