GH-area man seriously hurt in motorcycle crash

(UPDATE: Thursday 10:50 p.m.) One of two men riding motorcycles together was flown to a Grand Rapids hospital by helicopter after crashing early Thursday evening in Robinson Township.
Becky Vargo
Jun 5, 2014


The crash happened shortly after 6:30 p.m. on 128th Avenue near North Cedar Drive.

Police said 34-year-old Everett Lewis Hawkins was an inexperienced rider and lost control of his 1983 Honda motorcycle after coming around a curve. The Grand Haven Township man hit a guardrail, flew off his motorcycle and landed off the road in some weeds.

Hawkins was taken to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids by the Aeromed helicopter. He was listed Thursday night in serious condition, said Sgt. Matt Wilfong of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department.

Wilfong said Hawkins was wearing a helmet when he crashed and alcohol was not a factor.

The other motorcyclist was not injured.



I hope he's going to be ok, those first few hundred miles are the most likely time a new rider will make mistake especially when cornering at full speed without the confidence and control experience gives. It takes time to know the safe limits of your bike and keep well withni those limits. No telling what happened, with all the construction for M231 all the roads out there have extra sand where it is usually clean roadway, turning from 120th to sleeper results in a little tail wagging from sand and pebbles even at a very slow speed.


The bike looks like a 650 Honda Nighthawk of which was my first road bike (1983 model). The crotch rocket of it's day. It was promoted as the quickest 1/4 mile 650 in production and would overtake all 750's and most larger stock production bikes. If I remember correctly, redline started @ 10,000 RPM with a 6 speed tranny. Of course the crotch rocket bikes today have that look and are much faster with better handling... but those 1983 650 Nighthawk's would flat out get up and go. Not a good bike for a beginner. Just too tempting to want and nail it. I had been riding motorcycles since I was 6 years old and very comfortable with anything on 2 wheels. Many, many years ago, I was racing a Toyota Supra on curvy mountain roads without guard rails, but it no competition. I would leave the Toyota way behind, let him catch up, then leave him way behind again. My last play was to leave him way behind, then stop to let him catch up... as I had done in other street racing "per 'se". I rolled to the inside of a wide curve at 130+... then rolled out. As long as I didn't skip on the double yellow paint, all was good. All was good, but I ran out of pavement moving outside... just by a couple of inches. I wrecked @ 115mph and skipped across the pavement like a stone across water for about 100 feet. Dumbass me, I was wearing tennis shoes a tank top shirt, no leather. But, I was wearing a high quality fullface helmet. Broken bones and severe road rash everywhere... but I lived. It was the helmet that saved my life... there is no question about it. I still ride to this day, but not as smartass I once was. To not wear a helmet, whether for vanity or the freedom of the wind... trust me, helmets do save lives.

Anyway, as Wolverine said, that tail wag can be a real problem. Gravel on intersections and curves can be a real issue for motorcycles. Plus, those Honda 650's always had a problem with tail wag... even on smooth clear pavement. Just the nature of the beast I suppose. So, you somewhat inexperinced riders... pay attention to the older folk who have been riding all their lives. Wear the helmet.


I use sticky Dunlops from Drag Specialties on my 82 650 Maxim, the tires on that bike look like high mileage (harder compound) touring tires and may not be well suited for carving up corners, I pay more and more often but the tires exceed my guts and abilities so it's all good except for sand and gravel which gives me the heebie geebies if I spot it when already commited to a corner.


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