Newbie crash

by Bert
(Guelph Ontario Canada)

Hi Ladies

Well here goes.Just got my Kawasaki 250 and went for my first ride. Took the safety course in July. I was pretty nervous. Started out down the street, felt not to bad. The next thing I know I'm taking my first left turn and Crash, down I go pretty hard. I got my sefl bruised up and the bike is going to need to be fixed, cosmetic from what I can see. Here is the issue, I was a little nervous to begin with and now I wonder if I should be riding at all. I feel like a complete fool and wonder If I have the skills required for this sport. I am so disappointed in myself as I was really wanting to this. If anyone has any thoughts or suggetions I could really use them right now.

Comments for Newbie crash

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Sep 07, 2012
Don't Give Up
by: Leisa

Been riding for 3 years, Yamaha VStar 650 and about to turn 55. My 1st year I racked up 12,000 miles! I rode everyday, sometimes twice a day. At the beginning of this riding season (BC Cda) I was cruising, by myself, on a secondary road, no markings or side pullouts & when I entered a blind corner on a downward slope, there, smack in the middle of the road was a cow. I wasn't going all that fast, 55-60 km, I straightened up the bike, braked hard, tried to go around the cow's backside as he was not moving, but I locked the back brakes, did a 180, the bike went out from underneath me, I went across the road & the bike was on the other side facing the wrong way. Us silly bike lovers, all we can see/think is; "OMG, my bike!" I stood up but my right leg gave way so I hobbled over to my bike. All I saw was fuel dripping from the tank & freaking out that it would catch fire. My only thought was to get it upright, so I did just what all those pros tell you to do, I put the kickstand down, put my butt on the seat, grabbed the saddle bar, used me legs & put that 500lb baby back on its tires! In the end, my right leg was broken, I've spent all of July/Aug on crutches or in a wheelchair & I've not had the ability to return to the love of riding till couple weeks ago. I can tell you I was extremely skittish & still am, but in a lessor degree. I was scared to get back out there as I realize my confidence has been shot. I think every moment I'm riding just how easy the unexpected can happen & things can go wrong, but I love to ride more then my fear so you CAN do it, just like everyone tells ya - just start over & don't give up what you love to do. It helps to have a good riding buddy.

Sep 05, 2012
I agree with Jean
by: Turtle

As I sit here and read the comments and stories, I have to say I agree with Jean. When I started riding my husband would NEVER let me on a motorcycle until I took the riders course, then he had me spend HOURS UPON HOURS in the parking lot until I could easily do a 20 foot circle, 20 ft u-turn and master a panic stop from 45 then 50 mph with confidence and that was all before he ever let me on the highway,(To Me That is because he Loves Me and wanted me to be a safe rider). I have ridden with Ride-a-pro on several occassions and actually learned to ride from their video it's a great video. I can't stress enough to others who want to ride, to LEARN how to control the motorcycle BEFORE you get out on the road. I want to come home without injuries and knowing how to ride safe is the best way I know of. PRACTICE MAKES A GOOD RIDER!

Sep 05, 2012
An update
by: Berta, ON, Canada

Hi again all

Your support and comments have been wonderful and I can't thank you all enough. I'm sending the bike in to get an estimate on getting it fixed. Had a good look at it today and it doesn't look nearly as bad as it did on crash day. Not sure if the opportunity to try again this season is going to come along or not. Would feel better with my wing man to take me to a parking lot for some practice and he is in great white north working. So that being said, I may get it fixed up and sign up for another course in the spring and just get a little more instruction before I get out there again. Thanks to all your support I won't give up at least not yet. Kinda of silly to spend all this time and effort to give up after one incident.

Keep up all the great riding and support ladies...we need each other.

Sep 05, 2012
Keep Riding
by: Anonymous

If you're afraid and doubting whether you have the necessary skills or not.... Please, Please take another class. Riding isn't only about physical ability, but also about confidence. I have been riding 4 years and have taken classes twice. I plan to take them every couple of years because they cause you to practice activities that don't come up every day on the streets. Every time you ride you learn something else... every time you take a class you learn something new. My bike is 650 pounds dry weight and I have a fairing, saddle bags and a trunk added. It's heavy and I'm no young rider, but I like it anyway. I've dropped it and I may drop it again, but I've never been hurt so I can't complain. Don't give up.

Sep 05, 2012
I Feel Ya!
by: Vicki

Sis, reading your words couldn't have been any closer to what i'm experiencing. You took your story right out of my mouth. Had a 250 cruiser, went down! Took safety course in April, clamped down on front brake in class and went down(my fear is an 'emergency stop' to this day)Did pass the course. Got a Honda(knock-off)250,thinkin i cud ride a sportbike easier(like them better).Went down in 2nd gear in a parking lot,lol I've questioned myself so many times,"Am i cut out for this?" I really wanna ride. I'm pretty good out on the road. Still sweating the quick stops ;) God keep us safe girl...let's keep trying :)

Sep 04, 2012
Funny story
by: Denise

So here's my story. I passed my test and got my license a month before I bought my bike. I hadn't been on any other bikes in between that time. We brought my pretty 2009 750 Honda Shadow home (you learn on 250's, right?) and my husband told me to take it for a spin with a confident laugh. I went down our street just fine but then I came up to a corner, where I had to turn left. I took of and couldn't make the corner. Needless to say, all of my male neighbors were standing outside, recreating "King of the Hill," watching me dump the bike. The pretty pearl finish was marked up and there was now a dent in my formally pristine tank. This was over a year ago and now I'm out in traffic, going on adventures and just loving the hell out of my beloved Pearl. Don't give up. You deserve to ride a bike.

