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Discussion Starter #1
There are two types of riders, those who will go down and those who have....
Does anyone else not believe this?
Ive had a couple people quote that to me in the past couple of days and I witnessed a bad head-on today (no motorcycles involved but there could've been had I been 500 yards further down the road).
I admit, Im a chicken, if I thought this was true I doubt I would be riding. My personal philosophy and the way I drive (ride) is that every time I hit the road is a brand new time just like the very first time, the odds of having an accident start all over so it doesnt matter what has happened the previous 30 years Ive been driving. I still try to learn something every time I drive but there is no "the odds are catching up to me" kind of thoughts.
Does anyone else think the "two kinds of riders" thing is BS?
 

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I know riders that have ridden for years and never "gone down". A lot relates to your attitude and like you said each day is a new one.

Bikes on the other hand are a different thing. Two kinds of bikes - those that have been dropped and those that will be.
 

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You could say the same thing about driving a car. How many people have never been in a car accident of any kind? Probably not very many. "There are two kinds of drivers: those who have been in a wreck and those who will be..." Blah, blah...

I've wondered why this old spiel started and exactly what the point of it is.

I figure it either developed as a kind of "bravado" statement, like "I ride a motorcycle and it's dangerous so I'm a bad-ass" or maybe it's just a kind of a friendly reminder that the roads are dangerous and to be as careful as you can. I would like to think it's the second, but from the way most people say it, it seems to be the first.

Hope all my tip-overs, dumps and spills from being a piss-poor off-road rider count for my quota as far as the roads go, too.

Plus, I never know exactly what they mean by "going down." Dumb-ass parking lot tipover? Trip to the ER? Fatality accident?

Let me put it this way: I never say it, not because I'm afraid I'll jinx myself or somebody else, but because I think it just doesn't make any sense and sounds lame. I do, however, use lines like "Remember, ride like everybody out there is trying to kill you" and "Ride like you're invisible." Those two things I do believe.
 

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I have been down a few times over the years, thank god never impacted anything but the ground , broken ribs , broken wrist ( needed surgery to pin and set) broken ego...
some scrapes and bruises still alive and taken it slower and smarter these days......
I see guys on the street and dirt riding over there head all the time... who was the old time racer who coined the phrase "ride hard and fast but always leave something on the table" ???
 

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I think what is implied when people say “go down”. The mean fall over or drop the bike over. Like putting the kick stand on a soft spot. You walk 5 feet away from the bike and O-SHI#.
I don’t think that they are referring to skidding down the road on your ARS….
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think what is implied when people say “go down”. The mean fall over or drop the bike over. Like putting the kick stand on a soft spot. You walk 5 feet away from the bike and O-SHI#.
I don’t think that they are referring to skidding down the road on your ARS….
I interpret "going down" as hitting and sliding down the asphalt. As Scout said, if the bike tips over, its a drop.
 

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I don't think it is BS, I think it is a reminder that we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to ride ATGATT. I have been bad about padded pants. No more. MCs are dangerous. Mitigate the risk and ****ing ride. You may luck out and never biff. You may get swiped by an RV through no fault of your own. If you're not wearing gear, part of the fault is yours.

OP, I appreciated the tone and manner of your post, not ranting at you or anyone else. Just life. Which I happen to like most of the time.
 

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Become something of a fatalist over the years. Took a ride yesterday that included water, mud and twisties without any real problems. Was almost run over by a woman in a Mercedes as I walked across a parking lot to pay for fuel. :32a:
 

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I don't think it is BS, I think it is a reminder that we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to ride ATGATT. I have been bad about padded pants. No more. MCs are dangerous. Mitigate the risk and ****ing ride. You may luck out and never biff. You may get swiped by an RV through no fault of your own. If you're not wearing gear, part of the fault is yours.

OP, I appreciated the tone and manner of your post, not ranting at you or anyone else. Just life. Which I happen to like most of the time.
Spot on, LJ. Some things are out of our control out there. Some things we do have control over, like the equipment we wear.

And "going down" on a motorcycle is different than a "timber" moment on the sidestand. If you are lucky, you slide down the road on your ass when you go down. A high side will pitch you on the ground in a third of a second. The best outcome will be the bike not landing on you. Those three or four seconds of flip flopping down the road with a fast approaching guard rail are as real as it gets, whether you went down or kept it up. Good topic that helps me stay in touch with some hard realities.
 

