Motorcycle Tip: Don’t Try This One At Home!

Motorcycle Tip: Don’t Try This One At Home!

This morning I walked down the driveway in the misting rain and Kenny said “be careful,” from the front door. As I rode away, I thought to myself that it isn’t something I hear very often from him. 40 miles later, I reflected on his words as I found myself trying to pick up my dropped Triumph.

I haven’t been on a bike hit the deck in 11 years now. Garage wall, yes but the ground, no. Thankfully this was one of those dumb maneuvers that happened at about a 1/2 mile per hour. I was pulling around to the other side of a gas pump island. I was really moving too slowly with the bars turned too tightly. The bike didn’t want to do anything other than tip over. And that’s exactly what it did. It started to tip gently to the right and I put my foot down. It became clear in short order that I would not be able to hold it up. It was at the point of no return. Rather than kill my back, I just let it go. I stood there next to it, turned the key off and in my typical, deadpan delivery I said out loud, “well, that stinks.”

The gas station attendant sauntered over and helped me upright the bike. My face was burning with embarrassment as I thanked him. In the span of the next 5 minutes my brain flooded with a million thoughts. Most of which circled around – “This guy must think I’m an idiot.”

In that moment, you wish you could somehow manage to convey everyone watching that – no, this isn’t your first day riding a motorcycle, that more often than not you pretty much know what you’re doing and of course that it didn’t happen just because you’re a woman. That was the one that stuck with me on the rest of my ride. Did he think I was a dunce or did he think I was a dumb girl? Not that it really matters one way or the other.

After picking the bike up I walked it the remaining 5 feet to complete my aborted turn and filled up. When I took my gloves off, I saw that I had somehow bent my fingernail back pretty far down into the bed. There was a Rorschach test of blood spreading under the nail. The gas station attendant smiled and brought me a nail clipper. How convenient, a full service station!

Obviously nothing happened to me other than me feeling like a complete dick. Let’s get to the important stuff – What happened to my bike?

I bent my rear brake pedal quite a bit. Luckily it bent in such a way that it wasn’t dragging. I also bent my brake lever. I hadn’t noticed right away though, so it’s not so bad.  When the bike hit the ground it also put a very small scuff on the engine. Being all black, it’s GLARINGLY obvious to me to see the silver shining through.  But if I saw it on someone else’s bike, I wouldn’t look twice. You know how that goes. Everything was fine with me and the bike. It started on the first push of the button so I continued on my ride.

When I got home, I walked in and told Kenny that I’d tipped the bike over. He gave me the funniest “really?” like he thought I was kidding. He, being the gem that he is went into the garage and got some pliers and pulled my brake pedal back into a usable place. Later in the evening he also got me some BBQ grill paint to fill that tiny little engine scuff in. I guess he knew the scuff would eventually make me nuts 😕

So there you have it. A very unspectacular fall. If they’re gonna happen, that’s the best way.

Let the Mockery Commence!

Bent Brake Pedal
Bent Brake Pedal

Small Engine Scuff
Small Engine Scuff

Mostly Un-bent Brake
Mostly Un-bent Brake

Let’s Hear From You!

  • Got any embarrassing tip over stories?

25 Replies to “Motorcycle Tip: Don’t Try This One At Home!”

  1. 2 weeks ago I dropped the GS in the driveway, so I guess we are clear now for stupid bike drops for the next 10 years, because it’s been almost that long since the last time we’ve done that.

    It’s a beauty mark, anyway 🙂

  2. Oh, you know my story. I’d gotten home from a ride, just ahead of a major storm. I pulled the BMW into the garage and then, mindful of the hail damage we’d had earlier in the year, decided I needed to get the cars in the garage as well. I pushed the BMW to the front of the garage and turned to quickly grab the keys to the SAAB. About a nanosecond after I turned, I was face down in the garage, the back of my legs pinned under the 650 pound beast. It seems I’d drug the side stand a tiny bit and it was not fully forward when I set the bike back down. DOH!

    No damage but that is one hell of a pig to pick up.

  3. Sorry to hear about the tip(s). 5 min. after telling Kenny you should have yelled from the back of the house if he’s seen your black nail polish. 😉

    What’s the GS like getting back on it’s wheels?

