Paving... - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2015, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Paving...

...there is a good deal of paving going on around my area and it can be a sudden and daunting challenge to a rider be it the 4-6" level change from a brand new slab of asphalt to the old or the grooved and rutted surface of a recently shaved section of old awaiting a new layer. Point being a lot of different challenges here that can be there unexpectedly, changing day by day, as work progresses.

If you have a fair bit of dirt bike background these conditions likely won't be much of a challenge and actually fun as you're used to the bike suddenly getting vague and using power to stabilize a sketchy moment, not panicking, etc..

For newer riders it can be a bad day, real quick. Thing is, even if you plan to avoid new sections, shit happens and you can find yourself confronted with it whether you like it or not. Better to learn and work on the skill sez I.

So, a few suggestions if you're not sure what to do;

Absent the experience of feeling a bike loose and the reflexive, experienced corrective actions that go with it, you're likely to feel a bit of panic if you suddenly have to negotiate what looks like a little wall of asphalt you're gonna have to transition over, RIGHT NOW, in traffic, at a seeming bad angle or sudden loose feeling as you come upon a grooved up section; try not to let that translate into a bad control input such as chopping throttle and/or hitting the breaks as well as staring down suddenly, allowing your eyes to be drawn to the problem.

In time, with some success behind you, the panic won't happen and you'll just reflexively go about just riding it out.

So, tips and techniques;

1. Vision is numero uno when riding. Look down, go down, bike goes where you look, etc, etc. Even if you freak a little bit, MAKE yourself look where you wanna go, NOT at what is causing or threatening a problem.

2. Re-read #1

3. Don't just chop throttle; it will exacerbate the sudden instability. Propulsion from the rear is what makes rake and trail and suspension work to stabilize a bike. Getting out of shape because of that height change from old up to a new layer is not a happy feeling until you get comfortable with what you're trying to do. Smooth control inputs is the rule here, as pretty much always is the case for good riding.

4. Don't just chop throttle AND hit the breaks. Same reasons as above.

5. When you see it coming and feel that urgency, make yourself go to #1, look where you WANNA go. This is THE key first step.


See it, look where you wanna go, feel what the bike needs, most likely just smooth throttle, and it will get you right through the wobble. If you need a little blip of power, do that.

When you suddenly need to negotiate this in a curve is where the pucker factor goes up another notch as the wobble is going to cost you a little bit of your angle and feel like it's throwing you into oncoming traffic or into the guard rail. Be prepared to stay with your lean in and handlebar input, as well as feeling what it needs if you need to goose it a bit. The bike WILL correct as it stabilizes if you are looking where you wanna go and input what is needed.

If you were already a little hot or a little late on entry, it's now critical to see where you wanna go because you've got lest ground to work with. This is a concern because as you get better you'll be working on 'late apex' because it makes for better curves but it does give up some ground if there is a sudden issue so, be aware, if you start picking up cues like signs that paving operations are going on, prepare, start to anticipate, think about a more 'middle' of the road approach to entry, etc. In short; do whatever it takes to ride through and that's the last tip; KEEP riding. It gets sketchy, KEEP riding, KEEP looking where you wanna go, keeping trying inputs to correct. DO NOT give up and be telling anyone "Had to lay her down...' No, you didn't. You quit. Ride it out. Always.


*I am not a certified trainer/instructor so, take this for what it is; some maniac on the internets. I DO have 35,000 miles under me on the street as well as years of dirt bike. I ride in all sorts of weather and I enjoy the challenges of whatever comes up while riding. I ask lots of questions of better riders and I take skills classes every so often. So, this is intended to be suggestions on how to deal with this summer time problem.

Anyone objects, wants to add something, feel free!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2015, 02:37 PM
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Nice writeup Larry. There's alot of "oil and chip" work goin on around here right now that can raise that pucker factor real quick if yer not payin attention. I know speaking for myself, not having ridin much dirt, that I could use more practice.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2015, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Nice writeup Larry. There's alot of "oil and chip" work goin on around here right now that can raise that pucker factor real quick if yer not payin attention. I know speaking for myself, not having ridin much dirt, that I could use more practice.
Thanks! I hope it is sound, usable advice.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2015, 08:09 PM
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ALT 40 is a mess.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-24-2015, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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ALT 40 is a mess.
funny you should mention at because that is exactly where the inspiration came from!

I think the guys have decided Braddock Mountain is to be a career. LOL
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-24-2015, 02:49 PM
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Thanks Larry, good safety tip.

I would also caution anyone riding on fresh Tar & Chip especially when it is hot, to watch for stones imbedding in the belt pulley grooves. I had a small stone imbed in the rear belt pulley. The tar held it in the groove so that it couldn't fall out. I noticed some wear on the belt and upon examination of the pulleys I found the stone. I had to use solvent to melt the tar and clean the groove. Now that has become a regular item to check.

Augie

I'm always working very diligently to discover the obvious.

Last edited by commonground; 07-24-2015 at 02:57 PM.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-24-2015, 07:13 PM
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First THANKS for posting this.

