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Thread: Question for the Instructors and or the Extremely Experienced Rider

  1. #1
    Registered User westhautianplen's Avatar
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    Question for the Instructors and or the Extremely Experienced Rider

    Just down the road from my in-lawsÔÇÖ residence a couple riding two up hit a dog (beagle) yesterday went down and thus started the thought processes.

    I have read several books dedicated to safe riding such as Proficient motorcycling by D. Hough and have taken advanced riding courses, but all I can recall is discussions about how to continually scan for dangers. Common sense tells me to scrub off speed as fast as possible when the dangers are close or closing. But!

    My Question: If it is inevitable that you are going to hit lets say a dog, cat, etc. What would be the action to take?

    I would appreciate you sharing your thoughts
    .
    Plen Smith
    07 R1200RT

  2. #2
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    The general rule is if you can eat it in one meal, then do not brake. If you have time to brake, then do so. Right before you hit it, let off the brakes and get on the gas a bit, smoothly, grab the tank with your knees, and hit it dead on. Most of the time, I expect you will not have time to brake. Newtons laws, an object in motion will tend to stay in motion, and in a straight line. Newton rules. People have died dodging a Squirrel or Rabbit, and I know for a fact you can ride over them no problem. Other than getting the smell off the under transmission muffler, euwww!, no problem (for me)

    Obviously a cat and small dog would apply, a beagle is a gray area. You can ride over a beagle or even a larger dog, and stay up, but the odds go down and you will may have some busted plastic. However, on the gas and in a straight line would I feel give you the best chance. I did run over a medium dog on my Bicycle, and stayed up. Same rule, weight back to unload the front wheel, brace for impact, bump, when safe stop and check for damage. Dog lived, and DOES NOT chase bikes any more.

    Now a deer, big dog, if you can avoid it by swerving or braking, do so, if you accidentally go down from that, well odds were you were going down anyway. However people have cut a deer in two and not crashed. Newton is your friend. I have no personal experience with this, and hope it stays this way.

    The owner of the animal is responsible for your damages.

    Rod

  3. #3
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    I agree with Rod's comments. I'd add only that if you're going to hit something, it's way desirable to be straight up and down, not leaned over. From the traction POV, hitting an animal is like a sudden patch of oil in the middle of a turn.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

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    ABC,AMA(LIFE),MOA,RA,IBMW MANICMECHANIC's Avatar
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    Depends on how much time you have. As has been noted in various places, your training and practice come into play in an emergency. It comes down to, if you've got the time to think about it, what are YOU going to do? Otherwise, if you don't have the time to think, then you do what you've trained to do.
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    Registered User Roadhawk's Avatar
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    A lot of people panic and/or overreact when there is a dog or other critter in the road. It would be interesting to know how much notice they had to see the dog and react.

    The prescribed MSF way to deal with a chasing dog is to slow slightlyÔÇôthe dog will adjust it's line of attack based on where it thinks you will be when he gets to you. Stay in a straight line and accelerate away. You should be able to easily blow by the pooch.

    Always the best advice is to scan the road ahead and make your plan well in advance. The MSF Experienced Rider Course will help develop the skills to maneuver your machine more effectively.

    Other than that I agree, Snoopy's goin' down.
    Shawn Wallace
    Maple Grove, MN

  6. #6
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragtoplvr View Post

    The owner of the animal is responsible for your damages.

    Rod
    In several western states, if you hit livestock (cow, horse, sheep, goat, llama, etc) you are liable to the farmer/rancher for the loss of his/her livestock, fenced or not, open range or not, signed or not. Hit a cow, buy the beef!
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  7. #7
    From MARS
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    Agreeing with the analogy of bloody flesh being like an oil spot in a curve, slippery, then I would think the most prudent action to take is the same as for the "oil spot"; slow down or dodge it. Generally speaking, dogs show up where people live. If you can't see the dog running across the yard, you probably can't see a car pulling out, either. So, it would be prudent to slow down when around residences. If you can see the dog, then you should slow down because he's the "oil spot in the curve". If your riding too fast to miss a dog, then your riding too fast to miss a child.

    But if you do find yourself in this situation, then I'd agree; be upright and power on.

