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Thread: Making of Kawasaki Ninja 300 San

  1. #191
    Rusted abhimanyu31's Avatar
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    Default Ninja San and I suffer a shattering crash!

    Ninja San and I suffer a shattering crash!

    May 1, 2017 started as any other day. As I had some work in Pune and had not met Vikram and Vijay of Motozone for quite sometime, I decided to take quick ride to Pune and back.

    After a good night's sleep and a nice breakfast, I started for Pune at around 10.30 AM. The idea was to reach Pune by 1.30 PM, have lunch with Vikram and Vijay and finish my work before returning to Mumbai by 7.00 PM.

    As it was a national holiday I expected traffic to be less than usual. Alas it was no different from any working day. The charm of old national highway to Pune has worn out and it is no longer an enjoyable ride. Speed breakers, worn out roads, heavy traffic density and undisciplined traffic has take all the charm out of this route. One has to be double of careful with the situation awareness.

    I reached Khopoli by 11.30 PM and stopped of a hydration break and called up Vikram to let him know where I had reached and what time I expected to reach Pune. After a 15-minute break I once again started the journey. I crossed Lonavala 12.30 PM and continued towards Pune.

    Through out the ride I was maintaining an 85 kmph speed comfortably depending upon the traffic conditions with occasional burst upto 100 kmph to overtake comparatively slow moving vehicle.

    Oh Crap!!! Brake, brake, brake, nope, ran out of time and distance!!!

    About 15 minutes from the outskirts of Pune, I was cruising comfortably at 85 kmph in the first lane (left lane) with a clear empty road in front of me. There was a car in the second lane that was ahead of me. As we approached a break in the median, which was 100 feet away, the car slowed down. Suddenly, a Toyota Etios approaching from the opposite side of the median took a turn without stopping and looking out for oncoming traffic and entered into our side of the road. After having barged into our side of the road, he noticed that I was in the first lane. Taken by surprised that there is a vehicle on coming, the driver stopped dead in the middle of the road completely blocking the first lane.

    By the time the above events took place I was now running parallel to the car in the second lane. Both our vehicles had covered 40 feet to the break in the median. At this point of time, the distance between the Toyota Etios and me was 60 feet. It took a fraction of a second to process what was happening. At 85 kmph the bike is covering approximately 77 feet per second. Therefore, I knew I was in deep trouble the moment the car stopped in the middle of the road. I had no place to maneuver. A vehicle in the next lane prevented me from going any place but straight into the Etios. My first reaction was "Oh crap!". Time slowed down and the mind was processing all that was happening with surprisingly level of clarity. I started braking and braking hard. The rear wheel immediately locked. I knew it was mistake, but I did not have the time to release the rear break and correct the mistake. Between a bad situation and a worst situation, I chose to concentrate on application of the front break. As I approached the Etios and t-boning it become inevitable, I kept applying the front break till the point of locking. The handlebars started to oscillate as I approached the locking point of the front brake. A fraction of a second later I hit the car still carrying considerable of momentum and speed.

    All of the above happen within a couple of seconds. I had run out of time and distance and now had to ride out the crash as best as possible.

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    The Toyota Etios

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    Impact imminent!!! Brace!!. brace!!. brace!!.

    As I hit the car on the front passenger side door, time slowed down dramatically, the mind was processing everything that was happening with amazing clarity. The initial impact with the sickening crunch, the rear lifting up as the momentum was not completely absorbed by the impact. The front tyre burst and the fork moving inwards before the force of the impact wrenched the handlebars out of my hands, breaking the radius and the ulna bones in my right forearm in 3 pieces. The rear of the bike lifted up and propelled me through the air over the car. As I was being lunched through the air, the left handlebar violently hit my left leg on the thigh breaking my left femur bone. My helmet hit the top edge of the door/roof before the force sent me over and beyond the car.

    As I was flying over and above the car, it crossed my mind; "Impact is too big. This is serious and you may not survive this, there seem to be too many things broken in your body".

    As I saw the oncoming ground, my immediate thought was to tuck my hands to my chest to protect it. I landed on my helmet, forearms and my legs. The initial impact broke the radius bone near my left wrist. At this point the brain shut down and filtered all sensory perception along with time. I slid along for a few feet before coming to a halt.

    While I was conscious, the brain had essentially shut down all inputs. I was aware that I had crashed, but the details of how and why were in a mist. The excruciating pain of broken bones was pushed into the background and a voice in my mind kept saying don't move. As darkness started overcoming my consciousness, I asked the voice if it was time to go. I didn't get an answer, so I asked again, a sense of peace and darkness were alluring.

