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Losing traction. Halp.

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by philmydang, May 6, 2011.

  1. So I had a quick ride of my brothers xvs650 and failed to notice the bald strip along the middle of the rear trye before taking off.
    Conditions were a little wet and as I rolled on the throttle in 2nd gear I could feel the rear tyre slipping out and the rear of the bike shifting sideways. Tried backing off the throttle as gently as I could and got a nasty kick in the opposite direction as the bike regained traction (I think this is because the bike leaned abit further out to the sidewalls where there is still tread on the rear tyre?)

    My question is, how does one prevent themselves from highsiding in the event of this. It was definitely a brown undies moment and I think I just got very lucky.

  2. This may sound obvious and ultimately unhelpful, but it'd help if you didn't ride a bike with bald tyres.
  3. 'Drift' into the slide by pointing the front tyre in the direction of travel.

    Don't get off the throttle too quickly! At least, not until your bike is vertical.

    You regained traction because you backed off, not because the bike was leaned over (you'd be on your @$$ if that was the case)
  4. High sides in this particular case can occur when the rider shuts the throttle quickly when the bike is sideways. The rear of the bike tries to get back in line with the front ( as that is what it does...follow the front) that sudden kick is what throws you off the bike.
    Holding the throttle on whilst steering in the direction that the rear is going ( i.e. steer into the skid/slide) untill the bike comes back into line then ease off throttle. EASY to say , most people swear release throttle and sometimes get away with it....sometimes not....mostly not.
    I agree with the last post don't ride with bald tyres , always better than the cure.
    Something to practice on a trail bike to understand the physics, something to avoid like the plague on a road bike

    cheers Michael
  5. Thanks for the obvious and unhelpful input.
  6. I think that's a bit harsh, one of the points you should take from this is that you inspect a bike before taking it for a ride. It doesn't need to be a roadworthy type inspection but your personal well-being is at stake.

    Otherwise +1 to the respondents above.
  7. Agreed. I was just responding to a sacastic comment with an equally sarcastic one. I usually remember to give every bike I ride a quick once over; tyres, brakes, lights (always seem to forget the bloody fuel tap). In this instance I forgot.

    Thanks for the helpful comments everyone - not sure if i'm game enough to try and recreate the scenario for practice though :-s
  8. Sorry but I just couldn't resist, at least I was honest and up front and told you it was obvious and unhelpful....
  9. Very true, I guess I can't really whinge since you provided an accurate disclamer.
  10. I haven't had a chance/been lucky enough/have a 250cc bike so these rear wheel shenanigans are something I haven't been yet to experience but what I have started to do at the advice of some people on this forum is practise a slow roll-off of the throttle for situations like these. Maybe it will help one day.
  11. I used to hit a big gravel/dirt carpark with no-one else around and carefully practice a few times. Then you start playing on the road, then you get booked..
    Grass is too slippery, you Will fall over..
  12. A big thanks to Phoenix and Michael!!

    I read this thread last night and this morning I hit some sort of white oily stuff on my way out of a roundabout. Your advice was so fresh in my mind, just steered into the slide and gently rolled off the throttle as i got more vertical. A bit hairy as i thought the back wheel was going to hit a curb but it all worked out in the end.
  13. And never shut the throttle off, once you have developed a tail slide. Maintain a steady throttle and steer in the direction of the slide, to regain control.

    Sounds simple enough, but actually it's quite difficult to do! :)

    Oh! Try to get your weight onto your legs, by weighting the pegs. Enough to allow the bike to move more freely underneath you, and it will help prevent you high-siding.
  14. Coming home from work one night last november, in a storm, and had the combination of high winds and cold rain blow the rear wheel out from under me, with it spinning away like mad, holding the throttle open, and waiting for it to regain traction in a straight line was what saved my butt. Mind It was still brown pants time, and I was on a 250.
  15. At the risk of being an old pedant, you can't teach someone who hasn't done it to control a sliding motorcycle on an internet forum or with a textbook. Sorry.

    There are ten thousand things that we old salts can say, that are arguably true, but unless you have a bike, and a place where traction is low but consistent, and perhaps the presence of a teacher or coach (I taught myself and I guess most of us did) then our advice is of questionable value.

    It's like trying to teach someone to do a complex ballroom dance (think foxtrot or something) via the internet, without a partner. Except the foxtrot won't kill you.

    If you want to learn to slide, start with a BMX or mountain bike, and a patch of gravel. Progress to a small trail bike. Try it on a small roadbike - commuter type.

    I'm not saying don't do it. Sliding a bike around is up there with dragging your knee. Done right, it's about as much fun as there is - clothed or not. What I'm trying to say is that you can't show someone on an internet forum.
  16. Very true i've managed to save it when i've been on the road,
    almost highsided last night.
    Haven't been so lucky on the track highsided at over $1.20

    I practice on my road bike all the time my driveway is about 200m long sealed but heaps of gravel on it my mum cracks the shit as she hears me come sliding down the drive way everyday.
  17. Yes, perfectly true...
    I spent a fair bit of time running around the bush, on a dirt bike.
    Getting sideways was nothing, and quite typical. In fact, i was seldom straight and level.

    Getting anywhere near that, on a roadbike, is instant crash, usually.
    I get out of shape a little now and then, and can handle that easily enough, but if the rear gets too far out, you are probably going to go down or just get lucky.
  18. Natural instinct is to shut it down. That in itself is going to make the bike want to throw you over the outside.
    Holding or modulating the throttle and hoping it holds it's slide and comes back gently is about the best the average rider can do. Keep the outside knee into the tank and the arms real loose. It can get a hippy shake happening when it regains traction.
    It's the best of fun and way of life on a dirty. On a roady it can cause a bit of anxiety if your not use to it.
  19. Dirt bikes on dirt tracks or gravel roads slide around constantly, and you start to get a feel for it very quickly. Modern sporty bikes on modern sports rubber, properly warm and the road clean, have not only incredible grip levels, but incredible consistency and predictability of grip, and when they do start to slide the transition is infinitely progressive and forgiving. It really is surprisingly easy. The only downside, is that you're talking about a pretty high level, high speed, high lean angle thing, and if you do get it wrong, it's going to hurt.

    Less sporty road bikes on more endurance focussed tyres are a different matter. A hard compound cross-ply tyre that has sat on the shelf for five years, on a mid sized cruiser let's say, on a cold day and a damp road, is likely to hang on up to about 35 degrees and then let go like a rope broke. You could reasonably expect to control a slide on that tyre if 70% or more of the forces were from the engine or the brakes, and realistically you could only expect to do it with compression lock like the motord guys. Your lean angle would be about 10 degrees.
  20. This is a little different and a bit off topic, but watch as Rossi points his front wheel into the slide where he wants to go. You want to essentially mimic this and slowly roll off the throttle from my understanding.

    You can see this in slow-mo 18 seconds into the clip.