TAR SNAKES (what the world??)
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    Seasoned Member hvacguy's Avatar
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    Default TAR SNAKES (what the world??)

    I can fix your a/c, I can fix your heat. I can do all sorts of mechanical stuff, but there is one thing that escapes my simple mind. Why in the heck do tar snakes affect the handling of your motorcycle so drastically?? It's one thing to feel the bike wiggle when running across tar snakes on a straight away, but man o man, when you hit one just right in a turn, it can make you feel like your going to bite it big time. Fortunately, I've ridden my entire life, so I am very comfortable when things start to feel a bit slippery when you lose traction, but why do these Tar Snakes seem to cause the handling to go away so drastically?? Maybe it's just a sensation that you get used to, but there was one section of road in North Geaorgia that was tar snake heaven, and I did not care for it all that much. Inquiring minds would like to know. Anyone have any input
    Rick - Myrtle Beach, SC.
    08' Pearl White GL1800

    Cruising the coast since 2005

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    Seasoned Member StevieMac's Avatar
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    Because they do not offer the same coefficient of friction as the pavement does.
    StevieMac- any and all advice provided by me is of the "Use it at your own risk" variety. Common sense and your own good judgement must always prevail.

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    Seasoned Member Ron Fuller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevieMac View Post
    Because they do not offer the same coefficient of friction as the pavement does.
    Granted the coefficient of friction is different, but I wonder if there might be more going on here. Is it possible that the tar being "softer" when it is warmer results in some give or shearing in the tar? I notice the tar snakes way more on warm days.

    Ron

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    They are also not - in some cases - solid.

    We came across some tar-snakes that you could literally pick up with your finger - they had the consistency of cold gum. It was around 60 degrees and overcast that day, so it isn't like they had heated up.

    That was my first experience with snakes like those on curves.
    Larry
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    Seasoned Member Bug's Zedi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemosley View Post
    They are also not - in some cases - solid.

    We came across some tar-snakes that you could literally pick up with your finger - they had the consistency of cold gum. It was around 60 degrees and overcast that day, so it isn't like they had heated up.

    That was my first experience with snakes like those on curves.
    The main difference is that tar snakes do not have any aggregate in them, only the liquid asphalt, or whatever blend. Asphalt paving contains in addition to the liquid asphalt sand and aggregate. It is the sand and aggregates that give you the traction with the liquid asphalt holding it all together.
    Paul & Jodi
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    Default Well...

    I am going to cop it for this....mine does this to some extent just hitting white lines. My theory is quite simple, two things contribute. 1. If your tyre pressure aint perfect 2. In all honesty the Wing is a lousy handling bike.
    There ya go. " coefficient of friction" yeah, right. Probly does have some effect, thats why we see other bikes spearing off the road every five minutes. Nah, I reckon its mostly # 2.
    but saying that I continue to be awestruck by this machines capabilities...perfectly meets design brief, and exceeds most.
    Flame away boys

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    Seasoned Member StevieMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Fuller View Post
    Granted the coefficient of friction is different, but I wonder if there might be more going on here. Is it possible that the tar being "softer" when it is warmer results in some give or shearing in the tar? I notice the tar snakes way more on warm days.

    Ron
    yes, they are softer when they are hot and the tire will push easier.
    StevieMac- any and all advice provided by me is of the "Use it at your own risk" variety. Common sense and your own good judgement must always prevail.

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    Seasoned Member goinssr's Avatar
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    Not only will the change of road surface affect the coefficient of friction but the tire (rubber) compound willl have a profound affect also. The tire that you are running may have very little tolerence for the softer surface than another brand may have. There are multiple variables at work here. It seemed to me that the Dunlop E3 had little tolerence for those slippery little snakes whereas the Avon and Bridgestones were more accomodating.

    Stephen
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    Seasoned Member JonfromCB's Avatar
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    Many would be amazed at how a suspension upgrade takes the "squirreliness" out of what a Wing does on a tar snake.
    Me and Sweet Irene

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    Seasoned Member stumpbucket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonfromCB View Post
    Many would be amazed at how a suspension upgrade takes the "squirreliness" out of what a Wing does on a tar snake.
    I would also add tire pressure. I would run 40-41 in my front to counteract the cupping/scalloping
    or otherwise premature disfiguring of the tire. Now that i have ak20 and new rear suspension it was suggested to me to drop tire pressure BACK down to the proper PSI when I was complaining that the bike rode way better but felt very squirmy on the snakes. Now my bike handles great on cracks and snakes with 36 PSI. Feels sure footed NOT running sold a front tire.
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    Seasoned Member Racer57's Avatar
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    Absolute worse tar snakes I EVER came across was on Bear Tooth Pass last July. There's even a sign warning about them.
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    i believe the material they use for tar snakes has been changing, seems a lot more slippery these days
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    Seasoned Member meinbmw's Avatar
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    Default Because ...

    They are adding a measure of SNOT to it.


