Hit a deer

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by Camcow, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. Camcow

    Camcow Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    65
    Location:
    Burlington, MA
    I hit a deer on my '13 R1200GS. It was fortunately a small juvenile, so I did not go down or sustain any injury. We were in OH heading to Atwood Lake State Park to camp for the night, having run 555, 78, and some other sweet roads.

    The GS took the brunt of the impact, with a dent in the RHS header and the Touratech crash bar on that side bent backward to where it almost touches the cylinder head. My RH Clearwater Darla fork spot mount got bent 90 degrees, and there was hair stuck into the left side front tire bead, presumably from its head. Some blood spatter was on the front of the engine, and some deer poop on the RH sidecase.

    So the little guy came jumping across a ditch from the right at around 1 pm. I had just come over a rise. I had an instant to start squeezing front brake and yell some noise into my brother's ear on the intercom. (He was leading on his own GS.) There was a thud and the bike rolled over the deer. I thought I’d decapitated him, as I knew the body was still trailing and I’d hit it in the neck. But he was all just crumpled into the ditch on the RHS of the road, which was too deep to climb down and the road was just over a rise with no shoulder to stop safely. DeerInTire_PCGR2019.jpg DentedHeader_PCGR2019.jpg
    First deer I've ever hit, though I've certainly had close calls before. It was interesting to me how little the bars moved. Not sure if I hit it just right or the Telelever suspension helped absorb the blow. Certainly the cylinder and crash bar sticking out protected me better than any of my past sport bikes would have. I estimate I was doing about 45 mph and the deer couldn't have weighed more than 125 lbs.

    I've heated and bent the Clearwater mount back into shape. The bike seems to be running fine with the dented header. Rode it home 800 miles without issue. Keeping an eye on eBay and BeemerBoneyard for a used set for the right price.
    #1
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  2. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    401
    Location:
    Lafayette, LA
    Glad you're OK. Thanks for relating your experience. This is a almost constant threat we all are vulnerable to. And it seems to be one of those things we can't do much about. I've always heard deer come out more at dusk, but your kamikaze deer was out early aft.
    #2
  3. sibyrnes

    sibyrnes Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2019
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Western Pa
    Glad you didn’t get hurt. And you are right, Ohio Rt 78 is a sweet ride! I just discovered that a couple weeks ago on my Multistrada. And thanks to your post, I’ll definitely be watching for deer next time!
    #3
  4. bigdog99

    bigdog99 Weaned and neutered

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    542
    Location:
    Grass Valley, CA
    I think deer strikes are typically a comprehensive loss. You might not have to buy a used header if you check with your ins carrier.
    #4
  5. Schmittenhymer

    Schmittenhymer Adventure Tourer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    804
    Location:
    Kagawong, Ontario
    You stayed vertical - you are lucky.
    #5
  6. r60man

    r60man Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,808
    Location:
    Robesonia PA
    There are so many deer around me it is ridiculous. At peak times I always go slower than speed limit in the wooded roads. Which really takes some of the fun out of it. I see deer all times of day as well. Last night I had 3 in my driveway that were blocked by a large zebra grass, I turned in and had to slam on my brakes, in my driveway!
    #6
  7. brenter

    brenter Brenter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    516
    Location:
    Missouri
    It is the same way in Missouri and surrounding states. I quit riding at night all together.
    #7
  8. PhotoAl

    PhotoAl Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    WOW more damage t the header than I would have thought. I

    Met a fella in Montana who told me his wife when driving between towns tries to get behind an 18 wheeler so they will clear the deer out of the way. aid it is not uncommon to see deer knocked out of the way by the truck. I don't ride at night or at dusk. I will ride me scooter around the neighborhood after dark but even in a suburban environment have to be careful.
    #8