Crashing My Motorcycle & the Value of Gear


As many of you saw on instagram and facebook on Monday, I crashed the Monster. Being geared up head to toe saved my life.

After about five and a half years of riding, I finally had a spill on the street. But it was a little bit more than a spill- it was a 50-55mph crash. Now, the Monster and I are both relatively okay- flesh wounds mostly. I’m bruised all over and have a bout of road rash on my right hip. The Monster has damage down the right side.

Yesterday at about 11am I left Costa Mesa base camp heading toward LA on the 55 North freeway. I exited right at the 73N/405N freeway onramp interchange, which is a really long two lane sweeping left turn. At about 50 mph, I hit what I thought was a little bump in the roadway and got a speed wobble, which almost immediately turned into a violent tank slapper and I hit the pavement. I didn’t highside- I had a very violent lowside (sort of) where the bike hit the ground rather hard (and with the quickness).

We then slid some 75 or so feet to a stop after sliding into the median (in what seemed like slow-mo) and bouncing off. The bike and I ground against the road for a moment together when I lost sight of it, rolling sideways as I skid feet first and then rotated around to point across the lanes. When I finally came to a stop, I immediately got up and started waving my arms so that any oncoming traffic wouldn’t run us over. Luckily for me there were no cars behind me for a half mile or so. Two trucks were the first to pull up and stop in either lane, turning on their hazards and sort of motioning for me to move my crap out of the way.

I pleaded with them via hand signals to please help me pick it up, as I’d already tried and the awkward angle and oil everywhere was making it tough. Not to mention my body was a bit beat up. When we tried to roll the bike after it was vertical, something seemed seized. Pulling in the clutch did nothing, shifting it into neutral seemed to have no effect. So, we dragged it downhill to the inside smaller shoulder, and the front wheel wouldn’t move. I thanked them and they all drove away.

I then called my roommate Will, asking if he could pick me up and bring some gauze for the road rash I noticed on my hip. It wasn’t bleeding profusely but definitely was not pleasant looking. And then I began to wait… traffic flying by. A motorcyclist in sprinter van arrived, parked on the opposite shoulder and asked if he could help transport my bike. When I told him I had someone on the way, he offered to put his hazards on for safety, and asked if I’d prefer to wait in van. Why, of course I would prefer that! Thankful, I waited a moment and safely crossed traffic to wait in an air conditioned space.

After a few minutes getting to know Joel, a street rider gone dirt, a tow truck stopped to help. He called CHP, who stopped traffic while Joel and he ran over to move the bike to the safer side of the road. The tow truck driver went through the usual suspects to see what was seized or lodged, and pulled out a big piece of metal from between the front wheel’s mags, brake calipers, and forks. From inside the van I was craning around trying to see what on earth it was- turns out it was a piece of a spare tire mounting bracket. It’s really hard to tell if I picked it up after going down, or if it lodged into the wheel and caused the crash. I have felt and ridden out speed wobbles on the Monster before, as many Southern California freeways and roads have massive potholes and bumps all over the place. So it’s hard for me to believe that I would crash so immediately and so hard from a little bump in the road when I wasn’t even pushing the bike. But I can’t say for sure what happened, I didn’t have a GoPro on, and I can’t press replay on my mind!


So, Will, the roommate, arrived just after the bike got moved and loaded it up into his truck. I moved to the back seat of his Tacoma and put some gauze over my road rash, drank some water and chilled out til we got home. At that point the inspections of injuries, head, and rash began, followed by cleaning.

Now, about the state of my dear, sweet Monster.


While yes, I was most immediately concerned with how screwed up my bike was, I had glanced at it and hadn’t seen a whole load of damage on my tank or body work at first glance so I was somewhat scared to really look. Upon further inspection, there’s a lot of small damage, and some major stuff that definitely needs fixing. But my SpeedyMoto frame sliders absolutely saved my tank, bodywork, and my swingarm! It was practically a miracle!


At this point it appears I need the following:

  • Clutch cover/right side engine cover
  • Cone Engineering muffler and fix to my custom high exhaust stainless pipe
  • Woodcraft clip-ons, CRG bar end mirrors, K&S bar end blinkers, right side CNR lever
  • Right side rear set
  • Rear axle and bolts
  • Grips
  • Frame sliders
  • Rizoma brake reservoir

There’s also various damage:

  • Massive paint scrapes to front wheel and paint
  • Scrapes to inside of front brake calipers
  • Powdercoat damage where clip on bracket hit frame
  • Possible front end damage (forks, wheel, rotors could be bent)

All in all, I feel incredibly thankful. Wearing full gear definitely saved my life. I came down hard on my helmet, scraped up every side of all of my gear, blew out a seam on my boots, rubbed through to the armor on my jacket, scraped through the knees of the riding jeans to the armor… the list goes on.


