Fishtail on the highway in the rain - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-26-2020, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Fishtail on the highway in the rain

I was riding on the highway in the rain and went over a transition (slight bump) from one type of concrete to another. As I did, I could feel the bike decelerate a bit while the rpms rose and the bike fishtailed a bit. Luckily it was on a straight and good ol' physics kept the bike stable and upright. I doubt it was hydroplaning because the front wheel felt like it kept good grip. I think the torque on the rear wheel caused it to lose traction.

Have any of you experienced this?
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-26-2020, 09:24 AM
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What tire are you using?
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-26-2020, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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What tire are you using?
Conti Trail Attack 2. I've read really good things about its street performance, even under wet conditions. It's always felt planted, except for this one incident.
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-26-2020, 09:45 AM
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Had a similar situation years ago which resulted in my going down with the bike. I was transitioning from a gravel surface to pavement on a downhill curve in the rain. I didn’t expect the pavement and was traveling a little to fast considering all the other factors on a road that was unfamiliar to me. Lesson learned. The Pelican box saved the bike from any damage.

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post #5 of 11 Old 03-26-2020, 10:08 AM
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I was getting the last out of a road bike rear tire once, and wont do that again, as it spun on every puddle on the highway. When wet and of raining, I treat painted lines and man hole covers as they are ice.
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-26-2020, 10:19 AM
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I have had that happen on a couple of occasions. On I5 in heavy rain there is no problem, but as I went under the overpasses the road was wet but the goo that drips out of the tomato trucks wasn't washed away. When it isn't raining the goo is no problem, as it is quite dry and usually a bit sticky if fresh. In the rain it turns to slime and is quickly washed away except under the overpasses. This is a seasonal thing, though the overpasses can be a bit treacherous due to oil at the beginning of the rainy season. Fortunately, the tomato harvest is not normally in the rainy season. I've gone sideways in both tomato goo and beginning-of-the-season oil. Ride near the white line under the overpasses when it is raining.

I was riding lead on the Beartooth Highway in a hailstorm. Entering the bridge over Lake Creek, there was an expansion joint. The guy behind said that if I'd had number plates he could have read them as I went sideways.

It happens.

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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 03-26-2020 at 10:45 AM. Reason: 'near', not 'on'.
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-26-2020, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lineman1234 View Post
I was getting the last out of a road bike rear tire once, and wont do that again, as it spun on every puddle on the highway. When wet and of raining, I treat painted lines and man hole covers as they are ice.
I'm extra paranoid and avoid painted lines and man hole covers even when dry.

Thanks all for the responses, sounds like I just had the misfortune of hitting a slick spot.
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-26-2020, 11:12 AM
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On a wet road, one can break the rear klr tire loose to feel like its a crotch rocket, ha ha .
My diesel truck, gets ugly in the rain with nothing in the bed, if I am on the highway and hit resume on the cruse control, it will break the rear end loose, as the front end is almost 2,000lbs heavier than the back.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-26-2020, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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On a wet road, one can break the rear klr tire loose to feel like its a crotch rocket, ha ha .
My diesel truck, gets ugly in the rain with nothing in the bed, if I am on the highway and hit resume on the cruse control, it will break the rear end loose, as the front end is almost 2,000lbs heavier than the back.
Yeah, my family had an old F-150 growing up and that thing was a pain in slick conditions. I like to think it made me a better driver? At any rate, I hope the KLR is better balanced than a pickup truck. I have noticed that I can affect the stability of the bike on the highway by changing my seating position (leaning forward against the tank or leaning back against my top case). Part of that might also be due to the aerodynamic changes as I shift around - sitting taller would tend to unload the front and load the back, I would think.
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-26-2020, 12:34 PM
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I haven't packed it like a pack mule yet, and would bet its not good to drive it like I stole it, and not like it could be done unloaded, haha. With the 17 front sprocket, it only spins on gravel and mud, and wet grass.
It was fun to spin the Harley tire on wet roads, as it was the only time it would do it, without beating the crap out of it.
I am glad I finally left puberty, as I don't miss the Harley, and love the simple klr.
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