WR450 vs Western Diamond Back Rattler!

I wish I would have had my digital camera with me to prove this, but I didn't so you'll just have to take my word for it.

While riding at my local area last night, I climbed a small hill to take in the sunset. When I got to the top, I parked the bike and cut the motor. I usually stop with my left boot on the ground and my right boot on the peg. I sat for a minute taking in the scenery and then decided to head back to the truck since it was getting dark.

As you would expect, I dropped my right boot so I could check my gearing with my left, and just as I was about to fire up the blue beast, I heard this strang buzzing noise from under the bike. When I looked down, there was a 24" baby rattler attacking my SIDIs! :) He had blended in so perfectly with the ground that I never saw him.

I quickly pulled my boot back up but the little bugger wouldn't leave. He just coiled right back up where he was under my bike. :D I finally had to kick rocks at him using my left boot. Even then I couldn't get him to move more than a couple of feet, but it was enough so I could at least move the bike without running over him.

I ride out there all the time and I have never had this experience. I sure was glad I had my boots on. :D

For you Utah riders this occurred at 5 Mile Pass. This was the first time I had seen one in the wild. It was pretty cool.


I can't remember the rules for the rattler exactly. It goes something like peak time of day they are out, where they tend to nest and sun themselves. Some of the Calif & other western states might be able to kick in the 10 commandments of snake safety. That could save somebody a day's ride instead of a day at the doctor.

I believe it. Over the years, I've seen a few of them while riding. Never got close enough to have one strike at me though! :)

I've only encountered one diamondback (while hiking) and it was huge! In our area, western rattlers are common and they are usually out in the evening enjoying the warmth of the earth before the sun sets. No snake can survive in the direct sun very long, thats why they are found under shade like rocks and rotting logs. They will try to find a warm spot to sleep, and can migrate into campsites where you have something that is warm that they can crawl under or into. I have seen snakes crawl into automoble wheels because the brake rotors and tires act as a thermal reservoir. Most rattlers are very, very docile and just want to be left alone. Also around here (norcal) they tend to migrate in the fall and you will see them crossing the trails a lot. I actually saw a large one on the trail once in front of me, I lofted the front end and unloaded the rear while I went over it - it never even coiled!!! I always wondered what would happen if they had the disposition of a gopher snake - those things are very aggressive and will chase you - I know - I've been chased by them as a kid.

Did you guys know that they also can control the amount of venom they inject? That's why a defensive strike is sometimes relatively venom-free.

Diamondbacks can kill an adult, western rattlers don't have near that amount of venom. Leave 'em all alone. :)

Have seen them during rides on rare occasions. More concerned about the ones I don't see than those I do. My theroy is that I treat ALL snakes like King Cobras. :):D :D

I always wondered what would happen if they had the disposition of a gopher snake - those things are very aggressive and will chase you - I know - I've been chased by them as a kid.

I occasionally go to southern Illinois for some Bass and Catfishing and dove hunting. We were dove hunting one Sept. afternoon in a dirt field next to a Milo field waiting for the dove. Out of the blue here come a black streak, my buddy says, you better get the F%&* out of here. After quite a sprint to the truck he says, "blue racer." Holy balls, if they were poisonous like a rattler... WOW. That thing was after us like stink on S&*%. I actually emailed the crazy ass Croc hunter and told him to come out here to Idaho and catch rattlers and drink Fosters with me. Needless to say he didn't return my email. :)


Even then I couldn't get him to move more than a couple of feet, but it was enough so I could at least move the bike without running over him.

I must confess that my natural, instantaneous reaction might have been to see how far my roost carried that bugger... If he had already struck me, there would be no further negotiations :) .

snakes are scary... at least to me so if i ever see a rattle snake that's trying to snap at me i'm gunna launch that sucka into the next county with my michelin s12's.. :D hopefully i dont get yelled at :)

That's a great rattler story! Sidi should advertise their boots as being snake safe! :)

Most of our dirt bike trails are too high here in Colorado for rattlers. However, there are tons of them in the foothills near Denver and I have seen many on my mountain bike. I have run them over, passed them by, and ridden around them many times. Usually you can see them waiting on the trail though. And they tend to be out the most on a nice 75 degree fall day looking for one last meal before winter I suppose.

I didn't think they could control their venom, but rather how much venom they put out depends on how long it's been since they've eaten. If they have had a meal recently, and you get a bite, you have a good chance of not getting any venom. So, next time, ask the rattler if he's full before hastling him. :D

Bryan in Denver...

Heck, I'd "blipped" the throttle while using him for traction! :)


They actually do control venom (as do nearly all venomous snakes) - less for smaller prey, more for larger. Some experts think that they can even control the amount to each individual fang. You'd be surprised at how sophisticated some critters are.

And a note to the wise, nearly all fatalities (about 8 per year) are due to handling or attempting to kill a snake.

Up here in massachussets the only snake i see is my pet boa constrictor. although i have seen some animals on the trail. ive seen about 15 deer in the last year while riding, although during hunting season i was lucky enough to see NONE. same thing for turkeys.

This would have been no problem for me. The feces flying off of my bike would have scared him away.

That is crazy! I ride 5 mile pass a lot. I have never seen many snakes there. Aragonite was the place I would always see them at.

I would have to agree with the Politically Incorrect folks. They would be re-naming them the Western Dunlop-Back after I had left the scene. My best friend almost died back in '96 from a rattlesnake bite while fishing. He wasn't intentionally bothering the snake, he was walking on a steep rocky ledge and put his hand down to balance himself and "BAM", he got bit twice in the forearm. It was nearly fatal probably because he had a 45-minute hike to get out of the area. Some local power company workers called emergency help and he was airlifted to hospital. 11 days in critical care !! The only reason I bring this up is because many of us ride where we are a long way from help, be careful and dont fall into to thinking that you'll only get sick for a day or two. It really can be quite serious. Not always but sometimes. See Ya'...rekless :)

Interesting :) I have never seen a rattler at Five Mile, but I have seen alot of gopher snakes, came upon a den of them (30+)in a wash one day.

I'll need to watch where I step next time :D

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