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Tips wanted - Tram line

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by tonyso, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. Hi guys,

    I rode my bike to work this morning and it was raining, I was 20 meters away from my office and have to do a right turn to get there.

    It's toorak road, 2 lanes road (each way) and tram tracks on the right hand lane for each side (i.e. 4 tracks).

    I was moving at 40km on the left lane, indicated right and proceed to change lane while slowing down for the right turn, crossed the first track (left hand track on my side of road) and come to a stop on the second track, but when my front tyre hit the track it lost traction and because there's no speed, I was unable to recover and dropped the bike.

    So question is, what would you guys do when the road has tram tracks and you are in the left land wanting to do a right turn?
  2. Always try to cross tram tracks as close to right-angles as possible. ( ie start wide ).
    Never stop ON a track, bitumen is your friend here.
    Hope this helps
  3. It is a little tricky at first and takes some technique. I just wait until im about to go over the tram line and give a quick burst of acceleration to get extra heat into the tyres and therefore extra traction.

    j/k, what vcm said ^
  4. And when actually riding over the track itself, straighten the bike up for a moment. Once you're past the rails, complete the maneuver.

    Doing things like accelerating, braking and turning all require grip, and the rails offer no grip at all - particularly when wet. :)

    Welcome to Netrider.
  5. So when preparing to change lane, try to get in with a wide angle, accelerate a bit before hitting 1st track, then straighten up the bike to cross the tracks... does that sounds right?
  6. a quick bleep to accelerate in order to get the tyres a bit hotter???

    You will not get any more heat in the tyres in the time it takes to cross a track.
  7. Don't stop on the tracks!...Think of the tracks themselves as the sliperyest part of the road in the wet - why would you wanna stop there!?

    Cross the tracks at an angle neither on or off the throttles - just even pressure...but as has been said...you don't want to be on any kind of lean, so learn to make 3 consecutive mini-manouvers. Quick countersteer - straight (while on tracks) - quick countersteer back.

    Any kind of decent power application or reduction will send you flying.

  8. hey tonyso, sorry to hear you dropped the bike... Lesson learnt and extra points of cred for you for getting on NR to start the learning curve.. Welcome...

    Im a worry wart on Wet Tram Lines, so just practice heaps in the dry. Taking hook and right hand turns that I just dont need too over and over to get a feel for it, and then progressed to the wet.

    The bottom of Latrobe Street turning right is a biaaatch and has almost thrown me a bit... not the tram lines themselves, but i go wide wide wide with no confidence and almost mount the gutter and the bike rider in his last.... but practice makes perfect.

    I find that a quick pokey counter steer/swerve lef tto right to get the angle right before crossing works well. (making the time between when the front wheel and back wheel cross over the same point as long and straight as possible) And dont look at the tram line either as your crossing it.. I do that all the time, and 3 seconds later will be taking off thinking 'sh*t i dont even remember getting to this point coz I was so fixated at the damn road'

    Others may disagree, but If Im rolling around a corner at low speed coz I didnt actually stop, I will accelerate as normal till the front wheel hits road just before the track and just ever so gently moderate my acceleration down a smidge to compensate for the wet and nerves. Thats more for my confidence that the back wheel wont lose grip. Reading Ravens comment Im starting to doubt that technique and think its just lucky I havent come off yet. The change in throttle if any at the exact moment is measured and minimal so maybe thats why... ? So dont listen to that questionable advice, how ever Im totally confident that practicing till the cows come home is best and you could even get some one to mentor and or show you and give coaching/feedback etc on your next ride. NR have a few contacts for that too. Just look around the sections related to it.

    If it wasnt for the more experienced riders I met through the social network that is our 2 wheel community I would still be trying to get out of 3rd gear.

    good luck for next time...
  9. No No...you're doing it ok...
    If you are mid corner and need to cross tracks, then just keep the bike as upright as is possible/practical...just feather the throttle as you have been doing (just hold it constant) as you cross over the tram-lines, and try to have a good angle on the approach, so it's a clean crossing. My orginal example was imagining crossing over the lines while riding in a straight line - corners are different.

    What I try to do with tracks that go around the corner in my direction is either ride up the middle between them or away from them all together, and then not cross back until I am straight.

  10. I'm near Riversdale Rd and have to deal with this all the time. Think the key is to think ahead and prepare. I'll ride down the middle of the tracks to set up for the turn, stop in the middle if I have to stop and cross the lines with the bike as upright as possible, as close to right angles as possible and smoothly as possible. I try and keep my arms loose but ...
  11. I just keep it simple- cross it with no lean and dont brake,accel,lean on the tracks. Oh and dont stop on them either. This has always worked for me.

    From the OP, you said you came up and stopped on the tracks, I think braking here caused your front tyre to lose grip.
  12. Hey Tony,

    I do the Toorak road ride quite often to work. Best thing I find is if you are in the left lane and want to turn right try and cross with the greatest angle into the right lane...now i guess it will be about 30deg or so angle. Try not to slowly creep across the 1st track, when it is wet it is slippery.

    Stay between the tracks on the right hand lane, and if you have to come to a stop you will still be on the tarmac. If you turn from a standstill your speed should be low enough, and if you are still moving then making a right turn in the wet..still you should be turning relatively slow.

    Staying on the tarmac until you are clear to make the turn will prevent any skidding or losing your front end shuld yu need to apply the brakes.

    edit: also if u haven't noticed yet...the white painted road markings are slippery in the wet too so stay away from them aswell.