Hit my first deer this morning - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 14 Old Oct 18th, 2009, 8:14 pm Thread Starter
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Hit my first deer this morning

While on a 'color trip' this weekend with our local Motor City Beemers Club, I hit my first deer. Whether it was God granting me traveling mercies, luck, or the possibility that my theory works, I did not go down.

Here's my theory:
When a motorcyclist hits anything in the roadway, it will seldom be 'square'. Therefore the front wheel will likely be deflected right or left. I would want maximum traction available for steering so my plan was to do maximum (straight line) braking until just before impact, then release the brakes so that I have all available traction for recovering from what might feel like a very hard press on one hand grip.

It worked. When I saw the deer entering my path of travel, I was going about 50 mph. I had very little time to brake and guess that I had slowed to about 30 when it was obvious that I was going to hit the deer. I clipped the hind leg(s) and it was a significant jar up through the forks to the handlebars. I was able to stay on the road and recover.

If I was still braking when I hit the deer, I'm not sure the front tire would not have started skidding rather than allowing me to recover from what in essence is a counter steer caused by the deer. Since we should never brake while swerving, my theory makes sense to me.

What do you think of my theory?

When you're comfortable...Riding Is Wonderful

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Last edited by MOPMan; Oct 18th, 2009 at 8:27 pm. Reason: typo error
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post #2 of 14 Old Oct 18th, 2009, 9:04 pm
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Re: Hit my first deer this morning

Works for me, its sorta a valid experience for me as well.. Wasn't a deer, but a 2" diameter pole IN a curve and no way to avoid this 12' long monster. From side of road to the middle and it was a not possible to make it over to the other side...

It was pucker up and wham...
I did the straighten up maneuver in the curve and take the pole as square as possible.
I went _ 'I did it I did it ' .....and went back to do it again.. er.... well every thing cept that last part.

Glad your OK commander.
be safe and ride on..

Don't be afraid to say what you feel, as those that matter DOnt mind and those that mind Dont matter.
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post #3 of 14 Old Oct 18th, 2009, 10:06 pm
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Re: Hit my first deer this morning

Good to hear you are O.K. Your theory makes sense to me too. By the way, what bike were you riding? I'm asking because an experienced friend suggests that bigger bikes do much better when encountering small or large animals.

2002 K1200LT
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post #4 of 14 Old Oct 19th, 2009, 1:59 am
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Re: Hit my first deer this morning

Yes, good job. Dogs are bad enough!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #5 of 14 Old Oct 19th, 2009, 8:43 am
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Re: Hit my first deer this morning

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjacobson
Yes, good job. Dogs are bad enough!

OK hijack thread.... When I was 16 I hit a dog in my dads car... It was a crown Vic.. Dog was a doberman..
Hit at 60... Total damage was 2400. back in the 70's...... Insurance adjuster asked what kind of dog does 2400.00 in damage.. Dad said it was a poodle...... I did that with 4 wheels LOL


OK hijack over...

Don't be afraid to say what you feel, as those that matter DOnt mind and those that mind Dont matter.
Dr.Suess-
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1980 YAMAHA XJ650 MAXIM (RIP)
1982 YAMAHA 750 VIRAGO (SHES GONE)
1982 SUZUKI GS1000 (GONE)
2001 BMW K1200LT
2004 BMW R 1150 RT Sold.....
2007 BMW R 1200 GS
1986 BMW K100RT WITH A FLEXIT SIDECAR
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1985 BMW K100 RT ( parts bike, but its too nice to do that, so it runs)
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post #6 of 14 Old Oct 19th, 2009, 9:59 am
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Re: Hit my first deer this morning

Glad you are okay. I think you should re-title this thread to "Hit my LAST deer this morning" just in case.

Jerry
Look in the wolf's eyes and what do you see--A guardian spirit or fierce enemy?
2008 FLHTCU White Pearl

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post #7 of 14 Old Oct 19th, 2009, 4:10 pm
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Run over if small enough - avoiding may be dangerous

Just coincidentally, I participated in a very similar thread on ADVrider yesterday.
The discussion was about hitting-versus-avoiding - with the old adage being that if it is small enough to be eaten in a single sitting, then you should run it over.

So here is that post; you may find it to be of interest:

I believe that the "eat in a single sitting" advice is just excellent. Best mnemonic you could think of. In reality, you can hit even larger animals, but the "single sitting" is a good guideline.

To give you an idea: here is a demonstration from the MS2 Motorcycle Safety School, based in Munich. Apparently, either the Germans can eat a small deer in a single sitting (with lots of Bavarian beer?) or you can run through even that size obstacle. Here, the collision is at about 100 km/h.

Actually, the demonstrating rider, owner of the MS2 school, is a very skilled ex-pro MX racer (I have been on a dual-sport tour guided by him) and even he had some trouble recovering. But the general gist of his video is that unless you are in big danger of hurting yourself in a direct collision, you are better off not trying avoidance maneuvers.

The clip is in German, but don't worry: roll up to time marker 1:15.




Robert in Northern NJ

'09 R12GS, '08 R12RT, '03 R1150RT, '01 F650GS - time to thin the herd?


