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This came up in another thread but got lost in the chit-chat. The OP described how he high sided when he lost control in a wide (10') cross-the-road ice patch. Another writer described how he had coasted through a similar patch with the clutch disengaged.
My question: would disengaging the clutch preclude or minimize the chance of a high side whenever the rear breaks loose and drifts out of line? With no power to the rear wheel would there still be enough "thrust" in straightening out to launch the rider over the bars?
 

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Sorry, but I have to say (IMHO)... Why take the risk of wrecking your bike?... Don't dodge ice at all, just put the bike away for the winter... It's not worth it...
 

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Static vs dynamic friction

The rolling tire maintains static friction that is that the tire and the ice have no relative motion at the contact patch (semi true)

Ice is slippery because it is smooth and any additional energy turns the upper surface to liquid water and you are riding on an almost frictionless liquid bearing.

So the best chance is to do your best maintain the static friction by reducing the relative forces on the tire/ice interface.

Clutching eliminates engine braking there is still transmission losses to the clutch but much less than engine braking.

IF IF you were really good and could apply just enough throttle to negate both engine braking and other losses would be the best but very hard to do.

Additionally any motion left/right on the front will also reduce or eliminate the static friction on it.

SO best average bet

Brake as hard as possible before the patch
Enter the patch as vertical as possible
Clutch in
Don't try anything other than to sail through
 

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Last week riding into work I felt some twitches on a road I was riding on when heading into work. I figured that there was ice. As I rode along I saw a line of cars going up a hill very slowly and backed off in hope that by the time I got to the hill they would be clear. The last vehicle was a large white Van. Unfortunately, I couldn't slow down enough to avoid catching them on the hill. As the cars in front of me accelerated the van went very sideways for a second, the driver recovered and then moved on. When I hit the area I just used very steady throttle, neither accelarating nor decelerating, and rode through it. I have been in situations like that several times before and am ready to drop one or both feet to keep the bike upright but didn't need to in this case.

Smooth is the only real answer when you hit ice, clutching would be good if you could do it but realize that when you re-engage you are likely going to break lose the rear wheel unless you can perfectly match the revs.

..Tom
 

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I was the other rider with the clutch in

That was my plan: as close to zero input as possible. I grew up in Minnesota and ice in the winter was part of everyday life. Walking was a test of balance and how well you bounce. Driving a vehicle with four wheels was interesting and I never tried two wheels. I did drive snowmobiles and three wheelers (there were no four wheeled atv's then). We used to go ice fishing and that frequently included driving a vehicle, most times a car or truck, onto a frozen lake. I had lots of practice that included lots of thrills, chills, and spills. :beatnik:

In some cases, you can't use the "clutch in" practice because you're in traffic or need the propulsion to continue to your forward motion. However, whenever I can, I have always attempted to cross slippery patches with the minimal amount of changes to the contact patch. The pitch, roll, or camber of the road surface must be factored into calculations when you're trying to get through a situation with your vehicle as well as you hide intact. We would try stuff, just for fun. Sometimes it was a wild ride, some times it was crazy, but it was always, at least, educational. I managed to never wreck anything too badly. (My brother-in-law sunk a car in a lake because he was too eager to be the first on the ice.:yikes:)
 

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It seems to me that clutch in would be a good idea when crossing ice. That should give you a better chance of not breaking the rear tire lose and getting sideways. A high side is the result of the bike getting sideways and then suddenly regaining traction. Clutch in would not help to avoid a high side after you are already sideways.
 

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Static vs dynamic friction

The rolling tire maintains static friction that is that the tire and the ice have no relative motion at the contact patch (semi true)

Ice is slippery because it is smooth and any additional energy turns the upper surface to liquid water and you are riding on an almost frictionless liquid bearing.

So the best chance is to do your best maintain the static friction by reducing the relative forces on the tire/ice interface.

Clutching eliminates engine braking there is still transmission losses to the clutch but much less than engine braking.

IF IF you were really good and could apply just enough throttle to negate both engine braking and other losses would be the best but very hard to do.

Additionally any motion left/right on the front will also reduce or eliminate the static friction on it.

SO best average bet

Brake as hard as possible before the patch
Enter the patch as vertical as possible
Clutch in

Don't try anything other than to sail through
I agree except to add that I take my feet off the pegs in case the bike does start to go sideways. Of course I've scrubbed as much speed as possible before entering the ice patch. If I understand it correctly, the question was should you clutch in or out once the rear tire starts to move sideways and you are still on ice. To that I'd say clutch in. The lack of friction between the ice and tire will only worsen if there is added resistance do to engine braking.
 

