Ted’s essays

My turn for a setback …

Thursday, June 13, 2024
I rode my 2011 BMW (Jack of all trades utility bike) F650 GS to The Motorcycle Garage delivering “Jack” in for his 12,000 mile service intending to ride around some, then home on my vintage BMW R90/6 who had been ‘looked over’ by those shop mechanics..

The 1976 was not running or riding well. I filled up the tank with fresh 91 fuel to eliminate petcock setting errors or old gas syndrome. Suspicious of a brake malfunction, I did a ‘left hand pyrometer check’ finding reasonably warm rear drum and WAY TOO HOT TO GET NEAR front rotor.

I proceeded to make stupid mistake #1: I rode out of the gas station.

As front disk fought the strong 900 cc engine, I made mistake #2: decided to go straight back to the shop ONLY a few blocks away. I was probably only doing 20 mph when the rotationally-challenged front tire announced defeat versus the rear tire’s relentless push… sliding abruptly right.

The R90 slammed stupid jockey to the pavement with some antique human body parts getting spanked by some vintage BMW parts … along with the pavement which cheerfully joined the assault.

I two-finger type this from a hospital bed attended by doctors, nurses and technicians.. Tomorrow I go home to a loaner hospital bed an awesome wife and great neighbors. Inside my battered hulk is a broken clavicle, 7 broken ribs, a broken toe, BIG abrasion outside elbow, a femur bruise that threatened to drop me every time I gave it any weight at all…today it merely issues serious warnings.

Among other things I learned is that the old Beemer single-disk front brake is indeed capable of locking up brand new tires… and that is not a good idea. Oh, and that my first overnight in a hospital in 74 years was not as bad as I thought it would be.

Wiser people are suggesting silly things like 6-8 weeks of recovery … while the really wild ones say stupid stuff like no more riding this year … and the ridiculous ones using terms like “forever”.

I will admit that the collar bone makes some impressive arguments for a long rest period… as does the bruised femur … and the broken ribs to a much lessor extent.

As for the R90 – you only get to buck this rider off once. I’ll be selling it before I get to know it.