Sep 04, 2012
It'll be alright!!
by: Jean

I started riding in the fall of 2010. I started on a 1988 honda shadow vt800. Did I drop her? You bet!! Was I scared most of the time...you bet! I rode in an empty parking lot for hours, didn't rack up very many miles but hubby told me that at this stage; it's not the miles but the hours I spend at practice. We would ride two up to the parking lot. Then he'd get off and tell me to practice. How many hours did he sit there? I have no idea, but it was plenty. After several days/weeks of this, he got on his bike and we rode on roads that has very little if any traffic. I stayed in 2nd gear for several miles. Eventually I made it through all the gears and then we started riding more and more. As was posted earlier, baby steps.
I owned that little 800 for less than a yr, put on over 6000 miles on her, then I got a 'big girls' bike; honda shadow sabre vt1100. Have I dropped her, of course...more than once. Since having my Morning Star, we have rode the million dollar hwy in CO. Have rode through Custer state park (SD) and Needles Hwy, on into Montana, Wy,and NE. It has been worth all the 'jitters' of learning to ride. Just don't worry yourself, take it slow, and also get the ride like a pro. He also has a DVD for very beginners. Just do the exercises in an parking lot. Someone has also suggested somewhere on this site about chewing gum while riding. I have never done that, but several swear that it helps.
Keep your chin up and smile! Life is too short to be afraid all of the time.
Happy riding!

Sep 04, 2012
by: Karen

You've now got that first drop off your to-do list. And we've ALL done it. No more wondering what it'd be like. Hurts the body. Hurts the pride. But nothin compared to the sensation of riding the wind!

I dropped my Ninja 500 within the first month (only been riding 18 months). Dang plastic stuff cracks and breaks!

Here's what I did: have insurance cover ordering all the new parts. As much as possible, leave those pretty new parts in the box and have the mechanic make the old parts work (like unbend the pedal it fell on, and leave scratched handle bar ends on there). That way when you're ready to uplevel to a new bike, you can put on the pre-paid pretty parts.

And now the bike has street-cred (wink!) so you can go ride the heck outta it!

Sep 04, 2012
I feel for you
by: Donna1200

I don't have any good advice for you but I can say I feel for you. I crashed 8 weeks ago doing a left hand turn and severely broke my left leg. Since I am still in a wheelchair with no weight bearing on the leg, I wasn't able to get back on and ride again. Now I am waiting to see if I will be mentally able to ride once I am physically able. I also posted my experience and got a lot of positive feedback and really good encouragement from the women on this forum. So I guess I can just say to find a parking lot and practice until you are comfortable and confident. It takes a lot of practice to be able to handle those two wheelers! :) Good luck!

Sep 04, 2012
No Worries
by: Jeanette

Just read all the posts on this site... you are not alone. Many of us have crashed and are enjoying riding after learning why it happened. Get the ride like a pro dvd set and practice the maneuvres in a parking lot. That is what I did and now i feel like I am in control of the bike and the bike is not in control of me.
Commit yourself to learning how to control the bike in a parking lot in all kinds of maneuvres and you will be 100% fine on the road... Guaranteed!
Happy and safe riding!

Sep 04, 2012
Head games
by: Anonymous

Hi neighbor, I'm in Stoney Creek, On. I can totally relate to what you're feeling. I had to withdraw from the MSF course after dropping the bike a second time and injuring myself, had the same thoughts you're having but I had waited too long (I'm 57) to give up, so signed up for round two a couple months later, passed in June and bought a Honda 250. The hardest thing for me was getting control of the head games and convincing myself that I COULD and WOULD do it. Take it slow, go out as often as you can when traffic is light. Appreciate that it takes a considerable amount of concentration and skill to handle a motorcycle and don't be too hard on yourself. "Half of Doing is Believing that You Can" I don't know who said that but I think there's some truth to it.

Sep 04, 2012
Newbie too
by: Sue

I started my MSF course in August - got heat stroke and had to drop out of the riding portion - passed the written just fine. Waiting for weather to cool off before taking riding portion again. I've been practicing the friction zone in my driveway. But, yesterday, I decided that I would practice and take it just across the street to a neighbors driveway. I felt unsure on the Honda - stalled it a few times, popped the clutch. Realized that I was NOT in the right frame of mind to be sitting on the machine. Put the bike back in the garage and will try again later.
I figure that my head was telling me this was not the right time/place for me to be practicing. Just a thought.

Sep 04, 2012
Don't feel bad !!!
by: Cheryl R.

