Charles Statman Stupidity and Salvationposted Aug 14, 2009
Tags: Tool Junkies All Article Tags
Years ago my racing mentor, Old Man James told me “Buy the best tools you can afford and keep them clean, they will last you a lifetime, and you can bet your life on them.” James never steered me wrong. As my employment got better, I’d replace bits of my cobbled together collection of pawn shop finds and bargain bin junk with real, solid, tools, eventually building the set I needed.
When I discovered Motion Pro, I began again, in a quest to buy their entire tool catalog, adding to my set with high quality, motorcycle specific designs. My last visit to Texas, I saw a catchy bumper sticker, it said “My tools? You’d have better luck borrowing my wife.” It made perfect sense to me. When you depend on your tools and your abilities, and you are like me, slightly deficient in the ability department, you need to know your tools will not let you down.
In June of 2009 was the Oakland Motorcycle Club’s annual enduro, the mythical Sheetiron 300. When my friends ask “How was the ride?”, I always say it always was a better ride 3 or four weeks later, when you forget the challenges, and remember the victories. We rode three hundred miles, enduro style. There were hard and easy splits, street and dirt. You better come prepared, and I did.
My Motion Pro T-6 Toolpack goes on every ride with me. Stuffed full, in preparation for any incident, accident or emergency, as I say. And this year, I put it to the test. I expect my tools and gear to work as advertised. Anything beyond that is a bonus to me.
This year? Bonus!
Over the years I have learned that when I showboat, or mug for a camera, or there are pretty girls in the vicinity, I am going to do something stupid and probably fall down. It’s inherent to my species (males that is). Without going into details of my judgmental lapse, let’s just say I found myself skittering down Pacific Coast Highway 1, on my backside, my trusty KTM 525 beside me, angrily throwing off sparks and noise, after an ill advised stunt.
I road raced motorcycles for years. Old Man James used to tell me, “there is a certain feeling you get right before you crash. That is as fast as you can go. If you crash every corner on a racetrack, you know that feeling, you get there, and roll off just a hair. Then you are as fast as you can be” Not all his advice was spot on. But I spent 13 broken collarbones, 4 wrists, 8 ribs, a femur and a dislocated hip trying out this concept on a RD400. I know the mechanics involved in crashing
So when I was sliding down Highway 1, I knew, from the moment I tucked the front end of the KTM, what was happening. I knew I was sliding, I knew I landed on my left elbow, I knew I’d swiveled and rolled so I was on my back, sliding feet first. Yet, oddly, my backside did not warm up as it usually does from friction.
I came quickly to a stop, got the bike up and out of the highway, then began checking myself out. On the road race track, you are covered in leather. For Enduro rides, you have MX pants on. I expected more damage. However, my Motion Pro T-6 Tool Pack saved my backside. Literally.
It turns out I did all my sliding ON the pack. It absorbed the majority of the slide, and still held my tools and gear. The tool pack saved my behind.
After all was sorted out, I checked over the bike, my gear, myself, and continued on the ride. After, of course, I apologized to all my friends for the delay. Everyone who saw the crash was positive I’d be hurt, but in awe of the performance of my gear and my wonderful Motion Pro Tool Pack.
It all goes to show, if you buy the best, it will save you.
I could have patched my toolkit, but decided to retire it and spring for a new one.
-Written and experienced by Charles Statman