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I have a THEORETICAL situation I need some driving advice about. There are some things the driving courses just don't teach.

Let's say, THEORETICALLY, I was driving my 1500 down a wet road (just misty out, not a full out rain) at about 75 mph on a paved road that had numerous short (less than 100 feet) sections of recent patches of black top (McAdam, to you southern boys) that looked real glossy at the time. THEORETICALLY, of course. Oh yeah, let's say the electronic cruise was on at the time.


What would be the correct action to take if the rear wheel let loose and the back end snapped out to the right about 2 feet and made you feel like you were riding one humongous dirt bike? :shock:

Besides the 2 obvious things (prayer and a new pair of adult diapers :blushing:), what would the driving experts suggest in such a situation? Do you accelerate and hope it grabs? What about the resulting "equal and opposite reaction" when it snaps 2 feet to the left if you decelerate?

Good thing it's a THEORETICAL question because what dumba** would;
a) be riding that fast on a slick surface, and
b) have the cruise control on in those conditions?
 

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A lot of other things to think about, are there other vehicles around, people, or other bikes. Bad situations demand quick thinking and quick actions. Would it just be better to lay it down and ride it out (my thought), or if your way to far over, and try to bring it back would itpossibly flip and cause injury to yourself and more damage to the bike. Too many variables here. Oh, and why the heck is the cruise control on? THEORETICAL questions are not really fair as I said too many variables, everyone is right and everyone is wrong.
 

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Deserted stretch of road, no other vehicles around except my son, who is following about 100 yards behind on his bike and really didn't want to see his old man hit the deck and then have to try to avoid running over him.

The question about the cruise is a good one. The weather had been misty and the road damp for 2 days of driving and no sign of slippery roads. Had set the cruise to adjust the sleeve of the jacket and had just returned my hand to the throttle (fortunately) when the tire broke loose. I was reaching to turn off the cruise via the clutch but with my heavy glove (it was 35 F) I'm not sure whether I caught too much clutch and disengaged the transmission for a split second and the re-engagement caused a surge that broke the tire loose or if it was just the freshly repaired section of road causing the tire to lose traction. Tires are in good shape (E2s with 75% tread) and they have been performing admirably prior to and since the episode.
 

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Well...you pose a question that pretty much includes it's own answer, of course! :dude:

In the FIRST place- you should NEVER be on cruise control in the rain or snow, as you well point out. Even with the new electronic cruise controls, you should only use them, in good weather, on a straight and open highway, to flex your hand and wrist, for say 10-20 seconds. I do; it makes me happy...but, hey...I'm easy to please.

I grew up with the full throttle locks, which many know...VandaCruise, VistaCruise, etc. Those are completely illegal, in Europe, by the way.

I think that, even under adverse conditions and with the cruise control on, you should feel it coming loose far before the "rear wheel snaps out two feet". I'd put my foot on the rear brake pedal (not actually pressing it to the point it engages the rear brake) which should disconnect the cruise control, then hope I can "straighten up and fly right" long enough to recover traction, without hitting anything?

An alternative is: keep the CC on, stand up in the saddle, bend over like a contortionist, and well, kiss your ass goodbye? :waving:
 

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Yeah Pete, it's amazing how many thoughts can go thru your head in a few milliseconds. That kissing thing was one of them. I was surprised at how calm I remained and even had a short debate with myself as to the correct response, even as it was happening. In retrospect, I attribute that to the constant doses of adrenaline I've gotten at work over the last 25 years and having learnt to think straight under that kind of strain. I know I wouldn't have been that calm in my youth and may well have panicked and just locked 'em up.

From my dirt bike experience my first inclination was to try and accelerate thru it like you would out of a hole shot in a corner on the dirt track, but I was going 75 mph and my mind couldn't convince itself that the right course of action was to accelerate. With the cruise now off I ended up ever so gently easing off the throttle and hoping the bike would right itself. It did, but not before slapping to the left and doing a bit of a wobble that had me thinking it might high-side me onto the pavement.

I've seen similar situations happen on the race track in wet conditions and most of the time the riders end up looking like they're trying to handle a broncing buck and then end up eating hay, usually headfirst, too. That was definitely my worst case scenario.

I survived but am still not convinced I did the advisable thing. That slap to the left scared me more than the original breaking loose.
 

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Not wanting to sound sarcastic.......

Your "THEORETICAL" situation tells me the rider is going faster then
road conditions allow, for safe travel. So in order to get out of the situation
the rider should rewind the whole picture and drive according to the
conditions, to begin with.

Maybe a safety course would be helpful.

Ride safe!
 

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Safety course taken - twice. Most reviews of tragic events start with "If only this could have been avoided ....". Fair enough. But the wise driver also asks, "What may we learn from this and how do we react if ever caught in a similar circumstance?"

I can tell you right now, the safety course will only say "Don't get yourself into this situation." There's a bike track about 60 miles from here that let's 'novice' riders come and cruise their own bikes thru the course a couple of times each summer. I'm thinking I may have to go next year and get some pointers on appropriate reactions at high rates of speed. They're the ones that experience it the most and train to deal with the situation when things don't go as planned.

