It’s always a bit disconcerting when you’re riding along and suddenly spy something flying directly towards you. Whether it’s a piece of litter, an insect, or perhaps a piece of gravel falling off a dump truck, the first instinct is to try to dodge, but if you’re moving too fast, you can only hope it’ll leave nothing but a small smear without scratching the paint.

But what if that piece of debris was a metal license plate coming loose from the motorcycle ahead and flying toward you like a government-certified ninja star? That’s what happened in this week’s video when a loose plate strikes and impales another rider’s Honda CBR954RR.

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The Honda rider was lucky the plate hit his fairing and not him; armored or not, he could have been seriously injured in this freak accident. If that was me, the first thing I’d do after making sure I wasn’t hurt was check to see if I had soiled myself.

  • Craig Hoffman

    I had a crow bounce off my helmet while I was going at high speed. Managed to duck, it hit the top of my helmet and it was a good impact. A buddy was not so lucky. He had his heavy leather jacket on and caught a crow in the chest at triple digit speeds (why does this crap always happen when we are going fast?). The crow’s beak punctured the jacket and he got a small triangular stab wound on his chest. He was OK, neither of us crashed in our incidents.

    Splatted a few squirrels, but my nightmare scenario is hitting a deer. Had a few close encounters with those over the years. This tends to keep my speed in check when out in the remote mountain canyons.

    I zip by 18 wheelers, no lingering around those and yet I had a truck lose a re-tread, got lightly whacked in the head with that too. Funny how this stuff happens in slo-mo. Managed to duck and move over some to avoid fully getting hit by that.

    The reality is, we are exposed. Ride long enogh and you will get nearly hit or actually hit by something flying or running your way. A flying license plate of death. That is a new one!

    • Kevin

      I maybe wrong but I seem to remember that you are from Colorado, which though I no longer live there is my Native state: I started riding motorcycles there and to date have ridden all 48 of the contiguous: In all of that CO is still for me, the most wildlife hazardous place I have ever done any riding in and although it has been over 40 years ago I still vividly remember the intense discomfort of 4 1/2 hours a nurse spent removing quills I collected from a porcupine I creamed on US 6 in Clear Creek County: Ride safe Craig:

      • Craig Hoffman

        Yep, in Colorado. Thanks Kevin, you stay safe as well. The “porcupine incident” must have really sucked. The last “incident” I had was comparatively minor. A yellow jacket somehow got down inside my gear and was stinging me on the chest. I was riding along, beating on my chest with my left arm like Tarzan. Pretty sure the people around me thought I was nuts 😉

        • JWaller

          What a coincidence. Yesterday I somehow got a yellow jacket that went down the back of my jacket and into my shirt. I got stung on the back. That just a week after taking a bee to the exposed part of the neck/collar region. Yellow jacket stung like an S.O.B.

  • JMDonald

    I was behind a pickup on the toll road when the wind caught the mattress he was carrying. I was far enough behind him to be able to ride around the thing. It was still a little disturbing.There is something to be said for being the only one on the road. I live for that.

  • BTRDAYZ

    Imagine catching that plate in the head of a rider who doesn’t believe in helmets!

  • allworld

    Looks like a MA plate………..

  • Lisa Glover

    We tend to rail against pickup trucks with open items in their beds (or at least, I do). Beware of throwing stones when living in glass houses.

    • Kevin

      The only thing I’ve ever caught flying off of a pickup was a loose lug nut that flew off a wheel and took out the headlight on my first bike: It was an eye opening experience and I have been riding behind a windshield ever since:

  • Backroad Bob

    He wouldn’t believe in helmets afterwards either. He wouldn’t believe in anything.

  • Rich Hoffmann

    I was doing a woman friend a favor one afternoon. She had bought a HD Deluxe from a private owner on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She needed a close reach seat installed so it would fit her short legs before riding the bike.
    . So, she called me up and ask if I could ride the bike to her place about 40 mile ride.
    We got the bike…cruised down the road a bit stopped for gas. Headed back down the road at about 60mph…I see this Turkey Buzzard in the middle of the road munching on some road kill. I’m coming up on it ..it’s still not moving. I moved a bit to the right…just as I got up to it….it doesn’t take off in the opposite direction,,,but my way. I just ducked enough. Gosh those Buzzards are huge when there right on top of you. My woman friend following me in her car said the wind span looked almost the size of her bike.
    So, need to really slow down…..buzzards want to make more road kill …hungry bastard.

  • Rich Hoffmann

    I was doing a woman friend a favor one afternoon. She had bought a HD
    Deluxe from a private owner on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She needed
    a close reach seat installed so it would fit her short legs before
    riding the bike.
    . So, she called me up and ask if I could ride the bike to her place about 40 mile ride.
    We
    got the bike…cruised down the road a bit stopped for gas. Headed back
    down the road at about 60mph…I see this Turkey Buzzard in the middle
    of the road munching on some road kill. I’m coming up on it ..it’s still
    not moving. I moved a bit to the right…just as I got up to it….it
    doesn’t take off in the opposite direction,,,but my way. I just ducked
    enough. Gosh those Buzzards are huge when there right on top of you. My
    woman friend following me in her car said the wing span looked almost
    the size of her bike.
    So, need to really slow down…..buzzards want to make more road kill …hungry bastard.