Wet Roads - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Wet Roads

Hello I was wondering if anyone still worries about the road when they are wet I dont mean right after a down poor. But I was talking to my neighbor and he was saying that as long as you wait at least 10 minutes after it starts raining and you dont go threw any puddles you dont rely lose any traction. You still have to be cautious but I mean do you still go out when they are wet even if the sun is shining.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 06:02 PM
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They drill that into your head at riding school. The first ten minutes of rain brings out the gas, oil and grease that's on the road and creates a slippery film. After awhile it washes away.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 06:21 PM
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They drill that into your head at riding school. The first ten minutes of rain brings out the gas, oil and grease that's on the road and creates a slippery film. After awhile it washes away.
Yeah, but we have to remember that 10 minutes is just a rule of thumb, and a rough one at that. How long the weather has been dry, how hard the rain is, etc., and shorten that time a LITTLE, or lengthen it quite a bit.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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SO after like 10 to 30 minutes it is okay my original question is basically you are okay to ride on wet roads after that.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 06:59 PM
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Wet roads are ALWAYS much more dangerous than dry roads. Extreme caution should

be used anytime the roads are wet.

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 07:41 PM
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SO after like 10 to 30 minutes it is okay my original question is basically you are okay to ride on wet roads after that.
You have my blessing, if that helps. Please note however that I'm not the Pope, and in fact I'm a Baptist.

Seriously, just be more careful, but you'll be fine. Those first few minutes are like snot on ice...with bald tires.


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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-30-2008, 02:59 AM
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Be more cautious, particularly on painted lines and the like.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-30-2008, 09:43 AM
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The best thing is to be smooth,no sudden moves no quick braking or slamming on the throttle.Smooth is the groove as they say ,and the advice about painted lines ,staying out of the oil puddle in the center of your lane is true.Also don't freak if it twitches at all,worst thing to do is slam the throttle shut in lower traction situations,its a ticket to the infamous high side.Relax ,no death grip and be smooth,riding in the wet can make you a better rider in the long run

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-30-2008, 11:03 AM
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That's right. Flow like water...

Put water in a cup, it becomes the cup...





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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-30-2008, 01:53 PM
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That's right. Flow like water...

Put water in a cup, it becomes the cup...

I see you are in harmony grasshopper

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-30-2008, 03:48 PM
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Also don't freak if it twitches at all,worst thing to do is slam the throttle shut in lower traction situations,its a ticket to the infamous high side.
Wise words indeed. In addition to the improved skills that come with rain riding, dealing with loss of traction is THE most important way that riding in the dirt (I'm biased, 'cuz I love offroad stuff) makes you better on the street. You become accustomed to minimal traction and develop the appropriate reactions and muscle memory to handle it.

The warning about highsides is important, but it occurs to me that more than a few Versys riders and members of this board are new riders...the V being their first bike. I suspect most new riders don't know what you mean by a highside, so I thought I'd explain it and invite others to add/correct me as needed.

Highsides (as in an unplanned getoff on the "high" side of a leaning bike) are BAD. Among the various types of single vehicle m/c accidents, highsides offer the worst outcomes possilbe other than those associated with riding drunk (i.e. going off a cliff, riding headon into a brick wall, etc.)

What is a Highside, other than the minimal definition above? Consider a motorcyce being leaned in a corner. Assume the pavement is dry, the tires are fine, and conditions are all ok. Now think about that sick feeling you get when you think you're going too fast for the turn. What do you do? An experienced motorcyclist shouldn't overcook corners, but when it does happen, he knows instinctively to look through the turn and push harder on the handlebar (left side for left turn, obviously, and vice versa.) In most cases, the rider will get through the turn with only soiled underwear. However, if the turn was badly overcooked, the worst that will happen is a lowside...the tires will lose traction and the bike will slide. The rider will also slide after the bike, but with proper gear will generally be unhurt.

But the wrong reaction can and does happen, and can result in terrible destabilization of the bike and a highside. To the inexperienced rider, overcooking the corner my cause him to react by shutting down the throttle and/or using the rear brake. Those moves, which seem so intuitive to the inexperienced, will cause destabilization that may result in the rear of the bike moving out side the turn and the bike then violently becoming upright and tossing itself and the rider to the "highside" of the turn.

The result is greater likelihood of being thrown into traffic, your body being thrown and then slammed into the ground, guardrails, etc. (rather than a relatively minor slide,) and even the bike being hurled like a weapon back down on you.

Like I said, highsides are BAD, but they can be worse than bad.

