Unexpected Off Road Excursion, (Crash).


What I Think Happened When I Ditched My Yamaha FZ6 Fazer S2.

July 30th 2009.
I was riding around taking it easy as I need to run the bike in and I was sticking to the running in instructions which state not to exceed 7000 rpm for the first 600 miles. The first courtesy service, which is basically an oil and filter change, is due after said 600 miles or after 6 weeks of riding which ever came first, so it was my intention to get the 600 miles on the clock first.
Choosing days without rain forecast to give myself a better chance to get used to the bike I had been gradually getting used to biking again bearing in mind it has been some 25 years since I last rode a bike.

I had been riding around for most of the afternoon on a nice sunny Friday and I had been all over the place taking it easy, getting used to country lanes and main roads. I had clocked up about 80 miles on this run and I decided to go to a place in Essex called Steeple, (near Burnham-on-crouch).
These are country roads that I know well as I used to ride over there to see my friend on a regular basis and the speed limits are in the 30 - 40mph bracket with the occasional stretch of National speed limit road.

It was on my return journey from Steeple that it all went horribly wrong, I was negotiating a bend, (I was not going fast, about 25 - 30mph) when the front wheel wobbled and slid a bit, inexperience took over and I grabbed a hand full of brake to try and slow the bike down.
This was a big mistake as all it did was make matters worse. I released the brake and regained some control but by this time I was heading towards a parked car, I somehow managed to avoid it and ended up on a slip road, (fortunately that provided a bit of road with low kerbs).
Running out of road fast I hit the back brake which worked in stopping me to a degree but unfortunately not good enough as the bike tipped over to the side and went into a ditch.

So there I was with the bike on it's side pinning me in the ditch by my left leg unable to lift the bike off of myself. Fortunately for me the people in the parked car had seen me go off and ran over to help and managed to get the bike off of my leg so I could get out, (thanks ladies!).
Between us we managed to right the bike and haul it back up the ditch bank. Myself and the bike was covered in weeds and pond Lichen, (which did not smell to pleasant) must have looked like something from a horror movie.
The bike still started OK and there did not seem to be too much damage apart from the front mounting bracket, (refered to in the manual as a "Stay") this holds the fairing and headlight cluster. As my lights were pointing to the sky and to the left I guessed it was bent.
Running on Adrenaline now I cautiously rode home so that I could assess what damage had been done and how much it was going to cost me to put it right.

The Damage:
The first thing I had to do was hose off all the weeds, lichen and pond life so I could get to see how to go about removing and repairing broken items.
Most of the damage I have found seems to be superficial, as previously mentioned the main fairing mounting bracket, (Stay) was bent but apart from that and a few broken plastic windscreen screws it is mainly scuffed and scratched bodywork add on's.
There is no engine casing or tank damage and all the major parts check out OK so I guess I can count myself lucky this time round.
The front wind screen is badly scratched and a new one is £134 if I get a genuine Yamaha one, looking at getting an "off the market" double bubble instead! There is a slight alloy wheel kerb scuff that I can get repaired for £35 if it's worth doing at all.
The main fairing hanger bracket, (Stay) is a must have, I have bodged the old one for now but it's not right, this is quite crucial for the headlight and fairing alignment so it has to be right. £84 + VAT for a new one. The mirrors which have to be replaced as a unit are about £25 each but still function as they are so that comes later.
Similar story with the "Mole" this is the small fairing piece that goes over the lights and fixes to the main fairing. Sold as a pair they are not far short of £100, might have a go at filling and spraying them to match instead.
All said and done this little off road excursion is going to set me back about £400 to fix everything with genuine Yamaha parts but at least I am still here to tell the tale with no damage to myself except for a few bruises and a bruised pride! Amazingly there was no motorcycle clothing damage either although it all needed a damn good wash!

Crash Scene Pictures.

Click for larger image.
This is the scene of the "off" heading in the direction of the chevron sign at the side of the road. My bike is parked up at the approximate point of leaving the road with the same car parked in the same place as it was at the time of the accident. Note the loose chipping's and the general uneven condition of the road which I think may has had a helping hand in putting me off the road.

The offending bend
in question!
Click For Larger Image.
This low kerbed slip road offered me a partial escape route after I had lost control of the bike on the bend.

The slip road that offered
some escape.


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The darker area of bush in the centre of the photograph is the point of entry that I made when crashing into the ditch.

The centre of the picture
is the ditch point of entry.
Click for larger image.
This is the ditch that was full of weeds and lichen that I ended up in with the bike pinning me down by my left leg.
(At least it was a soft landing).

The ditch where I ended up
with the bike on top of me.



Bike Damage Pictures.

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This is the picture taken after I had attempted to straighten and re-align the front Stay, (note the vice marks on the paintwork).
The alignment is not perfect and a new Stay is on order from Yamaha but at least the bike is rideable as it is until the new one arrives.

Bent Front Fairing Main
Hanger Bracket (Stay).
Click For Larger Image.
The rubber sleeve covering the knuckle joint is punctured and there is a scrape on the mirror stem which I have touched in with a marker pen for now to stop it corroding. Possible repair instead of replacing the mirrors is to fill, sand and re-spray!

Mirror Stem And
Rubber Sleeve.


Click For Larger Image.
The plastic cowling that houses the mirror is badly scuffed but does not affect the function of the mirror.
Replace at a later date when funds permit!

Mirror Cowling Scuff.
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The "Mole" which is an independent piece from the main fairing is pretty badly scraped up and one of the securing tabs have snapped off. Unfortunately these have to be bought as a pair so what I might attempt is to fill sand and respray the damaged visor and I guess I can glue on a new fixing tab. The main problem is getting a colour match for the paint, (Power Blue). Alternatively I can spray them both the graphite colour like they used one year on a previous model!

Mole Fairing Cover Scuff.


Click For Larger Image.
A minor scuff on the wheel! Probably as a result from "running the kerb" had a guy look at it and he said it was hardly worth a repair but £35 should do the trick. For now I might fill in the scrape with a sliver touch up paint pen just to stop the alloy from corroding.

Alloy Wheel
Kerb Scrape.
Click For Larger Image.
This picture does not show it to well but the windscreen has some rather deep scratches / gouges in it and a couple of the breakaway plastic screws broke as well. I have replaced the screws with some nylon ones for now, (Proper ones on order) and I am thinking of replacing the windscreen with an "off the market" double bubble one as these deflect the air around the rider a bit more.

Wind Screen