A rear-wheel skid is something that has happened to and with every rider at some point or the other. Generally, it’s because of a slippery surface or incorrect and excessive braking of the rear-wheel. While it’s generally all fun and frolic to pull the handbrakes of a car and get it’s rear wheels to skid, the same isn’t really the case with motorcycles. For newbie riders, it can get very scary very soon. But, not if you know how to pull out of it properly.
Not all bikes have ABS in both wheels. What that means is that sometime or the other you’ll be in a situation where your rear wheel will lock. Instead of gradually slowing down itself and the bike, the rear wheel will completely stop as the bike continues to move. This will cause the bike to skid from the rear end. If not handled properly, this very easily can result in the bike going sideways, and resultantly the rider falling off or worse, getting into a fatal crash!
So, if your rear wheels lock and you go into a skid, be sure to counter any lateral movement the bike may enter into.
In case you’re lucky enough to only be in a straight skid, recovering is pretty easy. The front and rear wheels are aligned with each other, and all you need to do is release pressure off the rear brakes. Although, be prepared to contain the wobbles of the bike, as the rear wheel gains back its traction. You can, in fact, even practice this in a parking lot with proper safety gear, so you’re well prepared when the worst comes!
However, if you’re unlucky enough to get into a side-skid, things get a little tricky. A side-skid is when the front wheels continue to move forward, while the rear wheel tends to go sideways. Beware, do not act mindlessly. Generally people tend to release the rear brake at this point. But, that’s absolutely not the thing to do. Instead, you can regain control by trying to gently pull the handlebar of your motorcycle in the same direction as the slide. This helps your wheels get back in line. Doing this will prevent you from a high-side crash. At worst, you would get into a side crash at a lower speed.
It’s vital to use the lower part of your body to steer the bike on track, when trying to pull out of a rear wheel skid. Learn to hold the gas tank of your motorcycle tightly between your knees, when practicing the straight skid. It may or may not seem such, but it will go a long way in helping you encounter a slide.
Another thing to keep note of, while trying to pull out of a rear wheel skid is to keep your eyes focused straight. And also gauge the things on the road that can make your skid worse, and try to avoid them.
Generally, a rear wheel skid doesn’t happen if you have a pillion riding with you. The extra weight in the rear-end of the bike ensures better traction for the rear wheel. While trying to pull out of a rear wheel skid, try to imitate this. Try to move your body as far back as possible as you can, without losing your control over the bike or the gas tank as told above.
There you go. That’s about as much we could tell you about getting out of a rear-wheel skid. Ride safe, brothers!