    Tom

  8. #8
    RK Ryder
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    Quote Originally Posted by From MARS View Post
    Generally speaking, dogs show up where people live. If you can't see the dog running across the yard, you probably can't see a car pulling out, either. So, it would be prudent to slow down when around residences. If you can see the dog, then you should slow down because he's the "oil spot in the curve". If your riding too fast to miss a dog, then your riding too fast to miss a child.

    But if you do find yourself in this situation, then I'd agree; be upright and power on.

    Tom
    I can't totally agree with your statement. I was driving the car last week on a lonely country road at the speed limit and I approached a small bridge with a farm house just past the creek. From the deep ditch on the far side of the bridge, this large dog enthusiastically appeared, almost as if from nowhere, just before my front wheels left the bridge. Didn't hit the dog but I wondered what the outcome would have been if I had been on a bike. You can scan and see most hazards in advance, but not always.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
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  9. #9
    From MARS
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    Paul, as I said, "generally" dogs are around residences, but obviously not always. Out where I live, creek bottoms and treelines are favorite crossing points for deer, turkey, and coyotes, and as such, I treat them as "hazard areas".

    I'm probably more cautious than the average rider and take the approach that I'm the one who is responsible for my safety while riding. Posted speed limits have little bearing on my "safe" speed; I ride over them sometimes and under them at others based on sight distance. After 40 years of riding motorcycles (totalling out two of them), I've learn to minimize my risk by expecting the worst in areas where I have a limited view. If bleeding off some speed and ramping up my awareness level leads to a safer ride, I ride slower. Sure, it takes me a little longer to reach my destination sometimes, but its been 25 years since I've had to replace a bike due to "strike" damage.

    Maybe it is the fact that I'm almost 60, but the adrinaline rush of blasting down a lonely road, disregarding possible hazards, doesn't hold the appeal it once did.
    Tom

  10. #10
    Registered User Roadhawk's Avatar
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    I think you make a great point that is missed by many riders; YOU are responsible for your own safety. How you scan the road ahead can give you a lot of clues as to how fast you ride and even what your lane position should be.

    An example from my own experience was on a ride through Iowa I noticed horse poo on the edge of the road. There were some blind corners coming up and knowing that we were in Amish country I figured I might be smart to look for a buggy. Sure enough there they were. BTW horse poo is kinda' slippery too so stay off of that stuff.
    Shawn Wallace
    Maple Grove, MN

  11. #11
    Rpbump USN RET CPO Rpbump's Avatar
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    Angry

    Been down twice due to large dogs (a shepard & mixed breed). The mixed breed I almost avoided but turned and ran right into me. Aside from a broken mirror the bike was fine and the dog and I were able to walk away. The shepard came as a complete suprise to me running at full tilt left to right. I do not remember being distracted but can only attribute the accident to inattention on my part. A broken turn signal, another mirror, and a pair of torn dungarees was the result. The dog picked himself up and continued running as if nothing happened. I picked the bike up and sat there for a few minutes thinking about what had just occured. Both dogs weighed about 70lbs or so. I can only imagine what contact with an animal over 200lbs would be like. My speed at the point of contact both times was 15mph or slightly slower. Be aware of your surroundings & Ride Safe.

  12. #12
    Wired for sound!
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    Along with the original OP... a follow-up...

    Would you do the same thing with linked (ABS) brakes as you would non-linked brakes?

  13. #13
    E_Page
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleMark View Post
    Along with the original OP... a follow-up...

    Would you do the same thing with linked (ABS) brakes as you would non-linked brakes?
    Yes. Whizzy brakes give a little better control in slippery situations by not locking up. But if you're in a turn when you hit the hazard, the bike can still slide from under you.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by E_Page View Post
    Yes. Whizzy brakes give a little better control in slippery situations by not locking up. But if you're in a turn when you hit the hazard, the bike can still slide from under you.
    The slippery bloody piece only occurs after impact. ABS or not, if there is any time, you want to shed some speed, as well as square and straighten up, if impact seems certain. But you want your suspension fully extended at impact, meaning throttle, no brakes; at impact ABS/not seems irrelevant. I also rise on pegs for impact.

  15. #15
    Registered User westhautianplen's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the responses.
    Plen Smith
    07 R1200RT

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