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Riding In The Wet


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Hi guys I hope this is a big subject for a few of you in the wetter regions of our lovely planet.

 

I ride all year on less than grippy roads in England and just wondered if any experts out there have got some tips for carrying a bit more speed in corners in the wet.....I'm not looking at Guy Martin performance here just safe and relaxed riding as I hold that human fear of ditching the pride and joy on a greasy bit of london road and being poll axed by mrs miggins in her nissan micra as she drinks her costa coffee while applying her morning makeup.

 

I'm no amatuer on the roads but for all the nice dry knee down stuff grinding away the knee slaiders it all seem futile when you find yourself tiptoing round a roundabout all tense in the rain like a learner again because we don't get real wet riding tuition......

 

WOW that's a thought...WE DON'T GET WET RIDING TUITION EVER!!! there's none available that I know of.

You can do skid pan in a car or truck but has anyone been on a bike to learn lean angle limits etc??

 

I bet no-one has

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I am a suck in the wet on the track. For me it is not the lower level of traction that is the problem, it is the inconsistency in the available traction. If it were uniform you could approach the limits pretty safely. But it generally is not, so a much wider margin of safety is necessary. x 2 if we are talking about street riding.

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Even as far back as the late '80s, tyres had enough grip in the wet to allow scraping hard parts during cornering. That's with narrow sport-touring tyres of the day.

 

In other words, as long as you are smooth with your inputs, you can lean a far way in the wet. The biggest issue on public roads is that you simply cannot tell if there are rubber or oil or other slick stuff underneath the water. Especially intersections and roundabouts are danger zones. So pushing things in the wet is risky on public roads.

 

The best thing to do is to be smooth, relaxed and consistent with your inputs. I've ridden a lot on snow and ice, and it's the same thing as for wet roads where there could be hidden oil slicks; as long as you don't push things or get too tense, you should be good. And with time your confidence will increase, allowing you to relax and be smooth so you can go faster safer.

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Even as far back as the late '80s, tyres had enough grip in the wet to allow scraping hard parts during cornering. That's with narrow sport-touring tyres of the day.

 

 

 

Maybe on a goldwing, and with poor body position. Sorry, on a bike with decent lean angle potential, I am not buying this. We are talking about corning forces in the 1 G range. I can't see doing that on wet pavement but I stand to be corrected if someone proves otherwise!

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Seems like a new business opportunity for the school if they can crank up a course on wet riding trainingf :)

The standard CSS training is brimming with wet-weather riding techniques! Good throttle control, hook turn, pick-up, ALL the visual skills, nearly every trechnique taught is applicable in wet riding, as well as the off-track training tools such as the brake bike and slide bike, which are set up to give lowered traction to allow you to experience lock-ups and slides on a reasonable gradient so you can learn how to tame your survival reactions and handle them properly - tremendously useful in wet riding!

 

All you have to do to get wet weather coaching and practice at CSS is be there on a wet day! CSS runs in the rain (as long as track conditions are safe); my Level 2 day with CSS years ago as a new rider was rainy all day, I had never ridden in the wet at all and was scared half to death - but by the second session I was zipping around and I was astounded how fast you really can go on a wet track.

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YD, I should have specified better that the bikes were even older, from the 70s. I doubt you could scrape stuff on wet roads on a Gixxer unless you'd already crashed ;-)

 

Cirka 1995, Performance Bikes magazine showed a photo of a courier with his knee down while riding through standing water around a roundabout. Pretty impressive, I reckon. The courier was on a ill maintained Suzuki RGV250. A sight to behold!

 

funbags.gif.pagespeed.ce.kUWljfiCR-.gif

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YD, I should have specified better that the bikes were even older, from the 70s. I doubt you could scrape stuff on wet roads on a Gixxer unless you'd already crashed ;-)

 

Cirka 1995, Performance Bikes magazine showed a photo of a courier with his knee down while riding through standing water around a roundabout. Pretty impressive, I reckon. The courier was on a ill maintained Suzuki RGV250. A sight to behold!

 

funbags.gif.pagespeed.ce.kUWljfiCR-.gif

 

nice gif...lol

 

but im thinking the bottleneck is still road conditions, not the bike or tires now...

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Hm, must have mixed up my copying because I intended to post a picture of a bloke riding in the wet :blink:

 

Yes, I fully agree that in the wet, your biggest enemy is the road conditions that you often cannot see.

