Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

First Dual-Up Spill on the DR650

Recommended Posts

My wife and I had our first dual-up spill on the DR650. A little long winded but necessary to tell the story. It happened around 2:00 PM on Sunday. I really didn’t feel like going out that day because I was tired from the night before. That was the first mistake I made. But I wanted to get some more dual-up experience with my wife and Sunday afternoon is the safest time to go. We live out in the Northern Adirondacks and only plan to go on less-traveled backwoods roads and logging trails. We drove out about 15 miles on paved and winding roads. No trouble until the return trip.  About 5 miles from home we were going about 45 mph and approached the crest of a hill. Been on this road probably a hundred times with a motor vehicle. Totally forgot there was a sharp turn that started just below the crest of the hill. Not enough time to slow down and make the turn.  Had only a split second to make a decision and decided to go off the road into the dirt and grass. Knew I was going the spill the bike but figured this was the lesser of the evils then trying to make the turn and spill on the pavement.  But there was a telephone pole on the side of the road in the path of the bike about 50 yards away from where we went off the road. Was afraid I wouldn’t be able to control the bike and hit the pole. But didn’t have to worry about that too long. We started to spill just after hitting the sand and grass just beyond the shoulder of the road. Bike spilled to the left side and I slid with the bike on my left side until it stopped. Felt a hard scraping on my helmet and sand and gravel on my shoulder. Found out later that my helmet was scraping the edge of the pavement, shoulder scraping the sand and gravel on the side of the road, and the rest of me under the bike scraping mostly grass and soft sand.  My wife landed on her left side on the right side of the bike and behind it. I believe that when the bike started to tip to the left side her left leg caught the ground, bike slid out from under her and momentum threw her to the right side and behind the bike. She told me she saw my helmet dragging on the pavement and thought I was badly hurt. But I walked away with just a large bruise and abrasions on my left shoulder, sore forearm, sore neck, and a few small tears in my jacket. When the bike stopped my right leg was pinned under the bike between the ankle and the top of the boot. Managed to pull it out with no problem. Wife walked away with a good size bruise and abrasions just below the knee and two small holes in her jeans at the knee. Bike ended up with a shattered left side mirror and some gouges in the back of the mirror, left side hand guard, and left side  cover. Some minor scratches on the left side of the fuel tank. No question the mirror dragged on the pavement and helped slow down the bike. Helmet ended up with a gouge in it. There was a car right behind us that saw us spill. The car pulled over to the side of the road ahead of us.  A middle aged lady and an elderly lady ran over to us and asked if we were OK. They appeared to be very shaken, more so than us. I told them we were OK and that I could get the bike off my foot with no problem. When they walked back to the car we saw the elderly lady make the sign of the cross on herself, most likely thanking God that we weren't killed or badly injured. I also thanked God. We went back on Monday (with the truck, not the bike) to trace what happened. It looks like we left the road about 50 yards from the telephone pole, started to spill just after hitting the grass and soft sand, with the bike coming to a stop about 25 feet from the pole. The tire tracks showed we were on a direct line to the pole. Needless to say, we were very lucky. There was also a smaller track to the left of the skid track. Most likely my wife's foot dragging the ground after the bike started to spill. Probably was the reason why she ended up on the right side of the bike as explained earlier. The bike and I were covered with dust. Wife wasn't dirty because she landed in the grass. We drove home with no further incident where we washed our abrasions and cuts with soap and water, applied bag balm to them, and put bandages over them.  Hosed the dirt off the bike and let it dry in the sun. This spill will not deter us from going back out again but I'll never go back out again tired and will drive more slower when I approach the crest of hills. We were very lucky and I learned a valuable lesson. Another 25 feet and the bike would have hit the telephone pole with me under it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife and I had our first dual-up spill on the DR650. A little long winded but necessary to tell the story. It happened around 2:00 PM on Sunday. I really didn’t feel like going out that day because I was tired from the night before. That was the first mistake I made. But I wanted to get some more dual-up experience with my wife and Sunday afternoon is the safest time to go. We live out in the Northern Adirondacks and only plan to go on less-traveled backwoods roads and logging trails. We drove out about 15 miles on paved and winding roads. No trouble until the return trip.  About 5 miles from home we were going about 45 mph and approached the crest of a hill. Been on this road probably a hundred times with a motor vehicle. Totally forgot there was a sharp turn that started just below the crest of the hill. Not enough time to slow down and make the turn.  Had only a split second to make a decision and decided to go off the road into the dirt and grass. Knew I was going the spill the bike but figured this was the lesser of the evils then trying to make the turn and spill on the pavement.  But there was a telephone pole on the side of the road in the path of the bike about 50 yards away from where we went off the road. Was afraid I wouldn’t be able to control the bike and hit the pole. But didn’t have to worry about that too long. We started to spill just after hitting the sand and grass just beyond the shoulder of the road. Bike spilled to the left side and I slid with the bike on my left side until it stopped. Felt a hard scraping on my helmet and sand and gravel on my shoulder. Found out later that my helmet was scraping the edge of the pavement, shoulder scraping the sand and gravel on the side of the road, and the rest of me under the bike scraping mostly grass and soft sand.  My wife landed on her left side on the right side of the bike and behind it. I believe that when the bike started to tip to the left side her left leg caught the ground, bike slid out from under her and momentum threw her to the right side and behind the bike. She told me she saw my helmet dragging on the pavement and thought I was badly hurt. But I walked away with just a large bruise and abrasions on my left shoulder, sore forearm, sore neck, and a few small tears in my jacket. When the bike stopped my right leg was pinned under the bike between the ankle and the top of the boot. Managed to pull it out with no problem. Wife walked away with a good size bruise and abrasions just below the knee and two small holes in her jeans at the knee. Bike ended up with a shattered left side mirror and some gouges in the back of the mirror, left side hand guard, and left side  cover. Some minor scratches on the left side of the fuel tank. No question the mirror dragged on the pavement and helped slow down the bike. Helmet ended up with a gouge in it. There was a car right behind us that saw us spill. The car pulled over to the side of the road ahead of us.  A middle aged lady and an elderly lady ran over to us and asked if we were OK. They appeared to be very shaken, more so than us. I told them we were OK and that I could get the bike off my foot with no problem. When they walked back to the car we saw the elderly lady make the sign of the cross on herself, most likely thanking God that we weren't killed or badly injured. I also thanked God. We went back on Monday (with the truck, not the bike) to trace what happened. It looks like we left the road about 50 yards from the telephone pole, started to spill just after hitting the grass and soft sand, with the bike coming to a stop about 25 feet from the pole. The tire tracks showed we were on a direct line to the pole. Needless to say, we were very lucky. There was also a smaller track to the left of the skid track. Most likely my wife's foot dragging the ground after the bike started to spill. Probably was the reason why she ended up on the right side of the bike as explained earlier. The bike and I were covered with dust. Wife wasn't dirty because she landed in the grass. We drove home with no further incident where we washed our abrasions and cuts with soap and water, applied bag balm to them, and put bandages over them.  Hosed the dirt off the bike and let it dry in the sun. This spill will not deter us from going back out again but I'll never go back out again tired and will drive more slower when I approach the crest of hills. We were very lucky and I learned a valuable lesson. Another 25 feet and the bike would have hit the telephone pole with me under it.

