Critters, critters & more...

I live in a rural section of Alabama that is infested with wildlife. Right now,the deer are staying in the woods so they aren't a problem but everything else (squirrel, rabbit, coon, etc.) are darting out from everywhere it seems and my luck has got to be running out. I've come so close to hitting one in the past few weeks but fortunately have not. For those who have hit smaller critters, were you able to keep the bike under control OK? I've ridden off and on for the better part of my 44 years and have managed not to have this experience so far but I'm afraid my day is coming.

By the way, some of what I'm calling small are actually good size. A mature coon around here is over 20 lb.s and the rabbit I nearly hit Friday was at least the size of a toy poodle. Was just wondering if anyone else was facing the same problem or had advise to give. Thanks,


Evil Demon Busa Rider
Donating Member
One day, we were riding along, following BA Busa. My wife was following behind him and I was behind her. A squirrel ran out in front of BA and he hit it square on and flipped the squirrel right at my wife's head. Hilarious!

A smaller animal, you may be okay. Just don't make any panic moves like sudden brake grabs or quick steering. I mean, if you can clear it without hitting it, fine, but mostly, just ride over it and take the bump.

Good advice from Wag. There's a video out the of a guy destroying a deer he hit head on. He never flinched. Not sure if it's real or not but I would stay the course and as said earlier, don't make any sudden moves.
I hit a small dog once and went down hard. I thought like wag that I could just run over it and take the bump. Boy was I wrong. Had to have my Acl in my right knee replaced. Good size coon or ground hog could put you down real quick if you hit it just right with your front tire. Only advice i can give you is to try your best to avoid hitting the animal dead center with you front tire if you can. :banghead: I hit the dog dead center and the handle bars were instantly ripped from my hands and down I went. A glancing blow will give you a greater chance of recovery trust me. Good luck and keep your eyes focused far a head of you and take it easy in the blind curves.
Do as Wag said. I was riding behind a car and all of a suden there was a dead racoon it the road directly in front of me.No time to move so I stayed loose and just rode over it.Everyone said how lucky I was.If you dont panic and just let the bike move around as it goes over you will be fine. Panic and brake or try to swerve and the outcome will be alot different. Just relax and go with the flow and you will be fine.


Donating Member
if there isn't any way to miss it, do like they have suggested and stay loose...your chances of crashing when hitting small animals is directly related to how close to your limits you are riding...if you hit a squirrel while riding at 99% of your bikes ability in a curve while you are scraping your knee pucks, you are apt to go down...always leave a little room for error on the street!!


Evil Demon Busa Rider
Donating Member
All good advice. There is no way to ensure that you're going to survive an impact but you can optimize your chances by doing the things which are mentioned above. Above all, remember that when you're in a panic state, your executive thinking processes shut down and you'll do the wrong thing if you haven't trained for the occurrence ahead of time.

That's a fact. Training will overcome the natural tendency for animal panic. You military and martial arts experts will recognize the value of this concept.

But, how do you "train" for hitting small objects in the road? You can put a 2x4 down in a parking lot and run over it a few thousand times. MSF uses this highly technical training device to good effect. You learn that it's no big deal to run over an object in the road if you stay relaxed, etc. etc. mentioned in the prior posts.

Training for hitting animals, etc. can really only be done one way and this through the mind. If you can vividly imagine the circumstances of an event of this kind and how you're going to respond, you can give yourself some "training."

Story: One day, my wife and I were cruising home from a long ride. It was well after dark and traffic was moderately heavy on the 91 freeway in Southern CA. I was about 5 seconds behind the car ahead of me and all of a sudden, it went over a piece of plywood and flipped it up in front of the bike, directly in front of me.

So, there I am, minding my own business and now there's a wall in front of me. It looked like it was 12 feet high and 40 feet wide. There wasn't much I could do, actually. I had just enough time in that blink of an eye to tuck my head behind my windscreen and I went through the board at 80 mph. It exploded into a gazillion pieces as I went through it. I stayed relaxed and just kept my fingers crossed. It didn't even unsettle the bike at all.

I was really lucky, though. All kinds of variables could have changed dramatically to make that a very unpleasant situation for me. If that board had been edgewise to me and I hadn't tucked in, it would have been the headless Busa rider going down the freeway!

You just never know. There are plenty of hazards out there, it's just part of the risk of our hobby!

Sorry for rambling!



Professional Booga Flicka
I hit a squirrel once. He ran out in the road, so I swerved a little to miss him. I guess he forgot he nuts, because he ran back the other way and met both of my tires at about 50 MPH. It was just a like a bump in the road except that he was launched at the bike behind me. Flying squirrel.

I've hit roadkill a few times and never had an issue, but I've never done it when I was leaning very much. I can imagine that getting pretty nasty. Good luck with those Gadsden coons! :laugh:


Donating Member
heres one for you guys try catching a canadian goose in the shoulder at 100mph dislocated my shoulder that was painful to say the least but i didnt go down felt like i got hit with a bowling ball


Donating Member
I have been lucky so far this year with the coons, squirrels, and rabbits. It's the turtles that have almost gotten me TWICE now this summer.

The road that my place is off of is very hilly through the middle of the woods with a river on one side of it. Both times the big snappers were sitting just on the other side of the hill I was coming over. I stopped the first time to try and get him off the road before another bike wasn't as lucky but when he snapped right through the stick I was pushin him with, I was done messin with him. Scary stuff.


GM of Haya's in the Hills
Donating Member
hit a coon once ..glancing blow doing about 70.... no real damage or deflection of the bike
A buddy of mine was riding a few summers ago with his girl on the back of a TL1000. She only had on lil-shorts and a tank top. He hit a armadillo at about 35mph. The front wheel jammed, locked the steering and they went flying. He grabbed her and held her on top of him but he was skinned up BAD. Totalled the bike too.

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