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Your Top 3 Scariest Moments On a Bike?

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  • Your Top 3 Scariest Moments On a Bike?

    Riding season being over up north, to pass some time I thought this might be fun. Each person who posts starts with their #3 scariest, after a week or so we will do the second round, with your runner-up... a week after that, it's your Number 1 "poop your pants, shaking like a wet dog, talking to Jesus moment" of all time.

    I will start. My number 3 is:

    I was riding solo up to Seattle from the Bay Area on my second 900 Ninja, this is like 1992. I was riding on 101 from Eureka to Crescent City, and the road there goes over a mountain pass through a thick forest. I was riding fairly fast up the pass and I came around a long left-hand sweeper at something over 80 mph... and suddenly there were elk all over the road in front of me. A big herd was crossing the highway, and I rode right into the middle of them. There was no time to do even think, I just nailed brakes for a moment and then started weaving. Some how I got through them without contact. Absolutely scared the crap out of me. I have thought about that every time I have ridden that road for the past 30 years.

    "The Price of Speed is Eternal Vigilance" 2015 ZX14R 30th, Four Kids

  • #2
    Ok, I'll bite.

    #3 Decided to get back into riding a motorcycle again after a 20 year break. Sold my Old bike in 1983, a 1978 Yam XS1100. Prior to that was 1979 Kawasaki KZ750 twin. Neither were very sporting machines, and I did not ride them very sportily either. Fast forward to 2000 and I decided to take the plunge on a leftover 1999 ZRX1100. For some unknown reason I decided to try and wheelie it in the first week of ownership. Found a deserted country road and started to see what I could do. Mind you, I had never done a wheelie before, but had it seen done many times and wanted to be able to impress the same way I had been impressed. So, from a standing start, I gave it few revs and dumped the clutch. She lurched and a little bit stalled. Repeated the same technique a couple more times with same result. She needed a more revs I thought, so with 4K on the tach I dumped the clutch and the bike stood straight up. Now this was a brand new bike, which I had waited a long time for. All shiny and perfect. With the front tire high in air my reaction was to hold on and try to save it. My feet had never gotten to the pegs cuz I had started from still. So with with my feet trailing behind, my belly on the seat, and the bike still accelerating, I was just holding on. I managed to get the throttle closed somehow and front came crashing down hard with the wheel slightly cocked. Once it hit, the bike started to bounce, first one way, and then the other with the requisite application of intermittent throttle just enough to keep it happening. Somehow, I don't know, a bit of grace maybe, I got it settled down and my feet back on the pegs. Rode away thankful, and even more respectful of the those that can do wheelies, and knowing I wasn't going to be one them.


    • #3
      I'll have to go way back but this one I'll never forget. I was on a Yamaha YZ250 at the time. I was blasting through a wooded area coming up to an elevated
      two land road. When we did this we always (mostly) had a watcher. We would hit the hill (wfo) and jump the entire road over to land on the slope on the other side
      and hope we didn't come up short. It was pretty far for a 70's bike at that time (for me anyway) Well, this time I didn't care and just was going to clear the road at any
      cost apparently. 2 gentlemen in an old Ford truck carrying firewood came along about this time and were in the perfect spot. I cleared the hill, rear tire
      hit the passenger side of the top edge of the bed above the taillight.( this is what was told to me later) which sort of helped my nose down, ass up approach to the
      hill going into the woods on the other side. I landed on the front hard enough to bend the bars and flatten the front tire. Bending the wheel as well. I did a tankslapper
      for what seemed like 10 minutes, bruised both hands, racked my boys, then proceeded to graze a couple of trees on my slow down. Never hit the ground but
      the entire event covered about 150 feet. Never hit the brakes, a couple of lob-lolly pines brought me to a stop. I then condensed to throwing up before I could get
      the helmet off. I guess that was from the nut smashing thing. I guess my scary part came on later when I thought, if this, if that, I just got lucky as hell.
      Never did the jump again. This concludes my story #3
      "If it ain't broke, don't fix it...
      but sometimes it just needs a mod"


      • #4
        Oh boy this is going even better than I expected... great stories!
        "The Price of Speed is Eternal Vigilance" 2015 ZX14R 30th, Four Kids