Crashed with my wife once. She was fine but I got knocked out, split full face Snell, concussion and broken hand. She later decided to get her own bike, had a nasty crash of her own, but continued riding for years.

Happy it wasn't to bad for the 2 of you.

As I get older, and slower to heal, I try very hard not to outride my vision, even on familiar roads. Elk, stopped car, debris, etc.

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Despite this spill, our greatest fear still remains being that of an animal strike on pavement because it is something that you generally can't protect yourself from no matter how defensively you drive. In our area, this could be a deer, fox, coon, or coydog. Over the years in our vehicles we've missed two deer by inches and seen many deer and other animals cross in front of us. Two years ago, my wife's cousin's husband had a deer strike on his Harley. He was able to control his bike but it had to go to the shop for repairs. Just the day before we spilled we attended a birthday party for my wife's uncle. One of her cousins was there and told us he had a large red fox run between his front wheel and engine of his Harley. He said he didn't know how he missed it. And Sunday's morning paper told of a deer strike on a Harley only about 15 miles away from us. The details weren't completely known at the time but it did say the deer was killed on impact and the driver sustained compound fractures in both bones of his right leg. It also said there was the possibility of him losing us leg. But Monday morning's paper said he had been transferred from the Plattsburgh hospital in NY to the hospital in Burlington, VT. You don't get transferred to Burlington unless you've got an extremely serious injury. We both continually scan the road in front of us when we go but we both know that if we hit an animal we are probably going to spill on pavement. We're both protected, at least to some degree, by dirt bike helmets, goggles, gloves,and boots. But we have no clothing protection. We only wear jeans, long sleeve sweatshirts, and light jackets. I'm seriously considering going easy trail only. Maybe modify the DR650 better for dual up dirt with a sprocket and tire change. Or maybe trade in the DR650 for small dirt bikes for both of us. My original plan was never to drive on pavement again but my wife wanted to go dual up. If I get her own dirt bike she might go for it.     

