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Spills and Thrills

Some of the slipperiest surfaces you will encounter on a motorcycle are those where a liquid has overflowed or something like gravel has spilt onto the road from a truck. Most of the time we never see the vehicle leaving their mark, but it just so happens that most spills are at intersections, curves and corners where gravel, diesel oil, or landfill poop has overflowed its’ container. In the wet during a rainy day the rainbow effect of oils is easy to spot and even smell, but at night it is nearly impossible to spot without proper lighting. Diesel fuel is the liquid most often spilled on the roadway, it evaporates slower than gasoline and leaves an oily film so heads up when you are near a truck stop, landfill, or industrial area where big trucks might be.
Do not panic if your tires happen find that slick spot on the road, intersection or curve.
Easy does it on making any move including backing off the throttle too fast. Remember braking will lock up your wheels very easily giving you no control on where you go, and too much leaning or steering in the grease will take you down faster than a quick look at a cute girl with your wife on the back. In the ‘grease’ keep you and your scooter as upright as you can, sit up straight with a slight ‘knees squeeze’ on the tank, arms relaxed and a gentle grip on the handgrips.
Now you have made it through the mess, but don’t get too excited. Your tires have brought some of the hazard with and it will take a mile or two to wear the slick stuff off, so ride accordingly. Remember, spills and thrills in the grease are like having a bad mother-in-law, if you encounter a hazardous slick spot on a curve or corner you will probably see more of the same around the next bend. Be prepared by backing off a little more than normal and scanning the road ahead by at least 12 seconds.
Hammer
ALR Road Captain, AL Omaha Post 1

Read more in Rider Safety Corner

 

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