The reason I ended up with road rash on my hip is because of improper fitment. I lost about ten pounds recently, and my riding jeans were sitting below my hips. Usually they sit closer to my waist, but even with my belt on the last hole, they were somewhat baggy. So when I was sliding feet first, my jacket pulled up a bit, my pants too low, it contacted the asphalt.

Seriously, I stand by all of what I had on 100%.


Every single side of my jacket got rashed up badly, my jeans took the beating like a champ, too. Make sure you click on the thumbnails so you can see the detail shots.


The inside of my Elsinore boots got blown out on one side and rashed up a little everywhere else, but kept my feet and ankles safe!


My full-face helmet took a major beating- it has scratches all over it and across the face shield. Again so thankful to have been geared up and wearing a full-face helmet. I can’t ride in anything less, never have been able to.


The Barrage backpack I was wearing from the Chrome Industries Barrage collection helped me out too, no doubt. It also took a lot of the slide, and held up amazingly well. Some broken seams of course, but no holes, and it stayed on me through the whole ordeal. You can see on my jacket where the backpack gave me extra protection against the road. And yes, the Icon 1000 Akorp jacket has a back protector.



At this point, after a full day of resting and tending to the road rash, my bruises are pretty nasty but it’s healing pretty well. Don’t look at these if you’re grossed out by… blood n stuff. You can see lots of road grime hanging out in it. Gross.

Road rash after first big cleaning, night of crash

Road rash after first big cleaning, night of crash

Road rash on the second day of healing, looking a lot better already

Road rash on the second day of healing, looking a lot better already

The big red spot on my hip is actually a pretty deep hole- pretty gross. Definitely the most painful part. It’s super gross to see your tattoo imprinted on the bandages when you remove them like silly putty on newspaper. 🙁

Someone asked me how I’m feeling mentally after crashing my motorcycle, and about getting back on a bike. Well, honestly, I can’t wait! It was definitely a scary experience- one that I hope to never deal with again. But the reality is that sometimes doing the things you love comes with unpleasant consequences. We all know riding motorcycles is dangerous. I feel absolutely happy to have landed metaphorically and physically where I did, as everything could have gone so much worse. I consider myself a good rider- I am confident in my skill level however I always want to get better, improve techniques, and learn more. So, I’ll be working harder on improving my technique via more training, track days, and miles. I also plan on improving my gear situation (proper fitment and attaching my pants and jacket together so this can’t happen again). I am excited to hop back on the proverbial horse.

I’ll keep you guys in the loop of fixes (and hopefully upgrades?) to the Monster. I definitely want to put a steering stabilizer on there. It’s going to be a process… again.

If any of you would like to support my recovery and repair of the Monster- feel free to donate some fuel!

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Posted on June 17, 2015 in Blog, News & Features by

69 Comments for “Crashing My Motorcycle & the Value of Gear”

  1. Ace says:

    I am glad to know you are well, aside from the bruises and road rash. Hoping for a speedy recovery to you and your motorcycle.

  2. saturn says:

    Just a couple quick tips: see if Chrome will fix your bag for you (the company may have grown beyond lifetime repairs by now), and having suffered a similar crash and injuries recently: don’t slap gauze on there or let it scab — get a giant Nexcare non-stick pad, or try to find a large enough hydrocolloid pad for it. You’ll feel much better than with it covered in dry sticky gauze, or having to peel off an adhesive bandage.

    • Arnaldo Tramontano says:

      Another tip: Collagenase. Here in Brazil there is an ointment called “Kollagenase” (commercial name), used to treat skin burns (yeah, that thing you make with fire). Apply direct to the rash, and cover it. It will get a “waxy” consistency, and its enzyme will dissolve any dead tissue (say goodbye to nasty scabs!) while helping the new skin to grow. Apply everyday, A week is enough to grow a beautiful new skin, no scars, no blood, no sticky gauze. Think is is prescription only in EUA, though…

      Trust me – a had a huge hole in my hand and arms. Works like a charm.

