(All images have a larger image viewable by clicking on the inline image)

How to down-size a ZZR-250 in one easy step

Not quite, but close. I got wiped out by a cager in an Astra in September 2003, and turned this:

into this:

What the hell happened?

I came over this crest, travelling west along River Road Greenwich, at about 6pm, and met the not-unexpected clump of traffic over the hill, trying to get from two lanes into one. Traffic was stationary. Note the lack of sight distance over the hill.

The first I knew that things were not right was just as I was putting my feet down coming to a stop - the sound of tyres under uncontrolled braking (AKA a full-blown skid). I just had enough time to think "hmm, sounds like someone's getting a bit out of control - oh shit, that sounds like it's coming closer CRUNCH" when I was "taken from behind", as it were. It was as uncomfortable as it sounds.

My bike was shoved into the taxi in front of me, which proceeded to hit a BMW and a Holden Calais which were in front and next to it (cha-ching!). Meanwhile, the force of the impact bent the rear sub-frame up, flinging me, my belongings, and my seat into the air.

An off-duty ambo (on his way to work) who saw the whole thing estimated I got about 3m of air, did a neat somersault, then managed to come down more or less on my feet, before falling to the ground right between the Astra and the taxi. Lucky boy, says I.

I dragged my sorry arse off the road, and checked myself for dangling/bleeding bits. Nope, all good. Ambulance came a few minutes later, stuck me inside, and carted me off to the hospital.

The next few hours consisted of being poked, prodded, rolled around, and so forth, while the hospital staff tried to work out if I was dead, alive, injured, or just mad. They had a vote, decided on mad, and let me go home.


Pretty much everything I was wearing was wrecked. The bike was a complete loss. I got a lovely bruise from where my mobile phone was sitting on my hip, and was stiff and sore for a few days.

Photo gallery

So, let's have a look at some more photos.

Nothing like snapping a pair of forks to show you how much force you got shunted with. My uncle put his GT750 into the side of some woman's car who pulled out in front of him many years ago. Shattered the front wheel, but only bent the forks. Looks like I win!
It's a real pity this one is so blurry, because it's a pretty good illustration of how the pipes and rear frame were convincingly smooshed.
I think that wheel's going to wobble a bit...

More particularly, considering that a wheel normally does a pretty good job of staying very rigid when confronted with the weight of the bike and my fat arse, bending like that probably requires quite some measure of encouragement...

"Here we show how the rear of a ZZR-250 can be easily folded up to allow parking in those tight spaces..."
Bike blood and some pretty worrying gouges in the road. Good thing that was bike bones making those marks, and not bits of me. (Not real detailed in the small shot, much better full-size).
Anyone for skid marks? The marks from my incident are the darkest ones on the big white line, and extend back to about the second dash.