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Basem Wasef

When Saddlebags Are Your Worst Enemy

By December 4, 2012

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Motorcycle Crash

Have your bike's dimensions ever betrayed you? Have you ever overstepped the footprint of your motorcycle and been shocked when two objects, unable to occupy the same space at the same time, conspire to throw you over the handlebars?

Take this unsuspecting French motojournalist: astride a 2013 Yamaha FJR1300A, he seems confident and breezy maneuvering through this scenic marina... until his saddlebag catches a post and sends him freefalling onto a dock below.

Watch the video on YouTube, and let us know-- have your saddlebags (or any bike protuberance, for that matter) sent you on an embarrassing (and potentially painful) crash course?

Sources: YouTube, Hell For Leather, Jalopnik, McNewbie1 via Twitter


Screen Grab YouTube; click for video

December 4, 2012 at 11:25 am
(1) Scottie says:


Perhaps I’ve just been lucky so far, but then riding a big cruiser I’m always aware that I’m not going to squeeze through any tight spaces.

December 4, 2012 at 12:17 pm
(2) Joe says:

If I understand this right, you have a guy on a bike that he is not familiar with, riding in a tight area I am guessing he is not familiar with ( can’t imagine Yamaha told this guy to ride this bike though those metal post right near the water) . Sound like a dumb move on his part. Not blaming the saddle bags on this one but the rider.

December 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm
(3) Dabber says:

I think the bike fell on top of him. I hope he’s OK. I don’t think he was hot dogging, He just made a goofy error. We’ve all done stuff similar. I was riding with a friend who had been riding 20 years and dumped his HD right in the intersection we were stopped at. I had to pick the bike off him, no damage to the bike or himself. I asked him, what happen’d ? He said, “I was enjoying the day so much, I might not of put my feet down”. I only gave him grief about that for a few years.

December 4, 2012 at 1:10 pm
(4) Pete says:

Dumb mistake? Maybe? Could it happen to any of us? Absolutely … “There but for the grace of God goes I”

If you’ve ever done any trail riding / X-Country, there’s a particular species of tree that’s sole purpose of existence is to jump out and grab your front brake lever when you’re not watching.

December 4, 2012 at 4:28 pm
(5) Jim says:

Do some of us do dumb things sometimes, sure, but it’s our fault. Blaming the saddlebags, thats wrong. That’s todays generation, blame everything but yourself for anything that goes wrong. I feel sorry for Yamaha and the owner of the boat.

December 5, 2012 at 12:01 pm
(6) Greg says:

I agree with Jim! “…Blame everything but yourself.” There is NOTHING common about common sense. Blame the equipment? That is like blaming guns for killing people. Saddlebags don’t ‘grab’ obstacles – you ride into them. Period. In 4 years, I rode my Interceptor 105,000 km (65,000 miles). I rode with my saddlebags, and without them. But I never blamed the bike for any mishap that ever occured. Who put anything between their legs and ride it without checking its abilities and limits? “Stupid is as stupid does.”

December 5, 2012 at 12:15 pm
(7) hryb says:

Well..;according to my inputs….
the guy is a french professional/bike tester/journalist..;

It WAS NOT his day,that day….

the movie has made zillions times around the Internet…
Poor guy..;must be celeb,now,but out of job..

French biker…the video is from a well known bike magazine…

December 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm
(8) Luiz Laba says:

Yes it does happen and it can happen to any of us.
As an experienced rider (over 30 years) I can assure you I have done really weird things that put me into incidents/accidents.

Now as a mature rider and with that type of bike, I would say the rider did not take into account the conditions he had in that environment, ignoring the dangeres around him or like I have done many times, just riding and not thinking about possible problems.

Now, would I do it differently? YES, the first thing I would have done was to PRESS HARD the front breaks and drop the bike before going down! I think that would be my first reaction…

Enjoy it and remember it

December 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm
(9) FichenDich says:

The closest, and only, time that something like that happened to me was during a sweeping curve on the German Autobahn riding a Goldwing Interstate. Nothing actually happened, there was nothing I could do about it regardless, but suddenly there was a very loud shriek and a shower of sparks as the lever for the centerstand began to drag !

It never happened again, and while I’d like to attribute it to my increased caution, a lot of it is probably because the first time ground so much steel from the bike !

December 5, 2012 at 6:21 pm
(10) Speed says:

I’ve also been through my share of that stuff. Dropped my FLH once at about a mile per hour;backing it out of the garage and down alongside my truck,the truck’s mirror hit my helmet,I flinched,got off my line and the hard bag tagged the truck fender-down I went,straining muscles to stop it from happening. I had to use a “come-along” to pull the bike forward,out from under the truck,to finally get it upright. Of course there’s also idling the bike into the garage and having something snag the throttle cable,launching me into the work bench on the back wall of the garage. Due to a shortage of room ot there,the trip from the street to safe(?) storage of my bike is a true adventure.

December 6, 2012 at 2:20 am
(11) Miles says:

First off I really think no one else could have saved the bike once he clipped the pole.Also if you look carefully he actually falls into the sail boat and the bike hits the cement.So he did not have the bike fall on him! That happened to a friend he broke most of his ribs.

I have no judgement on the guy too difficult to view from that angle.

I HAVE Givi bags but they are old and small on my sides,I guess I am quite lucky.They hard “bags” I have are the same width as my legs.

24 years riding still have not crashed. But once I came to a stop on a incredibly steep street, like you see in San Francisco. I put both feet down and touched nothing! My tires were both on the high part of a depression, my feet on the valley.I fell over, but managed to jump off in time.Everybody freaked out “Are you OK”,I replied “I have badly damaged my pride”.

Ride safe.

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