That's a good looking bike. A VN900 was my first bike as well. Looks like it has some good accessories too, it has the Kawasaki saddlebags. They are pricey, but very nice, they gold quite a bit but look good. I've ridden in some awful storms and the contents have always been dry. I replaced them with hard bags later on though.
Sorry to hear that it went down. Glad you got to learn something from it without the scars to prove it. That protective gear is nice! Practice makes perfect, especially with braking. There is a FANTASTIC book, called 'proficient motorcycling', I really recommend it. It is not a 'how to ride a motorcycle' book. It is a 'how to deal with oil in the road in a rainstorm at an angle next to a rail road track' type of book. It's all about how to handle the kind of fluke situations that often result in a 'the time I laid it down' story. He also outlines how to PRACTICE for such situations.
As far as the oil filter, I've found a screwdriver removes the stock ones best! Rather than fighting with it, drive a screwdriver through the REAR of the oil filter (so as not to hit the nipple on the inside), drive it all the way through, and then break it loose with that. Works great!
Originally Posted by Dronious
I really thought after that first 5000 miles was under my belt I was in the clear. It was my motorcycle telling me " Don't relax too much, nothing is for certain, and ALWAYS wear protective gear."
One of the things in that book I mentioned is the statistic that people who have ridden LESS than 6 months, are SAFER than people who have ridden MORE than 6 months (but less than 2 years). My theory is that after 6 months, people start getting comfortable. It's the same reason most accidents happen close to home- you've put your guard down. You are more likely to be distracted, to be too relaxed, to not be on your toes, etc. After some time, you will have a 'pucker' moment or two (and you've had a big one!) that'll snap you out of it! I wear gear too and for the same reason, stuff happens even when you don't want it to! All the experience in the world doesn't always save you, there are inherit risks to motorcycling, but good practice and experience goes a long way. I really encourage people to PRACTICE swerving, hard braking, and things like that often. If you come up on a left turner, do you want that to be the first time in a long time you braked hard on your motorcycle? Or would you rather it have been something you did several times a few weeks ago in a controlled environment?
Just curious, but what were you wearing when it went down? Any pics of the gear?
Keep the shiny side up! See you around!
"8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Location: Lincoln, NE (College) Detroit, MI (Home)
For months now I have actually been practicing for those exact types of "emergency" situations. I have done hard acceleration around a corner in the rain till the back end slipped, then backed off. I thought to myself "Okay there is the line between okay and an accident" I have locked up the front tire to see how the bike reacts, depending on speed it hops or just slides. I have locked up the rear, locked up the rear on a slight curve. I have been practicing my figure 8's and high speed swerves. I really thought I was doing a good job or preparing. I do the same thing with any car when I buy it. I find the limits of what the vehicle can do. Hard turns, hard brakes, fast stops, whatever may need to happen in an emergency.
As far as my accident goes, the whole thing was fast. I was sitting at a red light, behind the crosswalk (because I am not one of those jerks that parks where pedestrians are trying to walk ). After the light turned green I accelerated normal into my left hand turn, nothing harsh or anything. The back end of the bike swung way out to the right side. I threw the bars hard the other way to correct the swerve, put my left foot down on the ground to catch the bike on the lowside. I was probably leaning a good 20-25 degrees to inside when the tires caught good solid traction and the whole thing flipped highside. I got body slammed by a 650lb motorcycle onto concrete. I would venture to guess that the oil on my tires made it easily 4 to 5 times slicker than a normal road in the rain. I think I landed 40ft? past the cross walk on the other side. I may have traveled a total of 150feet. The whole thing happened so fast, after the accident was already in motion I don't see of any way that I really could have recovered it. Just need to keep an eye out for obstacles in the roadway. In a car, you never would have even noticed the oil on the roadway.
The protective gear actually was not anything special. I am a college student so I haven't had a ton of money to throw into gear, which I now realize is a absolute necessity. I made the dealer include a River Road mesh/textile jacket that has CE foam in the shoulders/elbow/spine. I was wearing my helmet, the jacket, a set of Mechanix gloves (hey it is all I had), blue jeans, and a old set of steel toe leather work boots. Since my accident I have read a bunch about accidents and gear. I am currently looking for a jacket that fits a little better with better protection (cost is holding this purchase back). I am looking for new gloves, both summer and winter gloves that still offer good accident protection. I am also looking for a set of riding pants, because even though blue jeans may be better than gym shorts, the cheese grater roadway doesn't give a crap. There is just so much gear out there, I can't afford to be making multiple purchases if I get something that is junk. So I need to review a bunch of stuff and see what is quality and will keep me safe. I have however already discovered FroggToggs, Ha.
2009 Vulcan 900 SE
Baron Custom 2" Rear Lowering
Cobra Fi2000 PowerPro Tuner
Cobra PowerFlo Air Intake
Hard Krome Exhaust
Kawasaki Cafe Windshield
Kawasaki Flame Stitch Gel Seat, Backrest, Luggage Rack and Saddlebags