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Slipped in the wet

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by A boy named Sue, May 29, 2012.

  1. Hi,

    I'm trying to work out what happened on the way to work this morning "a" or "b". First are the facts. It was a cold rainy morning I was 5 minutes into my ride on my VTR250. I had checked my tires on Sunday and they were about 28 and 31 so I put them back to the 29 and 32 that they had to be (writting from memory, but I check the actual numbers written on the swing arm when I'm checking the tires).

    I had to take a left hand corner over some painted stop lines. I often scrape my toes here but this morning I had the ball of my foot on the peg, but I don't think I had much weight on it. I took the corner a little faster than normal (maybe) because there was somebody waiting to turn right (not the best reason but that is what happened). Corner is on camber but the road drops after the apex (corner is the top of a hill). This road is pretty flat, but any camber would be helping. 3rd gear. 30-40 kph (at the most).

    I turned the corner and the rear tire started slipping after the apex (about where the paint was).

    a) I think what happened next is that I put my left foot down, pushed on the right handlebar (as my foot was moving) and continued ridding down the road (after a heroic save). This is why I don't think I had much weight in that foot, because it moved down to the ground very quickly.

    b) The other scenario is that the tire slipped on the paint, then gripped again and then I kicked the road for no reason, did a little swerve for no reason and continued ridding down the road.

    Discuss, or let me know what more info is needed.

  2. Any oil/diesel on the road?
  3. Good save!

    I did a very similar thing a few weeks ago:


    A good looking corner on an intersection is a riders worst nightmare. Cars stop at the line and drip oil. So tempting to get low but take your time and be careful through them. Especially in the wet.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Little to left field for a moment....

    Tyre pressures are not an absolute. What I mean is, that a specific number is not the be all and end all. Just because your bike manufacturer specifies pressure 'xyz' does not mean its the best pressure to run for a given set of circumstances..

    The scenario you describe in your original post is a prime candidate for slightly reduced pressures.

    Reasoning : slightly lower pressures allow the tyre to flex and move around a bit more, meaning they will build and maintain their temperature and subsequently their level of grip better.
  5. As it is my thread I'll go "off topic". My commute is only 20-30 minutes mostly at slow speed, top speed 80, all corners are at low speed. Is a lower pressure setting worth trying?
  6. I didn't see any, BUT there was a car turning right, 3 school kids waiting to cross the street I was turning into, parked cars (more than normal) and rain on my visor. So who knows??
  7. While checking tyre pressures regularly is a very good thing, so is the 'nose'

    ie. your scenario....nose sniffs the colder wet conditions while checking tyre pressures and brain says ok, a couple of psi lower today won't hurt....may even help..

    Even in cold wet conditions, tyres should be coming up to a working temp after the first 5mins/5-7kms.

    Without ever trying these things how do you propose to get a better understanding of your operating parameters??
  8. I had put optimising tires well down on my list of things to mess with (I'm 4k km into motorcycling) ie keep them at the recomended pressure and leave it at that for now. Because I haven't let them go low I'm not sure what "too low" brings on the bike (I can feel this in a car and a pushy). I'm also pretty light so I guess I can knock of a bit of pressure and see what happens -- both front and rear by the same % to start with?
  9. I think you just hit a slippery wet paint line in a cornering maneuver and lost traction. So I'd go with b).

    Cheers Spocky
  10. In the rain, I always go in a higher gear. Too much acceleration too soon in a corner can send it.
  11. You often scrape your toes when going through this corner - what bike are you riding?

    I think you lost grip because you were going a little faster than normal and the road was wet - quite simple.

    Learn to ride to the conditions and hitting a corner faster than you normally would especially in the wet should be a no brainer.

    • Like Like x 1
  12. VTR250 & with the arch of my foot on the pegs it doesn't take much lean to touch your toe down.
  13. Following ONE a while back in monsonal rain and in the twisties..............and noticed how he hanged off the bike like crazy, keeping the bike as straight as possible. Good advice to follow especially in the wet.

    In your case I think its just a case of speed/lean/paint/and traction........hehehe i wasnt very helpful at all was i :(. Tyre pressure would be the least of my concern.
  14. I'm about 4k km into riding as well and ^ thats one of the first things I worked out for wet road riding. Lean way over and keep the bike up right.

    That and pedestrian crossings are the devil when wet
  15. Wets road are slippery. Wet painted fields on the road are extremely slippery!

    Happens often in the car. When doing a accelerating turn over a pedestrian crossing when wet. The car makes a micro burn out when the wheels crosses the while lines.
  16. Cold, wet, painted line.

    'Nuff said.
  17. As above.

    The amount of grip you can get out of a good modern sporty tyre, which is warm, on good clean asphalt that's simply wet - is staggering. However, the grip goes away pretty sharply if the tyre is cold, worn, old (like over a year since manufacture) and if you run onto something that isn't good, clean, new, hot-mix... it can be a completely different story. In particular, watch out for white paint, and manhole covers, big metal plates over holes, tram tracks - anything that's metal. Also, try hard to stay out of the oil trail between the wheel tracks.

    If you're scr@ping your toes over white paint on commuter tyres, within the first couple of km, on a cold, rainy, morning - you're trying way too hard.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. +1


  19. you can get rear wheel slip almost any time you accelerate on wet white paint. You don't have to be cornering, though that makes it more likely.

    I remember doing laps of Albert Park in the rain practicing wet weather cornering and I rode over the white grid lines where the F1 cars line up at the start ... the rear wheel went about 6 inches sideways, and this is taking it easy in a 40 zone!

    TL/DR: the bike will get less traction on white lines in the wet. If you're asking the tyre to grip on lean, and accelerate while losing grip due to the paint, you're putting yourself in more risk that I would.

    Oh and once the rear wheel regains traction if it is pointing in a different direction to the front wheel (coz it slid sideways) the rear end will kick around sharply - even violently - to come back in line with the front wheel. If you're unlucky, it overcorrects and swings out the other way and you may find yourself sliding down the road being chased by your bike while it does cartwheels down the bitumen after you.

    Take it easy in the wet. Try to keep the bike as upright as possible. Don't push the limits of your grip if the road is cold.
  20. The problem with dropping the tyre pressures is that whatever you gain in grip, you lose in agility.