 

An article about wet weather riding http://www.visordown.com/advanced-riding/wet-weather-motorcycle-riding-tips/14600.html

 

This is wet weather riding in the extreme :P

China-Submerged-Motorcycle-in-Hubei.jpg

 

Knee down in the wet

2014-aprilia-rsv4-factory-tuono-v4r-abs-

 

Confident about the road conditions :D

tumblr_lv0k5cRiwe1r5fvlko1_1280.jpg

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Hm, must have mixed up my copying because I intended to post a picture of a bloke riding in the wet :blink:

 

Yes, I fully agree that in the wet, your biggest enemy is the road conditions that you often cannot see.

 

An article about wet weather riding http://www.visordown.com/advanced-riding/wet-weather-motorcycle-riding-tips/14600.html

 

This is wet weather riding in the extreme :P

China-Submerged-Motorcycle-in-Hubei.jpg

 

Knee down in the wet

2014-aprilia-rsv4-factory-tuono-v4r-abs-

 

Confident about the road conditions :D

tumblr_lv0k5cRiwe1r5fvlko1_1280.jpg

 

Nice article Erick!!

 

Its wet today and after reading the article and riding afterwards, really helps to revise my riding in the wet :)

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Hi guys I hope this is a big subject for a few of you in the wetter regions of our lovely planet.

 

I ride all year on less than grippy roads in England and just wondered if any experts out there have got some tips for carrying a bit more speed in corners in the wet.....

 

I also live in a humid environment; we either street-ride in storms or we seldom ride.

 

Although not directed to push the limits (never a wise approach to street riding), here are some tips from an expert, David L. Hough, author of "Proficient Motorcycling" (highly recommended book):

 

http://www.soundrider.com/current/1310/6Secrets-RainRiding.aspx

 

Regarding available traction, I could add that there is a huge difference between the effects of a light rain on dirty pavement and of a heavy storm that washes grime away.

 

Rather than assuming and over-estimating lack of traction, you can safely test how much is available for a particular condition by front-braking on a straight line.

If you have been practicing emergency braking, you could compare how much less skidding/sliding load the front patch can take on a wet surface.

 

For a rough approximation, you can assume that a lean of 45 degrees demands about the same lateral load than lifting the rear tire during braking (about 1 G), while average emergency braking (about 0.85 G) is equivalent to 40 degrees of leaning in a turn.

 

Note however, that the angle of lean is not directly proportional to lateral grip of the tires.

The proportion goes like this:

 

10 degrees: 0.18 G

20 degrees: 0.36 G

30 degrees: 0.58 G

40 degrees: 0.84 G

50 degrees: 1.19 G

60 degrees: 1.73 G

 

At extreme angles, forces escalate quickly and things may go out of control soon; hence, proper throttle control there becomes more critical.

 

"A motorcycle becomes potentially less stable as lean-angle increases......as we have seen, throttle-control plays a huge part in stability; the steeper you go, the better throttle control must be." - K. Code in ATOTW2

 

Consider tire's temperature as well: when raining, you can safely deflate the tires some (80~90%), so they reach proper temperature despite the cooling effect of the splashing water (but don't forget to increase pressure for dry riding).

 

This video shows what is possible on clean wet asphalt with street tires (only ones legal in Motogymkhana).

 

............And yes, practice and competition of Motogymkhana is in full swing in UK:

http://www.motogymkhana.org/

 

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My first "official" track day outside of a CSS school was in the rain. When the rain started I was disappointed but then once I got out onto the track and realized my tires still worked quite well I had a GREAT time. I pitched the bike in several times expecting it to loose traction and was amazed every single time. The other super cool benefit was at the end of the day I was one of two Novices left. I had Barber Motorsports park all to myself and went 10+ minutes without seeing a single rider on the track. It was wonderful.

 

Riding in the wet does require "some" adjustments. Hard braking, quick steer and other dry techniques need a bit of adjustment but other than that good technique will reward you with great traction. One thing to keep in mind is puddles. I went through a small puddle on the straightaway and was absolutely amazed how quickly riding gear filled with water at high speeds. :)

 

closeup1.jpg

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Hi guys I hope this is a big subject for a few of you in the wetter regions of our lovely planet.

 

I ride all year on less than grippy roads in England and just wondered if any experts out there have got some tips for carrying a bit more speed in corners in the wet.....

 

I also live in a humid environment; we either street-ride in storms or we seldom ride.

 

Although not directed to push the limits (never a wise approach to street riding), here are some tips from an expert, David L. Hough, author of "Proficient Motorcycling" (highly recommended book):

 

http://www.soundrider.com/current/1310/6Secrets-RainRiding.aspx

 

Regarding available traction, I could add that there is a huge difference between the effects of a light rain on dirty pavement and of a heavy storm that washes grime away.

