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Old 11-16-2014, 01:23 PM   #1
phubner OP
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Thumb ATGATT - How I walked away from Deer strike

A few weeks ago I was riding with a friend through the Texas Hill Country. Both riding R1200GSAs. The road was a 2 lane Texas farm road (1 lane each direction) with a speed limit of 75. I was leading by as few hundred yards and we were riding west at about 530pm in late October at 60mph. The sun was low, but not in our eyes, and we were 20 miles from setting up camp. We had had a great day making our way south from the Dallas area on farm and country back roads.

The road was surrounded by ranches on both sides, with high deer fencing. What I discovered is that Deer fencing works both ways.

As I crossed a short (20') concrete culvert bridge, a young 8 point buck with nowhere to run, bolted from the tall grass and shallows in the culvert into my front wheel. This turned my handlebars full left. Now at 60mph, a perpendicular wheel only does two things: 1 - it forces the bike down HARD to the right, and 2 - it acts as a really effective brake for the front end. As a result, the bike started its tumble.

I posted up when the deer hit, which was a good thing because I superman'd over/into the left side of the wind shield. After a brief and painless flight, I paid my respects to the pavement with my right side shoulder and arm taking the impact. I tumbled/rolled about 6 times in the blind. I say 'blind' because at that rate of spinning, I couldn't make sense of the blur. What I did sense was the distinct flopping over and over and my feet and heels repeatedly contacting the ground. I was able to pull my arms in a bit so I wasn't flailing and this gave me a bit of control.

I was able to stop on my back and slide for a while, and this was a where my respect really kicked in. I consciously noticed that everywhere that my body was in contact with the road, there was a pad or shield in place. Every. Single. Point.

My back, forearms, heels, butt, hands and head all were on a feather-soft cushion... well at least compared to the blacktop. I slid to a stop feet first in the center of my lane and seconds later my buddy stopped in front of me. I flashed him a thumbs-up and said I was not going to move and was going to run an internal diagnostic (yeah nerdy but accurate). I started with my fingertips and wiggled each joint up and down my body. Nothing seemed too bad. My buddy was busy assessing me from the outside - no blood, bones or other parts where they shouldn't be. We talked the whole time, and after a few minutes I opened my helmet. A few minutes later I asked for help and sat up and rechecked myself.

By the time I got up, there were a few stopped cars ready to assist, and we got a state trooper we had passed earlier on scene. The trooper was actually little giddy that I was up and about. He said most calls about deer strikes on motorcycles wind up with an ambulance, minimum. The GS was totalled. No way the crash bars could protect over 250 feet of tumbling.

So - I walked away from a deer strike at 60mph, bruised and sore, but walking away because I wore my:
  • Schuberth C3Pro
  • Fieldsheer Moto Jacket
  • Fieldsheer Moto pants
  • Frank Thomas Boots
  • Cyclegear Gloves
It all got pretty chewed up, which is what its supposed to do! and I'm replacing all the gear now. It wasn't all top end but did the job well.

Post analysis:

My buddy and talked at length about the accident and could not think of a single thing to do differently. We were under the speed limit, well spaced, driving responsibly, and most importantly wearing all our gear. Even still, accidents can happen.

I was indeed lucky, but I improved my odds. Do me a favor and please wear
All The Gear, All The Time
- ATGATT

-P-
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phubner screwed with this post 11-16-2014 at 04:56 PM Reason: a photo
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Old 11-16-2014, 02:11 PM   #2
brnsrgn
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Glad you are fine.

I think about such accidents, every time I consider not gearing up.

Great advice. Good luck with getting everything replaced.
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Old 11-16-2014, 02:46 PM   #3
CaliBerger
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Good write up
Glad you're ok
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Old 11-16-2014, 03:47 PM   #4
tread55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliBerger View Post
Good write up
Glad you're ok
+1
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Old 11-16-2014, 03:48 PM   #5
woofer2609
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Good news and good thing no oncoming traffic!
Photos, please!
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Old 11-16-2014, 04:30 PM   #6
Pilgrim21784
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OP: excellent report, glad to hear you survived - Bambi can be a serious bummer. They are my only real risk in my riding area.

I sometimes feel like the Michelin man in my Motoport Quad Armor gear set - its bulky, heavy and a pain in the butt to get on - but if I go down - its the best my money can buy.

I always like to hear gear performance stories - thanks for your post.
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Old 11-16-2014, 04:39 PM   #7
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Awesome job on the shoulder roll. The gods were laughing that day,

Wyrd bid ful araed - Fate is inexorible
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Old 11-16-2014, 04:46 PM   #8
grandelatte
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glad you were relatively OK.

every time we ride texas hill country, we see many deer. some of them come pretty close to us to make us nervous, especially when we see them beyond a blind corner. but that hasn't stop us going over there to enjoy great roads of texas.

heal up quickly!
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Old 11-16-2014, 04:55 PM   #9
WVhillbilly
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Glad you walked away from this, even tho you were a little battered and sore.
It could have ended so much worse.

