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Sliding Front Tire


aslcbr600
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Say you are coming into the corner and you feel the front tire starting to slide or it starts sliding, would you be maintenance throttle and just allow the bike to "fix itself" or would a slight roll on of the throttle cause the front to slide more? I only ask because if the front is sliding and in my mind I am thinking "if I apply throttle and transfer weight to the rear it will help the front tire regain grip" although at the same time increasing throttle also means increasing speed so it could just amplify the sliding of the tire because if you are already sliding the front that means you are already on the very last limit of what the tire can handle for that corner entry speed and lean angle or maximum braking if you are trailbraking into the corner.

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if you are already at traction limits , you might just be out of luck.

 

Not everyone can corner like stoner sliding the rear or have a motogp spec grade machine.

 

IMHO turn in speed and turn points , prevention is better than cure.

 

 

Oh no doubt, I just wanted to have the knowledge on what to expect or try to be able to do to remedy the slide. It may even be something a little slippery on the track that causes the front to slide or maybe you were trying to pass someone on the outside and now you find yourself trailbraking into the corner because you passed your end of braking marker and coming into the turn too hot.

 

Many different scenarios but just looking for the idea of how to try and prevent washing out if possible.

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Are you saying that a 40/60 weight distribution will fix a sliding front tire while it's sliding? If the front tire is sliding due to corner entry speed exceeding the tires limits? Not the suspension being out of optimum working range.

 

Unless your already at your tires combined maximum lean angle (with the 40/60 weight distrubution) than there is always some wiggle room for unloading or loading one or the other tire. If the front is sliding chances are the rear tire still has some grip left to give out. So getting on the throttle will take some pressure off the front which lets it regain traction and stops the slide. Now more of that cornering load is shared by the rear tire instead of overloading the front.

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if you are already at traction limits , you might just be out of luck.

 

Not everyone can corner like stoner sliding the rear or have a motogp spec grade machine.

 

IMHO turn in speed and turn points , prevention is better than cure.

 

 

Oh no doubt, I just wanted to have the knowledge on what to expect or try to be able to do to remedy the slide. It may even be something a little slippery on the track that causes the front to slide or maybe you were trying to pass someone on the outside and now you find yourself trailbraking into the corner because you passed your end of braking marker and coming into the turn too hot.

 

Many different scenarios but just looking for the idea of how to try and prevent washing out if possible.

 

My first (and only - so far) crash on track happened this way. It happens so fast you have mili-seconds to respond. I wish I had known the correct response, because what I did didn't work. It was cool that day and overcast. My tires were probably a little over-inflated for the conditions, but the more I relive that moment, the more I am convinced that tire pressure was not the only problem that day. When the front slid the first time that day, I was able to recover. The tire caught traction quickly and I made it through the turn. But it happened again a few laps later in the same turn and I ran into the grass and went down off the pavement. Maybe someone with more experience would have reacted differently, but my natural reaction was to stand the bike up a little. Of course, that makes you go wide. And if there's not enough room, you run off the pavement. I can say that for me, that feeling in the pit of your stomach when the front slides and you're leaned over at your limit is not one I wish to repeat. I can also say that applying throttle in that situation was the farthest thing from my mind. In fact, about the only thing that had time to go through my mind was "dammit!".

 

I, too, would love to have some advice on what to try next time, but I also hope I never have to apply it. :)

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if you are already at traction limits , you might just be out of luck.

 

Not everyone can corner like stoner sliding the rear or have a motogp spec grade machine.

 

IMHO turn in speed and turn points , prevention is better than cure.

 

 

Oh no doubt, I just wanted to have the knowledge on what to expect or try to be able to do to remedy the slide. It may even be something a little slippery on the track that causes the front to slide or maybe you were trying to pass someone on the outside and now you find yourself trailbraking into the corner because you passed your end of braking marker and coming into the turn too hot.

 

Many different scenarios but just looking for the idea of how to try and prevent washing out if possible.

