Bird Strike

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Hookalatch, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
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    Location:
    Cottonwood, CA
    Ignore this if you want sidecar content- I was riding my solo GSA.

    About once a year I get together with friends that all started riding when we were in high school in Vista, CA. We are in our 70's now so the group is smaller but we have all been riding since then. I was was scheduled to meet them in Fortuna for a 5 day ride.

    I almost didn't make it. Seemed like the God's were against me. 2 days before I was due to leave I slipped in the mud while watering and fell with my worst knee oddly twisted underneath me. It make a sickening sound like tearing cardboard and hurt like hell. The day before I was to leave I was trying to start the gas engine on a pressure washer and the thing kicked back furiously twisting my hand and especially my thumb backwards and I couldn't move it all night. I decided to soldier on anyway and left the next morning. 50 miles from home I had a bird strike to the gourd. I have had a lot of close calls with turkey vultures but this was the first time I was hit. There were a group of them on a long straight on Hwy 36. Even though I was traveling at 65 mph they all took off before I got to them so I didn't slow down. I didn't even see the one that hit my helmet. It felt like I had been hit with a baseball bat. I didn't go down but it took me a couple of hundred yards to process what had happened and get stopped. The bugger was laying spread eagle in the road so I went back to access the damage and take a picture. When I pulled up alongside it struggled to its feet, blood dripping from its mouth. As I left it tried to waddle a little but I doubt it survived. My only injuries were a sore neck, a splitting headache, and a small cut by my eye from my sunglasses. Still managed to have a fantastic 4 additional days on the road.

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    #1
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  2. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    What--you didn't pick it up, take it home, and nurse it back to health? :lol3

    That's pretty amazing. Glad you're in one piece. But it sounds like it's maybe time for an x-ray or two. :brow
    #2
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  3. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

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    Only N flowin river emptying in an ocean
    As a mid 70s rider, I too have encountered wild life via impacts.
    Even w/ a good helmet on, the bell was ringing, eyes would not focus or line up.

    ''DRONE'' is right about taking a peek inside & maybe the joints as well.

    Sounds as though you have had your share of WTF for this year.

    Glad you're reporting back.
    #3
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  4. C/1/509

    C/1/509 Now with more sarcasm

    Joined:
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    Damn - does that make you lucky or unlucky? Glad you're OK.
    #4
  5. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    Location:
    Maryland
    Whoa!

    Glad you are more or less okay
    #5
  6. MATTY

    MATTY BORDER RAIDER

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    England On the Scotish border
    Not good glad you are ok.
    Here is my brief account of a bird strike i suffered just over two years ago bird involved was a wood pigeon at about 70mph on the A71 going south early one summer morning.
    It was about 630Am i was heading home after a early morning waterfowl count on a Bay about 40 miles from home.
    I was riding my IZH planeta sport 350 two stroke single. Doing about 65 to 70mph i saw some pigeons i presume taking on grit at the road edge about 200 yards in front as i got closer they dispersed and i never let off the throttle as i was sure they were fleeing the scene and i did not want to loose momentum as i was approaching an up hill stretch and was wanting to maintain speed.
    All looked well but last minute one of the pigeons went the opposite way to the others and had second thoughts and did a u turn last minute to follow its mates with fatal consequences, the bird was there unavoidable it just glanced off the headlight rim and hit me full square in the middle of the chest.
    the impact was massive it took me all my time to hold onto the bike i braked changed down and drew the bike to a stop, pain was growing every second i just got the side stand down and stepped off the bike . The pain was getting serious now and i got down on the grass verge bike still ticking over, i held on but the pain was not letting up, i knew i was in trouble i started to see the stars / dots come up the pain was that much i blacked out.
    No idea how long i was out but i remember blurred grass and not being able to move my hearing was back i could hear the bike ticking over and the pain was not much better i thought i was going to black out again but i managed to hold on but i was sweating profusely and i was so hot i had to get my helmet off, i tore my gloves off and unfastened the helmet got it off but i felt so sick at that point but could not wretch, i was breathing heavy deep breaths and this was not slowing any and the pain was very much still there but starting to get less, but nausea was increasing and i got the taste and wham i had thrown up so violently i shuddered. I knew i was hurting but decided to try and move to get away from the vomit but soon as i moved wham i basically spewed until i have zero left then just retching and shuddering . I then started to feel cold reached up turned the bike off and laid back on the grass.
    Two cars drove by and never slowed or anything, i decided to ring home get the wife to put the horse box on the jeep and come out and collect me but it soon became obvious my mobile a I phone 5 was history screen had gone and the phone had took much of the impact a shard of the screen was in my left breast mussel / fat and was painful to pull out.
    Pigeon was on the road about 15 yards away blood and feathers all over my jacket i cleaned my self up as best i could and after about another ten mins i decided to make a bid for home about 30 miles away.
    the ride home was painful but nothing like the impact. i was sore and bruised for a couple of weeks and i was surprised just what an impact a pigeon had on me. Bird strikes are unpleasant its the first one i ever had on 40plus years of riding and i do not want another any day soon thank you. Stay safe out there boys and girls and just like that film beware the birds.
    #6
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  7. r60man

