K1200Lt PTSD Therapy
After lurking for a few weeks, Iím thinking Iím in good company with most of you. I gotta tell this story, and I donít believe anyone else will be able to empathize as well as you. If anyone reads this and posts a reply, I will consider it gravy to the psych-therapy just writing about this gives me. Here it is. Grab some tissues. It could get wet in here.
In July I fell madly in love with a pre-owned Ď05 K1200LT graphite killer-whale with more extras than I could count and only 7200 miles on the odometer. I was in the market for a new touring bike to be used primarily for dates with my lovely main-squeeze of the last 19 years, Cindy. This is the woman who was begging me to take her up to Brigham City on the back of my Honda Shadow 500 for a peach shake a mere 7 days after giving birth to our now 13 year old son. Two-times natural child birth with episiotomy not withstanding, sheís sweet, petit, pretty, and tougher than... anybody else Iíve ever known (and I work with some bad-ass folks.) Letís definitely say sheĎs tough enough to kick my ass for sharing with strangers way too much information! So, back to the bike. Cindy, who never spends much money on herself, insisted I consider getting a touring bike when we were financially ready. No one at work believes how lucky I am with the Lady. Never spends money, begs me to buy a bike! Who am I to refuse her? She works hard. I owe her. Iíll sacrifice!
BMW of North Salt Lake was my only local option for a beemer. I had looked at the Harleys and Goldwings, but just didnít see The One I had to have. Itís funny how the ďcounter cultureĒ of Harley riders has now become the main-stream norm. Itís not funny how I was treated when I walked into three local Harley Davidson dealerships (with 20k to spend, mind you) and was treated like a nuisance. I might as well have been a turd in a punch-bowl at the Four Seasons. I also kept reflecting on what a good friend of mine had to say about his 6000 mile round-trip to Anchorage a couple years ago aboard his Electraglide. Of his group of 6 riders, the only two that didnít suffer a major breakdown was the two with BMWís. That impressed me. So did the LT.
The first thing, of course, is the look. I had NEVER seen one. Unbelievable. Bat Byke? Fitting name, Sir. The second thing, of course, was me dropping it out in the parking lot as I pulled out for a test drive. My 30" in-seam and the charming pecadillo of the LTís top-HEAVY build contributed, as many of you can testify. No problem. I grew up getting tossed by nearly every horse I ever stepped up on, at least once. I got my ďthis is how you pick up an LTĒ lesson right off the bat. The sales guy was cool. He understood. I think. Anyway, I got her picked up and on her way just as a serious little summer squall hit the area. 30-40 mph winds, dust and light rain. Undaunted, I took this dream machine over rough surface streets and onto the interstate for a 20 mile ride. I could not believe how well it handled, even in the rotten weather. Weather I probably would not have tried to ride in if I hadnít been so damned spellbound (and embarrassed about dropping it.) I pulled back into the dealership and bought it. Right there! No regrets.
I caught pneumonia. Couldnít ride for several days. I Finally got to where I felt like going somewhere, and the clutch went out. Stranded me at my brotherís house on Wyoming. Enter BMW Roadside Assistance! Wow. These guys treated me like the King of Oompapa Mow-Mow. A week later, I get the LT back, after great service by Andy at BMW NSLC. Finally I can start putting miles on her. About 600 miles later (the last 200 with Cindy) we were ready for a nice day-trip with several friends. Decked-out in new helmets, jackets, and gloves, we had a wonderful morning riding Sardine Canyon to Logan, then to Bear Lake via Logan Canyon and over to the top of Monte Cristo. These are moderately twisty mountain roads, and we handled everything fine. That is, until mile marker 39 Utah HWY 39 west bound. We crashed. For no apparent reason, I missed a curve at 25-30 mph and hit a reflector post. One of those BIG TALL bastards you can see in 5 feet of snow. If I had taken off my helmet like Cindy had (just moments before, and without my knowledge) I would be dead instead of nursing two broken fingers and a broken collarbone. ďLuckily?Ē Cindy suffered only major lacerations to her scalp (49 staples) and broken ribs. She got to ride a helicopter that day as well. The LT, with less than 8k miles... totaled. I had it less than 6 weeks.
I have been riding seasonally for 15 years. Dirt bikes, the afore mentioned Shadow, a Suzi Marauder 800, and odd trips on borrowed bikes of all sizes. I have never crashed before. I keep trying to figure out what happened. I was knocked unconscious and I donít remember much more than drifting wide and trying to ease it back without over reacting. I was coming out of a right curve into a left curve going down hill, gravel shoulder.... I donít think I even tried to brake. The ABS may have saved the day, but I have years of riding behind me saying, ďdonít hit your skids on the curve... especially on gravel.Ē I think I became transfixed on that big-assed post at one point as well, and you know the physics.. ďthe bike follows your head.Ē A bad ending to a great day.
Bottom line is, she wants to ride again and so do I. With another six weeks to heal, Iím sure weíll ponder and decide to get another LT. Although Iíve had riding classes, I plan to do another or two if I can find a local one thatís appropriate. Any Utahns with suggestions? One thing IS CERTAIN... I donít think Iíll ever have to mention the ďHĒ-word to Cindy again. The jackets and gloves certainly helped too.
There. If you made it through the drivel, thanks for reading this. PTSD sucks, and it helps to talk/write it out. We will be getting back on the horse.