  3. Flyguy879 says:

    MotoLady! Love your blog, glad you’re ok! I just had a left turner crash into me basically head-on a couple weeks ago, it was brutal. Completely destroyed 2″ of my tibia, and broke my fibula, plus some broken ribs, a broken wrist and a punctured lung.

    My 2005 SV650 is completely destroyed, and deemed a total loss by insurance. My gear did it’s job, and it saved my life. Shoei Quest helmet, kept my noggin ok. I’ll never ride without full face. AlpineStars jacket saved me too, and my Street and Steel boots saved my feet and ankles.

    Without gear I would have been dead, heck even with less gear I would have been dead or an amputee. But I survived because of my gear! So I completely agree with you about gear, and I want to shout it from the rooftops!

    • Critical says:

      My old man was killed by a left turner on Feb 1st. Glad you came out on the better side.

  4. John Andrew Schmanek says:

    Glad to see your spirits are still up and injuries are not too serious. Glad to see the bike probably will be able to be put back together. I am sure you are dreaming of some mods already?

    I like how you say you can’t wait to ride again. I have had my share of crashes over the years and always it took me about the shortest portion of a second after the crash until I knew i wanted to ride again which is to say never really changed my mind about it at all. People always seemed shocked by this fact – still wanting to ride and as soon as possible, but, those people just don’t ride.

    • Whenever some dumbfounded cager can’t believe a motorcyclist would still want to ride after a crash, I just ask them if they would give up driving cars after having a car crash. They all say “No, of course not!” Well, there ya go.

      • Tim Nelson says:

        Never understood the logic of referring to people who drive cars as cagers. I guess even though I have two bikes and a truck, I’m a part time cager. Motorcycles are hard to see, just because a car driver doesnt see in their blind spot and changes lanes in your path, doesnt mean they are an asshole. But thats just me I suppose.

        • bikerferlife says:

          Most of us have both. A ‘cager’ would be a car driver who only drives cars, can’t understand why anyone would ride, thinks they are dangerous, etc., etc. It’s a mindset not an activity.

          • Tim Nelson says:

            How do you know they do not own a motorcycle, when they are driving in a car? Assuming somebody is a cager just because you don’t see them riding on a motorcycle is pretty shortsighted

        • Ziggy Moonunit says:

          That would be why “cagers” are taught to check their blind spot when learning how to drive. It takes two seconds to turn your head and look over your shoulder before you change lanes. The majority of cars out there have blind spots, it’s your duty as a driver to check them before you move over.

  5. jim says:

    Tegaderm, Walgreens even has it. Works great!

  6. Hans says:

    Yea you got a hell of an experience to tell on that one Lady clean it up and get back on.

  7. Denise says:

    I love your blog! So glad your okay. You and Pandora both are so beautiful and will be back up and running in no time! I had a similar experience a few months ago on my R6, except it was at about 35mph. I pulled out of work way to fast, leaned too far, and the back tire caught a road turtle (those stupid yellow lumps in the road) and washed me out. Not to mention I washed my bike the day before at the car dealership I work at, only to find out after the fact that we use a wash and wax soap, so looking at my bikes damage, the sides of the tires were completely blue hazed with residue. I ended up smashing the case, breaking a lever (stock ones… I guess it was motivation to buy new shortys!), shredded the swing arm slider and my bar ends. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the frame sliders on, which were supposed to get put on literally the weekend before, but time didn’t allow, naturally. So I’ve yet to find a new midfairing, but hey, I have a “I got in a fight with a road turtle” story. The bike went down to the left, I fell to the right on my left knee, tumbled onto my right shoulder, and slid on my back for a bit. The bike and I both slid about 40 ft. Scraped the back of my helmet up, hole in my backpack, just scuffed my jacket. Unfortunately I was leaving work so I just had on a pair of dickies and tennis shoes. I have a pretty awesome scar from the hole that showed up under my knee, ripped a hole in my shoe, knocked my ankle, and my jacket too slid up and got a pretty good rash on my back/upper cheek. Gear is definitely everything. I haven’t ridden without my boots since. I can definitely say, I admire you for being so ambitious to get back on. I was terrified, and once in a while I still am. I’m fighting to get my confidence back. But I know it will soon come. Go get ’em, Moto Lady.