    1. @DUC
      It was actually quite easy considering what you think it would be like. The two of us tipped it up fairly easily. Kenny probably did all the work though. I wish we would’ve taken its picture laying on the front walk 🙂

  4. Last time was about three years ago in the parking lot of Steak-n-Shake in Gainesville, FL. We were about 7 hours into a 500 mile ride. It had been a while since I ate last and I was feeling hot and fatigued. My husband pulled into the parking space ahead of me and for some reason took the opposite side he usually does. That’s all it took – I tried to over-correct and the bike went down – in front of a line of cars in the drive-through. I know what you mean about wondering if people think it’s just because you’re a little girl who can’t handle her big bike. But it happens to all of us at one point or another so I don’t worry about it anymore. At least I know I can pick Pearl up by myself if needed.

    1. @Kathy-
      Aww, that stinks. Given that you were hot, hungry and tired I guess you have to consider yourself lucky that nothing worse happened.

      I think learning to pick up a bike should be taught in the MSF class. Its obviously a useful skill.

    1. @Stacy
      Oh no. That must’ve really stunk. 🙁 The bike actually fell on you? Your leg, I suppose? Glad you didn’t get burned on hurt yourself. I guess frame sliders really pay for themselves and then some.

      The shame of the tip over is universal.

  5. Ugh, sorry to hear Rachael… everyone can tell you “it happens” but it doesn’t make you feel any better… 😛

    My last one was thumbing the starter in gear (I have my clutch sensor disabled) so the bike lurched forward and I dropped it in front of about 15 other riders.

    Sigh. But that’s what we have frame sliders for 🙂

    1. @Novos
      Yea, that must’ve been embarrassing 🙁

      I’ve been here before but it’s been a pretty long time. My Last tip over was maybe 12 years ago. The dreaded disc lock in front of my office 😡

      I thought i would be bothered by damaging the bike, but I was pretty good about it 🙂 I was able to ride away and put another 100 miles on, so my day was still good. I never fell, so that was plus. I sort of side-stepped the falling bike.

  6. When the Beemer bounced, it was the first time I had ever had a low speed, no speed drop. I thought I would be more pissed than I was.

    BTW, that technique popularized by “Skirt” on the internet works like a charm. I picked the K-Bus up all by myself.

  7. So how is your nail ? Hope it’s ok. Did you use the BBQ black on it? Glad your ok bike will be fine.

    Be happy you didn’t have to pick up a Wing. I did the same thing this year in my driveway 2 up and had to pick up a Wing 🙂 But thank god I didn’t break a nail. I know that’s tragic ( I guess).

    So that’s your crash & your good for another few years. Glad your fine. Gas station att gave you a nail clipper, I’ll be damned. Nice being a chick. If it were me or Kenny the guy would have said ” Hey buddy your blocking my gas Island get the hell out of the way!” LOL

    1. Thanks for all the good wishes, all. It really was a nothing thing.

      @Bill – My nail is fine, thank you. I think i’ll live.

      @GLatern – I was actually on my way out to see your giant tag sombrero 😆 you know, for my collection of stupid roadside things 😀

  8. So, you’re good for another decade, right?!?! 😉

    I’m glad it was something relatively minor. This time of year I always start to feel less in control. Not sure whether that is due to the cold, or the early darkness, deer taking to the streets after all the hunters are gone, etc. Preoccupied drivers seem to multiply as well, so I always feel like something bad is about to happen.

    I’ve almost completed repairs from my last low-speed trip to the dark slide a few years ago. Almost.

    Will you be expecting brake levers in your stocking this year?

  9. Sorry to hear that fuzz… 🙁
    It’s certainly not a girl thing, I just think women tend to tell it more than men… 😉

    I never dropped a bike but I did once tip my Tuono of the rear stand with no rear wheel in it…

    I kept it upright by standing straight behind it and somehow managed to call a friend, took him about half an hour to come though and all that time I was holding the bike making sure the bellypan didnt hit the ground… Took about 4 weeks for my arms to regain their normal length…

  10. i have a few of them! the first one, over 30 years ago, is when i was turning around and i got into a gravel area on the side of the road. the main problem is i had a pretty girl on the back. when we got home, she showed me this burn on her leg from the pipes. it was larger than a 50 cent piece. she didn’t scream or cry or make a sound.

    i’m sure i wouldn’t have cussed like a sailor if that had happened to me, either. really!! i’m not kidding!!

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