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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am putting this up so others can learn from my mistake - and I am totally open to criticism here!

Started pissing rain on my way home, leaving lots of room and going at what I thought to be an OK speed for the conditions, well under the limit. Looked away for half a second to check intersection as cars in-front braked, look back and see red lights. Tap the brakes and boom, bike fishtails wildly (go-pro mounted on handlebars) back and forth. I actually thought to myself "I'm going to ditch the bike, I won't recover" but easing off the controls I managed to get it back at the last second. I was able to steer between the cars and lane split as I came to a stop. Waved a silent thank-you/SORRY! to the car behind me.

Lesson learned / re-iterated - Don't ever drop your attention from what's in-front of you, and riding in the rain is insanely dangerous!

:angel9:

Video:
 

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Thats a good video, and thanks for posting it. You knwo posting it gives us all license to criticize, right? And NONE of the rest of us have ever done anything like this.....so, with that being said....May I be the first? Meant with all due respect for you having the guts to post it...

You missed your braking point by about 100 yards. Braking should have started well before the intersection started. Notice how traffic is slowing?

Also, did you really lose the front, or did the back lock? It looks to me like the back brake locked up right on the painted line of the crosswalk. This video coudl be the poster child of why we need abs.

Again, thanks for posting and its for sure something to be aware of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Totally open to criticism. I took the video down though because it create a google+ account as part of my gmail, sigh.

And yes you are right about the brake point, it was a total screw up on my part.

I tapped the front brake and the back went out from behind me, didn't touch the rear brake (I don't think).

I'll see if there's another video service to re-host it.
 

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Host it on photo bucket.
 

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Id be a liar if i said this has never happened to me. Be careful out there. Speaking of rain. Riding in it's for the birds.
 

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Riding in the rain will teach you incredible smoothness, both on and off the throttle and brakes. I don't especially enjoy it, but I spent a lot of time in the rain this past track day season. It seemed like probably over a third of our track days had some rain. As Instructors, we don't get the option of sitting out a session just because it's raining. We go out and work on being smooth, smooth, smooth.......and not crashing in front of our customers! :cool:
 

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Totally open to criticism. I took the video down though because it create a google+ account as part of my gmail, sigh.

And yes you are right about the brake point, it was a total screw up on my part.

I tapped the front brake and the back went out from behind me, didn't touch the rear brake (I don't think).

I'll see if there's another video service to re-host it.
I didn't get a chance to watch the video before you took it down, but the statement that you made......"I tapped the front brakes", gives me pause. Tapping them implies that the brakes were not applied smoothly....is that what you are saying or was that a misstatement? Doing anything less than smooth and deliberate in the rain will cause issues. This certainly isn't meant to be criticism, I'm just wondering what the cause really was.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I didn't get a chance to watch the video before you took it down, but the statement that you made......"I tapped the front brakes", gives me pause. Tapping them implies that the brakes were not applied smoothly....is that what you are saying or was that a misstatement? Doing anything less than smooth and deliberate in the rain will cause issues. This certainly isn't meant to be criticism, I'm just wondering what the cause really was.
I wasn't paying attention, and when I looked back all I saw were the cars stopped with their brake lights on. I panicked enough to tap the brakes for a split second instead of a smooth movement, which in the rain lead to losing control.
 

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I wasn't paying attention, and when I looked back all I saw were the cars stopped with their brake lights on. I panicked enough to tap the brakes for a split second instead of a smooth movement, which in the rain lead to losing control.
Gotcha! Panicking in that type of situation is common. Practicing emergency stops using very quick but smooth inputs will certainly train you mind/body to react in a manner that isn't panicky, and allow you to control the situation much better. As I stated earlier, I hope you heal up quickly and fully and give some though to returning to riding. Maybe try some track days if you get a chance and get a feeling for what you and the bike are capable of doing in a safe learning environment.
 

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Riding in the rain will teach you incredible smoothness, both on and off the throttle and brakes. I don't especially enjoy it, but I spent a lot of time in the rain this past track day season. It seemed like probably over a third of our track days had some rain. As Instructors, we don't get the option of sitting out a session just because it's raining. We go out and work on being smooth, smooth, smooth.......and not crashing in front of our customers! :cool:
Had a rain soaked day at Beaver Run a couple years back, it was pouring at various times. Amazing how much speed we were still able to carry in those conditions, a true eye opener and it really showed the differences between riders who were actually "smooth" and those who thought they were. Outside of disgusting heavy wet leathers and a bike that took a couple hours to totally clean it was an awesome learning experience, I had been caught in the rain plenty of times street riding but the track took it to another level.
 

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If it just started to rain, then of course you know the road was extra slippery. Perhaps your front braking unloaded the rear just enough to lose traction....did you pull in the clutch? If not the back tire would have been fighting the engine, and that could have started the fish tail....another reason why a slipper clutch would be nice
 

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I dont believe the OP crashed or anything like that. He did an incredible job of making the best out of a bad situation and avoided crashing, or hitting anyone.

Next rain storm, go find a parking lot and practice braking. You'll be surprised how hard you can brake on wet roads.

I hope he gets the video back up. It really shows how important it is to ride your own ride. Even keeping pace with cars might not be a great idea, especially in the conditions he was in. Drop over to a side street where the speeds are more manageable.
 

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Years ago, I was terrified of riding in the rain. I just happened to be on vacation in TN and riding through Deals Gap.......in a pretty hard rain. I had people passing me because I was riding like a 90 Y.O. grandma. Finally, I decided that I would test the tire a bit. I sped up a little bit and then slowly started applying the brakes.....harder and harder. I was amazed at how well they gripped, so I picked up the pace a little at a time. By the end of the 11 mile run, I was hanging off the bike, leaning more than I thought was possible and a one point, actually felt my rainsuit pants leg touch the pavement.
 
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Chalk that one up to lesson learned. I get distracted at times myself. Be glad that you locked up the back brake and not the front.
 

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Thirty years ago when I was in college, I rode in the rain (and even snow) out of necessity not desire. I didn't own a car for a couple years. I got a big eye opener one day when I rode through standing water on the road and discovered the front tire was hydroplaning and no longer in contact with the pavement. The scary part was the turn fast approaching. Luckily I got to shallow water pretty quick and regained some control. It's amazing how water changes the dynamic of riding a bike.
 

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I used to ride in the rain a lot, the worst part for me was the lousy visibility through my visor. That and riding over wet manhole covers and railroad tracks, incredibly slippery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Gotcha! Panicking in that type of situation is common. Practicing emergency stops using very quick but smooth inputs will certainly train you mind/body to react in a manner that isn't panicky, and allow you to control the situation much better. As I stated earlier, I hope you heal up quickly and fully and give some though to returning to riding. Maybe try some track days if you get a chance and get a feeling for what you and the bike are capable of doing in a safe learning environment.
Thanks man, luckily I did not bail, but I appreciate the concern :) Big reminder / lesson learned here.
 

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Thanks for the video. Good save. Even when you've practiced braking a lot it's hard to overcome the human reaction to get on the brakes too quickly when something unexpected happens.

Or your reaction was ok for dry, but not wet.
 
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