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  #16  
Old 14 Mar 2006
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There are a bazillion critters that can get you, all when you least expect it. I see on the road-kill list roos, dogs, an almost pig, cattle, racoons etc. I have one that even today, several years afterwards still makes me chuckle...sort of. I didn't find it too damned funny at the time though. I hit a family sized Canada Goose in full flight...Get this, I was riding a Moto Guzzi nicknamed "Goose". The bird had (I guess) just lifted off from a pond beside the highway. It hit right between my forks, just under the Vetter fairing. The fairng lifted off the mounts and the momentum of the bird shoved me into oncoming traffic. Fortunately other drivers were awake and bailed out of our way. The front of the bike was a complete mess but aside from swallowing some serious down feathers we were safe. There are many "if's" in recounting a wildlife strike, in my case I would suggest that if Mr. Goose had another 18" of altitude I probably wouldn't be recounting the whole issue today. My best advice...Keep your eyes peeled and be ready to escape...oh, and do this when you're tired, hot and loaded heavy. Also as my Mum used to always tell me, "you should have seen that coming". Right. Thanks Mum. I Hope the bones heal quick and you get on your way in record time. One last thought, never nickname your bike "moose" or "cow"...
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  #17  
Old 14 Mar 2006
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Dave I'm glad you were as lucky as you were. As a farmer I raise cows for beef .I've been steppped on,kicked and completely knocked flat by them.
So far my motorcycle animal conflicts have been,a small bird splsttered on acrash bar,a center punched peacock on my Z-1 that took out the headlight ,instruments,and switch before hitting the top of my head as i crouched low on the tank,a screech owl that swooped out of a tree and punched me in the chest,a ground hog that ran out of the ditch at areally bad time,and the big one a Throughbred race horse yearling that decided to jump the paddock fence right as I was passing on my MZ.The horse's chest knocked the top board out in the road where it hit my hand from below,jammed my wrist and severed the little finger at the 1st knucle.
None of these incidents resulted in crashes.I don't know why not nor can I offer advice to prevent reacurrance,except be alert and forwarned that animals are unpredictable.

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  #18  
Old 29 Mar 2006
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It's nice to see the "what could I have done differently" attitude instead of the perhaps more common egotistical "there was nothing I could do" attitude that contributes to all the horrible motorcycle statistics. It seems that in this case you did all you could do.

Once a baby deer ran into the side of the front wheel of my bmw r1100?rs? while I was going about 40mph on a gravel road in a straight line. The deer was only about the mass of a small/medium dog. The deer came at me from the right and was knocked back to the right side of the road by the front wheel and the protruding cyclinder. This did not make me crash. The bike twiched a bit, no big deal. In my mirror I saw the deer spinning around like a top until it hit the ditch. It got back up and ran off. Some hair was jammed between the front tire and rim and the cylinder guard on that side was broken.

I feel like I reacted well to the situation. There was no time to scrub off much speed, so I just maintained a steady pace and relaxed my arms, giving the bike the best chance to recover itself from the destablizing situation I knew I was about to encounter. If about to hit something that is basically immovable like a cow the swerve is probably the better idea!

I've had many close encounters with larger dear but fortunately no impacts with larger animals.

I also hit a big rabit once while going about 80mph in a straight line. The only result of this was, like before, a twitch in the handlebars and, I assume, a dead rabbit.

While riding across whyoming on a totally empty road crossing open fields, there was no traffic and nowhere for anything to hide, and I was on a sportbike (YZF600R), so I was having a difficult time coming up with a reason to go any less than about 120mph. I saw some road kill up ahead and positioned myself in the clear part of the lane. What I didn't notice was the bird feeding on the road kill. It was about the size of a baseball or softball I guess. It flew up at just the right moment and went THROUGH my windsheild. It basically popped from impact with the windsheild and its remains sprayed all over my visor as I was tucked in behind the shield. There was no feeling of impact, just a pop sound and instantly my visor is covered with red. I could see just barely enough to slow down and safely pull off. It was really discusting. One of its feet was wedged into a crack around the hole in the windsheeld, and I had to wipe all the remains off my visor. A small bird is no match for a motorcycle, but What if the impact had been directly with my visor? eeow! Or if I wasn't wearing a full-faced helmet?
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  #19  
Old 29 Mar 2006
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experience: hit in the visor by a sparrow.
lesson: sparrows are full of custard.

experience: running over snakes.
lesson: lift feet up round bars, always check the snake has been flicked out behind you and is not wrapped up somewhere on the bike...

experience: trying to squeeze past cattle down an Indian alleyway when one mounted the other resulting in a rocking bike wedged between cattle and wall.
lesson: still trying to figure that one out...
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  #20  
Old 29 Mar 2006
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A few years ago (Ok bastardo's almost 20) i hit two kangaroos in three days between Bungendore and Canberra in the early morning. The first was in freezing fog on a dirt road and I tore off the throttle and got a little muddy, skippy hopped away unpeturbed. After a day getting the bike fixed I headed out to work and almost goaled the two big greys jumping from a cutting on the road. I went behind the first but the second struck the lefthand pannier. The skippy rolled then bounded off, I wobbled but didn't fall, lucky as I was doing about 100kph. The bikes pannier was knocked off and the rear mudgaurd of the r100rt ripped from its mounts. The farner standing on the corner just shook his head and continued chewing on his straw.

If you want to hit animals for the experience speed across the Nullabor Plain at night.

Where is Vincent the Kazak goat killer?

I think the theory is that if its small, like a dog just accelerate over it, if it is a cow...dont hit it!

get well soon

alec
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  #21  
Old 30 Mar 2006
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Ive noticed that the riders of boxer engined bmw's were saved by the protruding cylinder head knocking the creature out the way!
perhaps bmw should market this as saftey feature!!

hope your Getting better david.

