Anyone ever hit an animal?

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saganaga

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Had an interesting ride today. I was doing about 55mph on a country highway. A reckless rabbit darted from the brush and almost collided with my bike. Barely missed it out of luck - by the time I reacted, it was over.

Has anyone ever hit a small animal? If so, what happened? What did you learn from it?
 

desertrefugee

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You likely would barely have felt the rabbit. I hit a possum once in Florida at roughly 70mph. Felt a slight bump. It was late at night, but I was curious to see if I'd made contact. For giggles, I circled back - and there he was, no longer among the living. I think 8 or 900 pounds of inertia are less susceptable to disturbance by smallish objects than you might think.
 

pidjones

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[url=https://www.classicgoldwings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=217152#p217152:2gg9hy2s said:
saganaga » Thu May 07, 2020 11:12 pm[/url]":2gg9hy2s]
Had an interesting ride today. I was doing about 55mph on a country highway. A reckless rabbit darted from the brush and almost collided with my bike. Barely missed it out of luck - by the time I reacted, it was over.

Has anyone ever hit a small animal? If so, what happened? What did you learn from it?
Learned they cook up well in the crock pot, but need more garlic. :blush:
 

Dadster

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[url=https://classicgoldwings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=217156#p217156:orhglog2 said:
pidjones » Fri May 08, 2020 7:25 am[/url]":eek:rhglog2]
[url=https://www.classicgoldwings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=217152#p217152:orhglog2 said:
saganaga » Thu May 07, 2020 11:12 pm[/url]":eek:rhglog2]
Had an interesting ride today. I was doing about 55mph on a country highway. A reckless rabbit darted from the brush and almost collided with my bike. Barely missed it out of luck - by the time I reacted, it was over.

Has anyone ever hit a small animal? If so, what happened? What did you learn from it?
Learned they cook up well in the crock pot, but need more garlic. :blush:

Best served with red wine
 

julimike54

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Years ago on a CB900C in NM late at night I saw something dart from the left and it tried to go under the bike. It didn't make it, ran it over with the rear tire, just a bump in the road :) Wasn't curious enough to go back and see what I'd run over.....
 

dan filipi

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I can’t relate to hitting anything but I can to plenty of close calls. Mostly squirrels that dart out then stop juuust before I hit as if they mis judged my speed or something lol
 

detdrbuzzard

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years ago i had a small animal dart out and hit the left rotor cover on my wing. i was on a group ride at the time and when we got to out destination a few of the guys asked me if i hit the cat? i didn't know what it was but there was blood on the rotor cover, all i could say was the handlebars shook really bad
 

Winger 82

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Hit a woodchuck while riding 2 up one day, he came across the road so fast so I just grab a whole handfull of throttle and hollered to the wife to hold on, he made quit a rattle under the bike got him with both front and back tires and only felt a small bump, was pretty lucky
 

pidjones

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I had a friend hit a deer at about 50 mph. Stayed on the throttle and drove through it. GL1800 had a few pieces of cracked plastic but protected him and he stayed up. Split the deer.
 

mcgovern61

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[url=https://classicgoldwings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=217185#p217185:1moiypc0 said:
pidjones » Sat May 09, 2020 9:02 am[/url]":1moiypc0]
I had a friend hit a deer at about 50 mph. Stayed on the throttle and drove through it. GL1800 had a few pieces of cracked plastic but protected him and he stayed up. Split the deer.
:shock: :shock:
 

desertrefugee

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I still think that the differential in mass and inertia between a large motorcycle and a reasonably small animal should result almost a non-event - just a little Ripple in the time warp. I think a lot of the crashes result in the reaction... Or overreaction of the rider to the situation. Grit your teeth and power through it. More often than not, I think the motorcycle will come out on top and upright. Look at the deer incident above. Likely happened so fast that the rider had no chance to react and so he powered through!
 

DaveKamp

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For some animals, it takes LOTS of garlic, and LOTS of red wine...

