Hey Scout, I'm still around. This thread has made some serious turns and twitches it seems though since it started. Crazy. Whoa!
Vader? Nah, more like Steve Austin - the Six Million Dollar Man!
So, I'll give you guys the short and dirty version of what happened. I was in an accident. It's bad, but not what you think. It wasn't on the ZX-10 and it didn't involve any other cars. That's the good part!
Short version: back in November of last year, I acquired a used 2011 Kawasaki ZX-6R as a track only bike. The intent was to use it as a trackday machine and possibly get into some actual races come the 2017 season. Woohoo! It was largely set up as a track-only ride when I got it. But it still needed some clean up and going through to make sure it is up to the challenge.
Since I got it in November, I did the following things to it:
- wheel removal and painting
- tire replacement (to Dunlop GPA211s)
- wheel bearing replacement
- clutch lever replacement
- clutch lever adjustment
- brake caliper bleed and adjustment
- air filter cleaning
- tail section replacement
- fuel tank strip and paint with fuel filter reinstallation
- Ohlins rear shock re-spring and checkout
- Power commander and ignition module relocation and checkout
- footpeg replacement and shift lever checkout
- throttle cable lubrication and adjustment
I was working on it sporadically on weekends and here and there and getting parts and stuff along the way. Took longer than I thought, but I bought my Gen 5 in the middle of that too. So, with everything that I've been checking and working on, I finally got it back to working late January to the point it was rideable again.
I live in a planned community with 1500 homes in it. The main access road is 2 miles long and the neighborhoods are cordened off into there on areas off of the main access road. The morning of January 28th, I got the bike out to wash it to clean it up and check it out. Posted speed limits for the enter access road is 35mph with 2 lanes in each direction. I designed since it was ready to go, I needed to make sure it still ran OK. I through a leg over and rode it from my driveway to a roundabout 0.75 miles from my house and then back to the house. The point of the ride was just to evaluate and make sure that the bike motor runs. Since there's no traffic with good asphalt where I was riding, I figured it was the best place to just ride it at slow speeds and see how it sounds with the motor running.
It turned out to be a fateful decision on my part. Because I wanted to listen to the engine, suspension, exhaust, and brakes as I was riding it, I did not wear my trusty helmet. Top speed that I achieved while I was out riding was a whopping 25mph in second gear. At some point going around the roundabout area, I became dislodged from the bike and I wound up on the ground. In doing so, I hit my head and broke the left clavicle in 2 spots in my shoulder. Accident speed was somewhere in the 15mph to 20mph zone as that is the speed to go around the roundabout. I really wish I could tell you what actually happened.
In hitting my head on the ground, I cracked my skull. This caused a brain injury. I was airlifted to the trauma hospital where i was kept chemically sedated for 12 days on a respirator machine with 2 sensors screwed to my skull to monitor brain activity. After that 2 weeks I was moved to another hospital for recovery. I do not remember anything from the accident until I got to the second hospital and the drugs got out of my system. I've been in therapy since then and it all sounds worse than it is. I've got no issues other than some sensitivity on my head currently. I haven't been on a bike since that day unfortunately and I can't wear a helmet right now because of the head sensitivity. But there's no real issues long-term. The list of stuff from the doctors that I can't do is much longer than the stuff I actually am ready for. So I'll start back to work this week, start driving a car again, graduate from rehab by next week, and be back on a bike at some point in the near future as well. But that's really the reason I've been away from the site so much recently. Sorry about that!
Please wear your helmet - NO MATTER WHAT!!!