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Oil or water. which is worse?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Bogus69, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. When it has been raining I notice that the centre of the lane often drys 1st.
    I would guess that this is cos oil and water don't mix.

    The question is...
    If the wheel tracks are very wet, but the centre is "dry" (but obviously oily) which will offer better traction?

  2. water is always less slippery IMO!
  3. None,

    There both slippery!! :p
  4. Always water. Your tyres clear the water, but oil 'smears' on teh rubber and makes it slippery requiring heat/friction for it to be removed.
  5. Sorry for being a smart arse.

    Stay away from the oil, and be nice and smooth on the water. Mouth has given some good advice.
  6. ABSOLUTELY no question. Water is infinitely preferable to oil, every time.

    Your bike's tyres are designed to squeegey through the water and disperse it, leaving the tyre in contact with the road, and, despite what it FEELS like from the saddle, that's exactly what they do.

    If you want proof of that, follow another bike while the road is wet and you'll see it happening.

    Oil is lighter than water and floats on its surface. It provides no adhesion and the bike's tyre cannot disperse it.

    Never ride in the middle of the lane when the road is even damp...

    (that's my 2 cents worth anyway)
  7. Definately the water. However as oil floats on water due to it's lower density wouldn't the oil move off the centre line BEFORE the water as it's floating on top. Now i know cars drop oil from underneath and therefore lands on the centre of the lane.

    My point is it wouldn't be dry because oil and water don't mix because the oil would move before the water, therefore leaving it wet (water) not dry (i.e. Just oil) Does this make any sense??
  8. You'll probably find that the road dries in the middle quicker due to i) camber of road, therefore less water on it as it runs to the edges and ii) air/heat from engines of cars passing over it and iii) not being used by tyres that are continually wet.

    While the centre of the road might be better to ride on because it is dry, you might find that the tyres pick up oil and when you go onto the wet part of the road it'll be slippery as hell.
    I've found that the middle of the road is only better to ride on when there has been consistent, reasonably heavy rain for several days and water is pooling in uneven parts of the road where the cars/trucks tyres go. Generally, I move only slightly over from the wheel tracks to avoid the pooling water but not far enough to be directly in the centre of the road where all the crap can be.
  9. Cool, thanks guys. That all makes sense. :)

    The centre is stained with oil so I don't see it going anywhere. I thought oil acts as a repellant to water so the water settles elsewhere in the lane, ie everywhere else which makes the centre LOOK dry by comparrison.
  10. A minor extension to this question, how about greeny moss growing on those cold mountain roads. Can tyres deal with them or are they just as dangerous as oil mixed with water?
  11. Yeah that makes perfect sense. Oil does act as a repellant if applied to a surface and therefore will cause the water to run off. So if the road is 'stained' with oil then what you said makes perfect sense and i apologise if i made it seem otherwise.

    I was referring however to oil being dropped by cars while it IS raining, making it fresh oil and not stuff that has sat there for while allowing it to stick/adhere to the road surface not allowing water to get under it and wash it away.
  12. or oil being dropped by HDs? :LOL:
  13. More oil/grease is dropped on the road when the cars are wet, as the water ends up washing a lot of it from the underbodies of vehicles (even though water doesn't remove oil, it takes a fair bit off).

    Since oil is lighter than water, the oil will rise to the surface of any puddles. Where there are no puddles, the oil will settle on the road surface. So the wetter the area, the less oil is on the road surface...

    As has been mentioned before, the grooves on your tires get rid of the water so that the tyres can access the road surface for grip, so as long as your not going through foot high puddles, you should be OK.
  14. Well, oil is best to smear on the girls body first.... And then the water is used to wash it off, slowly..... He puts the lotion on the skin and then returns the lotion to the bucket!!!!!

    Damn it, sorry all, could not help myself. MOUTH is 100% correct, so is RC.....
  15. Ride on the dry section, unless it is near where cars are stopping (traffic lights). The reason the middle of the road is dry is due to the heat from the engine of cars. This heats up the road and drys it out. Similarly sometimes the tire sections will dry out first, typically in areas of braking or acceleration, as the heat generated by the tyres helps dry the road.

    Oil on the surface will not make the road stay dry.
  16. Just as dangerous. Stay well clear of it. Treat moss as dangerous as oil or wet bark
  17. A small extension to the ride postioning ... always take the proper 'racing line' when cornering in the wet. ie. the inside of the lane at the apex of the corner. Cars always drop oil on the road when cornering and it will gather on the centre or outside wheel track.
  18. Make sure you don't spend all your time looking at the road surface. Cages take longer to grind to a halt in the wet...
  19. Mouth is right and so is v_q

    Since most car drivers wouldn't even know what taking the right "line" for a corner is, you're much safer taking the racing line as it's likely to be cleaner. Wide on the run-in, clip the apex and wide on the run-out.

    And none of this absolves you of the responsibility of being twice as vigilant in the rain as you normally are. Car drivers drive faster in the rain so their cars don't get as wet!!!!!
  20. the racing line on a right hander will also take you into the path of the car/truck that ran wide, and also took you much too long to see it because of your poor road position - best move is to slow down and keep visibility and options open.

    As for the earlier question about green moss on the roads, i find that it is still slippery, but not as much as oil, and less so than water - wet moss is quite slippery though.

    Consider that it tends to grow in cool, shady wet spots - the places you need to be wary of poor grip in anyway. No, your tyres cannot disperse moss! :)