Self-Defense for Motorcyclists - Hypotheticals

Self-Defense for Motorcyclists - Hypotheticals

This is a discussion on Self-Defense for Motorcyclists - Hypotheticals within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; First, let me caveat: These are hypotheticals , that is, what-if scenarios that I'm interested in because I could potentially see myself in these situations. ...

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Thread: Self-Defense for Motorcyclists - Hypotheticals

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    VIP Member Array jmf552's Avatar
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    Self-Defense for Motorcyclists - Hypotheticals

    First, let me caveat: These are hypotheticals, that is, what-if scenarios that I'm interested in because I could potentially see myself in these situations. I know I should not need to say that, but sometimes that doesn't seem clear to everyone. So a response like, "Well, I would never get in that situation" is less than helpful unless you are describing a way a motorcyclist who could potentially get in that situation might set things up beforehand to greater advantage. So, obviously I'm a motorcyclist. I think being a current or former biker would give you the perspective I'm looking for.

    There have been many incidents documented where attackers have assaulted motorcyclists. For some reason, the incidents I've seen are mostly single attacker, so I will stick with that. Some of the reasons include:
    • Because they perceive the biker broke a traffic law and it is their responsibility to be a vigilante. This is a big one, believe it or not. These people would be much less likely to do this with another car driver, but there is something about motorcyclists that sets them off.
    • Mistaken identity: Another biker might have done something to them in the past, but people don't recognize bikes and bike gear like they do cars. It's kind of an "all bikers look alike" thing.
    • To steal the bike or rob the biker or both.

    I am interested in:
    1. How do you have your SD equipment set up for the possible scenario?
    2. What is your SA strategy for the scenario?
    3. What are your moves if it happens?

    So here are the scenarios:
    1. You are boxed in at a light. There is no room to ride out of the situation. A guy gets out of a car, no visible weapons, and starts coming at you with obvious hostile intent. You have very little time to react.
    2. You've stopped at a gas station or convenience store. The bike is shut down and you are off it. You may already have your helmet off. A guy pulls up in a car, gets out and starts coming at you with obvious hostile intent. You have very little time to react.

    Here is what I have now:
    • I pay a lot of attention to who is around me, which is just good riding procedure. If someone would be following me, I would probably notice. I also try to leave myself plenty of room to move at lights. Again, good riding procedure.
    • Snubby in a pocket holster in my motorcycle pants pocket, secured by a horizontal zipper that has a zipper pull. I can get this snubby out fairly rapidly, although not quick draw. I can fire it with a gloved hand. I would not like it to come to that, but if it is clearly a lethal force situation, I will go right to that.
    • I have pepper spray in a velcro pocket on my jacket that I can deploy fairly quickly.
    • I would like to have an impact weapon also. I have a Monadnock police baton, but I haven't figured a way to mount it that I like.
    • I have a fair amount of H2H training, but I am getting old and so I'm not as proficient as I used to be.

    My thoughts are:
    • Keep the bike between me and them. If I'm on the bike, I dismount on the opposite side they are coming from. If they come right up to the bike, swinging, I can dump it over on them as a first shot. If I am off the bike and it is on its stand, I can move around it.
    • Buy some time. If blows are being thrown, get in a solid hit, early. Fight to my weapons.
    • If the helmet is on, I have some protection for head punches and from pepper spray blow back. If it is off, it can be an impact weapon. I wear a full-face, so grabbing the chin piece gives me a good grip.
    • If my gloves are still on, they have padded knuckles. That gives me a range of punches I can use that might break my hand bare fisted.

    Any helpful thoughts from the group? What haven't I thought of? Any other hypotheticals you've thought of?
    Attack Squadron 65 "Tigers", USS Eisenhower '80 - '83, peackeeping w/Iran, Libya, Lebanon and E. Europe

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    Senior Member Array RonM0710's Avatar
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    Well, did you mention putting the kickstand down when you see them approaching? You will not see me dumping my Harley unless someone is coming at me with a lethal weapon. I would also dismount away from the agressor. I normally pocket carry a G43, but sometimes move it to AIWB. I carried in a SmartCarry all the way out Rt66 and back and found it easy access, even under my riding gear.
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    Distinguished Member Array riverrambler's Avatar
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    I am never going to be boxed in anywhere on a motorcycle. There will always be an avenue of escape, even if its just that car behind me ready to plow into the car in front of me because its a sure bet they'll swerve into you rather than hit the car. If its a chase situation I will ditch you. If you drive a porsche, I will ditch you, If you drive a Ferrari I will ditch you.
    There is no situation where I'll be drawing my gun when I'm on a motorcycle or bicycle. In those situations I'll be off bike, taking cover if time and availability permits. The only scenario that I can think of whenever I'd be drawing in a car is during an ongoing car jack. If I can I'll get out first and take cover.
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    Member Array MillennialGuns's Avatar
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    Wow, pretty thorough!

