RIDER DOWN, Crashed the busa Fri 13th


Well, first of all STUPID HURTS. That’s the first lesson to come from all of this.

Simple story, I was riding home from work and in a little hurry to go wakeboarding. I have a 12-mile commute and when I was less than 2 miles from my house, WHAM. I was just leaving a small town (speed limit 35) and the last car in front of me turned off, great clear road ahead. Note the rest is speculation due to my amnesia. I gave it some throttle (which might mean 70-90mph, who knows) and top a small hill. On the down side of the slope there was a car stopped in the road waiting to turn left. I guess I go left to avoid the car. The car clips me with its front drivers side bumper, right on, by the looks of it, my right leg, peg, and exhaust pipe. Witnesses state that my body flipped end over end several times before landing on my head and right shoulder, thankfully in the grass. The Busa flipped once possibly twice.

After a night in the hospital (where I work) it was all I could take and had to bust out. I’m recovering well (I can type a little now and almost dress myself).

I was wearing Joe Rocket ballistic pants and Phoenix mesh jacket. Excellent product. No road rash at all on the upper torso. Only a broken collarbone. (Hard pads in the shoulders would have helped. Are you listening Joe rocket?) The pants seams ripped where the bumper hit my leg. I can’t complain considering something sliced through the Kevlar knee outer skin of the kneepad and half way through the foam pad. I can’t imagine what my leg would look like if I were wearing jeans. Nolan full/open face helmet survived with only minimal scratches in the clear coat. The flip up and down mechanism works flawlessly. Great product. Alpine star gloves provided me with no hand trauma at all. Excellent product. HOWEVER. I was not wearing my prexport riding boots because my wife said they looked hideous. I was wearing dress/causal shoe and my right leg took a beating. LESSON. DON’T LISTEN TO YOUR WIFE’S ADVICE ABOUT RIDING. Another lesson. Keep in mind I work in a hospital, and yes my taking the time to “suit up†just to commute home saved my ass.
Question? Is there any reinbursement for the EMS thrashing my suit? (Yes the EMS saved my ass, hey I work with them and have the upmost respect and gratitude. But dam they cut less than an inch from the full length zippers.)

I need some of your help. I am trying not to get screwed over by my insurance agent. For those of you that have gone trough this what should I look out for?

The busa took a pretty bad hit on the right top of the fairing. This bent the inner fairing bracket, which allowed something to break my speedo glass and crack the fairing in several places. Also the front brake is loosing pressure. After it sits for a few hours you can press the lever all the way to the bar. It takes 1-2 pumps to get the pressure up. The forks move up and down without any noticeable catches. I don’t see any fluid leaks past the fork seals.

The right side peg is sheared off and the slotted cover is pushed in. The exhaust pipe has some ripples and is bent inward right where it connects with the can. The can has a flat spot on the outside and was pushed in to the swing arm. The silencer bracket was broken.

The bike starts and revs normally. No leaks or squeaks.

1. Could the silencer have hit the swing arm hard enough to cause damage? I don’t see any noticeable damage. But I don’t want to settle with the insurance and then find out I need major replacement parts. There is no competent motorcycle place around that I trust enough to tell me the answer. Any suggestions?
2. Could there be engine damage that isn’t immediately noticeable? Again I don’t want to find out after the insurance pays out.
3. I’m worried about the front end. Again, How do I check it out myself (no, I cant ride the bike down the road to see if it pulls left or right.)

Please post and give your advice. Any comments are welcome and greatly appreciated. Chris

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First of all... you made it, you survived the crash...

as for insurance... if they call it as a total lost. they will only pay you the current value of the bike.

good luck with them and i hope you get better and get that bike put back together.

Lots of good questions........First off I'm glad you came out of this ordeal alive! Next, Insurance would depend on your specific policy...... Most require additional coverages to cover the cost of your riding gear, helmet, etc. Unfortunately, even though the helmet looks fine according to most helmet manufactures disclaimers you should discard it for a new one! Sounds like Joe Rocket Phoenix gear has done its job (there was some debate on this awhile back).
The engine should be fine so long as there are no visible traces of case damage or oil/water leaks....... If, and this is a big if, if the bike is restored and they don't total it any developemental problems should still be covered under the original claim. You should ask your agent about this prior to accepting any settlement.
Swing-arm, you could have the thing NDI'd...... a cheaper alternative would be to look it over under at least a 10x magnifying glass. If you see anything (such as cracks) out of the ordinary demand a new one....
Glad your ok. On the bright side, if it is considered a total loss then you can get the most $ from your insurance company and just rebuild the bike you got now or just buy a new one. I would take it to one of those "incompetent" shops just to have them total it. Most $ that way and your better off with another option to buy a new bike or just rebuild the current.
First of all I'm glad to hear you are OK, thats the most important thing. Let me know if i can do anything for you. Also there a motorcycle salvage yard not to far from us, so if you are going to do a rebuild we can roll down and see whhat they have on the self.

Once again glad you're ...

DEz representing the the NC chapter of Hayabusa.org
Sorry To hear Bro, Glad you are in one piece. Write off your riding gear for having done it's job, and buy EMS a fruit basket for taking care of you. Focus on the important stuff, you made it, you'll live to ride another day, thats the important stuff, everything else is just minor hassle.

Folks, my only other thought on this accident is it doesn't really move the Joe Rocket reliability slider one way or another. We should be so lucky as to land in grass. A relatively cushy landing.

