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Discussion Starter #1
I haven't encountered this yet, and the question occured to me while I was driving to work monday morning in the pissing rain.

So yeah, my question is, do bikes become unstable and hydroplane over large puddles? Or do the skinny tires cut through the water?
 

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Gear Driven Cams
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Depends on how fast you're going, and the shape of your tires. I've hydroplaned the VFR across an unexpected puddle, I don't want to do it again. Didn't drop, but came as close as i've been on this bike.
 

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Doesn't mean it can't happen, but I've never experienced hydroplaning on a bike. That and at one time in my life my only transportation was a m/c for over 4 years so I've pretty much ridden through it all.

I wonder if there was some road oil or something in your puddle Rob?

Good question.
 

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It's possible, but I doubt it. The water was about an inch and a half deep, and I hit it at 90km/h. I could feel the back end stepping sideways just as I cleared the far side of the puddle.
 

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damn broken leg!!!!!!!
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I've hydroplaned the front and back on the track with full race rain tires. Just be very smooth and watch your lean angles.
 

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Born to sweep.
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Its probably quite a bit less likely given the profile of motorcycle tires (they ain't flat like car tires so much easier for water to be ejected to the side), but certainly is theoretically possible.
 

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Spike said:
It's possible, but I doubt it. The water was about an inch and a half deep, and I hit it at 90km/h. I could feel the back end stepping sideways just as I cleared the far side of the puddle.

Oh, I know. I don't ride with bald tires. ;) :laughing
 

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Chronic
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It is completely possible to hydroplane across a puddle on a motorcycle.
And sometimes quite scary as well.
Speed, tread depth, amount of tread in design, profile (round, or old and squared off), correct pressure, and puddle depth all play into it.
Tires in decent shape are good of course, but low pressures will cause the rain grooves to close up, increasing the water pressure.
Increased speed increases the water pressure inside the grooves.
Once the water has trouble getting out, it lifts the tires and voila, you're a stunter, like it or not.
It's one reason why I don't like tires with minimal tread for year round riding.
 

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Chronic
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so...to avoid it....I....
I don't cheap out on tires, and don't run them down untill the wear bars are showing, or they're squared off and hard as a rock.
I run them at the recommended pressures stated by the bike's manufacturer (unless the tire manufacturer has specific pressures stated for your specific bike, and usually they're with 2 pounds).
I slow down for big puddles!!
 

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The Comedy is in the Back
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and bernie doesnt brake for blokes stranded on teh side of the street yo! :D
 

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pretty much every day after work on the way home on lougheed,even the front went completely sideways last night...carry on :)
 

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Newbie Poser Squid
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I have done it...both last last Thursday around 7pm and Tuesday nght along the Upper Level Hwy in torrential downpour. Did not help when I was late for the ferry.

Weird part is that I worried about hitting a big puddle and pitching over the handle bar. The bike just seem to skim over the water without too much hesitations. I did slowed down and took the higher part of the corners to avoid puddles though.
 

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My answer:

Yes bikes hydroplane, and traction is between a little to none in standing water on a bike with performance tires (OEM's are pretty good but my Dunlops make me nervous when the island highway turns into a river). Safest riding is to go in the middle of the right hand lane, be gentle on both the gas and the brakes, and stay clear of tirelines of other vehicles as they'll give you unpredictable traction compared to the free flowing/standing water. If you feel the rear tire dancing ever so gentle apply a little bit of throttle and this should settle it down, DON'T mash the brakes as you WILL go down that way. Also keep the bike as upright as possible as this gives you the most traction and reaction space/balance control...
 

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Sex Appeal
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they definatly do...

it is harderd to hydroplan becuase less surface area, but when they do... not a very good thing, just got strait.. and prey
 

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Mighty Kentor said:
Oh, I know. I don't ride with bald tires. ;) :laughing
That's just because the 'strom comes with knobbies... The daily back massage must be nice though. :laughing
 

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very rarely, I find the best approach is to close your eyes and count to three as you near the puddle, by the time you open your eyes, it's all over.
 

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I got caught in a total downpour last summer on the #1 hwy heading east towards abby etc...flat section near the truck stop just past 160th in the grooves there was full standing water and when riding through it fairly quickly (165-170km/hr - I wasn't wearing rain gear and was eager to get home) the rear tire started to hydroplane significantly on the R1. So much so, that when I let off the throttle the rpm's dropped almost to idle and the rear tire was COMPLETELY loose.

Moral of the story is....if you're stuck in the rain and want to get home, go normal speeds and get wet. Oh yeah, and like it's been said already, if you're running something like the BT014's that are on my ride, don't expect much in the puddles!
 
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