Saturday, June 03, 2006
  O's Accident

Yesterday. O, Jim and I went to a track day at the "Streets of Willow." It was Jim's first track day and we were very excited for him. O was also looking forward to the track day. Between France and his other obligations, he's had very little time for riding. I was going as the support person for both of the guys.

April and Jim came over Thursday night to load the bikes on the trailer. We grabbed a quick dinner after and then went to bed early. We left the house around 5:18 am and headed over to Hollywood to pick up Jim. We arrived at the track around 8 am....just enough time to pit,register and go through tech before the riders meeting.

O was in the Sport group and Jim was in the Street group. The Race group went first for a 20 minute session followed by the Sport and then the Street group. So, while O's group was out on the track, Jim's group was preparing to go next.

I told Jim I was going to try and shoot some pictures of O on the track. Our pit was near the end of the front straight so I looked to the right for O. I didn't see him and I thought that was unusual. I glanced to the left and noticed that a rider had gone down. Whoever he was, he was standing so I knew he was alright. His bike was located a short distance away from where he was standing. I looked closer and noticed that the rider's leathers looked like O's. That's when I realized that it was O. It's probably best that I did not see the crash. I saw the aftermath and at least knew immediately that my O was not too badly hurt.

I then snapped some pictures:

Here's some of the lone rider standing out there by himself and his bike:

Here's Trackdaz Gil picking up O and his bike:

Coincidence....I crashed myself in almost the same spot last December. I went off-roading, abruptly stopped the bike and fell over. O was commenting that he crashed the opposite way....he sort of fell of the bike after hitting a rough patch in a turn and lowsided. Warmer tires might have enabled him to save the situation.

O's only injury is a small tear to his right thumb. Some how his thumbnail caught on something and was partially torn off. O looked at my hands after he got back to our pit area and warned me to make sure my nails were cut short for my next track day. This morning he was achy and sore, sort of all over and particularly in his lower left back.

You often hear riders say that the leathers did their job after a crash. It's true. O would have seriously hurt his back with out the leathers and their built in back protection:

The leathers are going back to Z's for cleaning and repair.

The bike suffered some paint dings from rocks or gravel on the tank, a broken shift lever and a scraped clutch lever. Frame sliders helped, particularly the fork sliders I gave O for Valentine's Day that he just installed this week. They are called "Chewy's Track Day Crash Protectors." I got them from a guy who manufactures them in England. I really think they saved the forks on the bike:

Here's a bit of an update. Chewy (Chris) is sending O free replacement crash protectors. I thought that was very nice of him. Here's a link in case anyone is interested:


Here's a picture of the tank damage. We were able to polish a lot of the scrapes away.

O had a data recorder attached to his bike. Since he brought his laptop to the track, we were able to see all the details of the crash on the computer. The data acquisition program showed a picture of the track and O's path as he crashed. It also gave you angles, speeds, etc. Sounds strange to say, but it was pretty cool to be able to analyze the crash data.

We also liked the laptimer as well. Jim used it on his bike and it seemed to work fairly well.

I'm glad O was safe and I'm glad Jim had a good time. I'm sorry I did not get more pictures of Jim before we began having technical difficulties (the batteries in all of our equipment died).
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