Hitting a deer at 70mph - with a happy ending

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by CoDan72, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. CoDan72

    CoDan72 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2017
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    Location:
    Denver, Co
    On Monday June 10 I hit a deer while riding on my BMW f800GS. I was in the middle of a trip that started in Colorado the week before. I was heading to D2D and then on to Deadhorse., AK at least that was the original plan.

    I had camped Sunday night just outside Jasper, Alberta and set off around 9am heading east towards Hinton. After gassing up in Hinton I turned north to head up rt 40 towards Grand Prairie. About 20 miles out of town I noticed a family of deer standing in the road. I was easily 200-300m away and slowed until the cleared the road. It reminded me about all the warnings I had heard about wildlife on the road. Another 10 miles later and I was humming along enjoying the crisp morning air (it was now just before 11am) and all of a sudden I see a deer in the road racing across directly in front of me. I barely had time to even register what was happening when my front tire hit the rear of the deer. I felt the handlebars yank out of my hands and then things went dark. All I can remember is the heat as I slid along face down. Based on the skid marks on the road it looked like I slide down the wrong side of the road for about 100 ft before hitting the grass on the side of the road and then tumbled another 20 ft or so into the ditch. The bike ended up a few feet ahead of me down in the ditch. As I lay there for a second or two taking stock of myself, I quickly realized I could feel and move my arms and legs. Next, I waited for the pain to hit. Nothing. I reached up, took my helmet off and got up. Still, no pain. About this time I noticed that a car had stopped and the woman driving got out and was running over to me. I checked my arms, my legs, felt around and still to my surprise felt nothing was wrong.

    By this point several other vehicles had stopped and we collectively managed to get the bike out of the ditch and onto the road. To my surprise it started right up (at least once I remembered to gear down to neutral). The panniers had pretty much exploded on impact and I spent a few minutes collected my assorted belongings. Then tried to get everything back into the now bent boxes and somehow close the lid enough to keep everything inside. Since I felt OK (still not feeling any injuries) I decided to ride the bike back into Hinton rather than wait for the police or a tow to show up. The extremely nice woman who had stopped first insisted on following me back into town to make sure the bike help up and I arrived safely.

    I made it back into town and got a hotel room and finally had a chance to take off my gear. I was shocked to find two small scrapes, one on the knee and one on the elbow, and a bruise on the elbow and nothing else. Now as I write this 3 days later, I am slightly sore, but not much more than after a tough work-out. My gear however was not as lucky, my jacket, pants, gloves, helmet all sacrificed themselves for my benefit. The best advice I have ever followed is ATTGATT.

    A list of the gear is as follows
    Jacket - Klim latitude
    Pants - Klim traverse
    Gloves- Revit - Sand 3
    Helmet- Scorpion - EXO AT950
    Boots- Alpinestars Belize

    I'm now in Edmonton, with the bike. It has been declared a total loss, the front forks are bent along with the handlebars and a few other more minor or cosmetic issues. So, now I am sadly having to abandon my trip and fly home to Colorado. More importantly I am thankful to be alive and healthy so this story does really have a happy ending.

    image.jpg IMG_20190610_122633.jpg IMG_20190610_131656.jpg IMG_20190610_131732.jpg IMG_20190610_131741.jpg IMG_20190610_131910.jpg IMG_20190610_131936.jpg
    One before picture
    IMG_20190609_121610.jpg
    #1
  2. Amphib

    Amphib A mind is like a parachute....

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    Glad you're still with us! Another great reminder to suit up.
    #2
    neanderthal likes this.
  3. Alanpb

    Alanpb Adventurer

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    Jun 4, 2019
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    California
    I always complain how hot i am with all my gear on in summer. Now this is a good reminder why i and many other riders dress appropriately. Glad you are alive and well to write this message. Smart rider!
    #3
    Uke and CCitis like this.
  4. JoToPe

    JoToPe JoToPe

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    Oct 21, 2014
    Oddometer:
    223
    Location:
    Burleson, Texas
    Crazy deer always out there trying to outrun motorcycles. Plenty where I live and that convinced me to get an air vest. Glad you came out better than your bike.
    #4
    CCitis and ArielNut like this.
  5. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list Supporter

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    Atlanta
    Wow! That is a very happy ending.....thanks for the gear pics. Makes me feel much better about my gear, as I'm wearing latitude jacket and pants. How did your gloves fair? So glad you're alright! Sucks about your trip....next year.
    #5
  6. Punchdude

    Punchdude Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    149
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    Southeast, PA
    Glad the gear did its job! Don't forget about Klim's gear replacement program when involved in an accident. I had my induction jacket recently replaced from when I hit a deer last year.
    #6
    AnthonyD likes this.
  7. johnnywheels

    johnnywheels Been here awhile Supporter

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    Jackson, MS USA
    Amazing story! Glad you’re fine and only worry is replacing what is replaceable!
    #7
  8. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    If I knew I could get a happy ending, I might aim for deer.
    #8
    j.king likes this.
  9. Smaug1

    Smaug1 '19 Kawasaki Versys 1000, '15 SMax

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    Chicago area
    Thanks for posting this. 'glad you're OK.

    How was the aftermath? (insurance claim, crippled deer, etc.)
    #9
  10. CoDan72

    CoDan72 Adventurer

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    Denver, Co
    Deer was not moving and I'm pretty sure a couple of guys, from a road crew that stopped to help, put it down.

    I have progressive insurance and so far it looks like they are going to take care of everything. They have declared it a total loss and given me a value for the bike and accessories that I believe is fair. They are also going to pay for the tow to the dealer, hotels, car rental and my gear. I haven't gotten any checks yet, but if they come thru with what they have promised so far I will be very happy with their service.
    #10
    Smaug1 likes this.
  11. CoDan72

    CoDan72 Adventurer

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    Jul 18, 2017
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    Denver, Co
    Unfortunately I never called the police, so no police report, which is required for the Klim replacement.
    #11
  12. CoDan72

    CoDan72 Adventurer

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    Jul 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
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    Denver, Co
    Do you really want that kind of happy ending from a deer?
    #12
  13. Smaug1

    Smaug1 '19 Kawasaki Versys 1000, '15 SMax

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    Good to know, as I just recently switched to Progressive myself.

    Good to know also about having to have a police report for certain things to be covered.
    #13
  14. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    A place many ADV Riders fear: The Nation's Capital

    It could come from that nice lady at the insurance company.

    (I am happy to read you are well and the insurance is taking care of thing.)
    #14