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First rain ride and nearly dropped the bike.

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by jimmyjames182, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. Well it's been pouring in sydney for 24hours so thought I'd try out the rain pants I bought 3 weeks ago.

    Came through a large roundabout that I use every time I take the bike out. As you accelerate to exit the road rises so while you're adjusting direction the weight of the bike is also shifting from front to the rear.

    In the wet I guess this was enought for the front wheel to come unstuck and I could feel it sliding out from under me toward my left - think I was doing 35kph at the time.

    Before I know it I'd backed off the gas, stuck my right foot out and used it to push off the road and the bike righted itself. Didn't have time to think about it and I'm glad it was a happy ending but I hope i never try and do it at higher speeds. I'm betting a slide across the tarmac would be better than a broken hip / leg / ankle.

    Going in I felt like I'd picked the correct speed for the exit - in the dry it can be done safely at 40-50kph. What should I have done when I felt the slide? Back off speed and try to regain my balance as the bike either right itself or I fall over?

    I expected rain to make a slide more likely but I was surprised how easy it was to lose control. Anyone else having fun in the rain?
  2. had the tail snap sideways at a level rail crossing here in newcastle under power after a train had gone through.

    i guess it was partly intentional though...

    i've got a terrible habit of testing out conditions under controlled situations so i can handle them better when im not expecting it.

    its a bit like e-brake practice, but for those other potentially sticky situations.

    i now know what it feels like to ride on a surface with virtually zero traction.

    the other thing ive been doing is downshifting hard when coming to a stop to slightly exceed the grip limit of the rear. i figure that if i know exactly where that limit is ill know how to avoid it better when i wouldn't want a slide to happen. i initially tried just locking the rear brake, but the ABS handles it too darn well and i just can't get it to fishtail no matter how hard i stomp :D.

    imho, knowing the limits of the bike and how to correct in the case of a wheel lock/slide is a must. go on, flame me for my methods.
  3. You did what you could do once it had broken free; but you need to think about HOW you ride in the wet so you limit this possibility, and the necessity for remedial action. My guess is that the roundabout may have had oil or diesel on it as well, which wouldn't matter in the dry so much, but added to the problem in the wet. Slower in and gentler throttle on the way out when the road is wet....
  4. I aint no gun-ho rider Jimmy, but the wet is something I've become used to as a daily commuter. It's hard to give advice without knowing what exactly caused the front to loose traction, but my experience tells me that :
    was not helping, in fact it may have made matters worse as by chopping the throttle you are shifting even more weight onto that front tyre. This has happened twice to me and in both cases I 'stopped' applying throttle.. but did not chop it. Try to keep it constant, or even decrease it a little.. never kill the gas.