Phuzzy drops his helmet [and then some] by PhuzzyGnu


Full photo spread on the bottom


I dropped my Arai RX7RR3 today, resulting in a couple of minor scratches and a trashed visor.

Unfortunately, it was securely attached to my head at the time.

Josephine is wounded, folks.

I got off work and was riding home and I decided to do a little peg feeler damage. There is a 180* left hand U-turn I frequent on occasion. Careful observers will note not a small number of gouges in the pavement around the apex from previous visits. There is another U-turn eight-tenths of a mile down the road, so a miscreant like me can scritch-scratch around a little 1.6 mile oval if he feels frisky.

I was feeling frisky.

I did a few laps to get a feel for the turn and make sure there would be no real surprises, and on the fourth one I got one anyway.

I came in a little hot, from fourth gear down to first, with a little waggle from the back. I entered the turn at 55-60 (too hot for first, but this wasn't the problem). I kept an even throttle; I don't shut off in turns. Being a never say die kinda guy, I turned it in anyway, planting the peg down almost as soon as I leaned in. I made it all the way to the apex, gouging a trench in the turn with the left peg. I hung off more and more as I got into it so as not to ground out the fairing or exhaust. The back end slid ever so slightly, and then the front pushed. When the front pushed, I tried to do a Gobert-like save and get on the gas- I figure better to slide the rear than the front. My left knee touched down, I'm thinking to myself, "this is coo-"

And then SCrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiitchhhhhh the front end tucked under and the bike slid out from under me. My knee and boot were under the left side and I put my hand down for a wee second and then the bike continued on without me. I slid on my left leg and ass for a little bit and then forgot the dynamics of the situation and tried to stand- at about 30 mph. I did a quick forward flip with a half twist and tumbled, lightly headbutting the soft shoulder of the road. I ended up on my back after a couple tumbles, again sliding. I managed to stand up while in motion, this time successfully.

Off to the side as I was doing my impromptu tumbling act, I saw Josephine sliding and was thinking, "Well, that's not too- DOH!" as she transitioned from a simple 55-mph low side to a nice forward flip to match mine as her peg and front tire dug into the slightly soggy sod. She flipped from her left side, touched her tailsection down on her right side, and then nose-dived her right front into the sod. Ouch.

As I stylishly got my feet under me on the fly, the SUV that I would have merged in front of was slowing to a halt, obviously transfixed by the sight of the black Power Ranger and black bike doing synchronized U-turn break dancing. As soon as I had my feet under me, I give him a classic Nixon-esque double thumbs up and walked over to Josephine. He slowly idled by and went on his way.

In a feat of adrenaline-fueled superhuman strength, I picked Josephine up easily (you XX owners know they don't come up like that ordinarily) and put the kickstand down.

I sat on her at first, as if I would be able to hop on and just ride off, and then noticed the obvious damage before me. I turned off the key (bent), and stepped back off.

I looked her over, wincing at the damage. She's mushed. I turned her on and pressed the starter after making sure the case wasn't worn through. She started right up and revved to about five thousand. Ooops. I cut her off and straightened the mangled throttle cable housings. I couldn't turn the bars left, so after making sure nothing was getting damaged further, I whacked the right bar forward to bend the fairing out of the way.

She was running and rideable, and as I got back on to start the ignominious ride home the SUV guy was back, telling me everything would be fine, he called the police, just hold on, etc.

My ass. I told him thanks but no thanks. I live relatively close by, and I said I was just gonna ride her home. He asked if I was okay and I said sure, no problem. I got on the bike before he could protest further and slowly eased out on the road.

I creepy-crawled the couple miles home, safe in the knowledge at least that my dark-tinted Arai (with optional grass attachment) would keep my from making eye contact with hecklers.

I got home, and promptly dropped her in the driveway when I forgot the limited left hand steering lock. She was much more difficult to pick up this time.

I took a better look once I had her up on the kickstand.

The front fairing top section came out quite the worse for wear from her faceplant. The headlight and lens are remarkably unbroken, as is the gauge cluster. The clip-ons are both fine, the forks straight, the front fender undamaged. The windscreen is even unbroken. The steel front fairing stay is pretzeled. Throttle cable housings are bent. Both mirrors are dangling by their wires, having broken off the stalks. The left mirror plastic is a little scratched. The right mirror glass is gone. The rear subframe is about one inch off of straight, but the tailsection is unmarked. The right fairing is scuffed, not even scratched through the paint. The right fairing inner trim piece is munched. The left case now has a stylish bare aluminum/gouge motif. The left fairing lower has a handful of scratches. The left muffler has a minor scratch on the leading edge where it grounded out right before I did.