Just thought there might be someone on the forum with that kind of experience and I wouldn't have to wait for the snow to melt and the geese to return to answer my question.
 

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Hey Lawrence-

You forgot to make it clear to us "idjuts" that the situation wasn't quite, um, theoretical! :dude:

I have friends, who are skilled dirt bikers (I'm not, even though I like to imagine I've seen nearly EVERY condition imaginable- I've no illusion that "I've seen it all").

I think dirt skills are incredibly valuable, for on-road riding, but as a novice dirt biker, I would imagine that the "digging in" technique might not work so well, on a slick roadway?

I think you did the right thing. My best hope has been to: 1)remove power/reason for a skid, to the offending wheel, 2) straighten up, if possible, and 3) ride it out, until you are confident that traction has been restored. That all happens, of course, in the beat of a heart, as does a disastrous wreck...am I right? :cooldevil:

Motorcycle Safety courses are very valuable, I agree, and it doesn't hurt to get more training, at any level of experience, but...seriously...they don't teach this stuff.

I've read a lot, I've experienced a lot, and I still manage to fall down on a motorcycle, every now and again. I get back up, dust myself off, and go back to having fun, having learned a little something extra...:baffled:
 

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I'd grab the clutch and down shift a gear or two so that the drag is on the rear of the bike alone. I'd feather the clutch in like a reverse brake rather than a sudden hard downshift. Meanwhile I'd steer in the direction of the slide (like always).
Repeat until safely slowed or stopped.

But that's just me.
 

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I'm with Rudy on this one. Clutch it and let the tire find it's own traction with no force from the engine or brakes on it, that'll let the bike correct itself without over correcting and sliding around to the other side.

In dirt, where you have at least a little bit of traction, powering out is the thing to do. On slick blacktop, most likely oily if it's really fresh, the last thing you want to do is put power to the rear wheel and spin it harder...It'll just kick to the right even more, and you'll end up kissing the new blacktop.
 

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I have to agree with the others. Cruise is for good conditions and when misty remember the oils on the road are not getting enough rain to wash down so that is themost dangerous time to be riding so slow down to give yourself more reaction time.



Since a Goldwings rear break also engages the front tapping the rear wont be as effective as on some other bikes, a throttle down and down shift will help bring that rear tire back into line. Since the Cruise was on you inadvertentlyincreased the reaction times in conditions that you would want do decrease your reaction times. Just remember to keep that cruise off in bad weather they are nice to have but can reek havoc in poor driving conditions.



I'm glad your ok and the girl took care of you.
 

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If on straight road the tire should only do that if it hydroplaned or hit a patch of oil. You say it was misting so I don't suspect hydroplaning. Even fresh blacktop should not be that slippery when wet so it soulds like you hit an unexpected bit of oil. Not much you can do about that.

I agree the best thing to do would be pull in the clutch and keep your eyes on the road ahead where you want to be.
 

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Motorcycle Pete wrote:
I grew up with the full throttle locks, which many know...VandaCruise, VistaCruise, etc. Those are completely illegal, in Europe, by the way.
Really, Pete? :?Are you sure?
I didn't know that!!!:shock:

Learn something new every day, I guess...:cool:

:action::action:
 

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I'm not sure I know the "correct" method for riding out of that situation but I know from experience what not to do. Neveruse the rear brake. If the rear tire is in a skid, no traction, even a slight bake pressure can lock up the tire which will cause the rear end to skid even more severely. When traction is regained the opposite reaction of the rear end will be even more severe. Severe enough to throw the rider off or if there is a passenger possibly throw them off. Wasn't going nearly that fast but just ask my wife what happens.
 

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wpgfire wrote:
I've seen similar situations happen on the race track in wet conditions...
I'm assuming this is on a straight run. High-Siding is what should be expected the instant the rear cuts-out from under you like that.

Countering it is to ride the slide as if you intended to perform it. I know this may sound ridiculous to most, as who would intend to gain experience by sliding the rear of a Goldwing, new or old, around in the wet or dry and in atraction-less state? Except for a 100% hydro-planing affect, you still have traction and can utilize it.
There is a fine line on splitting the difference of lean and steering, not to ride it out, but to ride-through with it. That's going to be hard to describe here. But over-correction will have you high-siding in the opposite plane. IMO, dirt skills will help tremendously, but don't factor the differences of hydro-planing, weight and momentum,asphalt/concrete surface traction, and technique to utilize the differences.

It's been my experience for those that are young, or not in the "been riding since day one" category, or more directly here, those returning to riding after many years of lay-off and now have a bike much larger and more powerful than what they left,taking a riding class in an effort to gain actual experience in this situation is useless. What is more beneficial isa performance riding school that will teach an individual what to do in these conditions when it is presented to them under semi-controlled circumstances. This lends benefit to the unexpected yet controllablecircumstance when it rears its head on a public road. I've put my 2 Girls through schools and both want more. Kieth Codes school in particular.
It's also been my experience of seeing some good riders go down on the street (track too), get tore-up pretty badly, and have their fear of the incident hamper their riding abilities even further once remounted.

