How To Avoid Fishtailing On Your Motorcycle


Even though owning a motorcycle provides certain joys that a car simply cannot, there are more precautions and dangers a rider must be aware of, as well. Fishtailing is one of those dangers that motorcyclists need to be wary of. All vehicles are capable of fishtailing. However, it is more severe for motorcyclists due to the lack of protection. 


What is fishtailing, you may ask? Fishtailing is a handling problem, when your rear tire loses traction, resulting in oversteer. In simpler terms, Your vehicle or motorcycle's rear tires begins to slide on the surface, rather than move in the direction you're steering. This creates a wobble effect and resembles that of a fish's tail in the sea swaying back and forth. Loose gravel, icy roads and wet road conditions all have the ability to cause your bike to fishtail. This article will go over ways to avoid fishtailing on your motorcycle. 


Weather: It's best to save your ride for another day, if you know the weather is going to produce conditions that will cause fishtailing. Snow, rain and freezing temperatures all create road hazards that can cause your bike to lose traction. Avoiding these conditions by checking the weather will greatly reduce your chances of fishtailing. 


Speed: If you've ever gone down a large hill on a skateboard, bicycle or scooter at a breakneck pace, chances are that you started to feel a wobbling sensation that made you uncomfortable. The same sensation can happen on a motorcycle if you're going too fast. There's a reason speed limits exist. No, it is not to make you feel restricted. It's to prevent you from fishtailing. Going over the speed limit is usually when fishtailing happens. 


Surroundings:  It can be difficult at times to spot loose gravel or black ice on the road. The best way to navigate your surroundings in inclement weather is to give yourself a safe distance from others around you. This will alleviate the need to slam on your brakes if you lose traction from your tires. 


Tires: Last, but not least, make sure you have tires in great condition. Having tires with the proper tread depth and PSI will ensure that you maintain traction on the road. Having bald or low PSI can greatly impact your traction on the road and cause fishtailing. 


Fishtailing on a motorcycle doesn't mean you're a bad driver. Even the most experienced riders have fishtailed at least once in their riding career. So instead of thinking about how it will never happen to you, think ahead and implement these tips to alleviate all possible chances. For more resources and articles, CLICK HERE.

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Founded in 1969 in Milwaukee, the motorcycle lawyers at Hupy and Abraham, S.C. have represented nearly 5,000 riders, collecting over $1 billion for their clients. With 11 offices in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, the firm has a reputation of providing sound legal representation to accident victims. Contact us anytime -- 24/7/365 -- by phone or online chat to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.