Yes, MOST serious injuries and loss-of-controls that occur from animal strikes, are from riders trying to slow, dodge, and only being partially successful. Key circumstance is dynamic stability. A motorcycle, when moving at a fair clip, is an object in motion that prefers to stay in motion... and it WANTS to stay upright and go straight ahead. Try this sometime: Take a wheel off a motorcycle, hold it by the axle, with your palms facing up... and have a friend spin it by hand, to as FAST as they can get it to go. Once it's spinning, let go of one side, and then open your other hand.
The wheel will stay on your open hand... it will NOT fall off. Why? Gyroscopic force from that spinning wheel is stronger than gravity. Now, the wheel will want to slowly rotate on it's axis, so you'll have to slowly pivot to allow it to turn without hitting your arm... but it WILL stay upright.
If you were to get a motorcycle up to speed, and step off, with the throttle locked, it would keep going, provided it had a clear, straight path, just fine, without you. IT will traverse bumps in the road (by virtue of gyroscopic stability), and gently steer itself to the crown (by virtue of rake and trail)... all by itself. Standing on the brakes and trying to swerve throws all this stability out-the-window, so a good hard jolt under that circumstance, could dump you.

Many years ago, I saw a guy in his 50's riding a Honda sportbike... like a CBR600 or so... wearing all the proper gear, going the speed limit, split a deer. It was gory, his leathers looked like they participated in a chainsaw massacre. He was lucky the deer was young, if it was any taller, it would've been high enough to clear the triple trees and hit him in face and chest, and pull him right off the bike.

I was on my CX500D, riding down US67 through Pleasant Valley, Iowa with a bunch of morning commuters all heading into town ahead of me. All at once, I saw cars start darting and braking. The guy behind me wasn't paying attention and didn't brake 'till he'd come right up into my left quarter, guy in the front went right, and another guy running right up towards my tail, so I was immediately out of exit options, when I saw what they'd avoided.... about a 100lb golden retriever, dead in the left-center of my lane, right where I was 'pinned in'. I couldn't go to either side, as the automobile drivers' skills were insufficient in allowing me escape, so I had to go over. I slid way back on the seat, then up on my feet, and rode over it as if I was on a 600lb enduro bike. I had a GL1000 front end on the CX-500, so LOTS of ground clearance and suspension travel, I went over it without drama. The moron tailgating me wasn't so lucky, he wound up sideways and T-boned. I'm certain the poor pooch had been dead for a few hours.

In my case, the animal was not much of a danger. The idiotic response of drivers AROUND me WAS.

While one of our local groundhog would certainly hurt (they're TOUGH) I don't think the GL would do much more than bump hard. I'd probably be more worried that he'd survive, and get tossed up onto the seat behind me, and then wish to express his disapproval... basically, like riding 2-up with a honey badger... :shock: :shock: (edit- Or my wife. She doesn't like motorcycling... :rant:

If I were to forcibly enter anything bovine, I'd be worried about the impact, but aside from that, it'd be all the flying plastic shards looking for a me to sushi.

Back when I taught at railroads, the most terrifying thing locomotive operators had to run over, were either truckloads of steel pipe, or shopping carts. The former because it was guaranteed to be a mess, and the latter because after going over, it would tumble and snag, ripping every hose, wire, and bracket off the underside of every car... and I'm confident that a motorcycle encounter of that kind, would be unkind...
 

Ohara

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I hit a raccoon on the way to work one day , it was a big adult. It came out of the long grass at the side of the road, right in front of me. Only had time to grip the bars, I really felt it hit. The bike wobbled a lot but I continued on my way. I was traveling along at about 55 mph. I believe that if I had of had time to hit the brakes I would have gone down. I should have stopped to check on the raccoon but I was in shock and kept ridding. Upon arriving at work I removed a large clump of fur from the bottom of the bike.
 

DaveKamp

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So I thought about this a bit more last night, and for the 'what have I learned from it'...

I'm an incredibly experienced bicyclist, and my primary riding is on high performance road frames- lightweight, narrow high pressure tires (7/8", at 150psi) Extremely low rolling resistance, but as a tradeoff, very sensitive to cracks, expansion joints, uphevals, patches, curbs, manhole covers, sewere grates, sand, glass, and (on the local bike paths) dogs on retractable leashes. When not on rural byways, I ride converted railway trails, which are frequently topped with compacted limestone chips, and sometimes, a little asphalt. Two-three decades ago, I enjoyed state park paths with a mountain bike, which had substantially fatter (2.25") tires and ran around 40psi... much more forgiving, but at a high price for rolling resistance.