 

My first (and only - so far) crash on track happened this way. It happens so fast you have mili-seconds to respond. I wish I had known the correct response, because what I did didn't work. It was cool that day and overcast. My tires were probably a little over-inflated for the conditions, but the more I relive that moment, the more I am convinced that tire pressure was not the only problem that day. When the front slid the first time that day, I was able to recover. The tire caught traction quickly and I made it through the turn. But it happened again a few laps later in the same turn and I ran into the grass and went down off the pavement. Maybe someone with more experience would have reacted differently, but my natural reaction was to stand the bike up a little. Of course, that makes you go wide. And if there's not enough room, you run off the pavement. I can say that for me, that feeling in the pit of your stomach when the front slides and you're leaned over at your limit is not one I wish to repeat. I can also say that applying throttle in that situation was the farthest thing from my mind. In fact, about the only thing that had time to go through my mind was "dammit!".

 

I, too, would love to have some advice on what to try next time, but I also hope I never have to apply it. :)

 

 

Thanks for the input, I figured standing the bike up would also be a bad idea but like you said with so little time to react you hope that your natural instinctive decision is the right one but it doesn't always work out that way! haha.

 

Hopefully one of the coaches can put in some info on what they have experienced and found what does/ doesn't work to try and save it.

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Hopefully one of the coaches can put in some info on what they have experienced and found what does/ doesn't work to try and save it.

 

I thought you guys were doing pretty well on your own, actually :) ... but I'll chime in.

 

We all seem to agree that we want the optimum weight distribution (40 front 60 rear) to maximize traction.

 

What errors can riders make that can INCREASE the load(s) on the front tire beyond the basic load of cornering?

 

What actions can a rider take during a turn that can increase the load (unfavorably!) on the front tire?

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Hopefully one of the coaches can put in some info on what they have experienced and found what does/ doesn't work to try and save it.

 

I thought you guys were doing pretty well on your own, actually :) ... but I'll chime in.

 

We all seem to agree that we want the optimum weight distribution (40 front 60 rear) to maximize traction.

 

What errors can riders make that can INCREASE the load(s) on the front tire beyond the basic load of cornering?

 

What actions can a rider take during a turn that can increase the load (unfavorably!) on the front tire?

 

 

Not locking the knees on the tank and putting the weight on the bars, improper trailbraking such as having too much brake applied while coming into the corner, improper body positioning on the bike (being too far forward), coming into a corner too hot and excessive lean angle and chopping the gas while in the turn.

 

Out of all of these errors and actions I listed the ones that I think would make me encounter a possible front tire slide would be coming into the corner too hot. I am using this as in the racing world, not just riding the street or trackdays but say you are trying to pass someone on the inside coming up on a right hand turn. You wait a little bit later to get on the brakes so you can get around the other racer, you realize that you are coming into the corner too hot and you are already at maximum braking and the front tire starts sliding.

 

That scenario right there is what is leading me to think "if the front tire were to start sliding, what would I do to try and fix it".

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Hopefully one of the coaches can put in some info on what they have experienced and found what does/ doesn't work to try and save it.

 

I thought you guys were doing pretty well on your own, actually :) ... but I'll chime in.

 

We all seem to agree that we want the optimum weight distribution (40 front 60 rear) to maximize traction.

 

What errors can riders make that can INCREASE the load(s) on the front tire beyond the basic load of cornering?

 

What actions can a rider take during a turn that can increase the load (unfavorably!) on the front tire?

 

 

Not locking the knees on the tank and putting the weight on the bars, improper trailbraking such as having too much brake applied while coming into the corner, improper body positioning on the bike (being too far forward), coming into a corner too hot and excessive lean angle and chopping the gas while in the turn.

 

Out of all of these errors and actions I listed the ones that I think would make me encounter a possible front tire slide would be coming into the corner too hot. I am using this as in the racing world, not just riding the street or trackdays but say you are trying to pass someone on the inside coming up on a right hand turn. You wait a little bit later to get on the brakes so you can get around the other racer, you realize that you are coming into the corner too hot and you are already at maximum braking and the front tire starts sliding.

 

That scenario right there is what is leading me to think "if the front tire were to start sliding, what would I do to try and fix it".

 

Good, lots of good answers there highlighting how the rider can create more load than would otherwise exist just from cornering fast - and thus potentially create a slide at a much slower speed than you'd otherwise expect.

 

So if you are already leaned over and the front tire starts to slide, how could you change the weight to lighten the load on the front? In your post above, are you still on the brakes while leaned over in the turn?

