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Old 11 Mar 2006
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Location: Huaraz, Peru
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Lightning strikes biker

So, I am riding straight into a black thunderstorm and think: Is it more probable to get struck by lighning on the bike? Should I ride back, or stop? What good is a helmet against 50000 volts? Can my HD run faster than light? How fast would that be? Where is the next gas station? What was the name of that girl at the bar last night? Things that go on inside the head of a deep thinking traveller.l
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Old 20 Mar 2006
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So, no replies. You huys probably think it a joke, but really: I want to know if there are any scientific facts of the possibility or danger of riding thru a thunderstorm.
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Old 21 Mar 2006
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Originally posted by Vagamundo:
So, no replies. You huys probably think it a joke, but really: I want to know if there are any scientific facts of the possibility or danger of riding thru a thunderstorm.

You absolutely can get killed by lightning riding a bike. If you get in a lightning storm while riding you should get off and park near something tall that will attract the lightning - instead of you - but not too close.

If you are standing - or riding - around, and you're the tallest thing in the area - you are at severe risk! If it's really bad and all around, lie the bike down, and lie down on the ground yourself.

Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


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Grant Johnson

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Old 21 Mar 2006
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Almost couldn't agree more with Grant.
However, I think it would be better to crouch down with your feet close together rather than lie down. If you are stretched out on the ground and lighning strikes near you there will be a large potential between head and toes. This can still kill you!

You can never have too many bikes......

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Old 22 Mar 2006
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Location: Whangarei, NZ
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Just read in a German bike mag: bikers on motorway stop under a bridge because of thunderstorm. After some waiting and the storm not letting up the magazine's writer leaves his friends to get home. After 300m he is struck by lightning and killed instantly.

I always wondered whether the water on my rainsuit might act like a Faraday cage. Now I know that it won't.

Europe to NZ 2006-10
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Old 29 Mar 2006
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Location: Petersburg, Virginia, USA
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The service manager at our local BMW dealership here in Virginia was struck and killed by lightning last year. He was on an R1100S, riding at 60 mph. He wasn't even the tallest object in the area because there were trees and powerlines on both sides. We miss him still. So it can and does happen. I use to ride right thru thunderstorms, but not anymore. Lightning awareness is necessary.

And no, there is no faraday effect that the external body of a car offers, on a motorcycle.

[This message has been edited by Jeff Munn (edited 29 March 2006).]
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Old 2 Apr 2006
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Atwoke is right. Don,t lie down on the ground, the potential-diferance of a nearby strike (even at 100 meters distance) can kill you.
Crouch (on the tip of your toe,s) and walk away (not in that order) from your bike at least 100 meters (the large metal attracks (wrong choice of words since lightning actually starts from the ground) lightning.

And most important of all..... wear a rain-suit... or you will die of an amonia


- www.maartensworld.com -
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Old 6 Apr 2006
bm bm is offline
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i was struck some time ago riding through thunderstorm. it's not a nice feeling. i just left the bike in the road and ran for the nearest ditch and waited for the storm to pass over. it's sad to hear about guys being killed by lightning. take care when riding in these conditions.
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