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Thread: Uneven lanes

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  1. #1
    Registered User GKman's Avatar
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    Uneven lanes

    Asphalt crew working on local interstate (I 29). Uneven lane signs. Fresh rolled, smooth asphalt 2"-3" in left lane only. Have crossed it w/o thought in a car but was on the bike yesterday. Fortunately didn't need to change lanes but wondered about it. Only fail-safe idea was to stop or nearly stop on right shoulder, wait for traffic opening, cross bump perpendicular and enjoy a quick zero to 70. Any thoughts?

    2002 R1150R

  2. #2
    100,000+ miler 32232's Avatar
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    Same as with railway tracks or any other 'edge trap'. You want to cross as perpendicular to the line as possible.

    In your situation, moving from the right lane to the left, I would get as far right in the right lane as possible and move into the left lane on about a 45 degree angle to the direction of travel. Full stop on the shoulder etc. would not normally be necessary.

    Have you taken an MSF course? This is one of the many things they cover. It would be money well spent if you haven't done one.
    Dave

    '06 Triumph Scrambler (Trans-Labrador veteran)

  3. #3
    NC Piedmont Rider ncstephen's Avatar
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    When they repaved I- 40 here in RTP the last time they left such a large almost curb aspect. It wasn't a problem going down off of it. It was going up. It wasn't square but a little angled and when I had to do it, I slowed some (as traffic woud allow) swung a bit wide in my lane and then did as much of an S turn up onto it as I could. This allowed me to attack it with as much angle as possible. The bike behaved fine. It might have been more my worry.

    I have also had the experience where they are just adding a sealing layer, 3/4 " thick and it is of no real problem. Also the 1" resurfacing is pretty easily handled.

    My worse experience was with the large resurfacing on I -40. I travel it daily. I was aware thus that they had finished this section with all 4 east bound lanes. This day I did an errand and was merging back on this section. I was coming up to speed so about 70 ready for the lane to merge. I was over in the left hand side of the lane so it would be a simple merge. THEN...

    They had left a section undone. The acceleration lane at the point of the ramp getting to the highway was not done. I suddenly had this 3" inch drop, I had traffic behind me also accelerating to merge. I then was just over at the left side of the lane, I was slightly angled so I would be merging into the opening of the lane of traffic, the lip/curb up was right there, I was not in a position to slow down. There was lots of loose gravel and debris and such in this section from the paving. I ended up turning so I ran down the accel lane rather than merge, I continued down this lane moving as far right as I could, the emergency stop lane was at hand of which I was going to use if needed. There was enough break in traffic that I could now do S merge up and over it. It was succesful

    I work for DOT and called the resident engineers office and talked at length with him. He said he had heard some compliants that this height of paving could be a problem for MCs. He asked me my opinion. I agreed it was a problem and added that with training and experience and confidence a bike could handle it OK.. BUT, riders aren't trained for this, have no experience with this and thus are scared about it. That the 3/4 and 1" lips are very easily doable. Also that inexperienced riders would find the 3/4 and 1" section still a challenge and the larger ones terrifying and unsafe for them. We discussed a few possible remedies and I gave him same safetly folks to contact. He listened. I don't know if anything will be different with the next thick asphalt lay.

    NCS
    03 K 1200RS (Black is Best)
    03 Honda RC51
    74 Honda CB750 K4

  4. #4
    Geoxman KJ6OCL's Avatar
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    Not to worry, looks worse than it is. I live in the mountains, lots of uneven pavement. I also live on a dirt/gravel road. It is only one lane wide. There are times when there will be a 10 wheel dump truck coming in the other direction. No where for him to go. So I drop down into the ditch on the side of the road, any where from 4" to 6" drop off, and the ditch is only about 10+/-" wide. Then, when I get past the truck, I throttle on a bit as I climb back up onto the road surface. No problem! And I don't have a GS, just an old (2000) R1200C with street tires. Sometimes the difficulties of a task are only in our own minds......mind over matter at times like this!

    Lkarl KJ6OCL / 2000, R1200C

  5. #5
    Registered User stkmkt1's Avatar
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    Not really a problem except in your head. Good for you to ask about this if your having questions. As stated above, just get as perpendicular to the edge as you can when you cross it, either up or down. Hang on to the handlebars a bit more strongly, but only so they don't follow the edge. Bike will pop right up and over, or down depending on your situation.

    Once you do this a few times you will be ready to tackle the next obsticle: grated metal bridge decks.
    '09 BMW 1200 GSA, 2013 BMW 700GS, 2000 Goldwing SE, '09' V Star 950, '09 Honda Rebel,
    '77 Honda 750A. Holding at six til I get new garage built - need more room for more bikes!

  6. #6
    Registered User GKman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stkmkt1 View Post
    ....Once you do this a few times you will be ready to tackle the next obsticle: grated metal bridge decks.
    Thank's for the replies. If I ever get stuck where I have no choice, I'll know that others have done it. I can't imagine any way to build experience safely in the real world. Larger bump, shallower angle, more speed until there is a negative outcome - never had a light crash.

    Done the metal bridge decking. I just imagine a 750 lb safe traveling in a straight line. (My bike and I weigh about that) It would take a large force to divert it from its course. The bridge deck doesn't have that force to apply therefore Newton says we should keep going straight. I think the squirrely feeling comes from the tires continually running up on small ridges and falling back off sideways which have no real consequence as long as I don't induce and oscillation by fighting the handlebars. I have a tendency to do this and compensate by gripping the tank with my knees which seems to send a signal to my hands that they can lighten up. Works for me.

    THIS REALLY HAPPENED TO ME.
    Oklahoma City, fast rush hour on through downtown interstate, raining, boxed in. Sign EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS TO MOTORCYCLES. Got no idea of what it is and nowhere to go. It was steel decking used as a slight offset detour into a parallel lane. Practiced the tank grip and had no problem except for wanting to kill the jerk that posted the sign too late to do anything about it.

  7. #7
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    My rule for trying to climb those uneven lane edge traps is don't. I know that every now and then it is hard to avoid, but I've ridden for miles on milled grooved pavement rather than switch lanes to that nice new smooth stuff over there. I look for a bridge where they didn't mill the surface and the lanes are even briefly - sometimes these even have "bump" signs. If I can cross on the bridge where the lanes are even I will if traffic permits. Plan ahead.

    How to do it if it is absolutely necessary has been covered in this thread, except I'll add I may be on the shoulder waiting unless I can do it at a sharp angle, and at a speed that is unlikely to kill me or hurt me if I do screw up and fall down. Motorcycles are not designed to climb 3" (typical overlay thickness) curbs at shallow angles.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

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