I just had this happen to me on 95 north of Baltimore. I swear it was a 4 inch cliff between lanes all of a sudden. I admit i freaked out seeing that and the sign saying the lanes were merging. Just getting back into riding after 25+ years off the bike i had NO clue what to do so i starting slowing and moving right (onto the shoulder side of the lane away from the cliff). I ended up and the end of the 2 lane section and found that they had a section where instead of narrowing on the convergence they had a section at a right angle to the path of travel. Big thump, even at slower speed, but no crash for me (thank you Lord).

Are you saying you can ride up that cliff of asphalt?

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-26-2015, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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First THANKS for posting this.

I just had this happen to me on 95 north of Baltimore. I swear it was a 4 inch cliff between lanes all of a sudden. I admit i freaked out seeing that and the sign saying the lanes were merging. Just getting back into riding after 25+ years off the bike i had NO clue what to do so i starting slowing and moving right (onto the shoulder side of the lane away from the cliff). I ended up and the end of the 2 lane section and found that they had a section where instead of narrowing on the convergence they had a section at a right angle to the path of travel. Big thump, even at slower speed, but no crash for me (thank you Lord).

Are you saying you can ride up that cliff of asphalt?
I'm saying you can and there may well be a time when you HAVE to; forced into it, avoiding something, whatever.

If at all possible, safely, to avoid as you did, that's great. I do NOT want anyone going out and trying this for fun and end up getting hurt. This thread is intended solely as a resource of 'it's probably gonna confront you sooner or later' and HOW to deal with it, based on my experience, the training others have given me, to maybe help someone manage it and improve their skills.

There's gonna be an unsettling of the bike in this circumstance and anything similar to it; hitting an animal, debris, potholes, and drive from the rear is what stabilizes a motorcycle, working with rake, trail and the suspension. Cutting throttle, applying brakes, in an unsettled circumstance, tends to exacerbate the instability. It is my view that most of the time riders freak, stare at the obstacle, chop throttle, hit the breaks, and the whole thing cascades, RIGHT NOW, into a crash.

The sudden unsettling tends to make us snap our attention and eyes to the problem instead of focusing on where we wanna go, making the situation even more tenuous. We KNOW we need to look where we wanna go and we know, or should, what we need to do, input wise, and not do, to help make that happen; usually, throttle. Smooth or maybe even a blip of power.

There simply is no way to get better at this than to do it. I try to work at it, when possible, with no traffic. However, that ain't how life works. Yesterday, I was following a pick up up the hill, the section I've been referring to in this thread. It goes from one lane to two, ridden it a billion times, could see where the second lane had a higher layer on it from the night before but I wanted to get around truck so, I pointed and shot and hit it, wanting to carry momentum up and over with solid acceleration, knowing it was gonna be a fairly big hit and, sure enough, unsettled, lost some direction because I hit it a bit 'shallow' as opposed to trying to by a bit more angle but kept on the throttle, nice and steady and instantly started to settle when Captain Pick Up decides he, too, wants to move over RIGHT NOW. I could feel him make up his mind and so just go, commit, not paying ANY attention to me and I'd been following him long enough he knew I was right there. He didn't catch himself, he didn't give me space, he just kept coming and I was right along side his bed, right in the middle of getting re settled. Had I hit the brakes or chopped I might have been in some trouble but, I took it as it was (that's key to me, ride what is) and there was room to settle, give him a very loud "MOTHERFUCKER" and when he waved 'sorry' I shot him my biggest and best bird. I was furious.

In any event, I never stopped riding the bike and didn't flip him until I was settle back behind him. had he shown the slightest remorse or 'oops' that's one thing. Shit happens but I saw him in his mirror looking at me when he came over and he simply had made his mind up and wasn't going to do anything but keep coming. He scope locked. He did what riders do when we fuck up.

So, all in all, it was good practice and could have gotten real bad real quick had this been my first time and not ready for it. That said, had this been new to me or had I been leading anyone, I would not have gone around him. I just wanted to practice in traffic.

It's gonna scare the hell out of you but you, as a rider, can not afford a poor reaction. Ride it out. Eye's, good inputs, most likely throttle, resist the urge to chop and break as that only makes the bike even less stable. You need corrective force and we get that from the rear tire, pushing forward, making rake and trail do there thing.

Shopping carts are actually a decent analogy. You get a wobbly one that wants to go all over the place, push harder and it settles some.
They have rake and trail on those front wheels and they need propulsion from the year and it makes them steady out.

So, get you a cart and run out on 95 and practice with that SOB before you try it on your bike! JUST KIDDING!!! LOL (it does help with the visual of what you're trying to do, though...stop pushing the cart over an obstacle and it goes off course or tips over, push hard and it unsettles then settles and on you go!)
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 04:43 PM
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Ok, that helps a lot. I'm not going out to try it but I definitely have a clue now. Thanks again.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 09:13 PM
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Great write up LG. Lots of paving work in my area and you're right, it can and is a challenge. But if you prepare yourself for these challenges, you're one step ahead.
Once again, great write up.

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