    r60man Long timer

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    The day I brought my K1100Rs home was a glorious day. Sun shining birds singing and wildlife frolicking. My wife was behind me in her car and I got onto a twisty road and wicked the throttle up to feel the bikes legs. It was spring time, but the leaves hadn't popped yet, motion on my left drew my attention. It was a full size wild turkey flying perpendicular to the road. By the time I processed what I was looking at (they look weird flying) and its path I realized we were on a collision course. I got on the brakes hard and it passed chest height and its right wing brushed my chest. If I had hit that guy I doubt I would have stayed up. I was very lucky, but it makes a great story.
    #7
  8. CdnGS

    CdnGS Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    #8
  9. Grestil

    Grestil 2+2=unicorn

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    Farmersville, Texas
    Yeah that's probably a dead bird. Wouldn't be a bad idea to have your noggin checked. I've had a couple bird strikes but nothing that big. Glad your OK. Check the valve clearance on your power washers engine and water on your knees and everything should be fine. Just keep riding.
    #9
  10. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen Supporter

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    Location:
    Da frozen tundra eh? 1.5 mile west of Lambeau
    Glad you came out ok. Can't feel certain that Turkey Vulture is gonna make it. Twice in one year I has big bird encounters (no,..not THAT one).
    1. Was on a two lane frontage road. Up ahead a hawk is feeding on a road kill on the centerline. It's back is to me approaching. It takes off to avoid a pickup coming in the other direction. Except as it is taking off it is also turning back, right at me. Bet it was a "holy crap" moment for the hawk, especially as its belly hit my right shoulder. Got to the cycle shop with some feathers stuck in my Cordura jacket.
    2. Again, two lane back road, tall brush/weeds on the shoulder. I'm doing near 60 when a big Turkey hen charges out of the weeds, and hits my right leg and the side of my R1100RS ahead of my knee. I had a bruise, but I thought for sure the "thwack" I heard caused some damage on the bike. No damage to find, but I bet that turkey had a sore neck for quite a while.

    Heh heh. Morbid on the subject of birds and road kill; on my way to visit a customer, driving remote back roads in my company car. Ahead, a hawk is feeding on a raccoon roadkill. It sees me approach so it takes flight, but its talons are hooked on the intestines of the coon. Just like a cartoon, its taking off and the intestines are stretching, stretching, stretching...like 10' plus....until SNAP! Morbid but strangely funny.
    #10
  11. jay547

    jay547 Long timer

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    I just made a call to PETA. Expect some sort of reprisal. :D
    #11
  12. jeff t.

