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Riding on the beltway in a 2004 Honda CBR600F4i, Virginia side of 495 N right before the bridge going into Maryland. July 10, 2013
At around 0:15 seconds I see the traffic building up ahead and I try to slow down to the flow of traffic ahead of me, and due to the fact that this is my FIRST TIME riding my new CBR600F4i, I, being used to my old 2008 Kawasaki Ninja 250R, squeeze the front brake as I normally would on my Ninja, and my front wheel locks up due to the fact that the two bikes have very different braking power (the CBR600 being way more powerful due to the fact that it has a 600cc engine rather than a 250cc like the one on the Ninja). Just like a slow car has shitty brakes and a Lamborghini has nice ceramic brakes to allow it to stop in just a couple seconds from really high speeds, bikes like the CBR and Ninja work the same way.
As for the bike, it was equipped with some decent frame sliders (plastic piece on the side of the bike that pops out to prevent damage to the body of the bike in case of a drop) and so the bike doesn’t have too much damage, but the right side mirror, front brake lever, and rear brake pedal all fell off the bike during the crash. The right side frame slider eventually came off the bike, but by the time it was destroyed, the bike had already slowed down quite a deal, so the damage to the bike wasn’t exorbitant, in fact, I thought the damage was so minimal that I was going to continue my ride, but then I noticed that both brakes had fallen off the bike and would definitely not want to ride my bike without brakes, despite the fact that braking (and my stupid negligence to practice braking in a parking lot on my new bike) caused my crash :)
I was all suited up in my expensive $900 gear and don’t regret spending a single cent of it because I know for a fact that it saved my life and I am extremely thankful for that.
Kudos goes out to the people nice enough to stop for me on the side of the road to ask me if I was okay (I only “suffered” an extremely mild bruise to my hip, which wasnt really anything at all) while I waited for a tow truck to come (took two hours for the tow truck to get there, and another 30 minutes for the truck to strap in my bike, yes, I waited in the shoulder on the beltway in the 90 degree heat just watching cars whizz by me for two hours, but that wasn’t exactly a big deal at that time). The man behind me that stopped (as seen in the video) was deaf and could not speak either and stopped on the shoulder to see if I was okay. It took me a second to realize that he couldn’t talk or hear me but, I gave him a thumbs up and said I was okay. I am extremely fortunate he was paying attention behind the wheel of his Mazda RX-8 and wasn’t texting or doing something else, because otherwise he most definitely would have run me over. Also if you see the video in slow motion, it is noticeable that he pulls into the shoulder to avoid hitting me. If I wasn’t in the left lane, who knows what would have happened.
I have definitely learned a lot from this experience and will definitely continue to ride my motorcycle despite the obvious risks involved. Riding a motorcycle is a lot of fun and will continue to be a lot of fun for me. Most motorcyclists have told me that you will drop your bike no matter how seasoned of a motorcyclist you are, and I guess that is true. I was pretty confident in my skills on my bike, but there is always more to learn.
I have definitely taken from this that it is imperative to wear your gear no matter how hot the weather is. I am fortunate that I took the decision to wear my leather jacket despite of the 90 degree inferno. I remember negotiating the risks in my head and almost deciding not to wear my jacket because it was too hot. Also, no, normal jeans would not have protected me if I went down like this and I am glad I spent the extra money on padded kevlar jeans.
I was wearing:
ECE 22.05/DOT Polycarbonate Shelled Helmet
Perforated Leather Jacket with armored padding at the shoulders, elbows, and back
Kevlar Jeans with armored padding at the knees
Leather Gloves with hard protection on the knuckles and rubber pads on the finger joints
Recorded with a Drift HD720 Action Camera (got a little messed up in the crash but only scratches, so I get to keep filming for YouTube!)
Thanks for watching!