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I lowsided coming up to a stop sign today right after it started to rain. I have a theory why it happened but am unsure. Here is how it went:
It had just rained the night before and was starting to dry up, so I decided to take a trip to the local Yamaha shop to pick up a part. It then started to rain again when I was half way there. I have not had much experience riding in the rain so I rode carefully. I also noticed when I turned a corner slowly my back end slid around slightly. Then aproaching a stop sign I downshifted through the gears using engine braking to slow me down as much as possible. When no more braking from the engine was possible I pulled on the front brake LIGHTLY knowing that the wet conditions would mean less traction. I was traveling about 2 mph (guessing it was very slow though) when I applied the front brake and lowsided. :( There was very little damage. On my way home I came upon an intersection where I used engine braking as much as possible and then put very slight pressure on my front brake and could feel the front end getting ready to tuck so I released the brake totaly and used the back brake. Also my front tire is very old atleast 5 years old if not more. Could this be a factor. Furthermore, my friend on his R1 is able to pull stoppies, SO what is going on?
 

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Also my front tire is very old atleast 5 years old if not more.



I'd probably replace it.. 5 years is a lot, even if there isnt a lot of miles on the bike, rubber will deteriorate and such..
 

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If you took the MSF course one of the things they taught you was that when it first starts raining, that is the time when it is MOST slippery. All of the oil/grime on the road gets pushed up with the water when it first starts raining and makes it much more slick, that could have played a part as well.
 

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joberly said:
If you took the MSF course one of the things they taught you was that when it first starts raining, that is the time when it is MOST slippery. All of the oil/grime on the road gets pushed up with the water when it first starts raining and makes it much more slick, that could have played a part as well.
Yup, sounds like a combination of things to me, the tire age probably played a part, oil due to it just starting to rain, are the two biggest suspects. Also what was your lane position? Left, right or center? You also need to check for warped disks on the front.

James.
 

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joberly said:
If you took the MSF course one of the things they taught you was that when it first starts raining, that is the time when it is MOST slippery. All of the oil/grime on the road gets pushed up with the water when it first starts raining and makes it much more slick, that could have played a part as well.
That would've been my first inclination, but the fact that it had rained the night before, and assuming it was substantial, I'd say that the oil/grime had probably already been washed off. That's not to say more couldn't have appeared, depending on the level of use of the corner, but the rear tire is my first guess. Hard rubber might as well be concrete, especially when the pavement's cold, and the tires might have been too.
 

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A FIVE year old front tyre. Good Lord I am going through front & rear tyres EVERY YEAR. You cannot expect to run on hard old rubber tyres & stay upright ESPECIALLY when it rains.

Also where your are positioned on the lane & CONDITION of the lane has so much to do with staying upright on a m/c for these are not self-balanced four wheeled vehicles like cages & somthing I always try to point out to lst time riders---the cage & m/c are so different in balance/survival & when it comes to fender benders.

I put in 5 hrs of riding yesterday on the hwys where the pavement was dry or wet & where it was sunny/cloudy to lots of rain with temp barely above freezing & when I made it home the temp was 40 above----- I could never have done it on last yrs tyres & even the ones on the bike will have to be replaced in a few weeks or next Spring when I roll the bike out.

With NEW tyres woren in a bit start riding when it rains & learn how to stay upright, learn how to use the brakes with gentle touches, to use the rear brake more, to stay back farther from traffic in front of you, do not bank like normal, slow down your pace compared to dry weather riding, etc. Also do not count on the engine braking all the time for if revs are down to much the rear end can lock up.
 

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A FIVE year old front tyre. Good Lord I am going through front & rear tyres EVERY YEAR. You cannot expect to run on hard old rubber tyres & stay upright ESPECIALLY when it rains.

Also where your are positioned on the lane & CONDITION of the lane has so much to do with staying upright on a m/c for these are not self-balanced four wheeled vehicles like cages & somthing I always try to point out to lst time riders---the cage & m/c are so different in balance/survival & when it comes to fender benders.

I put in 5 hrs of riding yesterday on the hwys where the pavement was dry or wet & where it was sunny/cloudy to lots of rain with temp barely above freezing & when I made it home the temp was 40 above----- I could never have done it on last yrs tyres & even the ones on the bike will have to be replaced in a few weeks or next Spring when I roll the bike out.

With NEW tyres woren in a bit start riding when it rains & learn how to stay upright, learn how to use the brakes with gentle touches, to use the rear brake more, to stay back farther from traffic in front of you, do not bank like normal, slow down your pace compared to dry weather riding, etc. Also do not count on the engine braking all the time for if revs are down to much the rear end can lock up.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I will now replace those tires as soon as possible. I have taken the MSF course and do remembered that the roads are slick when it rains and about oil in the center of the lane. In my 6 months of ridding , in wet conditions also, I have never experieced the loss of traction I did on that cold, wet day except on gravel. The roads were wet but it had rained alot only about 6 hours prior.

Also the front tire is dry rotting around the sidewall to the point where you can stick a finger nail in and touch the inner belt of the tire. The back is only about 1 year old and is starting to dry rot. I asked my friend, who rides an R1 and been ridding for about 2 years,and also works at a tire place, and he said it should be alright till the spring. No Way.

This only adds onto the mounting problems of this bike. Yet another thing that needs replaced or fixed!!!!!
 

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Just another thought...at low speeds and if the front wheel is turned slighly by front braking it can cause the bike to go down...at low speed (parking speeds) I use more rear brake...all other time I use front only....
 

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lowside?

Even with crappy, old tires and wet weather--How can you lowside at 2mph?

Seems like many are familiar with MSF course here. In mine, we would hit a straight line and nail front brake until IT skidded. Nobody fell over heading into it at much more than 2mph.

Perhaps you were turning a bit right at the end and/or a tire-grooved lane had you on the downslope.

I agree with everyone that your tires could have been the cause, but if you fell at such a low speed, there may be ANOTHER fall waiting for you due to some other stuff.

Good luck and stay upright!
 

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There are several variables involved in you going down as stated but I think the biggest one is deffinately that tire. I cant imagine riding on a 5 year old tire with dry rot. You might as well have the front tire of a big wheel on your bike!!! I just replaced my front tire today, it was completellly bald from the weekends ridding and still I could stoppie in the rain with it, because its still soft. Hard tires are the worst!!!!!!!!Get that thing replaced ASAP
 

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For what it's worth, I just about went down about a month ago when turning right from a stop sign. It was at night, but I don't think the there was anything on the road. I was just getting confident with the bike, and in the middle of the turn I felt the rear start to slide a little. For some reason I decided to roll on a little more to straighten it out. Next thing I know the bike is almost sideways and the headlight is pointed straight up in the air. Somehow I managed to get a foot down and keep the tire spinning until I got the bike back upright (cat like reflexes? :rolleyes: ) Anyway, from what I have read afterward I figure that it was a combination of the tires being cold and I was probably sitting too far forward on the seat (complete stop + short legs) so there was not much weight over the rear.

Just something else to consider.
 

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One thing I see to is, that you where proably neverous or a little scared of the rain. Which also helped you low side. You proably locked up your front tire.
 
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