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Infidel
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6,331 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question for you (or any knowledgeable member).

On roads being repaved, one often encounters lanes of different height.

I know the general advice is to slow and addess the height differential as close to 90 degrees as possible.

I wonder if you know of any techniques or tips for this situation at speed, if absolutely neccessary.

regards,

wyo
 

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Administrator
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You might have missed it but I think Harris is on vaca for the next 2 weeks or something like that.
 

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The Anti-RUB
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1,901 Posts
This is something I would like to know as well. Always makes me nervous dealing with uneven roads.
 

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9,150 Posts
I'm in for a reply.... I run over some uneven seems on the freeways out here and am always a little nervous about it. At speed, there is no way to get to 90º.
 

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ORIGINAL DOOF BABE
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3,954 Posts
I'd like to hear any info on this subject. They're widening the main drag to and from the island here and the construction company is doing a SH*TTY job of it. The lanes are all different heights (2-3" difference) with sudden dropoffs and potholes, and it all changes every night after the construction crews leave, so if you think you have to watch out in one area, it'll be different the next day. And of course there's only one way on and off the island. Whee!
 
G

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Wyo,

The height difference created by different pavement thicknesses can be disconcerting for sure. However, it typically looks worse than it is. Often the new pavement is much darker than the older pavement, which increases the appearance of a height difference. The problem with this is that the edge tends to draw your focus, and that means the rider is not looking at his intended path, but instead down at the ground. Although the edge appears intimidating, it is well within the motor's ability to negotiate. Usually the best method to move onto the higher strip is to set up in the opposite side of the lane you're in fom the edge, and look far ahead, to where you want to be in the higher lane. Make a deliberate countersteering movement, to initiate your lane change, this will put you at the greatest angle to the edge at the point you cross it. Then initiate a deliberate opposite countersteer to bring the motor back into the direction of the road. If all of this is done while keeping your focus out and on your intended path, you'll find the edge has passed with less trouble than you anticipated. This method also gives you the least time with the two wheels on different surfaces, which is what creates the "squirrley" feeling no one likes.

Sometimes traffic won't let you make the transistion described above, and you'll have to make a more gradual shift of lanes. In that case proper focus becomes more critical. The uneasy feeling will also be increased, as the tires edge sideways up the lip of the new pavement. However, if you resist the urge to look down at the edge, and maintain a firm, but relaxed grip, the machine will remain fully in your control.

Of course the key to this is to practice it. Most of us only will attempt these lane changes when we have to, and thus haven't worked out the techniques when traffic and speed are high. If you find road with a strip like this, especially if it's not heavily travelled, seize the opportunity to practice thise lanes changes, at various angles and speeds. That way, when you're on the interstate, in heavy traffic, you'll be ready to shine.

Harris
 

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ORIGINAL DOOF BABE
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3,954 Posts
Harris said:
Wyo,

The height difference created by different pavement thicknesses can be disconcerting for sure. However, it typically looks worse than it is. Often the new pavement is much darker than the older pavement, which increases the appearance of a height difference. The problem with this is that the edge tends to draw your focus, and that means the rider is not looking at his intended path, but instead down at the ground. Although the edge appears intimidating, it is well within the motor's ability to negotiate. Harris
Hey Harris -

One more question: What's the MAXIMUM height that you think a motorcycle can safely cross in a situation like this? I've had a close look at the height differences on the roads around here and some of them have to be 2 or 3 inches. Does it differ depending on the size of the bike you're riding?

Thanks!
 

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It does depend on the bike, mostly the front tire size. A big fat wheel on a bagger handles road surface differences better than a skinny little front tire on a wide glide.

Maximum height depends more on the rider than the bike! If you cross like Harris said 2-3 in should not be a problem.
 
G

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Very true that different bikes will handle better or worse in a given situation. During repaving the edge is generally feathered down to the old surface (although steeply), so you can negotiate more than you would think. 2 or 3 inches, while a lot, is well within the physical capability of any motor.

Harris
 

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ORIGINAL DOOF BABE
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3,954 Posts
Harris said:
Very true that different bikes will handle better or worse in a given situation. During repaving the edge is generally feathered down to the old surface (although steeply), so you can negotiate more than you would think. 2 or 3 inches, while a lot, is well within the physical capability of any motor.

Harris
I didn't notice much "feathering" of the edges - looked like a pretty sharp edge, but with your input that it's well within the physical capability of any motor, I feel better. Now all I have to worry about is the mental capability of the rider! ;)

Thanks for the info!
 
G

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Often the "feathering" isn't much, and is only the angle down that is a characteristic of the asphalt material. Particularly if the paving just happened, the edge can be steep, since cars going on and off the edge tend to help too. However, there won't be a straight 90 degree edge.

Harris
 
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