  8. Brian Henry says:

    You’re really lucky. Very glad you’re ok! I was in a major accident almost 2 years ago now, ATGATT and an 18 year old girl pulled her parents SUV (95% sure she was texting…wish I had my gopro on too!) out in front of me when I was doing 40+ mph. Even though I was wearing gear, I broke almost 30 bones and have nerve damage to my left arm that may permanently keep me from ever riding again. That’s probably the worst part. To see people able to walk away and heal up to ride again is always fantastic. While my gear was great and my helmet saved my life, the brachial plexus injury I sustained could have only been prevented with a neck collar (at the time). Now that new airbag tech is coming out, who knows what the future holds! What do you think about that equipment? I know it’s early on but it seems like it could save a lot of lives. In terms of attaching your jacket to your Kevlar jeans, what are your plans? They don’t come with zips or anything, right? Are there accessory attachment options? Seems like a good way to spare road rash from the equation. Glad again that you’re ok! Hop back on that steed after you get her all right as rain!

    • woodie says:

      I have several pairs bike jeans and I get the sewing machine out (Yes I am a bloke) and sew the bottom half of the zip in/on the jeans. Most jackets come with a zip and most give you the loose half as well. only problem to me is ther is no industry standard for the zips. Icon – Berik – Halversonns all use ddifferent sized zips/fasteners.
      it would deffo be a help if they did.

  9. Mike says:

    Take really good care of that road rash. Especially that deep part. Deeper skin wounds don’t always heal right on their own. I’m glad things turned out as well as they did. Keep on feeling better!

  10. Ed Z says:

    That will buff out.

  11. @rider says:

    Happy to see the good spirit after the crash. Learn from that and share with us your experiences as you are doing with great success. I wish a good recovery. Good bikers are around the world.

  12. Brucus Ruckus says:

    Glad you are OK. Have you solved the mystery crash? Should Santa bring your Monster an Ohlins steering dampener at Xmas?

  13. Reza says:

    Im really glad you are OK.I had same experience about 2 years ago with my Bajaj in 80km.I hope you and beautiful Pandora back on road soon.

  14. Glad you made it though that safely.

  15. woodie says:

    I agree with all the comments. I am so glad you have not only survived but exited realtively unscathed. as a youngster I had a SMIDSY when a guy pulled out on me. It left me with a pin in my knee-cap and a permanent list to the left (Especially when it rains… which is most of the time. I’m from the UK!)
    IF I had been using riding jeans with armour I would have walked away completely unscathed.. ATGATT. Full face, jacket, gloves and trousers (pants!) have saved me more than once since then, especially when I worked as a courier.
    Chin up. and get back on.

  16. Sorry to hear about you going down, but glad to hear that your injuries are minor and that your gear did its job to protect you. Going down is never fun, but the best thing we can do as motorcyclists is to learn from our mistakes and use it to make us better riders.

    Hope you and the Monster recover quickly.

  17. Chris Cope says:

    Very glad to hear you came out of it relatively OK. Hope the bruises heal quickly.

  18. HeyZeus says:

    I would say a steering stabilizer would help. You have lost the mechanical advantage you had by going to clip-ons. The stock bars were wider allowing more control over the bike in the conditions you discovered. The damage does not look to bad. I am just jealous I have not been able to ride Since my down on Jan 24. To many broken bones. I am a firm proponent of all the gear all the time.

  19. Philip Palmer says:

    Glad you are only slightly worse for wear. I second Saturn’s suggestion for the hydrocolloid pad. It will also reduce the scarring which is aggravated every time you pull off the gauze. Many years of road and gravel rash from crashes on both motorcycles and bicycles have taught me to take care of those injuries properly as soon as possible. I also suggest you use a cold pack on it for 15 mins 5 times a day for the first 3 days after an accident. It will speed the healing in the long run.

  20. Antonio Gallardo says:

    “But my SpeedyMoto frame sliders absolutely saved my tank, bodywork, and my swingarm! It was practically a miracle!”
    According to your story, it seems it saved you too. The gear is very important but I think that slider was, as you put it, miraculous.
    Very glad you are fine.

  21. Dartagnan says:

    Sooo fortunate that you had the smarts to wear armor and not opt for the cool look like some of the riders in my neck of the woods (NYC). I recall my first real accident where I clipped a fender with my left heel due to the car in front stopping suddenly on an accelerated right lane merge onto a right lane freeway here in NYC (FDR Drive @ 49th St. on ramp). I felt as though I was in slow motion and was going to get run over by oncoming traffic. All I could think of and look for was cars coming at me (at night) at about 40-50mph. I tried very hard to control my slide using everything from my hands to my legs and even my chest all the while trying to stay as loose as possible so I wouldn’t break anything. Needless to say, walked away with minor fracture in the ankle that clipped the car and some minor scarring on my forehead where my head contacted the road for a fraction of a second as my helmet strap snapped off and flew off my head leaving me helmetless. Praise God! I’m still riding to this day.

    btw, sexy ab shot!

