I just survived a motor bicycle accident. Please read this:

Mark Kinsler

New Member
Mar 29, 2018
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On October 21 I was riding my China-converted old Schwinn down an ordinary bumpy street. What I remember was a loud bang and I was lying in the street. Paramedics took me to the hospital, then to a bigger hospital, where they fixed my broken neck (first cervical vertabra, repaired with a 3" vertical bolt threaded up my spine,) plus a broken collarbone, plus seriously stretched nerves. After four days in the hospital I've been recovering at home, living on lots of pain killers.



The bike was taken in by the local police, and it's only in the last few days that I've learned what actually happened by inspecting the bike. Witnesses said that I flew over the handlebars, and that happened because the front wheel solidly locked up at maybe 15mph. The wheel locked up because a single rivet that held the top front fender brace failed, allowing the U shaped brace to flop around and ultimately contact the tire tread. The tire wrapped the fender brace around the axle/fork junction, thus winching the brace tight against the tire tread. It's still immovable, and when I feel better I shall post some pictures.



I'm posting this to several groups. I was wearing a bike helmet, which might or might not have saved my life: the side of the helmet was scraped away by the road surface, as was skin on my shoulder. You may be familiar with the forged-steel Schwinn fork: mine is thoroughly bent, and a pedal broke off with a piece of the crank still attached.



It saddens me, but I won't be rebuilding the bike, though the engine and the rest are okay. I'll likely be buying a lightweight motorcycle, which makes a better vehicle in general for someone my age, which is 72. I'll also be buying a lightweight bicycle to help get my strength back.



Moral: Inspect your bike every time you ride it, for any motorbike will vibrate itself to pieces after a very short time. Until Honda and them began making better bikes in the '60's a pre-ride inspection was standard for all riders, and now I know why. Yes, mine was an old bike, but new ones aren't necessarily built so well either.

Mark Kinsler Lancaster, Ohio
 

Mark Kinsler

New Member
Mar 29, 2018
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I loved my motorized Schwinn, and rode it everywhere, but:

I regret to admit that a motorized bicycle does not make the world's greatest motorbike. The center of gravity isn't right for powered riding, the brakes tend toward the fictional, there's no suspension, and they handle strangely. A moped and a motorized bicycle are thus quite different, and there's a good reason that the former is so much heavier than a motor bicycle.

None of this is meant to discourage anyone here, for these bikes are utterly pure fun and quite a practical proposition for someone who needs the transportation. But an extra measure of caution is really necessary, says this old coot.

And please wear a helmet. My bicycle helmet probably saved my wretched skull, though it was only a few weeks ago that I discovered why the hair (there still is some) behind my left ear felt so strange That's when I discovered the three little stainless-steel staples with which the trauma team had re-attached my scalp after its trip across the pavement The side of the helmet (Schwinn brand, purchased at Walmart) is gone, too.

Mark Kinsler
 

lewdog7431

Active Member
Feb 13, 2019
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This is a bad way to go man I feel your pain brother not fun , recently last Monday I've experienced a crash myself different circumstance my partner in bicycle motor's decided to make a left turn in front of me so I nailed his ass not purposely but to avoid on coming traffic long story short , no helmet 15mph also landed on my palms ,tucked and rolled but that initial land is painfully sucky on the hands good thing for the cat like reflexes and ninja skills no other damage butt when riding together please do not cut your partner off stick to your line just like moto x stick to your line
 

curtisfox

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Dec 29, 2008
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The people here only care about how fast, not true, just mainly younger guys. slap a engine on a bike and see how fast it will go.

"Prayers hope for fast healing."

To me its the china engines that is causing the fails, way to much vibration.

There is a tread on mounting fenders, extra braising is needed.

I had a Monark twin when young in the 50's, sorta the same as Whizzer. Engine mounted like china girl, above the sprocket. Never had a problem with fenders, went about 25 mph tops.

So sorry to here about your mishap, i am 78 and know how hard it is to heal.........Curt
 

LR Jerry

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Dec 19, 2011
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Sorry about your accident. My bike originally bent it's rear axle. I replaced it with a Staton Hub and the Staton axle actually broke. I then along with David Staton came up with a new axle design.

https://motorbicycling.com/threads/broken-rear-axle.58426/

Which has held up well. Both times fortunately I'd just took off and was under 5 mph when the wheel locked up. Even though the causes were different I understand your fear.

There's been several post about fenders. From simply get rid of them to how to reinforce them. I wish you a speedy recovery.
 
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Tom from Rubicon

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Apr 4, 2016
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Hi Mark, You are darn lucky to still be typing. I am wishing you a speedy recovery, but at 72 speedy is optional.
You are right to move to a light motorcycle when you are able, and I hope Spring finds you able and well.

My first built was a Huffy 49cc 4stroke and as I motorized it I saw material weaknesses. It will never roll again until the weaknesses are corrected. The Huffy was my way to experience the ride of a Whizzer with out the expense.
Get well soon Mark,
Tom from Rubicon, WI
 

indian22

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Dec 31, 2014
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Thanks Mark for sharing with the forum and God speed your recovery.

I hope this is a wakeup call for safety in general, but the very common and real problems of failure on stock bicycle fenders. leads to disaster. I've chosen to not run front fenders on any of my bikes built over the last decade to eliminate the possibility of this occurring to me and after two rear fender failures several years ago, that thankfully didn't completely lock up, I stopped using rear guards as well. Since I typically build board track style bikes not running fenders isn't a style issue for me. Many cautions have been posted over the years on this forum and other sites, but it's a message that needs to be repeated frequently and with emphasis as a caution to new builders and a reminder to all.

There are fine examples of bikes on this forum that run fenders front and rear that were fabricated by experienced builders that know what they are doing and do it well, but these are the 2 percenter's that are following motorcycle design parameter's in materials, fasteners and design. Kit builders need to just eliminate the fenders at least until they develop the knowledge and skills to build and assemble guards that will stay put.

Rick C..
 

Tony01

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Nov 28, 2012
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There are fine examples of bikes on this forum that run fenders front and rear that were fabricated by experienced builders that know what they are doing and do it well, but these are the 2 percenter's that are following motorcycle design parameter's in materials, fasteners and design. Kit builders need to just eliminate the fenders at least until they develop the knowledge and skills to build and assemble guards that will stay put.

Rick C..
Yeap.

I’ll fix the last paragraph of the OP:

Moral: use common sense. Motorbikes are dangerous. Don’t try to build your own motor vehicle without doing lots of reading.

A decade of fender warnings... smh.
 
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Greg58

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May 1, 2011
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Sorry to hear about your accident Mark, several people have had crashes because of fenders, a couple of months ago Eric added a sticky warning everyone about the dangers. It's in the instructions section so maybe most new to this site will find it.