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been driving me crazy trying to figure out how my wife ended up on the right side of the bike facing towards the bike when the bike spilled to the left side. First I asked her what she remembered. She didn't know how she came off the bike but does remember being thrown face first to the ground on the right side of the bike. Her knee contacted the ground first and that's how she got the injury below the knee. The next thing she remembers is lying on her stomach flat on the ground and seeing me with my helmet scraping the road. She doesn't know how she got turned around facing the direction of the bike after hitting the ground on the right side. I think I have a plausible explanation. She has a 34" inch inseam and can easily touch the ground with her butt off the seat. I think before the bike started to lean a lot to the left her right foot was in contact with the ground and left foot was up above the peg. This would have taken her butt off the seat and the bike would have been moving forward between her legs. But we had a backpack strapped to the grab bars and no way her crotch could clear the backpack. I think the forward motion of the bike caused the backpack to hit her in the butt at just the right angle to throw her off the bike on the right side. Then she went face first into the ground with knee contact first. How she got turned around in the direction of the bike is a little more problematic. But here's how it could have happened. Despite being thrown off the bike to the right side she still had some forward momentum parallel to the path of the bike and in the same direction as the bike. After her knee hit the ground she could have been flat on her stomach just as she ended up being. As a result of the frictional forces on the ground and her parallel-to-the bike momentum her stomach could have acted as a pivot point with her legs spinning in a counterclockwise direction. This would have placed her in the direction of the bike. Because she remembers seeing my helmet scraping the ground all of this would have had to happen very early after we exited pavement and went into dirt and grass. After the bike stopped she remembers crawling towards me. She might have thought I was dead. But after I asked her if she was alright (without seeing her at first) she stood up and said she was OK. When I first saw her she was standing up nonchalantly as if nothing had ever happened. Not freaked out at all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My and my girlfriend dumped my DRZ in the sand a few times a Big Bend, we both wear protective gear but I feel darn bad for her even though I know she is having a blast...most of the time she was sitting on the tool kit on the back fender...bless her heart and her bum...feel bad about that

 

it was the only way she cold feel the joy I get from off road riding, out in New Mexico, I had a rack installed by now, she would hold on to the rack with one hand, use her other hand to video the ride, I asked how she did it...she said she just closed her eyes and hoped we would not crash...amazing what you find out when you actually talk to the spouse

 

as far as animals, many people in West Texas do the cross across the chest when I tell them I am riding on a motorcycle, I have an electronic deer whistler installed now, have not tested it out yet but I did hit a 10 or 12 point buck deer a few weeks ago in my Astro van, would have come thru the windshield at 55mph, locked it up sideways so he would it the side front door and sliding door, banged up the side but didn't scratch the paint!

 

just glad you both are OK, you have yet another story you can tell the grand kids and it just takes longer to heal as you get older

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My and my girlfriend dumped my DRZ in the sand a few times a Big Bend, we both wear protective gear but I feel darn bad for her even though I know she is having a blast...most of the time she was sitting on the tool kit on the back fender...bless her heart and her bum...feel bad about that

 

it was the only way she cold feel the joy I get from off road riding, out in New Mexico, I had a rack installed by now, she would hold on to the rack with one hand, use her other hand to video the ride, I asked how she did it...she said she just closed her eyes and hoped we would not crash...amazing what you find out when you actually talk to the spouse

 

as far as animals, many people in West Texas do the cross across the chest when I tell them I am riding on a motorcycle, I have an electronic deer whistler installed now, have not tested it out yet but I did hit a 10 or 12 point buck deer a few weeks ago in my Astro van, would have come thru the windshield at 55mph, locked it up sideways so he would it the side front door and sliding door, banged up the side but didn't scratch the paint!

 

just glad you both are OK, you have yet another story you can tell the grand kids and it just takes longer to heal as you get older

I'm seriously considering going dirt and trail only on this bike from here on out. That's all I wanted to do in the first place. Didn't want to do any street. Bad feeling about it. Maybe premonition, maybe irrational fear. But bottom line is I don't enjoy riding the street, at least not with this bike anyway. Will probably take this bike only to and from the hunting clubs I'm on for the rest of the riding season (two more months at best). Already know the stock tires aren't worth squat on mud and soft sand or dirt. But any spill can't be any worse than from what I've seen on the street. Will try and avoid the soft stuff when I can and change the tires in the spring to the dirtiest street legal tires I can find. Might not go dual-up with the wife anymore until spring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad you two are ok, you seem to have a good attitude about it so that helps.