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I have let MX bikes send me to the ER a number of times over the years, mostly through the mechanism of riding above my skill level. I have been fortunate or lucky or whatever to have never been down on the street, although I have had a few close calls.

I usually wear an armored jacket, and always wear a helmet, gloves, and suitable footwear.

Some days I walk out into the garage and look at the bike and think to myself "you know, I just aint got it today" and go back into the house. If you are not 103% mentally prepared to engage in vehicular combat, you had better leave the scooter at the house.

Dont even get me started on the crowd who think that a two wheeler is suitable transportation to and from an adult beverage dispensary.
 

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It's an odds game. Like vegas the odds are stacked against you
Yes but you can do many things to change those odds. Where you ride and how you ride has a lot to do with it. Avoid congessed areas and ride defensively.
 

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I think your riding environment definitely plays a role in increasing or decreasing your odds of an accident, at least one caused by another vehicle.

I pretty much just ride local gravel roads (thousands of miles of them to explore around here), local blacktops and some "highways." I rarely ride on the Interstate and only when it's necessary. My biggest threats aren't other vehicles. Some times I can ride for hours and never see a car or truck. Mine are road conditions, loose gravel, ruts, animals and, especially in the Spring and Fall, crap on the road from planting and harvesting: diesel fuel, spilled corn and soybeans, mud and dirt where farmers have pulled from muddy fields directly on to a blacktop road, pieces of stuff that have fallen off their equipment, etc.

While I love riding, I once commented to my wife that I actually "see" more of the surroundings when I'm riding in a car. She thought that was weird until I explained that while I do look around while on the KLR, a lot of my attention is directed to the surface of the road I'm riding on: don't really have to worry about that in a car. I don't fixate on it, but I sure as hell pay attention to it every few seconds.

Now, if you're like some of you guys who talk about 60-mile commutes in D.C. and other extremely congested urban areas, that's another story and the more traffic you have around you, traffic lights, distracted drivers, etc., the more your chances of "direct interaction with another vehicle."

I have a 60-mile commute and would like to ride more and save some gas money, but I get off work at 11:00 at night and just don't feel it's worth the risk with the weather, deer and other animals on the road, a higher proportion of drunk drivers at that time of night, etc., so I don't do it. Other people at work don't think twice about it and I see them getting on their bikes for a ride home that's as long, or longer, than mine, but it's a situation where I feel the risk outweighs the benefits.

I make a couple dozen trips a year to a nearby town of 70,000 people and whenever I do I always wear one of those cheesy, ugly flourescent lime green safety vests and I also have one of those helmet mohawks (yellow) that probably make a lot of people think "What a dumbass!", but I notice I get a lot of people looking at me and as far as I'm concerned, that's a good thing. I don't care what they're thinking as long as they're noticing me to think that in the first place.

So, with the same skill levels, your odds of an accident riding with me around here for 5-6 hours is very low, but if you rode around DC (or any urban area) for 5-6 hours, they would increase dramatically.
 

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Hope for the best and plan for the worst! I wear a full helmet, protective jacket and pants, good SIDI motorcycle boots, and reinforced gloves. It's not for fashion, it's more like insurance. I ride my bike everyday and I've put 40K on my KLR since 08. I've been riding for 35 years and I have been hit from behind once. (yes, you need to protect your 6 also!)
My Dad is old school. He makes fun of me every time he sees me in my gear. He said he didn't like helmets and the @#$% with the cops if they didn't like it. He also would wear T-shirts jeans, and zip up boots when he road when I was a kid. He gave me one of those tiny Harley helmets a few years back "so I look cool and not such a nerd" on my bike. He's not much for safety. :)
 