        • #5
          #3 Was running an errand on my beautiful ZZR600. Looking to drop something off, so pottering down a street looking for the right house number, maybe doing 30kmh in 5th or 6th at idle. As I looked up one driveway I was horrified to see two Pit-Bull type dogs ~20m away, running full tilt with kill in their eyes! Now it was apparent that snapping the throttle open was not going to achieve anything so I grabbed the clutch kicking down a bunch of gears. No way I was counting - I was watching the dogs and working out if another click and the better accel was worth the closer proximity of the dogs. One more click, as I opened the throttle and then dumped the clutch. The bike reared up seemingly vertical. Great! I can see myself hitting the ground, getting strips torn off me before I come to a stop! Anyway, I kinda stopped looking at the dogs as I snapped the throttle closed and then open again and got the result I wanted in the first place. I kinda wish I'd seen what the dogs did - maybe the sudden noise and increased size of their quarry put them off, I'll never know - I just got the fcuk outta there!
          Time flies like an arrow;
          Fruit flies like a banana!


          • #6
            Doing a long ride from Port Hedland down to Perth on my Yam XS750E , a distance of 1750km (Iron Butt length). All went well most of the way.
            I got to Geraldton (400km or so) at around 6pm, and figured I could do the extra distance. so, after a meal and fuel I set off, arriving home at around 11pm.
            On the way however, a huge 'roo jumped out from the side of the ride, and missed me by a whisker. They're hard to see at night. "Lucky", I thought, heart racing. Not for from there, it happened again, and further on, one more time. Three times lucky, so I ended up slowing down. When I got home, I didn't tell the wife.
            I had my patience tested. I'm negative.


            • #7

              These are great stories and I'm glad I don't have any that are quite this scary!


              • #8
                If those are the 3rd most scary moments, I can't wait for the scariest!

                My scariest moment is easy, but there's a few candidates for 2 and 3.

                Sent from my SM-G980F using Tapatalk

                "You don't get slower with age, you just get more cautious." Michael Rutter

                06 Ocean Blue ZZR1200, the coolest colour.
                99 Yamaha R1


                • #9
                  Originally posted by YYCZED View Post

                  These are great stories and I'm glad I don't have any that are quite this scary!
                  Shit Gar, I was counting on some hellacious Suzuki RG500 stories from you...
                  "The Price of Speed is Eternal Vigilance" 2015 ZX14R 30th, Four Kids


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gregness View Post

                    Shit Gar, I was counting on some hellacious Suzuki RG500 stories from you...
                    It did throw a rod through the casing on an 8 lane highway, but traffic was light back then so I didn't get squashed into paste before getting onto the shoulder! The rest of it was just sky-high wheelies and big skids in the rain.

                    Not like my off-road riding career and the compound fractures


                    • #11
                      Waiting for more stories here...
                      "The Price of Speed is Eternal Vigilance" 2015 ZX14R 30th, Four Kids


                      • #12
                        This would be about #3 for me: About fifteen years ago in Northern Thailand I was riding a Honda CB400 Super Bol d'Or way too fast for the narrow winding jungle road I was on. My riding gear was the typical SE Asia outfit of shorts, t-shirt, a backpack, no helmet, open toe sandals; so any crash would have been pretty painful. Coming around a corner leaned way over, my entire field of vision suddenly filled up with grey leather: there was an elephant straddling the entire road. I grabbed as much brake as I could and screeched to a stop just a foot or two from the elephant's backside. It looked right at me, and I thought "Oh F*** I've made it angry". There was no way to get around the beast, and I wasn't sure which direction it was going to take, so I just sat there for what seemed like an eternity until it took a few steps and cleared a path, at which point I gunned it and gtfo'd. Pretty sure that was the day I permanently quit riding faster than my line of sight!


                        • #13
                          So far we have elk, pit bulls, kangaroos, and elephants! Wild life is our leading cause of panic!
                          "The Price of Speed is Eternal Vigilance" 2015 ZX14R 30th, Four Kids