    Then something clicked and I was once again conscious. And I tried to getup by putting weight on my left hand. There was a sharp dull pain and I said to my self that's broken. Thereafter, I tried moving all my limbs one by one. I took a score of all that was broken. I heard a voice say that an Ambulance is on its way. I lay still and waited for the ambulance to come.

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    Ninja San after the crash.

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    Amazing First Responder's response.

    The crash took place at approximately 1.10 PM. The ambulance responding to the call was at the crash site at approximately 1.20 PM. The 10-minute response time is simply amazing and was better than even response time I have seen in Dubai and Europe. The ambulance system is the one recently setup under the "108" number for National Highways.

    The ambulance personnel quickly loaded me onto a gurney and loaded it on to the ambulance. They collected my tank bag along with my bike keys and put it into the ambulance. As soon as the ambulance was moving they removed my helmet, neck brace and my riding shoes. One of them instructed the other look for my cell phone in the bag. After retrieving the cellphones from my bag, one of them instructed the other to dial the last number on the phone. Luckily, the last number dialed was Vikram's. They informed Vikram about the crash and the hospital to which they were taking me.

    By the time we reached the hospital and I was rolled into the casualty ward, Vikram and Vijay were there. The ambulance personnel handed over all my stuff to Vikram.

    Ordinarily, you and I would not have even dreamed of stepping into the hospital that I was taken to. However, hats off to the medical team at the hospital for doing was right and necessary within the golden hour of crash. They immediately took a CT scan of my brain, X-rays of my limbs and examined me for internal injuries. After a through examination, they isolated my leg with a splint and my arms with temporary plaster and bandages. I was then shifted to the ICU till my wife and family came from Mumbai.

    My wife and family arrived at around 4.30 PM and made arrangements to shift me to Mumbai for further medical care. I was loaded onto another ambulance at around 7.00 PM for my journey to Mumbai. This ride turned out to be one of worst rides of my life. I have felt every bump and pothole from Pune to Mumbai during the ride.

    We reached Mumbai at around 10.30 PM. After completing all the formalities I was admitted at Lilavati Hospital, Bandra for further treatment.

    At the end of a long day I thought; "what a crappy day it's been! But I should be ok with all my family and friends around me".

    Next day the consulting doctors came in to look at me and gave me prognosis of 3 months of healing and 3 months more for getting back to 100% fitness.

    I was operated in 2 stages with the leg being taken care of first. A rod with 3 nails was used to secure the femur bone. The hands were taken care of the day after with 3 plates to secure the respective bones. I was discharged on the 6th day and sent home to start my recovery. 15 days after the crash I started attending work again.

    I also steeled my heart to look at the photos of the bike for the first time. It broke my heart to look at the bike in such condition. However, it also filled me with resolve that this was not the end. First let me get back to 100% fitness and I will deal with the bike when its time to do so.

    If you have a $10 head wear a $10 helmet.

    35 years ago when I started riding my first helmet was a Vega. One day my mentor and close friend gave me an issue of Motorcyclist magazine. The magazine had an infamous advertisement of the Bell Aerostar Helmet. The advertisement was headlined "If you have a $10 head, wear a $10 helmet". That advertisement changed the way I thought about helmets and safety gear. The Bell Aerostar became my first serious helmet. People use to make fun of me, saying you have a Rs. 8,000/- helmet for a Rs. 22,000/- bike.

    Such leg pulling has continued for 35 years now. While I have quite a few helmets now, I usually gravitate to the helmet that is most comfortable. It's like having a favorite pair of shoes. Every time you open the shoe cupboard, your eyes will first gravitate towards your favorite pair of shoes.

    My favorite helmet was an AGV Tech. I just love the fit and comfort it provides. The helmet also had a 5 star Sharp rating and an ACU Gold sticker for safety rating.

    Quite simply the helmet saved my life. The helmet took the initial impact of the car door on the left side chin. This impact snapped my head back in to a hyper- extension. Fortunately I was wearing a neck brace. The neck brace prevented my neck from hyper extending and causing serious damage to my spine. Instead of passing all the force into my spine, the neck brace absorbed the force and a passed it down the whole back to dissipate it. While the impact left me with sore back muscles it prevented some very serious life changing damage from taking place.

    The initial impact on the chin was great enough that if the helmet had not absorbed it, I would have been left with a broken jaw! After the initial impact the helmet further absorbed the drag forces as can be seen from the photos. The visor was strong enough to hold its integrity and without the helmet and visor for protection I would have had a ripped open face!

    That I have come out of the crash without any head, spine and internal injuries is thanks in no small part to the quality of my helmet, neck brace and body armor and riding gear.

