Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Tram Track Tactics

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Whiteyy, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. Hey guys, been riding for about a week and i'm wondering do you deal with tram tracks. I get that you're supposed to cross them as perpendicular as possible but what do you do if:

    - You're in the left lane and need to move into the right lane in order to make a right turn

    - You ride past a tram station where the tram tracks first begin by merging into the right hand land

    For the first thing i've been swinging left then back to the right to increase the angle

    Here's what I mean for the second thing


    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
  2. Take them as wide as possible. Less wheel contact the better.

    Say you've got four lanes, and tram tracks run both ways I. The middle two lanes and you need to turn right - I get between the tram tracks on one side then indicate slowing down so I am almost sideways with the traffic opposite me. That's my way to turn across them, outside that I avoid them like the plague.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. You've pretty much got it. Try to cross them at the widest possible angle. Try not to be leaned over or using firm steering input as you cross them. Try to remember they're there and to not get distracted by other traffic and circumstances. Try to pay enough attention to the other traffic that you don't get fixated on the tram tracks and hit something. Be aware of target fixation and avoid it. Remember they're an inconvenience in the dry, but a potential death-trap in the wet. For Dog's sake, try not to brake on them. Don't get too freaked out. Most of the time, you can cross them, even in the rain, as long as your crossing speed (perpendicular to the tracks) is greater than about 1 m/sec. ... That should work, I think.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. +1

    In the dry they are usually not much of a problem anyway. In the wet they definitely need respect. KD's comment on don't let them distract you from other traffic is excellent advice.

    I have two spots on my daily commute where I need to make right hand turns acros tracks. In the wet I try to ride straight across and only initiate a turn after I have crossed.

    This topic has been covered before so try a search but pretty sure it was in the New Riders forum not so long back.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. In the dry, I just zip across w/out much thot (aside from any uneven or offset levels). In the wet ... after coming off twice changing lanes, 1st time in Burwood H'way at 60, 2nd in Box Hill (VIC) at mebbe 30, I avoid lane-switches which entail going over wet tram tracks as much as possible!

    Crossing - I try to right-angle it as much as I can.

    My riding - 50k commute daily, all sorts of weather.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Move away from Melbourne.
  7. been sunnier then sydney of late lol
  8. That's the one up on Bourke Rd yeah? I used to have to think about that one too when I was starting out.

    I usually ride in between the tracks and just before they cross over the lane marking and onto the concrete, I flick the bike to the left back towards the lane. The trick with this is you want to be on the track for as short a time as possible. This is the technique I was taught to use in all parallel situations too. So if you need to change lanes, do a little flick across the track first and then change. And when I say flick, I don't mean anything crazy, just a smooth but deliberate motion that will get the bike to move the 20cm or so to go from one side of a track to the other.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Yep, Burke Rd it is.

    I use the "flick" method as above. What you want to do is have the bike close to vertical as you cross the tracks with no brakes and a slight amount of throttle, if any.

    I actually work nearby and I've seen more people fall off at the previous intersection of Mont Albert Rd stopping in a straight line between the tram tracks. To the point you can almost pick it, and the fact they are generally on scooters.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Good advice guys, thanks. Also it is Burke rd/ Whitehorse, surprised you guessed the exact intersection
  11. We don't have to deal with them much in Sydney, but there's one intersection on my commute that I absolutely despise - corner of Pitt and Hay Streets in Sydney. Coming westbound on Hay, I have to turn right from between two sets of tram tracks so no real option to reduce the angle.

    Dry, no real problem. In the wet, it's a matter of loosen the hands, turn in late and hope for the best. I'm clenching just thinking about it.
  12. Don't let them fall out of your mind in the dry - they will still hold onto any oil that drips out of a car crossing them more than the road surface will!
  13. If you don't have the space/time to use the tram track weave method, treat the tracks like you're going over a log on a dirt bike: Pull back on handlebars and shift your weight back as the front wheel goes over, shift your weight forward as the back wheel goes over.
  14. Oil! That's a thot! You're rite, thanks!
  15. And give up footpath parking? No way!
  16. Ha, I lived probably 1000m from that corner for a good 10 years, plus I've worked in Burke Rd for a good number of years. :cool: