Zen and the art of motorcycle …oops

I juiced up the battery on my bike. Filled the tank with some fresh gas. Scrounged my old helmet back from a mate I'd given it to when he bought a trail bike (which he's never ridden).

So I'm riding down the motorway. A light spray of rain is reminding me of the joys of motorcycling. I noticed it was losing power. The more I twist the throttle the more strangled it feels. I wonder if the back brake is dragging, maybe needs adjustment.

I turn off onto Esmonde Rd, that was my plan anyway - I was heading over to see a friend and show off the bike. The problem felt worse. Then suddenly I am flying over the handlebars, my head bounces off the the tarmac, my shoulder crunches onto the ground as well. It's corny but it all happened as if in slow motion.

I got up to my feet and had the presence of mind to get out of the way of traffic which keeps travelling at motorway speeds on the off ramp. I was quite shaken. The bike is prone but I manage to get it upright. It weights a ton. I can't get it to roll. My suspicion that the back wheel has seized seems confirmed.

I'm standing looking at the machine. A lady in an SUV who watched the whole performance from behind stops to see that I'm OK. A motorcyclist stops and helps me get the bike up onto the curb. Then he gives me a ride up to a bike shop a kilometer away. His diagnosis is that the front brake is locked on.

The mechanic from the bike shop ferries me back to the machine. I'm able to start it and gingerly to the workshop. Because the bike is so old - an '81 BMW the mechanic isn't sure he can fix it. They'll take a look...get back to me.

Quite a day.

My shoulder is very sore. Might have to get it checked out tomorrow.

Having a bad run of luck at the moment.

Still, I'm looking forward to getting the bike sorted for summer. I'm hooked again.


  1. Anonymous7:32 am

    Yup - sounds like front brake. Rear brake locking doesn't send you over the bars (because of the weight pushing down in front of the point of locking. Front wheel lockups however have the mass of the bike behind them and a circular moment is created which (given enough weight and enough speed) sends you over the bars.

    Hope the shoulder sorts itself out


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