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Thread: Gamecock vs. Deer at 70mph

  1. #1
    Hey Y'all, Watch This! Gamecock's Avatar
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    Gamecock vs. Deer at 70mph

    I hit a deer with the ST the other morning and I am thankful to be alive (and well) tonight. It was about 5:30am, on the interstate and I was traveling in the left lane going between 70 and 75. The deer ran out perpendicular to my path of travel and I hit her directly broadside. The bike is totaled (although Progressive has not yet officially declared it so). Defying all logic, I have only a bruise on my right ankle and left knee to show for it. It was incredible that the bike did not go down and I was able to limp over to the emergency lane to park the bike.

    I have re-played the collision in my mind many times trying to figure out how I avoided going down. I won't pretend that I made correct "decisions" because it all happened too fast to take conscious actions. Nonetheless, whether through training, instinct, or just dumb luck, I didn't lock my brakes and I didn't try to swerve (not that I had time to attempt a swerve in the first place). I think if I'd done either of those things, I would have gone down.

    I saw the deer coming in the corner of my eye a fraction of a second before I hit her. I got on the brake hard, but it was only a couple of tenths of a second before the collision. The impact threw the front wheel hard to the left, but somehow I managed to bring it back. By this time, the front end was shaking violently, probably because the fork was knocked out of whack. But the instant after I hit her, I remember thinking "I'm still up-right! I can save this!" and just kept even pressure on the brakes. I glanced back on my right and saw that the mini-van I was passing had slowed way down now and was probably 50 or so feet behind me, so I pulled into the right lane and just kept on going to the emergency lane where I brought it to a stop and parked it on the side stand.

    I'm pretty sure my right ankle is bruised from the deer's legs whipping back against that side of the bike after I hit her. She went spinning off to my right before landing dead on the white line on the right. The state trooper who moved her from the roadway said her skull was crushed, so I think her head hit the glass headlight enclosure (it was completely smashed out). A large chunk of fairing on the right side of the bike tore away and the entire front fairing and console is now out of whack. The little doors on the fairing pockets, for example, won't shut and the whole fairing sits about an inch above the tank where it used to fit flush. The radiator also appears to be destroyed. There may be other damage - I haven't seen the bike since it was hauled off on the back of the wrecker.

    I'm not sure how my left knee got bruised. I was wearing my padded pants, but my knee must have smashed into the fairing or something.

    I wouldn't try to suggest what actions a rider should take in the same situation. As I said, I don't recall making any conscious decisions in the split second that the collision ocurred. It just happened. But this event has reinforced my opinion that you should never give up or give in to "the inevitable." How many times have you heard "the car turned left in front of him, there was nothing he could do," or "sometimes you don't have any choice but to lay it down," or "if you hit a deer on a motorcycle at speed, you're going down." None of those situations are good, but I firmly believe there is NO situation in which the rider has NO control over his ultimate fate. You may not be able to prevent the crash, but you can still mitigate the damage. No doubt, I defied the odds the other day, but if I had just given up once the collision was inevitable, I might not be alive tonight and I certainly wouldn't have just walked away from it.

    At this point, my main concern is how quickly I can get riding again. Due to my odd work schedule, I have been playing a lot of phone-tag with the insurance adjuster, so I haven't yet heard Progressive's proposal. I get the impression she may still be thinking in "repair" mode, but I seriously doubt the bike can be repaired to my standards at any reasonable cost. Have any of you had experience with major repairs to a crashed ST? I'm not in the mood to wait around for months during the Summer riding season waiting for a shop to rebuild this thing only to find that they did a poor job. I'd rather just agree on a settlement amount for the totaled bike so I can go out and buy another one.
    2005 Honda ST1300, Garnet and Black (Gamecock)

  2. #2
    bobframe's Avatar
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    Re: Gamecock vs. Deer at 70mph

    Wow...it's every rider's nightmare.

    Kudo's for keeping the bike upright...it may have come down to your experience and training that allowed you to unconsciously do the right thing(s)...or it may have been dumb luck. Either way, I'm glad you weren't seriously injured. Good luck with your insurance company.


