Saturday, July 9, 2011

Crashed Bike: WR250R 1, Pavement 0


I was at the range (also known as a parking lot) last night practicing some MSF BRC exercises. I had a class today. I wanted to polish a couple of them up, so I could show the students the “perfect” demo. I had a nice time practicing with the training bikes even though it was 90F!

I was a bit surprised when another coach showed up. We’ll call him “Bob” (not his real name). It turned out he was finishing a class that night. I kept riding while he started to get the bikes ready for class. It worked out well, I was tired from practicing by the time the second coach showed up. We’ll call him “Fred” (not his real name).

“Fred” was drooling on my WR250R quite a bit, so I offered him a ride. I worked with him last month. “Fred” is a good coach. He didn’t take much persuading and went to grab his gear. He was a little taken back by the seat height at 35”. I can barely reach the ground now that I’ve lowered it from the stock 37 inches! He had a fun time riding it and suggested we use them for student bikes. While it does meet the spec, I think it has a bit too much power and is too expensive for the program to purchase. How sad. It is such a fun bike.

By this time, the first coach, “Bob”, wanted a ride too. I had only just met him, but in the spirit of trying to be more generous, I said “sure”. He hesitated about putting on his motorcycle coat because of the heat. Fortunately, he did.

While I was talking to “Fred”, “Bob” was tearing around the parking lot. The WR250R does a good job brining out the inner-hooligan, even for a Goldwing rider like “Bob”.

Very disappointingly, there was a loud crash from the parking lot, and the WR250R’s tip-over sensor engaged and turned off the engine. It was quiet with just the light breeze blowing the trees. “Fred” used some interesting language I won’t repeat while I started the long walk to the other side of the parking lot. “Bob” sprang to his feet as I called out to ask if he was ok. He said he was.


He picked the bike up before I could snap a photo. He tore a small hole in his coat, and later we found he had a dime-sized bloody elbow. The WR has knobby tires, so it tends to slide a bit on hot pavement when ridden rough. It appeared he had the bike leaned over way to far with way too much throttle as the rear tire crossed this line of paint. You can see the tire marks from left to right.


The rear tire slid out, and the motorcycle fell onto the right side. It then slid across the pavement.


The long gouge is from the handlebar – about five feet.


The bottom mark is from the footpeg, and the little one at the top of the pic is from the axle nut.


The right handguard plastic was ground down slightly. The mirror folded out of the way. The handguard protected his hand, the brake lever, and the front turn signal.


The guard did slide down as you can see here compared to the clutch side

IMG_0845 IMG_0846 

I didn’t notice until I got home, but the bars also slid in the top clamp about 1/8” inch. The top clamp also seems a bit twisted.


The plastic muffler guard sustained this small rash here. It also did a nice job protecting the rear turn signal from the ground.


Which I don’t mind so much, as I’ve already done this to the front plastic by dropping it on rocks and trees. I’ve never crashed the WR on pavement though.


After about 45 minutes of fiddling, the handguards and bars were back to their normal position.

IMG_0848 IMG_0849 IMG_0850

I still need to adjust the top clamp as there is a slight (5-10 degrees) of twist on the bars. I hope they aren’t actually bent. “Bob” offered to pay for any damage which I still need to figure out. I declined his offer to ride his Gold Wing.

I give this battle to the WR which sustained far less damage than the parking lot. WR 1, Pavement 0.



PS: My BRC this morning went very well. The students were a fun bunch! Second half tomorrow.


  1. See what happens? You lend someone your bike (okay, in your case, one of your bikes) and they tear up the parking lot trying it out and pushing it too far! Being a coach, he should have known better and I suspect he wouldn’t have done that had it been his own bike. I would certainly be sending him the bill for any damage you cannot fix yourself. Sorry to hear about this and I hope it all gets sorted out pretty soon. I am pleased though that your bike won and the pavement lost....

  2. Yea.. you really want all dents, dings and scratches to come from you because you own it.. i guess this will give you some stories to tell.. haha! Good luck with the repairs.. mine has seen the pavement once on a slick low water creek crossing, the Safari tank took most of it, minimal damage, WRs 2, Pavement 0

  3. Hopefully, the coach offered to make the repairs? Otherwise, you should let the rest of us know who this bozo is.

    As the Hurt Study found, most crashes occur on borrowed or new motorcycles. A good reason not to loan out your bike to anyone you don't know well.

  4. Dude....glad that "Bob" elected to wear his riding jacket! Like Gary says, send him the bill....he's a trained instructor and knows I am sure that one pays for one's mistakes.


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  5. Glad the WR came out the winner. Wished it hadn't of happened. Although it did give you a very nice post.

    It was 95F with a heat index of 110F. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. I thought about you and wondered if the weather was like this up your way. If so, wow. Bet it was warm on the range.

  6. Gary: Yes, it was a bit lame. I figured another coach would be more responsible, but then I guess they are people too and make mistakes. Going to go back out and wrench on it some more today.

    Bill: Indeed -- damage should be my own doing. It looks like the lower clamps rotated. Not looking forward to those. Such a pain to get on in the first place.

    Tom: Yes, he offered to pay for damage. I just have to figure out what that is yet. The BRC this weekend wore me out. 92F+ with the heatindex over 100+. Send me an e-mail if you'd like the names, so you can tease him. =D

    Dom: Yes, he did offer to pay. I just need to figure out what that is yet.

    Keith: Yes, it turned a boring "I went to a parking lot and practiced" post into something more interesting.

    It was 92F with a heat index over 100F+ it was pretty hot out by the end. We took shelter in the shade across the parking lot between exercises. Lots of breaks! The students were real troopers to stick out the heat, and all of them passed. It was a very fun class.

  7. Dear Chris:

    I think you were very generous to let a colleague ride your bike. I can honestly say I wouldn't hesitate to let anyone in my club ride my K75 (which does not have a scratch on it). Yet there are other riders that I know who would never get the keys.

    I am amazed when guys in my club offer their bikes to me. Some of these machines are in the $19,000 category. One guy wanted me t try his GS Adventure, so I could see how easy the bike is to handle. (He wanted to lend me the bike for a week!) I declined at the speed of light.

    I sincerely hope the guy who crashed your machine INSISTS on restoring it to the shape it was in before it went down. And ro my way of thinking, that would include total paint and decals.

    I think you handled this like a gentrleman and a sportsman.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  8. Dear Jack: Letting others ride your bike is a big trust thing. I will be a bit more choosey in the future to avoid this situation.

    He did offer multiple times and sent an email. I've been so busy with NT8 visiting (see current post), that I haven't had much time to mess with it other than to determine, I can't fix it myself. It'll need to goto a dealer to figure out why/what is bent.

    Thanks for the compliment. See you in a few days.