My reason for pointing this out... is that because of bicycling, I'm certain that I ride a motorcycle, and react to road circumstances different than if I were just a casual motorcyclist. On a bicycle, it's not unusual for an automobile driver to errantly turn in front of me, or run me against a curb. It's also not unusual for road damage to leave me a very difficult path to navigate, and for simple self-preservation, I've become adept at hopping vertically over obstructions, laterally onto, or over curbs, and passing over surfaces that really aren't conducive to rolling.

I wouldn't choose to ride over an animal on a bicycle, but... bicycles... especially my road frames, don't generate the kind of gyroscopic stability that a medium-and-up motorcycle wheel does. It's not about the speed (I CAN exceed posted speed limits at times)... it's about the polar moment of the much heavier motorcycle wheel. At 60mph, my bicycle wheel exhibits enough gyroscopic stability to feel in the handlebars... but the motorcycle wheel will develop many orders-of-magnitude more at only 15mph.

So swerve/dodge circumstances are totally different. The one aspect that IS shared... is up-and-over. I survived going over the dog because I treated it as if I was bicycling over a curb. Had I sat heavy in the saddle and braced for impact, I probably would NOT have cleared it, and landed gracefully on the other side. Most motorcycles, with no riders mounted, are biased a bit more towards the front wheel. With a rider on, the center of gravity goes higher, and rearward. A bicycle is no different in this respect, but the addition of the rider (being 20x the weight of the bicycle) onto the saddle fastly raises the center of gravity... it's still fairly forward biased. The catch, is that when I'm sitting in the saddle, and I STAND on the pedals and relax my elbows, the center of gravity of the bicycle IMMEDIATELY goes down almost five FEET... the bicycle now pivots on the center of the crank, which is only 17" off the ground.

To replicate this on a motorcycle, one stands on the pegs (keep knees bent), and relax on the handlebars.

staying ridgid on the seat, and bracing your arms, means the CG stays high, and the bike cannot modulate beneath you. It'd be difficult to re-read my suggestion here while riding into a deer, and it takes reflexes to do it, but if you desire practice, then try this on rough segments of road... but fortunately, you probably already DO this unknowinginly for comfort...

The only other part is ground clearance. My CX has enormous ground clearance as a result of the GL1000 front-end conversion.

My GL1200's ground clearance... well if there was one thing I COULD change, that'd be it... but with the exhaust down there, it probably won't be much.
 

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When I was 21 (1986) I had a 1977 Yamaha XS750 2D, and it was a heavy horse! One day I had a rabbit attempt to leap across the road in front of me when I was only doing about 50 mph. the leading edge of the front fender caught the rabbit dead-center in mid-leap. I had no windscreen on the bike, so the resulting mess bathed me from my chest up. I was wearing a button-down dress shirt, and my new Bieffe full-face helmet. I was only 1 mile from home, so when I got there I just parked the bike in the front yard, and left my helmet, shirt, and gloves all right there on the ground next to it. Never felt any impact, not even a twitch from the bike, but it made a really disgusting mess, lol!
 

skiri251

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I hit a midium sized bird (like a blue jay) on an Interstate somewhere in Idaho or Montana aboard V30 Magna with large windshield 30 something years ago.
It was nothing. i guess birds are fairy light.
 

desertrefugee

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Yep. I had a bird swoop in front of me once. I was wearing just a t-shirt. He was a decent size and hit me on the forearm. Hurt a bit, but was pretty much a non-event. (For me, that is. It was a life ending event for the bird...)
 

DaveKamp

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Ugh... bad thing about birds, is they have some really sharp edges... and usually, the one in the pointed front of their face hits 'ya. I had a red-wing blackbird dive at me while I was raking hay one day, poked a hole my shoulder blade... I boffed a wild turkey with my '82 F100 on the way to college... it wasn't light, I'm surprised that the windshield didn't crack- it DID shatter my deflecto-shield...
 
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