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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Was making a Uturn from a stop on the shoulder and half way thru the turn the bike went down on the left side.

Yesterday I decided to name my Royal Star: Ursa (latin for she-bear) and this morning she lived up to her name.

Got back up with a scuff on the bottom edge of the crash bar and one on the back side of one muffler. Other than that I cant find any damage to the bike. She IS a bear!

The road is a sorta crushed stone maybe pressed into asphalt (maybe not) that runs along the east side of Canadice Lake (one of the smaller finger lakes). I had never been there before, there are no houses or developed land on the shores of this lake, sounded like a good place to take some fall photos. I thought the road was a bit sketchy, kept my speed below 40 while riding

but I missed the turn to the boat ramp area, pulled off on the gravel shoulder, and thats were I did everything wrong. Im not sure exactly why I dropped the bike, but I hit just about everything on the list:

Ive put 1000 miles on the Royal Star since I got it last month, but have not spent much time riding slow, commuting, or playing in the parking lot. I have refined my slow riding skills on my Vstar 650 over the last 6 summers, and this bike is different below 3mph. I keep blowing my stops and have to put my right foot down abruptly. I looked it up, the engine on the 650 spins in the opposite direction of the wheels, but on the Royal Star the engine spins in the same direction as the wheels. The gyro effect is noticeably different, and Im use to the way the 650 handles at 1mph.

I sat on the shoulder for a minute looking for cars and listening - there was no traffic on the road, but as I started to make the U turn I kept swiveling my head looking in both directions. I know what the 1st rule is: ALWAYS look where you want the bike to go.

Im not sure exactly what happened - I think I went over as I was turning my head from right to left. Maybe my foot got hung up on the crash bar, or I didnt lift it off the floorboard far enough, but I was surprised to find myself on the ground on my left side. Maybe I did get my foot down but it slipped on the odd gravel surface.

I hit the kill switch, pulled myself out from under the bike, looked for cars, reached under and shut the gas petcock off, looked for cars, and thought: I have to get this out from the middle of the road!

It was a bit of a lift to get it to roll up on the 45 degree part of the crash bar. Once I got it that far it was a little easier to lift it by the grip to get it up all the way, and I managed to hold it straight and swing my leg over and sit down - pulled the clutch in and rolled it back to the shoulder.

The bike is fine - I thought I would dent the tank, bend the handlebars, break the clutch lever, break the turn signals, bust the mirror... nothing. My knee was a bit sore (I did not wear my textile pants today for no reason I can think of now). If my elbow or shoulder hit the ground the protection in my textile jacket paid for itself.

Stopped at the first chance for coffee and a muffin, rode the 50 miles back home with no issues.

Now Im thinking I should put a crash bar on my 650 too.

Photo is Ursa at Canadice Lake, after the oops.
 

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I guess it happens to us all at some point. At least you didn't get hurt or seriously damage your new ride. You're still in the transition stage between bikes so it'll take some time to get used to Ursa (love the name). Chalk it up as a learning experience and move on, my friend.

Beauty pic, BTW.
 

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Glad you and your bike are OK. Sounds like road surface issue enhanced with low speed. You mentioned blowing your stops. When I first got the Harley I was having same issue coming from the 1100, there's almost 300 pounds difference. I had to break a habit of mine left over from sport bike days. With sport bikes I used about 80% front brake and 20% rear. The suspension and handling of a sport bike liked this. On the 1100 I found that by using more rear brake when coming to a stop made the bike settled to a stop smoother. Now with the Harley I must use more rear brake or the bike gets very unstable right before a total stop. Hope that made sense, kinda hard to describe. I can basically come to a complete stop without having to short step right before a total stop. Try using a little more rear brake right before a stop and see if it helps. At times I still grab too much front brake, old habits are hard to stop.
 

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These bikes are definitely a different beast than the 650. I recently moved up myself to the Venture and she’s hefty for sure.

One thing I’ve seen posted is that the slow speed handling is better with a 130 vs the stock 150 on the front and even with the 130, I still have to pay attention at slow speeds, especially if my wife is on the back. Not sure if that’s something you’ve looked into.

Glad you’re alright and the bike only had a couple scuffs.
 

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I’m with everyone else in mentioning that I’m glad you’re ok and the bike only suffered cosmetic damage. I agree in chalking it up as lesson learned and the surface conditions I’m sure didn’t help any.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I think I already know why I was having trouble stopping with the RoyalStar. After putting 32k miles on my 650 I can roll up to a stop sign or intersection, slow down a bit short of the stop line, look both ways to see if its clear, then slowly (1mph or less) move up to the stop line, and go without putting my foot down. At red lights if I know the light is going to green in a few seconds I slow down about 30 feet back of the cars in front of me, and creep the bike forwards without putting my foot down, and then go.

I know you are not suppose to do this - to be clear I am not blowing thru stop signs - Im barely moving and I have 4 or 5 seconds to look both ways twice and make sure its clear. I have gotten really good at riding the VS650 really slow.

With the 700 lb she-bear.... not so much. I have to resign myself to pulling up to the stop, putting my feet down, then looking to see if the intersection is clear. It took me 6 years to get that one-ness with the 650, and the RS is just too different.

Thats not what happened on the U turn, I was completely stopped, but I was too busy looking back and forth down the road and not looking where I wanted the bike to go.

Got to get back to the fundamentals with the new bike.

