Cruise control or wrist-relief add-ons for your adventure motorcycle? Think twice…
On a recent tour, one of our riders suffered a trip-ending injury on the 4th day of a 16-day Patagonia tour. (Definitely not what he had in mind when booking the trip 10 months earlier.)
We were heading down the famous Carretera Austral in Chilean Patagonia, when a passing truck forced all the riders to move off pretty far to the right side of the road. All though the “Highway to the South” is quite narrow just north of La Junta, everyone made it through just fine, except for our final rider (whom we’ll call “Chuckles,” a nickname bestowed early in this very trip.)
Swooping down into berm-like shoulder of the road, the rocks and sand became a bit more of a challenge, and sent his BMW F800GS bouncing through like a bronco in a coming out of its holding pen. I was following the group in the support vehicle that day, and came upon our Chuckles just minutes later on the side of the road.
He was basically okay, just holding his ankle with a few other motorists standing around him. The oncoming description of what happened was that he lost control and the 400+ lb. motorcycle landed on his left ankle.
Helping him off the road and sending the passersby on their way, I had some time to hear the first thoughts from Chuckles about what went wrong. He said that, whereas he probably could have wrestled the bike back into control without problem, the wrist-paddle he had added to the bike was what “did him in.” Once the bike started bucking like that, each “buck” saw the heel of his hand slapping down on the throttle, only worsening the situation.Thinking there are at least a few manufacturers of such “wrist-saving” cruise-control types of add-ons out there, our hopes are that each of them are clearly reminding riders “NOT FOR OFF ROAD USE.” If they don’t, and all you read is this blog about these things, please take Chuckles’ words for it, they’re “NOT FOR OFF ROAD USE!”
We made it to the hospital about 7 hours away in Coihaique just fine, and two surgeries later (seriously) Chuckles was on his way home. The rest of the group had to continue without him, but we all learned a valuable lesson about how dangerous these farkles can be in the wrong situation.