  22. summ3rhays says:

    Best of luck with your recovery. I’m glad to hear that your gear did it’s job. I’m sure Pandora will be back with a roar. As always I really enjoy your updates and posts.

  23. blackcayman says:

    I low-sided my GSX-R750 at a track day last month, doing 65 mph when I lost the front. I was wearing a zip-togethered tourmaster air jacket and pants combo, which is required for the track. Helmet, boots and gauntlet gloves are too. I can say, they saved me from any rash at all. I just had a bruised rib from landing on my shoulder. I’m glad to read you came through with serious injury too. Good luck!

  24. Red Spade says:

    excellent writeup dear lady! thank you for sharing. no heal up quick!! much love and respect.

  25. MM no longer stuck in L.A. says:

    Glad you are otherwise OK, protective gear looks like it did its job.
    Had a bad offroad crash almost 30 yrs. ago that darn near killed me were it not for my Bell Star 90 full face competition helmet, had several deep gouges in it and a huge scrape on the side almost through the outer shell. My head was the only intact thing on my body, not even a concussion, but sustained road rash & dirt impaction on my back along with severe left elbow injuries and a ripped-apart left shoulder that required surgery to reassemble, plus 3 months off work to heal. Note to self: Don’t wear offroad jersey with no elbow pads or chest protector!
    You heal quickly, ma’am!

  26. Hiwatt Scott says:

    So glad to hear that you came through (relatively) ok! It was about time to change some stuff on Pandora anyway, right? Get well and keep us posted on your progress!

  27. Johnny says:

    I’m so glad to hear that, all in all, you are OK. Good gear is much cheaper than the alternative! I hope your insurance pays for your gear. When the horse throws you, get back on!

  28. Schyler says:

    Glad to see you and the bike came out ok. I had a crash on the street last year where a texting driver hit me on I95 gear did it’s job but I still got a broken ankle and my poor buell got completely destroyed so I’m stoked to see you came out a lot better.

  29. Modonoko says:

    I’m glad you are safe and thanks for sharing the experience.

  30. Bryan Fox says:

    Ohh our dear sista! Wish you a fast healing and I advise you to get up to a bike and ride again very-very quickly! Otherwise a bit bad or scary feeling will remain in your head and that is not the best for the riding in the future. 😉 Never mind! In every 20 years all biker has to have an accident. It is “Murphy’s low”. So now you are in safe for the next 20!!! 😉

    If you planning to come to Hungary for “sightseeing” by bike, don’t hesitate to contact me! I would be happy to guide you around to our small but beautiful country.

    Take care and have wide roads!

  31. Todd Chamberlain says:

    Really? All that just to ‘casually’ slip in that you recently lost 10 pounds? LOL. But seriously folks, great write up and great testament to wearing safe gear. Glad you’re here to write it. 🙂

  32. Ampersam says:

    Jeez, I’m glad you’re OK after that.

    I’ve read plenty of ATGATT articles (including your own) and I’m always good at coming up with excuses for not wearing armoured pants and boots to match my gloves, jacket and helmet. But every time I see pictures of even modest road rashes, it reminds me that there IS no excuse.

    Thanks for the reminder, maybe I’ll heed it this time…

    Good luck fixing up your baby – just think – now you might have the perfect opportunity to put on new (and better) stuff!


    Thanks for your sharing, I’m riding a 650cc BMW, but I never wear any protection gear… Today you tech me a lesson.. I’ll spent some money to buy quality gear for myself and my wife. Thankful.

  34. AcuffMatt says:

    Sorry about your Monster but glad you are safe. My only two laydowns were on my 2003 V-Max. The factory engine protectors and hard core stock mufflers saved the bike. Just had to replace engine guard and mirror. I always wear full gear and it IS a life saver. First wreck was gravel in the dark and second was a wobble like you described. I added progressive fork springs and a Shindy steering damper and corrected the steering. Works great and if you have a wobble of any kind get a damper. I travel cross country every summer from Lubbock to NYC but on a 2013 Kawasaki Concours. My 2010 Monster 1100 is my new baby and I love it. Had bar end mirrors but put original mirrors back on. Plan on getting sliders as well. Definitely a smart buy. Monster Forums are a good place for any help but I assume you already know that. Glad you made it and are positive. The bike can be fixed. I’m an old bicycle racer and it’s the reason I’m still alive! Enjoy your blog!
    Oh, Monster’s name is Sophie!

