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Old 01-21-2013, 08:12 PM   #1
CaptUglyDan OP
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Drafting

Ok, I'm not a drafter most of the time, and i don't do it on interstate hwys, but riding a little 250 Sherpa I've found it works well for me behind most big rigs or motorhomes, my biggest problem is wind of course, it beats me down to 55 or so, but when i can get behind a rig and run 65 or so it solves a lot of it. I'm on way home from Panama to Seattle just wondering what works for most.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:29 PM   #2
avgas
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I don't know if I'd risk it, I like to see and be seen. I'd rather stick to doing 55 and enjoy the view.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:43 AM   #3
the_sandman_454
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I don't recommend this, but between the vehicle in front of you and the turbulence, there is a pocket of relatively smooth air. Getting that close behind another vehicle is risky for a few reasons including poor forward visibility (and other traffic not expecting you there), reduced distance available to react to issues or obstacles in the lane, debris kicked up by the tires and/or incase the vehicle shreds a tire.

I would just ride a comfortable speed without drafting. For the limited benefits from drafting, there are many things that could go wrong.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:06 AM   #4
PeterW
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Used to do it on small bikes as well, it does work and it works well, but ....

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Old 01-22-2013, 06:41 PM   #5
LuciferMutt
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Awesome way to get dead in a hurry. Lead vehicle could straddle a 2X4 or a cinder block and it'd pop out right under your front tire. Could blow a tire and send the tread caps into your face. Could stop suddenly for some reason and you'd find your face flattened on the back of it. Etc...
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:43 PM   #6
genespleen
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Such a bad idea. Your stopping distance is greater than the vehicle you're sitting just behind, and your sight line is deeply compromised. No offense intended, but it's time for an expectations-adjustment, a new bike, or...er... a burial plot.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:54 PM   #7
willis 2000
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There's a science to the draft. My take on it here:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=789297
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:22 AM   #8
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Drafting not coooool

1980something outside Atlanta following a tractor trailer too close...unaware that someone in front of the tractor had dropped a mattress....Oh Shit. Someone was watching over me. Of course ,being the real man I am, I was wearing shorts and flipflops ...absolute worst scenario. I think I closed my eyes and rolled right over it. Made it home and changed clothes. ATGATT convert ever since.








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Old 01-23-2013, 05:53 AM   #9
Grreatdog
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Let's see, first there was the sheet of plywood that blew off a truck and sent me off a causeway on my XT. Then there was the chunk of steel that fell off a truck on I-97 and destroyed my Toyota's windshield right in front of my face. Then there was the semi blowout that threw off a smoking hot road alligator and almost nailed me on the bike. And I can't even begin to remember all the road crap that has appeared in front of me from under trucks. So I stay as far from trucks as I can.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:19 AM   #10
Turbo Ghost
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As a former truck-driver, I can tell you you don't want to be behind big trucks! First of all, if you're close enough to truly draft, you're too close to stop if the truck has to stop suddenly. Don't think for a second you're reaction time is quick enough! True drafting of a big truck is within 20 feet or less. Also, as mentioned before, if the driver sees an obstacle in the road they will straddle it if they see it in time and you won't see it until it's too late! If they don't see it in time, all kinds of debris can be hitting you from everywhere as it gets shattered by the tires! Another little tidbit you won't hear much about is a certain breed of drivers that drive as teams. They have an access panel in the sleeper floor and do their business through that rather than stop. You really don't want to be behind them at that point!

All that being said, many, many years ago when I was young, I drafted a truck for about 20 miles on the interstate at about 10 feet behind. It was after dark in the summer. I noticed a few tiny drops of water on my windshield but, it had rained earlier so, I figured it was off the road. After I realized I should probably get out from behind the truck, I cut into the left lane to pass and discovered I was in the middle of a massive rainstorm! While behind the truck, I had no idea of the storm and also, I was barely above idle-throttle to maintain about 70mph! It's very effective but, not worth the risk!
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grreatdog View Post
Let's see, first there was the sheet of plywood that blew off a truck and sent me off a causeway on my XT. Then there was the chunk of steel that fell off a truck on I-97 and destroyed my Toyota's windshield right in front of my face. Then there was the semi blowout that threw off a smoking hot road alligator and almost nailed me on the bike. And I can't even begin to remember all the road crap that has appeared in front of me from under trucks. So I stay as far from trucks as I can.
Exactly. Even a benign thing like a pot hole can't be seen or avoided if you're drafting.

Trucks are to be avoided and kept as far from as possible.

If you're riding a small, underpowered motorcycle, don't expect to be able to safely and comfortably ride at highway speeds. If you want to safely and comfortably ride at highway speeds, get a bike better suited to it.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:27 PM   #12
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I'm with all the people who are telling you this is a dumb idea and a very good way to test the crash worthiness of your bike, gear, and body. You're just asking for it.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:28 PM   #13
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More to drafting than staying close to the vehicle (and in danger). When behind a slow vehicle, drop back before passing, when you are ready to pass, speed up, (that is at the proper time) and then pass the vehicle when you have a nice head of speed. This depends a bit on knowing the road.

Learned this driving a 240 ci Ford Pickup... and it works well on a WRR250R too.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:39 PM   #14
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the deer carcass that the bus just deposited with is front bumper, appears from under the rear bumper mighty quick, @ 60mph, nearly 50 feet is covered every half second

treads from exploding tires appear even quicker

3 second rule for me
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:43 PM   #15
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The only time I drafted a big truck was 30 years ago on a trip to Florida.
It got cold at night, I did not have good gear, and I drafted the truck for an hour to keep warm.

Cars and vans I can see through I draft as I have an under powered bike.
Not real close, but closer then is 100% safe.
If I can not see ahead, I do not do it.

When traffic is heavy and fast, the entire hiway gets a big draft going and adds 10 mph to my bike.
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