Our First Small Accident
After driving the bike
more than 8500km we finally had an accident on the road. Bruises on the
knees on driver and passenger was the only physical damage. But some changes
had to be done to Rocinante to avoid the problem in the future.
Just picked up from service
The bike was serviced on the morning on the day of the accident, with heavy-duty
springs put into the forks, the right turn-light replaced from the off-road-drop
and the fairing was fixed on some spots were the paint was gone. The alternator
was adjusted to try to get rid of an annoying sound from it. The sound was
there after the adjustment as well, but this will be fixed on the next service.
All in all we had a new bike and I was very satiesfied when I left the shop.
We had friends visiting with a rented Honda Transalp, and we wanted to take
them to some of our favourite roads in the hillsides close to Nerja. The
road brought us through Frigilliana, to Torrox Pueblo and onwards to Competa.
The trip was excellent, but I was getting a little annoyed by all the times
the centrestand touched the ground. It felt like the behaviour of the bike
Driving down from Competa towards Torre Del Mar was zig-zagging through
a series of sharp turns. We have driven here a lot, and I felt comfortable
in every turn. Finally we entered a right turn in 50km per hour. In the
middle of this downhill turn I saw a car coming and wanted to cut it a
little tighter. I leaned the bike over at the same time as we came into
a suppression in the road, the rear suspension lowered the bike towards
the ground, the centrestand hit like a hammer, the rear tyre was in the
air and we were sliding sideways behind the bike. I could see the bike
dropping gas while sparks flew everywhere and was on my feet again before
I stopped sliding, heard Bente asked if everything was ok with me too,
and lifted the bike back up on two wheels. The traffic had stopped and
we were never close to hit the coming van.
Shaken but stirred
We stood by the roadside for a while, a little shaky, inspecting ourselfs
and the bike for damage. Nothing serious happened to us. Bente suffered
from a little painful and very colourful knee and a back that hurt a few
days, mainly from the tightening of muscles one does in situations like
this. I only suffered a couple of small bruises on my knees and a stiff
The poor Rocinante is an excellent bike in keeping the fairing of the
ground when dropped. Not a single scrape was given any of the painted
parts of the bike. The sad but comic situation was that I had waited more
than four weeks for the new turn-light, and it was gone again after only
six hours. The right fork leg, passenger foot peg, the counter weight
by the accellerator and finally the right engine cover, were the four
points that carried the bike twenty meters on its side.
We started up again and drove back home. While driving I did some thinking
and realised that I had overseen a very important fact about the new heavy-duty
springs. Since they are stiffer than the old ones, more force is transferred
to the rear suspension which causes the centre stand to hit the ground earlier
than expected. I sweared at myself for not realising this earlier which
would have slowed me down and avoided the accident. When the springs were
replaced, the tail suspension should have been stiffened up a bit as well.
Very-very stupid of me!
The next day I went to Nerja hire-centre, borrowed an angle-grinder,
and chopped of the legs of the centre stand. No more problems of this
sort. A couple of days later I had put together a Mickey Mouse kit that
made the stand remountable. A solid inner tube goes into both ends and
is secured by thick bolts. The stand itself looked slightly silly with
one empty tube sticking out on each side. But this is preferable to having
We were a little shaken for a few days after the accident, and the right
turns were all done with some anticipation. It disappeared after a while
and all in all it was a good exercise, as long as it doesn't happen again.
My advice is plain and simple; Do not mount the damned, bloody, stupid
and lethal centrestand on this bike, unless you drive straight ahead all