Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

First "uh oh" moment.

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by fifi1980, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. Hi everyone,

    It had to happen sooner or later I suppose.....

    A guy came flying out of a laneway I couldn't see turning right trying to beat a car coming the opposite direction to me. Everything went slow mo, I locked up the front a bit and the back of the bike was fishtailing. I think I was even screwing my eyes closed and turning my face away at one point. My front tyre ended up about 4 inches from his front bumper/ quarter panel. 8-[

    One thing I discovered is that there are a few similarities between riding horses and bikes (I know, bear with me!).

    Each time the back would kick out to the left I shifted my weight and shoved the bike hard with my left heel, same for the right, this happened about 3 or 4 times and you do the same thing on a horse, when their back end starts to drift out, you move your leg back a bit and press to move it back in line. I know saying "whoa" didn't seem to have much effect.

    What I'd like to know is- Is this how you're supposed to control a fishtail? Or have I had a plain old dumb stroke of luck?????

    The couple in the car were very freaked out, the driver looked like he was going to be sick. Sucked in. :grin:
  2. Thank god you were able to stop safely!!

    When the rear wheel locks up, you need to steer into the slide. eg: if the back end slides left, then steer left.

    Thats what we were told at the Learners course.

    I make a habit to practice my emergency stops every day, you never know when your going to need it!!
  3. mmmm, saying "Whoa" in an emergency; now there's a whole new dimension to learner training :LOL:

    Sounds like you did ok, fifi :)
  4. I know zip about horses so I can't comment on them, except to say that I can't imagine anything on a horse even vaguely relating to riding a motorcycle even though it may seem similar in effect, for some things...

    As said above...you steer into the direction of the slide...rear of bike goes left, then you steer in that direction.
    It is quite true that in dirt bike riding you would indeed weight the outside peg heavily against the direction of the tail slide...that would be proper technique in most circumstances...In road riding, there is also a weighting of the pegs that can take place on some styles of bikes for a bit of fishtailing here n there. I don't think the theory applies very well at all for many other bikes if fishtailing while braking.
    But it will come into play if a rear-end slide was to occur while going through a corner - (similar to dirt-bikes in a fashion) - then....on any bike, you would apply force on the outside peg - under the conditions of a slide like that on the road, it is effective...

    I differentiate between the two cicumstances because the pegs on say, a sportsbike, are set too far back for much effect while fishtailing a little under braking...you need to counter it with steering actions.

    So...no...you did'nt get lucky or just fluke doing the right thing, you instinctively did the right thing overall, but it was probably your steering input that played the larger role in your remaining upright, by what you've described IMHO. :)

  5. Well done.
    From my interpretation of events, thanks to (1.) skill/instinct >80% (2.) luck <20%
  6. Good save! Glad you are ok.
  7. Well Done !
    Sounds like you instinctively did the right thing, and it saved you a lot of grief.
    Not sure how I'd react if I were in the same situation.

  8. from what i am told from lenna (who was quite a good horse rider) and a few other riders, a lot of the basics about look where you want to go etc.... are very similar, though i think they are more referring to riding horses at speed.....to me it's just crazy to ride something with a mind of it's own.....me i like my horsepower not to have a mind of it's own!!!
  9. It does sound as if you saved the situation well, and I'm sure that your time in the saddle will have helped you to hone your sense of balance. That can really make a difference when your bike is unsettled underneath you - if you can shift your weight to your advantage you are less likely to be making the situation worse.

    Some good can come out of "uh oh" moments. They can remind us that the line between being in control and out of control is a very fine one, which should be motivation to practice emergency braking. They can also give us incentive to keep those buffer zones deep and wide around us and our bikes. The bigger your buffer zone, the more room you have to perform your miraculous escape!
  10. My horse does wheelies and stoppies too sometimes !
  11. To be honest, the bike sorts itself out during a fishtail, you've just gotta let it do its thing.
  12. I think weighting the outside peg on a bike that is fish tailing is more about supporting your body in an upright position, and maitaining your balance, so that you are able to provide the steering inputs, rather than actually strightening up the bike. It helps to decouple your body movements from the bike movements also.

    Like Devotard says, the bike sorts itself out, as long as you aren't inputing the wrong signals, by hanging on too hard, steering the wrong way, or putting all your weight to the inside of the slide.
  13. Thanks for the advice guys,

    Now I've read what you said about steering I was using the steering to control it, I think it was just that I was so focused on the back end of the bike doing it's thing, I confused the twisting of my upper body staying balanced and steering with using the pegs. :newb:

    What a relief to know the bike sorts itself out! :grin: But also a relief to know I can cope with emergency stopping in a real life situation and not just in a car park, I will sure be practicing them a lot more from now on I can tell you!

    Thanks again for your wisdom, I don't have anyone to ride with or pick brains of so you guys have helped heaps. :grin:
  14. I can't give any advice because I'm still just learning it all, but wanted say, I'm glad your ok Fifi ;)

    I sometimes think that it's good when people have close calls, because it makes us more aware the next time we got on the bike :)

    Happy you and your bike are ok!
  15. Thanks Dakotobre and you're so right...... one every couple of months would be plenty. :grin:

  16. :grin: Good ending there Fif ;)