  35. Alec Studerus says:

    Very glad to hear you’re in one piece. Bikes can be fixed, folks are more difficult to put back together. Get well soon (I hope) 🙂

  36. Priscilla Meray says:

    I am glad you and the monster are okay! I hope for the hole in your hip heals soon. I think your crash will inspire other riders to drop the cool and gear up! Thank you for riding safe and being a positive influence to the motorcycle community! I wish you well!
    – Priscilla M. NJ

  37. Paula Leslie says:

    I hope your hole fills in.
    But seriously, this was informative, and may have some bearing on how I currently wear my gear.

    • Bob Mostue says:

      Do all you can to get the odds in your favor. Wider bars correct suspension and any thing else you can think of.
      Talk to the pros!

  38. smeg theprez says:

    Thankfully you wear your gear. A jacket that zips to pants would’ve saved you that nasty side rash. But then even us “gear heads” don’t always zip up, which will most always lead to exposed torso in the event of a crash.

  39. Peter Dietrich says:

    Alica, Glad you walked away with only a few scrapes and bruises. I won’t repeat anything that’s already said here about gear etc. but will add, That though a steering damper is not a waste of money, here it’s a band aid on a bigger problem. You should first be looking at the setup of your suspension as you rebuild. Especially your front suspension. I can see from the pictures of your bike that the fork tubes have been slid up (considerably) in the trees compared to stock and you mentioned that you have had head shakes before. Sliding the fork tubes up in the trees (even as little as one inch) significantly reduces trail (as would raising the rear ride height). If you don’t already know, trail is what makes the front wheel auto correct when moved out of line with the travel of the bike which equals stability. Therefore reducing trail reduces stability. Hitting a bump And compressing the front suspension, further reduces trail therefore further reducing stability. It is usually after hitting a bump that induced oscillation (head shake) starts. Getting the suspension of the bike back closer to the Ducati engineers original numbers will go a long way to making sure this doesn’t happen again. Better suspension components that are sprung for your weight or even just setting up the stock bits properly is important .You did adjust your front and rear suspensions pre-load so the bike sits where it should with you on it when you first built the bike right? Get your suspension set up correctly and you’d be surprised how much better the bike will feel and it will make you a more confident rider as that bike will be more stable and predictable even on very bumpy roads.


    • bikerferlife says:

      Alicia please take Peter’s words above seriously as this is most likely the reason that this resulted in a crash. You are not the first to have made these type of changes to your bike and suffered the consequences, it’s actually a pretty common result if a bike is ridden in the real world as a street bike. Changes like these can be gotten away with on a race bike for a variety of reason and even for a while on a street bike, but eventually they can bite you as has happened here.

      I hope you are well soon and riding again!

      • MotoLady says:

        Dear concerned readers- I will not in any way be “returning my Monster as close to the ducati engineers designed” as possible. That is HILARIOUS to me. I affixed a suberbike front end, compensated for change in offset and take (which thus changes trail) and I did this all to have a bike that handles better. It might be more twitchy is a straight line but it corners like a boss. Telling someone the reason they crashed is because of a change in geometry to make a bike turn in faster is preposterous. Obviously geometry does a lot for ride ability, but I built this bike the way it is for a reason.

        I crashed. It was a mistake.

        I’ll be checking my bearings and all, but making it lame and putting a stock front end on my bike is NOT happening. And furthermore it’s pretty annoying that folks assume I don’t have the ability to wrap my brain around the physics of a motorcycle. I did build the thing, after all. And just so we’re supper clear, I asked and conferred wth the experts every step of the way (because it’s important not to set things up unsafely.)

        • bikerferlife says:

          Changes just as you describe do indeed cause wobble/tank slappers/crashes. It’s your ride and your ass but I hope you will look into this independently of the custom bike culture. Few of those lads know much about geometry. Racers and race teams/crew chiefs are a readily available source, otherwise you are opening a big can of worms that requires complicated math to understand the relationships between wheelbase, center of mass, rake/trail, harmonic frequencies, in and out of phase relationships of those frequencies, etc. It is rather complex and can seem fine until you hit just the right set of circumstances (for instance lean angle, chassis pitch while braking/accelerating, etc.) Please don’t take our word for it. If you quickened or lightened the steering you put it in a less stable state. If you do not compensate for that some way you are in a condition that is liable to generate a wobble under the right (wrong!) circumstances. As I said this is not well understood by all, you can take comfort in knowing that many, many riders/builders before you have made the same mistake. You don’t have to revert to stock but just get the chassis numbers dialed.
          So don’t be mad, take care and heal up soon! Love to read about more adventures soon.

