Author Topic: How to handle wet leaves?  (Read 3157 times)

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Offline 4Bikes

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How to handle wet leaves?
« on: October 14, 2011, 05:31:18 pm »
I ride a lot of narrow twisty roads in a PA agricultural area.  The roads this time of year can get ugly with everything from farm equipment mud to walnuts the size of golf balls.  We even have horse poop from the Amish Buggies. I can deal with most things by looking ahead, avoidance, and keeping the speed down.
 
I’m looking for advice on how to handle wet leaves.  I ride a 2011 C-14 with the KRTC and ABS, which helps with the starting and stopping.   On a few occasions I found myself deep into a turn and a large patch of wet leaves covers the road.  What is the best way to recover or handle the bike if the front wheel starts to step out, or the rear wheel slides?  Mostly I try to not over react and hope to catch a dry spot.  Is there any best way to handle these turns?
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Offline BackInTheSaddle

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Re: How to handle wet leaves?
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2011, 06:28:37 pm »
Slow down before the turns.  We have the same issue in Minnesota this time of year.
Don, Apple Valley, MN
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Offline oldsawfiler

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Re: How to handle wet leaves?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2011, 06:56:44 pm »
Rake and burn :D
I know I know.  Nobody likes a smart one.

but I beat 2linby to it.
Well...even if you fall on your face you're still moving forward.

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Offline Bergmen

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Re: How to handle wet leaves?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2011, 11:40:39 pm »
Stay vertical through anything that compromises traction. Don't chance it.

Dan
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Offline S Smith

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Re: How to handle wet leaves?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2011, 01:25:14 am »
Minimal lean angle, no abrupt changes in speed or direction.
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Offline Pastor Andy

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Re: How to handle wet leaves?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2011, 02:35:38 pm »
Minimal lean angle, no abrupt changes in speed or direction.

+1 on minimal lean angle.  I have dealt with this too and this is the best advice.
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Offline 2linby

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Re: How to handle wet leaves?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2011, 03:50:06 am »
Rake and burn :D
I know I know.  Nobody likes a smart one.

but I beat 2linby to it.

Drat!  :beerchug:
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Offline 4Bikes

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Re: How to handle wet leaves?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2011, 10:52:11 am »
Thanks for the good advice.  The 35 MPH winds this weekend cleared a lot of the leaves off the roads, but caused another problem.   My brother was following me on a HD Sportster Saturday, when a wind gust knocked down a large 2” diameter branch.  I have to assume it just missed me, and it clocked him on the shoulder and bounced off the bike.  He stayed upright, but his highway peg bar was busted.  It broke the weld from the frame mount.  We assume the bar deflected the branch from the wheels.  That adds another layer of complexity to riding awareness if you need to look for airborne attacks!  ::)
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Offline Gerry B

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Re: How to handle wet leaves?
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2011, 11:02:32 am »
Another type of aerial attack I had to deal with this past weekend was a turkey that took flight just before I got up to it. It came right across the road and I had to literally duck to avoid getting taken out by something the size of a microwave oven that flies! Between those and deer it's random nature attacks. Cool your jets in the fall I say.
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Offline Mad River Marc

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Re: How to handle wet leaves?
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2011, 12:42:36 pm »
+1 on minimal lean angle and taking it easy.

was riding in West Virginia last week and there are some awesome roads there, but there was a LOT of leaves on the road after the rain we had there...  Took it easy and had no problems...
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Offline daddykevin

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One more thing...
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2011, 02:26:38 am »
Learn to weight the outside footpeg in slow speed turns. Like the others said, minumum lean angle, and when you get to the point that the bike begins to "fall" to the inside of the turn, shift your butt to the other side and put your weight on the outside peg. This will allow you make a "trials" turn and control the bike at a very slow speed.

Just my  $.02 worth.

