THIS THREAD IS FROM 2005! I am fine now!!
First, I am fine, just seriously sore and have nasty roadrash on my left arm and shoulders. Plus various other scrapes and bruises elsewhere.
I went down to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg with my friend Dan to take in some scenery and do some riding in the moutains, specifically the ever famous Deals Gap. He and I made it through the Dragon with no problems. For those of you who have never done it, I highly recommend it at least once in your life. There isnt much scenery on the Gap since its almost all in trees, and you need to devote 100.00000% of your attention to the road, you dont have time to look around.
I did the Dragon very slowly and made it out on the NC side where we stayed at the Motorcycle Resort and had lunch. After that, we headed into NC to the Cherohala Skyway. We were told the Skyway isnt as curvy as the Dragon, but is a lot more scenic and longer.
We made it up there and stopped many times to get some great pictures (which I will post later). The thing about the Skyway though is that not only is it longer, but the curves are longer too so you can take them faster. I honestly believe this is the reason I wrecked because you get "comfortable" on those turns. As you all should know, the Mean Streak is an amazing bike that is capable of many things that large v-twin cruisers typically arent.
I was able to take these curves very easily at 40-45 mph (the speed limit is 45 through almost the whole thing). I had made it about 75% of the way through and were back on the TN side, and I was making a normal left curve and I just made the curve an inch too wide. I had actually completed the curve and was coming out of it, and had barely any lean angle left and the front tire hit the last inch of grass and that was all she wrote. I remember the whole thing and never blacked out. I estimate I was going about 40. I was thrown from the bike at about 40 mph and the bike went off in the grass. Lucky for the bike, it stayed in the grass and stayed on its left side the entire time. Damage to the bike is the headlight bracket and gauge clusters completely broke. The speedometer plastic is broken. The tank has a huge dent on the left side, and the shift peg is broken. Believe it or not, thats all the damage it got. There are various other scrapes and a lot of grass in weird spots on the bike, but its not too bad.
I, however, stayed on the pavement and rolled at least 100 ft. I had my helmet on, but stupid me, I didnt have my jacket on since it was like 96 degrees when we left Pigeon Forge. I have bad road rash on my left shoulder and forearm. I also have it on my right shoulder, both knees, and right hand, but those arent as bad as my left shoulder, which I guess is where I hit first. My helmet took two real good hits. One on the left side towards the front, and the other on the right side where my ear would be. The helmet was a Nolan N100E flip face helmet. Alot of people criticize flip face helmets because they dont think they can take an impact, but this one held up admirably, and I have absolutely no head, face, or neck injuries. The face shield didnt even pop off.
All things considered, I got real lucky cause in many spots theres huge dropoffs on the edge of the road. Another blessing I had was a van of people came by about a minute later and called 911 and took care of me until the ambulance arrived. The paramedics told me I was the first person in a long time they havent had to airlift out of there. Just last week a guy hit a guardrail going about 100 and lost both his legs.
I was taken to a hospital where they looked me over and did some xrays. They couldnt believe nothing was broke. Both my shoulders were dislocated when I was rolling, but popped back into place before the ambulance got there, so all I have now is the previously mentioned roadrash and EXTREMELY sore shoulders.
The doctor prescribed some Lortab 500mg for me and it doesnt help at all. I weigh about 200 lbs, and I estimate they should have given me stronger ones. Like I said before, I may be in some bad pain, but I know it could have been MUCH worse. I run through my head how much worse it could have been andf feel lucky that I am in as good of shape as I am. Anyway, I am okay and look forward to get better!
Heres the damage done to the bike. Remember, this was a ~40 mph crash...the Mean Streak held up surprisingly well!
Heres a couple more memorable pics of me and the bike before anything happened:
This is my bike and my friends 2005 Hayabusa right before we started the dragon. We are sitting at the tail of the dragon right here.
And heres two of the lesser gross pictures of my injuries. I wont use IMG tags for anyone who might have a weak stomach. What these pictures dont show is the immense amount of pain I am going through, even as I type this. I cannot even raise my left arm more than maybe 6 inches out of excrutiating pain.