Drop report

With less than 500 miles on her, I had my first drop last Thursday.  Being that she’s a tall bike, it’s pretty inevitable that gravity will get her due eventually.

I’d headed over to Steinbart to pick up some dry yeast as I was running low and had another batch to brew up.  Getting there was no problem but of course I got to talking with the fella behind the counter and ended up being late getting along to the Oregon Food Bank for my regular volunteer shift.  Having to wade through traffic on my way getting there, I was a bit rattled as well.

I came into the parking lot and prepared to do my usual parking procedure, which was to head into one parking spot and swing around into the next one, then back in facing out.  As I came through the turn going about 5mph, I hit the brakes.  I’d dialed down the front fork preload to match the back suspension preload (all the way out) which makes the nose really soft and divey feeling and also increases the stickiness of the front brakes.  All of the aforementioned factors conspired to make my stop quite abrupt and with the bars turned to the right it grabbed and lurched the bike over.  I got one foot planted as she went down and was able to soften the fall a little, then watched the right turn signal being crushed as I rolled away from the bike.  There’s a sensor under the seat that causes the bike to shut itself off when it’s no longer upright and it definitely works but this is not the way to test it.

Another volunteer helped me pick the bike up and I surveyed the damage.  Turn signal is toast and there are some scratches to the lower right fairing.  I was pretty steamed about it at the time but I’m pretty well over it now.  The new turn signal is $46 through my local dealer (one of the few times a dealer has beaten the online price for anything) and the scratches really aren’t that bad.  I’ve got crash bars and a skid plate on order from VStroma and while they probably would have prevented the fairing damage, the turn signal would have been toast regardless.  If it happens again (and it probably will) Buell has some turn signals that are far more flexible and a bit tighter into the bike, not to mention being cheaper than the stock replacements.