                          • #14
                            #2, I had owned my ZED about a month. Was on one of my cut through roads at the time just a Sunday ride.
                            I came over a hill down into a pasture area and there he was. The biggest damn bull (one of those type
                            with hump on his back (Brahman I think) that I've ever seen standing in the road a few yards in front of me.
                            There's no way around this thing and I'm not famous for my u-turns, in either direction. It starts coming toward
                            me about this time, I start trying to get turned around. Mind you, this road is not "2 lane spec" by any means
                            and my turn arounds suck. I got it turned just about the time he was right on my ass, couldn't have been a few feet
                            as this time. I stalled the ZED, oh shit. As I found out later that day, one of his horns went right across my back,
                            as the kids chasing him on 4-wheelers filled me in on. I restarted it and barely got away from him as he turned
                            and came for me again (mind you, these things weigh in at about a ton and are tall. About the size of a Civic)
                            missed me by inches (I was facing him at this point) and was a sight to behold. Also, this road is "chip seal"or bassically
                            tar and gravel, one wrong move, without a bull trying to crush your soul, is a crap shoot at best to do a turn on.
                            I had been able to move up the road about a hundred yards at this point when I notice Mr. Bull had hung a right into
                            a side pasture, running from the kids. I stopped as one of the kids came up beside me telling me he doesn't see how
                            he missed me, being a horn grazed my back. Another kid came riding up on his 4 wheeler and stopped. He said, "holyshit
                            mister, how the hell did he miss you"? I haven't been down this road since then, but when I pass where the turn off is, I think
                            about this sometimes. Scary moment? Oh shit yes, I thought, especially the second move he made, I was done for.
                            Yes, animals have played a big part in my scary moment riding incidents.
                            "If it ain't broke, don't fix it...
                            but sometimes it just needs a mod"


                            • #15
                              Number 3: Taking a trip through the back roads of Black Diamond/Ravensdale/Auburn with the wife. First ride of the season for my wife. Great weather, early spring, short straights, damp roads, lots of twists, no traffic early Saturday morning. Was trying to remember the way down to the back side of Black Diamond to the raging river canyon. Had done it some number of years before on dirt bikes and seemed like a fun thing to do again. Things are going spectacular, wrong turns meant more riding time, and very little straight roads made it better...came up on a blind turn (many of those), road sign on the right 10mph, a "U" and a traffic light sign, all stacked on the post. Weird, but ok, ready. Road narrowed at the entrance of the turn, and by mid turn, it has a lot sharper than expected. At this point, the road is now black, with no light getting through the canopy and the road was nowhere near wide enough for suggestion of two lanes. I'm positioned mostly to the right on the lane because the apex got tighter. Tires twitched due damp conditions. Not even a split second later, we were face to face with a Toyota truck on our side. Thought for sure we were about to know what a bug on the windshield feels like. Fortunately he swerved the correct direction, and we didn't collide. Unfortunately, I had stood us up, locked up the rear and skidding to as quick a stop as possible. We have arrived at the traffic light and it is a single lane bridge with another full size truck on it. As we skid, there was enough soft edge of the shoulder to help stop us and keep us from going over the edge to the river below. Guy in Toyota truck continued on as if nothing just happened, and as the full size truck cleared the bridge, light turned green as if again, nothing happened. We got off, got the bike from the soft shoulder, realized we were in a worse position if someone else came down the canyon as we just had, and decided to get out of harms way.

                              Number 2 (for the wife this is number 2, for me this is number 1): Same trip....still not fully cleared in the head of the situation we encountered an hour earlier, we were heading home. Route was back down our regularly traveled route of the Green Valley hwy in Auburn. As you drop off the Black Diamond hill down to the Auburn valley, there is a series of turns, not a cork screw more switch backs, and 3 of these series on the way down. Up or down the hill, speed limits are 10 mph for each series. On the last series down, the right hand turn is blind as blind can be. I remember the wife say something like "What the F are you doing?" in a loud, panic voice. I had target fixated on something and found I had us crossing the double yellow into oncoming lane. Hard on the brakes, turned hard right to stay away from the stonewall approaching, and on the shoulder we go, again. At that moment, my attention was immediately taken off the wall as a large full size SUV passed us going up the hill. Cleared the ass of the bike by not much more than a couple feet, missed 2 cyclists we had just passed by not much more and was getting hot on it for the next series of turns. That error was all me. Still haunts me to this day for what could have happened do to my lack of skills. Now, my says I talk to myself when in turns, look up, look thru it, head up, etc.

