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Which bike is better for hitting a dog - dirt or motard?


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Here's my question - Which kind of bike would handle a collision with a dog better - a dirt bike with 21" front wheels, or a motard bike with 17" front wheels?

Actually, this is not a theoretical question. I'm planning to buy a new bike soon, and the top two possibilities are a Honda xr250r (dirt bike), and a Suzuki drz400sm. I currently ride a Honda XL250 dirt bike. I live in Thailand, where thousands of dogs run free, and pose a major hazard for motorcycle drivers. I've already had two accidents with dogs. In the first one, a large dog that was running away from another dog ran full speed into my rear tire and flipped my bike onto its side. Fortunately, my helmet and riding gear (Fieldsheer armored jacket, knee guards, etc.) protected me. In the second incident, I hit a dog at night (I was able to slow down to about 20 mph before contact) and ran over him with both wheels. My bike didn't go down, and amazingly, the dog got up and ran away! (howling the whole way)

Here's my thinking: the xr250 has 21" front wheels, so it should go over a dog easier than a drz400sm with 17" front wheels, right? But the drz is about 35 pounds heavier than the xr250, so it would be less likely to affected by the collision, right? So which kind of bike do you think would handle a collision with a dog better?

Thanks in advance for any responses...

- Paul

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Front wheel size (17 inch or 21 inch) is irrelevant IMO

Get the bike that better suits your needs.

Get the DRZ-SM and put on the dirt-only DRZ carb IMO

FWIW the DRZ has extra weight for more pummeling ability

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A bigger wheel will roll over anything better and deflect LESS due to the gyroscope effect! I just nailed a groundhog yesterday and have gone over baby deer, too. If you don't believe it, to keep things the same, go ride into a curb with a kids bicycle and a 10 inch wheel and then go back and ride into the same curb with a 26in mountain bike tire on an unsuspended front fork. I take that back. Do the 26 inch mtb test first cause you won't be doing any testing after you face plant with the 10 inch into the sidewalk!

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I've been to Thailand and they don't eat the dam dogs.. lol

I love how I was walking around koh phi phi or koh mok and they would be seriously.. streets full of dogs.. NO cats.. and the next street would be cat, NO DOGS.. and a dog would never go into a cats street, because it would get a beating.. same for the cat..lol

Also I love how dogs cross the street...near patong.. they just "decide" to cross in full traffic.. they don't even look sideways.. they slooowwwlly walk.. and when cars or tuk tuks come by.. they stop, continue.. cars swerve, bikes swerve... nobody cars.. lol they are EVERYWHERE!!

also I remember the King ordered a mass cleanup once to get rid of the dogs that looked sick because there were just too many.

It was funny, everywhere we went.. a dog would always follow us around..and after a while.. he would stop and turn around and another dog would come and follow us.. they sort of like had "territories" that they wouldn't cross,, lol

Ohh and you people over there don't even have brakes on your dam mopeds.. lol start by installing brakes and then maybe you be able to avoid the dogs.. lol

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Hey, thanks for all the responses. So far, the xr dirt bike is ahead 4 to 1 over the drz sm bike. I know this issue is not as important as other issues in deciding which bike to get - just another factor to weigh in the decision. So far the plusses for the drz400sm are: (1) radiator (it's very hot in Thailand), (2) more passing power at higher speeds, (3) more weight = more stability at higher speeds. For the xr250r, the plusses are: (1) parts easier to find here and less expensive, (2) easier to maintain, (3) easier to pick up if it goes down. By the way, I have eaten dog here (one time in 14 years), when eating with some Akha friends (one of the hilltribe groups in Thailand), though I have Hmong friends who say they've eaten dog before. I've read it's very common in Vietnam, probably because it's such a poor country. It tasted ok - kind of strong and gamey, plus they had spiced it up a lot.

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