Now, back to riding in low traction environments. Stay smoothe, and remember that a loss of traction should NEVER bring sudden corrective measures, especially when most of those measures are the things that will encourage destabilization and a high side. Ride smoothly and use proper technique...most of the time even a loss of traction will be nothing, but the worst case scenario when riding correctly is usually just a low side.


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Last edited by Satex; 12-30-2008 at 03:51 PM.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-30-2008, 05:57 PM
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Wise words indeed. In addition to the improved skills that come with rain riding, dealing with loss of traction is THE most important way that riding in the dirt (I'm biased, 'cuz I love offroad stuff) makes you better on the street. You become accustomed to minimal traction and develop the appropriate reactions and muscle memory to handle it.

The warning about highsides is important, but it occurs to me that more than a few Versys riders and members of this board are new riders...the V being their first bike. I suspect most new riders don't know what you mean by a highside, so I thought I'd explain it and invite others to add/correct me as needed.

Highsides (as in an unplanned getoff on the "high" side of a leaning bike) are BAD. Among the various types of single vehicle m/c accidents, highsides offer the worst outcomes possilbe other than those associated with riding drunk (i.e. going off a cliff, riding headon into a brick wall, etc.)

What is a Highside, other than the minimal definition above? Consider a motorcyce being leaned in a corner. Assume the pavement is dry, the tires are fine, and conditions are all ok. Now think about that sick feeling you get when you think you're going too fast for the turn. What do you do? An experienced motorcyclist shouldn't overcook corners, but when it does happen, he knows instinctively to look through the turn and push harder on the handlebar (left side for left turn, obviously, and vice versa.) In most cases, the rider will get through the turn with only soiled underwear. However, if the turn was badly overcooked, the worst that will happen is a lowside...the tires will lose traction and the bike will slide. The rider will also slide after the bike, but with proper gear will generally be unhurt.

But the wrong reaction can and does happen, and can result in terrible destabilization of the bike and a highside. To the inexperienced rider, overcooking the corner my cause him to react by shutting down the throttle and/or using the rear brake. Those moves, which seem so intuitive to the inexperienced, will cause destabilization that may result in the rear of the bike moving out side the turn and the bike then violently becoming upright and tossing itself and the rider to the "highside" of the turn.

The result is greater likelihood of being thrown into traffic, your body being thrown and then slammed into the ground, guardrails, etc. (rather than a relatively minor slide,) and even the bike being hurled like a weapon back down on you.

Like I said, highsides are BAD, but they can be worse than bad.

Now, back to riding in low traction environments. Stay smoothe, and remember that a loss of traction should NEVER bring sudden corrective measures, especially when most of those measures are the things that will encourage destabilization and a high side. Ride smoothly and use proper technique...most of the time even a loss of traction will be nothing, but the worst case scenario when riding correctly is usually just a low side.

I agree & have said this (maybe not word for word, mind you ) for many years. I grew up riding dirt. The Versys is my first 'real' street bike, the rest were dual sports. I absolutely believe dirt riding will improve your street skills.





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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-31-2008, 07:39 AM
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Satex, excellent post!
In addition to the above explanation ,in a low traction situation when you slam the throttle shut it makes the bike regain traction in an uncontrollable fashion,standing the machine up with such force that superman could not hold onto it,this quite literally launches you off the seat and the bike into the air, see photo
Attached Images
File Type: jpg highside02.jpg (63.1 KB, 72 views)

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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-31-2008, 11:33 AM
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Any suggestions for riding in THIS!!??
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-31-2008, 01:11 PM
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-31-2008, 01:16 PM
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Any suggestions for riding in THIS!!??
First, and most obvious.... DON'T!

Second, use studded tires...probably not easy to do on tubeless tires.

I've ridden in the snow and slop, but never on the street. I hope to continue that record.


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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-31-2008, 04:56 PM
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Riding in the rain is just something you'll have to learn to do. Never know when you'll get caught in a downpour. Waiting for that half-hour margin may not be reasonable, practical or safe. You may get caught in a sudden downpour and the only solution is to ride your way out of it or ride to a safe location. The best way to learn to ride in it is just go and do it. Just remember the basics that have been described already.
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 09:06 AM
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Any suggestions for riding in THIS!!??
Yeah do what I used to do,sidecar with knobbies or chains

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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 01:12 PM
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Also remember that the cars around you don't like driving in the rain. People are more likely to slam the brakes and react in strange ways....Watch the cars in front of you to spot monster puddles.
But if you're relaxed and gentle on the controls you'll do fine, even the crappy stock tires are plenty for a major down-pour. First day on the V we had 3 inches of rain in one hour and they never slid.
Be careful.

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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 03:49 PM
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Any suggestions for riding in THIS!!??
Keep your feet down.
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