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post #1 of 15 Old Apr 1st, 2008, 5:35 am Thread Starter
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Hail

I live in Oklahoma and although tornados are mean I feel like I can outride one. Most of them only move at 35mph or so. My LT should keep me out of their way. My concern is riding into a thunderstorm and it start hailing. Now what does one do to keep from getting hurt? I know the obvious, look for cover but if there just isn't any, then what. especially if it starts getting up to golf ball size and larger. Keep your helmet on is a given. Then what? Don
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post #2 of 15 Old Apr 1st, 2008, 5:51 am
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Re: Hail

Having ridden through Oklahoma, I can understand that there could be places where there is NO cover available. The best solution is to slow down or stop. Hail storms usually don't last that long, so you should be able to ride one out. Even a vertical surface could provide some shelter if it puts you leeward to the storm.

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post #3 of 15 Old Apr 1st, 2008, 7:08 am
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Red face Re: Hail

My Cuz and I were caught in a hail strom in SD one august with no cover for miles. We stopped and at first I was worrying about my LT and then I was seriously worried for my life! I had on full riding gear and was tucked as far between the front fender and the the body of the bike as I could get. Croutched down and tucked in, trying to also keep the bike from blowing over. My Cuz had yanked the windshield from his Road King and was trying to shelter under it. We could not hear anything but the crash of hail on our helmets. After about ten minutes or so a park ranger stopped and we got in his truck. My Cuz was in his HD riding gear (muscle shirt) and was bruised like he had been beat with a bat. The tops of my hands were bruised and I had on riding gloves. One hail stone actually dented his steel gas cap. Only damage to the LT was holes in the vinyl parts of the rear trunk. May be hard for some to believe but I was really fearing for my life. Hail sucks!
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post #4 of 15 Old Apr 1st, 2008, 7:32 am
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Re: Hail

[warning.. sorta... attempted humor may be included]

First... don't ride into hail if you have a choice... it's one thing to get hit.. it's another to try to ride on marbles... even tho the LT is from dasFatherland, it is not like Oklahoma...

Second... if you are CAUGHT with out cover, STOP.. or slow down...without getting run over and keep your 'lines' as vertical as possible.

Third... tow a "storm shelter" to crawl into... (or use HD Windscreen)

Fourth... I think it would be prudent to own and USE one of those "weather function" GPS units to be warned and AVOID the bad wx.

...............
J.M.J...
Dcn Channing

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post #5 of 15 Old Apr 1st, 2008, 8:48 am
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Re: Hail

Me thinks they don't understand Don.

Helmet and good jacket with protection should help.

Try to get under an overpass.

If I thought I was running into a supercell I'd just take a left and go the other way for a while.

I'll get up there and see you one of these days.

John

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post #6 of 15 Old Apr 1st, 2008, 8:58 am
 
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Red face Re: Hail

Mrs. Undrtkr and I were on the LT heading across NE New Mexico (87/64) toward Raton Pass on our way up into Colorado last June for a little sightseeing. Two lane road, no skirt on either side (just ditch) and absolutely no place to pull off or find shelter (30 miles out of Raton). One of the reknown NM afternoon sudden summer storms came up on us. Rain first, then instantly turned to dime/quarter sized hail. I turned the flashers on and slowed down to 10-15 mph. There was about a foot of pavement on the edge of the road so I thought I would stop and try to sit it out but I was afraid someone would rear end us because they couldn't see any better than we could. I told her get back on, hunker down as close to me as you can and we are going to ride it out. I proceeded at about 15 mph with flashers on and rode out of it in about 10 minutes. We both had helmets and jackets on. Although the protection of the windshield is excellent on the LT, the storm came at us from the side so I was only partially protected. Her shoulders, the top of her left thigh/shoulder and my left thigh/shoulder received dime sized bruises all over. We looked like leopards when we stopped that evening. Her much worse than me. The next morning, her red welps had turned to numerous bruises. I think we are still pulling ice chunks out of our seat cracks. The road was white covered with the hail but the weight of the LT kept her steady and we drove slowly out of the storm, no slippin/sliden'. We chose to drive out of it because we were getting beat up pretty bad just standing on side of the road with no tarp to get under. I think we received fewer hits when we were moving than when we stood still. The bike did fine, no damage. I got a busted lip from a direct hit but otherwise, just bruises. That was the second storm in two days. The first one caught us just outside Lubbock the previous afternoon. Found shelter and sat that one out.
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post #7 of 15 Old Apr 1st, 2008, 9:11 am
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Re: Hail

Boy did you bring back a horrid memory for me...gee...thanks.

