It got me to thinking about the whole matter of tipping over your own bike. Not crashing it, but having it get away from you when moving it around the garage, driveway, or a parking space. The reality is that if you ride motorcycles for very long you're going to drop your bike for one dumb reason or another. They are heavy and awkward and do not have to get too far from vertical when stopped for them to flop over. This is especially true for the really big machines like my new Gold Wing. When 900lbs starts to keel over it's best to step away and plan your next move because the current one the bike will complete with or without you.
|Oh yeah, it was fine in '79|
I did save the 850 from a green slime bath but in the process severely wrenched my back. It was late in the afternoon and I was still 150 miles from home. I managed to get on the bike and could lift my arms just high enough to take hold of the handlebars. And it hurt. A lot. I gritted my teeth and started for home. It was a very, very long 150 miles. Stopping for gas had me wincing just to get on and off the bike.
Arriving home I put the bike away and called my friend Terry who was a chiropractor. "Terry! Halp!!" He was kind enough to let me come to his house at 9:00 at night for a quick chiropractic fix up which would become the first of several normal visits to his office over the next several weeks to put Humpty Dumpty together again.
A few years ago my friend Jim was pulling into a parking lot, 2-up, on his new-to-him Yamaha Venture Royale. A little bobble at a stop sign and over it went dumping he and his wife unharmed on the ground. He was mad and embarrassed as I helped him pick up his machine. There may have been some bad language on his part. I reminded him that it happens to everyone eventually. About two weeks later I rolled my '02 Gold Wing out of the garage, got myself into an awkward position with the 850lb beast, and over it went right there in my own driveway. Sitting next door in his own driveway Jim shouted to me "Hey, you were right!"
The only real takeaway from all this is 1. You will drop your bike eventually. 2. Don't fight it unless you must. Even a small bike is heavier than you are and the combo of hundreds of pounds of dead wait and bad angles can hurt you bad. Let it go.
A small addendum, three excellent videos on how to pick up a heavy motorcycle:
and for those who don't ride a land yacht:
and the reality of it all: