deer alerts


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Tom Finch
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2010 GL 1800A

Re: deer alerts

Post by Tom Finch » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:49 pm



At the last Tankful, i have ridden 1,188,641 miles of which 986,635 have been pulling a trailer. So far, I have hit 9 deer on bikes, some insignificant and some with a lot of damage. I have been 150,000 miles or so since I hit the last one and part of the reason is that I ride slower in the deer infested hill country at night. In general, except on the interstate, I ride below 50 mph at night. There are some other tips that might help other riders.

Use the oncoming car's headlighted shoulder to scan for deer on the left side or the road. Most of my deer strikes have been when the deer comes across the road behind an approaching vehicle.

Keep distance between other vehicles and yourself. Do not follow closely.

Do not ride a motorcycle without a frame mounted fairing in the deer country. A deer hitting the handlebars or handlebar mounted fairing or windshield is pretty much a downer, literally.

Make sure your headlights are aimed properly. The headlights of a GL 1800 are very hard to beat, especially when aimed correctly. Unfortunately, most 1800s, and motorcycles in general, do not come with the headlights optimally aimed.

I use OSRAM 65 watt bulbs in the high beam slots. They are long lasting and show up a deer easily quarter mile away.

When you see a deer, just plan on it lunging in front of you at the worst possible time. Slow down for it. If one runs across the road in front of you, just assume his buddies are not far behind.

I ride an hour every Sunday morning to the OST in Bandera Texas for breakfast predawn. Yesterday was a rainy damp morning and there were several deer on the shoulders eating. One spot there were a few deer on each side of the road, all looking across the road to the other side. None of them ran but this is a scenario that promotes a deer strike.

I have ridden six cylinder Wings for the last 722,831 miles, but before that I put 311,000 miles on Beemer air heads and the tappet noise of those seemed to flush deer out. Also they did not have near the headlight that the Wings have. One of the hardest strikes so far was on an R90S that I converted to Touring with a Windjammer fairing. That one knocked one carburetor off, smashed one Wixom fiberglass saddle bag like a run over watermelon. bent the gas tank and rear frame, and the fairing mount system, but I was able to slow down and stop a couple hundred yards further where there was a shoulder to pull off on. The deer flew like an airplane and hit the fence on the far side some distance from where it was catapulted.

I had the same kind of hit on my 04 Wing but the Wing was more robust. Nevertheless it got both radiators, both fans, all of the main fairing, the steel structure that mounts the fairing, the forks, front fender both sections and other things. It was still ridable except that there was a hole punched in the upper radiator hose that leaked coolant and I had to ride back home and get the other Wing. I have never hit a deer without a trailer on the bike since I don't ride without a trailer. The increased mass and stability probably have something do do with never going down.

The deer strike that got the Wing the worst was that one in 06 above and I was going 65 mph in a curve with a semi passing on the outside of the curve on a two lane. If I had not had ABS I would likely have low sided under the semi. It was an hour before dawn. The bike insurance bill was $5,900.00

2 years later and within a half mile of the same place, I had another deer strike but was going only 45 mph and the damage was only $1,800.00. I never stopped for that one and went on to Bandera.

One deer I hit was hit by a car in front of me and sent spinning into me. I was able to miss its torso but hit its legs with the front wheel but the trailer hit its torso and two riders behind me hit its legs and a third one was able to miss it. My only damage from that one was a broken safety chain which was likely one or some of the deer's legs. That was in two lanes of traffic westbound on IH-10 after dark, a dangerous scenario. The line of auto traffic was at 75 mph just overtaking us at 65 mph and the lead car hit the deer which had come all the way across the other lanes and median.

A growing menace in Texas are the wild hogs. They are dark and not reflective and have a mass like a large boulder. The usually take out a car when hit.

My advice in the deer country at night is to travel below 50 mph, keep your eyes peeled, watch the shoulder on the far side if a car is coming toward you, and keep your lights on high beam when ever possible. If you are on an 1800, you must dim your lights for oncoming cars or they will be blinded. Keep your low beams aimed to be slightly below the windshields of oncoming cars and your high beams centered left / right . Aim your high beams left/right before you aim your low beams up and down.

The up/down aiming does not affect the left right of the high beams but the left/right affects the up down of the low beams which is why it has to be done first.






Last edited by Tom Finch on Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JMikeH
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Re: deer alerts

Post by JMikeH » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:09 pm

I've got the electronic deer alert on my bike with it pointing slightly downward to the ground per the manufacturers suggestion. We have a lot of deer in our neighborhood. I've tried turning it on when I've seen deer standing on the side of the road and tried pointing the bike directly at them (when I've had the area to do so) and so far I've never seen any reaction to the alert, so to me it's totally useless.
Mike...

