Whether you’ve personally had an encounter or dread the possibility, it’s important to know what to do if a dog chases your motorcycle. The foremost reason dogs chase motorcycles is their natural instinct. Every dog has some amount of natural hunting instinct that might trigger them to chase behind a speeding vehicle. Some dogs are simply indulging in a playful activity, like fetch or frisbee. No matter the motivation, it can create a very dangerous situation.
So what do you do? Just twist the throttle and hope that you outrun the dog? Or do you lift your legs from the foot pegs and pray? The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) offers the following suggestion:
Once an approaching dog is spotted, a good rider response is to slow down, including a downshift, then accelerate past the point of interception. Don’t kick at the dog because it will make controlling the motorcycle difficult.
Dogs aren’t the only animal to look out for on the road. Those that don’t chase may simply wander into your path. Don’t let one distract you and cause a spill. Here are a few general rules to follow if you encounter any animal on the road:
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- Slow down well before you reach the animal.
- Do not – repeat – do not kick at the animal.
- If the animal might intercept you, slow down and then speed up before the interception point. It will throw the animal’s timing off.
- If a deer jumps out in front of you on a country road but is far enough ahead not to be worried about – watch out for its mate. They tend to travel in pairs.
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