    My shoes prevented any serious ankle injuries, though I was left with a lot of bruising on my left ankle. The body armor prevented broken ribs, lever and kidney damage, though I was left with bruising at the edges of the body armor. It's a miracle that I have no road burns and not a single scratch on the body.

    Lady luck, God, blessings, good safety habits, all had a role to play that day and I was very lucky to get away with just the injuries that I had.

    Oh, by the way, my friends and family no longer pull my leg for the expensive gear.

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    Helmet save lives.

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    Initial impact on the left side chin.

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    The neck brace save me from serious spine injuries.

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    The neck brace transmits excessive force through the whole back rather than concentrate it on the spine.

    Post Accident Analysis.

    No accident is one mistake in isolation. Accidents happen due to a series of events, which ultimately culminate with the said accident. To learn something from an accident, one needs to be brutally honest about the accident and accept what the facts and data represent.

    While the car driver undoubted made a huge mistake and deserves a large portion of the blame, there were some significant mistakes made on my part.

    My role in the said accident suggest the following:

    1. I should have been more vigilant. I got drawn into a sense of false security as I saw a long stretch of empty road.

    2. When the car ahead of me in the next lane slowed down, it should have been a warning to me that something is wrong, I should have slowed down instead of maintaining my speed.

    3. Irrespective of whether the car had slowed down or not, when there is a break in the median, one must slow down and be extra vigilant. I was not, period.

    4. I should have taken one more hydration break instead of continuing on my way. After lot of thinking I have come to the conclusion that there is a good chance that due the heat and slight dehydration, my level of alertness degraded substantially, which also led to degradation of reflexes.

    Over here I would like to mention that I am not a very fast rider. I never was and I am never going to be. I am well aware of my limits and I have always listened to my instincts that have served me very well through 35 years of riding bikes. Every person has a natural rhythm and that rhythm decides that person's natural reaction times and event processing speeds. One needs to aware of one's natural rhythm and ride within these limits. All that is left after the event is to learn from the mistakes and try to make sure that they are never repeated again.

    I am sure most of you are curious to know Ninja San's fate. The bike has suffered extensive damage. The reinforced front end actually help during the crash. The forged Marchesini wheel absorbed the impact and transmitted it to the forks and the triple clamps without disintegration. Had a stock wheel been in its place, the wheel would have broken into pieces and propelled me into the car instead of being flipped over it.

    The front USDs and the reinforced triple clamp along with the titanium steering shaft withstood the impact forces and transferred them to the steering head. The steering head distorted as it absorbed the impact forces and the front assembly was pushed back till it destroyed the headers, radiator and radiator fan and popped the engine foundation. The front acted as a crumple zone rather than shattering to pieces. This helped prevent me from hitting the car in what would have been some serious momentum.

    So there is some serious damage to Ninja San. Under ordinary circumstances most would say to write off the bike and buy something new. But Ninja San is no ordinary bike. We have decided to resurrect it and make it even better than before. For many it may be over, but for us the journey goes on.

    We will record every stage of the resurrection of Ninja San in this thread, so stay tuned.

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    Piece of the forged Marchesini front wheel. The wheel maintained its structural integrity. The piece is now a paper weight on my work table.

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    Last edited by abhimanyu31; 08-31-2017 at 01:19 PM.
    Only a biker knows why a dog sticks his head out of a car window.

    Multum in Parvo - Much in Little

    "Yes, it is FAST! No, you CAN'T ride it!" - http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/general-...a-300-san.html

  2. #192
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    Default Re: Making of Kawasaki Ninja 300 San

    So sad to hear that, very unfortunate. I hope you will get well soon and back on the saddle
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    Default Re: Making of Kawasaki Ninja 300 San

    Quite sad to see the condition of the bike but I'm glad you're alive and kicking. That's what matters. The bike however much loved, can be restored. Human body, not always. Take good care of yourself.

    Very interesting piece on the neck brace there. I might get one too.

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    Default Re: Ninja San and I suffer a shattering crash!

    Quote Originally Posted by abhimanyu31 View Post
    Ninja San and I suffer a shattering crash!

    May 1, 2017 started as any other day. As I had some work in Pune and had not met Vikram and Vijay of Motozone for quite sometime, I decided to take quick ]
    Wish you speedy recovery sir & yes san ninja will be reborn.

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    Default Re: Ninja San and I suffer a shattering crash!

    Quote Originally Posted by abhimanyu31 View Post
    Ninja San and I suffer a shattering crash!

    Post Accident Analysis.

    No accident is one mistake in isolation. Accidents happen due to a series of events, which ultimately culminate with the said accident. To learn something from an accident, one needs to be brutally honest about the accident and accept what the facts and data represent.