Thanks for laying out what happened, this kind of information is really helpfull to me and maybe some of the others. It serves as a reminder that Sh*t happens at anytime, around town moving slow, tearing up the backroads, etc. Gear up, it'll save your ass. Now I am going to go buy some riding pants and boots. Later.
glad yer semi-ok . Personally, I would have it written off . If you can get close to what you paid for it , I'd get out of it . Witnesses said the bike did a couple endo's , I dont know man , this wasnt some lil' parking lot slip n' slide. You might lose some $ on the deal , but you are probably gonna wonder forever if this is straight,or if that is slightly tweeked . There are shops that will be able to tell you if the frame,etc is perfectly straight...but they are expensive . I'd go that route first before doing anything else , if ya wanna keep it .
Glad yer walkin' an' talkin'.....RSD.
Glad you're ok. Worry about getting better first. See what the insurance company says and go from there. Don't sweat what you don't know yet.
Let me start by saying that I glad you weren't hurt to badly and yes stupid does hurt. I have scars to prove that.

Start by saying I don't know how fast I was going not I was going XX mph. That will get you in trouble then you can say it. The leathers should be covered by ins due to the fact it was damaged as a result of the accident.(I think) Call a dealer and ask them if a bike with the samethings and condition as yours was sitting on their floor what would it be selling for. Then when your ins. gives you a price you have something to go by. I bounced my Busa off a tree a couplw of years ago. It ended up going about twenty feet further then I did and it came out ok. Almost all plastic side case cover, both cans, clutch pack think thats about it. It was about $4600 total damage. Once it was repaired I had them do a dyno run to make sure all was good. I have sence put over 9000miles on it without any side affects.
Good luck, I hope all works out for you.
Sorry man.
Let it sit for a few weekss.
The reality and mental pain will soon be over comed by excitement.
And its always not as bad as it first seems.

Man,  glad  your'e ok,  take the bike to a good shop, even if it means traveling. Someone u have confidence in.  I'm in the auto crash business and any additional damage found that is wreck related will be covered.  Remember an estimate that a shop writes , is just that an estimate, upon tear down, the shop can call the insurance company direct if additional damage is found.. If it's found later, after delivery,they will still cover it, if it's wreck related.  Let a suzuki shop do the work, as oppossed to yourself,  insurance companies work better with shops than individuals.  I have a question for you, Why were u going around a car on the left side when the car was turning left?  Was there no where to go on the right?  Did he not have his turn lite on?  There is a lesson here for us all to learn,  it maybe, learn how to brake better and practice it weekly,  Or slow down, Anyway iv'e had , and heard of many a persons hurt and killed by going around on the left.. A last resort at least, and a very dangerous resort at best.
Oh jees that sucks......If possible insist on them writing the bike off.
It probably won't be the same after that much damage is done.
Just my .02
Glad yer still with us!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for the replies thus far.

Bushman. I wish I could remember exactly what happened. The way the hill was set up, the crest of the hill is about 150 yards from where the “incident†occurred. At the speed I might have been going it doesn’t leave mush reaction time. I guess when I was faced with the choices of braking or cutting right or left, I just chose the wrong one. If I wasn’t in a hurry to get home and was riding, lets say, more reasonable the crash wouldn’t have happened. I’m sure of that.

Several of you mentioned the possibility of total loss. By looking at the pics does the bike “look†like a total loss? I have never (too late to knock on wood) crashed in 15 years of riding. I just don’t know enough about cycle crash repair and estimates. I’m fairly mechanically proficient and work on all my own stuff but have no experience with cycle repair (crash related). It looks like it’s all bolt on-bolt off as far as replacement parts.

In my perfect world the adjuster would come to see the bike, say there is X amount of damage (figuring parts and labor) and then cut me a check. I would then order parts, bolt them on and go. The remainder of the $ would go to paying the bike off (about $5000 left to go). Is my plan feasible or am I dreaming? I would really like to do the work myself but is there any inherent dangers of doing this (financial and insurance related)?

If the bike is “totaled†can it still be licensed and insured (liability only I figure after the claim)? When is a bike “totaled†in the eyes of insurance companies? Am I correct in assuming that the adjusters job is to screw me or are they “impartial†and a good resource to ask questions regarding damage?

Can the exhaust pipe be bent back to shape with a mandrel bender or does it have to be replaced? What are the chances that this relatively small bend in the pipe also bent the header further up toward the exhaust ports. I can’t hear any leaks.

Again, all comments and advice are greatly welcomed and appreciated. Chris
Not a total loss.....just may not be as solid when ya get it back from the repairs.
I bought a bike b4 that was in a minor bender and there were so many little things wrong with it......mounting tabs that were still a bit bent, house clamps not tightened...leaking coolant all over. rad cap with a pin jole in it that was leaking

dang dude, lucky you only broke your collarbone, cartwheels and 90 can be dangerous. I hate it when cagers dont look before they turn, like the law says your supposed to do, least in WA state you have to look left right and behind you, before making ANY turns. I,m with dude though, total it if you can, I think there is a brand new 2001 leftover busa at everett powersports for 8k...
Glad to hear you're going to be OK. Most insurance companies
*total* a wreck when the cost to repair it < parts, labor & tax if applicable> reaches 80% of the current ie used price of that year model make of cycle. I worked at a Suzuki/Honda
/Kawasaki dealership and if your gear was on at the time of the incident & you have reciepts for them most companies will cover them if they know about the gear up front. Keep in mind most Dealerships have an hourly rate of $75 to $100
The insurance will pay that labor even if you do the work, but they will not warranty the work you do. Even if you are a professional mechanic. As always check with your insurance ajent & possibly your Lawyer. Good luck Dude.
you live to tell the story.. thats what counts !! get yourself another new one and enjoy your ride .let inurance total it. cut your losses and SMILE cuase your a winner !!! not to many guys can get though a crash like yours and make it .ps i hope you thanked god and i think you made right choice cuase your still here.