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When you get a new bike, take a long weekend and go into the montains... somewhere pretty where you can relax while you get the feel for being on a bike back. My guess.. a couple of days and you'll have adjusted your style will be comfortable again.
 

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I had to wait out a winter before I could get back on a bike after I broke my leg in a stupid accident. I was scared to death, I won't lie, but that first 30-mile ride (which was to the ocean for me) made it all worth it. If you really want to do it, you'll do it, but be sure to ponder the risks yet again ...
 

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For me, the second worst part is the way the accident replays itself in my mind. I keep seeing that car coming right at me, and I have nowhere to go. Rock to the left, drop-off to the right...



The worst thing? The look my four year old girl gave me when I got home the next day, with my arm in a jiffy splint. That memory just tears me apart.



When my arm, my wrist in particular, healed up I sat my wife down and asked her, "No sh1t, what do you think about me getting another bike?". She told me she wasn't crazy about me going out and (possibly) getting hurt, and she was still a little miffed at how I'd set myself up for a crash by riding the Dragon (IHHO). "But," she said, "You've been riding since we met, and I know how much you love it." She told me to get a bike if that's what I wanted.



My first ride was pretty normal, and the local traffic was just as screwy as it has always been. I've put 650 local (break-in) miles on my new bike, and I guess I'm back to "normal".



I do admit, though, that I'm now a little more leery of oncoming traffic when I'm on a left hand sweeper.



My advice? It's up to you to decide whether to get back on that horse. As a buddy told me, "It is all a matter of Risk Management." You know, especially now, that it is possible you will be in a crash. It's your call whether it is worth it.



Being in the wind, for me, makes it worth the risk.
 

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Sorry to hear about your crash. Despite the angst a crash causes us it is also a reminder that we are vulnerable.



A crash can make us take stock of our strategies for managing risk. You sound like you are an intelligent rider who responded appropriately to the increased risk of a tailgating driver so what else could you have done to reduce the risk? Hindsight is a wonderful thing but I think you answered this yourself when you said you obviously did not leave a big enough gap. We all make mistakes. As long as you learn from the incident you are less likely to come to grief in the future.



Riding is one of the few adventures available to everyday people. Don' t give up, I'm sure you would regret it.
 

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Did your ST1100 have ABS? I suspect not, because it sounds like wheel lockup on the gravel is what led to the crash. If so, then one of the biggest confidence-enhancing things you could do is, next time, get a bike with ABS (maybe an ST1100 ABS). All the anti-ABS blather aside, ABS can and does save lives, and your case is one where it might have turned the crash and its consequences into just a scary stop. Having it next time could be a big confidence-builder all by itself.



 

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That's a hard call. I've had near misses that replay in my mind 15 years after the fact. If you love it enough get back on and see how it feels. Your gut will tell you what to do, even if it takes a year or two or three, etc. Fate may have had as much to do with your accident as anything else. Some people ride 30 years with nothing overly serious happening to them. Some people die three hours after getting the bike. The good thing I read in your after thoughts is you did (what we called in the Army) an After Action Review. What could I have done better? What was the situation and what caused it? Maybe you are that much smarter now and could chalk this up to experience and good fortune. Bottom line is only you will know if it is worth it get back on a motorcycle and when to do so.



I would like to know, what kind of gear you had on? If you walked away from this I am assuming some decent gear intended for motorcycle riding.
 

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If you ask that question to this crowd, you already know you want to get back on a bike. When you do, book yourself to track school. You will be in a safe and controlled environment, you will always learn something, and you will get more acquainted with your new bike in a day than you would in three months on the street.

In my experience, this is the fastest, most effective, and safest way to rebuild confidence.
 

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It ain't necessary to crash to get a little squemish. I fell off the ladder when I was powerwashing the eves of my house, broke my left arm. Ow! that hurt. So, I was off my ride for about a month until I could stand to reach the handlebars and squeeze the clutch lever at the same time. Yeah, I was a little nervous when I got back at it, but you get over it pretty quick. One really good ride will do 'er.
 

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It ain't necessary to crash to get a little squemish. I fell off the ladder when I was powerwashing the eves of my house, broke my left arm. Ow! that hurt. So, I was off my ride for about a month until I could stand to reach the handlebars and squeeze the clutch lever at the same time. Yeah, I was a little nervous when I got back at it, but you get over it pretty quick. One really good ride will do 'er.
 

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Yeah. I know that it's an admission of failure to say so[1], but ABS is very useful.

