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Old 11-22-2012, 09:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What to do after dropping your bike?

So, I've been practicing riding on some small roads in my area. Just trying to get my skill level where it needs to be in order to take on bigger roads. Anyway, I had a run in with loose, large (thumb sized) gravel at a sharp (40 degrees or so) Y turn. There was a stop sign, so I was accelerating from a stop as I turned (probably about 5 mph.) I was trying to counterweight properly, but I lost my balance and the bike fell on it's right side. Barely skidded, but the upper front fairing is cracked, the outside of the mirror is scratched, and some dents are on the muffler from the gravel. Overall it looks like cosmetic damage only. What else should I check for? Or is it probably fine and I'll just have to deal with the cosmetic damage? >.> Do I have any options besides replacing the fairing? Will it hurt anything to leave it as is?

And just for my own edification; What is the appropriate response to gravel when you're having to make a sharp U turn from a stop?
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Going that slow, it was probably al comsetic. I have laid the bike down going much faster and it was still only cosmetic. If you are ok with leaving it looking like that, there is nothing wrong with leaving it like that for a while and then replacing it whenever you feel like it. It is your bike, no one elses. Don't let somone else tell you how it should look.

As for the gravel, if you see it while stopped, just try to avoid it. If you can't just take the corner with ease and try not to make any sudden movements.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Where plastics are actually cracked they can be made secure by applying self adhesive fibreglass tape on the inside and soaking the tape with 2 part epoxy. Temporary fixes can be made with gaffer tape, although it looks bloody awful.

Scratches and dents can be ignored.

I wouldn't bother with trying to repair cosmetic damage other than to just tidy it up. Just before you sell the bike is the best time to do a proper job, but you'll never recover the money you spend on new panels.

What you should have done was to ride through the gravel very slowly, using minimal acceleration by feathering the clutch, and keeping the bike upright. Any braking (and you shouldn't have needed any) must be done with the rear brake only. You need to go at a speed where if you feel your balance going you can just declutch and put a foot down.

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Old 11-23-2012, 08:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Another tip for future grave situations: If there are no sharp turns, ride in the highest gear possible, keep the rpm around 3k and don't put around 10mph, raise it to rather 15. Gonna be a smoother ride. If you need to brake, do it with the rear brake only and some engine braking. It's gonna feel like the gravel is pushing with the bike, like it won't brake much at all.

I've done gravel around 100km within the 50 000km I did so far.

Sand is another thing. If riding up and downhill like in the woods when going to a camp ground, make sure you don't have to stop uphill and keep the inertia going without having to use much throttle.

And when nervous, put all your tension into clamping the knees on the tank. And if you feel good about riding on gravel, play around with the front brake. Simulated a washing out front but I could stay up since the thick gravel was giving in, allowing the bike to compensate. Not saying slam on the brake or hold it while you notice the evil coming up.

I just use bad riding conditions to practice worst case scenarios. Rain is fun to for locking the rear tire on a straight line when rolling towards a red light.

BTW, don't worry about cosmetics. No one yet came up to me and told me in my face why I let that happen.

Never mind the missing tank and the self made gas bottle taped to the airbox. Just the best side view of the scraped right side.
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