Versys vs SUV. Guess who won? (an accident report) - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Versys vs SUV. Guess who won? (an accident report)

Yesterday I decided popped into work, for few hours, to catch up on a few things. As is my normal routine I rode my bike (motorcycle) on a route I’ve taken hundreds of times, around the edge Oregon State University. The posted speed limit is 30 MPH, and being the dutiful citizen I am I was doing 35 (or perhaps as high as 40) MPH.

As one approaches the main intersection, which leads to the football stadium, there is a left hand turn lane and lane to proceed straight. I was heading straight through the intersection and noticed, for a split second, a mini-van/SUV in the left hand turn lane with its left hand turn signal on (and gave it no more thought). But then, as I was approximately 20 yards from intersection the driver of the SUV (whom I learned later was from a small town in southern Oregon and a bit confused by the “big city” streets of Corvallis) decided he needed to turn right, rather than left. So, in order to attempt this he began to exit his lane and enter the lane I was in.

At this point I had two choices. I could try to swerve around him on the left (and likely end up in a lane of oncoming traffic) or swerve around him to the right (and hope I was fast and skilled enough to accomplish this maneuver or that he might, somehow, see me and stop.) I went right, but I fear none of the things I hoped for happened. He didn’t see me or stop and despite my best efforts I wasn’t able to maneuver my way out of the problem. The outcome was I side swiped the front corner of his vehicle (just another 10 or 12 inches and I would have made it!)

After I and the bike banged into, off and then past his vehicle (bashing in my cowling and leaving behind a myriad of bits and pieces that had been sliced off) I was still upright. However, both I and the bike were off balance and flopping about like a tattered flag in the wind....and down we went, sliding to the other side of the intersection. I ended up having a leg pinned under the bike, but thanks to some young and strong students, who happened to be walking nearby, it was quickly lifted off me.

As you can see from the pictures my beautiful bike (and the love of my life) is a bit worse for wear. Since the gear shift lever is bent completely backwards (how that happened, I have no idea?) I had to have her towed to a shop. As far as me, I’m bruised up and down my left side, sore as hell and my guts feel a bit wonky but I’m sure I’ll be good as new (or at least as good I was before the accident) in a few days.

All and all I think the accident could have been much worse, were it not for three things.

1. My gear. My armored clothes and helmet prevented what could have been some very nasty road rash and broken bones (including my skull).

2. The crash bars, although now bent, prevented what would have certainly been more damage to the bike, and me.

3. The MSF course I took last August (when I decided to return to riding after an 18 year hiatus) help drill into my head things like: don’t panic, how to swerve (which prevented me from T-boning the SUV, instead of hitting it on the corner) and trying to maneuver the bike rather than locking up the brakes and hoping for the best.

The fellow who hit my turned out to be a decent guy (although still a crappy driver) He admitted, without hesitation or argument, that he was at fault both to me and to the trooper who arrived to write up the accident report. Hopefully insurance will cover everything and I’ll be riding again soon.

Be careful out there my brothers and sisters. And wear your gear!!!
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Last edited by Bluegenes; 05-15-2011 at 12:56 PM.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 01:03 PM
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Glad your not too banged up. Good job on avoiding a more serious situitation.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 01:09 PM
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Glad you made it through without too much damage man. I had a van in the oncoming lane pull in front of me a couple of years ago, and I went down hard at about 45 mph when I hit the brakes. Bike slid, and I barrel rolled about 50 feet. My armored gear/gloves/helmet got me through with some minor road rash. The bike took about $600 to get back to about where it was cosmetically. That incident made me a much more defensive driver than I had been up to that point. You just never know what a cage driver is going to do.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 01:31 PM
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Glad you are okay and got through it with minamal damage, and bravo that you were wearing protective gear.


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 01:54 PM
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I had a similar incident a couple of years ago. She was in a right-turn-only lane. As I approached she stayed motionless for a good 15 seconds after the light turned green... I thought this odd so I slowed up, watched her... and just as I started to pass her she went from a dead stop in the right lane into a left turn! My guess is that she was on the phone! Fortunately I was able to turn inside her, we barely made contact and I didnít go down. Stupid [email protected]!