    Quote Originally Posted by cycledude View Post
    i believe the material they use for tar snakes has been changing, seems a lot more slippery these days

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    Seasoned Member saltmar14's Avatar
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    seems like the could add a little hardner and gravel to make it safer.

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    Seasoned Member Haste Maker's Avatar
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    Tar snakes will weed out the real riders from the "want-to-be" riders...that being said...I don't like them either...when I hit one it scares the s##t out of me also...



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    One thing for sure I can say about tar snakes is, THEY SUCK!
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    Seasoned Member Road Runner's Avatar
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    I ran across several roads today in Indiana with many, many tar snakes - what the maintenance departments are applying is just wrong.

    Today my Wing wiggled a bit in several areas. I have always proposed that when they are applying the hot mix to cracks that they add crushed stone "screenings" (fine crushed stone minus 3/16") immediately to the top. That would give more traction to a very slippery surface!

    State and/or county highway maintenance personnel should have to ride a motorcycle on the roads that they spread the tar on just to see the effect it has on riders!


    A riding buddy of mine was killed when he hit a tar patch and was thrown across the highway and under a semi. I was leading the ride visiting covered bridges ... THAT is hard to take!


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    The ones in KY become gooey in the sun and are semi liquid. If you hit one leaning in a curve, the tires will try to walk/slide sideways and you will get some pucker in your pants. I've seen it on sport bikes as well as Goldwings. I don't think the suspension will make a difference since it's just the tire moving out from under you. I try to avoid them at all costs, I'd rather hit pea gravel in a turn.
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    Seasoned Member goldwing fan's Avatar
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    There only slippery in the wet I found so far I have not had any probs with them in the dry

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    Seasoned Member Biker John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldwing fan View Post
    There only slippery in the wet I found so far I have not had any probs with them in the dry
    They are slippery in the heat also, when they get hot I think they start to melt.
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    Seasoned Member Fluke189's Avatar
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    The worst part is they are highly unpredictable, some are no problem, some are real attention getters to say the least. Not only on the goldwing either, they effect all motorcycles. The worst ones are the fresh ones and in hot weather. The stupid ones that they put a tar snake down 2 foot wide or more are the worst. I took a highway off ramp a few years ago and make a left turn onto the road and swear there was a 4 foot x 6 foot "snake". A solid square piece of tar snake. About like having 2 flat tires the same time when you hit something that rediculous. My wife is trying to get them outlawed. Good luck there, but she's good and doesn't give up easily.

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    Default Tar snskes

    They usually apply way too much. They are supposed to only fill the crack, not spread it way past the edges. I in an earlier time worked on those crews. Ride with a lot of caution, don't tailgate.

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    Being an old flat tracker they don't really bother me that much. Just ride with your head in the game so you don't get surprised with that OOO NO feeling .

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    Chief Joseph Highway and Beartooth Pass were real bad for awhile until they chip sealed CJH last summer. I would go VERY slow since they were so many and so bad on CJH. I try and avoid them at all cost, but they are around. I use a lot of caution and try and avoid the ones going the same way you are, cutting across them at a 90 degree angle and they aren't as bad. Seems they are slippery when in hot and cold temps.

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    Does anyone know someone that went down because of tar snakes ?

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    Seasoned Member BMXDad's Avatar
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    I have never EVER had an issue with one that is of normal width, running across the road....I have however puckered a few times when encountering one that ran in the same direction I was traveling. Most of em are what.......3 inches or so across? Assuming a speed of 50 mph, your tire is only on the tar snake for about 3/1000 of a second...
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    The problem comes when there are 1000 of them all spaced every which direction. One tar snake is no problem, but couple it with 999 more all around, they are a real worry to me. I swear here in colorado they about would rather resurface a road with 100,000 gallons of tar snake every which direction than put down any new road.

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    10 year Member Matt(BCNV)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonfromCB View Post
    Many would be amazed at how a suspension upgrade takes the "squirreliness" out of what a Wing does on a tar snake.
    I have read your post and have a few questions..

    1. What is the "upgrade" you speak of
    2. How much would this cost a fella
    3. What the hell does your answer mean....in relationship to the posters original Question.

    LOL

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    Seasoned Member Kit Carson's Avatar
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    When encountered with a road full of tar snakes, just slow down and keep a light hand on the bars. Let the bike walk the walk, it is going to anyway and as long as you ride in a sane manner there is no worry.

    Regardless of suspension. I have Traxxion and that front wheel still walks the walk on tar snakes, so I just let it walk .
    " The GL1800 " A grand motorcycle it is. For touring,fun and to see the world there is no other like it. Big and powerful and comfortable for those cross country rides. Also perhaps the very ultimate ambassador to itself and to those who ride it and meet new friends at the many meets and activities this machine brings to the equation.

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    In warm and hotter temperatures the tar snakes are softer and will get your attention fairly quickly. Those wide painted strip on the road are what gets my attention. Especially when it's has been raining.

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