Maybe a careless driver made a left in front of you. Maybe you hit some loose gravel or debris in a sharp turn. Maybe you don’t even know how you ended up on the pavement. Regardless of how your motorcycle crash occurred, recovering from the incident can be physically, mentally and emotionally challenging.
Follow these steps to overcome your fears and get back on your bike after a motorcycle crash.
How to get back on your motorcycle after a crash
1. Assess the damage. Get a new helmet if yours had any contact with the ground or a hard object, and have a professional take a look at your motorcycle even if there is no visible damage. Use common sense to determine whether other gear needs to be replaced, and use your injuries as indicators of which body parts may need better protection.
2. Bite the bullet. Ideally, you should begin easing your way back into riding as soon as you’re physically able. The longer you wait, the more anxious you’ll be about doing it and the less confident you’ll be in your abilities. Just remember – the anticipation of doing something you’re avoiding is almost always worse than actually doing it.
3. Start off easy. Choose a simple, familiar route for your first post-crash ride, and plan it for a time when you know you won’t have to deal with traffic. Even a quick lap around the block is better than not starting at all. If you’re having a really hard time, consider signing up for a refresher course so you can test the waters in a controlled environment.
4. Be patient. Recovering from a motorcycle crash is a grueling process, both physically and mentally. Regaining your confidence and getting back to where you were in terms of skills could take weeks, months or even years. Take your progress day by day and try not to get frustrated or discouraged.
5. Return to scene. You’ll never forget the experience of crashing your motorcycle, but in order to move on you need to prove to yourself that you can conquer the same roads or riding conditions without another accident. This final step will help you regain your pre-crash confidence and clear up any lingering doubts about your riding abilities.
It’s easy to become overly cautious when you start riding again after a crash, but this often does more harm than good. Instead, take advantage of the opportunity to learn from your experience and become a safer rider.
Have you ever crashed your motorcycle? How long did it take you to begin riding again, and what made the process easier for you? Share your experiences below.
I’ve crashed more times than I can remember riding off road in the dirt & gravel when I was younger. Also, since I’ve started riding on road I’ve had one 37-40mph crash where I high-sided in a turn at night due to oil & kitty-litter being put down without any flasher/warning. Though I was shaken up & had some damage to the mc, miraculously I wasn’t injured at all. Additionally, I’ve had a couple of finger injuries working with various machinery that required 20 plus stitches each time including cutting off part of my thumb with an electric saw. I wasn’t fazed by any of these incidents. I’ve never been gun-shy or mentally derailed due to what I call everyday accidental situational mishaps. Injuries can occur doing practically anything whether you think you’re paying attention or not. Look more closely at the real cause of the incident, make adjustments and move on! I don’t understand people who have phobias either. However, PTSD due to seeing a first hand catastrophic situation involving death/mutilation such as war or a plane crash I can understand. Luckily, I haven’t had to experience something like that. Thanks.