Wet tire traction? - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 24 Old 01-29-2010, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Wet tire traction?

Having alternate transportation, I don't often ride in the rain, and every time I do I am pretty wimpy on the corners, so I thought I would throw out this question.
I run Pilot Road 2's on my 919, and under normal conditions, on a good road I get within about 1/8" of the edge of the tire.
Now, the Pilot Roads get good marks for wet traction, but what does that mean. Suppose I go down the same quality pavement I did when I got to the edge of the tire. How far can I lean? Half way, a quarter, 95%? Is there a ballpark number I can use as a guide?

Thanks, Guy

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post #2 of 24 Old 01-29-2010, 06:51 PM
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As far as you feel comfortable. The bike and tires can go much farther than you will feel comfortable doing...




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post #3 of 24 Old 01-29-2010, 07:46 PM
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That's an awesome shot.

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post #4 of 24 Old 01-31-2010, 04:50 PM
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My tilt meter don't go that high in the rain!

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post #5 of 24 Old 01-31-2010, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholas View Post
Having alternate transportation, I don't often ride in the rain, and every time I do I am pretty wimpy on the corners, so I thought I would throw out this question.
I run Pilot Road 2's on my 919, and under normal conditions, on a good road I get within about 1/8" of the edge of the tire.
Now, the Pilot Roads get good marks for wet traction, but what does that mean. Suppose I go down the same quality pavement I did when I got to the edge of the tire. How far can I lean? Half way, a quarter, 95%? Is there a ballpark number I can use as a guide?

Thanks, Guy
What you can do and what the bike can do are likely two totally different things (as they are for all of us, but more true when rain is involved). PR 2CT's are the best wet weather tires I have ridden with (I live in the Seattle area, so I get a little bit of time in the rain....). That being said, virtually all of the new (good quality)tires are better than what we had 10+ years ago. I spent 4+ hours riding in the rain yesterday, and the stock tires on my Versys did just fine. You being smooth and building your wet weather skills over time is the trick. By the way, the bike can lean to 100% in the wet (of what you do in the dry, unless you are someone dragging elbow), if you do your part. But, I know that I usually don't take it as far in the rain as in the wet.

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post #6 of 24 Old 01-31-2010, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sike View Post
By the way, the bike can lean to 100% in the wet...
lol...100% lean is what I'm afraid of in the wet!

I don't push the 'edge of the envelope' so much as stay on the sticky part...





I tend to get much more conservative in my riding when it's wet. I don't feel like taking what seem like risky chances on losing traction and sliding out. I'm sure that I could go faster and lean farther than I do, but I'm ok with that.




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post #7 of 24 Old 01-31-2010, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Shadow View Post
lol...100% lean is what I'm afraid of in the wet!

I don't push the 'edge of the envelope' so much as stay on the sticky part...


I tend to get much more conservative in my riding when it's wet. I don't feel like taking what seem like risky chances on losing traction and sliding out. I'm sure that I could go faster and lean farther than I do, but I'm ok with that.

.
If I haven't ridden for a while in the rain, I can feel my hesitation at a pretty high level. Then, as time moves on, that hesitation fades away. However, I seriously doubt I have ever ridden at or above 90% as hard in the rain as I do on dry pavement. Something about that wet pavement that brings out some level of fear/respect, even if you do it on a regular basis.

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post #8 of 24 Old 02-01-2010, 06:50 AM
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i hear what everyone is saying about the new tires and available traction, but i ride way more hesitant in the rain. there's just too many factors involved(oil on road at a certain place on the road,how rough or smooth the pavement is,etc)for me to be comfortable pushing the envelope. thanks for the info and effort though

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post #9 of 24 Old 02-01-2010, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewvir View Post
i hear what everyone is saying about the new tires and available traction, but i ride way more hesitant in the rain. there's just too many factors involved(oil on road at a certain place on the road,how rough or smooth the pavement is,etc)for me to be comfortable pushing the envelope. thanks for the info and effort though
After the first 45 minutes of rain (after a long dry spell) the road is pretty clean of oil. You have 80-85% of total traction on wet pavement as you do on dry pavement (according to more than one research study). So, relax. You don't have to go ride like a trackday in the rain, but you also don't need to be nervous in the rain (unless you are going way above posted speed limits).

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post #10 of 24 Old 02-01-2010, 08:16 AM
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Just one question; Why do you want to run so hard in the rain? Ever seen a "Slippery when wet" sign? Not a lot of traction on "tar snakes" in the dry, I can't imagine there being much when they're wet. Guardrails look real painful. When it rains, I slow way down.

