Same thing happened to me last spring, when one took off from the side of the road after finishing its meal. Had to duck and got brushed on the helmet by that big wingspan. It's no joke, man - if it hit me in the chest, I woulda gone down for sure. When I see 'em on the side of the road, now, I move way over and slow down. They're sorta like flying deer.
A chicken flew up off the side of the road and right into the radiator of my SV650. Bent the radiator it didn't leak but I had to replace it. I've barely missed turkey vultures as well, it's a scary situation.
MORONS! Was riding late at night, on a back country road between Orlando and Clermont, and a large dark object ran right out in fromt of me. I thought it was a big dog, but it turned out to be a wild pig!
Totally trashed me, the bike, ('87 600 Kawasaki), and the pig! It was like hitting a low brick wall.
Of course they are bigger here! And they travel in bunches (flocks?). The ugly mugs always wait until the last second to fly away, then of course they always take off across the road. On our group rides the point man is nicknamed the "buzzard deflector." Mount and use a Fiam Freeway Blaster horn to encourage them to scoot early.
I once watched the guy riding in front of me get smacked straight in the face by a big crow. Almost knocked him off the back of the bike at like 80. Good thing he was hearing a full face, it was smeared with the birds blood.
Even if you don't hit them, those things, if startled, will try to lighten their load trying to take off. You don't want turkey vulture puke on you. It's a smell that will stay with you. And yes, it's vulture not buzzard.
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