I think the same thing sometimes about gearing up when it's hot or you are only going "this" far and everything should be fine.
But I still wear my gear, because even a low speed crash can cause a lot of road rash.
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Old 11-16-2014, 04:57 PM   #10
Uke
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one thing different you could have done

There is one thing different I would have done. By 5:30pm towards the end of October it was twilight, had it been a week or two later after the change to standard time, it would have been dark.

In the fall in Texas, the bucks are in the rut, which is to say they are unusually aggressive and unpredictable. Regardless, year round at dawn and dusk in deer country, it is a toss of the dice riding a bike in the country, not just on the two lane farm-to-market roads and ranch roads, but even rural interstates as well.

I applaud and share your ethic of ATGATT. Had I been in your situation needing to ride an addition 20+ miles at dusk, I would have slowed to at most 45 MPH and maybe less depending on visibility of the road sides. I would also have kept a close watch on my mirrors for overtaking vehicles running 10 over the posted speed limit. An alternative would have been to pace closely behind another cager, maybe even the DPS Trooper. This wouldn't guarantee a deer bolting after the car had passed-by still causing an unfortunate encounter, but it would have lowered that potential.

If you were visiting Texas, I hope you return. I find our country roads a treasure. I drive between HouTex and a ranch about 55 miles west round trip three times a week, typically the drive home at dusk or later. I've had several close calls over the last 6 years, but only hit two deer of which I am aware. I see them constantly, this year's population is probably the largest in the last decade, they're everywhere.

If you're local, well, live (gratefully) and learn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phubner View Post
A few weeks ago I was riding with a friend through the Texas Hill Country. Both riding R1200GSAs. The road was a 2 lane Texas farm road (1 lane each direction) with a speed limit of 75. I was leading by as few hundred yards and we were riding west at about 530pm in late October at 60mph. The sun was low, but not in our eyes, and we were 20 miles from setting up camp. We had had a great day making our way south from the Dallas area on farm and country back roads.

The road was surrounded by ranches on both sides, with high deer fencing. What I discovered is that Deer fencing works both ways.

As I crossed a short (20') concrete culvert bridge, a young 8 point buck with nowhere to run, bolted from the tall grass and shallows in the culvert into my front wheel. This turned my handlebars full left. Now at 60mph, a perpendicular wheel only does two things: 1 - it forces the bike down HARD to the right, and 2 - it acts as a really effective brake for the front end. As a result, the bike started its tumble.

I posted up when the deer hit, . . . .

. . . .

. . . .

By the time I got up, there were a few stopped cars ready to assist, and we got a state trooper we had passed earlier on scene. The trooper was actually little giddy that I was up and about. He said most calls about deer strikes on motorcycles wind up with an ambulance, minimum. The GS was totalled. No way the crash bars could protect over 250 feet of tumbling.

So - I walked away from a deer strike at 60mph, bruised and sore, but walking away because I wore my:
  • Schuberth C3Pro
  • Fieldsheer Moto Jacket
  • Fieldsheer Moto pants
  • Frank Thomas Boots
  • Cyclegear Gloves
It all got pretty chewed up, which is what its supposed to do! and I'm replacing all the gear now. It wasn't all top end but did the job well.

Post analysis:

My buddy and talked at length about the accident and could not think of a single thing to do differently. We were under the speed limit, well spaced, driving responsibly, and most importantly wearing all our gear. Even still, accidents can happen.

I was indeed lucky, but I improved my odds. Do me a favor and please wear
All The Gear, All The Time
- ATGATT

-P-
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Old 11-16-2014, 05:16 PM   #11
Uke
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a different, but related, issue

I'm curious, is your riding gear covered by your moto insurance?

Will / would your underwriter cover the replacement of safety gear rendered unusable in the accident?
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Old 11-16-2014, 05:43 PM   #12
phubner OP
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Thanks for the comments all around.

I added one shot here of the front of the bike. I don't have too many good shots though i did take a bunch of closeups for the insurance.

Because it was a deer hit and not another motor vehicle this was covered under "Comprehensive" insurance. That covered the bike and I also had a grand of additional comprehensive on my policy. It covered 'stuff' - gear, stuff on the bars, GPS, that sort of thing. Allstate did a great job both holding my shaky hands and getting the claim covered in less than 2 weeks total. So yes they paid on the safety gear.

I do live in the Dallas area, and I'll know now to think more about seasonal wildlife!

-P

Here are the boots to show the magnitude of the hits. I know they were entry level, but they did their job.
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Old 11-16-2014, 05:50 PM   #13
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Lucky !!!
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:11 PM   #14
kenbnt
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Glad to read about you not getting hurt.

Be very thankfull. Reading about your deer strike makes me thank the Lord that I also survived my deer strike ,Oct. of last year, my KLR wasnt totaled but I broke my clavical,massive bruising, and a little bleeding in the brain.Insurance fixed the bike and paided for fixing me, mostly (still owe some to the trauma Hosp.) my Geico ins. paid to fix the bike and all damaged gear on the bike.replaced and paid for the trashed Gmax helmet that saved my life, but did not pay for the tourmaster jacket and pants or the Boots or gloves that took the pavment grinding for me.I thank God and ATGATT
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:17 PM   #15
CaliBerger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phubner View Post
Here are the boots to show the magnitude of the hits. I know they were entry level, but they did their job.
Wow
Barely
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