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post #11 of 24 Old 02-01-2010, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Sniper View Post
Just one question; Why do you want to run so hard in the rain? Ever seen a "Slippery when wet" sign? Not a lot of traction on "tar snakes" in the dry, I can't imagine there being much when they're wet. Guardrails look real painful. When it rains, I slow way down.
For some of us, riding in the rain is a must, if we want to ride on a regular basis. Yes, I do slow down in the rain. But, not to the semi-paranoid level some folks get, because there is no valid reason for it. Wet pavement offers more traction, with modern tires, than most people could exploit if it was the same road on a dry day.

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post #12 of 24 Old 02-01-2010, 08:52 AM
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I'm with you Rod. In the rain, I'm happy just poking along at the speed limit.

You guys mentioned the Pilot Road 2s. Michelin claims a dry lean of 51* and a wet lean of 43*. That's crazy to me.

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post #13 of 24 Old 02-01-2010, 08:58 AM
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@Shaughnessy it is amazing what a thousand dollars worth of tires, traction control and elite riders can do, huh?

As for wet conditions, I think 85% of dry conditions is easily attainable (in ideal situations). If it is not, then maybe you are riding above your head in the dry.

This comes right down to the tire arguments in the dry...
The question: 'I need more traction, what tire is stickier'
The true answer: 'The tire is not your problem, Learn to ride'

I understand being apprehensive in the rain. I also understand visibility is worse in the rain, so backing it down to less than 85% is in fact the smart thing. BUT it is not due to the bike or the wet road. It is due to all the other conditions that exist in the rain.

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post #14 of 24 Old 02-01-2010, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sike View Post
After the first 45 minutes of rain (after a long dry spell) the road is pretty clean of oil. You have 80-85% of total traction on wet pavement as you do on dry pavement (according to more than one research study). So, relax. You don't have to go ride like a trackday in the rain, but you also don't need to be nervous in the rain (unless you are going way above posted speed limits).
i wouldn't call me nervous more like cautious. i've been known to spin the rear a little just for fun. and the tires i have will pull the front end when the road is wet.i don't ride like an azz but just like the truck in the snow i'll slam on the brakes just to see how much traction is available in case i need it

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post #15 of 24 Old 02-01-2010, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaughnessy View Post
As far as you feel comfortable. The bike and tires can go much farther than you will feel comfortable doing...

Ya, cool shot, but those race tires are probably silicone based and if you pushed a couple of rubber Pilots like that in the rain, you will slip and slide on your hide garunteeeeeeeedY!

I said I never had much use for one.
Never said I didn't know how to use it."
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post #16 of 24 Old 02-01-2010, 11:44 AM
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As a very experienced rider in practically any condition you can think of I can say that riding in the wet can be one hell of a lot of fun as long as you know the bike will do what you tell it to -- just keep the control inputs as smooth as possible. Once a tire starts to break loose hydroplaning isn't very far behind, and it takes a sure hand to stay upright at that point.

To be fair much of my talent in the rain came to me during one endurance race in which it started to hail (Heavy but pretty small, maybe 5mm. Still hurt when it hit you though.) and I elected to press on. My lap times took a major hit, slowing by as much as 30 seconds per lap for the first half hour, then started to improve. By the third hour my laps were within 4 seconds of my best dry time. By the time the hail / rain stopped we were 42 laps in the lead. Unfortunately I was so tired by then I had to pit for a rider change and he made maybe five laps before wadding the bike into a ball of tinfoil with one and a half hours to go. We lost by two laps.

On the street I tend to slow down a bit more, but have the assurance that if something should come up I have plenty in reserve to keep on two wheels.

Of all the controls I'd say the least affected by rain is the brakes -- assuming the tires are up to the task your stopping distances will be very close to what you could expect in the dry. This is why I run PR2's -- their wet manners are close to full wets for the track, but they last 1000 times as long. Go figure.

Quote:
Ya, cool shot, but those race tires are probably silicone based and if you pushed a couple of rubber Pilots like that in the rain, you will slip and slide on your hide garunteeeeeeeedY!
Pilot Roads are silicone based, and you can tell in the wet. And while I have slipped and slid tires in the wet, I haven't slipped and slid on my hide.

Rob

If it has already been done, it is safe to assume it is possible to do it.
On the other hand, if it has not been done never assume it is impossible to do it.
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post #17 of 24 Old 02-01-2010, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robtharalson View Post


Pilot Roads are silicone based, and you can tell in the wet. And while I have slipped and slid tires in the wet, I haven't slipped and slid on my hide.