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seelyark1
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Re: deer alerts

Post by seelyark1 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:21 pm

I hope that a lot of riders will take heed of this last post! :) I don't care how many gadgets you put on your bike, the deer or other critter are going to do what they are going to do ;) . We as riders have to do what we can do to miss, or avoid them. Was reading the other day, that there are twice as many deer now than there were in the 80s. We need to look out! :roll: I hope that this next deer season helps thin them out some. but I bet there are more of them to watch out for next year. Watch out! 8-) Figures someone would get a post in before mine ;)
Ride safe, and smart. Asphalt is like #1 grit sandpaper. Dave

bfetch
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Re: deer alerts

Post by bfetch » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:50 pm

The following tip isn't always practical for avoiding deer collisions but it works this way; have an escort! Follow another vehicle (not a motorcycle) at a reasonable distance so it will either hit the deer before you do or scare it off the road.

Circles
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Re: deer alerts

Post by Circles » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:31 am

I have read all I can read on this subject before and I believe all you can do is make up your own mind what you are going to do.
My plan should the event occur and I can't avoid it is to keep it straight as an arrow and hang on tight. I had a buddy with a Harley that did that in Michigan while I was riding with him years ago and he hit a large buck broadside. Deer was dead, crushed in the whole front end on his bike, he never went down. He just stopped dead and was sitting in a pile of mess. The fact that he is about 6'5" and over 300 lbs may have helped him in this case. Myself and two other guys nearly ran into him and the deer. I run that scenario through my mind often hoping that it will help me react in the planned manner if need be. I figure the deer's reflexes are faster then mine so I am going to let him avoid me instead of me turning into him. That's my plan, right or wrong.

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Scot Thompson
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Re: deer alerts

Post by Scot Thompson » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:44 am

Like many writing to this thread I have researched deer strike elimination devices and techniques. There is simply no device proven effective and the data from hundreds of DOTs to universities conclude that. I have been riding bikes since 1960 and never hit a deer while driving any vehicle. In September, 2014 I bought a new-to-me GW1800 on a rainy Friday night in Florida and trailered it to my buddy's home where I was staying. The next morning was glorious and we got the Wings out for a ride. Within 1 hour of riding - at 11:00am in bright sunshine riding just 50 ft behind my buddy - a deer came running out of the heavy brush from the right. My buddy never saw it and I had about 1/3 sec before impact with the small doe. I did the only thing I believe one can do. Hit the brakes hard and steer straight. I stayed up but the bike suffered over $6K of damage. I was going about 45mph before the impact. the deer died.

Two months later, now extremely deer wary, I was in my car just after dark on a mountain highway in western NC, my home, and a deer jumped up on the road just in front of me. I hit the binders and thought surely I could almost stop and certainly could avoid the deer. Steering straight, braking hard, and the deer standing still on the right I knew I would clear of him (big 8 pt buck) at the last second, the deer jumped in front of my car. I was going under 55mph before braking. He died. Car damage was over $6K.

Both cops at these scenes stated the same sentiment, "deer are just like squirrels, they are unpredictable." So, in 54 years of driving without a deer incident, a cautious and observant driver by nature, and then two awful deer strikes within two months. My practice is and will be to brake hard and steer straight. The only reasonable response is to minimize speed and maintain control.

knowhoweman74
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Re: deer alerts

Post by knowhoweman74 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:08 am

Yes, hitting a deer on my Wing is not one of my greatest wish to do's. It scares the hell out of me. My wife and I have hit 2 deer in cars. Once she was driving, once I was. Both instances were T-boned at speeds in excess of 50 miles an hour long after dusk. Needless to say, neither deer survived the initial impact and both vehicles were damaged extensively. The one she hit ran across the road in front of us into the side of a van in the other lane, turned and ran back into our path. The deer was a member of a group of 5 to 10 deer crossing a divided 4 lane major highway in central Michigan with fields on both sides. The car we were in was a brand new Mazda Protege and it was totaled.The one I hit was also in a group of 5 or more also crossing a divided highway in the middle of the night and we were in a Ford Taurus and it received over $3000 damage. I am very concerned with driving or riding after dark for this very reason. I do have the Deer Alerts on my bike and haven't had any occasion to see if they actually work or not, and hope not to, but if a product was available that had been proven to deter these types of accidents I guarantee I will have one on every vehicle I have.

TourNut
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Re: deer alerts

Post by TourNut » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:07 am

In early October 2013, I was trying to get home in Michigan from a STowners rally in W.V. It was about 11:30 pm @ 55mph , and I had just hit lo beams for an approaching car , which also turns off aux. driving lamps . ~10 seconds later this doe launches herself up out of the left ditch and I see her nose about a foot from my left elbow then "THWACK" , something gets hit behind me on my ST1300. But I stay up and pissed off. I later found a lit parking lot and found that the deer apparently wrapped the rod around its face of a GL1500 CB antenna I had on my ST and almost broke off the mounting brackets. I know that is minor damage and I really was lucky compared to others. ( B.T.W. , I have 4 deer whistles on the ST , as well as on my GoldWing )
If you come up with a something that actually works at an affordable price , you really will have a product there for the masses !