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Some days I walk out into the garage and look at the bike and think to myself "you know, I just aint got it today" and go back into the house. If you are not 103% mentally prepared to engage in vehicular combat, you had better leave the scooter at the house.
I do that. Glad to hear I'm not the only one and most times for no apparent reason?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Im not very spiritual in my riding. Its "Just the facts maam" for me. Anymore, If I want wind in my hair, I'll drive the Jeep. Mostly, I ride now because it make financial sense. I dont like riding at night because of animals and reduced visability and I avoid the rain because its a mess, its uncomfortable, it reduces traction and its harder for other drivers to see me as well as for me to see everything else. That said, now that the bike is becoming more of a commuting tool and less recreational, I will probably be riding in the rain and occasionally in the dark so I'll just suck it up and do it. I am investing more in riding gear than I have in the past. In the past I havent always been ATGATT (actually less so than more so) but now that I will be braving all weather and road conditions, it seems like the thing to do. I've almost always worn a helmet even when I didnt legally have to but hardly ever wore anything else armored. I figured the helmet was to keep me from dieng, everything else is just to reduce recovery time and pain. Im not naive enough to think a 1/2" of foam padding on the joints is going to keep me alive or keep anything from breaking but it may keep the bruising and rash to a minimum. If I ride off a bridge into the river the foam may keep me afloat though, so I guess its possible it could save my life.
 

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Im not very spiritual in my riding. Its "Just the facts maam" for me. Anymore, If I want wind in my hair, I'll drive the Jeep. Mostly, I ride now because it make financial sense. I dont like riding at night because of animals and reduced visability and I avoid the rain because its a mess, its uncomfortable, it reduces traction and its harder for other drivers to see me as well as for me to see everything else. That said, now that the bike is becoming more of a commuting tool and less recreational, I will probably be riding in the rain and occasionally in the dark so I'll just suck it up and do it. I am investing more in riding gear than I have in the past. In the past I havent always been ATGATT (actually less so than more so) but now that I will be braving all weather and road conditions, it seems like the thing to do. I've almost always worn a helmet even when I didnt legally have to but hardly ever wore anything else armored. I figured the helmet was to keep me from dieng, everything else is just to reduce recovery time and pain. Im not naive enough to think a 1/2" of foam padding on the joints is going to keep me alive or keep anything from breaking but it may keep the bruising and rash to a minimum. If I ride off a bridge into the river the foam may keep me afloat though, so I guess its possible it could save my life.
http://www.motorcyclegear.com/street/raingear/1_pc_suits/tour_master/elite_ii_one_piece_motorcycle_rain_suit.html

Worth more than gold.
 

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I agree.
I high sided my Duc 4 blocks from my house. Was the only time I wrecked a street bike and the only time I wasn't wearing ALL of my gear. I was wearing my Doc Martins instead of my riding boots because I was being lazy. Broke my foot. The rest of my gear got a bit beat up, but better it than me. That's what it's for. It did it's job. Had I been wearing "street clothes", I'd have very likely ended up in the hospital receiving grafts or what not. I can't imagine the damage my body would have ended up with from looking at my gear.
So yes, gear is crucial.
And, I've missed a couple days of work where if I was driving, I'd have made it in. Woke up with a cold or what not and wasn't comfortable riding to work. Called in and took the PTO instead of risking it.
 

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I'm an ATGATT guy because if you knew when they were going to happen they wouldn't be called accidents.

That said, riders are their own worst enemies for the most part. Sure there's acts of God, homicidal drivers, suicidal deer, etc. but check out the motorcycle accident statistics.

Motorcycle Safety Wiki

Some highlights:

"Almost half of the fatal accidents show alcohol involvement" and "injury severity increases with speed, alcohol involvement and motorcycle size."

"In the single vehicle accidents, motorcycle rider error was present as the accident precipitating factor in about two-thirds of the cases, with the typical error being a slide-out and fall due to overbraking or running wide on a curve due to excess speed or under-cornering."

"The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents... Conspicuity of the motorcycle is a critical factor in the multiple vehicle accidents, and accident involvement is significantly reduced by the use of motorcycle headlamps-on In daylight and the wearing of high visibility yellow, orange or bright red jackets."


So don't ride drunk or like a squid and wear HiViz and your accident probability lessens substantially.

I've also read somewhere that having a motorcycle license decreases accident rates. I'm assuming that implies that the rider is interested enough to learn something about riding.

Back to the OP's question, no I don't think crashing on the street is inevitable. I'm doing my best to avoid it regardless because crashing hurts and costs money! :(
 
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