HOW OFTEN DO YOU DROP YOUR MOTORCYCLE? I don’t mean crash it, although that would certainly be a pertinent answer. In this instance, I simply mean dropping it while you’ve stopped, or while riding very slowly. One example would be pulling up to a stop sign and putting your foot down on some loose sand, or wet leaves, or in some way losing traction under your foot, and then losing the bike as it falls over.
Another example would be putting down the kickstand while dismounting the bike only to find that the side stand wasn’t fully extended into its locked position, which leaves the bike unsupported as it falls over.
Or, as in the example in the photo above and in the video below, a friend (Lance) dropping his bike when the front tire got hung up in some soft sand, while riding slowly. We were on a 1600 mile, 5-day, Central and Northern California ride and were on our way to a National Forest campsite when the dirt road turned into soft sand.
He was not injured, nor was the bike damaged. And he demonstrated the attitude of a true professional: “Oh well, I’ll handle this better next time.” And when we headed back out of the forest the next morning, he had no problem with the same difficult spot in the dirt road.
I mentioned to Lance that it happens to many riders and it’s not a big deal (he considers himself a relatively new rider). It certainly has happened to me a number of times over the years and it usually just results in some momentary embarrassment, with no personal injury, although sometimes bike damage does occur.
But it left me wondering: How often does it really happen to other riders? And how many riders are willing to confess to momentary lapses of good control, in an otherwise non-threatening situation?
It doesn’t seem to take long for some beginning motorcyclists to consider themselves competent riders. I know I thought I was reasonable good within my first few thousand miles or so, back in the 70’s. But after several hundred thousand miles under my belt, and the recognition that I still consider I’m learning, I sometimes wonder how I survived those first years.
The point is that many riders consider themselves to be in good control of their bikes at all times. But the concept of letting it fall over while stopped, or nearly stopped, seems to belie such a notion – even if only for an instant.
Regardless, if you are willing to share such hapless moments on your own bike, please add your experiences below regarding how often you have found yourself picking up your motorbike after it tipped over when you were stopped, or almost stopped, or even just getting going….