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Recovering from a slide (wet and oil)

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by m_wave, May 6, 2013.

  1. Hi All

    I took a ride in the Adelaide Hills over the weekend and had a little moment on the twisties and thought I'd share it with you and get some advice on how to handle it.

    The road was mixed dry/wet in areas so I was focussing on being smooth with my throttle and other inputs. Just rolling onto the throttle picking the bike up out of a corner I felt the back end very quickly stepping out, and before I could react much it gripped again creating a mini high side. My feet came off the pegs but I instinctively just kept the throttle on and tried to let the bike straighten up (didn't touch the brakes). Having never really slid before like that other than on dirt it was a little more sudden than I was used to, but really the fact I gained traction quickly again threw me (somewhat literally).

    Firstly does this sound like I hit a bit of oil/diesel as I feel I was riding well within the conditions and does anyone have any advice on how I could handle something like this better.

    A little background, I've been riding on and off since I was a kid on dirt bikes and then small motorbikes and a geared 60's Lambretta in London. I decided to get a proper bike (Kawasaki ER5) around 6 months ago and have been really enjoying it.

  2. Assume your tyres are in good nick and pressures ok then it could have been anything, oil, leaves, gravel. Where were you? It wasn't particularly wet last weekend but some roads in the hills can have a bit of damp on the corners from run off.
  3. About half way up Montacute road, some corners were fairly wet in the morning when I rode up about 7am. Not gravel or leaves as I'm pretty vigilant in noticing that kind of thing.
  4. Yeah Momtacute road can have those damp corner patches early, they can have a bit of greasy mossy stuff in them too. Anyway you stayed on board that's the main thing and didn't overdo the throttle or it might have grabbed a lot harder and bucked you off.
    One of the more seasoned riders here might be able to offer some tips if they are about. I rode from Aldgate down to Port Elliott early Sunday and it was crisp and dry.
  5. Rear slide is fine, albeit sometimes a bit sketchy as in your case. Its a front slide in wet + oil that you have to worry about..

    You did the correct thing not jerking off the throttle. Trying to keep weight off the bars and gripping the tank/weighting feet may also be of help.
  6. Thanks mate, will try to absorb and act on that next time
  7. Was it a mini high side, or did you instinctively take your feet off the pegs so you could put them on the ground?
  8. Fair call and this made me think, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have done that as it happened very quickly and my reaction initially was to control the slide which I wouldn't take my feet off the pegs for, when the bike snapped back this is when my feet came off the pegs (or possibly I removed them?)

    Got me thinking..
  9. Wait until you get a two wheel slide up on some of them corners.
  10. #11 jstava, May 9, 2013
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
    My view is that you were applying a bit too much power for the grip provided. You were within the limits of adhesion on a neutral throttle, (neither accelerating nor decelerating) but with power on, you broke loose only the rear. Yes, bikes seem to lay into corners better under power, but one can overdo it.

    The sudden loss of traction one gets if you go over a patch of spilled diesel on a wet road can be a little different as you exceed the limits of adhesion. Both wheels can break traction and you are held upright only by the gyroscopic stability of your rotating wheels. You will drift, and so long as you keep your throttle neutral, and don't go for an extra lean to "make the corner" and the strip of fuel is not continuous, you will regain traction and continue. It is normal to counter steer to follow the slide, and this is not wrong up to a point. It can be overdone. Smooth is what it is all about. Harmless, so long as you don't drift across into the oncoming lane on left handers, or run out of road going right. You will give up some road to recover. Of course, this also can take the form of the out of shape whoopsie you described where only the rear steps out.

    The instinct is often to close the throttle, or brake (completely wrong) Smooth is the imperative. Back off to be sure, returning to near neutral. You want the driving wheel to match the road speed, gradually, but soon. The fact you got shook and nearly high sided suggests that the road surface was providing plenty of traction, and the amount of acceleration was the problem in the first place.

    Beware any dark narrow stripes running along the road (even 5 or 10 mm wide) This can be a stripe of oil leaked from a vehicle and if it is fresh, crossing these on a curve can be like being on ice-instant drift. Otherwise spilled diesel on a wet road provides a sort of rainbow effect clearly visible in daylight, but is very hard to pick at night. Often a certain vagueness in the feeling of the bike on the road is the giveaway, where it can't be seen. Generally, it is a real good idea to avoid stains on the road.

    Little slips and drifts happen to everyone. It is good practice not to "push it" on any road unless you are completely confident in the condition of the surface. Even though, what wasn't there last weekend, yesterday or 10 minutes ago may be now.