          • MotoLady says:

            Look. This is like telling me to go buy a mom car because my lifted truck is going to CAUSE an accident. WRONG, while the lift may make it more top heavy and therefore roll easier, it in no way means I should take the lift out because it makes driving on the street more rough. It’s made to get me around AND off road, just like my bike is made to get me around but MAINLY hit twisties hard.

            I will NOT be returning it to stock, and I’ve spoke with many actual experts about geometry and set up, who helped me through every step of the mods in the first place.

            While the details you speak of may generally be true, that doesn’t mean the end-goal is the same for everyone, and telling me that is what cause my crash is preposterous. My crash was caused by a multitude of thugs all at once. I’ve been riding my bike, hard, for over a year. From 0mph to 130mph, long straights, big sweepers, tight twisties- clearly my front end wasn’t waiting in shadow to JUMP OUT AND TRY TO KILL ME! So, thanks for your opinion, but no thanks for your opinion. And please leave my motorcycle alone- go customize your own and stop worrying about it.

          • bikerferlife says:

            As I said before, it’s your ride and your ass. There is a lot to learn if you will pay attention. There is a reason you don’t see ‘customs’ tearing up the canyons. Most custom builders don’t know crock about making a bike fast handling. You listen to whomever you wish but just because they have a shop does NOT mean they know what they are talking about. But they will be happy to sell you something once they have convinced you they do know. You need to get complete away from the custom builder scene, but then most anyone else will tell you a Monster won’t be the best candidate to start from. I won’t, but the mods necessary to get there are tremendous when that is your starting point. Please forget any notion of stock, I don’t leave anything stock so you’re not hearing that from me. But it has to be done with all necessary considerations. In your case it might be as simple as a steering damper. Now chill out and ride your ass off. I have to go, my lifted truck just caused an accident.

          • Dean W Peterson says:

            I’m glad that you are OK and the bike is fixable. There are only two types of riders, those that have crashed and those that will crash

        • Peter Dietrich says:

          “Super bike front end ” is one of those phrases that let us engineers know exactly whom we are talking. Ignorance and ego are the leading cause of road rash and wearing properly fitting gear is no substitute for not crashing. I’ll stand by my experience while you enjoy the fruits of the aforementioned.


  40. Peter Dietrich says:

    Alica, Glad you walked away with only a few scrapes and bruises. I won’t
    repeat anything thats already said here about gear etc. but will add,
    that though a steering damper is not a waste of money, you should first
    be looking at the setup of your suspension as you rebuild. Especially
    your front suspension. I can see from the pictures of your bike that the
    fork tubes have been slid up (considerably)in the trees compared to
    stock and you mentioned that you have had head shakes before. Sliding
    the fork tubes up in the trees reduces trail (as does raising the rear
    ride height). If you don’t already know, trail is what makes the front
    wheel auto correct when moved out of line with the travel of the bike
    which equals stability. Therefore reducing trail reduces stability.
    Hitting a bump And compressing the suspension, further reduces trail
    therefore further reducing stability and it is usually after hitting a
    bump that induced oscillation (head shake) starts. Getting the attitude
    of the bike (front height vs rear ride height) back closer to the Ducati
    engineers original numbers will go a long way to making sure this
    doesn’t happen again. Better suspension components or even just setting
    them up for your weight will help too .You did adjust your front and
    rear suspensions pre-load so the bike sits where it should with you on
    it when you first built the bike right? Get you suspension set up right
    and you’d be surprised how much better the bike will feel and it will go
    a long way in making sure that this kind of think never happens again.


  41. Carlton Taylor says:

    Your belly-button ring told me everything i needed to know

  42. DaMonk says:

    I crashed my bike April 29 at about 60-65 mph, $6k in damages to the bike. Left side on mine was pretty well scraped off. Destroyed $1000 worth of gear and walked away. I will not ride without gear.
    Good to hear you are ok.
    Next time get better fitting pants or jacket. I had a small bit of roadrash on my left where my Joe Rocket jacket wore through.

  43. Liz Mooney says:

    Glad you are ok! Check with your insurance to see if you have accessory coverage. If you do, that will replace the gear you had on.

