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I am looking to get a bike in the near future, so I have been dropping into this forum a lot. It is a great forum, and by and large everyone has their heads on straight and most threads don't degenerate in to flame wars.

I have seen many references to High sides and Low sides, could somebody please elaborate on what exactly these are?
 

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ok, both examples are in a left turn:

Lowside: You are turning left, and lose traction and just lay the bike down on the left side, for a nice little slide on ur back..

Highside: Much more violent looking. Turning left, your rear tires starts to lose traction, rear slides all the way out, then SUDDENLY grabs whipping the bike back toward the original position, and upright, throwing you over the right side of the bike (if originally making a left turn)..Thats the best way to explain it..

Try this video, you will see the difference in high and low sides..Like I said the more VIOLENT ones are highsides, check it out:
http://esport.sportbikes.dhs.org/Pictures/racing.mov?CFID=164610&CFTOKEN=39064687

G

 

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"If you love your motorcycle, set it free. If it comes back to you, you've probably high-sided"

If you lowside, the bike proceeds you into the corner. if you highside, you go first, and the bike comes after you.

Meddle not in the affairs of Dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup
 

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G_man, awesome video! Classic shot when the rider is getting up and his Ninja explodes into flames!

 

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To put it another way, typically a lowside is when the front loses traction, and in a highside its the rear.

When the front end "tucks" the bike will usually go down almost immediately, but it is less violent since you are close to the ground to begin with and the bike is sliding in front of you. You just "lay down".

I'm not a scientist, but the physics of a highside involve the principle that in a single track (I.E. a motorcycle) vehicle the rear wheel wants to follow the path of travel scribed by the front wheel. Thats why when a sliding rear tire regains enough traction, it will "snap" back into line. This, of course, has a bucking bronco affect on the rider, and usually he is thrown up and over.

It should be noted that this is why you SHOULD NOT shut off the throttle during a rear wheel slide inspite of what your fear instincts tell you. You do not want the rear wheel to suddenly regain traction, and therefore the correct procedure is to use the throttle to control the slide.

As a street rider, I initially felt I would rather lose the front than the rear for these reasons (it just seemed like it would hurt less). But once you have some experience sliding the rear you can understand why you would rather have this end come loose. If you know what to do, you don't always have to go down at all. Professional racers would rather lose the rear, because they have some time to save a rear wheel slide, and in fact do it intentionally all the time, for instance, to point the bike into the turn. But a front wheel tuck will lay you down toot sweet. And then, of course, there are the "all world" guys - I read the following comment from Ben Bostrom in an article not long ago "When the front tire begins to tuck, prop it up quickly with your dragging knee" (I'll save trying this technique until afer I've mastered downshifting).

Of course, if I have to go down, low is preferred.

<font color=green>I'm not trying to hang off, I'm trying to hang ON!</font color=green>/images/icons/tongue.gif
 

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So Willie, are you saying that low-sides don't occur from the rear-wheel washing out?

Lowsides can occur when either the front or the rear wheel lose traction. Sometimes, it's both.

A high-side occurs because the rear wheel loses traction and the bike starts to gain sideways-momentum as the rear slides more out-of-line with the front. When the rear regains traction suddenly you still have this sideways momentum to deal with, which is what will through you over the side of the bike as the bike pivots around its tires.

Take a plastic ruler. When it's straight up and down that's a neutral state where the rear wheel is inline with the front. Holding one tip, start pulling the other tip to one direction. This represents a tire that is sliding out of line with the front wheel, and a building-up of sideways momentum. If you bring the tip slowly back to center then there is no violence force to suffer, as you have eased the rear back inline with the front.

However, if you pull the tip sideways and let go suddenly (which represents a sudden gain of traction) the ruler will snap back very fast, and will overshoot the neutral state; which means that you're now cartwheeling towards that grouping of trees /images/icons/smile.gif

 

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Low side is when you slide across the ground...

High side is when you're above your bike (it seems like eternally), watching it slide across the ground! /images/icons/tongue.gif

Low side usually results in small to medium damages to your bike...

High side is usually a newly developed parts bike!!! /images/icons/shocked.gif

 

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A highside is pretty much getting bucked from a horse.
A lowside is just leaning too far until you hit the ground. Sometimes happens when you try to turn the front tire too hard and it washes out. you'll see plenty of pictures and video clips the daily rant forum.


 
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