It’s dark, and you’re riding in heavy traffic. You’re in the right lane with three lanes to your left and traffic merging from the right. This is a commonly congested area because an exit is approaching and people don’t want to merge nicely. Everyone is fighting for space on the road with the cars trying to merge into the people trying to exit. There are a lot of brake lights ahead. You’re keeping your two second following distance. Other people aren’t paying attention, and soon the sound of screeching tires pierces the air. It’s coming from the vehicles in front and then from behind. What’s your plan?
I’ve rehearsed this exact scenario almost daily in my head. With my lane-sharing experience earlier this year, my plan is to squeeze between the cars to avoid becoming the filling in a car-motorcycle sandwich. Without thinking, my SV650 swerved onto the dotted line and darted out of the situation. It’s sometimes faster to swerve rather than try to stop. This was one of those times. I’m glad I practice.
The blue car behind me stopped within a few feet of the car I was following. It would have been a bad day had I stayed in my lane. After passing a few cars, I got back in my lane and exited the road as planned.
The most shocking thing about the entire experience was my reaction after the fact. I was surprised how calm I was. Where was my shot of adrenaline? How disappointing. I made up for the lack of it on the twisty road a few miles ahead. The SV is quite a fun bike!
I was fortunate it was unseasonably warm and in the 50s today, so I could ride my SV. The Ural wouldn’t have been able to pull off the swerve. There wouldn’t have been room. With the Ural, I leave a much bigger stopping distance since it doesn’t do anything quickly: accelerate, turn, or stop. Well, I suppose that isn’t entirely true. The only thing it does quickly is attract attention and a crowd.
I replaced the battery and the starter relay, and it’s running again. It took way too many hours of fiddling around to figure it out. I also disassembled what felt like half the bike. The new battery was a tad larger than the old, so I had to remove the airbox to get it into the spot where it just barely fit. While I was at it, I also changed the spark plugs and air filter. It runs nicely now.