    The bad news, short of open-carrying I really don't think there is an ideal carry solution for motorcycles. At least not one that is ATGATT-compatible. Personally, I either carry IWB or inside my jacket for cross-draw.

    Truly, on a bike the default option is running away. You're way too vulnerable and staying for the fight when you have a nimble high-speed rocket under your crotch is just plain dumb, if it's an option. All the videos of bikes running away from approaching armed officers make clear that it's a highly viable option when it's potentially a legitimate aggressor.

    Besides that, the rest are common riding tips: never box yourself in, always have an escape route, keep your head on a swivel, ride like you're invisible, be aware of the cars around you...now that I think about it, all the common riding tips apply 100% to what you'd do to avoid an SD scenario. If you've boxed yourself in like the hypothetical suggests, you already screwed in a way. That's bad practice just because of rear-end collisions alone.

    One practical tip? Modular helmets. Being able to instantly open your helmet to both hear and see better in your environment, without temporarily occupying both hands or searching where to put it down, is priceless. Plus it's still in place if you can make a run for it on the bike.

    But yeah, most of motorcycle-related SD scenarios should probably be focused on gas stations and bike-jacking. The prior is regular SD, and the later is extremely difficult to plan for if caught by surprise - which is always an option.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Self-Defense for Motorcyclists - Hypotheticals-17.07.23.-0236-2.jpg  

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    Forgive me for just being candid in my remarks. Undoubtedly a person on a bike is more vulnerable than a person in an enclosed vehicle. But a person on a bike is not more vulnerable than a person who is on foot, that is, a pedestrian. I spend my away from the house time in the vehicle or on foot. I have a simple rule for either situation. It is to be prepared for any contingency.

    I carry three defensive weapons: 1) my handgun, 2) my folding knife, and 3) my body parts. If attacked I would use them in that order. I follow the advice of a fellow Marine I truly respect. “Be polite, be professional, and have a plan to kill everyone you meet.” So if a stranger approaches me I am (I really mean this) ready and prepared to kill the person or persons, and I know hormto do it. It is that simple. in combat you quickly learn that th best way to stay alive is by killing the other guy. I would rather go on trial for murdering him that he go on trial for murdering me. Semper Fi.
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    Distinguished Member Array riverrambler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MillennialGuns View Post
    Wow, pretty thorough!

    The bad news, short of open-carrying I really don't think there is an ideal carry solution for motorcycles. At least not one that is ATGATT-compatible. Personally, I either carry IWB or inside my jacket for cross-draw.

    Truly, on a bike the default option is running away. You're way too vulnerable and staying for the fight when you have a nimble high-speed rocket under your crotch is just plain dumb, if it's an option. All the videos of bikes running away from approaching armed officers make clear that it's a highly viable option when it's potentially a legitimate aggressor.

    Besides that, the rest are common riding tips: never box yourself in, always have an escape route, keep your head on a swivel, ride like you're invisible, be aware of the cars around you...now that I think about it, all the common riding tips apply 100% to what you'd do to avoid an SD scenario. If you've boxed yourself in like the hypothetical suggests, you already screwed in a way. That's bad practice just because of rear-end collisions alone.

    One practical tip? Modular helmets. Being able to instantly open your helmet to both hear and see better in your environment, without temporarily occupying both hands or searching where to put it down, is priceless. Plus it's still in place if you can make a run for it on the bike.

    But yeah, most of motorcycle-related SD scenarios should probably be focused on gas stations and bike-jacking. The prior is regular SD, and the later is extremely difficult to plan for if caught by surprise - which is always an option.
    Tell me more about your jacket. Did you modify it yourself? Is the holster stitched through the leather or liner?
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    Member Array MillennialGuns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverrambler View Post
    Tell me more about your jacket. Did you modify it yourself? Is the holster stitched through the leather or liner?
    I'm pending making a tutorial on how to make it. It's pretty trivial to do even if you haven't sewn a stitch in your life.

    It's just one of these (otherwise) gimmicky Ridge Outdoors velcro shirt holsters. The velcro "kinda" sticks to the jacket mesh, but to make it semi-permanent I just sewed the holster to the jacket's mesh lining pinching the edges with thread. At the top and bottom you can secure it over the existing stitching to the outer body if you'd like, without damaging the leather.

    In other words, it costs less than 5 bucks to do, can be done in maybe half an hour by hand with a needle and a thread, and since you don't sew through the leather you could remove it without leaving marks. It's the only carry method I've found practical for a sportbike in full leather gear.

    While riding, it's just about under my arm pit and I can barely tell it's there. Whenever I stop at a gas station or feel "uneasy", I just have to unzip a few inches from the top of the jacket and it's perfectly accessible. And it fits anything larger than an LCP. A 1911, M&P shield, SR9c...they all fit great.
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    Distinguished Member Array RedSafety's Avatar
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    Guy gets out of a car and approaches me, if I can't ride out, I'd get off immediately and face them on the opposite side of the bike. My pistol is in my CCW cut, grip at the ready. Obvious hostile intent, my hand is in the cut and wrapped around the grip. Left hand is on my keys/kubaton in my left pocket. If they keep coming, I'm running before shooting, if feasible. It's actually NOT that difficult to ride up a curb or between vehicles on most streets if you give yourself enough room.