  44. BeksNY says:

    I’m a little late to the party on this one, MotoLady, but I wanted to add my thanks that you’re only scraped up. I got lazy with ATGATT lately (“It’s been so hot and so humid… And I’m not going far… wah wah wahhh…”). I’ve been more MATGATT (mostly all the gear all the time), but the pictures of your scrapes and your gear are good reminders. Thanks for being the voice of reason on a late Friday afternoon.

  45. Reza Behresi says:

    Pleas remove this photo from your website . . .

  46. Spurdog1 says:

    Sorry to read about your accident. Hope you are healing ok, that looked nasty. I hope a lot of people will see this and buy a full face helmet, it obviously saved you facial injury judging by the scratches on your visor. Hope the bike gets fixed soon.

    As a rider with 35 years experience I do have to agree with some of the comments about your front end set up though. Making a bike look trick and turn quickly at the expense of straight line stability is a recipe for trouble. A steering damper is a pretty essential addition to a cafe racer set up and a good one will allow you to fine tune your front end. Thats why sportbikes have them! Softening the preload will allow you to ride the bumps and will help the bike turn quicker. Hope you are back in the saddle soon. We have all had scrapes its part of the learning curve!

  47. Placid Life says:

    Most certainly not the way to go.
    ATGATT People!!

    I like the plastic bag carried in hand while driving. WTF?!

  48. Too Much Tina (Sash) says:

    This makes me want to barf.
    Not because it looks gross, or because I’m insensitive. Quite the opposite. It’s the empathy that gets the best of me. I hate to see anyone hurt, but there’s something special about injured motorcycle riders.
    I’ve been seeing them for as long as I remember. My Dad was in a terrible accident when I was 4 years old and in a full body cast and hospital bed in our home for almost a year. So every injured rider brings out the “Mommy” in me!
    I’m so glad you’re healing, that you had on great gear, and that Pandora is fixable. I’m even more inspired (Brittany Morrow really got me to thinking lately) to wear my gear every ride. And when gear looks that good, why not? I love that Icon jacket! And I just bought some kevlar jeans yesterday, inspired by these photos.
    Thanks for being as transparent and open as you are. We need people to be honest and let us know exactly what can happen, even when it makes us stressed to think about it. Wear the gear and have less stress, instead of ignoring the possibilities,

  49. Anthony PK says:

    Firstly i’m glad your ok, your wounds can heal and bikes can be repaired!

    I’ve just been in my first motorcycle crash, 6 years of riding and it happened on my brand new ducati scrambler!!! I was cut up on a roundabout and there was nothing i could do, i couldn’t swerve because of other traffic so i did the only thing i could do… i hit my breaks… hard! But the left side of my ducati smashed into the right side of a 2012 mercedes.

    Luckily the bike fell onto the left side and hit the tarmac at about 10-15mph. The bike got away with minimal damage thanks to the frame sliders, slight scuffs to the clutch lever, bar end, mirror, bent gear shifter and bent handle bars. I walked away with a bruised and sore elbow thanks to my riding gear! If it wasnt for my gear i wouldnt like to think of the outcome.

    Again glad you aren’t too bad! Hope your having/had a speedo recovery!


  50. Andes Cruz says:

    I was hit by a car in May, and absolutely gear saved me so much damage. I was wearing full leather pants, jacket, riding boots, etc. I never go out ever would full gear. And in this case, I wouldn’t have skin down one side of my body if I had even been in riding jeans that day. Boots saved my ankles and feet, gloves my hands, armour everywhere did it’s job. I did have torn ligaments in my thumb from sliding under the bike low side, and the concussion and trauma to go with it. 6 months later, the injuries are still with me, but after 3 months in a hand brace, I was cleared for not requiring surgery, and got back on the new replacement bike. (ninja 1.0 was totaled.) At that point the PTSD had simmered down, and I was able to enjoy almost 4000km this summer. What I can say is that as a rule always wearing FULL gear is a lifestyle choice, and I’m glad for it. (in that: I like my life) and 2: Always assume noone ever sees you and ride defensively. I didn’t trust the car that hit, me, and had I assumed they did see me, I’d likely be dead.

    Glad to see you are eager to ride, and hope your healing goes well! Good choice to upgrade to connected pants & jacket. It’s a good choice.

  51. Jessie Ratermann says:

    Hi there! I was looking at a new summer jacket and was surprised to find that it doesn’t have a zipper to attach to pants. I am wondering if you think you still would have had road rash if your jacket and pants could have zipped together?