DR650 fender bender


Yesterday I had my first traffic accident on my motorcycle. After thinking about it, it was fully my fault.

The accident

The red line is a stop sign, the green line is the car pulling into a driveway, the blue line is me

The red line is a stop sign, the green line is the car pulling into a driveway, the blue line is me

I knew there was a stop sign there, but I normally expect cars to turn right (which means they never cross my lane) or left (which means they're heading away from me, and if I have to I can swerve around the rear of their vehicle). In this case they went straight at the stop sign and headed for a driveway. So they kind of came towards me and then suddenly they were blocking the entire road and I t-boned them and went down. That makes it sound like it's their fault, but my skid mark is about 10 feet long so I'm sure I was speeding. Also my rear tire is quite bald, and my bike doesn't have ABS. So if I'm going to ride on a bike like that, I need to be more conscious of potential hazards in front of me.


I felt some bad bruising on my legs and my left ankle, but nothing terrible. Some cops showed up, and the driver and I agreed that a police report wasn't necessary. I told the driver that I would tell my insurance that I was at fault.

Repairing the damage

My bike was initially flooded but after a minute it started up fine and I was able to ride it home with the forks bent (although the clutch was a bit too tight). I took the front tire off and found that the front axle was actually bent (wow).


The right side fork tube was also bent, and as I took the fork tubes off I noticed that the lower fork bridge was bent as well. I measured my DR350 and found that the fork tubes should be compatible. Since the front brake rotor on the DR350 is smaller than the DR650 and has different mounting holes, I opted to use the entire front wheel of the DR350 as well as the fork tubes.


I had to pry the fork crowns into position to get the fork tubes to slide in, but in the end I managed to assemble everything together. I had a bit of trouble bleeding the brake line because the DR350's caliper bleeder outlet is sort of recessed and not easy to access with a crescent wrench.

I took it for a ride and the front end is still crooked. So I bought a replacement lower fork bridge and front axle from eBay and I'll swap them in when they arrive. If everything looks good at that point then I'll