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You never forget the first time the back end steps out on you....

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by BodenM, Jul 15, 2016.

  1. Just a quick one, a couple of days ago I was headed home from work, sitting at the lights before the turn on to Kingsford Smith Drive after Southern Cross Way. Took off from the lights, I must not have had a good grip on the clutch lever as I thought I did, because I felt it slip from under my hand, and then the very strange feeling of the arse end of the bike deciding it didn't want to follow the front wheel around the bend anymore. Thankfully no stack happened, although I certainly did need a new pair of undies after that. Note to self: always make sure you've got a decent hold of the clutch lever :oops:

    For those not aware of the area, this is the set of lights where it happened:

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  2. first half of a highside, lucky for you you didn't get the second half - congrats for not coming off

    beware of oil and crap in the middle of the lane at stop points like traffic lights that have heavy traffic flow.
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  3. Yeah, thankfully it didn't step out super wide, not enough to flick me off when it got grip again but more than enough to give me a good scare. And yeah, I always try to stop in the wheel track areas at traffic lights, you can see the noticeably darker patch in the middle where oil has been leaked over the years, even just putting your foot down shows how slippery that area can be.
  4. I have totally forgotten the first time the back wheel stepped out on me. With time, you too may go on to lead a normal life.
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  5. Are you supposed to modulate your speed by clutch when turning??????
  6. I experienced something similar for the first time a few days ago. I didn’t really think much of it until I saw this post. I had just put it down to part of my learning experience and vowed to avoid doing it again! I suppose I've been a bit naive in not recognising how seriously it could have ended.

    Around my local roads there are sprinkler systems installed along the median strips. They run in the evenings and the water pools over the road in some parts. It drives me bonkers. I ride most evenings and am acutely aware of these mini skid pans all over the place.

    A few nights ago I was in a 70km/h zone and slowed up as I approached a large pool of water across the road, noting a palm frond in the middle of the upcoming puddle. I’m not entirely sure of what happened, either I wasn’t traveling in a completely straight line, or I didn’t give the obstacle a wide enough berth. As I entered the puddle, I passed the obstacle on my right. My front wheel cleared the palm frond but I felt the back tyre clip it. My back wheel slid out to the left and I fishtailled on the wet road for a second. It wasn't a massive spin out or anything, but enough to send a fair whack of adrenaline through me! Thank goodness the left lane beside me was clear, as I am pretty sure my rear crossed over into the other lane. It all happened so quickly, all I remember thinking was “don’t brake, don't brake, just lean and try to balance the bike, no sudden throttle movements, ride it out and you’ll be fine…” and it was all over in a second…. By that stage I was back on the dry road and gunned it out of there!

    Prior to this, my closest experience to a skid had been one tiny little slide (I've had bigger slides on my mountain bike) when practicing cornering in a deceptive looking carpark that turned out to have a lot of loose gravel over the bitumen.

    I am putting my recent slip-n-slide experience down to a valuable lesson learned. I try to avoid those ridiculous sprinkler induced puddles altogether now, even changing my route to avoid where I know the worst ones are located. I make sure to give all obstacles a wider clearance and ultimately, not to trust any sort of waterlogged surface. I slow down even more when approaching a wet surface. It has also reinforced even more why I do not ride alongside cars in the lane beside me. I think also this is a lesson in complacency, as I have driven that particular stretch of road on most days for almost 5 years and feel like I know the road well - in fact, I only know it from a car's perspective and I should treat it as if it is completely new to me as a rider!

    At least it is somewhat comforting to know I can keep a level head and go with my gut when I need to... Yikes!
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  7. The most valuable lesson to trust is: loosen up on the bars.
    For skips and shakes, trust your bike. For anything more serious, tightness won't help you.
    If you've never been on a dirt bike in a muddy paddock, you have missed out on some valuable handling experience. That kind of experience is different, but it does translate to slippery road riding.
    And, you learn when to let go of the bike!
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  8. #8 KLR650_Toy, Jul 20, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
    Nope. Brake and down-shift before you hit your bend/corner and about half way out, throttle up on a road bike. Clutch only to change gears. Ride to the road conditions. Sharp bends need more slow, faster bends you can use more go.

    Using the clutch to modulate speed is called "mashing the clutch" and is a tactic used by dirt bike riders on rough terrain to avoid unnecessary gear changes on tracks that go up and down like a Pogo stick. It is faster sometimes to mash the clutch rather than change gears to clear jumps, humps, etc. When you "mash the clutch", you are slipping the clutch rather than doing a down-up gear change to get you through a small tight lumpy spot, etc.

    I don't recommend you "mash the clutch" on a road bike. Compared to dirt bikes, road bikes usually have a lot more power, a lot more tyre grip and usually a lot more weight, so if you do have an off by dumping the clutch mid-corner on the road bike, it will hurt more, not to mention that semi-trailers don't usually drive on dirt bike tracks. But they do on roads. It could be a fatal attraction.
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  9. Exactly.
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  10. I sure as shit won't forget the first time it happened to me, scared the crap out of me. But I was on a dirt bike and being deliberately stupid. My mates just laughed at me, I then spent the next hour trying to perfect it without the subsequent 'highside'.
  11. ooooh that sliding feeling ....
  12. To be fair to the OP, it's kind of hard to take off from the lights at an intersection like this without turning and modulating the clutch to some extent particularly if you haven't had room to split to the front or are not fully licensed and not allowed to.
  13. Today I came out my droveway, saw a newspaper that was flattened and wet from the rain. I thought "I should avoid that" as I looked directly at it. I hit it, back slid out, foot came out to push off the floor. As I rolled off I bounced around the seat. Been on Ls for 4 months.

    Was scary, but I kind of want to do it again..
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  14. OH the joy, First ride on new Yammi 650A XVS..here I was following a mate on his harley and he shot through the lights on a downhill road. They turned orange and my brain went to my car, which has abs and stops on a dime...I hit the back brakes and slip sliding away I saw out the corner of my eye the back end was next to me. So I stopped that idea and took off the breaks and straightened up. Here is the part that had me brain dead, I knew the back was a waste of time (so I thought) in that microsecond. I looked at the traffic left and right and then I hit the front ONLY and on these new tires It just aquaplaned and I ended up 8 feet beyond the stop line. There I sat. Thinking, well there's something I'm not doing twice...
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  15. PS...I learner in the paddock, so the feeling of sliding and slipping wasn't that unusual...mind you that was 40 years ago...now on L's finding out about all the lunatics on the road from a riders point of view...drive conservative and think everyone's going to go something dumb....( including me)
  16. <remembers 1992> In a bit of a hurry, so I'll need to get out of this side street in front of the next pack of cars. No worries, I'll just give it a handful and WHAAHEYYYYY.....!! Where did that puddle spring from? </remembers 1992>
    Saved it, just, supermoto style with the leg out. But 240kg of GPZ going sideways is enough stretch an inside thigh muscle well beyond working tolerances. Ouch.
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  17. I'm in the same boat. I know its happened but I cant remember the first time. It completely escapes me.
    I remember the last time though!
  18. First was as a learner on the GOR. Almost at my destination so I was a bit tired and very, very cold. I couldn't feel my face, hands or feet. Stomped it down into 1st instead of second in a left hander because I couldn't feel what I was doing. Bam, the back steps out. Stupid mistake but I have to admit, saving it and keeping it tidy in the process gave me a sense of badassness. There you go, new word for the day.
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  19. I was one of the lucky ones who's first slide was at the track. Was very excited that i didn't stack. Even caught it on video :)
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  20. Don't remember the first time the rear stepped out on me. I'll never forget when the front tucked under though.
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