expansion strips are slippery - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down expansion strips are slippery

It only took 4 months for my new bike to find an overpass expansion strip on this wet ride to work this morning.

On a construction detour Ive only taken twice I ran across an expansion plate on a surface street bridge over the expressway. It ran about 20 degrees from my straight line as I was slowing to make a left turn. It took the bike instantly from under me. I dont remember seeing it and I dont remember going down, next thing I knew I was on the pavement. After a closer look it wasnt the normal flat plate joint, it was more of a U shaped channel 2-3 inches wide and 2-3 inches deep with a 2 inch shoulder running along each side. It probably couldnt have been designed any worse unless it had been filled with ball bearings

I was only wearing mesh but the gear did its job. A couple light scrapes and bruises. As far as I can tell other than a lot of scratched plastic, a slightly tweaked handlebar and a bent shifter the bike is fine. I straightened the shifter a bit and rode to work and back home in the afternoon. Just a dam heartbreaker is all. Figured I could vent here

Last edited by smasheromalley; 07-20-2010 at 10:03 PM.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 10:05 PM
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Sorry to hear what happened to you, sounds like those plates are not very bike friendly.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 10:20 PM
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Glad your alright!!
Was this due to construction or "unthought out engineering"?


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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 02:35 AM
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Glad you are Ok.

did you manage to find out how such expansion joints are placed on the roads. Make a formal complain and you might save some lives.

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 05:17 AM
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Aw man! Sorry to hear about this. Where I ride in a nearby town, they have lots of "crack filler", kind of like a rubber they pour in all the cracks in the asphalt. When they get hot in the sun, they too get slippery.

Glad you had your gear on.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 05:41 AM
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Understand your pain but Glad you are OK .

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Ride safe,
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 05:53 AM
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My boy slipped across steel expansion plates around town at the top of a bridge and slid his scooter out, $250.00 in plastic later, he was alright but more concerned about the pain of spending his money
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 08:43 AM
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Glad you're ok and the bike is relatively unscathed. Like Capn Kirk mentioned, we too have "tar snakes" here that can potentially 'bite' you when they are hot, cold, wet or have dust on them. I'm sure you filed this location down in your memory to watch out for it!

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 09:12 AM
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what a bummer, glad your ok.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 09:14 AM
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Oh crap, that bites.
I am also happy that you came out of this quite well.
Replacement parts for the V are easily and relatively cheaply obtained. For the smasheromalley, not so much.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 09:16 AM
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Good to hear you are ok and the damage was minimal. Summer construction around here is making lots of roads hazardous, because they reroute the lanes over shoulders. Riders beware!

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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 09:33 AM
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Glad to hear you are ok. Damaging the bike SUCKS but damaging you is even worse. Yay for gear, glad to hear the mesh held up as I have a mesh jacket and sometimes wonder if it's not gonna be heavy enough.

Utah also has massive "tar snake" issues, and two seaons of the year: winter, and construction. And could these construction guys be a LITTLE considerate of the gravel mess they leave and how much a hazard that is for bikes?

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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 09:39 AM
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unfortunately road works/construction are a global problem for bikes where ever you ride
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 09:39 AM
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I hate those expansion joints! The other things to watch for are painted road sections like crosswalks and hold lines. They get wet and they become ice like. Manhole covers too can bite you. One you might not think about is cardboard. I watched a guy dump a bike one time coming around a corner and there was a pizza box laying in the road. He hit it and went down hard.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 10:25 AM
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O.K., I was not going to say anything, but this looks like a good opportunity to chime in on slippery stuff. Last month the county work crew used some kind of crack sealer on the roads I use to come to work. It went down like a thick tar, and when it cured became spongelike, and as I lean through curves it acts like grease until the tire hits untreated road bed. It is scary as Hell, and if you did not know it was there or what it could do to your ride through a curve, it could really wreck your day. Doeas anyone else have this experience with that crack sealer?
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 10:58 AM
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Before I retired I wrote the contracts to crack seal roads in Montana for the DOT. I am partially responsible for changing the specs so that the transverse cracks could remain at 1 1/2" wide and the longitudinal cracks be routed at 3/4" wide. We also flush fill and don't allow the squeegee so that the filler material isn't spread out to 3 and 4 inches like some states I ride in. Make a request to your DOT to adopt Montana specs.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 11:37 AM
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sounds stupid, but also watch out for tree blossoms and leaves. i hit some slightly wet spring blossoms going around a corners and lost it several years ago. glad your ok.
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 11:49 AM
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I had one of those plastic garage sale signs blow down off a street sign right in the apex of the corner. I just managed to miss it. It was like a gremlin threw it right out there for me to slip on it. Weird, can never let your guard down when riding.
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 11:53 AM
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You better see mackdaddy and get his bell
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 12:20 PM
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Glad you're ok, and that the damage is minimal.

Last year coming back from Americade, there was a long wait at the border, and traffic was backed up onto the bridge going over the St. Lawrence Seaway. We were up on the grated steel decking part of the bridge that you can see though, and it was absolutely pouring out. That steel is very slippery when it's wet.

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