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Losing The Front.."lowsiding" Question


steph1000
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I've lost the front once and felt it a fraction of a second before I lost it. I was trying to undo my trail braking and comfort braking habit and went into a corner faster than I was accustomed, got on the brake, felt it stop rolling, got off the brake, but it wasn't enough to keep it turning and she washed out. So I'd say "yes".

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I lowsided 2 years ago in the wet at knockhill, at my favourite corner. I went over the scenario in my head over and over and it really affected my confidence for a long time which in turn led me to eventually finding this forum.

I never got any signals that would have allowed me to save it, 1 second I was taking the turn and the next I was sliding up the track watching my bike slide away from me!

As I say It was wet and I was using road tyres, most of the other guys out there were on full wets so maybe I got lured into a false sense of security regarding the amount of grip available,

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I was surprised at how hard I hit the ground....

My helmet bounced off the track twice in a lowside...I was stunned by how hard it hit and one of corner workers told me after that I was down for quite awhile...BTW, I am grateful that I had a very good helmet. I won't go into brand names here because I don't want to start a thread on that topic but I was impressed how well it did its job.

 

Kevin

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I was doing a trackday at JenningsGP and in turn 2 (a 100-110 mph fully pinned left hander) and had the front end start to sliding. I was leaned off the bike already, kept the throttle pinned and just pushed the bike away from me a bit to stand her back up and the front stopped sliding. The front sliding did change my line a hair as the rear never slid to match it but it was not enough to make me run wide or off the track. I know it scared the ###### out of me and I thought for sure it was going to low slide out on me but I guess I reacted fast enough. It is really only a corner when you are at speed which causes you to have to do a hard quick turn as it is more of a hitch then a corner. I am sure I would not have been able to save it as fast as i did or that I would not have had any warning from it if I was at full lean.

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I was surprised at how hard I hit the ground....

My helmet bounced off the track twice in a lowside...I was stunned by how hard it hit and one of corner workers told me after that I was down for quite awhile...BTW, I am grateful that I had a very good helmet. I won't go into brand names here because I don't want to start a thread on that topic but I was impressed how well it did its job.

 

Kevin

 

Ya, my head bounced at least once and I was out for at least 15 seconds as per video I have and the corner worker. I even had the ambulance worker seek me out afterward to tell me not to come back the next day. And I did not.

 

As Kevin said, thank God I had a good helmet and suit on.

 

Andre

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Lowsides go hand in hand with fast lap times, they happen in the blink of an eye (literally), and there is not a lot you do about it other than slowing down....

Plenty of racers will save them on the knee. It's one of the uses of the knee puck.

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Lowsides go hand in hand with fast lap times, they happen in the blink of an eye (literally), and there is not a lot you do about it other than slowing down....

Plenty of racers will save them on the knee. It's one of the uses of the knee puck.

 

I agree, but generally speaking a lowside happens so fast your past the point of no return before you can use your knee slider to help correct the situation. I seem to recall Mick Doohan lowsiding in a GP race and tried for a good 3-4seconds to correct it using his slider...he didnt quite make it, but it sure was a bloody good attempt.

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I've lowsided the front twice, and the rear once.

 

When lowsiding the front, all of a sudden it got quiet, then I noticed that the bike was sliding away from me, then there was ground, sky, ground, sky, ground, sky. Once I thought I'd stopped (the scenery stopped changing), I counted to 10 before trying to stand up (a wise racer once told me).

 

When I lowsided the rear, I noticed in my periphery vision I could see a rear wheel (what the!) it looked exacatly like my wheel, even with the pin stripe on the rim! Then the familiar ground, sky, ground, sky, ground, sky! Back in the pits, this started a discussion on heat cycles for race tyres (a.k.a. tires) that still remains unclear to this day.

 

Now days I don't put my knee down so hard on the ground, in the hope I might feel the front or rear through the knee slider. It has never been proven to work (thankfully), but I don't go through as many knee sliders either.

 

As for the ground-sky effect, the same thing happens for a high-side, except you don't get up after counting to 10, and you get to meet some nice folks in medical outfits that help you out of the kitty litter and into a helicopter (may all corner works and medical staff be blessed).

 

Cheers

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  • 8 months later...

For those of us that have low-sided (myself included), what have you done to help gain your confidence back? I'm ok riding on highways, but now with the twisties, my SR's fire up and I'm going slower than I have in the past. I don't want this to be off topic, but I thought it could go hand-in-hand with the discussion.

 

My main problem is I don't trust my tires to grip anymore.

 

Thanks,

 

Harry

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If I understand you correctly, it sounds like you low-sided on the street and have a confidence problem there?

 

I'd say that you're increasing in wisdom. The street is an uncontrolled environment and pinning down WHY you went down it tough to do, especially if you're pushing the twisties and didn't find the reason then.

 

If it's the track, I'd say increase you speed and lean angle in small increments and your confidence will return proportionately.

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I think if you suddenly go way past the limit you will fall without warning. If you gradually run into the traction limit, you'll get some warning, and theoretically have time to save it. This is why "riding smooth" is so important, cos if you're not, it's a lot more likely you'll jump really far passed the traction limit and really suddenly. And this is why it's important to take it easy on the street cos the oil and gravel that you might not always see can put you way past the limit way suddenly.

 

I lowsided due to a front slide once on the track, my only crash ever so far on the track after 50 or 60 trackdays. It was poring down freak'n rain, just trying to survive really, was off throttle, which loads the front, was doing downhill, which loads the front, hit a dip, which loads the front, and hit a big patch of wet rubbery pavement, all at the same time. So needless to say this was one of those moments where I went way passed the traction limit very suddenly. I remember feeling confused for a couple seconds wondering why am I watching my bike slide across the pavement over there? Why am I sliding across the pavement? Am I crashing? When did this start?

 

I lowsided on the street once due to a rear tire slide, at an intersection. The light turned green, I accelerated and turned left, forgetting all about the cold weather and the brand new not-broken-in rear tire, and so the ass end just swung right around on me, the bike slid on the frame slider clear across the intersection, didn't even scratch the fairing.

 

Thankfully in both cases there was no ground-sky-ground-sky effect and I was not even slightly injured and the bike didn't fair too badly either.

 

On the track I've had lots of subtle rear end slides, usually when the rear tire is warning me that it's time to be replaced, one too many heat cycles or whatever. These were not scary, happened as I got on the throttle smoothly in the turn and I just eased off the throttle. I could still keep riding the tire for the remainder of the session but could not get good drive out of the corners.

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As has been discussed, its definitely possible to stop a lowside, though its reliant on a couple of factors to get you through, some of which have discussed, some have not.

 

Firstly, there is the difference in speed/force that the tyre could handle, and what you've asked for. if the difference is too large, your on yer arse I'm afraid. If its small enough, you'll ge warning signs, the tyre will move around a little and you can recover them, wheter its front or rear, you can feel that squirm and movement and get it back,

 

Secondly, and most importantly is being really well locked onto the bike, having that really good connection with the outside peg, and being able to get that weight out of the bars. If you can really do this, and its quite tough, you can feel the bars lighten in your fingers as it moves around underneath you, and compensate it accordingly. This is the biggest advance warning you'll get of either of these conditions, and is what seperate's the great riders like rossi/lorenzo, etc, and say someone like toni elias, who swings of the bars and cannot possibly have that level of feel.

 

Bullet

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