They're out there!
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 04:10 PM
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I think those crash bars saved you from some leg injuries. I'm not sure what happend to your gear lever, thou. May it hit some very low, but hard part of the car (unlikely) or was bent that way when you fell. In that case, kudos to your boots.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 05:03 PM
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1. Im glad you are ok.
2. I hate people. At any point did you want to punch this guy? I mean, i know, we are all "civil", but after something like that you could fry an egg on my head. Unless you were just so happy to be ok..............Then why waste time kicking someones ass right?
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 07:14 PM
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Your shifter looks fuhhhnny.

I am very happy you came out of this crash OK.

Parts on a motorcycle are cheap and easy to replace.
On a you, not so much.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 07:37 PM
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Glad you're o.k. as they say "crashin sux" but as you stated it could have been much worse....Let's all be careful out there Wow!
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-15-2011, 08:50 PM
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I'm glad you are more or less ok, and the bike looks not too bad!

Just a word of caution for the insurance adjuster.......I assume that the bike was still running while laying on it's side. A friend of mine had an incident similar to this, and his adjuster was fairly quick to total the bike as he said that oil starvation from the bike running on it's side would damage the engine sooner or later.

Just some food for thought.

Good Luck!

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 11:52 AM
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Glad you're OK! Considering how things could have turned out it sounds like you did all the right things and, in a way, you won after all!

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 01:07 PM
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If you can walk away from an accident under your own power, it's a good thing. Glad to hear that you were not seriously injured, and that the other driver admitted fault without trying to weasel out of it. Hopefully the insurance folks will do right by you. In the meantime, I hope that the bruising and soreness will heal quickly.

Cheers,
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the kind words and the stories. You're all good people!

As far as 'decking' the guy: While, at first, I certainly wanted to, I'm glad I didn't. He was very sorry for what he did and at no point tried blame me for the accident. God knows I've done dumb things in my life and more than once people have taken mercy on me when that has happened.

I must admit that I was a bit hesitant to post my story. I don't like reading about other peoples mishaps, but I will read and listen to them, if nothing more just to learn something from them. I guess the lesson here is: wear your gear (no matter where you are; I was only a mile from home) and think about getting crash bars if you don't already have them.

I'll keep in mind the advice about the adjuster. I'll take my manual with me when he shows up, and if he claims that the engine suffered from oil starvation I'll point out to him that our bikes automatically shut off when they are on their sides (as did mine).

Thanks again! You're all awesome and continue to teach me a lot!
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 08:37 AM
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Glad to hear you're doing ok! Just went south through downtown Corvallis Sunday night, and all the cagers seemed like they wanted to race me or not let me pass them. So, I stayed compliant and kept my cool... then got out of town quickly!

Lots of parts for the Versys on eBay.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Some students I work with thought this would be an amusing alternative form of two wheeled transportation for me while my Versys is in the shop. (and yes, that is me in the photo.)
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 09:30 PM
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Your lucky, I'm still dealing with my accident from last July. Versys versus Ford Ranger head on.

I was told the left radius did not heal properly and now I have to go back for another bone graph. I spent 7 months off work, I shattered both arms. Both the ulna and radius were in fragments. Both wrist broken, and left tibia broken into several pieces below the knee.

Two operations on the right arm finally put it back together the second one was to do a bone graph. One operation on the left leg. Now I will be scheduled for a second operation on the left arm.

It's almost a year now and I'm still not whole or fully functional.

However, the only place I had road rash was on my chest because it was hot and my jacket was unzipped. Protective gear does not work against direct impact.

In the first picture you see her hood is open, my body hit it and I was tossed over it. My left leg hit her bumper, and both arms into the grill and hood.

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 10:21 PM
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Glad you weren't hurt all that badly. Bike is probably about $600 in parts plus labor and you'll be good as new.

Know that intersection. Not real well but I've been through there several times.

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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 11:04 PM
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Sorry to hear of your mishap, hope both you and your bike are fully recovered soon.
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