That Time I Crashed My Motorbike

22 Dec 2023 | ~3 minute read

I love motorbikes, but back in October 2016 I had a head-on collision with a van, which I caught on video. Here's the story...

It's Wednesday the 26th October 2016, I have the day off work, it's a nice day (for Autumn) so I decide to go out on my bike for the day. My wife was going to come too, but we later decided that she wouldn't. I can't remember why we decided that, but thank goodness we did.

I throw my gear on, warm up the bike and head off to Wales for the day. Taking the long way down, I go to one of my favourite cafes for some lunch and a coffee, after which I head down to Snowdonia national park to enjoy some of the beautiful views and roads.

Problem is, just outside of Betws-y-Coed, a white van pulled out on me and we had a head-on collision. Bikers call these accidents a SMIDSY (sorry mate, I didn't see you).

Back then I wore a camera on my helmet at all times, here's the footage of the crash:

Fun, huh? If you go through the footage, frame by frame, there's one frame where the camera detaches from my helmet and catches me flying through the air, upside down:

Flying Kev

The damage

The damage to me actually wasn't that bad, I was very lucky. I fractured my elbow and was covered in cuts and bruises (like from my chest to me knees), which made me extremely sore for a few weeks, but it could have been way worse.

The bike unfortunately came off a lot worse. After having a head-on crash at around 40mph, with a vehicle that was much bigger, the frame had bent and my lovely Triumph Tiger 800 went off to the great scrap yard in the sky. RIP.

The bike

The aftermath

Thanks to the footage, the whole insurance thing was cut and dry. You can clearly see my speedo in the footage and I wasn't speeding (it was a 60mph road). The van driver was at fault, so the insurance company paid out pretty quickly. Actually, within a week.

I pressed charges against the driver for careless driving. It went to court and he was found guilty and given an £80 fine. Pretty shit, considering he could have killed me. 🤷‍♂️

Now things became fun. You see, the footage was shown in court and therefore became public record, so all the big media outlets got hold of it. It ended up splattered all over the Internet, including the BBC.

I also had a number of TV programs reach out wanting to interview me. That was an experience. I have an interview I did on a DVD somewhere, if I can find it, I'll convert it to MP4 and will add it to this post.

Final thoughts

Since the crash, I've never let my wife ride pillion (passenger) on any of my bikes. It's one thing hurting myself, it's quite another hurting her. Can you imagine how bad it would have been if she had come with me that day?

You could argue that if she'd have come, maybe we would have had another coffee and therefore missed the accident. Or, maybe we didn't get that extra coffee and it ended much worse.

Doesn't bear thinking about.

Anyway, there's no real point to this post, only to share an interesting story from my past. I was recently reminded of the footage from a friend in work, so I thought I'd write about it here.

If you're a biker, please ride safe as things can go very wrong, very quickly.

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