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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So yesterday I hit some roads that were being milled and repaved...you know, the ones that always have the "Bump" warning signs where the pavement is chopped off. Well, the bumps on this particular road were barely bumps at all. The highway crew had done a good job of shaving the bumps down to almost a ramp so I didn't even have to slow down at all when going over them. However, I did hit one of these bumps that was just a 5"-6" straight cut and hadn't been shaved down to a ramp and it was quite a jolt. I was on the good pavement approaching the milled pavement going about 52 when it happened. I made the mistake of assuming that the bump was going to be like all the others (shaved into a ramp) but it wasn't. I should've been on alert but luckily nothing happened.

Anyway, what's the strategy for going over those things? I understand if I'm on milled pavement and I'm coming up to the good pavement that I need to slow down because it's not level but what if you're on the good pavement and you're getting ready to hit the drop off onto the milled pavement? What's the strategy for approaching a road imperfection like that? Just slow down and brace yourself? If so, how much should you slow down?

Thanks for any advice or suggestions!
 

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I would slow down as much as is safe, depending on traffic around me. There was a set of RR tracks near me that was a true "nut buster". I'd slow down to about 15 or 20 (speed limit was 35) because of how bad they were. If there was anyone behind me, I'd start braking very early and hit/release my brake a few times, hoping that they were paying attention to how much I was slowing down.

Have you ever ridden anywhere in WVa? They seem to like paving half a lane at a time! Really terrifying when you are apexing a sharp turn and your wheels hit that sharp edge on the way in and on the way out! Worked great at keeping my speed down, that's for sure!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Going down, no worries. Going up, especially a sharp edge, slow down. Can easily do damage to the rim.

UK
Yeh, definitely going up I agree on slowing down. Worst case if you don't you're crashing the bike and best case would probably be a bent rim. But would you slow down at all if you're going down? Thanks again for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would slow down as much as is safe, depending on traffic around me. There was a set of RR tracks near me that was a true "nut buster". I'd slow down to about 15 or 20 (speed limit was 35) because of how bad they were. If there was anyone behind me, I'd start braking very early and hit/release my brake a few times, hoping that they were paying attention to how much I was slowing down.

Have you ever ridden anywhere in WVa? They seem to like paving half a lane at a time! Really terrifying when you are apexing a sharp turn and your wheels hit that sharp edge on the way in and on the way out! Worked great at keeping my speed down, that's for sure!
Thanks for the advice. That was part of the problem is I had a huge pickup right behind me and I didn't want to slow down too much. Had the traffic been lighter I would've slowed down to about 35-40 (from about 52).

I'm in Virginia but haven't ridden in West VA yet. That would be terrifying to be going through a turn or even a straightaway trying to go up one of those edges. Going down wouldn't be too bad but going up...whew...I would honestly avoid that at all cost. A motorcycle isn't like a 25 pound bike that you could just bunny hop over the edge. Yikes.
 

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Slowing down is rarely a bad move. In a case where I know the road surface may or will be squirrelly, I slow down. It's those buggers that just pop up right out of a perfectly good road that jolt me!
 

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Going down, no worries. Going up, especially a sharp edge, slow down. Can easily do damage to the rim.

UK
It's a gamble to assume it's a drop-down. I've see repair where they are putting down multiple layers. Here, it's dangerous to slow down. So it's brace yourself, period. If I can see old pavement, I'll fly low and get a nice smooth landing. Dirt riding skills, even on 900+ pound bikes come in handy. They'll help smooth out the step up a little too. Riding a motorcycle isn't like driving a car. It takes work. Sometimes a lot of work. Normally it won't feel like work but this is a case where a little work will help.
 

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As others have said, slowing down is usually the right answer for almost any challenging situation coming up for a rider. Standing on the pegs can seriously lessen the impact of a big bump, whether going up or down, and slowing as well as standing on the pegs and shifting weight toward the rear of the bike can reduce the risk of damaging the front rim if going up on a severe bump.