I bought my 1st Harley in April, my class wasn't until May....One of my girlfriends was "teaching" me to ride since I have never ridden before. I bought the(used) bike so that I could "practice" before my Safety Class started bcuz I didn't want to go into the class not knowing "why I was shifting gears" or "how to downshift" I WAS DEFINATELY A NEWBIE!!! Well, 3 days after my bike was delivered I was practicing in the abandoned parking lot behind my house and I crashed her right into a guard rail...I couldn't believe it!!!! Shaken and bruised (my right shin)my boyfriend ran over and asked me what happened. I wasn't sure...It happened so fast. I later realized that I had let go of the clutch and rolled on the throttle while trying to break and turn....it was a mess!!! Needless to say I need to have my tank repaired and painted. I was sooo scared and intimidated with the bikes power that I too questioned my ability and my willingness to continue. I took the class in May, passed the class and continue to practice in that parking lot until I felt ready to go into the street. After that, it was all "baby steps". I have since put 600 miles on my bike(to some that isn't alot) but my point is, DON'T GIVE UP!!! I have been on a 70mile trip, I have rode to work & back several times and I have even braved onto a "Chicago Expwy"...but I have done them all AT MY PACE & MY BABY STEPS. Find a safe place to practice and maybe find a "buddy" to help you but don't give up!!!! You can do it!!!! It's taken me all summer to get to where I am, I didn't rush it, I let it happen as I was ready. I've started riding with a couple other women who have alot of experience and I continue to learn everyday. This Saturday we are planning my 1st "long" ride up to Wisconsin....I'm sooooo excited!!!! (& nervous)LOL
Good Luck & keep me posted !!!

Sep 04, 2012
Never Doubt Yourself....
by: Anonymous

I'm newbie as well and I'm NO expert and to me it just sounds like you did not give your bike enough throttle OR used your front brake in the turn. NEVER doubt yourself. Every mistake you make you LEARN from. I've had my license since May this year and purchased my bike (Harley Sportster 1200)in Beginning of June. IT has been a roller coaster for sure! I can do this...NO I CAN'T... yes I can. So you are not alone. I rode with my Bike instructor yesterday and she said this is very common for women. What you need to do is dust yourself off, fix up your bike or at least have it checked for anything mechanical and get back on it girl!!! What I did to get my self over nerves...Just "walk" your bike up and down your road in the friction zone...then ride it back and forth in first...then as you get more comfortable take it a little farther. Give yourself patience to learn and do not pressure yourself into doing more than you are comfortable with. Good luck!

Sep 04, 2012
It's like a horse!!
by: cat

Ok so you had a little fall. Sis you just have to think of it as a horse. When a horse throws you,you just get right back on it. When I first got my honda 250 ,my husband & I went for a ride. When we were headed home I had to make a sharp left turn at a traffic light to go up on the bridge. You guessed it i didn't make it,I gave it to much gas. Went up over the curb & then down I went. Scared the crap out of my husband ,he was behind me. I said just help me get it up. He straightened my brake out & mirrors and I got back on & rode it home. :) I have been riding now for 5 years. I now own a 750 Honda.YOU CAN DO THIS,just maybe try back streets in your neighborhood,or even a church or school parking lot. I'll be praying for ya,I know you can do this.Hey if you have fb you can reach me on it.Cat Davis!! Have a safe & blessed week!!

Sep 04, 2012
by: Berta

Hey all who have commented so far....The support is awesome thanks to all of you.
I'm feeling pretty intimidated at the moment but will keep working on overcoming this feeling. Will have to wait a bit to get back on as my ankle needs to heal. I truthfully feel like I need to try one more time or in all reality have I really given up on riding or on myself.

Thanks again ladies, the support is really appreciated.

Sep 04, 2012
Nothing to worry about
by: Anonymous

You weren't speeding right? Driving irradically? I have dropped 3 out of the 4 bikes I have owned (I call it my little initiation) All have been while stopped (how silly is that right?) It happens and you just have to get back on. The 1 thing I remember most when this happens to me is what one of the instructors told me when I took the Safety course - "Just ride the bike" So try not to overthink -

Sep 04, 2012
Dear Newbie,
by: Anonymous

You don't need to quit, u need to have more confidense in yourself. I practiced on back roads for a very long time before I ever got the nerve to drive in town. Girl, I have been to bike rallies where I see MEN drop their bikes. Just get back in the saddle and keep learning. YOU WILL NOT BE DISSAPOINTED! Riding is wonderful!

Sep 04, 2012
That's outta the way!
by: Anonymous

It's never about "if" you're going to drop the bike ... it's about "when", and now you got that out of the way! Keep riding.

If it's any consolation, I have a Kawasaki 250 KLR. My feet barely touch the ground. It was only a matter of time before I dumped the bike because I just started dual-sport riding! It happened to me just last weekend when I was going up a steep off-road hill. I was in 2nd, should have been in 1st -- lost control and I ended up heading toward the bushes. The bike went down, I couldn't pick it up, and once it was right-sided, it wouldn't start!

But I got right back on it when it finally kicked over, and I finished the ride.

I hope you muster persistence and determination from your experience. Stay strong!

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