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Incident and questions

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Obstinate, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Several days ago I decided to go for a ride along one of the twisty roads in the neighbourhood, a road that I am reasonably familiar with. However this was the first time I went on the twisties in the wet. That said, most of the road was dry, only the last fifth of the road was wet without any dry patches.

    Happened on that last wet bit of the road. I believed I was taking it very easy on that section. As I was taking a left-hand corner, my front started sliding out. I instinctively kicked out my left foot to the ground and believed that's what managed to kick the bike to a more upright position and for the front to regain traction, so by some miracle I didn't go down. Got nice and deep scratch marks on the boot's metal slider. I am still not sure why the front slid out: I was going slow, barely leaning, the throttle remained slightly opened through the corner, didn't make any sharp steering. Never touched the front or rear brake throughout. The tyres are in good condition. I do not recall seeing any oil patches on the road.

    So here come the questions.

    1. Was kicking the leg out to maintain the bike upright the best way to handle?

    2. In retrospect, when I was making quick turns around bends in the road (like swerving - the 'bars never stopped moving) I noticed that the bike felt like it was tipping into the direction of the lean, like it was less stable, like I was trying to steer it at walking pace. I suspect it could have been the rear tyre sliding out - am I correct?

    3. Haven't got much experience riding in the wet - is it really THAT slippery? In the car I can push it around the corner in the wet at maybe 80% of dry, whereas when the incident happened I was going carefully and nearly upright around the corners.

    4. Any other advice about breaking/regaining/controlling traction and how to practice it?

    Just by way of background, my riding experience is about 5 months, most of riding around the country roads. The bike is a Ninja 250r.

  2. Rain has a nice habit of leeching diesel/petrol to the top of the road surface after light/medium rain - it takes a real soaking to clear all that crud away. You could have just been unlucky and hit a patch of oil/diesel/petrol, in these instances your nose is your friend - you will smell it before you see it.
  3. It could have been a number of things though I would imagine if it was diesel of oil you would have seen some on previous corners.
    Could have been dead animal juices or something equally as random.
    Main thing is you made it home ok
  4. Dodgy handling in the wet and two M109r riders chime in straight away, it's as if that big arse rear end likes to squirm in the wet or something. ;)
  5. Now imagine that :)
  6. #6 dima, Jan 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
    I don't know if that's the best way to handle it, but Lorenzo did something similar.

    Update: I don't think you'll be able to control it anyway because if something similar happens, your Survival Reactions will overwrite everything you have in your head.
  7. Yep, I believe a light shower, or the first few minutes of a decent drop, will make the road very slippery, as 109er mentioned.

    Putting the foot down, is a natural reaction.... and probably saved you this time, being on a light little Ninja.
    Many knee joints a blown by this reaction, especially on a heavy bike.

    I can sit here and tell you to straighten up the front, use any bumps in the road surface to ride like a berm, and a slight bit of rear brake will pull the bike back up, all good on paper! :bookworm:
    but in reality, what you did is most riders first reaction. So I'd say you had a bit of luck on your side.(y)
    I can only suggest to slow down a little when it first start to rain.

  8. #8 dima, Jan 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
    A few things:

    - quick turns. You absolutely should not do it in wet. That was one of the exceptions mention at the Superbike school.
    - different feeling of the steering. I don't believe you should feel very big difference in wet. That prompts me that you were a little too hard on the bars. That in turn could mean that you should relax the hands/arms and grip the tank better with your legs.
    - speed. You description makes me think that you were NOT riding according to conditions. Speed is a big part of that. So slow dow in wet. Very significantly.

    Wet is always pretty slippery. Although there's a fair bit of traction (even up to 80% of the dry) when going straight.
    The car has 4 wheels and is million times more stable than a bike and yet sometimes slips.

    If you lock the front wheel while breaking in wet, I guarantee you won't be able to reapply.
    You can deal with locked rear.

    But generally any unsmoothness in wet will put you down (similar happens on the grass if you happen to run into it).
  9. Thanks everyone - that Lorenzo clip pretty much sums it up, it just happened to him as he was turning, whereas I was 3/4 into the turn.

    Maybe I should find some gravel for practising brake lock-ups. Kinda know how the rear lock up feels from riding a pushie, used to do it for fun as a kid, slide it out of alignment and release the brake, simulating what I now know is called highside. Front wheel lock ups - not much skill doing that.
  10. Wouldn't have thought so. If your rear slides you know instantly what it is.​
    More likely insufficient throttle, ie. not rolling on (maintenance throttle) to compensate for the natural slowing of the bike through the corner.​
    If you haven't already, would suggest you read robsalv's Noob 101-104 Cornering Basics stickied at the top of this forum.​

    :shock: If you do, please let me know where to send the flowers.​
  11. Controlling front brake lock-ups is very skillful and could prevent you from crashing one day. Only thing is that it's very risky and difficult to recover from
  12. ive saved 4/5 front lock ups
  13. Ehhh, little gravel rash never hurt anyone... too much :bored:
  14. *presents unconnected with trophy*
    • Like Like x 1
  15. OP, what are your tyre pressures (front and rear)?
    How much wear/squaring off have they got on them?
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Tyres not squared off. Tyre pressure could have been an issue: last time I checked before the incident was on a very hot day at the end of a ride. The incident took place on a cold wet day. How much DOES tyre pressure affect the ride?

    I run recommended 200F/225R for the Ninja 250.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Good job.
    But how many of those were in wet, out of curiosity? :)
  18. Just to clarify, mine wasn't a lock-up as such - no front brake was engaged at any time.
  19. Is significant.
    Affects contact patch, the way a tyre corners - together, grip.
    The manufacturer's recommendations you've given above 200/225 (28/32psi) are for when tyres are COLD, ie. pre-ride, morning before rising ambient temperatures or sun's radiant heat affects it.
    If the pressure's too low can result in bike becoming unstable, sometimes described as "squirrelly" in a corner, or vague.
    Should be part of a regular pre-ride check.
    • Like Like x 1

  20. :rofl: Nice change of pace nightowl(y)