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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a newbie – just here, not to riding. It's always been motorcycles, from the Honda 50cc 'trail bike' of pre-drivers license time, or the Honda 350 of my early 20's or the dirt bikes of the 30's and the road bikes, up to and including an Aspencade of the 40's and then a cruiser style in the late 50's and a BMW GS in my early 60's. Now... it seems a scooter may well be on the way for my next adventures.

Just two years ago (June 2013) I could have easily died when a car driver “did not see him” and illegally made a u-turn in front of my GS. I was watching a loose dog on the side of the road as it seemed at the time that the dog was erratic enough in its movements that it might run out in front of my bike – so I did not even see the guy start his turn – there was no cross street – just a wide spot where he could easily make a u-ie.

45 MPH – T-boned his small car in the middle of the passenger side. An off-duty county sheriff was the 3rd car back from me and his report says I flew 45-50 feet and then rolled/tumbled another 45-50 feet. Bike totaled of course.

Last memory is looking at the dammd dog and beginning to shift focus back ahead – first memory is telling the paramedic that was cutting off my riding gear that my back hurt – a lot!

So... presuming that it took 8-10 minutes for the paramedics to respond, I've got no memory of any of it. There was no awareness of pain until I woke, so I suspect that's just about the same as being dead – no awareness. Glad I'm not dead. That would have been a drag, going to your own funeral and all that cremating and ashes scattering stuff. But, that's for another day (hopefully) far into the future.

Now – I'm freaking paranoid about doing everything practical to ensure that cagers are aware of my presence on a two-wheeler. These precautions will include bright front lights in an inverted triangle pattern, additional and flashing brake lights, a louder horn(s) and strategically placed reflective materials as appropriate.

I was ATGATT on the GS – well, except for jeans, as it was going to be hot that day. The only road rash was on my shins because I made a choice to not wear my riding pants. It'll be the same – ATGATT on the scoot.

Other injuries included fractures in my right wrist, left scapula and pelvis in seven pieces. Numerous bruises and nerve damage in my right thigh, running up into my groin. Wince and groan a little with me knowing that the BMW tank hump 'nudged' both testicles to take temporary residence inside my abdominal cavity. And yes, there's still no fun to be had from that.

Lucky? Fortunate? Blessed? Yeah, all of that and more. Because of the good helmet and riding coat, gloves and boots, I had no head trauma. Certainly lots of bruising, but no contusions or other open wounds on the body/arms/hands/feet. The fractured pelvis required 2 weeks in the hospital and then 8 weeks in a hospital bed in the corner of my son's living room. Another month learning to walk. Another 4 months building stamina to walk more than a few hundred yards. More months as the bones healed completely. Still more months as I stretched and exercised my way through pain sometimes bad enough to be incapacitating. But... time heals all wounds and after 24 months I'm 98% pain free and able to walk, talk and chew bubble gum at the same time.

The desire to 'fight' a big heavy bike has gone away – but the desire to be back on two wheels is still strong, and getting stronger the longer I am pain free.

Honestly, I admire folks that keep going when they're chronic pain sufferers – I had 22-ish months of it and it sucked rocks. I cannot imagine how people that cannot be freed from their physical pain cope with day to day life. Much respect to those that keep on keeping on.

So... that dammd crash interrupted “my plan” by two years. Time now to modify the plan and get on with it as best as possible given the new realities – physical and mental.

The plan was – and in large part still is – to travel the western US in my pickup towing my 5th wheel. Stopping here or there for as long as whim dictates. Ride the local 2 lanes to 'see the sights' and then move – 50 miles or two hundred and do it again until the urge to get up and go has got up and went. At that point we'll figure out a spot to settle that's sorta close to the grand kids and get on with being less nomadic. But until then I'll travel 8-9 months a year. Sometimes at/near some water and sometimes at/near some mountains. Likely I'll slow down and spend the winter holed up someplace where it does not get too cold to ride most days.

I started to do that on a small scale in the summer of 2012. Found I liked it so much that I upgraded all the vehicles and was preparing for a lot of great riding in the summer of 2013. Did fine until the crash. Loved traveling and riding the local twisties so much that we'll give it another go with a Burgman 400 as the steed of choice.

Hi-Ho Silver! or some such silliness.

Leo
 

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Welcome, Retired -
Wow! Quite a story. Now that the hankerin' is pulling you back to two wheels, do you have any idea which bike you're leaning toward?
 

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The 400 would be a good choice for you; fully capable of most any adventure you could come up with, but smaller, lighter and less of a handful than a full size bike. It's comfortable, auto tranny and lots of storage. You're gonna say "why didn't I get one of these a decade ago". I switched to scooters in my 30s, But I aways considered myself ahead of the curve. Lol

Great story. I'm jealous of your new adventures. If you get down to So Cal, LMK, I'll give you some great routes to ride.

