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Riding Again After An Accident


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As many of you know, I recently totalled my beloved 2003 VFR, and replaced her with a clean 2002 ABS model. Now that I'm riding again, I'm a little jumpy, I almost feel nervous back in the saddle. Part of it could be the worn and cupping D208's making the bike feel twitchy in corners, but it's probably mostly me. I've only done about 350 miles on the new bike, but I had thought that would be enough to get back into the swing of things. Anyone ever experience anything similar or have any advice?

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Coming from someone who's totaled a bike, I know the feeling. It's been over two years now and the accident is still fresh in my head.

Don't let it get you down. Before you know it, you'll be back into the swing of things. :fing02:

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Just seat time!

I totally agree with this. As someone that has been down a couple of times and have witnessed a few bike accidents; the number one thing is to get back on and ride as much as possible. Sometimes it can take a whole season or more to get back into the swing but take it easy, ride well within your comfort/safety margins and put those miles on!

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It's all about confidence. And it sounds like yours is shaken, understandably so. If the tires are bothering you, replace them. You need to have complete confidence in your machine, so you can work on the confidence within. You will get there!

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Yup, just gotta ride, and slowly start working your confidence level back up. I've lowsided twice, and both times it took me a while to regain my mojo. You know what I've found really helps, though? A trackday. Getting out there and railing on your bike does wonders to remind you of what it--and you--are capable of. I've noticed the same thing during springtime... after several months of skating around on cold tires, rarely doing any riding other then freeway commuting, it takes me a while to get the feel for sport-riding back... usually until I do my first trackday of the season, then I'm right back into it. :biggrin:

But, yeah, get some sticky tires on there first!

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you could try hypnosis or accupuncture. :biggrin:

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yea they said it....seat time. try commuting on it for a while and before you know it, you will beg for some interesting riding.

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I suspect it's something like "Post traumatic shock syndrome". I can relate to the feeling. I never crashed my motorcycles since I started riding as a kid, but I did crash badly on a racing bicycle (lowsided going at least 30MPH on a curve). Got real bad roadrash on my right side and arm and had to heal/treat myself, foolishly avoiding the doctor because I was a poor college kid. I tell you, the trauma I went through scrubbing the debris away by myself from my road rash was some of the worst pain I have ever felt and it affected my racing bike riding from them on in a major way and surely continued to affect me many years after on my motorcycles. I don't feel as invincible as I felt back then before I had that bicycle crash (before when I dove through turns so agressively and without much fear or calculation), which in someways must have saved my life as a motorcycle rider, because I try to use my head to ride as smartly as I can every minute I spend on the saddle since that fateful crash many years ago. You'll surely get more comfortable later, it just takes time, but your riding will definitely change to most likely many better ways. Do change out that awful cupped Dunflop 208. I'm 100% sure it's not helping out and making that front end nervous feeling. Spoon on some smooth handling Michelin PR2CTs on that bike and it will be night and day difference for the better...I guarantee!

Beck

95 VFR

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Took me several years before I felt comfortable on a bike again after a nasty spill. You'll gradually get more and more confident over time. I take it much, much easier now that I've had a get-off - slower pace, enjoy the scenery, and stay alive.

I think the suggestion of a track day would be a good place to start too. Although I've never done one, I've done lots of training for a local motorcycle training class. Having a place to push things and find out what you and your bike can do made a big difference.

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I suspect it's something like "Post traumatic shock syndrome". I can relate to the feeling. I never crashed my motorcycles since I started riding as a kid, but I did crash badly on a racing bicycle (lowsided going at least 30MPH on a curve). Got real bad roadrash on my right side and arm and had to heal/treat myself, foolishly avoiding the doctor because I was a poor college kid. I tell you, the trauma I went through scrubbing the debris away by myself from my road rash was some of the worst pain I have ever felt and it affected my racing bike riding from them on in a major way and surely continued to affect me many years after on my motorcycles. I don't feel as invincible as I felt back then before I had that bicycle crash (before when I dove through turns so agressively and without much fear or calculation), which in someways must have saved my life as a motorcycle rider, because I try to use my head to ride as smartly as I can every minute I spend on the saddle since that fateful crash many years ago. You'll surely get more comfortable later, it just takes time, but your riding will definitely change to most likely many better ways. Do change out that awful cupped Dunflop 208. I'm 100% sure it's not helping out and making that front end nervous feeling. Spoon on some smooth handling Michelin PR2CTs on that bike and it will be night and day difference for the better...I guarantee!

Beck

95 VFR

Agree with everyone here about seat time, but even more so with Beck's suggestion to replace the crappy and worn tires!

The last thing you need right now is some twitchy confidence robbing junk tires on the bike! :wub:

Replace them right away with something decent, it will help remove unneeded worry! :biggrin:

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I have a coworker that laid his bike down in rush hour freeway traffic to avoid crashing into a car. He avoided hitting anything, picked up his bike and rode it home. The next day he was back on his bike riding again even before replacing the plastic.

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Guest Nungboy

Some great responses here, especially Beck.

Yeah, I have been there and done that...totalled a bike and then felt the nervousness. And before that I too had some bicycling crashes that made me jumpy. Just like folks say, it is a combo of seat time and working on your mind and attitude. Use the conservative tendency to be safer but DON'T tense up and be too jumpy or you WILL get into trouble. Go ZEN, baby...just clear your mind before you ride, remember you are on the motorcycle so focus on the task completely. And YES, replace that tire and do whatever is required to trust the bike completely. Good luck...you'll be fine!

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I think one of the biggest problems many riders encounter returning after a crash and especially if you happen to hit something or slide on that unseen dirt/gravel/oil is a habit of looking right in front of the bike(front wheel) to make sure you don't hit something again. :biggrin:

Doing this instead of always looking as far forward as possible just messes everything up as it overloads your mind! :wub:

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Guest Beaver
I have a coworker that laid his bike down in rush hour freeway traffic to avoid crashing into a car. He avoided hitting anything, picked up his bike and rode it home. The next day he was back on his bike riding again even before replacing the plastic.

^^^ That guy is hardcore :biggrin: Though I knew a guy in Perth (AUS) who was knocked down on the 4-lane by a mid-size truck. He got up, shook it off, and chased the driver down. He won the court case too, got some awesome compensation and a new bike!

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I think one of the biggest problems many riders encounter returning after a crash and especially if you happen to hit something or slide on that unseen dirt/gravel/oil is a habit of looking right in front of the bike(front wheel) to make sure you don't hit something again. :blink:

Doing this instead of always looking as far forward as possible just messes everything up as it overloads your mind! :huh:

I couldn't agree more!

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I think one of the biggest problems many riders encounter returning after a crash and especially if you happen to hit something or slide on that unseen dirt/gravel/oil is a habit of looking right in front of the bike(front wheel) to make sure you don't hit something again. :blink:

Doing this instead of always looking as far forward as possible just messes everything up as it overloads your mind! :huh:

Exactly! That and the twitchiness is part of what make me so nervous. Which makes me realize my riding is off and I'm more likely to crash, which makes me more twitchy, nervous, and target-fixating. Kind of a vicious cycle.

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Took me several years before I felt comfortable on a bike again after a nasty spill. You'll gradually get more and more confident over time. I take it much, much easier now that I've had a get-off - slower pace, enjoy the scenery, and stay alive.

:blink:

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Guest trickster

I got hit head on by a squid trying to pull 70+ through crud corner (us 129) (on a bmwk1200gt no less) last april 15, 2008, got thrown about 75 feet slid another 50 and rolled another 50. I walked away but came very close to loosing a leg from swelling (compartment syndrome) (ps I guess it was a good thing my tank bag with the s&w in it was thrown into the woods and took a little while to find smile.gif). oddly I have had no apprehension getting on a bike and was riding 2 weeks later.... but about a month later I totaly lost self control when I was in the cage and a moron turned left in front of me it was all I could do to not chase them down and hurt them really badly. Oddly enough I have more anxiety in the cage than on the bike since the assault on my person. For some reason I feel I can escape on the bike and am in control of everything, in the cage I feel trapped (since the incident)

I guess the response is just different for different folks.