    While the car driver undoubted made a huge mistake and deserves a large portion of the blame, there were some significant mistakes made on my part.

    My role in the said accident suggest the following:

    Really sad to hear about this turn of events friend. Your Ninja was an inspiration to say the least.
    Thank you for the detailed analysis of what happened. Your meticulous approach is still visible in the Crash Analysis too.

    I recently had a small fall too where I got hit by another bike from behind. Thankfully it was a slow speed affair and not much damage to the bike.
    I however did end up breaking my elbow as I landed awkwardly on it.

    You have very rightly said. I could shrug off my fall saying I was hit from behind, but I also feel that if I would have been more aware of my surroundings, I might have avoided it.

    2 things that I have learnt from this:
    1) Asses your crashes brutally honestly
    2) I never knew Neck braces were available as stand alone items for street riding as well. If you would not mind, can you please post which one you have, its small review and where did you get it from.

    Wishing you and Ninja San speedy recovery!!

    Rachit
    Rachit K Dogra

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    Default Re: Ninja San and I suffer a shattering crash!

    Quote Originally Posted by abhimanyu31 View Post
    Ninja San and I suffer a shattering crash!

    May 1, 2017 started as any other day. As I had some work in Pune and had not met Vikram and Vijay of Motozone for quite sometime, I decided to take quick ride to Pune and back.
    Sad!! Wishing you a speedy recovery. Nice read on safety. My main question here, since you mentioned that the wheels locked, would you say the main mistake here possibly was choosing a NON ABS BIKE? Don't get me wrong (not trying to compare bikes here) but eg : we have bikes with dual abs but we generally choose non abs ones because we want a TWIN!! Here i am referring to myself as i am on the verge of choosing a non abs r3 second hand to a dual abs duke 390. And i have been asking myself this a thousand times (if i am making a mistake) but my heart moves closer towards a TWIN...... MY POINT HERE IS - ARE THESE TWINS MORE IMPORTANT THAN A DUAL ABS???
    Last edited by The Monk; 05-31-2017 at 12:16 PM. Reason: Please don't quote all the pictures. Thanks

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    Default Re: Ninja San and I suffer a shattering crash!

    Quote Originally Posted by itsmevini123 View Post
    So sad to hear that, very unfortunate. I hope you will get well soon and back on the saddle
    Thanks for the wishes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Divya Sharan View Post
    Quite sad to see the condition of the bike but I'm glad you're alive and kicking. That's what matters. The bike however much loved, can be restored. Human body, not always. Take good care of yourself.

    Very interesting piece on the neck brace there. I might get one too.
    Yes, its simple but brilliant bit of engineering. It was named the product of the year Sport Rider magazine in 2012. It should be considered an essential part of one's riding gear if one does not have a riding suit or jacket with air bags.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chandan92 View Post
    Wish you speedy recovery sir & yes san ninja will be reborn.
    Thank you for the wishes.

    Quote Originally Posted by rachitkdogra View Post
    Really sad to hear about this turn of events friend. Your Ninja was an inspiration to say the least.
    Thank you for the detailed analysis of what happened. Your meticulous approach is still visible in the Crash Analysis too.

    I recently had a small fall too where I got hit by another bike from behind. Thankfully it was a slow speed affair and not much damage to the bike.
    I however did end up breaking my elbow as I landed awkwardly on it.

    You have very rightly said. I could shrug off my fall saying I was hit from behind, but I also feel that if I would have been more aware of my surroundings, I might have avoided it.

    2 things that I have learnt from this:
    1) Asses your crashes brutally honestly
    2) I never knew Neck braces were available as stand alone items for street riding as well. If you would not mind, can you please post which one you have, its small review and where did you get it from.

    Wishing you and Ninja San speedy recovery!!

    Rachit
    Thank you for the wishes. The neck brace I have is by EVS. As mentioned above, Sport Rider magazine named it the product of the year in 2012. Give me some time I will do full review of it with pics.

    Quote Originally Posted by prashnagpal View Post
    Sad!! Wishing you a speedy recovery. Nice read on safety. My main question here, since you mentioned that the wheels locked, would you say the main mistake here possibly was choosing a NON ABS BIKE? Don't get me wrong (not trying to compare bikes here) but eg : we have bikes with dual abs but we generally choose non abs ones because we want a TWIN!! Here i am referring to myself as i am on the verge of choosing a non abs r3 second hand to a dual abs duke 390. And i have been asking myself this a thousand times (if i am making a mistake) but my heart moves closer towards a TWIN...... MY POINT HERE IS - ARE THESE TWINS MORE IMPORTANT THAN A DUAL ABS???
    I think question over here is "would ABS have saved the day"? I have given it much thought and ultimately had to divide the question into 2 parts:

    1. Would ABS have helped in the said scenario? Ans: Yes, it would have helped reduce speed further before the impact.

    2. Would ABS have prevented the crash? Maybe, but highly unlikely. The distance and time required were just not enough in this case.