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post #8 of 14 Old Oct 20th, 2009, 2:41 am
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Re: Run over if small enough - avoiding may be dangerous

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwalker
....and even he had some trouble recovering.....
Yes you can see the bars look like they want to start slapping the tank, but, he pulled out of it. I wonder how much of that is due to impact and how much is due to involuntary "anticipation" of impact?

Great video!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #9 of 14 Old Oct 20th, 2009, 6:14 am Thread Starter
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Re: Hit my first deer this morning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunderland
By the way, what bike were you riding?
R1200RT w/Givi trunk but I had left my bags at home for the weekend.

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post #10 of 14 Old Oct 20th, 2009, 6:32 am Thread Starter
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Re: Run over if small enough - avoiding may be dangerous

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwalker
the general gist of his video is that unless you are in big danger of hurting yourself in a direct collision, you are better off not trying avoidance maneuvers.
'Very interesting clip. In different segments of the clip, it looked like the front tire came off the pavement which would tell me he was't braking at time of impact. In another segment it looked like the front dipped which would tell me he was braking. Can anyone translate enough to know if they address the issue of braking AT POINT OF IMPACT?

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post #11 of 14 Old Oct 20th, 2009, 8:19 am
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Re: Run over if small enough - avoiding may be dangerous

Quote:
Originally Posted by MOPMan
'Very interesting clip. In different segments of the clip, it looked like the front tire came off the pavement which would tell me he was't braking at time of impact. In another segment it looked like the front dipped which would tell me he was braking. Can anyone translate enough to know if they address the issue of braking AT POINT OF IMPACT?
Well observed.

What Alois (the rider) is saying in the introduction just before the demo is that trying to get on the brakes is adding to the danger of the situation.

When a rider attempts panic braking, in most motorcycles the front wheel can lock up and cause the bike to fall. (My comment: even with ABS, at impact, the wheel is likely to be deflected sideways and, if under braking, may contribute to the bike falling.)

In such situation, he says, brakes are completely unnecessary and actually dangerous. He did not say anything about accelerating, but as MOPMan observed, the wheel does go up, suggesting acceleration. On the other hand, it could be also from the wheel trying to "climb" the animal. I think that the downward move of the wheel is after impact (in the last sequence) - I'm not sure.

My guess is that Alois, being an MX racer, could have applied standard obstacle-crossing technique: slowing down a bit to compress the front, then gassing up to lighten it and get most rebound. Although, he did not mention anything like that and based on the audio there was no slowing down.

My uneducated comment here would be that with the BMW Telelever front end you will not get much rebound - but that slowing down a tad may not hurt (it would be instinctive anyway) - but then being on the gas through impact would be just as important as with standard suspension.

Just some food for thought.


And one more point: when I have been riding with his school, Alois often stressed the importance of locking the arms on braking to achieve maximum stability during panic stops. That means locking shoulders and elbows stiff in order to "lean" on the handle bars and evenly distribute pressure (as opposed to "soft" holding of the bars and attempting to stabilize with legs).

According to him, locking arms on aggressive braking should become an instinctive habit. Needless to say, it probably is just as important in an animal collision.

Robert in Northern NJ

'09 R12GS, '08 R12RT, '03 R1150RT, '01 F650GS - time to thin the herd?


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Last edited by rdwalker; Oct 20th, 2009 at 8:37 am.
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post #12 of 14 Old Oct 20th, 2009, 4:58 pm
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Re: Hit my first deer this morning

I don't know about you, but I plan on trying to lower my speed as fast as possible until I know that I am going to hit the animal, then release just before.
I could not tell you how many times I have missed a collision from deer and dogs by doing this. I would hate to see what kind of shape I would be in today if I had not shed off speed as quickly as possible.
First thing is to drop a gear as fast as possible while applying the front brakes, lay on that horn and then lightly on rear brakes, while continuing dropping gears in a speedy and hard fashion. I mean grab a fist full of clutch and slam that gear shift leaver down and pop that clutch loose, keep grabbing and releasing the clutch as fast as you can slam the shift leaver down while all the time applying the brakes and feeling what the motorcycle is doing with everything within your being. Riding a motorcycle is not ( doing one thing at a time) it is many different things at a time and in the correct sequences. You just might live thru it if you do.
Those that say that applying the rear break while applying the front break does nothing at all. All I have to say is that they must be riding a different bike than mine.
I can sure tell a big difference.
God only knows that I am going to ge flamed

Richard Vogt
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post #13 of 14 Old Oct 20th, 2009, 8:58 pm
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Re: Hit my first deer this morning

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlv
I don't know about you, but I plan on trying to lower my speed as fast as possible until I know that I am going to hit the animal, then release just before...
Agree. That is actually my approach as well. However: hard braking, but not at panic level.

Robert in Northern NJ

'09 R12GS, '08 R12RT, '03 R1150RT, '01 F650GS - time to thin the herd?


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post #14 of 14 Old Oct 21st, 2009, 6:18 am
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Re: Hit my first deer this morning

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlv
.....Those that say that applying the rear break while applying the front break does nothing at all. All I have to say is that they must be riding a different bike than mine.
I can sure tell a big difference.......God only knows that I am going to ge flamed
Well I guess if you were doing a front wheelie and your rear tire was not in contact with the pavement......Or maybe if you had really bad rear brakes?

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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