I do find myself entering turns later now and always using a late apex with a sharper turn when I am facing bike traffic now though, just to keeep my line further from the middle, my only anxiety on a bike is, when is that damn squid boy going to blow a fast rt, and take me out. ( I tense a bit when I see a group in a right turn coming toward me, usually hanging over the line :huh: and they are all bunched up so if one hiccups they are all going down and taking me with them :blink: )

just time and FOCUS makes this go away, if you are thinking what if you do not have your head in the ride!!!! try to concentrate on the ride and let it happen and the what ifs just fade away (meditate and set your mind on the task)

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Guest SondanXX

1. Replace tires stat. Ensure all controls work properly and are adjusted to suit your personal needs.

2. Set a personal goal for another TMAC. We'll be waiting for you.

3. Realize you're not going to ride as smooth or as fast as you used to, eventually maybe somewhere down the road, but NOT right now, enjoy that you're able to at least still ride!

4. Don't play hero. Continue to Ride Red (or a Titanium 1100 :wub: ) just don't RIDE RED (anymore) and enjoy the two wheel experience, whilst paying EXTRA attention to blind spots or whatever threw you off the first time.

5. Avoid any attempts at shaving your lap times on the Interstate as you navigate through the lapped traffic (or blowing by some ahole in an SUV w/ cell phone to teach him a lesson).

6. Stand up to your friend, the curve doctor on the yellow VFR, who means the best, but avoid his request of leading a group of twisty/speed dehydrated Fla COPS through the rainy/misty roads of the Mighty Cherahola, she's a cruel mistress, and there's nothing worse than seeing 8 bikes right on your six, when you're thinking "TelliCafe".

7. Pay attention to your body and what it's telling you. Really focus and learn from it, develop compensation techniques, if need be to ride like you used to, again, if need be.

8. Enjoy the feeling that you're having more fun in a simple commute/ride to work than everyone else on the road in their cage. Idiots.

9. Give Dale (theoxmole) a big kiss and a squeeze for giving you a ride home... he's ok, maybe curious, but ok, I swear... :goofy:

10. Don't be afraid to RIP IT when the time arrives....

Enjoy man, you'll be alright. Pain fades, Chicks dig scars, and leave your brains in the toolbox... jk... Enjoy what others can only dream about doing... :fing02:

See ya at TMAC next year!

Edited by SondanXX
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I have a coworker that laid his bike down in rush hour freeway traffic to avoid crashing into a car. He avoided hitting anything, picked up his bike and rode it home. The next day he was back on his bike riding again even before replacing the plastic.

I agree with all the posts and strongly recommend getting new tires. If you are spending time riding and feel the bike is touchy or 'iffy', don't risk another fall;. replace the tires. I have read that when fighter pilots crash a plane, they want the pilot to return to the air quickly so he/she keep their nerve and touch. The more miles you ride, the more comfortable you will become. If you are riding 'stiff' that will cause issues too. Too tight on the grip pressure, rigid posture, tense neck/upper torso muscles will screw your riding up. In summary...

1.) Get new rubber

2.) Relax a little and enjoy the ride

3.) Miles and miles of riding will see you ready for TMac '10

Ride safe, JD

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Guest motorhead1977

Ryan, all are correct. Give it time. I have been down on the road a few times (lost all the skin on my right arm in one low side on my first one, nothing but a bruise from my second one and after the third one regained consciousness on the center line of the highway wondering how did I get here... hey didn't I have a bike?.... oh shit that looks like it waaaaay over there) and it just takes lots of riding time and miles to get the comfort level back. I noticed that on returning home from TMAC I was more nervous in my riding I think as a result of seeing a few crashes there. Kind of makes the point "it could happen to me too" Since then the more I ride the more relaxed I am. Just keep at it and we will see you next year. :blink: Tom

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You need to have complete confidence in your machine, so you can work on the confidence within.

:blink:

well said.

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