How to survive harsh conditions? So driving on the roads of imperfect ...

HOG spring 2010 (roughing it)

HOG spring 2010 (roughing it)

Imagine riding a motorcycle in ideal conditions: no rain, no snowy, do not cross your path railroad tracks, or any slick gratings, in addition, do not cover the surface greasy oil stains, left there by other cars and trucks. Sounds too good, does not it? Well, because these conditions are only in the sphere of our dreams. The real world, after which we move, is not perfect. Dangers lie in wait for us at every step, regardless of whether they are predictable or not. But aware of their safety motorcyclists not only aware of the unexpected events that may occur on the road, but they can also advance to prepare for them.

Anticipate events on the road

We'll start with you with a few suggestions Motorcycle Safety Foundation's SEE in terms of predicting potentially dangerous situations on the road. They can be summarized in three words: search, evaluate and execute.

Search: When driving all the time explore the area stretching before you. Only in this way you can pre-detect lurking somewhere in the distance a danger.

Rate: If you like what you see in front of you, you can be a potential danger, is to think twice before you decide what to do.

Do this: When you make a decision as to how to act, then, do it firmly, be confident and do not hesitate.

It may happen, and so that you do not wait too long to identify some potentially dangerous changes on the surface of the road, before they arrive. Then it may be too late to react properly. But there are ways that will help you cope and in such specific situations.

Roads covered with mud or gravel

Motorcyclists who rode past on a motorbike competitive, generally do not have much of a problem with the use of public roads covered with mud and gravel. Well, unless as a result of their experience feel too confident, borne by their bravado and then completely forget about the basic safety rules.

The technique needed to drive on such roads is not different than the one that should be used during normal driving in severe conditions. You must then first of all to close the throttle and reduce speed. You should also avoid any sudden movements: braking, cornering and throttle control. It is important also that you looked straight ahead, not down the road, which extends directly in front of you. Finally, you must firmly, though not too firmly, hold the handlebars and you can not panic when the engine shakes a little. In this case, you have to adjust to the movements of his motorcycle, in a word, let him suffer.

Use extreme caution when cornering. Maintain a minimum speed and twist as you normally do. During the twist throttle to maintain a fixed position, and when you straighten motor, gently accelerate.

Of course, mud and gravel roads are not unique mud and gravel. You can also find on paved roads, especially around the corners, where the materials brought by them when turning vehicles.

Wet pavement

You have to remember that the surface becomes the most slippery and therefore the most dangerous in the first few minutes of rain. And this is particularly true of those roads where no rain long toiled. This is because different substances covering road, sand, dirt, oily goo become slippery, so that the motor loses traction. Worst, in this case the vehicle is left an oil which was previously absorbed by the surface, and now again flows to the surface. That's why you have to keep close attention to the beginning of rainfall, before the rains do not wash away the road of different hazardous residues. Reduce speed and avoid sudden movements: braking, acceleration and sudden steering movements. One of the best ways to drive on wet roads is getting around the track left by the tires of other vehicles. At the point at which just ran another vehicle, there is less water, so driving behind another car reduces the risk of skidding.

However, if you have no other choice but to drive through puddles of water, then close the throttle to reduce speed, press the clutch and literally Roll through it. Avoid or make any sudden movements.

If you find it necessary, you can also wait out the rain. However, if you decide to go further, it is especially careful at intersections where vehicles, during the execution of turns, more generally leaking oil. Also, be careful when you stop and you put your foot on the ground because you can afford to turn the cube on a slippery surface.

In addition, you need to pay attention to smooth surfaces, such as a road, railroad tracks, metal plates, etc. Unfortunately, even wet white lines on the road can be quite slippery, so be especially careful when changing lanes or when cornering.

Snow and ice

Well, the best way to snow and ice is simply to stay at home when snowy and freezes. However, if you can not afford it, the first thing, which you absolutely need to realize is that the surface may have a lower temperature than the air, especially if it is in the shade. If during the night, the air temperature drops below freezing, the morning of the following may be particularly burdensome for motorcyclists. If you set out on the road and you are not able to avoid slippery places, then treat them in the same way as the puddles. Close the throttle to reduce speed, press the clutch and literally Roll through it. Remember, however, to look straight ahead and not down the road.

Bumps and cracks

Most of the holes and cracks on roads that are not affected in a significant way on the ride, because they are simply too small. However, it happens that they can take the larger size and then can be a problem. If you are not able to overtake larger cracks or unevenness is treat them like railroad tracks, which will be discussed in the next section.