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Static vs dynamic friction

The rolling tire maintains static friction that is that the tire and the ice have no relative motion at the contact patch (semi true)

Ice is slippery because it is smooth and any additional energy turns the upper surface to liquid water and you are riding on an almost frictionless liquid bearing.

So the best chance is to do your best maintain the static friction by reducing the relative forces on the tire/ice interface.

Clutching eliminates engine braking there is still transmission losses to the clutch but much less than engine braking.

IF IF you were really good and could apply just enough throttle to negate both engine braking and other losses would be the best but very hard to do.

Additionally any motion left/right on the front will also reduce or eliminate the static friction on it.

SO best average bet

Brake as hard as possible before the patch
Enter the patch as vertical as possible
Clutch in
Don't try anything other than to sail through
+1 :thumbup:
 

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Sometimes it was a wild ride, some times it was crazy, but it was always, at least, educational. I managed to never wreck anything too badly.
Same here. I have spent years driving on ice and snow, but only a few times on two wheels, that is, on a motorcycle. The couple of times I rode on two of the four wheels of my car was on dry roads (and am in no hurry to do that again).

Much of my winter driving is spent driving sideways, usually deliberately - even more so than on dirt roads. I much prefer driving a manual transmission. I'm in the gear I want, at the rpm I want, there's no torque converter mushing about, and an automatic transmission is not deciding to shift just when the sliding about is getting interesting.

Sometimes (especially if you haven't been throwing it around intentionally, and aren't tuned in) throwing in the clutch can save you as you steer out of a slide with no power, no braking, all the finesse you can muster and the required pucker in your seat. In such situations a car is unlikely to fall over, granted. The idea of imparting minimum forces is the same.

I honestly believe that in any situation, you will do what you have trained your mind and body to do the rest of the time, not some remembering of what an instructor or buddy told you. I find this is true for me in my car and on my bike. Someone who has ridden dirt bikes on loose and muddy surfaces a lot more than I have would likely have the advantage there. Even the bit I have done helps.

I remember reading of Hailwood being not quite able to get a certain motorcycle up to the expected maximum speed. Turns out the rear tire was slipping on black ice. That's a different ball park, folks.

My bike is already parked for the winter. My car (5 cylinders, 5 manual speeds, 4 winter tires) will see me through till spring.

Marc
 

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Note

I intended to communicate that the clutch was pulled in before you entered onto the ice patch

I once slid a 1/4 mile on ice in a bug and nothing would have saved a bike

My idea was like a 10 ft patch of ice with traction either side

I have a great Corvette ice story but its a performance art piece
 

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I've taught skid control for close to a dozen years now, and you can take this for the expert advice it is or discard it as quackery.

Whether on a bike or in a car, shift to neutral (AT) or disengage the engine with the clutch (MT) and center your steering when you have to travel over something slippery (ice, oil, water, etc.). Look far ahead at the horizon and DO NOT EVEN think of the brakes but take your feet/hands away from them to avoid the brake reflex (ABS pulses too slowly to not put a bike down in those circumstances).

The guy who highsided in the other thread started losing control because his rear wheel wasn't spinning freely.
 

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I would leave my feet on the pegs all it will really get you is a broken ankle to go with your bent bike. But I am with FZ1 on this if there is going to be ice leave the bike in the garage.
 

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when ya see ice that you can't avoid , hold a steady line, no abrupt inputs if yer in a slight curve line stay in a slight curve line

smooth is key
This is the best plan in my very limited ice experience.


Mike
 

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What the hell, get it over quickly.
Hit that gas and get ready for a real ride!

I'm with FZ6, I will, very carefully, ride into my garage, plug in the bike and wait for the bad ice to go away. :var_36:
 

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Sorry, but I have to say (IMHO)... Why take the risk of wrecking your bike?... Don't dodge ice at all, just put the bike away for the winter... It's not worth it...
I disagree..... I missed riding for a lot of Ontario winters.... I do not miss riding now...... V stroms are part snowmobile you know...not my bike in the picture, but you can see my point.....it's all about proper equipment and honing your mad skills!!...:biggrinjester:
 

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Planning what to do when you hit ice on a bike is like planning what to do when lightening flashes to avoid getting struck. Better off planning how to recognize icing conditions and get off the road.
 

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100% correct,

using feet as outrigers impares your ability to balance the bike if you happen to loos traction laterally
Correct 1000%:thumbup: Feet on the pegs is the only way to maintain control of the bike.
 
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