Taking a Dump - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2008, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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Taking a Dump

Needless to say, I'm a bit hesitant about telling how I dropped my bike, but maybe there is some other new VN750 rider out there who will be saved some trouble and danger, so I'm going for it.

Last week I started her up and went down the the bottom of my driveway, stopped, and started looking both ways before turning onto the street. The engine was cold, but I'd pushed the choke off and it seemed to be idling ok (I bet some of you are already guessing what comes next). I let the clutch out into the friction zone and as it started forward began leaning into a left turn onto the road. Then, almost simultaneously, the clutch grabbed fully and the bike stalled in first gear. I was leaned over and going about five miles an hour--so as I started falling, I managed to get a foot down. But it was too late and the bike hit the pavement, albeit not as hard as if I hadn't gotten one foot on the ground and held onto the handlebars. I then tripped, of course, and fell on my left side (learning to fall in martial arts class helped a bit here, although I did slightly my left ankle)

Like most guys, I first looked around to see if anyone had seen me! Luckily I live on a back road. But by this time, a guy had stopped and gotten out of his pickup truck. He asked me if I was ok, helped me pick the bike up and push it back into my driveway.

Damages: bent clutch lever, some slight scratches on the front and rear turn signals, a couple of scratches on my helmet. Other than that, seems like only my ego was injured.

The lesson: VN750's apparently like to warm up for awhile with the choke on; also, the clutch on my bike is a little grabby when the engine is cold. I've since read that others on this forum have noticed these two problems. In the MSF course, they told us that there is always more than one factor that causes an accident. If enough factors come together, an accident will happen. Pretty much describes my dump.

Good stuff--the road was clear both ways so I didn't stall / fall in front of an approaching vehicle; I had on good protective gear, so no road rash or head injury.

I'm having my local dealer replace the clutch handle and adjust the clutch. If you're going to have an accident, you might as well learn from it, hence this post. And if this is the worst bike accident I ever have, that'll be great.

After it happened, I sat down in my kitchen, had a cup of coffee, went back out and rode around my very forgiving backroad route. The clutch lever isn't bent very far. It was as much fun to ride my Vulcan as ever.

I am not completely without fear however. There is NO WAY I'm telling my wife about this. Seriously, hope this helps someone else.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2008, 08:09 PM
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Good story and glad you learned a lesson from it all, sorry to hear that you had to scratch the Vulcan to learn it though. Definitely could have been alot worse, as for not telling the wife....welllllll good choice...lol. Lets just hope someone here wont rat you out ...HAHAHA!

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2008, 11:10 PM
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Hey, we've all done it. I actually "took a dump" (or is that wiped out) because of the clutch grab once too. Wet road, leaves, and me not being ready for it and I was down quick. (Luckily I have my "reverse crash bar" ammo can saddlebags ;-))

FWIW I replaced the clutch frictions (but not plates - they seemed to be in good shape though...) and the grinding issue went away for a while. It's back. There are a multitude of opinions on why all this happens, the only real "cure" is addressed in a kawasaki service bulletin. It involves a machine shop or the like drilling holes in the clutch basket. If ya do a search on "coffee grinder" you should be able to find the bulletin.

Hope that helps...

Curtis - Albany Oregon.
Currently receiving therapy from "Doc" - My 1985 VN700.

Daily rider in NorthWET Oregon.
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Bought Feb 2007 with 12K miles.
Hit the 24k mile July 2008

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2008, 11:45 PM
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I've doen that several times, but managed to pick it up half way and keep it from hitting the ground... it helps to have most your body weight in your shoulders, back and abs, lol...

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 02:20 AM
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Bummer Drop i Just droped mine last week it was a sad day of affiers here in washington the leaves are falling the the rain is pouring causing all the oil to come to the surface. i was doin about 15 and the bike slid for a while. picked her up and went on my way....

Reason enough to get a new rear tire and soon to get a new front one.... lesson learned your gonna hit the pavement its just a matter of time. Ive put 10,000 miles this summer on my vn and back in 0r i bought my first bike an ex500 and a hundred thousand miles and three years later i totaled her.. Glad im alive today and glad to be back on 2 wheels
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 09:31 AM
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Just a note about new tires: They're slippery, especially in the rain for the first 100 or so miles. So when ya get new tires, try to avoid the rain for a bit...

Either that or go for a nice long ride right after getting the new tires mounted with plenty of curvies to... um... get the tread release off

Quote:
Originally Posted by seebeeare View Post
Bummer Drop i Just droped mine last week it was a sad day of affiers here in washington the leaves are falling the the rain is pouring causing all the oil to come to the surface. i was doin about 15 and the bike slid for a while. picked her up and went on my way....

Reason enough to get a new rear tire and soon to get a new front one.... lesson learned your gonna hit the pavement its just a matter of time. Ive put 10,000 miles this summer on my vn and back in 0r i bought my first bike an ex500 and a hundred thousand miles and three years later i totaled her.. Glad im alive today and glad to be back on 2 wheels

Curtis - Albany Oregon.
Currently receiving therapy from "Doc" - My 1985 VN700.

Daily rider in NorthWET Oregon.
Ammo Can Saddlebags
Shaved and Rejetted. Coastered. Degoated w/ Hardley pipes.

Bought Feb 2007 with 12K miles.
Hit the 24k mile July 2008

http://photobucket.com/curtis97322
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 09:42 AM
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Glad ya didn't get hurt worse, though that ego pain can be a bitch. Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Guys, nice to hear I'm not alone and that of course it was bound to happen sooner or later. Whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger.

I'm going out for a spin later today, as soon as the roads dry out a bit. 750Doug, nice quote in your signature! I do combat hapkido myself--too boring for a kick flick (i.e., mostly joint locks and the punches and kicks are pretty much defensive).
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 02:59 PM
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Well, I have never dropped a bike in the street except for one time...back in the late 70's . I knew I was going to fast, I had a passenger, and it went through a blind turn only to find a puddle of water while leaned over. Leason learned of course.
I have however dropped my bike in the driveway more than I would like to admit. Both times caused by trying to make a sharp low speed turn going from down hill to uphill. Each time I miss judged my momentum making the down to up transition and the bike simply fell due to lack of speed. (we are taling about fractions of mph here)

Very embaressing for sure. Minumal damage to the bike thankfully. I now go around the entire block so I can hit my driveway only goiing up hill instead of trying to do a U turn ...zero problems now.

Anyway, I also learned to make my "gettaways" coming out of the driveway smooth one motion movements rather than , stop go pause go kind of things. This way I am under full power heading straight to start with, and not having to worry about the grabby clutch.

Feathering the clutch is the way to go for slow speed turning, but not the way to go with a cold bike.

Warming it up more does help.


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