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: it is not raining, snowy, not, do not cross your path railroad tracks, and no slippery gratings, and in addition do not overlap greasy surface oil slicks, 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, it 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 you submit several proposals Motorcycle Safety Foundation's SEE in terms of predicting potentially dangerous situations on the road. 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, it is think twice before you decide what to do.

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

It may happen, however, and so that you do not wait too long to identify some potentially dangerous changes to the road surface, before they get there. 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 motorcycle sportsmen, do not generally have much of a problem with moving on roads covered with mud and gravel. Well, I guess that as a result of their experience feel too confident, bears their bravado and then completely forget about the basic rules of safety.

The technique required to drive on such roads is not much different from that which 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 very important you looked straight ahead, not down the road, which extends directly in front of you. Finally, you need to firmly, yet not too firmly, hold the handlebars and you can not panic when the motor a little wobbly. 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 twist throttle to maintain a fixed position, and when you straighten motor, gently accelerate.

Of course, mud and gravel are not only muddy roads and gravel. You can also be seen on paved roads, especially around the corners, where they are putting the turning vehicles.

Wet surface

You have to remember that the surface becomes the most slippery and 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 gunk become slippery, so that the motor is losing traction. The worst in this case is left by the vehicles oil, which previously absorbed by the surface, now we come to the surface. That's why you have to keep close attention to the beginning of precipitation, before the rains will not wash out of the way various 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. In the spot, after which another vehicle is driven, the less water, thus 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, generally more oil leaks. Also, be careful when you stop and put his foot on the ground because you can afford to turn the cube on a slippery surface.

Also 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 during cornering.

Snow and ice

Well, the best way to snow and ice is simply to stay at home when snowy, and chills. 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 temperature falls below zero, the next morning, the motorcyclist can be particularly onerous. 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. 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 can take the larger size and then can be a problem. If you are unable to get past bigger cracks or unevenness that 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 a hole 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 scared when you hover on the straw-covered hole and gently slips on it.

Ditches draining rainwater

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 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. Tires cars or trucks are flat, while the motorcycle tires are round, and this means that the trenches in a sense, they "catch", ie withholding. .

Hovering on the ditch does not constitute perhaps no greater danger, but the feeling of "catching" tire may disturb you and cause it to perform any unnecessary moves. And in this case you 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 your bike, and do not force him to fight. You also need to allow your hands and arms absorb some vibration and necessarily should be looking straight ahead. If you will remember these few rules, you should be fine.


Railway rather not make too much of a problem when they are dry. Well, unless the transfer is neglected, then the inequality can be an obstacle. If you manage 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 in the course of passing through the track and see 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 the road, (for example in the city) it is best to avoid them at all. If possible, you just change lanes. However, in the case where you have to cross the tracks when turning, then try to not invade at an angle of at least 45 degrees, and the same 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 that it increases your angle of the turns. So when you go on the road and have a convex curve going to take it slow 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 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 need 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. Just as rainwater drainage ditches, grids can sometimes "catch" your front wheel and blamed driver. In this case, the most important is that you avoid any sudden reaction. In exchange for this, loosen the grip the steering wheel and let your hands and arms absorb some vibration.

Mud and spills

For this to come in the way of danger does not need to leak from the overturned tanker. The threat of the motorcyclist may be even an ordinary bag filled with a layer of arable land, which fell out of the car or the truck. If you encounter similar obstacles to treat her like a lump of mud on the road. If you do not you can handle it pass by, then close the throttle, press the clutch, not inhibit, and 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 respect some basic principles. Always look carefully at what is happening on the road and possibly predict what might happen. Do not make any sudden movements (not inhibit, 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 under the original title: "Roughing it" - inspired translation]

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