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

HOG spring 2010 (roughing it)

HOG spring 2010 (roughing it)

Imagine riding his motorcycle in ideal conditions: no rain, no snowy, your roads do not intersect railroad tracks, or any slippery gratings and, in addition, do not cover the surface greasy oil stains, left there by other cars and trucks. It sounds too good, does not it? Well, because such conditions remain only in the realm 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 motorcyclists aware of their security 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 will start to share with you a few proposals of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's SEE in terms of predicting potentially dangerous situations on the road. It can be summed up in three words: search, rate, and perform.

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

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

Do this: Once 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 get there. Then it may be too late to respond properly. But there are ways that will allow you to cope and in such specific situations.

The roads covered with mud or gravel

Motorcyclists who rode past on a motorcycle sportsmen, not generally have much of a problem with moving on the road covered with mud and gravel. Well, unless as a result of their experience feel too confident, borne by their recklessness and then completely forget about basic safety rules.

The technique required to drive on such roads is not different than that which should be used during normal driving in difficult conditions. You must then first of all to close the throttle and reduce speed. You should also avoid any sudden movements: braking, cornering or throttle control. It is important also that you looked straight ahead and 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 falters a bit. In this case, you have to adjust to the movements of his motorcycle, in a word, let him pay.

Use extreme caution when cornering. Maintain a minimum speed and twist as you normally do. During the same twist keep the throttle in a fixed position, and when you straighten the bike, accelerate gently.

Of course, mud and gravel roads there are only mud and gravel. You can also be seen on paved roads, especially around the corners, where the materials brought them when turning the other 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 the roads, which long toiled no rain. This is because different substances covering road, sand, dirt, oily goo become slippery, resulting in motor loses traction. The worst in this case is left by the vehicles oil, which was previously absorbed by the surface, now we come to the surface. That's why you have to keep attention at the beginning of rainfall, before the rains did not wash away the road a variety of hazardous residues. Reduce speed and avoid sudden movements: braking, acceleration and sudden steering movements. One of the better ways to drive on wet roads to go through the trail left by the tires of other vehicles. At the point at which just passed 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 Roll the clutch and literally through it. Also avoid making any sudden movements.

If you think 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, generally leak more oil. Also, be careful when you stop and you put his foot on the ground because you can afford to turn ankle on the slippery surface.

Also you need to pay attention to smooth surfaces, such as road signs, railroad tracks, metal plates, etc. Unfortunately, even wet white lines on the road can be quite slippery, so be particularly 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 zero, the next morning the motorcyclist can be particularly burdensome. If you set out on the road and you're not able to steer clear of slippery places, then treat them in the same way as puddles. Close throttle to reduce speed, press Roll the clutch and literally through it. But remember 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 may take larger sizes and then they can be a problem. If you are unable to evade a 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 the obstacles and in case of rainy weather treat holes covered with tar-like lumps of gravel or mud. But when it's hot, it's the most important is that you kept a cool head and not afraid when you move to the straw-covered hole and gently slips on it.

Rain water drainage ditches

Rainwater drainage ditches are thin, elongated grooves in the surface, often crossing it across. Their task is to drain excess water from the roadway and providing them with better grip. But while trenches are such good cars and other vehicles with four wheels, then they are not necessarily good for motorcycles. Tires cars or trucks are flat, while motorcycle tires are round, and that means that the ditches in some sense they "catch", ie. Abstain. .

Hovering on the trench can not constitute any great danger, but the feeling of "catching" tire may unsettle you and cause it to perform some unnecessary, violent movement. And in this case you rather gently loosen the grip the steering wheel and even if you feel that criticizes your front wheel, then you should adapt to the movements of his motorcycle, not the strength to fight him. You also need to let your hands and arms absorb part of the vibration and absolutely should be looking ahead all the time. If you will remember these few principles, it 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 inequalities can be an obstacle. If you managed to hit on just such a sloppy passing a treat it like any other obstacle, release, and tilt the motorcycle so that the wheels 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 tracks, gently open the throttle. Close it while crossing the tracks and look straight ahead.

When the tracks are wet, the angle at which you pass 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 surface of the road and you have to be careful not to make any sudden and additional moves: braking, turns the steering wheel or throttle control. In those rare cases where the tracks run along the roadway, (for example, in the city) it is best to avoid them at all. If possible, you just change lanes. On the other hand, if you need to cross the tracks during a turn, then try to not invade at an angle of at least 45 degrees, and the turn, do quickly and decisively.

Dear convex

The danger associated with moving the convex surface (above is in the middle lane, and lower on the sides) is such that increases your angle of tilt during turns. So when you move convex along the way and you're going to take a turn, then slow down or change the belt to make sure that you keep traction. In addition, when it is wet, water may 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 such a way to avoid depressions 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. Every time you approach such a bridge or a footbridge gently release and avoid any sudden steering movements and sudden changes in speed. Just as rainwater drainage ditches, grids can sometimes "catch" your front wheel and accuse 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 part of the vibration.

Mud and spills

For this, that the way there is a danger not need leakage from overturned tanker. Motorcyclist threat may be even an ordinary bag filled with a layer of farmland, 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 can not make her get past, then close the throttle, press the clutch, brake and not simply Turn away by it. All the time look straight and avoid performing any additional, sudden steering movements. Let your hands and arms absorb vibrations.

If you run into a big lump of mud or disputes leak and could not drive through slow you down (or even stop), then treat these obstacles as roads covered with mud or gravel.

In Conclusion ...

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 where possible 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, look straight ahead and not down the road.

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


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

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