 

Another solution would be to prevent the slide in the first place, so let's play this out - if you enter a corner more on the inside than usual (because you are passing), what OTHER things do you need to change? What do you need to do with your turn point? What about your steering rate?

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"So if you are already leaned over and the front tire starts to slide, how could you change the weight to lighten the load on the front? In your post above, are you still on the brakes while leaned over in the turn?"

 

You would be off of the brakes at this point, the only thing I can think of would be to apply the throttle but if you are already coming into the corner at too high of a speed how would applying the throttle help if you are also increasing speed so let's assume that your suspension is already at 40/60 and it's not a matter of suspension causing the front tire to overload but rather too high of an entry speed. Would that mean you just hope you can use your knee to help push the bike up a little bit or hope that being loose on the bars will just allow the bike to fix itself?

 

"Another solution would be to prevent the slide in the first place, so let's play this out - if you enter a corner more on the inside than usual (because you are passing), what OTHER things do you need to change? What do you need to do with your turn point? What about your steering rate?"

 

I think how tight the turn is would depict what you would do, as we all know there are turns that you just shouldn't pass on and you never take any turn the exact same way.

 

I will use a tight right hand turn for example (not a hairpin but a tighter turn that you would see people pass on occasion)

 

You would need to change your turn in point, it would have to be an earlier turn in rather then later because you are approaching the turn at a tighter angle. If you turned in later then you could take the angle too sharp and just run off track, you still want to avoid turning in too early because you don't want to push your lean angle anymore then you need to.

 

The steering rate, I am not too sure how to describe this but picturing it in my head I would think that you would start out at a slower steering rate and then progressively increase the steering because once you get past the bend you will need to steer a little quicker to stay on track and not go too wide or run off.

 

If I had the skill this would also be a point where I would use the rear brake and bring the rear of the bike around to square myself up into the corner so I could close the door on the racer behind me because since you passed on the inside and his line was cleaner he will be able to get back to the gas before you will so running too wide would make your pass virtually pointless because the other racer would regain position through mid turn.

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"So if you are already leaned over and the front tire starts to slide, how could you change the weight to lighten the load on the front? In your post above, are you still on the brakes while leaned over in the turn?"

 

You would be off of the brakes at this point, the only thing I can think of would be to apply the throttle but if you are already coming into the corner at too high of a speed how would applying the throttle help if you are also increasing speed so let's assume that your suspension is already at 40/60 and it's not a matter of suspension causing the front tire to overload but rather too high of an entry speed. Would that mean you just hope you can use your knee to help push the bike up a little bit or hope that being loose on the bars will just allow the bike to fix itself?

 

 

Well, hypothetically if you are already at the ideal 40/60 weight distribution, BOTH front and rear tires would be at maximum traction so if you had too much speed for the conditions they would BOTH slide and you'd get a nice 2 wheel drift - or a crash. If ONLY the front is sliding, then theoretically you have more traction available in the rear and could shift some weight back there.

 

Of course there are limits to traction - 40/60 weight distribution is as good as it gets for getting each tire to carry max load but of course it is still possible to enter a turn way too fast for the conditions and pitch the bike.

 

Doing nothing at all and staying loose on the bars often allows the bike to regain traction in a slide, especially if the slide was due to a small slick spot or uneven pavement and is definitely far better than stiffening up or rolling off.

 

As far as saving it with your knee, I haven't experienced that myself (although I have saved numerous slides by either rolling on or doing nothing and staying relaxed) but have heard of other coaches doing it and it is discussed in A Twist of the Wrist (the first one). If you search the forum you can find at least one thread where one of the coaches talks about it.

 

Keep in mind that it IS possible to roll on the throttle and shift some weight off the front without actually increasing your speed; if you haven't already observed this, try a very slight roll on and watch what happens to your speed.

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"So if you are already leaned over and the front tire starts to slide, how could you change the weight to lighten the load on the front? In your post above, are you still on the brakes while leaned over in the turn?"

 

You would be off of the brakes at this point, the only thing I can think of would be to apply the throttle but if you are already coming into the corner at too high of a speed how would applying the throttle help if you are also increasing speed so let's assume that your suspension is already at 40/60 and it's not a matter of suspension causing the front tire to overload but rather too high of an entry speed. Would that mean you just hope you can use your knee to help push the bike up a little bit or hope that being loose on the bars will just allow the bike to fix itself?

