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Slippery Roads

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by ametha elf, Oct 12, 2009.

  1. Yesterday hubby and I were riding over Mt Mee when the heavens opened for the first time in months. My bike slipped twice coming down the range and although these were only minor slides, it took me by surprise a little because I have not experience it before. When we got to the bottom, came to a corner where I slowed down and my bike slid badly this way and that, out of control, I did a good job in just keeping it upright but it really shook me - felt like I was skating on ice or something. My tyres have only done 3000 klms and there is plenty of good tread there and I was taking it nice and easy because of the conditions. Hubby said his bike also slid a few times. Whats the best way to handle this?

  2. Be gentle and smooth, shift at lower rpm and give yourself more room. Try to relax when, you tighten up on the bike all of your inputs tend to be more abrupt. When the rear does slide use your core strength not your arms to hold it straight and don’t release the rear brake or shut down the throttle when it is sideways. Generally you can ride it out if you don’t panic, you did well. The worst time is when it rains after a long dry spell, there is more oil and crap on the roads as it has had longer to accumulate. So take it especially easy until the rain has had time to wash the road down a bit.
    Edit: wording
  3. Analyse it. Which tyre let go? Front, rear, or both. Were you braking, coasting on neutral throttle or adding a bit of power? Changing down gears at the time?
  4. Titus - I was coming to a tight corner going downhill - think I used my back brake but not really sure, it all happened so fast. It was the back tyre which slid, seemed to go one way then the other.
  5. Sounds like sloppy downshift or too much back brake.
    V-twins have a fair bit of engine braking. try and learn to blip the throttle as you downshift. Or, alternatively let the clutch out nice and slow.
    If it was the back brake that did it... well then just use less of it and be smoother I guess. Sometimes its hard to prevent this despite all this. some roads are like ice when they are wet.
  6. A down shift with the rear brake applied will often do that, a little more care next time (Less revs, less rear brake, smoother downshift or all of the above) and you will be fine.
  7. I used to use my back brake a lot on my cbr250, riding in wet weather I'd step on the brake and the back wheel would slide out and try and pass me. I only use my front brake on the zx9 and I ride in all sorts of wet weather and have never had a slide.

  8. Can't say I know much about riding technique but I do know from my own experiences that even in the dry my tyres squirm a bit if I downshift to hard or quick with no blip of throttle.
  9. OK then. The fact that it was the rear, and didn't slide in one particular direction suggests it was probably a lock-up (wheel stops spinning) and not the road itself being slippery. So it probably is squeezing the brake too hard. Got to be gentle on the controls in wet conditions, which means braking much earlier, more softly. There might have been some excessive engine braking in there but you haven't said you were changing down, so we'll discount that for now. Use a higher gear than usual in the wet to calm down the engine effects.
    You should also try to get the speed down to where you want it before you turn, so you're off the brakes and on a steady throttle through the corner.
  10. Thanks for your help guys, much appreciated.
  11. I only use the rear in heavy traffic when i'm playing captain split. I've locked it up a few times but at the speeds i'm going when i'm using it i'm really not worried. The rear works as a great low speed brake. As long as you're not nervously mashing it I don't see a problem with it in certain circumstances.

    Having said that however... I don't like using it when i want to shave speed off. I mostly use it to control the bike better when i'm working with a small amount of space. I just don't think the front is a very good brake to grab a hold of when the camry driver decides to merge over when you are not expecting it.
  12. Was it the northern end or southern end of Mt Mee?

    That's my favourite mountain to ride in SEQ but the road surface on the southern end is absolute crap!

    When in the wet I use a lot more engine braking as I feel it takes less pressure off the tyres... Saying that I have learnt to blip the throttle so I don't get those lock ups very often...
  13. It was the southern end. There seemed to be some sort of foamy residue on the road surface at the time, no idea what it was.....could even have been just the oil and gunk on the road washing off since it was the first good rains for a while. And yes, Mt Mee is my favourite bit of road (closely followed by Glorious).
  14. maybe just hit some car poop at exactly the wrong moment, as someone said first rain in a while...maybe a car with a severe case of rainbow diahorea passed though just before you...
    what brand of tires? (so i don't ever buy them)

  15. I've seen that foamy residue before as well. No idea what it was. All I know is I got two wheel slide closely followed by a new pair of pants.

    I don't like the front wheel moving sideways....
  16. Hughhurst, yep, me too, - I lost a bit of confidence after that. Went out on Sunday though and I am glad to say there was no slipping or sliding, (though we didnt go over Mt Mee, I'll be a bit more cautious there next time).
  17. If you are going downhill, more weight will be over the front of the bike, which means there will be less weight over the rear, which means it will be easier to lose traction on the rear.

    Something to be aware of, & work around accordingly, as others have stated.

    Most important thing is to get back out there (like you have!)