Rob

That's YOU, daddy-o. BTW, silicone based would be the wet racing tires. Dual compound as in the Pilots, Power and Sport is a hybrid that is rubber and silicone based. Just keeping it real for us simple guys to understand.

I said I never had much use for one.
Never said I didn't know how to use it."
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post #18 of 24 Old 02-01-2010, 02:20 PM
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As a track instructor I have ridden in the wet, at speed, more hours than I can even count... Here are a few key points I have learned:

1. Full on Wet Weather Race tires are like cheating and you simply cannot compare DOT street tires capabilities to them at all.

2. Current DOT Street tires are excellent for riding in wet conditions. In comparison DOT street tires are to DOT race tires what Full Wet tires are to Street Tires.

3. The biggest secret to riding in the wet is being smooth! Smooth with your handling inputs, smooth with your throttle inputs & damn sure smooth with the braking inputs. There is no tolerance at all for heavy handed tactics in the wet especially on a liter sized bike... If you can learn to go fast in wet conditions then you will be uber fast when it dries out.

4. The second biggest secret is make damn sure your tires are already scrubbed. If you go out on new tires in the rain without a chance to get them scuffed in you are in for a rude awakening. It is true that tire manufacturers no longer use mold release on a tire during the production process, but the companies that store & transport the tires do in many cases spray them with a protective coating similar to cosmoline to keep them fresh. This coating is slicker than ice when it hits water and it is virtually impossible to get the tire scrubbed clean of this coating until the track dries. If it looks like it could rain then you best have a set of used street tires or at the very least an already scrubbed set waiting to be mounted rather than a brand new set in spare.

5. Pilot Powers or Pilot Power 2 CT's (not to be confused with the Pilot Roads) are my favorite wet weather tire. They can go from wet to dry back to wet with zero changes and can allow you to easily get knee down in everything except standing water. I've known racers to use them for Intermediate wet weather race tires and some company did a test a few years back showing the lean angles you can generate in wet conditions and the Pilot Powers came out on top. Plus they are cheap and even in the dry you can turn some crazy fast lap times with an extremely predictable & telling front tire!

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post #19 of 24 Old 02-01-2010, 02:32 PM
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You said uber!

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post #20 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 07:52 AM
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Damn this place has some real knowledgable and experienced folks!

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post #21 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 09:23 AM
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Keep in mind that everything said above was predicated upon the tire actually being in contact with the asphalt, in other words the water successfully evacuated by the treading. The reality is this, the modern day wet grip is so good when the rubber is in contact, that the safe riding issue really becomes 1 "where in the lane you ride", i.e. on the oil crown when it has just started to rain ? in the ditch in the standing water until the oil is off the crown ? on or off the painted lines ? etc. etc. and 2 how much, if any standing water there is. The more radical the tire treading, as in less of, then the less standing water depth you can carve through. Which is why if I still lived in rainy Vancouver, I'd have Pilot Road 2s on my bike instead of 2CTs. If you know you are going to have serious standing water issues, less land area and more tread area is the way to go, and I'm a fan of continuous treading for such scenarios, ala Road 2s.

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post #22 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 09:53 AM
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Keep in mind that everything said above was predicated upon the tire actually being in contact with the asphalt, in other words the water successfully evacuated by the treading. The reality is this, the modern day wet grip is so good when the rubber is in contact, that the safe riding issue really becomes 1 "where in the lane you ride", i.e. on the oil crown when it has just started to rain ? in the ditch in the standing water until the oil is off the crown ? on or off the painted lines ? etc. etc. and 2 how much, if any standing water there is. The more radical the tire treading, as in less of, then the less standing water depth you can carve through. Which is why if I still lived in rainy Vancouver, I'd have Pilot Road 2s on my bike instead of 2CTs. If you know you are going to have serious standing water issues, less land area and more tread area is the way to go, and I'm a fan of continuous treading for such scenarios, ala Road 2s.
I see that you still have a lot to say....

In my rainy area, Seattle, I too have found the PR2's the best (for me).

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post #23 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
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I see that you still have a lot to say....

In my rainy area, Seattle, I too have found the PR2's the best (for me).
Hi Sike,

Hey, I'm like a teapot............ I have a spout ..........
There you go, just two phrases, not even 3 sentances !
Have a good day and hopefully your weather is such that you can actually go for a ride.

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post #24 of 24 Old 02-27-2010, 10:39 AM
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Hi Sike,

Hey, I'm like a teapot............ I have a spout ..........
There you go, just two phrases, not even 3 sentances !
Have a good day and hopefully your weather is such that you can actually go for a ride.
Stunningly beautiful, just got out my boots and I'm heading North. It has been the warmest winter on record here. Later, Steve

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