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Whats The Best Way To Handle This?

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' at netrider.net.au started by ametha elf, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Riding just after rain on Sunday, the road was as greasy as anything you would ever come across. Going slightly downhill, I came up to traffic lights about to turn red so I changed down gears steadily and smoothly, and kept going straight, but both tyres slid and locked up. Luckily I kept my bike upright but ever since then I've been wondering just how to handle something similiar so I dont go for a slide again. As far as I'm aware, I did everything by the book.

  2. Well, you stayed upright so you obviously didn't do too badly. Presumably you backed off the brakes when you realised you'd locked up to let things get rolling again.

    Shafties are particularly prone to locking the back wheel on downchanges due to the rigid drivetrain. Not much to be done there apart from ensuring your downchanges are as smooth as possible, which I assume you already do. Maybe practice easing the back brake momentarily on each change so that the braking force that the tyre has to cope with remains fairly constant. It takes a little coordination but it's a techniqie I tried to employ on my BMWs which tended to be really unforgiving under the circumstances.

    As for the front, now that you've experiencesd a lock-up and survived it, you know what the bike feels like both before and immediately after locking up. Find somewhere you can practice braking up to the point where it feels like it did just before locking and just keep doing it until you can reliably hold the pressure at that point.

    Given the rearward weight bias, low CofG and skinny front tyres of most cruisers, there's a limit to the amount of braking you can get out of the front under difficult conditions. If you've managed to lock both ends simultaneously, it sounds like you've reached that limit. All you can do now is practice sneaking up on it so you can get as close to the line as possible without crossing it.
  3. Where were you in the lane?
  4. This is where ABS comes in handy, but avoiding the centre line of the lane is also advisable.
  5. Holster, I was probably on the closest tyretrack towards the centre of the single lane road. Thanks for your advice, Pat, I think I did ok too by not coming off :). Once she began to slide I eased back further on the brake (I think I was using both brakes) then put both legs down to stop, luckily was going pretty slowly by that time.
  6. When it rains the oil and crap embedded into the tar comes out... or into play.
    Intersections so forth are where cars stop. And drop all that lovely greasy goodness. So yer in the rain they have that added bonus lol.
    Seems like you done good ha ha. All you can do is get off the brakes and gently reapply. Or look for a smooth way onto the footpath if there is no room left to stop where you were going to.
  7. You did very well, Try to keep off the front brake,
    Use your rear brake and the gears to pull you up,
    Dont worry if the rear wheel slides, you can counter that easily,
    Its the front one you dont want sliding, it keeps you upright, Just keep it in a straight line and you wont have problems,
  8. What the others said.^
    Your bike has two large capacity cylinders and therefore a lot of engine braking, making it liable to lock the rear in slippery conditions. In that situation I would suggest slowing gently using the gears, but not going below 3rd gear. As your speed gets too slow for 3rd, pull the clutch in and select 2nd, but don't release the clutch. Finish your stop using the brakes only. That way the engine braking in the low gears will be less likely to lock the rear wheel. Once stationary you can select 1st or neutral as appropriate.
    It would be very helpful to practice this, and to see how much rear brake will lock the wheel, on dirt or grass.
  9. The mole and deadman, I will definately keep your ideas in mind. I always was under the impression you needed to stop in first gear, or to always use both brakes for smoother stopping in wet conditions, feel more relieved now, thank you :) Will definately be practicing because theres sure to be a next time. :) bretto - it was like ice skating. I really didnt appreciate having to stop right there, of all places.
  10. First gear will lock up the back wheel, you can pull up in any gear, but choose the gear that
    That allows you to roll to a stop with out jerking or locking the back wheel,
    You can always pull the clutch in and just use your back brake to stop,
    It all depends on the conditions at the time,
    First gear is for taking off,
    Try second or third for stopping.
  11. when you approach the lights in the wet it is best to slow down well in advance.
    It happened to me in my car years ago, it was so wet and slippery I eased on the brakes but still aquaplaned through the intersection similar to your situation.
    Had I slowed well before considering it was a downhil section I would have not gone through.
  12. Just to clarify, I wasn't suggesting not using the front brake. By using both brakes you reduce the likelihood of one locking.
  13. i'd pull in the clutch and unlock everything including my bowels, then gently try to simulate abs with both brakes. i'd also look at the best place to go if i could'nt stop, or least worst place.
    you can't freeze up, if you go rigid, the bike goes rigid.
  14. For your consideration. Obviously you knew it was wet and you knew you were approaching an intersection? I guess I'm making an assumption that you knew the intersection from previous experience? OK, no matter what as you approach the intersection, it's always best to notice how long the lights have been green for in advance and estimate your time of arrival at the intersection. If the lights have been green a little while, you can assume that there is a strong chance you will have to stop. If you don't know how long the lights have been green, then approach with the mind set that they will change - and you will have to stop.

    As you were caught out on this occasion and had a scary 'under brakes' moment, then we can assume that your speed was based on the expectation that you were committing to making the jump - and therefore wouldn't need to stop. Unless you're riding at very low speed that can be easily controlled with the rear brake, then the brakes should always be used together in the approved style of rolling off the throttle, gradually applying the front and rear and increasing the pressure on the front as the weight transfers forward. In the event that you skid, which obviously occurred on this occasion, release the front and rear if its skidding a little and re-apply. Do not pump the brakes, to simulate ABS, as the level of skill needed to avoid repeating the lock up is considerable and may de-stabilise the bike.

    On the upside, you survived and have learnt a number of valuable lessons. Wet roads increase braking distance and travelling downhill throws more weight onto the front wheel, meaning that it is easier to lock and skid by applying your normal flat ground amount of pressure. There is no substitute for hours in the saddle practicing your braking skills. You will need to keep practicing on a regular basis if you want to remain competent. Read the traffic in advance and each time you ride aim to learn something.

    All of the above is there for your consideration. Be aware that there is a lot of advice out there which is well meaning, the trick is to pick the real gold from the fools gold.

    Good luck and take care
  15. Ok, my hubby was riding in front, the lights were orange for him and he accellerated through then pulled over waiting for me. He expected me to follow through behind on a red light and for a moment I considered it then changed my mind , hence the sudden stop. Lesson learnt, always ride my own ride.
  16. Slow to a stop in using 2nd gear. Never use first to slow down, as their is alot of eng compression kicking in at the same time you are braking, which can easily lock up the reR. I Would say that were probably using more front brake than you thought.
  17. Roll off throttle (smoothly or engine brake may lockup back tyre - depending on size of your engine. Trust me, 1800cc can lock up your back tyre) then backbrake to wipe off enough speed to downshift safely then Downshift, THEN back brake to set up (ie transfer weight from back tyre to front) and ONLY when weight on front then apply front brake. Otherwise not enough weight on front for proper grip.

    Practice, Practice, Practice!

    Key word is: SMOOOOOTH!
  18. Being careful with the front is the main issue there, don't forget to setup by giving it an initial squeeze without much power before really getting on them. Wouldn't worry too much about the rear its not the end of the world if its sliding around as long as the front is ok.
  19. When you said dont stop in first, is that all the time or just in wet conditions?
  20. So I take it that this would explain why, sometimes when I change down, especially towards the lower gears, my back wheel may shudder. I always thought I was probably just changing down too soon, even though the revs sound low enough to downshift. Youve all given me a lot of food for thought, I want to get this right, and will give this thread lots of study and then get out there and practice til I get it right.