Almost spilled yesterday... Seeking advice.

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by WB81, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    We've crossed minds....I meant with the clutch disengaged entirely, not engine braking. Sorry for the confusion. And yes, I have experienced that.
    #21
  2. Pantah

    Pantah Red Sox Nation

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    Living in New England, we have this problem every spring after the snow melt. Salt, sand and whatnot collect at every intersection and most apexes of our country roads.

    I think your best practice is to be in the habit of always being aware of the surface conditions you are riding over. Not just debris, but fluids too. You'll still get caught out, so when that happens you should just go ahead and commit to the turn. You might slip a little, but that isn't as bad as standing the bike up and running off!

    That throttle stuff professed by dirt bike riders has no application in the situation described. They use the throttle to kick the back wheel out to help them square a turn when they are running wide. You're not going to do that on pavement aboard any kind of bike.

    Commit to the turn and keep the motor engaged while slowing as best you can. Downshifts are only helpful for getting out of the turn and it depends on what speed you are at when you are exiting.
    #22
  3. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    Don't square off (outside to inside to outside) corners where the nasty little spherical gems abide. Stay in the car tire tracks on the road, The little nasties gather in the middle of each lane.. :deal
    #23
  4. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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  5. mfgc2310

    mfgc2310 Been here awhile

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    Yuuup! Only need to downshift when ready to re-apply power (or in anticipation of re-applying power). In principle you should always be ready to re-apply power though. While not ideal I think it is OK to realize the engine is lugging a bit before downshifting.

    Engine compression is a lazy way of reducing speed when staying in same gear (works best with a large displacement fuel injected engine where you can drive all day in top gear (or second to top gear with over drive transmissions)

    Typically in a panic stop situation you are only thinking about getting the bike stopped so downshifting is unnecessary.Sometimes the only thing to do is get the bike completely stopped and this could be because the rider just doesn't know what else to do. However a complete stop is usually not desirable as the bike is very difficult to control at low speed - in fact at a stop you have only one option which is use your leg to hold the bike up.

    In most cases you should be aiming for a low speed not a complete stop - at this low speed - maybe 20 km/h stop all braking (experts use some rear brake) and get on the power - gently and steer the bike to a fully in control situation i.e. not sliding down an embankment or running into a guard rail - you have practiced riding your bike at 20 km/h without using your brakes on all kinds of surfaces trying extreme turns, up and down hills, off camber, etc, etc Correct?

    Practice straightening the bike, braking hard - to threshold on front tire, at slow speed, release the brakes and get the weight on the back tire, and make the bike turn - swerve at it's maximum. Make sure to try this with a full load and/or passenger.

    I remember being on my GL1800 with a heavy passenger (225 lbs) and deciding to pass a car going slow (60 km/hr) that I had to follow for 500 m or so. Full throttle, max hard max left bank to go around the car but when it came time to straighten out (1/2 a second later) it took all my strength to get the bike standing up again. I took the bike all the way to the left shoulder of the road just stayed out of the gravel, convinced we were going down the embankment. Only because I had practiced this many times before alone on the bike did I have the confidence/knowledge in my arms and body to push through. Also I only got caught off guard because of the passenger top heavy bike and I probably unanticipated completely the full throttle effect of the 1800cc at that particular gear on that particular speed had one other factor worked against me you might not be reading this now.

    You will be surprised what the bike will do if you have the courage and experience to take it to its extreme - especially the BMW bike. Also, it can take a lot of very deliberate force to get the bike to do what you want it to do - even beyond your limits of strength. You should be fairly strong to be able to ride a bike at any true level of performance either intentionally or if you are forced to. Also, if your not on the bike correctly, know how to hold the bike with your legs and feet, keep your elbow bent, head up, looking where you want to go, you won't be able to control the motorbike beyond the minimum levels of control.

    I would add to the fitness you also need stamina, on long rides you get tired, on long hard rides you get tired early in the ride, when you are tired your muscles get lazy and you will make a mistake - sometimes very skilled riders but maybe a little under the weather crash and they just can't understand why. It's because the muscles ride the bike not the brain. The brain just does the higher functions like deciding where to go not keeping the bike up. Sometimes the muscles just go off the job and the brain says how come I fell that's not what I wanted to do. There is a huge mental aspect to all this as well.

    Unless you make a conscious efffort - the courses are a good start - it probably takes 10 years of aggressive, challenging riding to start experiencing all this stuff. Most riders never get to experience it until they crash. I think that is why dirt riding is so helpful. One hour riding off road is worth 10 years on on road riding as far as learning to control the bike in all its possibilities.

    Both tires perfectly stuck to the road, all in static balance (but moving forward), and all the techniques and technology to keep it that way is a very narrow slice of the possible conditions a motorcycle and a rider can get themselves into. Some people think with some luck they can always stay in that narrow band of reality.

