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Learn from my mistakes...strap your helmets!

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Now is as good a time as any to share a little story of my experience with a 2003 Honda XR250R, a late night wheelie practice session, an unstrapped helmet, and a tree.

 

On February 20th, I was at a friends house helping out on the farm. When we finished up chores, I figured why not go for a little ride up and down the road that leads to the fields. I usually don't ride at night, even with a headlight, but I had had a rough day before and needed a little throttle therapy. I was practicing my third gear stand up wheelies without using the clutch, and I'd been getting pretty good at them. This time, the bike came up and stayed there for a while so I misjudged where I was. When I set the front wheel down, the first thing I saw was the tree and I didn't even have time to brake. I sideswiped the tree and was thrown from the bike. I estimate I was doing around 30-35 mph, but I don't know. I don't remember much after this, I probably blacked out. Next thing I know, I'm laying in the road, the bikes on it's side next to the tree, my helmet was across the road in a ditch. I saw the fields and recognized where I was, but I honestly believed I was dreaming and I thought it was around midnight. It was really around 8 PM. The next thing I did most people I tell the story to don't believe. I saw the bike, realized my shoulder hurt like hell and I wouldn't be able to pick it up, so I left it. I walked around half a mile back to the house with a broken jaw, multiple skull fractures, a severe concussion, broken collarbone and broken finger as well as one seriously messed up left knee. As soon as I got to the house I started fading in and out of consciousness and this is where my memory gets seriously fuzzy. After that, the next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital two days later with my parents and family around me. Of course, me being me, the first thing I asked is where my truck was. My dad got a kick out of that. Unbelievably, 3 days later I was released from the hospital, and now, a month later, here I am, fixing up my bike getting ready to ride again.

 

The moral of this story? Strap your damn helmets. If I had strapped my helmet...or not been doing stupid stuff at night, I wouldn't have been on a liquid diet for 4 weeks. I wouldn't have a suspended license due to the seizure I had in the ER. I wouldn't have missed a month of school. I always heard stories of how bad some crashes can be and I always thought "Oh that'll never happen to me, I ride really carefully most of the time", but it did. I hope this story helps at least one person to be a little more careful and not go through what I went through.

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Your lucky, friend of mine was killed this year on a sled due to this reason, one thing ive always done strap the dam helmet on. I dont care if its a test run or not always have a helmet on

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Sorry to be brutally honest, but I didn't think anyone would put a helmet on their head and then be stupid enough to not fasten the strap. :jawdrop:

 

Glad you're OK, though.

Edited by cjjeepercreeper
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Sorry to be brutally honest, but I didn't think anyone would put a helmet on their head and then be stupid enough to not fasten the strap. :jawdrop:

 

Glad you're OK, though.

 

When I was younger I always would but I got into the bad habit of just leaving it unstrapped as I found it more comfortable. Dumb decision, I know.

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When I was younger I always would but I got into the bad habit of just leaving it unstrapped as I found it more comfortable. Dumb decision, I know.

 

Hey, they do it on TV all the time. ;)

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Sorry to be brutally honest, but I didn't think anyone would put a helmet on their head and then be stupid enough to not fasten the strap. :jawdrop:

Glad you're OK, though.

I've seen it a lot. Even parents letting their kids do it.

Late 80s a friend of mine wouldnt strap his. Said the helmets so tight it'll never pop off. 5 mile an hour fall on gravel and the hemet flew off. Strapped it after that.

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Sorry to be brutally honest, but I didn't think anyone would put a helmet on their head and then be stupid enough to not fasten the strap. :jawdrop:

Glad you're OK, though.

See it all the time, happens more then you would think

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usually this is a quadtard phenomenon, but 2 wheeled riders suffer lapses in judgement too.

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All the more reason I think more helmets should have quick release straps on them....since they are easier to strap-up, your less tempted to ignore the strap

While I cannot imagine putting a helmet on without strapping it, I really do hate fiddling with the d-rings to strap it up...actually took me a few weeks of riding before I began to remeber: helmet first, then gloves!

But I still have a note inside my closet door: first pants then shoes

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usually this is a quadtard phenomenon, but 2 wheeled riders suffer lapses in judgement too.

Started out riding a quad when I was 6 haha only been on 2 wheels for about a year on friends bikes, and I haven't ridden my own bike yet. That's part of my habit, I just throw a helmet on get on the quad and go. Strap usually doesn't cross my mind but it definitely will now.

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I use the quick-snap buckle.

 

Here is an IMPORTANT tip about helmets!  Especially if your helmet is over a year old - CHECK under the padding where the rivet holds the strap to the helmet shell.  The attachment  can get rusty from sweat.  If your attachment is rusted - THROW THE HELMET AWAY!    I had a 2-year old helmet fall to the ground while I was carrying it by the strap.  The connection was so badly corroded that it just pulled-apart.  They should really use stainless steel hardware - it would only add 50 cents to the cost of the helmet.

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Lately, I've found myself doing a lot of "test rides" around the yard without a helmet. "I'm just testing my work" ,I tell myself.

Then, I find myself really testing the limits of my riding ability....and realize that I don't have a brain bucket on. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Luckily I haven't crashed, but I now have my helmet close by in the shop and ready for "test" rides.

This story should stick with me and help me to remember to strap up.

Thanks for the post!

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Sorry about your story.  Reminds me of another.  Our gang was riding in Moab and one of our buddies rode with his helmet strap unbuckled.  Well, it tore off on a shrub and the next buddy in line thought his head tore clean of his shoulders.  He wasn't hurt.  Funny end but it could have been a bad day like you had.

 

Get well.

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Last summer our group was sitting at the truck after the days ride, throwing back a couple of cold beers when one of them says "hey want to try my bike and see if you like it?' I jumped at the chance and hopped on, chugged the last of my beer and started out.

 

Went about 20' before it dawned on me, not only had I just chugged a beer, but now I'm riding with no helmet on. DUMB, DUMB, DUMB.....back to the truck it go. Safety third is only a bad joke that people tell.

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