Dr. Greg’s 2010 Multistrada 1200 is TOTALLED!

Dr. Greg’s 2010 Multistrada 1200 is TOTALLED!

Greg’s story of his crash on his Multistrada 1200 that resulted in the bike being a ‘wrire-off’ You can read the follow-up comments on Greg’s crash here on the ADVRider.com form and see full size versions of his photos here.
Dr. Greg’s 2010 Multistrada 1200 is TOTALLED!
By ADVRider.com / Ducati.ms member ‘Dr. Greg’ (aka Greg 🙂   Well, Wednesday, November 3 2011 was not the best day for me and the 2010 Ducati Multistrada 1200S Touring model. Pull up a chair and let me tell you all about it…


After the Ducati MTS 1200 and I had returned from our NEW Mexico to NEW England Trip, I figured I owed Mrs. Greg a little vacation. Since I’m on sabbatical this semester, we decided to take a week in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Mrs. Greg drove the ’02 VW Golf TDI and I rode the Milledue (MEE-lay-DOO-Ay, what I call the bike) up from Albuquerque.

I figured to do a couple of day rides, as well as drop in on our good friends Gale and Sandy. Part of the plan worked out, but part of it didn’t…

Monday, November 1

The weather was gorgeous; there had been a little precipitation a week or so earlier, but the roads were clean and dry. Even so, I was on my toes for any slick/icy conditions. For Monday, I planned a ride from Pagosa Springs down to Chama, New Mexico, then up over Cumbres and La Manga Passes on CO 17, over to Antonito, CO, then back via Alamosa, South Fork and Wolf Creek Pass. About 240 miles…a nice easy ride.

I was especially wary of La Manga Pass, and its descent into the Conejos River valley, since it has some shady spots. Riding north out of Chama up over Cumbres Pass (over 10,000 feet) the road was clean and dry. After Cumbres Pass, CO 17 stays in the high country for about ten miles, then goes over La Manga Pass and begins the descent to the Conejos River. Again, despite my concerns, the road was clean and dry…great riding! Both passes include lots of fun curves, and the Milledue and I were enjoying ourselves immenseley.

The remainder of the ride went well: lunch in Alamosa, stop by the Visitor Center in South Fork, then up and over Wolf Creek Pass and back to Pagosa Springs. What a great ride! As I texted Mrs. Greg during the ride, “Boy, I LOVE THIS BIKE!!” And I did (do?)

Wednesday, November 3

After a “rest day” on Tuesday, I planned another ride Wednesday (Gale, I was gonna visit you on Thursday). My route Wednesday was again from Pagosa Springs down to Chama, but on south to Tierra Amarilla, then across US 64 to Tres Piedras, NM (gorgeous ride thru more 10,000 ft mountains), then north to Antonito, CO, then west on CO 17 up and over La Manga and Cumbres Passes again (but in the opposite direction as Monday), then back to Pagosa.

Here’s a pic from US 64 between Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras, at 10,000 feet overlooking the Brazos Cliffs (and Brazos peak at 11,288 feet):

And here’s Doc and the Milledue near the base of San Antonio Mtn, this big 10,908-foot dome near the NM/CO border:

Finally, here’s the Milledue just past the Conejos River preparing for the climb up to La Manga Pass. BTW, this is the last foto of the sexy lady shiny side up… 🙁


Remember, I had ridden DOWN the La Manga Pass road just two days earlier, and all of it was clean and dry. The weather had been continuously gorgeous since then. Just wanna make that clear…

There are a couple tight “S” curves on this road (marked 25 mph); I took them at about 45-50 mph, being pretty conservative. Above those the road is pretty flowing, so I was in a good rhythm at about 65-70 mph. As I came out of a right-hand curve and prepared to straighten up…

Instantly I lost the front!!

As the front tucked and the bike went down on its right side I went flying through the air, all the while wondering…WTF HAPPENED?!?!

I slid and tumbled for a little ways (it was uphill, so not too far), then quickly went through the typical checklist: fingers, toes, etc. I was OK. As I stood up and began to remove my helmet, a young lady came running up (she was parked below and heard my crash…she said it was LOUD!). Anyway, here we were; she’s looking over the edge for my other side case:

This is the direction I was coming from:

This is in the direction I was going:

The bike went down on its right side first; it must have bounced onto the left side, which is where it ended up. BTW: look at the condition of the pavement. It was clean and dry. Remember that!

