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Preema
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OK guys, i have my inquisitive face on...


Reading a few threads (including my not so fun brake problem) I'm intrigued by this notion of a slip, a slide, a squirm on a tar snake and why it generates some concern. With all the tech on our machines, I find it extremely difficult to induce a slide, of even a few inches. Traction control takes a few twists and pushes of the wheel to disengage, not something thats easy to do in a hurry should you hit some unplanned twisties...


My questions are:


Are you comfortable to let the back lose traction purposefully? At speed and slow maneovering...


Does it trouble you if you hit some tar, a wet drain cover, a patch of diesel on the road, black ice, anything where the back wheel starts to try and over take the front wheel? Traction control really limits this to an inch or so before taking over in all but the worst conditions.


What do you do? How do you compensate? These are heavy bikes, what are your countering techniques?


Personnaly, I'm quite comfortable if the back skips a little. Just the other day I got the rear a little stuck in a concave drain running down the side of a carpark. Guess I got to about 15 degree of reverse steer before I kicked clear. Thought nothing of it until a coworker (and not so confident biker) commented on it the next day.


I don't fear unsealed car parks, or gravel roads and I love to slide the occasional hairpin corner at speed. >:)


I know I'm not your standard little girly biker but how much of a freak am I really? (And how do a wire a big on / off switch for the tranction control that's right in easy reach!!!)
 

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Don't mind slides, but then looking at the road ahead, I ride round most of the issues and have never met snakes like these
 

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I don't tend to panic much when I feel the back end slip a bit, never had one slide out from under me in about 35 years. These bikes are incredible with the anti slide technology. I did have a little scenario a few summers ago when I entered a pretty good hairpin and there was gravel in the middle of the apex, I didn't do anything but continue with the same throttle and squeezed the air out of the tank with my knees! the computer saved my bacon and I drove right out of it without any issues.
These bikes are very stable and with good tires and some medium skill, you shouldn't get into trouble.
 

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I've come into curves on a hot, Texas day and seen tar snakes like that. Keeps you alert. I learned on dual sport bikes and the K1600 is my first pure street bike. Moving around off pavement doesn't bother me. Tar snakes with knobbies are actually better than street tires, however wet manhole covers are not...

I just watch ahead and try not to be surprised. But I don't freak out when it happens because I have some experience with it sliding around.

I will say that back in December I dropped the K1600 at a four way stop intersection. 200 yards from the house, cold pavement, cold tires and brand new tires at that. Made a left, even slightly slower than normal, next thing I know I'm pivoting on my hip and watching the bike finish the turn on its crash bar. Traction control didn't save me there and not sure how it could have. No need to debate what happened though, but even with experience and fancy electronics, stuff still happens. Oh, and I picked the bike up and finished the ride after a visual inspection.
 
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Some tire brands are worse than others with tar snakes and paint. The OEM Z8's would give me long slips on the back. The Angel GT would give me an occasional little slip but the Roadsmart never slipped. Not once.
 

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Traction control can not overcome the laws of physics. The only thing it can do is stop the back tire from spinning due to the forces of torque being applied to the rear wheel. Cars are different. They have four wheels and most newer cars have systems that can apply (or un apply) braking at each wheel differently in order to keep the vehicle going the direction it is pointed.

I have hit tar snakes so slippery that I really did feel like the bike could have gotten crossways. I realize that a tar snake very rarely does cause a crash, but that does not mean they never will. I’ve seen many tar snakes that are six inches wide. The real problem with them is when it is damp out. They are like ice.

Three years ago a friend and I were out in the country and came into a fast 90 degree sweeper. Parts of the curve were in bright sun and part in shade. Halfway through the curve I saw something in the road right in my line. I was running a pretty good pace (meaning fast!) and was able to move inside the object. But my front end still hit something slippery enough to give me a quick pucker, but I stayed up. My friend was not so lucky. He low sided and went down and slid off the road. Fortunately he “only” suffered a broken wrist and fairly minor damage. What did we hit? A dead animal that had been run over so many times by cars that it was hard to tell what the animal was. What I hit were the slippery guts.

The point is that because it was in the shade, we could not see it far enough ahead of time to do much. We run curves fast all the time. We have both been doing it for 50 years or so. We reaize there are risks. The only thing we hold sacred is to back off when other vehicles are around so we don’t put them at risk.
 

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I can tell you from personal experience, the traction control cannot overcome physics. If you look at the pictures attached, you will see, what in the daylight is an obvious oily material on the road surface. What you cannot see is what did not appear at 4:30 in the morning. This particular area has zero overhead lighting, is right after going thru an underpass and is a T into a one way highway ramp. Long story short the grind mark thru the center of the oil is my left engine guard. the bike then contacted the dry area between the oil spills and flip on to the other side. Lesson learned is NEVER think you know the road, even when you know the road. 40 yards past this was a pickup truck on its side because of the oil. these pictures were taken later that day, I had rode on, truck removed-oil stayed. I guess that is why we have insurance. It took 3.5 months for what may possibly be the worst BMW dealer in DFW to fix it.
Rick
 