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Re: deer alerts

Post by TourNut » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:18 am

Since we are talking about run-ins with animals , I had an interesting experience in 1979 on my '76 GL1000-LTD : I was trying to get from Yellowstone to I-15 in Montana to go to Dillon. I had a crappy little Atlas that showed a road ( Montana 509 ) that followed the Continental Divide that looked like the shortest route to accomplish that.
The road was paved at first but then several miles later it turned into gravel and then heavier gravel later on but I thought I could eventually get to I-15. It got to a point where I thought it would shake the radiator apart. After about 9 pm I saw a sign that was faced 90° away from the west direction I was going so I had to turn around and make a loop back around to be able to stop and read the sign which told me I was about 30 miles from I-15. I just had read the sign when I heard a clanking noise off the other side of the bike , I turned my head to see a charging bull had jumped over the cattle guard and wanted a piece of me ! ( I had noticed cows on the other side of the fence as I was doing the turn around.) Expletive ! I grabbed a full handful of throttle , the Wing fishtailed a bit , throwing gravel and then bit into the "road" and I never saw how close the bull got to me, but I know it wasn't a wide road. About 15 miles later I stopped shaking . After I got to I-15 , headed to Dillon about 10 miles north of Dell , I heard a shrill noise and my rear end started to sashay - long story shorter , I had bruised my rear tire and tube , patch wouldn't hold due to slimy balance stuff in tube and spent the night off the side of I-15 in my tarp - closed with pinch clamps to keep the snakes out.

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tk2-425
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Re: deer alerts

Post by tk2-425 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:33 pm

Guys, guys guys....you are all missing the obvious problem here :
[youtube]

[/YouTube]

:D

knowhoweman74
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Re: deer alerts

Post by knowhoweman74 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:55 pm

One more little story: This one doesn't have anything to do with deer or Goldwings but.......way back in about 1980 or so I took my Yamaha DOHC 500 up in the northeastern mountains of New Mexico on a scouting trip with my dad and brother along with the rest of the clan looking at elk hunting area. Everything went as planned and it was a great excursion. On Sunday we all headed back to the northwest plateau, Farmington area, and I had my wife on the back of the bike with me. We were toolin' along the upsie-daisies running about 65 mph when I topped a hill and standing in the middle of the road was a big ass bovine. I didn't have time to hit the brakes but somehow I swerved around her and I could have slapped her on the butt if I would have had a mind to. Needless to say, it took me quite a while to stop shaking, and the wife wanted off the bike and in one of the cars/trucks behind us.

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brentsboats
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Re: deer alerts

Post by brentsboats » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:13 pm

TOO FUNNY ,,LOVE THAT VID ,,,
Thanks For Reading
Brent
http://www.sunkboat.com

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bob-o
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Re: deer alerts

Post by bob-o » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:10 pm

Had deer alerts on my vstar. Lost one when I hit a deer. Here is a tip for summer riders that come up to the country in mid-summer. If its a hot summer with little rain, be EXTRA cautious when the road follows a stream or river. All kinds of critters looking to cool off. Watched a couple get catapulted off a brand new HD bagger on Rte.97 in NY, after hitting a deer that leaped over guardrails from a small stream. They were traveling in the opp.direc. from my friends and I. Most violent 10 secs. I ever saw, and I have gotten road rash four times. Riding up here can be tricky.

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Chickenlegs
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Re: deer alerts

Post by Chickenlegs » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:25 pm

The deer whistles I "had" came with the bike, I took them off after the first half of the season last year. Obviously they didn't work. I think the quieter the better, sometimes they don't even know you are there. It's like you become part of the environment. I also believe a "spooked" animal is a unpredictable animal, they just jump and go! I also pray a lot, and on the look out!! Its all part of sight seeing on a bike. My wife watches too that's how I got these pictures :shock:
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WingAdmin
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Re: deer alerts

Post by WingAdmin » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:05 pm

Harley at 4:58:




Sportbike at 85 mph, at 0:33:




At 0:14, guy wearing shorts and a T-shirt while riding doesn't fare so well on asphalt:




At 0:39 on sportbike:




At night, at 0:06 on VFR800:




Guy hits deer during road race, gets back up, picks up bike and continues the race!