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    Vendor RealST's Avatar
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    Re: Gamecock vs. Deer at 70mph

    STOP IT GUYS! Two deer strikes now? At least you both kept it up. Though I agree that we have little ability to actually prevent us from going down after a deer strike, there is no reason we HAVE TO go down. As I said on the other thread, I have reviewed a lot of youtube footage of deer strikes and the ones that stay up have something in common. They didn't give up and they didn't lock it up. Reminds me of when I was sideswiped in Florida with an 18 wheeler behind me. My bike was totally out of control, but I was not giving up. I increased the speed to eliminate the wobble and then brought it down slowly on the side of the road.

    So yeah, Don't give up! Ever!

    Glad you too are safe. Now what color is yours?
    Larry Jensen

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  4. #4
    Site Supporter ST-Traveler's Avatar
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    Re: Gamecock vs. Deer at 70mph

    WOW !! glad your able to share your story. Hope you get back riding soon.

    Greg

  5. #5
    Moderator John Anthony's Avatar
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    Re: Gamecock vs. Deer at 70mph

    Sorry about your bike, glad you weren't more seriously hurt and thanks for the extensive debrief and advice. Good food for thought, that's for sure. Hope everything works out well with the insurance company. Can't imagine it wouldn't be totaled.

    John


    "Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you - not because they are nice, but because you are." - Author Unknown

  6. #6

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    Re: Gamecock vs. Deer at 70mph

    at that speed just the spinning of wheels will keep you up most times if your going straight , bikes can be replaced , and been there done that with deer , i was not as lucky, glad your ok

  7. #7
    Dwhit's Avatar
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    Re: Gamecock vs. Deer at 70mph

    It's that South Carolina luck to be sure...and rootin' for the right team.

    Glad you're doin' well.

    I use a restored GL1100 to pull our Bunkhouse, ride the ST1300XX thru the mountains, wife rides a Honda Shadow ACE

  8. #8
    Hey Y'all, Watch This!
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    Gamecock's Avatar
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    Re: Gamecock vs. Deer at 70mph

    Quote Originally Posted by RealST View Post
    Glad you too are safe. Now what color is yours?
    It's a 2005, so it was the dark red color, but "now" it has many splotches of brown due to the deer crap all over the front end. I forgot that little detail earlier, but apparently this deer lost control of it's bodily functions in the last moment before it's death. I'm afraid my riding pants had some collision "souvenirs" as well (from the deer, not me)!

    As an avid deer hunter, the other thing I've taken from this is that I don't ever intend to let another hunting season pass without using up all of my antlerless deer tags. I've passed on a lot of late-season does in the past while waiting for a trophy buck and ended up with un-used tags. I don't think that will happen any more. I'll give meat to everyone in the neighborhood if I have to, but I will do my small part to make the roads safer.

  9. #9
    Motorcycle nut the Ferret's Avatar
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    Re: Gamecock vs. Deer at 70mph

    Wow amazing you kept it up at that speed. Dang forest rats are a menace. With regard to insurance all I will say is don't let them begin repairs until they do a complete estimate including tearing it apart if necessary, and that I hate insurance companies!
    Harleys 65 M50, 59 XLCH, 49, 56 & 57 Pans, 94 XLCH Hondas 66 CB160, 67 CL77, 68 CB350, 73 CB350F, 67 CB450, 76 CB750K, 85 VF1100S, 00 CB750, 06 ST1300, 13 CB1100, 14 CB1100 Suzukis 76 GT750, 81 GS850G, 83 GS1100E Kawasaki 77 KZ1000 Yamahas 73 RD350, 73 TX650, 79 XS650, 81 XS650, 04 FZ1, 01 FZ1 Triumph 03 Bonneville T-100 BSA 69 750 Rocket 3

  10. #10
    Gotta make tracks Mark's Avatar
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    Re: Gamecock vs. Deer at 70mph

    Good to see you posting!

    Sorry to hear about the bike; but, glad you're only bruised too.

    Let us know how the Ins adjustment goes...

    If you love your bike, let it go.
    If it comes back, you high sided.....

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