HANDLING SPECIAL SITUATIONS: COPING WITH A SKID
A Skid – that’s when your heart leaps up to your throat because your wheels have lost traction! You might hit a patch of gravel 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, gravel-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 gravel 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-sped 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.
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