Regards

Lee
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  #22  
Old 30 Mar 2006
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Years ago, my uncle was riding his Matchless 350 when a large hare ran out and got tangled in his front wheel. Somehow in the chaos he came down, clouted his head (no helmet laws in those days) and woke up to find the medicos frantically searching his body for the source of the blood and guts that was covering him. My worst is a blackbird fair on the kneecap at 135km/h. It knocked my leg off the footpeg and had me limping for a while.

Regards

Nigel in NZ

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  #23  
Old 30 Mar 2006
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I've killed at least 3 sheep. All with a bm boxer engine. Different occasions though. Yet to hit an emu. Some near misses though. Roos I have hit, but no fall and they dissapeared too quickly to see if they had damage. Had one run into the side of a 4WD I was driving at about 5 mph... bang, what the ???? look in mirrors to see roo picking it self up and hopping away.

My take. If you can miss the animal do that. If you are going to hit it, brake harde, release brakes just before hit and hit it square on - should minimse the damages to you and yer bike. Don't ride at night. You need to sleep sometime.
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  #24  
Old 21 Apr 2006
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Smile Back on the road, some thoughts...

Well folks we are back on the road, we have been riding about 2 weeks now. The shoulder is almost fully healed. Fortunately, my confidence (or Erika's, thank goodness) didn't take much of a beating and riding is again...fun.

The animal stories have been great and we can certainly gain from other people's experiences. Keep the stories coming.

We all learn lessons from a crash, and I did too. I realized that now matter how experienced we are (or THINK we are), s**t can happen out there, and its certainly wise to be prepared in advance for these things. Good quality protective gear and a comprehensive medical policy are a must. My BMW jacket and pants certainly saved me from much worse. Trust in others is also important, you may have to depend on others to help you.

Interestingly enough, as I was recovering a few days after the crash in my hotel room, I got the opportunity to watch a bit of Moto GP action. I forget where the race was, but it was raining and wet on the track. As Valentino Rossi braked just prior to entering a turn, he hit a slick spot, missed the turn and crashed. Moments later, two other riders hit the exact same slick spot and also crashed. Certainly these riders didn't crash due to a lack of skill, they just had some bad luck too.

But I realized something else. Bad luck doesn't just happen to motorcyclists. Car drivers get into accidents too. And it seems like everytime I check the BBC website another bus plunges off a cliff in a developing country. Pedestrians? Bottom of the totem pole, especially in Asia. I didn't realize I could run so fast.

My conclusion is that life is full of hazards, but its also full of rewards. What do you want to focus on? Motorcycle travel is one of the greatest rewards of all. I wouldn't trade my experiences on this journey for anything.

See you on the road...
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  #25  
Old 23 Jun 2008
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Avoiding wildlife collisions

Where I live in western Canada, the prime time in motorcycling season for wildlife to be moving is the first two hours after sunrise, and the the last two hours before dark. That is the highest hazard time for critters to be crossing the road. The big ones, like mountain sheep, deer ,elk and moose are the obvious hazards, but I have had near misses with bears, and wild turkeys, gophers and song birds are no fun to hit either. Marmots and gophers often build their holes along highway edges, and dig under the concrete barriers, and can be seen sunning themselves, and like to run across the highway. Some of them seem suicidal.They are most active middle of the day. They are the perfect size to take out a bike.

Clues are to watch for red splash marks where bigger vehicles have hit animals, and of course roadkill. Slow way down. At dusk, eyes can shine, but this only works if they are looking your way.

My suggestion is to travel 10 or 20 km slower than usual, and avoid those times if possible. I usually have dinner about then, and don't usually travel til 7 AM or so. After dark is hazardous, and slow, and not recommended. Moose are remarkably black at night. Everyone I know has a collision or near miss story to tell, usually totalling any vehicle never mind a bike.
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  #26  
Old 23 Jun 2008
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Donkey anyone?

I remember in Mali somewhere this donkey in the middle of the road, not really moving. Very pissed off with donkeys at that stage i thought I would accelerate towards it horn blowing and screaming in my helmet. The thing still didnt move and this game of chicken was now not in my favour. Slamming on breaks, I realised that the front legs were tied together and it was in actual fact running as fast as it could, wide eyed, each foot only moving foreward an inch at a time.!!
Just remember if you are VERY VERY bad in this life, you will come back as a donkey in north west africa in the next!
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  #27  
Old 23 Jun 2008
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Seaton View Post
There are a bazillion critters that can get you, all when you least expect it. I see on the road-kill list roos, dogs, an almost pig, cattle, racoons etc. I have one that even today, several years afterwards still makes me chuckle...sort of. I didn't find it too damned funny at the time though. I hit a family sized Canada Goose in full flight...Get this, I was riding a Moto Guzzi nicknamed "Goose". The bird had (I guess) just lifted off from a pond beside the highway. It hit right between my forks, just under the Vetter fairing. The fairng lifted off the mounts and the momentum of the bird shoved me into oncoming traffic. Fortunately other drivers were awake and bailed out of our way. The front of the bike was a complete mess but aside from swallowing some serious down feathers we were safe. There are many "if's" in recounting a wildlife strike, in my case I would suggest that if Mr. Goose had another 18" of altitude I probably wouldn't be recounting the whole issue today. My best advice...Keep your eyes peeled and be ready to escape...oh, and do this when you're tired, hot and loaded heavy. Also as my Mum used to always tell me, "you should have seen that coming". Right. Thanks Mum. I Hope the bones heal quick and you get on your way in record time. One last thought, never nickname your bike "moose" or "cow"...

Glad you're OK. There was a recent thread on this topic, where contributors did as much damage to each other as the cows which got whacked on the road.....
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