Remember, advice is like eating fish. You have to eat the meat and spit out the bones.  :)
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Offline ConcoursKZ

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Re: How to handle wet leaves?
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2011, 11:04:27 am »
Wet leaves also tend to freeze up and retain ice after the road is dry. So the black ice might be burned off but the leaves are still frozen. Tim
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Offline nitrogen

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Re: How to handle wet leaves?
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2011, 01:37:05 pm »
never tried to take on a turkey, but in the past i have been broadsided by a bear cub. more recently I had some sort of large hawk that had to make an emergency full on wingtip turn, just over the centerline at 3 feet of altitude. i was ducking down as hard as I could. any possibly reduced traction situation set yourself up to need the absolute minimum level of aggressive maneuvering. that way you have the most handling reserve for the unexpected.

Offline WillyP

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Re: How to handle wet leaves?
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2011, 01:45:01 pm »
I did take on a turkey once, fortunately I was driving a full size Chevy van at the time. The turkey, I assume was not so lucky, but he did manage to go running off into the woods.

My incident on leaves however, was on a '72 Triumph and ended with me going over the handlebars. No major injury thank you whoever had cut down the tree I hit.
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Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: How to handle wet leaves?
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2011, 06:03:52 pm »
Wet leaves are, to me, the same as dense loose gravel.

When I see it (scanning ahead like MSF etc. teachs) I pre-brake, slow drastically, move as far to the outside of the curve as I can (prior to hitting the patch of leaves/gravel) and drop it in a line straight to the right lane line / shoulder at the exit. This fast transistion a) lets me stand the bike up quickly without worrying about running off the road, and b) sends me across the patch of slippery stuff straight up (or close to it) with the tires bearing almost no side forces - which is what wrecks you on gravel / slippery stuff in general - and set up to take another right or left if the road doesn't run straight after the exist.

Or if I see that there is more bare pavement than gravel patch / leaves, I'll straighten the corner out as much as possible (considering traffic and road condition) on the entrance (again taking a late entrance, which I always try to do anyway) which of course keeps you more upright.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2011, 06:06:11 pm by Privateer »
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Offline Dalroo

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Re: How to handle wet leaves?
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2011, 09:16:40 pm »
I've been fortunate on wet leaves, but several years ago after riding 200 miles in torrential rains on my Ultra Classis, I took on off-ramp in a construction area that was awash in mud. Not just muddy water, but full on muck. Saw it coming and slowed as much as possible before letting off the brake. Hit the mud in a mild turn at about 15 mph and slid on my butt for about 20 feet with the bike just ahead of me on its right side. About 3K in damage to the Harley requiring replacement of everything hanging off the right side of the bike. Unfortunately in this instance, it was turn or run off the road straight into the muddy median. In hindsight, I was getting close to home and was getting antsy to get off the bike and out of the rain, and should have been riding a bit more cautious.
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Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: How to handle wet leaves?
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2011, 05:59:40 pm »
When I was riding my ZX11 in the south of France, coming down out of the Alps, I had a section of switchbacks to traverse.

Each had a couple of patches of gravel somewhere near the apex. I tried to miss them, but couldn't miss them all. So when it slipped, I just backed off the throttle a little and let it slip, and it would hook up after sliding out of the gravel. Rolling off the throttle kept me from being high-sided when traction came back.
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Offline 2linby

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Re: How to handle wet leaves?
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2011, 10:22:13 pm »
Another type of aerial attack I had to deal with this past weekend was a turkey that took flight just before I got up to it. It came right across the road and I had to literally duck to avoid getting taken out by something the size of a microwave oven that flies! Between those and deer it's random nature attacks. Cool your jets in the fall I say.
I too have dodged many a "turkey"!  :rotflmao:
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Offline ron203

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Re: How to handle wet leaves?
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2011, 11:21:02 pm »
I've been too busy getting leaves out of the yard to ride on them. Around here, it's turkeys and turkey buzzards...
« Last Edit: November 29, 2011, 11:22:45 pm by ron203 »
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Offline Gypsy JR

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Re: How to handle wet leaves?
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2011, 10:06:36 am »
I've been too busy getting leaves out of the yard to ride on them. Around here, it's turkeys and turkey buzzards...

The turkeys get hit by cars and the turkey buzzards clean up the mess?  :beerchug:
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Offline ron203

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Re: How to handle wet leaves?
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2011, 11:27:31 am »
Yep. The buzzards are known around my house at "the clean up crew." But Bambi is still the real problem around here.
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