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Old 10-30-2012, 06:00 AM   #1
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Winter Practice

With the winter advancing, I had a serious question about grip levels when practicing cornering or emergency braking. Should you strictly go by temperature, or seeing if the surface you are riding on is getting direct sunlight then you should consider that a green light and go for it regardless of the temperature on the Wheather Channel? Any tests to perform beforehand or other ideas are appreciated. THX

EDIT: What temperatures should a novice avoid practicing at as well?
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:17 AM   #2
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Temperature.

Just because that spot has sun on it now doesn't mean it had sun on it all the time. Also, just having a spot of sun on the road isn't going to increase the road temp very much for serious cornering. As the sun will hit the road, the road will give its heat to the air and become cold anyways.

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Old 11-05-2012, 03:52 PM
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:55 PM   #3
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Just ride, your putting too much thought into riding for the street. If it's cold don't corner hard and wait longer for tires to warm up. Simple.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:43 AM   #4
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This is a difficult question cause you never know what the conditions of the entire road is unless you've already checked out every inch of it. You probably shouldn't be doing any joy riding in the winter, it's just too dangerous. You only have two wheels, so losing traction on either one, unless you are going in a straight line, means you are probably going down. But, if you have to ride for school or work, it depends on when you leave ( before or after rush hour), if the road is heavily traveled (the more traffic the warmer the road and less chance of ice). I would avoid riding at night below freezing if I were you.

Regardless, make sure you ride slow and don't worry about the cars passing you. They have four wheels and better traction so they don't worry as much. Don't let them pressure you into going faster. Try to stay in the part of the lane the car's tires travel and if you find yourself on ice, don't make sudden movements of the throttle, brakes, or steering. I know you are used to using your front brake, but I would be very gentle on the front brake when stopping on ice, or I should say trying to stop on ice. If you lose your front, you're going down. And put both your feet down if slowing on an icy surface, kinda like skiing. That will make you more stable giving you four points of contact on the ground instead of four.

I ride in the winter, but only when I have to. And like I said, unless the temps are well above freezing, no joy rides if I were you.

Good luck.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:57 AM   #5
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Don't you live in Kuwait? How cold could it possibly be?
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:11 AM   #6
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This is a difficult question cause you never know what the conditions of the entire road is unless you've already checked out every inch of it. You probably shouldn't be doing any joy riding in the winter, it's just too dangerous. You only have two wheels, so losing traction on either one, unless you are going in a straight line, means you are probably going down. But, if you have to ride for school or work, it depends on when you leave ( before or after rush hour), if the road is heavily traveled (the more traffic the warmer the road and less chance of ice). I would avoid riding at night below freezing if I were you.

Regardless, make sure you ride slow and don't worry about the cars passing you. They have four wheels and better traction so they don't worry as much. Don't let them pressure you into going faster. Try to stay in the part of the lane the car's tires travel and if you find yourself on ice, don't make sudden movements of the throttle, brakes, or steering. I know you are used to using your front brake, but I would be very gentle on the front brake when stopping on ice, or I should say trying to stop on ice. If you lose your front, you're going down. And put both your feet down if slowing on an icy surface, kinda like skiing. That will make you more stable giving you four points of contact on the ground instead of four.

I ride in the winter, but only when I have to. And like I said, unless the temps are well above freezing, no joy rides if I were you.

Good luck.
Thanks for the sincere advice. I will definitely keep it in mind.

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Don't you live in Kuwait? How cold could it possibly be?
Even though we never get ice, just rare hailstones (which I have no idea how terrifying it would be for someone to get caught riding in such conditions), the severity of cold we get in Kuwait is not indicated by looking at the temperatures. 5 Celsius in the city would probably seem like nothing compared to other regions, but it actually is one of the most traction compromising 5 degree surfaces because of how 'dry' the cold is, giving you a false sense of security when things are much more dangerous than they seem. I am no meteorologist, so don't expect a scientific explanation, maybe the low humidity levels play a part, I don't know. But some experts do agree that temperatures aren't always indicative of how 'cold' things actually are, many hard braking cars lose traction in the winter especially in the start of their commute to work as a result.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:50 PM   #7
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I think the safest thing to do is to take a look at the temperature and keep it in mind but to really work on taking it nice and easy until you feel that your tires are getting some heat into them. I've ridden in some very cold temperatures and kept my bike on the road all winter a few years in a row. We also have a few Superbike Schools where the first few sessions in the morning are hovering around freezing so we have to be careful.

On really cold mornings we suggest taking three laps or so to warm the tires.

There aren't really any specific tests you can do to check grip levels, mostly you just want to start by keeping the bike as upright as possible and being as smooth as you can with the controls and then start to lean the bike over a little more and more. you will feel the tires slip a little if it is too cold or the sides of the tire aren't warm enough. Just work slowly and build up to where you feel more comfortable brining up the pace and adding lean angle.

