MCN Fleet: I've got a confession to make...

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If you’ve ever read a copy of MCN, you’ll see we do a feature called 20 Questions, where (would you believe it) we ask key motorcycling personalities 20 questions about riding.

There’s one question quite far down the list (it would probably be a bit bold for a first question) that asks for their most embarrassing crash. The best reply I ever got was from Honda boss Neil Tuxworth, who admitted he’d crashed Joey Dunlop’s TT-winning SP1 in the paddock at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Every time I ask the question, I always wonder what my answer would be. Before now, it would always be the time I crashed a 50cc scooter at 15mph in a car park.

I rode down to the Silverstone Formula 1 with my Dad and Uncle a couple of weeks ago (don’t ask), we were staying about 30 miles from Silverstone so had a bit of a ride in each day.

On the way back to the hotel one day, I needed fuel, so we pulled into a petrol station. Dad had filled up earlier that day, I assumed he didn’t need any fuel so pulled in behind him at a pump. Turns out, he did need fuel so instead of waiting I decided to edge back and nip around to the next pump.


Only muggins here managed to forget his bike was a good couple of feet wider with the panniers fitted, didn’t quite leave enough room and clipped the metal bollard in front of the fuel pump to stop people driving into the pump.

I wasn’t going any faster than walking pace, but it was enough of a clip to rip the left hand pannier from its hooks and push me the other way and while I almost managed to stop it going down, it went down nonetheless.

On my arse, I looked up to see my Dad and Uncle deciding whether to laugh or run over.

We hoisted the V-Strom back up and remarkably it had suffered no damage. The right-hand pannier appears to have suspended the fall and while it took the tiniest of scratches, there was no damage to the rest of the bike. Even the bar ends and hand guards were unscathed.

The left hand pannier had lost one of its hooks to clip onto the bike, but the two which remained were enough to clip it back on – especially with centre clip, which secures the pannier in place. There were no issues for the rest of the weekend, but with the second clip showing signs of cracking I’ve now replaced that pannier just to be safe. Lesson learned… and the red face to prove it! 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing