Buffalo vs. Hog: Motorcyclist Flies

Deer are the big problem for motorcyclists, but this is a reminder for motorcyle riders to be careful of all wildlife this summer. This rider found that the only bad thing about buffalo isn't their smell. **By [Ar

A motorcyclist on a Harley Low Rider was flying high after an encounter with a bison in South Dakota's Custer State Park. The incdient highlights the danger that wild and domestic animals can pose to motorcyclists.

The rider was part of a line of traffic that encountered and tried to pass through a herd of buffalo that was crossing the road in the park. Reports differ in the details, but some say the motorcyclist and his Harley were thrown 15 feet or more into the air by the buffalo, which can weigh a ton or more. The rider was also gored in the leg and hospitalized. The injury was characterized as not life-threatening.

Asked how high a bison could throw a motorcycle into the air, the Park's buffalo expert replied, "How high would you want him to toss it?" according to this report on the Aberdeen News (SD) site. He also said that the buffalo aren't really agressive yet; that happens in another three weeks during rutting season.

The incident serves as a reminder to motorcyclists to consider the threats that wildlife pose and to never take the actions of animals for granted. Though buffalo are an obvious threat because of their mass, all kinds of wildlife can be dangerous to motorcyclists riding in rural areas. This article tells of a rider who crashed after hitting a groundhog. A couple in Maine collided with a moose, killing the rider and critically injuring his wife. Our own staffers have had collisions or close calls with everything from badgers to vultures, and collisions with deer kill dozens of motorcyclists (as well as some people in cars) in North America every year and injure many more. Motorcyclists and officials in some states are concerned that there are more deer on the roads than ever and are advising riders to slow down and wear helmets and other protective gear when riding in deer country, especially near dawn and in the evening when deer are likely to be moving.

Dogs and livestock are also involved in motorcycle accidents. We have even read a report of a motorcyclist who was killed by a dog that fell off a railroad overpass. In most of those cases, the animal is also killed, but if this rider wants revenge on the bison, he'll have to pay $4000 and apply for the park's annual winter Bull Buffalo Hunt.

This story is also posted on the website for the Rapid City Journal. This bizarre deer incident also happened the same weekend.

For more information on safe-riding equipment, strategies, techniques and skills, see the Street Survival section of MotorcycleCruiser.com.

Don't assume that Bison are docile.
In this corner the champ...
And on the receiving end...
Deer and motorcyclists are hazardous to each other.