I'm constantly hearing about accidents due to hitting gravel, oil, water or cold tyres etc. Alot of bike riders seem to have the mentality that one day you'll hit a bad surface and you'll crash and that it's inevitable. Ive been riding for 4-5 years and am getting close to 100,000km in the saddle and have never come off a bike. I'm not trying to blow my own trumpet with this I could bin it tonight I always dress for the crash. The other day I was thinking about why that is and I figure it's because I'm overly cautious when it comes to traction. There's 2 sides to it the first being prevention/hazard perception and the other handling the bike when you do lose traction. With the latter I've been lucky enough to save myself from a highside on a number of occasions but all of them have been when riding very hard. For the n00bs and especially guys getting off their restrictions and onto their first big bike this is a situation you don't want to be in, there's things you can do to save it (I can explain it if anyone wants) but it all requires fighting survival reactions and staying super calm which only comes from experience, so if it comes down to this you'll probably find yourself sliding down the road. The best approach is to avoid the situation all together through hazard perception or as me and my mates put it "being a biatch". The first thing is to understand the obvious technical stuff. When your tyres are cold and more importantly not up to pressure they don't handle and perform the way that you are used to. If your tyres have the incorrect pressure or are bald or square you are also not giving yourself a fighting chance. The other obvious thing is that a wet, oily, cold mossy, dirty road provides far less traction than a good clean warm one. You need to pay attention to the road surface and identify areas where you believe there are reduced levels of traction. A major one is surface changes and dodgy council patch ups. Train yourself to constantly look for low traction hazards and avoid them if you can. If you can't then that's when you have to biatch out! Do your braking before the poor surface and make sure it's released when you run over it. Ideally you want light steady throttle. You want to keep the bike as upright as possible. Hazards are often mid way through corners, this can mean standing the bike up briefly while you cross the hazard than leaning it back in directly after and taking a wider non textbook line. It might look stupid to the guys behind you. The point is most of these hazards arent that bad but some are really nasty. If you treat them all as nasty you'll have a good chance at staying on it. You have to trust your gut and go "hey this patch looks like shit I'm going to biatch out and take it wide" sometimes you can't even identify what's wrong with it but if your second guessing it , take it easy. As an example the other night I was leaving my house for a bit of a rowdy ride with 3 of my mates. A few mins in a get to a roundabout and come belting into it track style then realized "cold night, cold worn tyres wtf am I doing" so I braked heaps harder that I intended to into the roundabout, didnt quick flick it like i'd planned then ran it really wide and close to the gutter on the exit. I knew my mates would rip on me for it after but once I tell them my reasoning they won't. Edit: the other major thing is always operate your controls delicately even at the racetrack. That's means squeezing the brakes and clutch, not grabbing them and winding the throttle on and off, not ripping at it. The releasing of the throttle brakes and clutch smoothly is the part that's often overlooked and greatly affects stability.