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I can tell you from personal experience, the traction control cannot overcome physics. If you look at the pictures attached, you will see, what in the daylight is an obvious oily material on the road surface. What you cannot see is what did not appear at 4:30 in the morning. This particular area has zero overhead lighting, is right after going thru an underpass and is a T into a one way highway ramp. Long story short the grind mark thru the center of the oil is my left engine guard. the bike then contacted the dry area between the oil spills and flip on to the other side. Lesson learned is NEVER think you know the road, even when you know the road. 40 yards past this was a pickup truck on its side because of the oil. these pictures were taken later that day, I had rode on, truck removed-oil stayed. I guess that is why we have insurance. It took 3.5 months for what may possibly be the worst BMW dealer in DFW to fix it.
Rick
Fuel station nearby ? looks like diesel, the smell can be a good indicator if you recognise it quick
 

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No, lots of oilfield trucks in this area. they are filled with the water that is used for fracking. they will overflow out the vent when they are overfilled and go around a corner as such. It is very slick and nearly invisible at night. It happened last June, it took 2 months for it to wash off the road, It's 8-10 miles from anything.
Rick
 

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Also, just to add, if you have never had to file an insurance claim for body damage on a BMW, pray you never do. All I can say is WOW!!:wow:
Rick
 
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Slick spots, as @Mole says, I try to ride around them. If I can't ride around it I try to keep the bike stable and let off on the throttle, make sure I'm slowed down already if at all possible.
When your riding into or through slick zones where there's just enough traction to stay on the road, particularly approaching turns, don't lean! Keep the bike upright and anticipate the problem spots.

Beyond control, the biggest thing is learning to spot it and recognize trouble spots on the road before you need to react to it instead of dealing with it only after it sneaks up on you.
If you see it ahead of time you have a few precious seconds to form a plan of what you're going to do about it.
With big bastards like our bikes, this is key!
 

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Outta This World
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OK guys, i have my inquisitive face on...


My questions are:


Are you comfortable to let the back lose traction purposefully? At speed and slow maneovering...


Does it trouble you if you hit some tar, a wet drain cover, a patch of diesel on the road, black ice, anything where the back wheel starts to try and over take the front wheel? Traction control really limits this to an inch or so before taking over in all but the worst conditions.


What do you do? How do you compensate? These are heavy bikes, what are your countering techniques?

Not worried if the back end steps out. If its on purpose, I ease up. If its a surprise I go for smooth in every reaction whether its backing out of the throttle, braking, standing the bike up or letting it slide. Growing up racing flat track and off road riding and living in the north I am comfortable with the bike/ATV/UTV/car/boat/skis/snowboard being out of shape. Its just part of the ride. As to purposefully drifting, while I enjoy the thrill its not something I look for anymore.
 

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I'm just getting used to trusting the bike for traction. My other bike is all manual and basically you don't pay too much attention to the rear end swinging around to say "hi!" On the K1600 with all the rider aids you just ride, and try not to put the bike in stupid situations. To me the OEM tires seem a bit on the slick side and they will follow anything on the road, tar snakes, re-paving laps, etc. Can't weight to go to something else.


I run Dunlop Q3's on my other bike with 31 psi (11 psi below street recommendations). You can basically run vertical up a wall with that setup. They don't slip unless you ask them too and they only follow the engine. Anyone ever run Q3's on a K? But rocking 750 lbs with big saddle bags (the bike, not me!) I would just as soon have the back wheel be a good egg and follow the front wheel. All that being said, I find the K16 to be a remarkably well-behaved bike that makes your head big with confidence.
 

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My arse is puckered just reading this thread. I like the spirited ride, but the tar snakes scare the bejesus outta me. There are even tar lanes around here. And I just ease off the throttle so I'm not pressing my luck in certain areas I know to be tar snake habitat.

I know this goes back to my teenage years. It wasn't a tar snake though. I had my brother on the back of the family Honda 750 Four. The back end slid out as we turned into a parking lot driveway. Nothing too serious. Just a lot of blood on skinned legs and knees. But I felt terrible and I guess it still haunts.
 

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Are you comfortable to let the back lose traction purposefully?
Yes I am, my experience has been that while in Dynamic and coming out of a corner the Traction Control will let it side step out about 6 inches. From what I can tell the TC will let the bike move about on the throttle and the rear wheel lock up some. The TC appears to be more aggressive in a straight line then when in corners. With the stock Bridgestones I was doing it repeatedly on purpose for nothing more then my own kicks. So far the RSIII's have not let that take place.

A few months ago riding out in the delta (levee roads) I was doing 75mph came around a turn and the pavement ended abruptly into 2 to 3 inches of straight gravel. This was in a straight stretch after the curve so I just rolled off the throttle gently and rode it out while the front and rear were doing the tango. All worked out just fine.

The calmer you are the better the outcome, easier said then done sometimes though. I think we have all had the pucker moment, but what I've learned is to tell myself to relax and concentrate on the mechanics.
 

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I had something happen in France this past week that really caused some panic. I was on my 2004 Goldwing, in a traffic circle and it had just rained, a little. I don't know why, I was being cautious, but suddenly found myself slipping sideways, on both the front and back wheels. I counter steered, feather the steering and somehow, miraculously managed to not let it get away. It was like what I remember driving on ice was like, only on two wheels. After that, I could not ride through a wet traffic circle, without getting all puckered up. I am not sure I am over that experience. I think it might have been the tires and also maybe a little the over inflated front tire, I usually run 36psi but it was at 40psi.
 

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Jfink, I bet you hit some diesel fuel that had been spilled. That and a wet surface is bad news.
^ Almost certainly this. For added amusement, French roundabouts are always off camber so for any given speed you have more effective lean than you think.
 
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