Tar Snakes - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 25 Old 04-26-2012, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Tar Snakes

I just got my 07' wee in January and have put just over 3,300 miles on it so far. So I'm still very new. On my first Ride/Camp weekend, I had my first, "OMG, I'm goin' down moment."

The guys I was with were all on sport-touring bikes except one who was on an 11' Wee. They have been riding for years (very skilled/safe riders) and were keeping a much faster pace than I or my buddy Nick on the 11' Wee. So while we weren't lighting fires with our pace, we were riding "spirited" as I call it.

The weather was perfect, high in low 70's and clear skies and the roads were very clean. Nick and I were humming along (I was in front) and then all of a sudden the road surface changed and was covered in tar snakes. The first turn I hit a tar snake, the rear wheel snapped out from under me faster than I could imagine. I was in a decent lean, the bike leaned more, foot hit the ground but I was able to stand the bike back up and keep on.

I chimed in on the Sena to warn Nick but he experienced the same slide. We both slowed our pace. But even riding at the posted speed, the rear was still snapping out on the tar snakes, both bikes.

So my questions are:

What is the best method of riding through these damn things? Just sak up and power through them?

Also, is the Metzler/Wee just not happy on these things? Because my buddies on the sport touring bikes sure whipped over them without much thought. Don't get me wrong, they noticed them and felt them but they seem to upset the Wee a bit more. I don't want to dismiss that me being new I may just need to get used to it. As it was the first real pucker moment. But Nick also felt a whole lot of sqirm on his Wee.

Tom G
Atlana
07' weeeeee!!!
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post #2 of 25 Old 04-26-2012, 01:22 PM
 
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Been there! There are a few roads in N GA that are nearly ruined thanks to those tar snakes. I was sliding around on them last weekend just trying to come to a stop. And they just get worse as they get hotter.
About the only thing you can do, unless you are a bonzai sport bike guy who prizes speed over life and limb, is to slow down and try to stay more upright. They are still pretty treacherous though. Sometimes they will catch you by surprise and about the only thing you can do is hold on and trust that you will get traction back after a brief slide.
On a related note, I found that the Conti Trail Attacks I had on my Vee originally handled tar snakes a million times better than the Tourance EXPs that I put on it later. I hated those Tourances if I'm being honest - they just never inspired any kind of confidence on the road for me. Just my opinion however.
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post #3 of 25 Old 04-26-2012, 01:23 PM
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Had this experience this weekend with Shinko 705's.
Dont remember ever feeling that with the Conti Trailattacks.
But I had never ridden this particular road before.
Mike

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post #4 of 25 Old 04-26-2012, 02:02 PM
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Conditions are more treacherous for me when tar snakes and hard and slippery, rather than soft and sticky.
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post #5 of 25 Old 04-26-2012, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stratlanta View Post
I found that the Conti Trail Attacks I had on my Vee originally handled tar snakes a million times better than the Tourance EXPs that I put on it later. I hated those Tourances if I'm being honest - they just never inspired any kind of confidence on the road for me. Just my opinion however.
This is good to know, as the front will need to be replaced very soon. The rear was new when I bought the bike. I haven't decided on sticking with the Metzler or not.

I need to check the GPS data but I think the road was Unicoi Turnpike just north of Helen. We were heading south to get on to Richard B Russell.

Tom G
Atlana
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post #6 of 25 Old 04-26-2012, 02:43 PM
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Conditions are more treacherous for me when tar snakes and hard and slippery, rather than soft and sticky.
Agreed.

[I]When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.[/I]
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post #7 of 25 Old 04-26-2012, 03:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cameraman View Post
This is good to know, as the front will need to be replaced very soon. The rear was new when I bought the bike. I haven't decided on sticking with the Metzler or not.

I need to check the GPS data but I think the road was Unicoi Turnpike just north of Helen. We were heading south to get on to Richard B Russell.
Definitely check out the Conti Trail Attacks. Those things stuck to the pavement like glue. You'll read some complaints about front wheel shake, and mine did that eventually, but that was when they were literally at the edge of their useful life.
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post #8 of 25 Old 04-26-2012, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Correction on the road, it was a section of Hwy 28 North of Franklin, NC.

...

I will deff look harder at the Conti. Thanks.

We are planning a ride/camp weekend up The Blue Ridge Pkwy in June so I will prob need a new tire before that trip.

Tom G
Atlana
07' weeeeee!!!
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post #9 of 25 Old 04-26-2012, 10:41 PM
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I don't like tar snakes whatever the tire. I have found that staying loose on the handlebars will make the bike ride better over them. That and slowing some after the first ones.

I know this from a friends reaction to them (he found out about them his first year of riding) he tightened up on his grips after he first hit some. He tells me that it made for a wild ride. We talked about it (with me trying to figure out why I didn't have the same ride as he and decided that is was because I stayed loose on my handlebars during this section) and went back and re-rode the same route the next day. He concentrated on staying loose on his bars and told me that it was a big difference. They still scared the crap out of him but he didn't feel like he was going to loose it any more.

------------------
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post #10 of 25 Old 04-27-2012, 10:27 AM
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Tar snakes do that regardless of the state you are riding in. Scary at higher speeds and worse when they are newer snakes. Only tires I ever had that didn't care were Pirellis.
One of the guys at the Havasu rally was complaining about the snakes with his new 705's. I have new Battlewings on the bike and they don't still so well on snakes either.
Just a fact of the road, like cow poop!
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