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Many motorcycle riders choose to ride their machine no matter what, even if it’s raining and snowing outside. Although this practice can be done safely, there are some serious safety issues that could arise from it if the rider doesn’t know.
Water can be a very dangerous element on the road for a motorcycle if a motorcyclist doesn’t know how to handle it. Many riders believe that hydroplaning is not possible because their bike has only two wheels and is lighter than a car. This is a false assumption.
A motorcycle can also be used as a hydroplane. A motorcycle is as vulnerable to hydroplaning than any other vehicle. Hydroplaning on a motorcycle can have far more serious consequences than other vehicles. Although motorcycle tires are designed to repel water, the effectiveness of these treads becomes less effective as they travel at higher speeds. Wet roads
Hydroplaning is something you don’t ever want to encounter, especially on a motorcycle. You may feel panicky and take the wrong steps to avoid it. It’s important to know what to do ahead of time to keep you safe on wet roads.
How A Motorcycle Hydroplanes Works
Most experienced riders will ride on wet roads, regardless of whether you choose to ride in a storm or get stuck in one. It’s a scary situation, but if you know how to handle it you can always arrive home safely.
Hydroplaning, also known as aquaplaning, is when water remains between the tire and the road. This can cause loss of traction and eventually loss of control.
The friction between the road surface and the tires is what enables a motorcycle to perform all of its functions. To maintain the required friction and control the bike, the treads on motorcycle tires channel water between them and the road. If a motorcycle and it’s tires encounter more water than it can dissipate, hydroplaning occurs.
Though the engineering of motorcycle tires and treads continue to improve over time, they’re still far from perfect and will never guarantee 100% traction in every weather condition.
You should also consider the wear and tear of motorcycle tires. Not everyone changes their tires as often, which can lead to less effective, smoother tires that provide little protection. Hydroplaning also depends a lot on the depth of the standing water and the motorcycle’s ability to handle it.
Vehicles should not be driving within the first ten to 20 minutes of a storm. This is because they are at greater risk of hydroplaning.. The water is mixed with the oil residue. You are at risk for hydroplaning and the oil makes it more slippery. That’s a bad mixture to be in.
Hydroplaning is more likely if you travel faster than normal during storms. Particularly, hydroplaning rates increase when you go faster than 35 miles an hour. The tire should be able to roll faster than the water, so the water can’t get underneath it.
You must be mentally and physically prepared to ride your motorcycle on wet roads. You will be safer if you are able to safely ride on water.
There are simple ways to prevent hydroplaning. It is important to not ride on any wet roads. Some motorcyclists don’t mind riding in storms while others absolutely hate it because of the safety issues. It is dangerous to ride on wet roads for many reasons, including lightning. (Click here to read our article about riding through a lightning storm).
Before you ride, ensure that your tire pressure is at a proper PSI. Hydroplaning on wet roads can be greatly increased if the PSI of your motorcycle tires is too low or high.
Sometimes you may find yourself unexpectedly caught up in a storm against all your will. In a case like this it’s best to stop riding and wait for the storm to pass. This can lead to some issues, as the water may still be there after the storm passes. It might take several days for it to dry out. Most of us don’t have that kind of time.
There are some safety precautions that you can take to avoid hydroplaning if you find yourself in an emergency situation. Your speed should be reduced to around 35 miles an hour, If you’re on a busy road with crazy drivers speedily passing you, Avoid them by using back roads.
If you’re on a multi-lane highway or freeway, stay either on the far right or the far left lane. You will no longer have to be concerned about other drivers passing you in your lane.
The driest place on the road is the best. Many roads will have grooves that allow water to flow in one direction. Keep your eyes on the side that has the fewest puddles.
Avoid riding in large puddles if possible. Large puddles might be hiding dangers such as large holes. A lot of times, a large puddle is all that’s needed to hydroplane on a motorcycle.
What to do if your motorcycle is hydroplaning
Hydroplaning can be avoided by being prepared. This will make you feel more confident in your riding skills. There is an art to handling hydroplaning, so it’s important you know exactly what to do.
You’ll easily be able to tell if you’re hydroplaning because your back tire will seem a little “loose” You may also move a little from one side to the other. You may feel the steering is a bit loose. It is possible to feel lost of control or uneasy about your motorcycle.
Many hydroplaners panic upon starting to hydroplane. The panic could include increasing speed or braking hard.
Hydroplaning can be a frightening experience. It’s certainly easier said than done, trust me I’ve been there. An anxious disposition is not good for you. Instead, calm down and be confident that you are in control. If you can’t control your speed or brakes, don’t do it. You will lose control.
You can simply let go of the throttle and coast through any situation that hydroplaning may present. You should steer with a gentle and subtle touch. Avoid swerving, turning or steering too hard. You should drive straight as possible.
Do not press down too hard on the brake pedal if you need to brake. Instead, hold the brakes lightly and release the pedal repeatedly until the motorcycle regains control and traction.
Why Hydroplaning Can Be Harmful on A Motorcycle
Hydroplaning on a motorcycle is worse than any other type of hydroplaning vehicle, even though it’s lighter due to its aerodynamics.
Most other vehicles have four tires, so that is more tires to hydroplane but it’s also more chances for the vehicle to regain traction on the road. A vehicle with four tires is also wider and less likely than a vehicle with three.
Motorcycles can experience the same slide as four-wheeled vehicles. A motorcycle has only two wheels so a slide like this can tip it and cause it to tip over.
Falling on an open road while it’s raining with already somewhat distracted drivers in a storm is a recipe for disaster. Further injury can occur if you and your motorcycle are not seen by others.
Is it okay to let a motorcycle get soaked? Motorcycles are designed to be wet. It is OK for it to be rained on whether in the driveway or while you’re riding it. But, too much water can cause damage to your motorbike. You can click here to read my article.
Hydroplaning accidents can be caused by you. Hydroplaning can cause property damage and you are considered to be at fault. Most people believe that hydroplaning is not. “an act of nature,” It can be prevented by taking the necessary safety precautions.