There seems to be a misunderstanding about how to properly warm up tires as well, some think that you have to weave the bike back and fourth to get heat in them.

How do you guys go about warming up your tires?

Misti
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:12 AM   #8
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Just did a trackday weekend at Barber this past weekend (working on things I learned at CSS back in April), and temps for the first couple of sessions were mid-40s. Never had ridden on D211s before so I took it easier than normal for the first couple laps of each session. Seemed to work for me, although a lot of the 15 crashes on Sat seemed to be from riders just not waiting until tires were up to temp.

On the street, I normally have a 40 mile ride til I get to anything remotely technical, so even in the winter months where we're blessed with 40 degree days, the tires are already decently warm enough (both from highway pace and braking) for the pace I ride on the street by the time I get to something that requires turning the bike.

Misti: On an unrelated note, which tracks do you favor to come back to CSS for Lv3? I asked both Gerry (Sigs) and Austin (DeHaven) and they suggested Barber, returning to Sears Point, or VIR.

Thanks for your input!

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Old 11-17-2012, 02:16 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by misti hurst View Post
I think the safest thing to do is to take a look at the temperature and keep it in mind but to really work on taking it nice and easy until you feel that your tires are getting some heat into them. I've ridden in some very cold temperatures and kept my bike on the road all winter a few years in a row. We also have a few Superbike Schools where the first few sessions in the morning are hovering around freezing so we have to be careful.

On really cold mornings we suggest taking three laps or so to warm the tires.

There aren't really any specific tests you can do to check grip levels, mostly you just want to start by keeping the bike as upright as possible and being as smooth as you can with the controls and then start to lean the bike over a little more and more. you will feel the tires slip a little if it is too cold or the sides of the tire aren't warm enough. Just work slowly and build up to where you feel more comfortable brining up the pace and adding lean angle.

There seems to be a misunderstanding about how to properly warm up tires as well, some think that you have to weave the bike back and fourth to get heat in them.

How do you guys go about warming up your tires?

Misti
Thanks for the helpful advice as always Misti. I read an interesting article that was linked somewhere here and it said that swerving does not do anything for warming up the tires. The best way is hard straight line acceleration and braking.

LINK: http://www.rcramer.com/shop/rrw_weaving.shtml
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:37 AM   #10
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EDIT: What temperatures should a novice avoid practicing at as well?
Don't stop. Every different condition you ride in is a new experience and will develop your skill set. I'm a novice myself but have ridden in thunder storms, freezing fog (that was fun scraping ice off the visor when riding!), sub zero temps, country roads covered in mud, gales etc. Just take time, see what the bike does, and keep your fingers crossed. Had one or two moments so far, but other than that it's been fine :)
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:01 AM   #11
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I know what you mean, when I wake up in the morning on a cold day I'm scared to go sit on the toilette cuz of how cold the seat is, I always wait for my gf or roommate to warm it up first, even if it means holding it in for a little while longer.


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Old 11-18-2012, 04:44 AM   #12
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Thanks for the feedback guys, will keep it in mind.
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:54 AM   #13
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sub zero temps, country roads covered in mud, gales
that's just the UK summer!

high winds are always fun, hanging off the bike just to keep the thing going straight. but yeah, riding in all conditions will give you a better understanding, I mean you'll find things that work great for one set of conditions & not work for others.

I think being smooth in every area is key to handling all conditions safely. just look at racers (yes its not every day riding) but look how smoothly they do everything, throttle, brakes, turning. if your a smooth rider you can take on almost any condition
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:37 AM   #14
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Swan, how do you tackle puddles of standing water?
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:08 AM   #15
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Swan, how do you tackle puddles of standing water?
you'd be surprised just how much water a tyre can move, I can't find the pic I was thinking of to show it but this one gives ypu an idea



when I was a my last track day there was a lot of water on the track & while watching the fast guys coming down the straight, you could see the drier line being created behind them.

how I deal with it, I carry a line thats closer to the middle of the road, since the water will run & collect towards the sides of the road (usually), no aggressive turning, hold the throttle steady until I'm standing the bike back up & look ahead as normal. unless its a flood then don't worry, trust your tyres
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:50 AM   #16
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you'd be surprised just how much water a tyre can move, I can't find the pic I was thinking of to show it but this one gives ypu an idea



when I was a my last track day there was a lot of water on the track & while watching the fast guys coming down the straight, you could see the drier line being created behind them.

how I deal with it, I carry a line thats closer to the middle of the road, since the water will run & collect towards the sides of the road (usually), no aggressive turning, hold the throttle steady until I'm standing the bike back up & look ahead as normal. unless its a flood then don't worry, trust your tyres
Thanks for the great advice. What had me more worried was my BT-015 rear OEM bridgestone tyre. Not being aggressive or anything, but do you think it will perform alright?

