Steel grated road-way - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
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Steel grated road-way

I recently scored a job on an island nearby, and one of the two ways to get there is a draw bridge, which is pretty much all steel grated roadway. Crossing it in a car you can feel the car "wiggle" a bit, so I'm guessing a bike will do the too, I just don't know how much, for example, as little as a car, or oh damn it! I'm going down!

Any of you fellow riders who've rode across a road top like this have any tips or suggestions for the "sanest" way to get through it?

I plan on riding it early on a Sunday morning for some practice while traffic is light. It's only a two lane bridge, so there is no lane to ride in that's out of the way of traffic. It is a low speed limit, and the cars/trucks all follow that speed. (mostly because its so darn narrow I think)

Anyway, is it best to try to relax the grip on the bars and let the wiggle happen, or hold on tight and try to keep it still? Or is it one of those things you just can't prepare for, and you find out once you get there?

If you've been there and done that, feel free to chime in.

(BTW, the other choice is standard cement high rise bridge, but it's a rather expensive toll bridge, and the very industrial area proceeding the bridge, with very heavy truck traffic, and very bad roads)
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 06:13 AM
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In my experience with steel grated bridges, a lot depends on the tires. Tires with a straight groove down the middle of the tire will have a more noticible wiggle than tires without this groove. It may be a little uncomfortable but I doubt you will go down if you dont do anything sudden. Enjoy the ride.

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 07:39 AM
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Just let the wiggle happen don't make any sudden adjustments. It takes some getting use to no big deal.

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 08:07 AM
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From my experience I agree with above comments. Relax your grip - let it wiggle.

Treat it like a slippery surface (manhole covers, construction plates, railroad tracks). Here is some advice from "Proficient Motorcycling" by David Hough.

* Think far ahead, reduce traction demands
* Put your tires over the best surface
* Reduce speed before you get there
* Hold a steady throttle


Allow extra space from the car in front of you (this minimizes the need for braking or swerving).

Also be aware that increasing air temperatures can cause condensation on the steel surface making it more slippery. This is especially true in the morning.

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies, those are helpful, and will be more-so when I get there.



Sunpa;


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Originally Posted by sunpa View Post
Allow extra space from the car in front of you (this minimizes the need for braking or swerving).

Also be aware that increasing air temperatures can cause condensation on the steel surface making it more slippery. This is especially true in the morning.
Thanks for posting this. I hadn't even considered extra braking space on that type of surface, or that I maybe riding on wet metal.

I'm glad I asked, and definitely going to ride it for practice a couple times. I was kind of thinking a slow, steady speed might be best, but then I wondered if too slow might exaggerate the effects, not too mention spending more time actually on the surface.

Anyway, thanks again.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 08:53 AM
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I cross one every day I ride. No problems at all so far. Speed limit is 30 and that's about what I do so traffic doesn't run over me. Try to allow enough room that I don't have to stop on the grated section, but know that day is coming. Don't think I'd do less than 15 mph. Very slow speed might actually accentuate the wiggle.

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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 10:53 AM
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I ride tires without the logitudinal grooves and that makes a big difference.

You can also take the grated section on a diagonal. Start from left (or right) side of grate and set course to finish on the right (or left) end of the grate. This helps to negate the effect of the longitudinal grooves.

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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 11:33 AM
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^ What he said!!!

I travel a section of freeway near my place that they decided to repave and have yet to complete. So its all chewed up and grated and yet the speed limit is still 60mph. So when I do go that route I do as 93vn750 does and do a very slight weave from left to right and I get through that section just fine at hwy speeds.

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 01:19 PM
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On a related topic...

Just yesterday I rode to a clergy conference about 75 miles up the interstate. It was a bit cool but smooth sailing all the way... until the parking lot. I waved at a fellow priest (who had just bought a Vulcan 900, by the way), then turned sharply right into a parking space. Unfortunately, there was a storm sewer grate there (which I hadn't noticed) and by back tire kicked out and before I could even think I was on the ground with the bike on my right leg. Unfortunately, there were witnesses! On the other hand, they helped lift the bike off my leg! No injuries (thanks to layers of clothing and a Fox Creek leather jacket) except for a bruised elbow and severely bruised ego. But the bracket under my right (Knifemaker-made) floorboard had snapped off. So I had to ride home on a very windy day with my left foot on the floorboard and my right heel hooked on the passenger foot peg!

EZC

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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-06-2009, 03:29 PM
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Be carefull waving at folks you know, if you take your eyes off what is in front of you to do so, you might be waving goodbye instead of hello.



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