So here's the story. I was out test riding the BMW S1000RR for the latest in our video motorcycle review series. I had a pillion on the back, Karen, taking her first ride on a sportsbike.
Going well under the 100 km/h (62 mph) speed limit, I came up on a blind, cresting right hand bend. Staying nice and wide, I saw a 4WD (probably a Toyota Hilux) coming the other way, about a foot into my lane. No problem, happens all the time - but in general the driver realizes they're running wide, corrects their path and there's no issue.
This guy didn't - in fact, at the last second he ran even wider. I managed to dodge him by a matter of a couple of inches, but ran off the road in the process. Luckily the BMW is laden with smart ABS and traction control technology that helped me scrub off some speed in the grass and gravel, and get it back on the road, leaving us with this spectacular video footage.
Karen was fine - right up until she saw the video footage and the gravity of the incident hit home.
But it occurred to me that had I managed to dodge the oncoming 4WD, then run off the road and crashed, the statistics and the newspapers would tell a familiar story: "a 34 year-old motorcyclist and a female passenger were killed today when the rider lost control of his 1000cc sportsbike. It was a single vehicle accident, speed is believed to be a factor."
Perhaps next time you hear a motorcycle crash distilled down to those words, think of this video and realize that not all single vehicle accidents are the rider's fault. Ride safe out there!
Oh, and if anyone reckons they know how to extract a license plate from a few blurred frames of video footage, we'd love to hear how to do it!