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Techniques for avoiding Kangaroos

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by PilotPete, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. Well last night my flat mate and i went for a late night ride cause he had his thousand k service today and still had 150k's to get. For anyone who has ridden around Canberra they will understand the enormous amount of roos around. I had previously ridden down Cotter rd and brindabella dr (a nice twisty bit of road) and we decided to check it out at a nice slow pace. Every few hundred metres there were a bunch of roos sitting on the side of the road and i noticed that some are smart and run away from the noise and light but there are the odd few who try and beat the light or hit it(not sure yet) anywaymy flat mate had a close call and clipped a roo with his front tyre which i saw in my mirror. On the ride back i had a roo try beat my headlight so i broke hard and avoided it but that got me thinking if their was anything that would stop them and a km or so down the road i got the chance to try out my new theory of beeping at them and it worked like a charm, scared the s#%* out of the roo and it changed direction and ran away from me.

    Just wondering if anyone else has tried anything else like this?

  2. Rule #3 of Motorcyling....Never trust a kangaroo.
  3. You're always going to be taking your life in your hands if you choose to ride at night in Canberra.

    #1 technique for avoiding roos: Stay at home. Go out tommorow.

    Other than that, if you're running the stock headlight, it could probably be upgraded.
  4. Ulysses have an article on Roo deterrents

    Seems Roo's hear best in the same frequency range we do, and slightly outside that frequency only at a distance of 50m [by which time you can be on top of them with your bike! :eek:].

    Horn seems to be the go, if you see them.
    Or get a louder horn.

    Loud pipes are probably actually a pretty effective passive safety system - the louder the better.

    ... + they sound cool.
  5. They are unpredictable. Do what the Tassie riders do. Don't ride in the bush at night.
  6. Did you read that article? They concluded auditory methods had no scientific backing as a method of deterring roos.

    There's no evidence a loud horn or pipes will make a roo take flight, and even if it did, that they won't fly into your path.
  7. well im 1/1 so far but i still slowed down just in case
  8. #8 Pist-N-Broke, Apr 16, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2014
    I have been using a simlar technique for years. When in macropod infested areas what I do is rest my thumb lightly over the horn button, and the bumps in the road are sufficient to make the horn sound erratically and in a stattaco manner. I do this every 500 m for several seconds or so. So far it works. They don't run and hide, you just don't see them! Compared to another day on the same road with no horn, I see many skippy's eating the green pick on the side of the road.

    Try it out for yourself. It's either that, or the $3 plastic chrome stick on roo whistle I had stuck on my front mud guard!

    Loud Pipes do scare roos.

    Well I have two extremely loud pipes, and I can tell you it scares the life out of any Roo within 50 m. The problem is I have to break the action and reload it after every two Roos!
  9. Roos are erratic. I try not to ride in the bush at night. If you see one slow right down as they are as likely to jump into your path as jump out of it.

    On a side note, in last years Icicle Run there was a note in the instructions to be careful on one 2 Km stretch because of the likelihood of roos. I slowed right down for the 2 km and even gave it an extra kilometre to be sure before blatting back to warp speed.

    It wasn't till after I finished the section that I realised I had misread the insructions and it was a 20Km not 2 Km stretch.
  10. in my experience theyre likely do both at the same time :LOL:

    parents nearly had a ute written off because they swerved to avoid a kangaroo only for it to change direction, and go straight back into the path of the car!
  11. I need not worry, they know who I am...
  12. i had one bounce off my front wheel through some twisties at like 3 pm, lucky i had jammed on the breaks, all but locked em up so i was down to about 40 when it hit, huge scare but no real damage to either me or the roo, just some fur transferr
  13. They only seem erratic to us because we don't understand their behaviour.
    I had this explained to me by a member here: an individual roo will try to get away, but if it's a family group (and you may not see the others), the group leader will try and draw you away from the others, usually by getting into your path.
    Since you don't know if it's alone or not, the only thing to do is hit the anchors as hard as you dare, because there's a good chance it WILL jump into your path, and try to stay there.
  14. But the test vehicle didn't hit any of them!
    If their results are based on a strike result; they may not be conclusive.

