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Hydroplaning ~ Is it a problem with HP rigs?

 
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legalr



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 163
Location: Wallingford, Vermont

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 4:01 pm    Post subject: Hydroplaning ~ Is it a problem with HP rigs? Reply with quote

Do HP rigs with their wide low profile auto tires have a tendency to hydroplane?

Early this winter when we had about three inches of new snow I took my HP rig out on my lawn to see how it would react. I thought I would have some fun. Well, I was completely surprised that even on flat ground it literally wouldn't get out of its own way in the 3" of snow. My rear tire would just spin and spin. I couldn't drive it worth a damn and my tires are in excellent condition with only a few thousand miles on them. I was alone and had one hell of a time getting it back into my barn although I was in a relatively flat area. So I'm wondering how will my rig react in a heavy rain--a downpour? Will it hydroplane and be unsafe to ride? [I know that cars can hydroplane under certain conditions because last summer I had a relatively new car with very good tires hydroplane on a newly asphalted highway in central Vermont during a very heavy downpour. Try turning right sometime on a tight highway when your vehicle hydroplanes straight ahead and it will make your hair stand up straight, at least mine did.]

Should I add some air to my tires [26# presently] if driving in the rain as the following hydroplaning article suggests, or just get off the road until the rain lets up?
Quote:
If you know that you are going to be riding in the rain you might consider adding 3 to 5 psi of pressure in your tires. Note, I am not suggesting that you inflate them in excess of the maximum pressure specified on the tire sidewalls.

The reasoning behind this suggestion is simple:


Increasing the tire pressure makes its contact patch smaller. In other words, it increases the weight per square inch of the contact patch so that it takes more 'uplift' by water to cause hydroplaning.

Just as increasing pressure makes the contact patch smaller, it also tends to spread out the tread grooves which, in turn, makes it easier to slough water away from the contact patch.


What say you? Question
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Larry Miller
Wallingford, Vermont
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docmike



Joined: 27 Jan 2005
Posts: 630
Location: Eastern NC

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ever since I started riding this sidecar I've heard other sidcarists (usually ones who don't own an HPS) saying you had better park your HPS when it rains. So far my experience has been that its probably more stable than my pick up, with an empty bed, in the rain.

I've never changed the air pressure to ride in the rain.

Just as in any other driving, use some common sense.

All disclaimers apply, your results may vary.
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Tub Maxson



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 42
Location: Cincinnati, OH

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also have driven my R1150RT/EZS in some very heavy rain. I had not steering or control difficulties.

Tub
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Tub Maxson
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zentime



Joined: 22 Jan 2005
Posts: 831
Location: Massachusetts USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

docmike wrote:
Ever since I started riding this sidecar I've heard other sidcarists (usually ones who don't own an HPS) saying you had better park your HPS when it rains. So far my experience has been that its probably more stable than my pick up, with an empty bed, in the rain.

I've never changed the air pressure to ride in the rain.

Just as in any other driving, use some common sense.

All disclaimers apply, your results may vary.


ditto Out of the way.
zen
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bmcsheehy



Joined: 22 Jan 2005
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Location: Massachusetts USA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 8:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Hydroplaning ~ Is it a problem with HP rigs? Reply with quote

legalr wrote:
...it will make your hair stand up straight, at least mine did.


I don't have to worry about this. Laughing

Also, I haven't ridden mine in the rain yet, or the snow.
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Bill
High Performance Sidecaring... ...There is nothing "HACKED" about it.
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legalr



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 163
Location: Wallingford, Vermont

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 8:55 pm    Post subject: Hydroplaning ~ Is it a problem with HP rigs? Reply with quote

Quote:
Also, I haven't ridden mine in the ... snow.



According to the responses to date, riding in the rain does not seem to be a problem, but I haven't seen any posts about riding in the snow yet. Question
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Larry Miller
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Ralph



Joined: 27 Jan 2005
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Location: Lexington, Ky

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine worked on the wet roads at the gap but if there is any water standing you better tighten up. I will say this the new tires helped this a lot.
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legalr



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
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Location: Wallingford, Vermont

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 10:35 pm    Post subject: Hydroplaning ~ Is it a problem with HP rigs? Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments, Ralph. This forum is really a great thing! It's good to have a place to share information that is germane to HP sidecars. Rolling Eyes
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Larry Miller
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Paul



Joined: 27 Jan 2005
Posts: 182
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 8:47 pm    Post subject: Pressure Reply with quote

The suggestion to increase tire pressure is presumably for solo motorcycles - which have round profile tires. Changing pressue on a round profile tire will change the size and shape of the contact patch. But, on a HPS with wide, flat radial car tires, it's pointless.

Interestingly enough, the recommendation for road bicycles is the complete opposite - many people REDUCE their pressure a small amount (from maybe 120 psi down to 110 psi). But on a bicycle hydroplaning is rarely an issue; it's done for increased traction.

I would say that yes, hydroplaning a HPS is a definate possibility. A 3000 pound car will hydroplane; we're taking the same tire and putting 1/3 the weight on it. Hydroplaning a solo motorcycle is virtually impossible - I've hit a section of highway over a foot deep at Shocked miles per hour, and all I did was get very wet. I've also run laps at Laguna Seca in the rain, and you can basically go just as fast as you can in the dry, as long as you're smooth.

I think the best thing to do is to get as sticky a tire as you can, and to just back off a notch in the rain.
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legalr



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 163
Location: Wallingford, Vermont

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think the best thing to do is to get as sticky a tire as you can, and to just back off a notch in the rain.


Thanks for the comments and suggestion, Paul. Much appreciated.
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