It seems as if my left foot and leg kept her off the ground quite well until we parted ways. The flip did her in.

I'll examine her more closely later, but as for now, She only REALLY needs mirror stalks and one mirror glass, a fairing stay, a right inner fairing/cockpit trim, the front nosepiece/topsection, the throttle cab tubes, the left engine case and some other bits and pieces. I have a $1000 deductible (you make these choices when you are young and barely insurable), so I won't even claim this mishap. I will fix the really obvious damage and touch up the rest and Josephine will be perfectly rideable until I toss her down the road again in a manner worthy of an insurance claim.

As for my gear, all I can say is SPEND MONEY ON GOOD GEAR, PEOPLE.

My Kushitani Hyper gloves held up wonderfully well. The right one is virtually unmarked. The left one has minor scuffs and a little torn leather on the outer glovelet's palm. There is a tiny hole about the size of the tip of your pinky at the base of the pinky/palm area of the inner glove. The Zylon that runs around the pinkie and ring finger is scuffed but undamaged. This glove is totally repairable.

My Arai has two small scratches/gouges right above the left brow. I will be buying a new helmet soon anyway, but it is completely wearable. The visor took some hits from gravel and is trashed. I know that helmets are designed for one impact and one impact only, so I will take a more careful look at it and most likely get a new one. As it is, if I had to, I would probably wear it anyway, and may for a couple weeks after I get Josephine running while I wait for the next paycheck. Silly me.

My left combat boot has some impressive, but not terminal, damage all along the left side from toe to heel. If I was wearing tennis shoes or something, my foot would be mangled. I think the thick leather combined with the steel shank in the sole protected my foot from crush injuries and abrasions.

And last but most goddam certainly not least, my beloved Aerostich. There are some minor brushes across the entire back that neatly follow the outline of the Aerostich back protector. the shoulders have some scuffs. There are also some minor scuffs on the left arm and right arm. Nothing really. The right leg has very minor scuffing, along with the right hip. The ass has some scuffing over a broad area and a 2" rough hole through one layer of Cordura on the right cheek. The left leg took the brunt. The knee of the Aerostich, along with the elbows, forearms and shoulders, is thick, tough 500-weight Cordura over the normal layer. The outer heavy duty Cordura on the left knee is shredded over the complete kneecap area and outer knee- an area about 6" in diameter. The inner Cordura is worn through as well with about a 2" hole. The inner nylon lining is even worn through to the TF2 pad- which was just scuffed. Had I not been wearing my Aerostich, I would have grievously injured my left knee and outer calf- I would almost certainly suffered horrendous abrasion around the front and side, without a doubt to the bone and beyond. I have seen other Aerostich suits that have been crashed, and judging by the damage to my suit's knee, it, along with my left combat boot, took the combined weight of me and my bike for about 30 feet. It saved my left leg.

As for little old me? My right knee is a wee bit sore from a pavement slap. The heel of my left palm is slightly sore. My left knee is slightly sore. My right hip is sore (if you don't have the Aerostich hip pads like I do, get them). My worst injury is my left foot, which took all of Josephine's weight when she tucked the front. The ankle is swelling, and the outside of the foot is swelling and blue. I initially thought I might have a broken metatarsal, but I don't believe that is the case now. I can walk, albeit I am a little gimpy.

A mildly sprained left ankle and slightly banged left foot seem to be the extent of my injuries.

The Aerostich back pad, shoulder pads, elbow pads, hip pads, knee pads and abrasion resistance along with good gloves and strong boots and a good helmet all combined to protect me from any sort of treatable injury.

Not too bad for a 55-60 mph lowside to multiple cartwheel, eh?

-Phuzzy



How could any self-respecting motorcyclist not nail this corner?
Phuzzy leaves his mark.
Phuzzy in full gear after crash (front)
Phuzzy in full gear after crash (back)
Heavy leather combat boots and Aerostich which held up quite well.
Back shot of the boots.
This is why we wear helmets (full-face ones at that).
The $200+ for these gloves is much cheaper than the medical bills that would have been incurred.
Again, here is why we spend nearly as much on riding gear as we do on bikes.