Kawasaki Motorcycle Forums banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The other day I posted a trackday report about my ZX experiences at Portland International Raceway (PIR) and my buddy’s crash on his R1. This updates the story slightly. His foot/ankle/leg injury was worse than thought. He had surgery eight days after the injury (Tuesday).

My point: I’m gonna harp on the “boot thing” again, though we already talked about it. My buddy’s not going to walk again without crutches for three months(!). I’m not being a nag, certainly not trying to scare anyone off the track, but ask to please consider your footwear. $700 for Daytona Security boots (or equal) starts to sound cheap compared to the consequences.

All this from a “simple” 50 mph track crash, on a track with absolutely great runoff, just because his foot ended in the wrong place in a tumble. I think a lot of this could have been prevented.

If injuries give you the willies, skip his comments. He posted them to another forum Monday evening. I’ve edited for brevity:

<start excerpt>

Since <the wreck> I've seen a handful
of doctors, had a CT scan of my entire leg, and been prescribed some
kick-ass painkillers. I broke three bones in my lower leg: tibia, talus and
calcaneus. The tibia is the large weight-bearing bone of the lower leg (the
shin bone). The fracture starts at the ankle and runs up as a diminishing
crack. It doesn't actually go all the way through. So it's like my shin bone
split a ways, then came back together. The other two bones are the main
ankle joint bone and the heel bone. Right now they all hurt pretty bad, and
for the past week I've had to keep my leg elevated and myself medicated
pretty much 24/7. I go in for orthopedic surgery tomorrow morning, where
I'll become the proud new owner of several pieces of surgical hardware,
mostly screws I think. The docs say I have to stay off the injured foot for
3 months following surgery. Fantastic.

<end excerpt>

Surgery went well: they reconnected a couple bones (with screws), inserted some small plates in the ankle, and braced the tibia, I guess. Hopefully the talus bone break won’t be a major issue, though the doctors are worried somewhat since this bone is rather sensitive to blood supply. We’ll see. All of it hurts like a bitch.

To be honest, I’m a bit squeamish about this because, well, it “could have been me:” I’ve run similar boots at a half-dozen trackdays, albeit with no wrecks. I’ve been on race tires, but run a much faster pace than my buddy. “There but for the grace of God go I.” Or you, me, or anyone else who does track days.

Takeaways:

- Simple crashes can take severe turns for the worse, in the wrong circumstances.
- Medical insurance = good.
- We are involved in an extreme sport. Stuff happens: it’s happened to me and all my buddies, without exception, and I don’t hang out with squids/goofballs.
- Take track riding deadly-seriously in terms of gear, down to the last detail: boots, in this case.
- Daytona Security (or equal) boots would have almost surely mitigated or eliminated his ankle fractures. I do not know if they’d have transferred force to a non-rigid area up the line, like the knee, however.

-=DRB=-
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,186 Posts
I wonder how Alpinestars S-MX -boot's would hold up in a case of similar spill as your buddy went through?

I think that I'll upgrade at least my gloves for next season. And a steering damper would be nice, it would lessen the risk to get into a situation where the rider becomes a passenger...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Finn guy, I see you have an '03, too.

I've heard of the Alpinestars you mention. I'll see if I can find some in the U.S. to inspect.

My SIDI Vertebra (v. 1) boots have been demoted to "street-only" duty. I wore them today on one of the last rides of the season. No more taking equipment to the track that isn't 100% race-focused.

Kyle Racing Engines sold me an Ohlins damper the other month. Scotts and others make dampers successfully deployed on various ZXs, as well. I mention KRE and Ohlins because I believe most of what Dan Kyle says, related to these bikes and various Hondas, due to his extensive racing background and genial nature. Many on this forum agree. Mr. Kyle favors the Ohlins, but sells them (and the Scotts) so take that as you will.

The British magazine I read (Superbike) lists lots of other damper companies, too, most at lesser cost than Ohlins. Ohlins are "trick" and I usually try and go with the best tool for the job, especially when my ass is on the line.

Fitment took minutes. Adjustment is clicking the knob next to the left handlebar. One could do it on the track, if necessary, though stopping first might be safer (joke). Point is, I played with various settings at two track days with little pause in the action. My settings are unique to my style, but there are plenty to choose from.

What's relevant is the Ohlins quieted down the front end. Dampers are one thing you might not know you need until you do a tank-slapper and crash the bike. It seemed obvious to me after two track outings the '03 needs a damper in the worst way. I find it almost a design flaw the bike doesn't arrive with one stock, as did my 2000 Aprilia Mille.

In fact I put all other modifications aside (other than race tires and bodywork) to buy the damper. Suspension, pipe, PC III, and other cosmetics can wait: this cannot.

I've ridden faster after installing the Ohlins. I believe there is cause-and-effect in play: the bike feels more stable, so I ride faster.

-=DRB=-
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top