    Aside from that strategy not being very safe, (sand on the road example) it is also very boring.
    #25
  6. mfgc2310

    mfgc2310 Been here awhile

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    Yuuup! Only need to downshift when ready to re-apply power (or in anticipation of re-applying power). In principle you should always be ready to re-apply power though. While not ideal I think it is OK to realize the engine is lugging a bit before downshifting.

    Engine compression is a lazy way of reducing speed when staying in same gear (works best with a large displacement fuel injected engine where you can drive all day in top gear (or second to top gear with over drive transmissions)

    Typically in a panic stop situation you are only thinking about getting the bike stopped so downshifting is unnecessary.Sometimes the only thing to do is get the bike completely stopped and this could be because the rider just doesn't know what else to do. However a complete stop is usually not desirable as the bike is very difficult to control at low speed - in fact at a stop you have only one option which is use your leg to hold the bike up.

    In most cases you should be aiming for a low speed not a complete stop - at this low speed - maybe 20 km/h stop all braking (experts use some rear brake) and get on the power - gently and steer the bike to a fully in control situation i.e. not sliding down an embankment or running into a guard rail - you have practiced riding your bike at 20 km/h without using your brakes on all kinds of surfaces trying extreme turns, up and down hills, off camber, etc, etc Correct?

    Practice straightening the bike, braking hard - to threshold on front tire, at slow speed, release the brakes and get the weight on the back tire, and make the bike turn - swerve at it's maximum. Make sure to try this with a full load and/or passenger.

    I remember being on my GL1800 with a heavy passenger (225 lbs) and deciding to pass a car going slow (60 km/hr) that I had to follow for 500 m or so. Full throttle, max hard max left bank to go around the car but when it came time to straighten out (1/2 a second later) it took all my strength to get the bike standing up again. I took the bike all the way to the left shoulder of the road just stayed out of the gravel, convinced we were going down the embankment. Only because I had practiced this many times before alone on the bike did I have the confidence/knowledge in my arms and body to push through. Also I only got caught off guard because of the passenger top heavy bike and I probably unanticipated completely the full throttle effect of the 1800cc at that particular gear on that particular speed had one other factor worked against me you might not be reading this now.

    You will be surprised what the bike will do if you have the courage and experience to take it to its extreme - especially the BMW bike. Also, it can take a lot of very deliberate force to get the bike to do what you want it to do - even beyond your limits of strength. You should be fairly strong to be able to ride a bike at any true level of performance either intentionally or if you are forced to. Also, if your not on the bike correctly, know how to hold the bike with your legs and feet, keep your elbow bent, head up, looking where you want to go, you won't be able to control the motorbike beyond the minimum levels of control.

    I would add to the fitness you also need stamina, on long rides you get tired, on long hard rides you get tired early in the ride, when you are tired your muscles get lazy and you will make a mistake - sometimes very skilled riders but maybe a little under the weather crash and they just can't understand why. It's because the muscles ride the bike without thinking the brain just does the higher functions. Sometimes the muscles just go off the job - get lazy.

    Unless you make a conscious efffort - the courses are a good start - it probably takes 10 years of aggressive, challenging riding to start experiencing all this stuff most riders never get to experience it until they crash. I think that is why dirt riding is so helpful. On hour riding off road is worth 10 years on on road riding as far as learning to control the bike.

    Both tires perfectly stuck to the road, all in static balance (but moving forward), and all the techniques and technology to keep it that way is a very narrow slice of the possible conditions a motorcycle and a rider can get themselves into. Some people think with some luck they can always stay in that narrow band of reality.

    Aside from that strategy not being very safe, (sand on the road example) it is also very boring.
    #26
  7. tire joe

    tire joe Been here awhile

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    You need to slow down and learn how to ride before you get hurt.
    #27
  8. JDK111

    JDK111 Been here awhile

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    1) If you didn't see the sand in the corner --- I would say that there WAS an issue seeing into the curve.

    2) How is it not a crash if 'contact is made' or a bike 'spills out from under you'????

    Seeing that you're asking for advice --- I'd have to agree with everyone telling you to SLOW DOWN.
    #28
  9. PT Rider

    PT Rider Been here awhile

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    You still haven't activated the ABS on pavement; it was doing its job on sand.