I lost most of the plastic on my GW in a hail storm in the Oklahoma Pan Handle a few years ago. Baseball size hail and the sun was shinning. I could see the storm and it was moving south to north as I was headed west and I thought I would pass right behind it, but then it turned leaving me no where to go. There was no cover, no underpasses, trees, gas stations, I was literally out in the middle of no where. All I could do is put the bike on the side stand with the wind and lie on the ground basically under the lean of the bike. I hoped like hell the wind didn't push it over on to me too. I still got pelted by several ice balls, and I could see black plastic flying everywhere. I couldn't hear anything because the sound of the ice hitting my bike was deafening. The side panel against my back was the only plastic that wasn't damaged. It took out the seat, dash, faring, all the bags, fuel tank, all the controls and basically left me with a piece of useless metal...this was before cell phones too (not that there are any towers out in the pan handle anyway ), so I had to wait for a farmer to come down the road and he drove home and called a wrecker for me. A lot of livestock died as a result of this storm. I was sore for several days along my legs and shoulders, which took most of the impacts. The insurance company tried to fix my bike and wouldn't total it, but while it was in the shop a wiring harness developed some problems and then it couldn't be repaired. Never underestimate the power of a friendly bike shop to a traveler.

It was not as bad as the storm that hit Fort Worth back in 94, but for me it was a terrifying event because I really thought I might die. During the Fort Worth storm I was under the awning of a gas station and watched as softball size hail fell for 22 minutes and was so dense that it piled up to 3' on the roads and ground. Eight people died from being hit by hail that day. Hail taint fun a-tal.

Jerry
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2008 FLHTCU White Pearl

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Last edited by Lonewuff; Apr 1st, 2008 at 9:36 am.
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post #8 of 15 Old Apr 1st, 2008, 11:20 am
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Exclamation Re: Hail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewuff
Boy did you bring back a horrid memory for me...gee...thanks.

I lost most of the plastic on my GW in a hail storm in the Oklahoma Pan Handle a few years ago. Baseball size hail and the sun was shinning. I could see the storm and it was moving south to north as I was headed west and I thought I would pass right behind it, but then it turned leaving me no where to go. There was no cover, no underpasses, trees, gas stations, I was literally out in the middle of no where. All I could do is put the bike on the side stand with the wind and lie on the ground basically under the lean of the bike. I hoped like hell the wind didn't push it over on to me too. I still got pelted by several ice balls, and I could see black plastic flying everywhere. I couldn't hear anything because the sound of the ice hitting my bike was deafening. The side panel against my back was the only plastic that wasn't damaged. It took out the seat, dash, faring, all the bags, fuel tank, all the controls and basically left me with a piece of useless metal...this was before cell phones too (not that there are any towers out in the pan handle anyway ), so I had to wait for a farmer to come down the road and he drove home and called a wrecker for me. A lot of livestock died as a result of this storm. I was sore for several days along my legs and shoulders, which took most of the impacts. The insurance company tried to fix my bike and wouldn't total it, but while it was in the shop a wiring harness developed some problems and then it couldn't be repaired. Never underestimate the power of a friendly bike shop to a traveler.

It was not as bad as the storm that hit Fort Worth back in 94, but for me it was a terrifying event because I really thought I might die. During the Fort Worth storm I was under the awning of a gas station and watched as softball size hail fell for 22 minutes and was so dense that it piled up to 3' on the roads and ground. Eight people died from being hit by hail that day. Hail taint fun a-tal.
Holy shit man! I've only been in golf ball sized hail and that was bad enough. OK needs some public storm shelters.

'07 - R1200RT Slippery Silver

MOA #107139
RA #28511

Past rides:
'03 R1150RT - MAXed out
'03 K1200LTC - Gone to the Darko side
'00 Kawasaki Concours - Buzz
'71 Honda SL350 - The original dual-sport
'72 Kawasaki 250 triple - The smoking gun
'67 Montgomery Wards 125 - Thrashed to death
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post #9 of 15 Old Apr 1st, 2008, 4:42 pm
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Re: Hail

Quote:
Originally Posted by donscoin
I live in Oklahoma and although tornados are mean I feel like I can outride one. Most of them only move at 35mph or so. My LT should keep me out of their way. My concern is riding into a thunderstorm and it start hailing. Now what does one do to keep from getting hurt? I know the obvious, look for cover but if there just isn't any, then what. especially if it starts getting up to golf ball size and larger. Keep your helmet on is a given. Then what? Don
You shouldn't be "riding into a thunderstorm". Hail is only one of your worries. Motorcycle and bicycle riders get killed every year by lightning. Thunderstorms and their dangers are temporary. Pull off...wait 30 min...enjoy the rest of your ride.