    jeff t. n00b

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    Location:
    littleton,co
    1975. riding the new kanan dume rd on my '74 Z1, just cruising about 70, loving this new fast road that takes me to mulholland hwy & the rock store. all of a sudden my left arm is flailing behind me & because i now have only one hand on the bars i'm pushing the grip hard & heading for the cliff. it felt like someone hit me with a baseball bat. to this day i have no idea how i got the bike stopped with one hand. turns out i was hit by a blackbird in my left pec, never even saw it coming. back then i wore a surplus army coat with a down vest underneath. the birds beak penetrated into the down vest. i sat there for quite a while before i could actually use the clutch. had a painful time getting back to oxnard. i could barely use my arm for several days. the bruise was about the size of my spread hand & boy was it ugly.
    #12
  13. CaptCapsize

    CaptCapsize Long timer

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    Jay547: He has nothing to worry about.
    PETA People Eating Tasty Animals! :photog I read that on a bumper sticker.

    But, I wonder if a buzzard tastes like chicken.
    #13
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  14. runpet

    runpet Been here awhile

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    Jul 12, 2011
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    Sconsin
    I was riding to our local hospital where I volunteer and was going 55-60mph when a pheasant decided to take off from the shoulder directly at me. Usually they fly off to the side. Hit me on the left shoulder and I thought it broke my collar bone for sure. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw it on the road. I decided to just continue the 15 miles to the hospital instead of returning home. About half the way there the pain started to lessen and I could move it around so I just parked at the hospital and pushed wheel chairs for four ours. Pretty sore for a couple of days. Pays to wear your gear all the time.
    #14
  15. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    Madison, WI
    Around 1975 my brother was riding hi CB350 at about 50 mph or so. A sparrow flew right at him and hit him in the chest. He was wearing a jean jacket. He said it felt like he had been hit by a hammer. He added the bird acted like it had been hit by a hammer, too. It died; he had a big bruise. He was 18 and felt immortal.
    Sadly, he wasn't. Passed in 2009 and I have his last bike, an R60/6 that is an R75/6 now.
    #15
  16. dirty_t

    dirty_t Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
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    Location:
    NorCal
    This is (er, was) a crow that obviously hadn’t had enough coffee the morning I came through his stretch of CA-1 up near Oregon border. He was a little slow on his takeoff from breakfast in the middle of the road.
    2798D3E0-8A69-428F-B39B-9B63C3B43EE7.jpeg

    This is what a new Givi AF windscreen looks like after a crow flies through it at 60mph. After he bounced off my shoulder, he ricocheted his beak into my tank and landed there near the center line.
    13CB0B81-650F-4BC9-A4A6-8ED2416453B1.jpeg

    And this is what Gorilla Tape, a Swiss Army knife, and an O’Reilly’s cardboard box look like when they are used to fashion a temporary windscreen. Turned out kind of nice, I thought, and held up well over the next 300 miles or so to get me home. Was kind of sad to take it off - worked well.
    AEB688DB-0DD2-401D-80D5-3AFA758FCD69.jpeg
    #16
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  17. ryder1

    ryder1 Long timer

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    About a week or so ago I was travelling behind a pickup and there was a wake of vultures. They took off and I noticed that one of the was vomitting as it was flying away. Fast forward to the other day. I came around a corner and there was another wake of vultures. I slowed and beeped the bikes horn. The birds took off, I didn't want to be puked on so I gave them a wide birth.

    https://www.thespruce.com/fun-facts-about-vultures-385520

    A few years back I had a string of hitting bird or them hitting me. One time all I saw was something rust colored out of the corner of my eye. I was doing about 60 when it hit the chinbar of the helmet. My neck twisted but I kept riding. Went to the back cracker and told him I was attacked by a bird. Another time I thought the beak was stuck in my chest. That strike hurt like hell. When I stopped there was nothing stuck in me or on me.
    #17
  18. steingar

    steingar higher life form

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    You want a bird strike try having one in an airplane.
    #18
  19. dirty_t

    dirty_t Been here awhile

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    NorCal
    Ok Sully.:D:rofl
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  20. steingar

    steingar higher life form

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    Not me, but a number friends. One of the birds fouled the windshield so bad he had to look out the side window to see to land.
    #20
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