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stupid newb question: what does high side and low side mean? as in, "he came around corner 3 and low sided."
 

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Actually thats not quite right

Lowside-back tire looses traction and slides right or left and the bike ends up just dopping on the side.

Highside-back tire looses traction and slides right or left and then regains traction causing the bike to pop upright at an angle to the direction its moving, launching you up and away.
 

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WISPER said:
Actually thats not quite right

Lowside-back tire looses traction and slides right or left and the bike ends up just dopping on the side.

Highside-back tire looses traction and slides right or left and then regains traction causing the bike to pop upright at an angle to the direction its moving, launching you up and away.
True, although a lowside also results from tucking the front end.
 

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Eyespy said:
True, although a lowside also results from tucking the front end.
Also, a high-side can result from the front washing then regaining traction. Don't ask me how I know. :cry
 

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That's a pretty hard sell. Except in the most freakish of circumstances, I'm not usually buying that one. What happened?
 

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ZXLNT said:
Low side =bad
Hi Side = VERY BAD. Then your a member of the "Over The Handlebars Club"

:lao :lao
NICE!! I've got to remember that for the next time that question comes up.
 

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Eyespy said:
That's a pretty hard sell. Except in the most freakish of circumstances, I'm not usually buying that one. What happened?
I couldn't figure out what happened until I actually rode through the same intersection again a couple of weeks later. Looking around the "scene" after collecting myself right after the incident wasn't revealing.

I was turning right from one downhill road onto another with the intention of immediately making a U-turn on the road onto which I turned. I was braking lightly with the front brake. I lost focus for a second and went a little wide in the turn into some gravel that collects outside of the normal cage path through that turn. While leaned over to the right the front slipped in the gravel then grabbed tossing the bike over to the left and launching me about 4 feet. Fortunately, I was only going about 15 mph. The bike ended up on its left side and actually slid a bit to the left. I had enough time in the air to think "so this is what it's going to feel like hitting the ground". :)

The gear I was wearing (leathers, boots, gloves, etc.) did its job as did the frame sliders and swingarm spools. I was actually able to ride the bike home about 50 miles with a broken shift lever and really sore shoulder. My helmet never hit the ground. I just hope that this will be the worst crash I ever have to experience. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :eek:nfloor
 

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RayOSV said:
I couldn't figure out what happened until I actually rode through the same intersection again a couple of weeks later. Looking around the "scene" after collecting myself right after the incident wasn't revealing.

I was turning right from one downhill road onto another with the intention of immediately making a U-turn on the road onto which I turned. I was braking lightly with the front brake. I lost focus for a second and went a little wide in the turn into some gravel that collects outside of the normal cage path through that turn. While leaned over to the right the front slipped in the gravel then grabbed tossing the bike over to the left and launching me about 4 feet. Fortunately, I was only going about 15 mph. The bike ended up on its left side and actually slid a bit to the left. I had enough time in the air to think "so this is what it's going to feel like hitting the ground". :)

The gear I was wearing (leathers, boots, gloves, etc.) did its job as did the frame sliders and swingarm spools. I was actually able to ride the bike home about 50 miles with a broken shift lever and really sore shoulder. My helmet never hit the ground. I just hope that this will be the worst crash I ever have to experience. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :eek:nfloor
I hope that is your worst one too! That's a weird one for sure! Did you finally go back and execute the originally intended maneuver just for the record LOL? Well, based on this account, I think we have to add that a momentary transient loss of front traction that is regained before the front tucks can also culminate in a high side! Thanks for the detailed description :cheers
 

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Eyespy said:
I hope that is your worst one too! That's a weird one for sure! Did you finally go back and execute the originally intended maneuver just for the record LOL? Well, based on this account, I think we have to add that a momentary transient loss of front traction that is regained before the front tucks can also culminate in a high side! Thanks for the detailed description :cheers
I execute that maneuver all the time at that intersection. That's what made this event worse. :lao

One more comment about gear (slight hijack). The armor in my leathers really prevented some damage in this one. My shoulder would have been much worse and my knee and hip would have had some problems without the hard and soft armor. :)
 

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I used to ride the Bay Area all the time. In fact, I learned how to ride on the steets of S.F. back in 81... there is definately some very technically difficult street riding in that neck of the woods. Glad you came away in good shape.
 

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The common description for a lowside is falling in the direction of the lean because the front tire loses traction and slides toward the outside of the turning or skidding direction

The common description of a highside is falling opposite of the lean because the rider locked the back brake and, getting scared, released it. The resulting quick reattachement of traction causes the bike to flip over toward the outside of the turn or skid and throws the rider high. These wrecks are much more dangerous.
 

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A little tip for new riders. Don't chop your throttle while leaned over in a turn if you think you went in too fast.

First off, if you find that you are in a turn, rolling the throttle on, and the rear begins to slide out, the #1 mistake is the survival reaction of closing the throttle. This will suddenly reduce torque application to the rear wheel, permitting it to regain traction while it is out of line with the front tire and the arc of the turn. The sudden restoration of rear wheel traction while out of line will whip the bike upright and toss the rider to the highside. This is the most common cause of a highside crash in my years of track instruction and experience.

Secondly, if you find that you entered a turn too hot, and you fear that you cannot negotiate the turn at the given speed, again survival reactions may come into play. A typical reaction again is to chop the throttle, transfering more load to the front tire contact patch, and possibly exceeding the total load capacity of the contact patch which will cause the front to slide out. A lowside crash is the result of such an error that is not recovered. A front tire traction loss can also be caused by other rider errors, including excessive trail braking into a turn, so that the combined braking and cornering forces seen by the front tire contact patch exceeds the total availble traction, causing the front to tuck with a resultant lowside, but this is not as typical a lowside scenario for the average street rider.

Closing the throttle in either of the above situations is a common rider control error culminating in a highside or lowside crash. Part of the correct rider reaction in the above cases is to intentionally not chop the throttle. Maintaining a neutral to ever so slighly and gently decreased throttle opening (just a hair less) will typically allow the rider to recover from a rearwheel slide while cornering, and avoid the highside crash. There is of course the possibility that a recovery won't be achieved, in which case, the bike will lowside, as opposed to highside, a far more preferable evil. In the case of going in too hot and pushing the front, rather than chop the throttle and overload the front contact patch for sure, look through the turn and apply a slight increase in throttle (just a hair more). This will generally have the effect of transferring some of the weight distribution off the front contact patch and transfer it to the rear tire, and may allow the rider to make a recovery with a successful completion of the turn.
 

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I think this might be a good way to explain it to newbies (I am a newbie too, so feel free to correct me):

A lowside is when the rider looks like he leaned too much and fell over.

A highside is when the rider looks like he didn't lean enough and the bike tosses him to the opposite side (away from the lean).

I know they are caused more by which wheel loses traction and the yaw or slip angle of the bike, but I think the above explanation describes what they look like in non-technical terms.
 

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Skankhair said:
I think this might be a good way to explain it to newbies (I am a newbie too, so feel free to correct me):

A lowside is when the rider looks like he leaned too much and fell over.

A highside is when the rider looks like he didn't lean enough and the bike tosses him to the opposite side (away from the lean).

I know they are caused more by which wheel loses traction and the yaw or slip angle of the bike, but I think the above explanation describes what they look like in non-technical terms.
you can high-side a bike with it leaned over as far as it will go - as long as the rear end slips and regains traction violently enough, you're going to be doing the human cannonball. Initial lean angle only factors in with regards to reduction of the contact patch on your tires.
 
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