    If I don't have time to get off, my hand is in my cut on the grip and probably being pulled out just to the opening.
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    VIP Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    You mentioned wanting an impact weapon, I'd say your helmet makes a pretty good mace! DR
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    Senior Member Array lordofwyr's Avatar
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    I have ridden the better part of my life, and have never faced any of those situations even remotely. I can say, if you do not ride like a J***a** you will probably never face any of the "angry motorist issues," and, except for maybe a bike jacking, and those are so ridiculously rare as to be like saying, "What do you do if a hornet stings you on the face at 70mph (which HAS happened to me on a freeway), are just thought experiments.

    That said, I always have a pistol available, and yes, you will laugh, but it is in the waist pack (or fanny pack, or MURSE if you please). But to use it, you better be sitting at a light or a gas station, because, no matter WHAT you see on Sons of Anarchy (or Mayans in the near future), shooting from a moving motorcycle is a quick trip to the morgue all on its own.

    Gas stations? If they have the drop on you, let them have the bike, or at least THINK you are, until they turn their attention to the key. Because of human physiology, they will be focusing on one thing at a time. They will HAVE to divide their attention at that point to try to mount it, and then all bets are off if you decide to shoot them. If there are two or more (and because of human physiology YOU may not even see the second of third person), let them have the bike. It may be your baby, but it is not worth getting shot to try to keep, in my opinion.
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    VIP Member Array jmf552's Avatar
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    @lordofwyr : I hear what you're saying and I agree. I do see some of these scenarios on YouTube, however, shown via helmet cam video, and they look pretty scary. Sometimes the bikers brought it on by acting stupid, which I would never do, but sometimes it seemed completely uncalled for. And such an attack is not justified in any case. There are clearly some people who have it in for bikers. I've never thought of ours as polite society, but I think we are devolving into a darker, downright rude society. Activities that seem to especially be targets of nut-jobs are ones that involve self determination/personal independence. I think motorcycling is an example. Gun-related activities are another.

    I would never shoot to keep my bike from being stolen. However, I would shoot if faced with a weapon and I had the opportunity, regardless of the stated reason for the threat. For all I know, once they get my bike and my gear, they may not want to leave a witness. So I would take any opportunity I had prior to the attacker having to make that final decision.

    I also would never shoot from a moving bike. My ability to maneuver would always be my go-to defense. Even if I am stopped, I will be looking for a way to accelerate and steer out of the situation. But there are situations where they've got you. There was that girl on a sport bike in WA back in January who got blocked against a guard rail by a big SUV in heavy traffic. The driver got out and just started wailing on her with his fists. She shot him with her Glock at contact range. LE ruled it a good shoot. You never know what can happen.
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    VIP Member Array CWOUSCG's Avatar
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    2nd scenario in the gas station has been covered pretty well.

    Your 1st scenario is you screwed the pooch, don't ever not have an out. You lost SA a block behind you.


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    Member Array tahmail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonM0710 View Post
    Well, did you mention putting the kickstand down when you see them approaching? You will not see me dumping my Harley unless someone is coming at me with a lethal weapon. I would also dismount away from the agressor. I normally pocket carry a G43, but sometimes move it to AIWB. I carried in a SmartCarry all the way out Rt66 and back and found it easy access, even under my riding gear.
    This with a Vedder lighttuck for a G43. fits in riding jacket pocket too.

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    VIP Member Array Bigsteve113's Avatar
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    I usually carry my KLCR or Shield OWB under my untucked T shirt on my bike. I occasionally pocket carry but try to avoid that because it's so hard for me to draw while seated.

    I NEVER let myself get boxed in when stopped, I ALWAYS leave myself an escape route. Not so much to avoid a physical attack, but more so because I'm paranoid about a some distracted idiot in a vehicle slamming into the back of me (i.e. texting drivers not paying attention to stopped traffic).

    That being said, if I were violently approached and couldn't scoot away, I would immediately dismount and deal with the threat just like I would in any other situation.
    CWOUSCG likes this.
    “Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn't even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.”

    ― Heraclitus

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    Ex Member Array CG11's Avatar
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    I've been attacked on my bike in the past, as a much younger man, and from those experiences realized the best weapon for survival is the bike itself. As long as you are able to move, you can out maneuver anyone, on foot or in a vehicle. Still, to be sure, the best defense is your situational awareness. Lack of it almost got me killed when I was attacked by a big rig driver. I escaped by going down the side of the freeway, at freeway speed. Not recommended, but it worked. The same is true in the gas station, be aware of everyone and all that is occurring around you.

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