Oh Deer! Ride Carefully!
To start this month’s Kaution Korner discussion, I would like to add a couple of additional comments to last month’s KK article on ABS Breaking Systems. First, to obtain maximum stopping power using your ABS system, in the shortest distance possible as quickly as possible, apply both brakes to the point just before your ABS kicks in. To find this engagement point you will to have practice. Next, newer Harley’s may have linked brakes. Where pressure on either brake will apply pressure on the opposite brake. The feature can be adjusted so that it does not engage below a predetermined speed. This makes sense to me, because at low speed you may want to apply the rear brake to help stabilize the motorcycles without using the front brake. See your Motorcycle Owner’s Manual for specifics (MOM). Or talk to your dealer.
Now for this month’s KK.
It is the time of year when animals are very active, as they are looking for or creating winter residence. It is my observation that there are more animals both small and large than ever before and they are not following previous year’s protocol. I saw a car hit the last of four deer at 3:30 in the afternoon on my pre-ride Saturday October 11th. It is very unusual to see so many deer out early in the afternoon, but the population has grown and they are on the move any time of the night or day.
Small animals, as cruel as it sounds, can be run over. Better to injure them than you or your motorcycle. The general rule is if they are small enough for a one person meal then run over them. Better to kill one than be killed trying to avoid one. Of coarse, you will probably need to clean the motorcycle later. Porcupines, skunks (pu), and large raccoons are probably better avoided.
Larger animals particularly those that herd should be avoided at all cost and you should slow to a walking speed when approaching them. Remember if you see one there are probably more of them.
Dogs can do geometry. When they see a motorcycle they calculate an angle of intercept. If you slow down they recalculate that angle. If and when you speed up they recalculate again but cannot run fast enough to catch you. So the best thing to do is slow down, let the dog take aim, then speed past the animal. Whatever you do, do not kick at the dog it can bite you or even get your pant leg and take you down.
As I sit here writing this article it is snowing, the leaves are almost all off of the trees, so be careful and cautious of frost, and/or wet leaves that is if you have not ended your riding season. Have a Happy Thanksgiving. Merry Holidays, and a wonderful 2015.
Remember as Top Cats we ride safely.