    ABS is a safety net. It is assisting tool, but it cannot replace good riding skills. It cannot get you out of all problems. You cannot live under false impressions that ABS will save you if you get into trouble so let me ride as I please. You can get into trouble with such think and assumptions. Let me repeat it; there is no substitute to good riding skills and defensive attitude.

    When I bought Ninja San, only KTM Duke 390 was equipped with ABS. ABS was not a deal maker or deal breaker for me. Owning a multi cylinder bike is besides the point for me. For me the overall product is more important that it being a multi cylinder bike.

    Having said the above, Ninja San will now be equipped with a 2 channel full electronic ABS system.
    Only a biker knows why a dog sticks his head out of a car window.

    Multum in Parvo - Much in Little

    "Yes, it is FAST! No, you CAN'T ride it!" - http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/general-...a-300-san.html

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    Default Re: Making of Kawasaki Ninja 300 San

    @abhimanyu31: i am really glad brother that you are ok. As rightly pointed out by other members of the forum: mechanical items can always be restored or replaced on a motorcycle but with a person: things are not the same. I consider myself to be fortunate that i always get to learn something new from the collective experiences shared by you and other members on this forum. As mentioned earlier, i have now made it a priority to significantly push up the budget for getting hold of the best safety gears i can find and of course, our earlier interactions made me realise that this is something most of us riders in India simply ignore or choose to leave aside: something one must not do!

    Admittedly, i had earlier undermined the importance of protective gear pertaining to neck injuries. However, thanks your honest update on post crash analysis, neck brace/collar has already moved up the ladder on my priority list. Pardon me for posting an OT but for all those readers who are rather curious about how a neck brace/collar protects the rider from injuries then perhaps the video link below will throw some light on the same:



    I am sure that Ninja San will take a grand rebirth and in the hands of experienced people like Mr. Vikram and Vijay, Motozone Performance: your beloved will be back online in no time!

    Sincerely, wish you a speedy recovery and i hope that you are back on saddle soon...


    Cheers,
    Last edited by shv18; 05-31-2017 at 12:20 AM.
    A quote by a toilet, " use me well, keep me clean, i would never tell anybody whatever i have seen.." :P

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    Default Re: Making of Kawasaki Ninja 300 San

    Wish youu a speedy recovery and get well soon Abhimanyu.Waiting to see Ninja san rebirth

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    Default Re: Ninja San and I suffer a shattering crash!

    Quote Originally Posted by abhimanyu31 View Post
    Thanks for the wishes.



    Yes, its simple but brilliant bit of engineering. It was named the product of the year Sport Rider magazine in 2012. It should be considered an essential part of one's riding gear if one does not have a riding suit or jacket with air bags.



    Thank you for the wishes.



    Thank you for the wishes. The neck brace I have is by EVS. As mentioned above, Sport Rider magazine named it the product of the year in 2012. Give me some time I will do full review of it with pics.



    I think question over here is "would ABS have saved the day"? I have given it much thought and ultimately had to divide the question into 2 parts:

    1. Would ABS have helped in the said scenario? Ans: Yes, it would have helped reduce speed further before the impact.

    2. Would ABS have prevented the crash? Maybe, but highly unlikely. The distance and time required were just not enough in this case.

    ABS is a safety net. It is assisting tool, but it cannot replace good riding skills. It cannot get you out of all problems. You cannot live under false impressions that ABS will save you if you get into trouble so let me ride as I please. You can get into trouble with such think and assumptions. Let me repeat it; there is no substitute to good riding skills and defensive attitude.

    When I bought Ninja San, only KTM Duke 390 was equipped with ABS. ABS was not a deal maker or deal breaker for me. Owning a multi cylinder bike is besides the point for me. For me the overall product is more important that it being a multi cylinder bike.

    Having said the above, Ninja San will now be equipped with a 2 channel full electronic ABS system.
    Yes agree with all you said. Definitely no substitute to good riding skills, but what if good riding skills along with abs & other safety features. Thats my only point.

    Also agree overall product quality is high in ninja 300 & may b equally in r3 (correct me if wrong)

    My mind still confused as its decision time soon : r3 (1yr old 5000kms) or duke 390 abs both at similar price points

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