My car is a 2000, and I bought it without ABS. I didn't need it, right? Well, I've had two close calls that have made me think otherwise. All it takes is sliding sideways down a slippery highway in the winter to make one a believer. My next cage *will* have ABS.

The sad thing is that we really don't have a lot of choices for ABS for bikes. Has there ever been a sportbike that had this as an option?

-- Michael

[1] REAL men don't need ABS, right?
 

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I'm supposed to hate the combined brakes on my 2000 vfr, but I know damn well they have saved my a$$ more than once. No matter how stupid I brake they never lock up. I will miss them on my next bike.
 

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I have dislocated my shoulder several times now. Once it has gone out the first time, it gets weaker. In fact, every time it comes out, it gets weaker.

I am now embarking on a program of rehabilitation for my shoulder having had the situation explained to me by one of my taiji teachers and my brother in law, who is training as a physiotherapist.

You should try to see a physiotherapist and work out a program to protect the shoulder as much as possible with stronger muscles.

One problem is that when it is still painful you mustn't do too much training but when it doesn't hurt any more you lose the motivation to do the training. But that's exactly the time you should really start working with your shoulder. I wish I had known more about this earlier, as I think I could have prevented some of the dislocations I have had.

Good luck and remember that your health is more important than your bike riding.

But riding a bike is a lot of fun!

2W
 

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Check to see if your local MSF has a short class for experienced riders. I attended one with a friend of mine after she had a nasty crash (the old helmet is now used as a demonstration of what could happen to your face). Anyway, after a day of riding on the range, she was as good as new. Didn't hurt my riding either.
 

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Time heals all wounds. I have injured myself on motorcycles in the past many times, and after a while you will forget. Take your time and come back slowly. If it doesn't feel right, you will know. How you handle that first crash determines how long you will be in this sport.
 

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An After Action Review, eh? Yeah, thats a good way to think about it. Unfortunately, it seems the reviews always come about the time you want to go to sleep! But if thats all I really have to complain about, then I'm very lucky.



You asked about my gear. Thankfully it was a chilly morning, so I had another couple of layers on underneath my riding gear which probably helped reduce some bruising. But I had on a full face HJC helmet, a Joe Rocket jacket, and Harley Leather boots and thick denim jeans. Evrything looks pretty bad now of course, except suprisingly the jeans! Bizarre. How lucky am I?



Its funny, a few weeks before I was thinking about getting an open face helmet as I was getting really hot wearing the full face. If I'd been wearing that, I'd have no chin and no teeth. The helmet I was wearing had scratches all over the front, side and face shield. I guess you can't be too careful. Thanks for the reply.
 

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change of pace

I am sure you are now well aware of this popular saying

"It’s not a matter of if you will go down; it’s a matter of how hard you will go down"

For me it was a number of years ago, that I messed up my Suz 600 and crushed four vertebrates in my back

Traction and having to ware a back brace kept me off a bike for many months and ultimately I did not ride again for a number of years.

But, the bug to feel the wind in my face finally won out, and I purchased another bike.

This time instead of a sport bike, I purchased a Harley Softtail Heritage classic.

While any bike is just as likely to go down as the next, I feel less likely to speed on this bike, (it’s slow anyway) and instead I am happy with enjoying the ride. If you no longer feel the "need for speed", you might consider buying a cruiser.

Like kowalke67 said, it sounds like you had some pretty good body gear. What did you have on?
 

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Thanks for your reply. I think I'll probably end up getting another bike. I'm sure thats why I asked you guys and not non-riders! The insurance company said they'd they would pay the tax on any bike purchase I make in the next 60 days, which is a nice incentive to go buy one relatively soon. Not sure if I will or not. Living in Michigan though, its going to be tough to ride to the mountains, but I get your message. Go somewhere nice and quiet and chill out for a while and have some good riding. Sounds good.
 

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No ABS. I have also thought about adding that option to the next bike if I get one. I'd had a near spill about 6 months ago in the wet, a guuy pulled out in front of me and stopped! I braked hard, but I grabbed them instead of squeezing and the front locked but I just eased off and it regained traction. Lucky then as well. I practiced a few high speed stops in a big parking lot, felt pretty good, never really worried about it again until now. I liked the ST1100 alot but I probably won't get another, not right now anyway. I was looking at the BMW R1100RT and Kawasaki Concours. I'll have to buy another used bike, funds won't permit a new one (especially after the loss on the ST). The BMW has ABS but costs $10000 for a 98! I don't have that much, so I'll probably end up with a Concours and alot of space between me and everyone else! Thanks for your reply.
 
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