Coping With a Skid

A skid – that’s when your heart leaps
up to your throat because your
tires have lost traction!
You might hit a patch of sand on a
mountain curve, or a puddle of oil as
you’re slowing for a stoplight. It’s a
frightening experience on a
motorcycle, but you can handle it.
In a highway-speed, sand-in-the corner
skid, steer slightly in the
direction of the skid. (If you’re leaned
to the left and skidding to the right,
turn those handlebars a bit towards the
right.) Chances are you will clear the
patch of sand, the tires will grip the
pavement again, the bike will stand up,
and you’ll continue on your way.
Should you hit a slippery bit while
you’re braking for a stop sign, and one
or both wheels lock up, you want to
get those wheels rolling right away.
Release the brakes for an instant, then
reapply a little more gently. You want
those tires to have traction.
At higher speeds, when traction is
good and the rear wheel skids when
braking hard, do not release the rear
brake.
If your back end is skidding sideways
because the tire is on a slick spot
and simply spinning, ease off on the
throttle. A spinning wheel provides no
more control than a locked wheel.
You might be in one of those two mile-
per-hour parking lot scenarios, a
mild, low-speed skid when your front
wheel starts to go out from under you.
A foot on the ground may keep the
bike upright and the rubber side down.
This is not an easy thing to do, and
should only be done if all else fails.
Michael Theodore
National Road Captain

 

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