What is far more dangerous, however, is not a change in the level of a lane, but a change in road height between one lane and the next lane, such as when repaving is taking place. Crossing from the higher level lane to the lower is no big deal, but going from the lower to the higher can be disastrous if you don't do it right. You want to make the crossover as perpendicular as possible to the higher lane, i.e., to seem like bumping up to the higher lane. If you try to do it gradually, you risk "trapping" your front tire against the ridge of the higher lane. If this happens, you are going down no matter what else you try to do. You will not be able to lean or turn the bike and you will lose control. So when on a road where construction is happening a lane at a time, rather than a stretch of road at a time, and the signs warn you to stay in your lane, obey the signs. When you reach the point where you must cross from the lower height lane to the higher height lane, just try to increase the angle as much as you possibly can, i.e., making the change as perpendicular as possible and you likely will not have a problem. This situation is similar to that of crossing train tracks where you must try never to let your front tire get "caught" in the track.
 

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Ditto what Vito says above. I never have any issue going down, however I NEVER go back up when the finished part of the road is parallel to me (ie: the other lane). I'll stay in whatever lane I'm in and if I miss my exit, so be it. If the finished part is in front of me and it's a big bump, I'll slow down and use what I learned in the MSF:

- Try my best to make the bump perpendicular to me.
- Slow down.

Then..

- Blip the throttle.
- Stand on the pegs a little as you traverse the bump.
 

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So, double ditto: one on vito's recommendation about changing lanes with differing lane heights (touchy) and Miss Mercedes recommendation on the MSF course training. Slow down (blip the brake light a couple of times to hopefully get following traffic to slow down a hair), butt off seat, weight on pegs/footboards, roll the throttle just before the bump to transfer weight to the rear and go over the bump.

Better yet: find a different route.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As others have said, slowing down is usually the right answer for almost any challenging situation coming up for a rider. Standing on the pegs can seriously lessen the impact of a big bump, whether going up or down, and slowing as well as standing on the pegs and shifting weight toward the rear of the bike can reduce the risk of damaging the front rim if going up on a severe bump.

What is far more dangerous, however, is not a change in the level of a lane, but a change in road height between one lane and the next lane, such as when repaving is taking place. Crossing from the higher level lane to the lower is no big deal, but going from the lower to the higher can be disastrous if you don't do it right. You want to make the crossover as perpendicular as possible to the higher lane, i.e., to seem like bumping up to the higher lane. If you try to do it gradually, you risk "trapping" your front tire against the ridge of the higher lane. If this happens, you are going down no matter what else you try to do. You will not be able to lean or turn the bike and you will lose control. So when on a road where construction is happening a lane at a time, rather than a stretch of road at a time, and the signs warn you to stay in your lane, obey the signs. When you reach the point where you must cross from the lower height lane to the higher height lane, just try to increase the angle as much as you possibly can, i.e., making the change as perpendicular as possible and you likely will not have a problem. This situation is similar to that of crossing train tracks where you must try never to let your front tire get "caught" in the track.
Thanks, my friend, for this great advice. I can tell you have a lot of experience and I really appreciate your time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ditto what Vito says above. I never have any issue going down, however I NEVER go back up when the finished part of the road is parallel to me (ie: the other lane). I'll stay in whatever lane I'm in and if I miss my exit, so be it. If the finished part is in front of me and it's a big bump, I'll slow down and use what I learned in the MSF:

- Try my best to make the bump perpendicular to me.
- Slow down.

Then..

- Blip the throttle.
- Stand on the pegs a little as you traverse the bump.
Yup, I remember that exercise very well from the MSF course. Unfortunately, I didn't seem to remember it when this bump came up on me. Made the mistake of assuming it was going to be shaved down to a small ramp like all the others. Lesson learned...never assume!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So, double ditto: one on vito's recommendation about changing lanes with differing lane heights (touchy) and Miss Mercedes recommendation on the MSF course training. Slow down (blip the brake light a couple of times to hopefully get following traffic to slow down a hair), butt off seat, weight on pegs/footboards, roll the throttle just before the bump to transfer weight to the rear and go over the bump.

Better yet: find a different route.
I'm with you on finding a different route and plan to do that on my next ride tomorrow or Thursday. :cool:
 
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