Cracks and holes can also be a problem when they are patched with tar. When it's wet or hot tar can become slippery. So do not underestimate these obstacles and in case of rainy weather treat hole covered with tar-like lumps of gravel or mud. But when it is hot, it is most important that you keep a cool head and not afraid when you hover the mouse on the straw-covered hole and gently slips on it.

Ditches draining rainwater

Ditches draining rainwater is thin, elongated grooves in the surface, often crossing it across. Their task is to drain excess water from the carriageway and ensure a better grip. But while the trenches are so good for cars and other vehicles with four wheels, then they are not necessarily good for motorcycles. The tires of cars or trucks are flat, while motorcycle tires are round, and this means that the ditches in a sense, they "catch", ie. Suspend. .

Hovering on the trench does not constitute perhaps no greater danger, but the feeling of "catching" tire may unsettle you and make you perform any unnecessary moves. And in this case you have to rather gently loosen the grip the steering wheel and even if you feel that criticizes your front wheel, you should adapt to the movements of his motorcycle, and not the strength to fight him. You also need to let your hands and arms to absorb some vibration and necessarily all the time you should be looking ahead. If you will remember these few rules, you should be fine.

Railroad tracks

Railroad tracks rather not make too much of a problem when they are dry. Well, unless the journey is neglected, then the inequality may be an obstacle. If you managed to hit on such a neglected passage is treat it like any other obstacle, release, and tilt the motorcycle so that the wheel entered the track at an angle of 90 degrees. Then gently lift the buttocks, bend your legs, hold the steering wheel tighter and just before your front wheel touches the lane, gently open the throttle. Close it while crossing the tracks and look straight ahead.

When the track is wet, the angle at which you drive on it is even more important. So you have to try to tilt the motorcycle so that the wheels moving as much as possible perpendicular to the road surface and you have to be careful not to make any sudden and additional motions: braking, turns the steering wheel or throttle control. In those rare cases where the tracks run along a roadway (for example, in the city) it is best to avoid them at all. If possible, you just change the lane. However, in the case where you have to cross the tracks when turning, then try to not invade angle of at least 45 degrees, and the same curve follow quickly and decisively.

Dear convex

The danger of getting around the convex surface (above is in the middle lane, and lower on the sides) is that increases your angle of bank during turns. So when you move the way the male and you're going to take a turn, then release or change the belt to make sure that you keep traction. In addition, when it is wet, the water can accumulate in depressions on the road, and this increases the likelihood of slipping. Watch out for these situations and adjusting its position in the lane in this way to avoid cavities filled with water.

Grating on the bridge

Steel grating on the bridge does not have the same grip as concrete or asphalt, especially when it is wet. So you have to carefully navigate through them. Whenever you approach such a bridge or walkway gently slow down and avoid any sudden steering movements and sudden changes in speed. Like the ditches draining rainwater, grids can sometimes "catch" your front wheel and blamed the engine. In this case, the most important is that you avoid any sudden reaction. In return, loosen the grip the steering wheel and let your hands and arms absorb some vibration.

Mud and spills

Until that road there is a danger not need to spill from an overturned tanker. The threat of the motorcyclist may be even an ordinary bag filled with a layer of arable land, which fell out of a car or a truck. If you encounter similar obstacles treat her like a lump of mud on the road. If you do not give advice overtake her, then close the throttle, press the clutch, brake and not just Roll through it. All the time look straight and avoid performing any additional, sudden steering movements. Let your hands and arms to absorb vibrations.

If you come across a large lump of mud or disputes spill, and transit through, you could slow down (or even stop), then treat these obstacles such as roads covered with mud or gravel.

To sum up ...

Remember that driving in difficult conditions and on uneven surfaces boils down to following a few basic rules. Always look carefully at what is happening on the road and possibly predict what might happen. Do not make any sudden movements (not brake, do not open or do not close the throttle, do not turn the wheel sharply), do not panic when you encounter any noise or vibration, and finally see straight ahead, not down the road.

If you remember these basic principles, even imperfect way you will seem more friendly.


[This article appeared in "The magazine of the HOG experience" / spring 2010 with the original title: "Roughing it" - inspired translation]

Related articles:

Safe motorcyclist
Driving during strong wind
Safe driving in the column of motorcycles
Rescue !!! What's going on Polish roads
I'm bulletproof
Speed ​​limit to zero
How to get along with motorcycle by Bartek Tymoszuk

About steffek

I come from a small Bogatyni, and I reside and I work in Wroclaw. I am the founder and author of ( and coordinate the whole set of issues on the portal. More on: CONTACT.