                              Number 1 (for my wife): Riding up to Leavenworth over 4th of July weekend a few years back. Hadn't had a day off in a couple months, was about to travel again, so it was time, and the weather looked stellar on the eastern side. Route was over Chinook/Cayuse pass, then up along the river to Ellensburg, and then over Blewitt pass to Leavenworth. Left the house and it was cloudy with threatening rain clouds. I was dressed in jeans and jacket, but convinced my wife to wear all her gear, long johns and winter gloves. I knew we would outrun the rain, no doubt, right...confidence. By the time we got to the Chinook, it was rain and snow mix. Cayuse was snow, hail, rain and winds picking up. Sucked on more than one level and this is July. As we got out of the pass, the snotty weather cleared. The sun graced us with the warmth we both needed. Pulled off at Whistling Jacks to water the lily. Wind was steady and a bit more than even up on the pass. Got back after it. Exited 410 and heading north up the rivers edge toward Ellensburg. As we start going thru the canyon, wife head-butted me, and felt like she threw herself on me. She said sorry, not me, the wind. I laughed and teased, the fun could get started once we were off the bike. A mile or so later, she knocks into me again and apologizes. We are about to exit off the river route, we get a huge gust of wind from my left and moved us across the lane . Wife was like, see, told you it was the wind. As we get off the river road, and heading north west toward the burg, the wind is ripping over the roadway, full on dirt washes and we are leaned into it with more body english. Stopped at the truck stop and realized, holy hell, the wind is way stronger than expected as I nearly go ass of tea kettle from the gusts just trying to put the kickstand down. We get some water, and get back on the road, need to head west 4-5 miles, and then turn north to go over Blewitt. As we get on the freeway, clear the exit ramp, get up to 70mph and crest a small rise, the full force of the wind nailed us head on. Scared the bajeepers out of us. It felt as if the entire bike was lifted off the road and we were free to spread our wings. It was flat out brutal and I'm gripping the bars the entire stretch. Exit the freeway and have to traverse the hillside next to a few wind turbine farms to make the connecting road for Blewitt. There is a sign cart, chained to the ground, flashing "High Winds, Use Caution". Thanks Capt Obvious, couldn't guess that. We are leaned hard left but traveling straight. Each car or semi that passes us heading south blocks the wind for that second, causing us to correct, and then pitched to the right side of the road once clear of them. Needless to say, there were a number of moments the fog line came way too close for comfort. We come upon 2 harley riders, man and a woman is all I know. They are leaned hard in and struggling like us, but they are doing about 40 in 60mph zone. Speed forgiven due to the winds. Either overtake them now, or stay behind for the next 5 miles to the turnoff. Get the opportunity, so I go for it, as we reach a magical 50mph, we are clearly in the open face of the hillside and the wind gust pushes us between them, as I correct to get around, anything more than 60 feels as if doing a million miles an hour the wrong direction. I'm sure it looked like I was bobbing and weaving all over the place like a squid. We get a number of sequential gusts, and it really spooks the wife. We got a light spot from the wind on the hillside and in the helmet speakers I hear crying. Hit a break in the rocks and get blasted to the side again, and the wife starts screaming. Next break in the rocks and blasted again, more screaming but more frantically. She starts pounding on my shoulder screaming to pull over. It was so intense with fear, I could hear her over the wind from just her voice, not just the speakers. Mind you, the fog line is about 18 inches from the rock ditch, 4 feet deep, there is no shoulder, and the signs all along the way, say so, "No shoulder". She can't hear a word of me saying, "relax, breath, we are almost to the cutoff." The gust blasts us again and I hear her choking from crying so hard. I bring it as controlled a stop as I can, stop on the fog line, I shouted as if talking to one if my troops in a fire fight, "Do not do this here and now. There is no option, pull yourself together, and do not scream at me again. Wipe the tears, get your shit together now, we are moving." Not one of the best moments for marriage but she got quiet, held on a bit better, didn't squirm around, and we made it the rest of the way. The mascara was down her cheeks, up over her ears, across the bridge of her nose, everywhere. She was shaking, scared, doing the deep breath crying/calming routine. I felt like an ass. No doubt the lady at the hotel was thinking twice about letting me be near her. We hear on the radio 40-60mph, gust over 70mph was what we were in. A few years on now, we ride in the winds of Oklahoma and Texas and she is steady as a rock. Couldn't ask for a better partner in the winds, she knows exactly what to do, and where to be on the bike. She has talked about it since, and will tell anyone, she thought that was it for her, the wind would take us out.