In the rain:




And for our folks down under, GSX-R1000 vs kangaroo:





The one thing I find very heartening in all the videos I saw was that in the VAST majority of them, the rider kept the bike up and riding. The other thing I noticed was that it happened so fast, the deer appeared out of NOWHERE, that there was simply no time to react.

prb00a
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Re: deer alerts

Post by prb00a » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:13 am

I've been riding the Texas hill-country since the mid-70's and have hit or been hit by two deer. The first was when the baffle blew out of my Kawasaki 90 making it frighteningly loud and rattled the deer out of the brush. The second time, while riding my GL1500 and testing out (blaring) a stereo upgrade. Again the deer were rattled out of the brush and t-boned my right ankle. My thoughts now, are to ride as quietly and smoothly as possible when passing deer; especially at night. Unless startled, the deer will continue doing whatever they were doing before 'you' crossed 'their' path.

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Scot Thompson
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Re: deer alerts

Post by Scot Thompson » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:05 am

Oh!!! I can't watch those vids...too much like my own encounter. But it is clear they come from nowhere and there really isn't any avoiding them. I figured on my incident with the GW, there was 20 feet of warning at 45mph and that equals 1/3 second. Still, I hit the binders pretty hard and knew to keep it straight. There was no avoiding the deer short of not riding at all.

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Solina Dave
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Re: deer alerts

Post by Solina Dave » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:32 pm

That's enough! I give up! I haven't been a subscriber for very long and I must say that I really enjoy the valuable exchange of ideas, information and personal experiences with other riders who are as passionate about riding as I am, but enough already. I've decided that I'm going to be far more selective in regards to the postings that I explore. I make use of the email feature that alerts me to the most recent and most viewed posts on particular items, but it has become somewhat monotonous.
I'm specifically making reference to the, "Do You Wear A Helmet", and "Deer Alerts" subjects. The last posting, comprised of several very explicit and obviously disturbing video clips of collisions with deer, finished me off. I think that it was unnecessary, and was presented to simply satisfy shock appeal, more than being an informative exposé regarding the potential dangers, and sensible ways to minimize that danger. Don't get me wrong, I love a good violent movie, but it's just a movie, and the graphic nature of these particular presentations was pointless. I personally think that a new or somewhat inexperienced motorcycle enthusiast would be frightened out of their wits if they watched some of these clips, and maybe, perish the thought, opt to pass on motorcycling completely. Who would ever want that? What experienced, long-time rider who knows what a trip it really is, would want that to happen? I think that anyone who is even half aware of the potential dangers that exist regarding deer presence, and the obvious speed at which their presence becomes a critical factor, has gotten the message after either a personal experience, or the review of several examples of deer encounters by other riders.
To me it's obvious. Deer seem to appear almost instantly, all the bells and whistles and sirens available, attached to your motorcycle, won't do a damn thing, and the only hope a rider has is to be as vigilant as possible, and hopefully, if possible, avoid the occurrence altogether. In the meantime just have an enjoyable experience, keep you eyes open, scope out the terrain, adjust your speed, and use your head.
I also have similar feelings regarding the helmet conversation, but I think I'm out of time. There, that'll probably stir the pot!

A ride on a motorcycle should be a requirement for everyone......................Dave
Last edited by Solina Dave on Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TourNut
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Re: deer alerts

Post by TourNut » Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:23 pm


280slbuff
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Re: deer alerts

Post by 280slbuff » Thu Oct 01, 2015 12:38 pm

I have installed the "Hornet" electronic deer whistle. In the last two years I have noted deer will perk up when I approach, perhaps more than 100 yards, usually stand still or run away from the high pitched sound. This unit is commonly used by truckers. The chromed wind-driven deer whistles make a lovely addition to the bike but serve no useful purpose in alerting deer at any speed.

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tktrnr
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Re: deer alerts

Post by tktrnr » Thu Oct 01, 2015 6:39 pm

One of my riding buddies hit 2 deer with deer whistles on his bike. Waste of money plus they are ugly.

280slbuff
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Re: deer alerts

Post by 280slbuff » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:24 pm

I agree - the wind driven ones are a waste of time and money.
Look at the "Hornet deer whistle" on Ebay or Google to see the
difference.

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guitarzan
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Re: deer alerts

Post by guitarzan » Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:40 am

You all know what the last thing a Dear hears before it's hit and killed on the road? Deer Whistles! :o

280slbuff
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Re: deer alerts

Post by 280slbuff » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:52 am

THat may be so for "wind driven"deer alerts. I believe the electronic deer whistle is quite effective - commercial truckers testify to the value of this whistle and I have had one installed on my bike for 5 years. Guess what - I see deer taking note of me before I see them and very few are "spooked" - they simply perk up their ears and sometimes head in the opposite direction. Never in 40000 miles have I seen a deer cross the road after hearing the "Hornet deer whistle"approach. I always use this in deer country - I am convinced it saves deer lives as well as "dear lives".

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guitarzan
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Re: deer alerts

Post by guitarzan » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:31 pm

That's interesting. What set of Hornet deer whistles do you have?



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