Another thread here prompted me to write this. We all fall at some point or other. As 5thGear (Bill) said in his usual tidy phrasing "Bikes have two wheels, they fall over". Eventually it happens to all of us but it seems from having helped a few newer riders pick up the pieces out at Boundry Bay that not everyone knows how to recover and get riding again. So here's some hints for "After the Fall"....
First off check yourself over for obvious damage. Once you are sure YOU are OK then carefully get up while paying attention for any aches and pains aside from the usual small stuff and wander over to the bike.
First turn off the key... Especially if it's still running.
Now, with due care to any back pain you have get your bike back upright. If you have some helpers this is easy. just stand back and let them do it for you...
Check it over for damage that will prevent you from riding.
First check for any obvioius leaks. Oil coming out other than a few drops from a drain hose is bad news.
If it has carbs then there may be a bit of gas on the pavement and dripping out the overflow tubes. That's OK as long as it stops within a few seconds after it's back on two wheels. Once back up there should not be any fluids still dripping, or at least the dripping should be slowing down, within about a minute or you have problems.
Now look at the brake lever for bends or cracks around the pivots that COULD result in it breaking off in your hand the first time you use it. If it's bad you can still ride but use the rear brake and leave yourself a LOT more room between you and the car or bike in front of you. You only have about 25 or 30% of your max braking amount when restricted to the rear only.
If the lever is bent or cracked near the pivot use it gently but assume it could fail at any time and fall off in your hand..... see the rear brake distance suggestion above. Check the brakes by pumping the lever and the pedal a couple of times. In a fall the pads can be shoved back and you need to pump them a few times to restore them to their place. This is normal and they should be fine after a pump or two. Make sure both work well.
If the clutch lever broke off and you're a newer rider then this is a tough call. If it's out in the middle of nowhere then you can get the engine going and have your buddies push you up to a jogging pace or roll downhill with the bike in nuetral and then shift down into first (there will be a bit of a clunk or graunch but do it firmly to avoid the nasty sounds for too long) and then shift normally to get up to speed without the clutch. Ride slower than normal until your buddies catch up after getting you going. Obviously you can't just stop when doing this. When you MUST stop for gas or whatever just downshift until you hit neutral and leave it there.
To shift without the clutch just preload the lever slightly and roll off the throttle to a cruise and it'll pop up a gear. To downshift with no clutch preload downwards lightly with your boot and again roll the throttle to a cruise point and the bike will downshift fine. In both cases the "cruise point" is where the engine is running free with no power or compression braking going into the bike.
Ride with LOTS of room in front of you so you can basically just cruise back to civilization.
Once in town I really recomend you park it at some all night gas station, slip the attendent a 20 to keep an eye on it until you can get back with a truck or call a bike friendly towing service. It's tough to ride like this in town and an accident is much more likely. Don't push it and turn one accident into two.
You can practice all that last bit on your own. It works and when done smoothly does absolutley no harm to the bike. Even if you don't time it all perfectly it's no worse than your nastier shifts where you did use the clutch.
So it's up on two and not leaking and you're ready to start it for the first time. There's now two options- a) you have a carbuerator equipped bike or b)you have a fuel injected bike.
A)-Carbs- Gas will have flowed from the high carbs to the low carbs while it was on it's side because the floats are flopping around and not controlling the gas like they do when gravity is working. So it'll be very rich for the "low" cylinders and lean for the "upper" cylinders when you first start it up. The rich carbs will try to stall the bike at first and make it run very rough. To help clear them you need to hold the throttle open about 1/2 and crank the engine over. Hold the starter on and don't pump the throttle at all until the bike starts. It'll fart and pop for the first bit so keep the starter button held on until it is running at least higher than the normal idle. This may be 2 to 5 seconds where the bike is farting and popping but just keep the starter engaged and hold the throttle at a steady 1/2. Once it is running but running rough let the starter button go and HOLD THE THROTTLE ON for the first second or two until the engine clears. As the engine clears and the revs shoot up roll off the throttle to hold the revs at around 5 to 6K and once it's running totallly clean you can let it go back to idle. Be ready for a couple of blips if the idle isn't smooth yet. Within 10 to 20 seconds of starting the engine should be back to purring like a kitten.
Reader's Digest version- Throttle 1/2 open and hold steady, hit starter and hold until you are sure it's going to keep running, as engine clears out and the revs rise roll off the throttle to hold the revs to about 5K, once running smooth roll off to idle, be ready for a couple of blips if the idle is not quite smooth yet. You're ready to ride.
B)- Fuel injection. This one is both harder and easier. First off pretty much all FI bikes have a tip over sensor that cuts off the fuel flow and spark when the bike falls over. So the very first thing you need to do is to learn BEFORE you drop your bike is HOW TO RESET THE TIP OVER SENSOR! ! Some bikes will reset as soon as you lift and others need to have the ignition key turned off and then on. Some others may require more steps. The key point is to read your owner's manual and learn how to reset YOUR bike before you get stuck.
Once you reset the bike it's as simple as starting it up normally. FI injectors don't drain around and the tipover sensor ensures that they don't run the pump dry so the bike should start right up after a tipover and reset.
Depending on the severity of the accident that layed you on your side the bike may or may not have some funny handling quirks. If you find that you have some funny stuff going on then it's limp home time. Don't try to be a hero if the bike is not running well. If you bent a lever do not trust it. Bent levers often have cracks around the pivot bolt that can let the lever fail under light or moderate pressure. So leave yourself lots of room.
In particular if the brake lever is bent. DO NOT TRUST IT. And do not EVER try to straighten a lever on the road. The first bend has work hardened the metal and made it brittle, the second bend when you try to put it back will break it for certain then you have nothing. Bent brake levers should be replaced ASAP once you get back to civilization. Like I said, a bend can also mean a crack at the pivot bolt and a crack can fail with a snap later when you most need it. Other than limping home as above there's no riding for YOU until it's replaced... Capish!
Bump starting, sometimes called jump starting. This is where you coast along and then use the forward momentum to kick the engine into starting by letting out the clutch while the bike is in gear. This used to be common knowledge but with automatic car transmissions being so common some folks have no idea how to bump start an engine. If the engine was not cooperative after the fall but was showing signs of trying to start but the battery just wore down this is your last resort outside of a tow truck.
To do this you need some speed. To prepare put the bike in second or third gear, turn up your idle adjuster about two or three turns(so you don't need to worry about using any throttle) and hold the clutch in and turn on the ignition key. Now get a push or coast down a hill, or best of all get a push DOWN a hill.
Once you are going as fast as it'll coast you need to do two two things both at once. Stand up on the pegs and then RAM/DROP your butt down onto the saddle. At the same time as you hit the saddle you snap out the clutch. The extra traction from slamming your butt down will give you the drive to turn over the engine. With luck the engine will kick into life. You may need to do this two or three times if it's not cooperating. Stop and give up when a)- you are at the bottom of the hill with nowhere to go and/or b)- your buddys just had a heart attack from pushing your bike.
In closing I might add that it's not a bad idea to have CAA/AAA with the extra motorcycle package and a cell phone .....
Oh goodie... Another 3000 word post.....