 

Rather than assuming and over-estimating lack of traction, you can safely test how much is available for a particular condition by front-braking on a straight line.

If you have been practicing emergency braking, you could compare how much less skidding/sliding load the front patch can take on a wet surface.

 

For a rough approximation, you can assume that a lean of 45 degrees demands about the same lateral load than lifting the rear tire during braking (about 1 G), while average emergency braking (about 0.85 G) is equivalent to 40 degrees of leaning in a turn.

 

Note however, that the angle of lean is not directly proportional to lateral grip of the tires.

The proportion goes like this:

 

10 degrees: 0.18 G

20 degrees: 0.36 G

30 degrees: 0.58 G

40 degrees: 0.84 G

50 degrees: 1.19 G

60 degrees: 1.73 G

 

At extreme angles, forces escalate quickly and things may go out of control soon; hence, proper throttle control there becomes more critical.

 

"A motorcycle becomes potentially less stable as lean-angle increases......as we have seen, throttle-control plays a huge part in stability; the steeper you go, the better throttle control must be." - K. Code in ATOTW2

 

Consider tire's temperature as well: when raining, you can safely deflate the tires some (80~90%), so they reach proper temperature despite the cooling effect of the splashing water (but don't forget to increase pressure for dry riding).

 

This video shows what is possible on clean wet asphalt with street tires (only ones legal in Motogymkhana).

 

............And yes, practice and competition of Motogymkhana is in full swing in UK:

http://www.motogymkhana.org/

 

 

Thats what I'm talking about cheers;-)

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Even as far back as the late '80s, tyres had enough grip in the wet to allow scraping hard parts during cornering. That's with narrow sport-touring tyres of the day.

 

In other words, as long as you are smooth with your inputs, you can lean a far way in the wet. The biggest issue on public roads is that you simply cannot tell if there are rubber or oil or other slick stuff underneath the water. Especially intersections and roundabouts are danger zones. So pushing things in the wet is risky on public roads.

 

The best thing to do is to be smooth, relaxed and consistent with your inputs. I've ridden a lot on snow and ice, and it's the same thing as for wet roads where there could be hidden oil slicks; as long as you don't push things or get too tense, you should be good. And with time your confidence will increase, allowing you to relax and be smooth so you can go faster safer.

Today is good day to practice the smoother aproach as its belting down outside lol....I'm riding a Tlr so it's imporatant for me to get out of the habit of rolling off the throttle too quick in these conditions....

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Just to include one point, getting the bike turned as quickly as possible will allow for less lean angle used, and opens the door to doing 2 other things that will help wet weather riding...here is today's quiz: what are the 2 things?

 

CF

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Just to include one point, getting the bike turned as quickly as possible will allow for less lean angle used, and opens the door to doing 2 other things that will help wet weather riding...here is today's quiz: what are the 2 things?

 

CF

 

Better ground clearance and a better line would be my two guesses.

 

Just to clarify. When I mentioned "adjusting" quick steer I did not mean to stop doing it. It just seems as though you can't get away with as aggressive quick steering in the wet. I may be quite wrong in my assumption but that's what the seat of my pants was telling me out there in the wet.

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Those are 2 good points, but I had something else in mind.

 

When the rider gets the steering done, ideally what does he/she do with the bars next?

 

CF

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Those are 2 good points, but I had something else in mind.

 

When the rider gets the steering done, ideally what does he/she do with the bars next?

 

CF

-Be loose on the bars (taking excessive rider input out of the equation of cornering)

> better weight distro as one needs to have proper lower body anchoring for loose upper body movement

>one steering input per turn is perfect :)

 

then is throttle control for smoothness ... :)

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Exactly. Loose on the bars is right at the end of the steering, if you nail it--even before the throttle comes back on.

 

A big deal for riding in the wet.

 

OK, here's a follow up to this: what does the front end do if the bike slides (either front or rear)? Lets say just a little slide, not a crash, just one end or the other moves/slides.

 

CF

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I would assume the front is going to try to correct itself to bring it back in line with the rear. otherwise, bad things happen.

 

Im with fiery robot.

 

I think the physics is that the wheel's rolling momentum will try to correct itself and bring it back to equilibrium eventally.

 

Excess inputs such as holding the bars tightly/brakes will delay/prevent it and the resulting unwanted oscillation might cause headshake > whole bike wiggles > not good.

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