I live in some pretty heavily wooded areas and have had a number of close calls with deer. More often than not, if it's getting to be sundown, I'll hang out for a bit and wait for a car to roll by, then scooch right in behind them. I had a deer run parallel to me before on the edge of the road, as usual, came out of nowhere. I slowed up to see what he'd do, then moved on.

Ride safe.

ATGATT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad you two are ok, you seem to have a good attitude about it so that helps.

I live in some pretty heavily wooded areas and have had a number of close calls with deer. More often than not, if it's getting to be sundown, I'll hang out for a bit and wait for a car to roll by, then scooch right in behind them. I had a deer run parallel to me before on the edge of the road, as usual, came out of nowhere. I slowed up to see what he'd do, then moved on.

Ride safe.

ATGATT

I do that too, wait for a car and ride behind them...problem is most are doing 80mph plus here in Texas...even at night,,that scares me on the DRZ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do that too, wait for a car and ride behind them...problem is most are doing 80mph plus here in Texas...even at night,,that scares me on the DRZ

It's totally unpredictable when an animal will cross the road but no question dusk is the most common time for deer. I've always wondered why you see so many deer near the road because if they were moving the probability of seeing them near the road would be small. I think the answer is that they are wary of crossing an open area without cover. So they'll stand on the side of the road for a greater amount of time then they would in heavy cover.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! Ouchy! I'm happy you two came away without serious injuries. Some other lessons to take away from this, and most of these I've learned the hard way...

 

Don't out-ride your sight-lines, whether on pavement or off. (This is a BIG one that almost got me hurt on a trail last year.)

 

Continue your rider education with some reading, courses, and practice. A DR on stock tires can corner pretty darn sharply on pavement. Many riders can't. (I learned a lot in just a BRC, and I had been riding/licensed for several years. An ERC is better for people already riding though.)

 

Wear armored gear. Jeans and sweatshirts are no comparison to abrasion-resistant leather, Kevlar, or Cordura with CE armor under it. A lot of modern gear is also more comfy in varying weather. (My gear these days is much better than 10 or 20 years ago, and I don't even wear the high-dollar stuff.)

 

If you're on a moto and your head isn't in the ride, it's time to hop off the moto for a bit until your head IS in the ride. Always keep in mind that riding a moto can easily get you or a passenger seriously injured or killed.

 

A 2nd moto for your SO is a great idea, if they are coordinated and aware enough to handle one safely. Then, if one of you has a serious crash, the other could be physically unscathed. It is a big responsibility hauling a passenger.

 

 

For 2up, I have a few ideas that have made my DR better for a passenger...

 

Butty Buddy. Google it. I got one on Ebay for cheap. It straps to my Suzuki rack and fits over my Seat Concepts seat pretty well.

 

I made brackets out of 5/16" steel plate that lower my passenger pegs 2" or 4". You could also use 3/8"-1/2" aluminum plate, but don't trust threads tapped into it. Use through-bolts and backing nylock nuts.

 

Drill and tap the ball ends of the passenger pegs to accept a 1/8"-protruding 10-32 setscrew for better traction under the passenger's boots. Fastway pegs use this method for providing grip. You could also use longer passenger pegs.

 

14T CS sprocket. The DR will still run slab with this gearing, but it pulls a passenger much better in 5th or from stops.

Edited by Kommando

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Riding season's almost over for the DR, regardless of weather. Black powder starts October 19 followed by rifle which ends in early December. Won't go into the hunting leases beginning October 19 but I suppose I could ride pavement if I wanted to. Will have all winter to absorb the lessons learned so far from the brief time I've had the DR and from the advice provided on this site. Appreciate all the inputs. Will pick back up in the spring. Feel's great to be back on a bike after a 39 year hiatus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Riding here in Colorado, deer are a year round threat on both highways and trails. As are cows, sheep, and cops. I hit a fawn on my FJR1300, pretty much dead on at 65mph. I stayed up, but both the bike and I were covered with solid and liquid deer excrement.  I have had close encounters with deer, elk, bear, and mountain lion while riding off road. One day I actually laid my KTM over, at speed, to avoid an elk, and laid there beside the bike while several more jumped over me. Wear some protective gear. Some of the ballistic shirts, jackets, and such have elbow, back, and chest protection. There are many brands of excellent dual sport clothing, comfortable and with protection. You will enjoy riding for many more years with the right gear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×