Handling of Bike in Water / Sand


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Hi Guys,

I know many of your ride bikes as well & specially on wet roads & sometimes dirt roads. I particularly get freaked out or go rigid on my bike if I see a patch of wet road or altogether wet roads. I skidded on wet roads few times & once on my bullet as well luckily I had helmet on my head, but took some blow to my chest.

Now I would like to know how do you guys handle bike specially in wet road conditions? I slow down & don't use front brake which is a disc or use it sparingly. I have the fear that I might fall again which makes me go rigid & somehow I become extra cautious. Any help to get rid of this problem or phobia or whatever it is called [confused]
 
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Its all technique and when you panic or fear of a touchdown, You tend to forget to use the proper technique and skid out of control or crash.

First of all when riding along wet or loose surfaces. Look out for the driest spot which has less loose stuff like sand and take that path.

Secondly, be gentle with the brakes and downshift well in advance to get some engine braking on the rear wheel which helps to get more traction. Ease off completely on the throttle when you are about to enter a curve and do all the slowing down before you enter the turn and only carry in just enough speed into the curve. Once you are halfway through the curve, Gently accelerate up and ride out of the curve.

While through a curve, if you need to slow down, Gently apply the rear brake without using the front.

Always ensure that your tyres are inflated properly and have enough tread left in them to bite on loose and wet terrain. The tyres and the pattern you use are very important on a bike as its the only contact with the road or track.

Another thing that works to an advantage is pressing down on the outer foot peg while taking a curve. It provides more traction and makes the bike more planted.

Next is leaning your body off the bike as much as possible into the insides of the curve while making a turn. It decreases the lean angle of the bike and provides the best traction, But there is one major disadvantage here. You have the least forward vision and if there is a blind spot, Dont do it.

These are just basic techniques and hope it helps to build up your confidence in the wet and loose terrain. And always remember, Every rider will have a toss evetually. Keeping this in the back of your mind will make you more prepared when it happens. Happy riding[glasses].
 
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Thread Starter #3
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Thanks Jalex, after reading what you said, I unknowingly do some of the things you just said, however that fear of skidding keeps coming back to me, this happens even with a small patch of wet road...

I never came across pressing down the outer foot peg (is that the left foot peg?) I'll look for any demo on this. The tires I use are of MRF, the back wheel being 19/350 & front 19/325.

The body lean I do it only on dry roads & I saw it helps keep stability even when leaning the bike during a turn, I even extend my thigh from the tank to adjust the balance.
 

Akash

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I feel handling of bike in water/mud/sand is more of an individual skill. Theres no thumb rule for riding in such conditions. However, i completely agree with Jalex on the panic point.
 
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Points said by Jalex are true...One has to be carefull while in a curve on a wet road..too much rear brake will surely cause rear tyre to move out of the line....once i went through this and applied the rear brake more and my bike slipped.The best way is engine braking and lower down the gears.
 
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I never came across pressing down the outer foot peg (is that the left foot peg?) I'll look for any demo on this. The tires I use are of MRF, the back wheel being 19/350 & front 19/325.

The body lean I do it only on dry roads & I saw it helps keep stability even when leaning the bike during a turn, I even extend my thigh from the tank to adjust the balance.
The foot that is on the outer side as seen circled in the first picture is the one that you should press down on.

In the picture the bike is making a right corner and so its the left leg that should do apply weight on the foot peg. Its just the opposite when its a left curve.

On loose or slippery surfaces, the best technique in my opinion to tackle a corner is to sit like a motocrosser with the inside leg hanging out and the outside one weighing down on the outer foot peg.(See image 2 & 3.) You also need to keep your outside elbows bent. This is a technique used by dirt bike pros as seen in motocross and supermoto racing. The advantage here is that you are still able to control the bike if the rear end steps out and if you manage to skid and fall, You will remain on top of the bike and your legs going underneath the bike is less likely. Another thing is that these techniques are usually used by experienced riders and it takes time to master. But its not too hard as well to learn.
 

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Thread Starter #8
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Thanks so much for the information Jalex, I'll try & incorporate these techniques in my riding style in the city even though it will be a bit tough with all that traffic
 
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Thanks so much for the information Jalex, I'll try & incorporate these techniques in my riding style in the city even though it will be a bit tough with all that traffic
Try practicing on empty or roads with less traffic first. Its also better to use a dirt road or an open ground for that matter. That way you can concentrate more and not worry about anyone else. Also slowly build up momentum while at it. Hope this helps you[:)].

Excellent piece of information, jalex
Thank you Rahul, Its not much, I'm just passing on what I learnt from others who helped me.

Mods: Sorry for bothering you yet again[embarass]. I request that the above post along with this one be merged into one. My mistake and made multiple posts unnecessarily.
 
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With advice from jalex + Also try and transfer the weight to the rear wheel and ease off the load on front, similar position to downhill biking position.

Also doing it in standing position clutching the bike frame with both knees/legs helps a lot, but needs practice (ofcourse practice, which has to be done away from public roads).

BTW, I learnt it the hard way in a bike rally during held in monsoon :P

The best tip would be, just ease off the tension and enjoy the loss of traction. From my personal point of view, the most traction surface is the most dangerous.
 
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