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

HOG spring 2010 (roughing it)

HOG spring 2010 (roughing it)

Imagine riding his motorcycle in ideal conditions: no rain, no snowy, do not cross your path railroad tracks, or any slippery gratings, in addition, do not cover the surface greasy oil stains, left there for 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 motorists 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'll start by presenting you a few suggestions Motorcycle Safety Foundation's SEE in terms of predicting potentially dangerous situations on the road. It can be summed up in three words: Find, rate, and perform.

Search: When driving all the time examine the area stretching in front of you. Only in this way you can detect in advance lurking somewhere in the distance a danger.

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

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

You may, however, and so that you do not wait too long to identify some potentially dangerous changes on the surface of the road, before they get. Then it may be too late to respond properly. But there are ways that will allow you to 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 moving on roads covered with mud and gravel. Well, I think that as a result of their experience, they feel too confident of their bravado and bears then completely forget about the basic rules of safety.

The technique required to drive on such roads does 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 that stretches out in front of you. Finally, you must firmly, though not too firmly, hold the handlebars and you can not panic when the motor a little wobble. 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 they straighten motor, accelerate gently.

Of course, mud and gravel roads are not unique mud and gravel. You can also be seen on paved roads, especially around the corners, where the materials brought them while turning 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 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. The worst in this case is left by the vehicles oil, which was previously absorbed by the surface, now we come to the surface. Therefore, you must take special attention to the very beginning of the rain, before the rains do not wash away from the path of various hazardous residues. Reduce speed and avoid sudden movements: braking, acceleration and sudden steering movements. One of the better ways to drive on wet roads is getting around the track left by the tires of other vehicles. At the point, after which another vehicle was driven, there is less water, so driving behind another car reduces the risk of skidding.

However, if you have no other choice but to go through the 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 think this is necessary, you can also wait downpour. 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 you put his foot on the ground because you can afford to turn the cube on slippery surfaces.

Also you need to pay attention to smooth surfaces, such as a road, rail, 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 just stay at home when the 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 troublesome. 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 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 to ride, because they are simply too small. However, it happens that they can take on larger sizes and then they can be a problem. If you are unable to overtake larger cracks or irregularities 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 tar. When it's wet or hot tar can become slippery. So do not underestimate the obstacles and in case of rainy weather treat a 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 move to the straw-covered hole and gently slips on it.

Rain water drainage ditches

Rainwater drainage ditches are thin, longitudinal grooves in the surface, often crossing it across. Their task is to drain excess water from the roadway and providing them with better traction. But while the 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 the motorcycle tires are round, and this means that the trenches in a sense, they "catch", ie. Abstain. .

Hovering on the ditch there is no more danger can, 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 your front wheel complains, you should adapt to the movements of your bike, not the strength to fight him. You also need to let your hands and arms to absorb part of the vibration and you should be sure to look all the time ahead. If you will remember these few rules, it should be fine.

Railroad tracks

Railroad tracks do not make too much of a problem rather when they are dry. Well, unless the journey is neglected, then the inequalities can be an obstacle. If you managed to come across such a neglected passage treat it like it any other obstacle: the 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 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 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 movements and additional: 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 the lane. However, in the case where you have to cross the tracks during a turn, then try to not invade angle of at least 45 degrees, and the corner, do quickly and decisively.

Dear convex

Danger of getting around the convex surface (above is in the middle lane, and lower on the sides) is that increases your angle of the turns. So when you move the convex and the way 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, 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.

Grids on the bridge

Steel grating on the bridge does not have the same grip as concrete or asphalt, especially when it's wet. So you have to carefully navigate through them. Whenever you approach a bridge or walkway this release gently 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 to absorb part of the vibration.

Mud and spills

To the fact that on the road there is a danger not need a leak from an overturned tanker. Motorcyclist threat may be even an ordinary bag filled with a layer of arable land that fell out of a car or a truck. If you encounter such a restriction treat it 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 simply Roll through it. Look straight at all times and avoid performing any additional, sudden steering movements. Let your hands and arms to absorb vibrations.

If you run into a big 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 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 see 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]

Related articles:

Driving the two of them - what is allowed and what is not?
The way to hard braking? Just do not panic!
Driving during strong wind
Safe Driving - enjoy a ride on the track doszkalające
Is it possible to overtake in a traffic jam?
Think about your safety before you leave in your way ... even on the shortest route
A speed limit of zero

About steffek

I come from a small Bogatynia, 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 information: CONTACT.