    Would a different front tire help? I know, on sand or gravel at too much speed, no tire will save you.

    mfgc2310 made a good point about balancing skills. That is many small muscles working, not the large muscles we think of for strength. There are a few exercises to improve balance. Standing on inflated balancing discs is one, especially on one foot even for mundane tasks like brushing your teeth. Sitting on an exercise/fitness ball instead of a chair is another. If you do weight training, do all your exercises on the ball or discs when possible, and alternating dumbbell movements instead of barbells or machines. You'll immediately have to use lighter weights because you're using muscles you haven't used before. Ski racers can do barbell presses while standing on a ball--that's how well they've developed their balancing skills.
    #29
  10. Snapper

    Snapper Long timer

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    I also try to ride the tire tracks religiously, if there's a clean path through a corner it's in the cage tire tracks. I like the outside track - it gives the best view through right handers (US) and keeps your head away from opposing cage on left handers,

    It's also good to know that you are much more likely to encounter sand in a right hander (US), than a left hander.
    #30
  11. WB81

    WB81 ADV wanna-bee

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    This didn't sink in until I hit a nice gravel patch on an otherwise perfectly clean road right before Aspen. I was just finishing a 500 mile day trip and had some pleasantries with physics. Had to turn around to see what made both my tires slip a bit.

    Awesome advise!


    And I'll get back to my original post. Yes, public roads are not race tracks. I still believe they should at least be somewhat clean of debris.

    Got an off-road bike but I'm running into more trouble on paved roads than with a sports bike.


    I swear, whatever I do on two wheels - I always seem to be doing it ALL wrong.

    :cry
    #31
  12. ER70S-2

    ER70S-2 Long timer

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    :eek1
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  13. HooliKen

    HooliKen Awesome is a flavor

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    ^^^This^^^ Is not a good mindset for riding. Especially if you tend to gravitate towards back roads.

    Ride long enough and you will lose the front, the rear, and both tires together. Only seat time is going to show you how a bike is going to react when you lose traction.

    Motorcycles do not crash on their own. Remove the soccer mom pulling out in front of you in traffic and most crashes you see are riders either riding beyond their skill level or riding beyond the capabilities of the bike. Unless traction is completely compromised a bike will be able to continue turning even when there is a brief loss of traction, unless of course you are already riding near or at the limit of grip.

    Thankfully I made it out of my early years riding even when, many times, I rode way beyond a "sensible velocity" on the street.
    #33
  14. Uncle Pollo

    Uncle Pollo Banned

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    Slow in fast out.
    #34
  15. Uncle Pollo

    Uncle Pollo Banned

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    Scanning the road ahead. We all have crashed for outrunning our line of sight.
    #35
  16. KX50002

    KX50002 NooB, my ass

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    Ride in the dirt, and learn what to do when the bike gets "loose"

    And like others have said, slow down a bit.
    #36
  17. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    Its not a lot of fun, but if you assume there is or could be sand in every turn, you are much less likely to crash, as opposed to thinking turns are clear unless you see something.

    On a track, I suppose you could assume the surface is good, and would know what its like after going around once, leaving out some spill from someone else on the track.

    On the street, there could be anything in/on the road.
    A LOT of people get in trouble assuming the road is clear and clean, or even that a turn does not tighten up.
    Just how much you push it sets the risk level, and in some situations, you can screw up a little and get away with it, in other situations, it could be deadly to do so.
    Everyone makes these calls and sets the risk level, even if they don't realize it.

    In this case, if traffic was very light, sight lines were good other then the sand, and you can go wide or even run off the road without impacting anything, and you are geared up and do not mind damage to the bike, you can push it if you dare, but with more traffic, guard rails, trees and rocks, drop offs, maybe not.

    I rarely wear much gear, so I do NOT push it much, I do not want to be sliding down the road, so I inspect the road surface VERY closely all the time, and even doing that, I do not push the limits in turns.
    If I geared up, I know I would push it much more, since you are likely to walk away in many situations.
    #37
  18. KX50002

    KX50002 NooB, my ass

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    Incidentally, my only crash on the street was about 25 years ago (my own fault) doing a stoppie and didn't see the black sand in the parking lot. Front end washed out in the sand at about 3 mph, I scratched my new helmet and bruised my ego.
    Sand can be nasty stuff.
    #38
  19. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    This is good advise.

    Also, use the right hand track on left hand turns so you don't hang into the oncoming lane.
    #39
  20. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    This.

    I've ridden The High Road everytime I've been to New Mexico.

    It's always dirty in places. Some of the tight turns have dips and bumps that will bottom your suspension at both ends on a sportsbike.

    It's not what I would call a fast road. It's a fun road, but it's dirty and bumpy and has several villages along its length.

    OP, slow down. Learn the road. Be smooth. All will be fine.

    Many times when I hit sand in a turn, the bike simply wiggles a bit and I roll on through. I had the front end tuck one time in some "chip-seal" chat in The Ozarks. I kept looking through the turn and was able to recover.

    If you're running wide, across the yellow, on right-handers, you're simply riding too fast for conditions or for your skill. I've run wide in a bad way on right-handers twice. Once in Utah on UT-95 and once in Arkansas on AR-12. Both times I ran out of ground clearance with my Guzzi Sportsbike. They happened only a month appart. Luckily no cars in the oncoming lane That was a simple message to me to slow it down and not over-ride the bike or the road.
    #40