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  1. #1


    I'm an Aussie member, travelling Portland to Portland (Or to Me) in a week or so through July, via Yellowstone, Glacier NP, then East. My wife (who's also riding) and I are curious about bears. Any advice on how to deal if we encounter them on the road?

  2. #2
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Big Sky Country
    All you need to know about bears from people who should know.....
    Kevin Huddy
    Silver City, Montana
    MOA# 24,790 Ambassador

  3. #3
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    San Antonio, TX
    Welcome to the forum! Enjoy your trip...hopefully bear-free!!

    Oh, and don't forget to stop in other Portlands along the way - Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York - just to name a few!
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Lansing, Kansas
    Welcome to the forum to both of you! Hope you have a wonderful trip, it sounds like the trip of a lifetime.

    About bears: very unlikely to see one up close but . . . avoid them at all costs.

    Good luck.
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  5. #5
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Central Ohio
    Stick to the speed limit and they will leave you alone...
    2006 R1200RT

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    All you need to know about bears from people who should know.....
    Thanks Kevin for that info. I have "seen" a bear while riding in the Ozarks, but have never encountered one while off the bike. I love all wildlife and like knowing how to react sensibly.
    Gail Thorne
    2017 F700GS

  7. #7
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Calgary, Alberta
    Quote Originally Posted by pdrbob View Post
    I'm an Aussie member, travelling Portland to Portland (Or to Me) in a week or so through July, via Yellowstone, Glacier NP, then East. My wife (who's also riding) and I are curious about bears. Any advice on how to deal if we encounter them on the road?
    The few bears I've encountered over the years ran away from me at full speed. Deer, on the other other hand, may jink this way and that.

    If you're going to be camping in bear country (the West) I suggest you pick up some bear spray at an outfitter in Portland and keep it handy in your tent with you. Discard it before your return flight; you don't want to take it through security.

    Have a great trip, and don't worry about bears.

  8. #8
    Registered User powwow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Bend, OR
    One of the most important things to remember regarding camping and bears, is to never have your food cache in your tent or your bike. Camp grounds in bear country will usually have lockers to keep your food in. There is also a line of thought that suggests you shouldn't keep the clothes you cooked in inside your tent, but I've never had an issue with that.
    Larry Gregerson; Bend, OR
    MOA #93031

  9. #9
    Thanks very much for all the helpful advice. I didn't realise there were so many Portlands, but we'll definitely try to catch a few on the way across.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Fargo, ND
    I have been in Yellowstone a few times. The bull bison standing in the middle of the road is a bigger problem than bears!

  11. #11
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    "Big Bend" TX
    As for bears in the road, they are rarely there when you are, but my sincere advice is if one is there don't hit it. They are pretty solid little or big creatures. If you are camping in bear country do invest in a good canister of "Animal Attack Deterrent", otherwise called bear spray. I've had mine for 10 years and never needed to use it but ...

    When we travel there are three things I am happy to have carried but not needed: by 1st Aid Kit; my Tool Kit; and my Bear Spray.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Any consumable, (toothpaste, lip balm, deodorant, food, water, etc) should not be in your tent.

  13. #13
    Some hikers believe that it is useful to have bells attached to their backpacks. The idea is that the noise from the bell will keep the bear away, i.e., the hiker has less of a chance of surprising a bear and having an unpleasant encounter. Others believe that the bell is a signal to the bear that dinner is approaching. Some other thoughts are found via the link below -

    For enhanced motorcycle safety some of my friends find another use for small bells; i.e., so-called guardian bells. Below is an example that may prove useful -

    But most importantly, remember we ride on the other side of the road. And folks in National Parks, particularly Yellowstone, are prone to stop suddenly when an attraction or unusual animal or feature is spotted. The drivers will not likely be paying full attention to the road whilst driving, thus motorcyclists need to be extra attentive.

  14. #14

    Bear spray thoughts

    1. In Yellowstone, there may be a traffic jam in the summer so you could have the unpleasant experience of being nearly stopped in a traffic jam with black bears walking around you. I went through once in a convertible car with the top down and was unnerved.

    2. Bear spray is reportedly available at Walmart and Cabelas (an enormous and interesting outdoor store.) There is a Cabelas store 15 miles South of Portland, OR, and Walmart 16 miles east of Portland. There are Cabelas in Boise and Idaho Falls, too.

    3. Here is an Idaho link to bear spray advice:

    4. Funny anecdote: I live on a floating home and have had beavers under my house at times, and twice used bear spray on them. Both times I forgot about wind direction and the spray ended up in my face, and also permeated the house, leaving us coughing, compelling us to leave the house for a couple hours. Also, bear spray is not like wasp spray--that is, it is not a thin jet, but a dispersed spray that goes about 25 feet, so you don't have to aim too well.

  15. #15
    RK Ryder
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    London, Ontario
    Besides bear spray I also carry a small air horn when in bear country. Fortunately I've never had need for either.

    Been told to aim the spray at the bear's chest and it will rise to the nostrils. The chest is also a larger target than the head.
    Paul F. Ruffell
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Knights of the Roundel #333

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