Man, that sounds like what a meteorologist would say!


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post #10 of 15 Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 6:25 am
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Re: Hail

I rode up Wolf Creek Pass in a hailstorm. It was pea-sized and it bounced off my glasses and hit the cheeks of my face. It burned like fire. I finally found a place to pull off because it was blinding me. I was wearing a half helmet. A Harley guy and his wife were there on the side of the road. We waited it out for about 20 minutes and it piled up about three inches deep in our seats. We were only about 100 yards from the snow tunnel at the top but we didn't know it. The hail being washed down the road by the rain looked like an avalanche. It was sunny on the other side. We rode down the mountain for some hot coffee at the bottom at Pagosa Springs. We were soaked to the bone. I can't imagine golf ball sized hail. It would really have to hurt............

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post #11 of 15 Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 1:34 pm
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Re: Hail

Quote:
Originally Posted by rattler50
We were soaked to the bone. I can't imagine golf ball sized hail. It would really have to hurt............
You're riding a Beemer now, which means full waterproof and breathable gear and a proper helmet. Being wet on a bike just sucks, and there's really no reason for it if you're prepared. Being cold sucks too, but the LT can easily handle two full sets of heated gear so there's really no reason to suffer.

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post #12 of 15 Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 2:46 pm
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Re: Hail

Don't you just hate logic and practicality...and the pricks that spout that crap all the time?

Jerry
Look in the wolf's eyes and what do you see--A guardian spirit or fierce enemy?
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post #13 of 15 Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 3:04 pm
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Re: Hail

Holy crap ... when I read the first post I thought, "This can't be much of an issue."

Then I read the horror stories.

Wow ... unbelievable.
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post #14 of 15 Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 8:03 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Hail

There have been hail storms with hail the size of softballs. Normally when that happens the hail is few and far between. The smaller the stones the closer they are together. What got me thinking about this was a storm the other night that the hail was about nickel size and in about 10 minuets the patio had three inches of hail on it. That size will leave some serious black and blue spots. Thank goodness I was watching from inside the house. Don
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post #15 of 15 Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 9:36 pm
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Re: Hail

Headed from Lafayette, Louisiana to Atlanta, Georgia back in 1989, on I-10 and just East of Mobile, Alabama, I-10 has no shoulder and is built on "raised" roadbed (just off the edge of road, ground dropped about a dozen feet)

It was raining as we left Mobile, but did not seem "serious".. Wrong.

Once we were "committed" to the no-shoulder-road area, things changed quickly. The sky became "green" and thunderstorms rippled quickly to huge "Anvil" shape. oh-oh. We ride into the rain, looking for the FIRST exit... had to keep moving or get run over by someone...

Wind and rain increase.. blowing at near 90 degrees to road..... and we are riding our Harleys at what seemed a 45 degree lean angle just to travel in a straight line... soaked to the bone... next thing we are getting pelted by dime size hail and then near quarter size..... then almost golf ball size.... also blowing across the road at near horizontal....

Then the most unusual feeling... my "lap" is getting very cold... I glance down to see my lap is now full of hail stones....

We're having fun now!!!!

AS I slap the ice from my lap I notice out the corner of my eye that my riding buddy's doing the same thing!!

This goes on for what seems another 10-15 minutes...

Finally the right solid white line departs to the right... FINALLy and EXIT! We dive into it looking for an overpass or other cover. We stop at the intersection and as I put my feet down, water is over my boots and muffler is "gurgling" as it's underwater.

About that time we stopped, the sky lifts a bit and we spot a gas station across the road and head over there.

As we drive up, we notice, there is glass and hail all over the ground.... the glass is from the windows of the store. We walk up to the door and step through it.. it's broken.... no one around.. so we holler.. "anyone here".... the second time we yell we get a reply from the refrigerator.... "Hey, where did you guys come from?" "We just pulled in from Mobile.. "

5 people look at us like we are fresh off the spaceship. The clerk says... "you gotta be kidding... a tornado just went through here...."

Sky clears a bit more... and we can see the damage... I say... "Yup...Musta been a twister... do you think your pumps still work?"

...............
J.M.J...
Dcn Channing

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