If you do find that pic, it would be great to see.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:13 AM   #17
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Thanks for the great advice. What had me more worried was my BT-015 rear OEM bridgestone tyre. Not being aggressive or anything, but do you think it will perform alright?

If you do find that pic, it would be great to see.
your tyre isn't that old so the rubber should be ok, as long as the tread is in good condition, i.e, not past the min tread markers, then you shouldn't have too many problems. its the tread that forces the water out of the way to let the rubber grip better. if your not being too aggressive then any road tyre that's in good condition will work in the wet just fine

wet weather riding will be good for you, it will show you that the bike/tyres can handle it, you'll relax a bit & the overall ride will be more enjoyable. I like riding in the wet (I just don't like getting wet, rain suit FTW)

I'll keep looking for that other pic, it was definetely a good one to show how a tyre works in the wet
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:43 AM   #18
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your tyre isn't that old so the rubber should be ok, as long as the tread is in good condition, i.e, not past the min tread markers, then you shouldn't have too many problems. its the tread that forces the water out of the way to let the rubber grip better. if your not being too aggressive then any road tyre that's in good condition will work in the wet just fine

wet weather riding will be good for you, it will show you that the bike/tyres can handle it, you'll relax a bit & the overall ride will be more enjoyable. I like riding in the wet (I just don't like getting wet, rain suit FTW)

I'll keep looking for that other pic, it was definetely a good one to show how a tyre works in the wet
Yup, thankfully I'm aware of the purpose of the tread and the tyre is in good condition as well. I just thought because it is an OEM tyre (which people rip on all the time) it would be less gripping than average. So thanks for the reassurance.

Rain suit FTW for sure!

I found this pic of Haslam:

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Old 11-20-2012, 05:59 AM   #19
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that's a good pic, you can clearly see the tyres forcing a drier line, nice find

I know oem get a bad rep but I don't think they're dangerously low on grip compared to others. there are better tyres out there for sure but not many people can push a tyre to its limits regardless of the spec
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:09 AM   #20
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^^ that is all about super smooth riding which only comes with practice (riding in the cold wet crappy conditions)... You need to do it and get a feel for it. Oh and did I mention super smooth? :)
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:16 AM   #21
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http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/Ri...standing-water

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Old 11-20-2012, 10:16 AM   #22
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good old UK, that was one of the better days this year. I'd be going through that at about 20mph with my feet up
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:49 AM   #23
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good old UK, that was one of the better days this year. I'd be going through that at about 20mph with my feet up
Those are one of the BETTER days?? You guys have it real bad!
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:00 AM   #24
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Those are one of the BETTER days?? You guys have it real bad!
ok I was exagerating slightly lol, but we certainly had more wet days than dry during the "summer" months, but we had a heat wave in march!? our "summers" last for about 2 weeks max & they happen randomly at any point in the year

some really good riding roads though
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:45 PM   #25
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Well, it had too happen....today every road was flooded and at 7.30AM I had too get too work. I decided I had too bit the bullet and rode through the pictured flood.

It came up over the foot pegs, it sprayed all up my arms and my gaunlet gloves filled with water. My boots leaked, my trousers leaked, and it was a bit scary, but I made it through.

Worst worry was water entering the air intake, but luckily it sprayed outwards.




Here you can see the grass caught in the crash slider, and also how quickly the chain lube came off!!




I then nearly got wiped out when a REALLY strong gust of wind caught the front and gave me my first tank slapper.....scary ****, and I glad I have the electronic damper else I'm certain I would have been off!
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:04 PM   #26
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it ain't a bike you need it's a boat!

glad you got through safely, if a bit wet. watch out for those gusts.

UK guys ride safe, temps are dropping along with wet conditions, we all know what that means!

hands up who hates winter
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:34 PM   #27
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Misti: On an unrelated note, which tracks do you favor to come back to CSS for Lv3? I asked both Gerry (Sigs) and Austin (DeHaven) and they suggested Barber, returning to Sears Point, or VIR.

Thanks for your input!

-Christian
Hey Christian, you will love level 3 :) As for which tracks, I LOVE Barber, Sears is Awesome and so is VIR. Depends what you like really, the new track in WA is great, the Ridge and Streets of Willow Springs is always a good bet because it is full of great corners and is almost always dry :) Hope that helps. If you have any questions about any of the other tracks or anything that was covered in lv 1-2 then just ask away!

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Thanks for the helpful advice as always Misti. I read an interesting article that was linked somewhere here and it said that swerving does not do anything for warming up the tires. The best way is hard straight line acceleration and braking.

LINK: http://www.rcramer.com/shop/rrw_weaving.shtml
Yep, pretty much right on :) It's important to make sure your tires are up to temp before leaning over on them, especially in cold or wet situations.

Ride safe!
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