Tire traction is important for braking, accelerating, and turning. The faster you go, the more traction required for quick stopping and hard turning. That’s one reason speeding is so dangerous. Your tires’ limited traction means you won’t have enough to stop on a dime or turn a tight corner without your bike skidding out from under you. Instead, you will have to stay within the maximum traction capability of your tires with the road. This means it will take longer to stop, and your turning ability is limited to gentler curves at high speeds.
The concept of always keeping plenty of traction in reserve is useful in that it will prevent motorcycle accidents involving loss of traction. As mentioned before, your tires have a limited amount of traction that you never want to exceed. Accelerating, braking, and turning each by themselves use up some of this traction. When you accelerate and turn at the same time, each action takes its share of traction from your reserve, leaving you with less left over than if you did either by itself. This is why motorcyclists accelerate out of a turn. As they leave the turn, their lean (turn radius) reduces, which frees up more traction for accelerating.
On the other hand, if you are on a curve that gets tighter as you go around it (a curve of decreasing radius), you will have to turn (lean) harder and use up increasing amounts of traction as you go through it. Accelerating as you do this will use still more of your limited traction. This is a mistake because you may exceed your tires’ maximum traction capacity. Getting through curves like this requires entering them at a slower speed so that you have plenty of reserve traction to handle it. Remember that turning at lower speeds use less traction than at higher speeds.
Always do your braking before entering a curve when all of your tires’ traction is available. Once in the turn, stay off the brakes and maintain a steady throttle. Letting up on the throttle or braking is a mistake because more of your weight will shift forward on to the front tire, which may exceed its traction limit. In addition, the braking effect will put further traction demands on your tires.
Another point to remember is that patches of sand, dirt, gravel, or water reduce traction. Therefore, keeping plenty of traction in reserve while turning the corner reduces your chances of sliding on the slippery patch. In addition, you can momentarily (for a second) reduce your lean while on the slippery patch so that you reduce your traction demand on your tires. This briefly straightens out your path while traversing the patch.
If an accident injured you and you require legal assistance, contact us at Hogan Injury.