Now what?

Well, shit. No cell phone access, of course (although I had forgotten my phone that morning). Almost no traffic. Luckily the Milledue was off to the side. BTW, I had slid-tumbled roughly in the middle of my lane.

I still had NO IDEA why I had gone down with absolutely no warning. As you can see from the pics, the road was clean and dry.

My legendary good fortune stayed with me. The next vehicle to come up the road was Antonio and Molly, organic sheep ranchers from Tierra Amarilla. They stopped to help. They managed to get the Ducati off onto the shoulder and up on its sidestand (centerstand was a pretzel).

Now get this: Molly was an EMT, and Antonio had a trailer to pick up my bike! So I struggled into their SUV (my right wrist was beginning to hurt, so Molly put a splint on me and iced it) and we drove down to Chama, where Antonio got his trailer (and his buddy Richard). They left me in their house and took off back up the mountain to rescue the Milledue. Amazing people!! They just dropped all their plans to help a complete stranger. Rural hospitality.

Anyway, I phoned Mrs. Greg and told her to drive over to Chama (about 50 miles from Pagosa Springs where she was). BTW, Mrs. Greg is used to getting phone calls like these…

Antonio and Richard (pronounced Ri-SHARD, BTW) arrived at about the same time as Mrs. Greg. I managed to get a pic of (L-R) Dr. Greg, Antonio, and Richard (who is getting ice for my wrist):

We left the MTS 1200 at Richard’s place; nobody would bother it there (they actually put a tarp over it) and we’d somehow get it back over the weekend. So Mrs. Greg drove me back to Pagosa Springs, where we stopped by the hospital E-room for X-rays (distal radius fracture and metacarpal fracture). I’m very familiar with distal radius; did one of those in 2008. At least not as bad as the femur I did in ’72… FWIW, I now have a grand total of TWELVE (12) fractures. Sigh.

The “comment of the day” came from my 2nd son Keith (who lives in Albuquerque): Mrs. Greg texted him that I had been in a crash; his text reply was

Jesus. Not again.

That made us chuckle.

The Aftermath: WTF Happened?

We had scheduled our vacation through Friday, so—since I was pretty much okay—we decided to drive back over to the crash site and try to figure out what happened. I mean, I lost the front with NO WARNING, and I wanted to know WHY!

My crash had happened at 1:33 p.m. Wednesday. At almost exactly the same time Thursday, here’s what the road looked like; this is the direction I was coming from (I had almost finished the right-hand curve):

Here’s a pic in the direction I was going:


It was slick enough both Mrs. Greg and I almost fell down. There was NO frost on Monday, and (obviously) ENOUGH frost on Wednesday to take me down. Tricky, tricky…go back and look at the “Wednesday” pictures and compare the road surface.

Well, at least I now knew WHY I went down. And I felt better. A little…

BTW, if I had slid about three feet further to the right after I went down my poor ol’ 63-year old body would have pile-driven into this:

I got very tired of people telling me how LUCKY I was…but I was. As Mrs. Greg said, “you must have unfinished business on the earth yet.” Dunno what, but here I am.

On Saturday, Mrs. Greg, my 2nd son Keith, and 4th son Jeff drove up to Chama to pick up the bike. We took it up to the dealer, where the service guy said it looked totalled to him (me, too). Sigh.

For those who think the Ducati side cases are flimsy, both of them made it through this crash almost unscathed (and one went off the edge and fell about 50 feet). My ’06 Uly side cases (which look much stronger) were demolished in my 2008 crash.

GPS Track

My Zumo 450 made it through the crash unscathed. Here’s the track leading up to the crash:

So my speed was 67 mph when I went down. Ouch! The elevation was 9,481 feet.

Interestingly, I looked at the track from my Monday ride: at the exact same spot (but descending) I was going 65 mph. And I had no traction problems on that day. So I figured the road would be the same on Wednesday. Not true.


Well, fellas, I’m pretty bummed out. Milledue and I had recently finished a 6,000-mile trip back to New England, so I guess I got my money’s worth. And in only 3 months (boo-hoo) of ownership I had almost put 12,000 miles on the Milledue. So I guess I enjoyed myself. My new motto is: DON’T THINK THE ROAD TODAY IS THE SAME AS IT WAS YESTERDAY EVEN IF THE WEATHER IS GOOD.

But—sniff—this is all I have left…