In 1998:
Route Map
01 Extremadura
02 Cabo de Gata
03 Mallorca
04 Ronda
05 Madrid

In 1999:
06 Sevilla
07 Mojácar
08 Towards Norway

Rocinante the Tiger:
On the Road
An accident

And some more:
The Short Story
Bars in Andalusía
Nerja and Axarquía
Photo Gallery
The road home 2001

Go to Pan American Home

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.

Strange behaviour

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 had changed.

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 shoulder.

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.

The reason

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 an accident.

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 the time.


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