Thanks to everyone for your kind words and compassion. Its been 40 years since I dropped a motorcycle, I was starting to think I was past that. Its good to know the bike can take it and get back up.

I went forth and back on whether I would post about this incident, but figured someone else can learn from my mistake, and of the benefit of having a good crash bar on your motorcycle.
 

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Glad you and Ursa were ok, KCW. That is a hard on the pride lesson.
There is a side saddle approach to picking up the bike, not sure if that would have helped in this situation. Went to a Hwy Patrol sponsored event and they gave us the opportunity to lift one of their bikes from the crash bar....definitely a lift, even using the side saddle approach. Might be able to get one of the more technical guys (or gals) to post a clip of the technique.
 

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Here's one.

 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
How bad was it to pick the 800+ pound bear up?
I normally ride with the bike stripped down, its only about 700 lbs.

With the adrenaline rush I could have picked it up over my head and flipped it 360 onto its wheels.

I only had about 200 feet of visibility down the road in one direction, and was afraid a car would come over the crest with the bike in the middle of the street - so I did not have much time to think about it. I grabbed both grips and locked the front brake. Rolling it up on the crash bar was not that hard, but then I had to get the weight off the crashbar and fully on the wheels - that seemed like the hardest part, without pushing it over the top and down on the other side.

Im 6 feet tall and 210 lbs, in reasonably good health - and again once I got the bike off the street I had to walk around for about 20 minutes for the adrenaline to subside.

The stock handlebars are incredibly strong on this bike, I was worried about bending them picking it up by the grips, but they look perfect.

I should add - the bike was completely over on its side, I only had the saddle bag on the right side. The left mirror had hit the road and unscrewed itself out of the way without breaking or bending.
 

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I normally ride with the bike stripped down, its only about 700 lbs.

With the adrenaline rush I could have picked it up over my head and flipped it 360 onto its wheels.

I only had about 200 feet of visibility down the road in one direction, and was afraid a car would come over the crest with the bike in the middle of the street - so I did not have much time to think about it. I grabbed both grips and locked the front brake. Rolling it up on the crash bar was not that hard, but then I had to get the weight off the crashbar and fully on the wheels - that seemed like the hardest part, without pushing it over the top and down on the other side.

Im 6 feet tall and 210 lbs, in reasonably good health - and again once I got the bike off the street I had to walk around for about 20 minutes for the adrenaline to subside.

The stock handlebars are incredibly strong on this bike, I was worried about bending them picking it up by the grips, but they look perfect.

I should add - the bike was completely over on its side, I only had the saddle bag on the right side. The left mirror had hit the road and unscrewed itself out of the way without breaking or bending.


Good to know. I’ve had the unfortunate pleasure of picking up a bike using the squat technique when I was rear ended by a Ford Expedition however I was on a much lighter bike.
 

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Glad you and the bike are alright. The lift is definitely not always easy. I had mine lay on the crash bar trying to unhook it from the trailer the day I brought it home...untied the wrong side first, and she laid right on the guard. The side saddle push is IMO the easiest way, but can still be a bit of a grunt. Beautiful pic and great new ride, btw.
 

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... I can roll up to a stop sign or intersection, slow down a bit short of the stop line, look both ways to see if its clear, then slowly (1mph or less) move up to the stop line, and go without putting my foot down. At red lights if I know the light is going to green in a few seconds I slow down about 30 feet back of the cars in front of me, and creep the bike forwards without putting my foot down, and then go...
It's just a matter of getting used to Ursa, that is all and you'll eventually get there.
 

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If this is a reprint, I apologize:


Can save your back.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
the running joke at work is "dont lift with your back, lift with your spine" :^)

I use to sail hobie catamarans. The issue with a cat sailboat is if you capsize the boat does not right itself (like a monohull with a lead keel).

Righting a catamaran has a similar issue, when you get the boat upright the wind can catch it and flip it over the other way (or worse, the boat can sail off without you).

I was very aware of that when I picked up my bike (from its left side). When I got it up on its wheels I was so drained and wired I had to be careful not to push it over on the right side, and not to drop it while I swung my leg over to sit down. Holding the bike and standing on one foot while trying to put down the kick stand with the other foot did not seem like a good idea at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It can happen to anyone that loses track of the fundamentals.

In the MSF course it is stressed to minimize all the risk factors. It normally takes more than one risk for an accident to happen.

Over the last 6 years I have come close to dropping my 650 several times, but I was always able to catch myself and correct the mistake.

But this time:

1. I was not looking where I wanted the bike to go
2. I did not have all my cold weather gear on and was chilled and tired after riding for over an hour in 45F weather
3. The surface was an odd form of crushed gravel
4. I stopped where I did not have a good view behind me (just past a rise in the road) to be able to see if any vehicles were coming
5. I was a bit flustered because I missed the turn to the boat ramp area where I wanted to stop.
6. maybe most of all - I had not spent any time practicing riding the new bike slowly in parking lots, because I was so taken on how well it rides on the open road that when I had time to ride, I wanted to GO somewhere.

Im not listing these out as excuses, but as an example that I should have known better. All those things are risk factors that I was already aware of.

In a word, I was overconfident.
 

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Speaking of engine guards, anyone have a lead on a reasonably priced rear guard for a 2000 Road Star? I'd like to try and protect my saddle backs if I ever go down.
 
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