I dropped the bike: part 1
You may have seen from a recent video that I dropped the bike whilst doing some slow manoeuvre practice. It was embarrassing and my pride is still hurt. It was a classic case of being rusty without practice after several weeks of lockdown. Then again, I’m reliably told that there are two types of biker: those who have dropped their bike, and those who lie about it.
This is the moment when it happened:
A classic case of not keeping the revs up. I let the engine RPM drop, the bike stalled, and then she let me down gently (thanks @johnauditt for the corrected phrase!)
Why it happened
Now, I know the theory and the technique for doing slow manoeuvres correctly. I’ve done it many times, I did it for MOD1 practice, for MOD1 test (more times than I care to admit, but that’s a whole different story!), I’ve done it with my local IAM group on Machine Control Day, I’ve done it on several extra training courses: keep the revs up, feather the clutch so it’s driving slightly but slipping, and control the speed with the back brake. Look where you want to go etc. Well, theory is one thing, but being out of practice leads to poor performance.
So, what was the damage?
No biker parts were hurt in the making of the video. The bike didn’t fare so well as it took the brunt of the damage for me.
Thanks, Frankie girl!
Thankfully I had recently received (at last!) and installed some SW Motech frame sliders / protectors. I decided to go with SW Motech rather than R&G frame protectors this time, because I felt the look of them suited the bike better. Unfortunately, during the lockdown, SW Motech had a complete nightmare and took over four weeks to deliver the part. When it arrived, there was a missing piece, and that took another two weeks to deliver.
As I say, thankfully it arrived and was installed in time for my “whoopsie”. The nylon part got a bit dented. In other words, it did its job and took one for the team, rather than letting the fairing crack.
The right-hand-side foot-peg was broken where the “hero blob” tab is attached. This seems to be a sacrificial piece as the metal is machined to be thinner just before the blob mounting plate. I guess it is better for this to break off than for the foot-peg mount to get damaged.
The foot-rest was still usable, but I thought it best to get a replacement. Around £35 from my nearest Kawasaki dealer, and not much cheaper (but incurring a postage fee) from Kawasaki Original Parts.
Rather disappointingly, the frame protector did not stop the clutch cover from hitting the ground. This led to some scratches. I tackle how I fixed this in an upcoming post.
Exhaust heat shield
The right hand side exhaust heat shield also got some scratches. I will tackle how I fixed this in a future post (once I figure out how to do it).