Friendly cold tire reminder - slow lowside

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by Gundy, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. Gundy

    Gundy Long timer

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    I learned the hard way the other day to wait until sportbike tires are nice and warm and probably let a few pounds out of them before taking sharper turns when its cold. Luckily my reminder came at an intersection with no oncoming cars. Low-sided making a left turn at only about 15 mph, nothing particularly aggressive, and suddenly FLOP I am sliding on the pavement and the bike (my new WR250X no less) is skidding across the road. It was like I hit an ice patch...except there was no ice or oil on the road away from me, probably a good 20-30 feet. The people in their cars at the red light were horrified and thought that I was about to vaporize into a cloud of dust, but I just got up, walked over and picked the bike up. Seemed like a minor thing, but I was lucky there were no cars behind me. About 25-30 degrees out, and it was on some smoother lighter grey pavement. Fortunately I was in full riding gear and didn't even get a bruise, and the gear itself was barely scuffed even after sliding several feet. The bike just has as scuffed handguard and the rear axle slider is a little shaved. Other than that the bike is fine.

    Definitely also was a lesson in ATGATT. The gear made it an essentially harmless slide, but had it been summertime, wearing shorts and t-shirt while running a few quick errands, there would have been some bad road rash and a few bruises.
    #1
  2. Guano11

    Guano11 Stop me if you've heard this one....

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    Good on ya for posting. I recently relocated from an "always summer" location to a region with definite winter, and everyone is warning me about the summer tires on my car. But nobody mentions motorcycle tires -- guess they just assume the bikes will hibernate!
    Your post confirmed my suspicions. Extra credit for riding in freezing temps, too!:thumb
    #2
  3. GoGoGavin41

    GoGoGavin41 Waves to Moto Cops (and they wave back)

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    :lol3 Haha, well at least they showed concern. I especially like it when you go down and people just drive right by without even looking twice.
    #3
  4. Gundy

    Gundy Long timer

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    Well, at least the people in the first car. I am sure all the ones lined up behind were too busy texting or playing "Angry Birds" to even notice.
    #4
  5. Falconx84

    Falconx84 Lurker

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    The one time I made an "unscheduled dismount" was due to the same reason, similar outcome.

    Although I had some other factors including tire age/wear, and a ridiculous amount of engine braking on the sv650.

    glad all is well... as I said after my experience, if it had to happen, it couldn't have gone better.
    #5
  6. dlew

    dlew Daypass Adventurer

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    thanks for posting--a good reminder.
    #6
  7. PT Rider

    PT Rider Been here awhile

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    For anyone not aware of this, reducing the tire pressure lets the tire flex more and generate more heat to soften the rubber sooner. In the summer adding a few psi reduces flex to help prevent excessive heat & excessive rubber softening. Street or dual-sport tires are probably not as critical for their need for heat to get some traction as sport bike tires are.
    #7
  8. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner (Negativus Supersonicus) Super Supporter

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    ...and glad you're OK.
    #8
  9. antonac

    antonac Commuter

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    It was 17 degrees this morning, and coming out of my apartment complex, the ass-end of my bike was waddling around like a duck. There was no ice to be seen, but it was damn cold and I was fairly heavy-handed on the throttle.

    Consider that with aired up tires and extremely cold weather, you may never get them up to proper operating temperature, so ride accordingly.
    #9
  10. SmithSwede

    SmithSwede Been here awhile

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    An excellent reminder. I also drop about 2 psi from my tire pressure compared to inflation levels for the summer. Figure it can't hurt.

    Another thing to remember if you commute along the same route. Just because you can take that curve at X mph in one direction does not mean you can do it in the other direction--depends on whether you've traveled enough to warm the tire.
    #10
  11. inbred

    inbred Sweeter than Yoo-hoo

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    It's often hard to tell when the suddenness of a front end washout will occur. I have to get on the ATGATT bandwagon PDQ.
    #11
  12. Dismount

    Dismount Dagnabit billy

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    I occasionally manage to wash out the ass on my fat, weak cruiser when it's cold.

    WHOA you heavy slut.... upright motherfucker. upright.:lol3
    #12
  13. Roadracer_Al

    Roadracer_Al louder, louder, louder!

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    I had a similar incident on my SuMo - I hadn't ridden it in a year or so, and wanted to ride it "one last time before I put it on Craig's List" -- you can see where this is going.

    Cold, dew-y morning, tires that had a visible sheen of tire compound from not being ridden in a looong time, and on an easy turn. I touched the center yellow with the front and it just disappeared out from under me. Fortunately, it was a very slow hairpin. ATGATT, no damage to me or my 'stitch, busted fender and mirror, both of which I had spares of.
    #13
  14. vanhow

    vanhow n00b

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    Had a low-side today. Not going particularly fast, turned left on tar/pavement, and “fsssst” I and my 990 were sliding along the road. Tyres are new, pavement dry, so no idea why it happened. I was standing which may have added to a higher centre of gravinty. Tyres weren’t that warm either but I’ve pushed the bike to far greater limits before with no issues. Very odd.
    #14
  15. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    I think the key phrase in your situation was “new tires”. New tires not scruffed in and not warmed up (+ possible coatings) can be slick.
    #15