    Any noise that helps the roos take notice of you as early as possible is a good thing, IMO. Generally animals aren't stupid and are possessed of decent survival instincts - I think they would be safer when they aren't going to be startled by your more sudden presence.

    Plus, everyone needs loud and awesome sounding sports pipes, regardless of how many deaf and stupid animals there are drivi... ahh hopping around our roads...
  15. Honking can get them moving, but don't rely on them to move away from you. They have a tendancy to tun 180 at the last minute and run right into you so keep as much distance as possible when passing them.

    Further tips from me...
    1. Use your high beam as much as possible to maximise your view (fairly obvious) and keep to a speed where you can stop before hitting what you can see in the light (don't outride your headlight).
    2. Slow down a bit when there are trees/scrub close to the road as they can be hidden in there and jump on to the road when your bike startles them. You can speed up a bit if there's open paddocks next to the road on a moonlight night because you have a better view but keep your wits about you as they can still be hard to spot sometimes.
    3. Ride in the middle of the road (this applies for cars too), right down the centre line. This will maximise the space you have from the road side when roos start jumping out. It also gives you 2 possible dierctions for a counter swerve if you need it.
  16. #16 blaringmike, Apr 16, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2014
    Your first mistake was riding the cotter at night.

    There are enough roos to fight during the day let alone trying to dodge them at night. They are stupid and irrational animals.

    Also wombats and other creatures all come out to play after dark in the brindies. So your best just staying the hell away from the place at night.

    Yeah, they are called politicians. Unfortunately they overpopulate the place I call home. Bastards should be culled...
  17. #17 wizzardofaus, Apr 17, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2014
    I wonder if there is another country where the people eat the animals depicted on the national coat of arms?

    BTW the both taste great if cooked properly
  18. What speed should your bike be doing to best tenderise kangaroo meat?
  19. :LOL:

    I use a couple of roo-shoos on the front on my wife's Xtrail, I can say that it did work ONCE... was a roo on the side of the road
    ( about 400m ahead ), it turned its head toward us then hopped away.
    I assume it heard us coming
  20. The 20km road to my local fishing spot is practically lined with kangaroos.

    I've hit several in the ute over the years. I can put the hits into a few categories:

    The surprise hit: When I came around a bend and it was on the side of the road, its first reaction was to get to the other side of the road where the scrub was (an embankment was on his side) so it jumped across in front of me. BONK!

    The sudden change in direction hit: I've I'd slowed right down to let it hop across the road in front of me, once it got past I accelerated to get away from it and the sudden noise startled it so it changed directions and in jumped back into the side of the ute. BONK!

    The come-out-of-nowhere hit: These are the hardest to avoid. The roo which just happens to be transitting at full pace from point a to point b and needs to cross the road to get to point b. You don't see them coming, they just suddenly land in front of you. BONK!

    The first two were probably avoidable. If I'd been going a little slower around the bend, the roo, and I, would have had more time to react and move out of the way. If I hadn't caused the sudden noise in the second example the roo probably wouldn't have changed directions suddenly.

    The third example is just unavoidable. It's just bad luck and bad timing that the both of you happen to be in the same place at the same time. I guess the slower you're doing, the less damage you will get when you do hit one, but to avoid hitting these altogether, at any speed, is impossible because there's just no time to react. They're just there.

    If I see a pack of roos on the side of the road way up in the distance, I sometimes blast the horn (several short bursts), which causes them to scatter into the scrub long before I get there.

    I find dusk the most dangerous time. Dark enough that the grey fur of the roos is exactly the same shade of grey that everything else is at that time, but not dark enough that the headlights make any real difference. I prefer pitch black night because the headlights do actually make the grey show up better against the black background.

    I worked out what makes them so hard to see too. Their eyes absorb the light, rather than reflect them like a cats or foxes. If their eyes lit up in headlights they'd be a whole lot easier to see and try to avoid. But they don't, so instead they are ghostly shadows that may be a bush, or a rock, or a roo!