 

 

Well, hypothetically if you are already at the ideal 40/60 weight distribution, BOTH front and rear tires would be at maximum traction so if you had too much speed for the conditions they would BOTH slide and you'd get a nice 2 wheel drift - or a crash. If ONLY the front is sliding, then theoretically you have more traction available in the rear and could shift some weight back there.

 

Of course there are limits to traction - 40/60 weight distribution is as good as it gets for getting each tire to carry max load but of course it is still possible to enter a turn way too fast for the conditions and pitch the bike.

 

Doing nothing at all and staying loose on the bars often allows the bike to regain traction in a slide, especially if the slide was due to a small slick spot or uneven pavement and is definitely far better than stiffening up or rolling off.

 

As far as saving it with your knee, I haven't experienced that myself (although I have saved numerous slides by either rolling on or doing nothing and staying relaxed) but have heard of other coaches doing it and it is discussed in A Twist of the Wrist (the first one). If you search the forum you can find at least one thread where one of the coaches talks about it.

 

Keep in mind that it IS possible to roll on the throttle and shift some weight off the front without actually increasing your speed; if you haven't already observed this, try a very slight roll on and watch what happens to your speed.

 

 

Ah I didn't think about it that way, if you had 40/60 that the rear would most likely slide out as well. As far as the slight roll on I noticed that actually now that you bring it up, when I first started practicing throttle control I noticed that I was maybe increasing my speed 1-2 mph through the turn (on the street) and that my throttle roll on could be more aggressive.

 

What did you think about the adjustments I provided for the turn when you asked what adjustments would need to be made after the pass?

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I am not an expert at all so don't listen to me.

 

I do have alot of experience with car racing though.

Front end giving up is called "under-steer".

 

If you have understeer because your front tire is over loaded because you have too much weight on the front due to braking / engine braking, then a slight roll on the throttle will transfer some of the weight off of the front tire onto the rear therefore your front tire will regain traction.

The slight roll on may accelerate you about 2mph before your front tire starts to grip again - NOT MUCH AT ALL. At that point - you're back in business and can probably keep slowly accelerating. Don't chop the throttle because you'll get right back into the same mess.

 

Now - lets say you have understeer when you are perfectly balanced - 40% weight on the front 60% on the rear since you are at the ideal 0.1G acceleration the fix is the following:

LET it keep sliding, don't do anything. Maintain neutral throttle. The front end sliding will naturally slow your bike down. A sliding tire is SLOW. That's why "drifting" in cars is slow. Your front end sliding (assuming you can maintain balance of the bike and it doesn't lowside) will automatically slow down. At a certain point, your tire will regain traction. I would assume if I had to guess in your situation, it would only take about 1 second and a natural decrease of 2-4mph due to front end slide to get your front tire gripping again.

 

From the books i've been reading about motorcycles, when stuff slides, the most important thing is to NOT chop the throttle, and to keep a loose grip on the handle bars. Apparently motorcycles are actually very stable machines. The only thing that makes them unstable is US. So when a bike slides, I guess it self corrects as long as you don't get in the way hahaha.

 

Again - i don't know much about motorcycles so please, if i'm wrong about anything here - correct me...

 

PS - if you are indeed in a 40/60 perfect weight distribution and the front tire gives out you may want to ask yourself the following question:

Which end of the bike would I rather slide first when reaching my traction limits in a corner?

In cars, you can set up your suspension to be more understeer (front end gives up first) or oversteer (rear end gives up first).

Other ways of saying - a "loose car" = oversteer or a "pushy car" = understeer.

Once may always strive to tune their car (or motorcycle?) towards the most neutral balance meaning that both rear and front will give up at the same moment. But this is the real world - so one always comes first.

It also can be track specific. Some tracks it's faster to utilize understeer and some tracks it helps if the car is looser.

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Good points, I think that's pretty much what hotfoot and I have been talking about and some others as well. When you said "Which end of the bike would I rather slide first when reaching my traction limits in a corner?" Not sure if this is a rhetorical question but I am not trying to purposely slide the front, it's just a "what should I do if I encounter this happening". Otherwise of course sliding the rear tire around and squaring the bike up into the corner would be much more preferred lol.

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