Practicing the unexpected may not beinexpensive for those that fear it, but gaining experience can be costly in many other ways. Respecting the fear of a unexpected slide, and then challenging it with success, gives us another notch wherever placed.
Hell, I self-induce challenging slides on the street (when I deem it safe enough to get away with it) often enough. I'm not reckless, I'm just a highwire act looking to keep it alive. I'm here to tell you that it's harder to induce, and then control,on the GL as compared to my other smaller, lighter bikes for a number of reasons.
"Practice, practice, practice" is my motto.
 

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wpgfire wrote:
I have a THEORETICAL situation I need some driving advice about. There are some things the driving courses just don't teach.

Let's say, THEORETICALLY, I was driving my 1500 down a wet road (just misty out, not a full out rain) at about 75 mph on a paved road that had numerous short (less than 100 feet) sections of recent patches of black top (McAdam, to you southern boys) that looked real glossy at the time. THEORETICALLY, of course. Oh yeah, let's say the electronic cruise was on at the time.


What would be the correct action to take if the rear wheel let loose and the back end snapped out to the right about 2 feet and made you feel like you were riding one humongous dirt bike? :shock:

Besides the 2 obvious things (prayer and a new pair of adult diapers :blushing:), what would the driving experts suggest in such a situation? Do you accelerate and hope it grabs? What about the resulting "equal and opposite reaction" when it snaps 2 feet to the left if you decelerate?

Good thing it's a THEORETICAL question because what dumba** would;
a) be riding that fast on a slick surface, and
b) have the cruise control on in those conditions?
Twist the throttle, turn into the slide and power slide out of it!!! Just kidding, of course.:D

I'm a southern boy, but I don't have a clue what a "McAdam" is. Can you enlighten me please?

dw
 

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When you're doing 75mph already there won't be a whole lot of power left to "power out of it" Some theories from dirt riding cross over to street riding. But in this case...not so much.

In dirt powering out works because the rear wheel digs into the dirt, this compacts the lose dirt as it is pushed away allowing the tire to dig into the more solid dirt underneath creating a better traction. One the road in early rain conditions it just produces greater tire speed in an already reduce traction situation.

You could grab some clutch and try to time the re-engagement just perfectly to keep the rear end from snapping back around. However you run the risk of high siding in either direction when that rear tire grabs again.

You could try to power out and and end up laying it down anyway.

Or you could maintain throttle keep your balance and stay in control of the bike. The rpms will level out and the rear wheel will stop accelerating faster than the bike and the the rear will ease back into line with the front.

I had a similar situation last season. Left hand turn onto a four lane with a boulevard. Had just started raining. About a third of the way through I went over a manhole cover that I didn't see until it was too late to go around and the rear wheel shot out to the right sending me into an unexpected power slide or "drift". My first thought as my body went rigid with tension was "I'm not crashing today". So my first action was to force myself to relax and stay fluid enough to ride. My second decision was to just stay in the throttle and and let the slide carry me through the turn. As the rpm leveled out the rear end eased right back into line with the front end and I went on my way.

As has been mentioned many times before in stories of close calls that "anyone else would have crashed" one element is constant, the rider kept riding. You have to force your self to relax and keep riding that bike until yer out of the scrape. Now there are times when you won't be able to keep riding, when that happens just do your best to minimize injury. when you go down try to slide instead of rolling, road rash hurts like hell but is heals faster than broken bones. Stay with the bike until you can't control it anymore and then try to get way from it, once it hits the road it's angry at you and tries to beat you up, and anytime man fights with a machine, man loses.

For what it's worth I've been riding now for over 27 years.
 

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I am not sure what I would do if I got into that "hypothetical" situation. Pobably dirty my diaper and pray. Let off the throttle and let the rear wheel find its traction and let it coast to a slower, safer speed. Then find a place to stop and change pants. LOL
 

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I doubt I could resist the impulse to 'ride the slide' and steer into it. On a wet road I don't think I'd try powering out because the tire is already sliding and hitting the throttle might increase the slide. The real danger as you almost found out was high siding when the rear tire grabs traction. The problem with the rear tire stopping it's slide suddenly is that if you are steering into the slide you'll suddenly be over correcting which will induce the rear tire to slide the opposite way deteriorating almost instantly into a very nasty wobble that usually solves itself by pitching the rider off. I think the fact that the road was wet was what saved your day, the back wheel couldn't suddenly get traction. If the slip had been caused by sand and then the tire slid onto dry pavement I don't think there'd have been much hope to prevent a high side accident. What ever you did you saved yourself by a mixture of skill and luck, who knows what the ratio of either of those did the trick? The main thing was how far away were you from somewhere you could clean up the briefs?



BTW - I don't know anyone who calls the stuff McAdam, most of us refer to it as blacktop or asphalt. Unless it was concrete of course.:cooldevil:
 

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Well, if my Goldwing suddenly started acting like my XR416... I'd counter weight across the bike from the low peg and tap the rear brake to disengage the cruise control...

Then I would flagellate myself violently with a crusty old drive chain for riding too fast for conditions while having the worst accessory ever made for motorcycles activated.

But, that is just what I would do.
 
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