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Blue Ridge Parkway ...or, why I need another Majesty...

2111 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Larry Newman
Left Buffalo solo 4am headed South, temp. 41f. Ran into 26f. in the hills near PA, but roads were bone dry. If it had not been for the full fairing and touring windshield, I'd have been a lot colder. As it was, the lower limit of my riding gear was stressed. Thoughts of heated grips and electric vests....

It slowly warmed to mid-40's, and I went thru PA on rte. 219, switching over to rte. 220 as I entered WV, then MD, then VA. I was pretty tired at 450 mi. when I entered Front Royal, and was told there was an open campground 50 mi. ahead. Ah, what's another 50 mi.!?

Skyline drive has a speed limit of 35mph, but this time of year is so uncrowded that that may be pushed. Curve after curve...every 500ft. or so, producing a very nice riding rhythm...I only had to use my brakes on every tenth curve or so to correct for a miscalculation...otherwise the engine braking took care of it in a smooth, sweet line...let's just say noone passed me...

Loaded to the gills with top bag, two bags in front of that as a backrest, saddle bags, and tunnel bag, the Majesty handled very like unloaded!

The next morning, I forgot to set my alarm, and slept till 9:30. with breakfast, and packing of tent, bag, etc, I did not hit the road until 11:30.

Had I realized the danger this lateness would put in front of me, I'd have stopped and reconsidered my schedule.

Instead, I thought as the miles unwound that another 500 mi. day would do just fine...I had just half a week to make it to Deal's gap in the bottom of NC, before I had to head back in the second half. See www.dealsgap.com for some interesting info.

It did not take long until I realized that daylight was against me making enough miles. Not feeling tired, I decided at dusk not to camp, but to put on my cold gear and continue south at night.

The Parkway was now 45mph, and I'd been doing 60 all afternoon, as it was almost deserted. The curves were great...riding was truly sweet here.

I saw two deer, one on either side of the road. I'd been seeing them close by for two days now...and instead of braking, blew my air horn and went down the middle about 50mph. The one waited until I was 5 feet away, and bolted across the road to join the other.

"Damn !", I remember thinking as the bike and I separated... me sliding to the opposite shoulder, and the Majesty lying by the centerline.
Results: Majesty: totaled [ destroyed from headlight to handlebars. The windscreen broke in about a dozen pieces from the force of the hit.]

Deer: Never found

Me: Broken right ring finger, scraped knees, scraped elbow.
Aftermath: 2 rental cars got me out of the mountains and back to Buffalo with all my gear. Many Insurance phonecalls...bike and accessories/riding gear were covered. AAA-Plus handled towing and rental car reimbursement.
Accident Analysis: Rider's fault...did not slow down. Might have used alternate routes at night, with less forest.
Gear performance: Open face HJC CL-33 - excellent

Yamaha Majesty: excellent - plastic fairing took most of the force.

Avon Viper Stryke tyres - great cornering, dry. Not tested, wet.

Tourmaster Cortech lite jacket: Good - wore through and pushed up from elbow pads...repairable. Would like more protection next time - nylon is quite thin.

Fieldsheer air overpants: Good - pushed up from knee pad and wore through. Would like heavier protection.
Now, to find another Majesty - a blue one, preferably...if not, a red '06.
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Well, crap.
Larry - Just glad that you are OK. Your Majesty can be repaired or replaced; your life cannot. Thanks for sharing the experience so we all can learn from it. We have lots of deer on site at NASA and because you have shared your experience, you can bet I'll be increasing my situational awareness. :thumbleft:
Well, that's quite a road story. I don't usually check into the Road Stories... I'm glad I did.

Glad you are OK, Larry. The story, with it's unhappy ending, is well written. After you take a breather, I look forward to some of your other insights. You need to make this trip, sometime -- if only so we can hear your story.
Glad your still here to tell the tale!
Larry, glad you're OK.
Your gear-review reminds me of a test pilot! sheeesh!
Was your shield a Givi or Yamaha? Did it frag on impact, or after you went down? (or do you remember). Did the deer roll up the tuperware and take you out of saddle, or did you bail early? (survival strategies for my own travels)
Again, glad you're still with us! What a trooper!!

The deer hit dead-on. The front wheel and fender were untouched, but above that all was in small pieces until the steering.

When it hit, I may have instintively leaned to the left to get away from the center. Anyway, I ended up sliding face down to the left side of the road, while the bike continued down the yellow line.

We looked afterward down the slope for the deer, but maybe we might have looked straight up...
it might have been in the treetops !

The windshield was a Givi, and I credit it with taking most of the force of the hit. I'm trying a Yamaha touring [ Mitsubishi] this time.
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