Welcome to BUSA from sunny Los Angeles.
 

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Welcome to the group. I would also agree that the 400 is a great bike. Not really big, but still able to do pretty much everything. I sometimes will ride with the big boys, but easily ride with our meetup group and the little ones too.

I had a near collision today, guy in the right lane slide left into my lane to avoid a car that had slowed. He didnt see me, and when I talked to him, didn't seem to care. I really wanted to get off the bike and smash my helmet through his window to see if he cared about that...but I didn't.

Every day, I see Ons and Ons and Morons driving on the road. Be careful and if you get back on two wheels, you will find some nice rides, 400 or 650, both are good choices but of course I am a 400 rider, so that is the best :).
 

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Welcome and good luck with your plans. I hope I never have an accident like yours but glad you survived.

I would agree that a 400 Burg would be a good ride for you.
 

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Consider getting a toy hauler with a garage at the back and the living space in front. It would be perfect for what you propose. Enjoy!

Regards
Scott Fraser
Calgary
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've already went through that decision tree exercise prior to 'the crash'. Please remember that this is a resumption of a plan started from before 'the crash', and not planning afresh. I've already made choices and (so far) none have been fatal - LOL!!

Comfort for me when not traveling, and ultimately the cost of comfort in a toy hauler, made the decision easy. I went with a conventional 5th wheel of good quality with the smallest size practical for the required amenities. That turns out to be a 32'-er towed by a 1-ton diesel.

Most toy haulers are - at least as available here on the west coast - designed so that SoCal folks from the coast can going into the interior deserts and play in the sand dunes.

My research suggested the vast majority are glitzy when new and poorly constructed for the long haul (LOL) POS's. In 2013 prices were exorbitant for the quality offered.

I went with an older model year premium brand that had the exact layout and amenities that I desired. It's perfect for me as a single - would do OK for two real close friends that had no rough edges to grate on each other.

This way I do not have a huge amount of my retirement savings tied up in depreciating assets, yet am still able to enjoy myself with (mostly) repair free toys.

Going and doing on a fixed income without spending all the retirement savings requires frugal choices. Gather your info and make the choice as best as possible. YMMV and all that.

~~Leo

Consider getting a toy hauler with a garage at the back and the living space in front. It would be perfect for what you propose. Enjoy!

Regards
Scott Fraser
Calgary
 

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Sounds like you have things in hand. There is good riding out of Baker City. Likewise for Lewiston. If you farther north, BC has some awesome roads. Enjoy.

Ride Safe
Scott Fraser
Calgary
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Scott.

In a life of long ago I lived in Walla Walla. An era of the big road bikes in my life, the then wife and I would often get a baby sitter and take a day trip over the Blue Mountains for a burger & shake.

I've made the trip three times - from Walla Walla over the top to Enterprise, then north into Washington, emerging from the canyon twisties at Clarkston. Then, that being a time of 55mph speed limits, and the Goldwing having a sweet spot at 70-73, I watched the RADAR detector religiously as we rode Hwy 12 back home. I don't remember the mileage, but it made for a long day.

My then 11-12 yr old son went with me on one trip. I wish I still had the photo we took in the driveway. Me in my road riding gear and he on the pillion in his motocross gear. Might have been close to this time of year as the photo was taken near the butt crack of dawn with the sun just barely over the eastern horizon - which were the Blues east of WallyWorld.

There's lots of good motorcycle & scooter roads once you're away from the cities, towns and freeways, it's just a matter of how far you've got to go to get to 'em.

Leo

Sounds like you have things in hand. There is good riding out of Baker City. Likewise for Lewiston. If you farther north, BC has some awesome roads. Enjoy.

Ride Safe
Scott Fraser
Calgary
 

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I ride pairs with my wife. We've done what you're proposing, except that we motel it --- we check in and ride from there for three or four days, exploring the area. It's the best way to enjoy a riding holiday.

Best regards
Scott Fraser
Calgary
 

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Hey try a head light modulator it flicker's you head light it helps on coming car's see you.
A lot safer only those that want to cut you off do .
I feel they should be standerd equipment on motorcycle's
 

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Additional suggestions are: White colored scooter, phospho green trimmed riding jacket and white helmet. Why? At first glance you look like a cop. That is attention getting. Also, the white helmet is cooler to wear in high heat. Works for me. Regards, Jim
 

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Keep those front bike beams on high in congested areas. The cagers are oblivious, I have seen it to many times. Standing out is the key to riding safely.
Good luck with your plans.
 
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