Suzuki SV650 Riders Forum banner

1 - 20 of 51 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,055 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Alright, just got back from a ride with my cousin, and have a question I would like an opinion on.

Let me get right to it. He has a Harley Street Glide, I have a SV650s. When crossing railroad tracks, he likes to slow to about 5-10mph (in a 40-45 mph zone), even though it is not customary for vehicle traffic to slow anywhere near that much, if at all. I like to cross the tracks at my normal rate of travel, not slowing at all, and accelerating just slightly to lighten the front end up going over.

Obvoiusly, we each feel the other one is putting themselves in more danger by choosing to cross as we do. He thinks my style is "reckless" and likely to result in me dumping the bike, and I feel his is overly cautious and likely to get him rear ended by a driver not paying attention.

Mind you I feel completely comfortable crossing the way I do, and do not do it out of fear, but more in the spirit of fun, letting my dirt bike riding side come out just a bit. I feel his method is more brought about by fear, as he thinks he will lose control if he goes over at any reasonable road speed.

So I would like to put out there for debate, comment, or otherwise discuss which one of us you feel is putting themselves in greater danger at these railroad crossings?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,055 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I have not got the front wheel airborne, but I have occassionally got the rear wheel airborne (stock shock does not dampen my weight very well). No drama, just straight up and straight down, much like you would see a hard tail bike do. I dont see how that is dangerous if it isnt getting squirelly and just goes straight up and straight down.

FYI, I was the only one in my MSF course who was able to get both wheels on that little nighthawk airborne on the 2x4 obstacle (yes, I was trying).

So I dont really have any problems with it, but if I am missing a danger here, please let me know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
if anything maintain your speed. slowing down to 5 to 10mph is absurd in a 40zone. i guess if there's no one behind him no harm but that one time a car is and hits him. he'll learn im sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
i slow down slightly at railroad crossings, but not down that slow. i dont hoever think its to odd though because i frequintly see school buses, fuel trucks and flatbeds carying flamable bottles come to complete stops at crossings before proceeding, i think it may be required.

maybee you should get him a red flashing stop sign that swings out from the side of his bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,498 Posts
i slow down slightly at railroad crossings, but not down that slow. i dont hoever think its to odd though because i frequintly see school buses, fuel trucks and flatbeds carying flamable bottles come to complete stops at crossings before proceeding, i think it may be required.

maybee you should get him a red flashing stop sign that swings out from the side of his bike.
Its required because there would be NO excuse to be hit by a train. They have to stop simply because it forces them to check and make absolutely sure that there are no trains coming... not that the tires are going to explode or anything if they go over the tracks at a normal rate of speed.

This guy isn't yielding to check and see if there is an oncoming train, but rather because he thinks his bike is gonna drop right out from under him if he doesn't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Its required because there would be NO excuse to be hit by a train. They have to stop simply because it forces them to check and make absolutely sure that there are no trains coming... not that the tires are going to explode or anything if they go over the tracks at a normal rate of speed.

This guy isn't yielding to check and see if there is an oncoming train, but rather because he thinks his bike is gonna drop right out from under him if he doesn't.
ya i relize that but just stating that people "should be" used to vehicles at least slowing at crossings but in reality most would not expect it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
commercial vehicles carrying hazmat or passengers have to stop at all rail road crossings.

your right and your friend is wrong........he is putting himself in danger of getting hit from behind by slowing way down as he does. i also see idiots do this same thing in cars all the time
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,055 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
ya i relize that but just stating that people "should be" used to vehicles at least slowing at crossings but in reality most would not expect it.
I have to suggest here that the large buses, trucks, etc... that you cite in your example are quite "hard to miss", and even if you somehow did miss them, they offer there occupants significantly more protection from a rear end collision. I dont think I am alone in saying that a bike rider should not take comfort the fact that he is riding like a school bus.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,965 Posts
nah, when i see a RR track, i revert back to my MX days, weight back, power on!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,796 Posts
I don't know much about HD's, but could it be that he is aware of how little travel he has in his rear suspension and he doesn't want to damage a relatively expensive bike?

From what I can tell ( I may be completely incorrect) HD's usually seem lower to the ground that a sport bike maybe its just completely (overly) cautionary on his part for the sake of his bike.

ps. Everytime I see tracks, I flick my clutch and try to skim them like whoops :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,965 Posts
there's actually a couple crossings down here that you can catch some air!!

weight back, power on.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
I am sure that he doesn't want to scrape his pipes and body that is a big bike ( I think not sure). Isn't it HD's big touring bike? You are crossing them fine, He shouldn't slow down that much, but if he looks in his mirrors he should be fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
351 Posts
If there were no other vehicles on the road, your friends method is probably a little safer, but any danger involved in going over the tracks at normal speed is outweighed by the increased chance of him getting rear ended by a slightly distracted driver who doesn't expect him to almost stop.

One advantage of going slow is that you can more easily ensure that you cross the tracks at approximately 90 degrees, but since most tracks cross the road at about that angle anyway, I'm with you and generally just make sure I've got a tight grip on the handlebars and momentarily lighten the front end slightly at normal speed. So far, so good.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,597 Posts
I have quite a few crossing by me. The RR companies have been repairing the crossings over the years and there are not many left you can catch air of off unless you are pushing it. I just cross the tracks a normal pace some times slow down a touch but not all that much.

I would say you friends at greater risk if he has traffic behind him. You would be at greater risk if you have traffic in front or any up and coming intersections. There always seems to be debris, sand or gravel not to far from RR tracks.
 

·
Iron Butt Moderator
Joined
·
9,271 Posts
I can see slowing down if your field of view is limited to check for trains but not that slow. I see that as endangering yourself by getting rear ended. We have several sets of tracks in town that run around a 60* angle to the road, I don't slow just make a slight job to change my angle of crossing.

Slowing down could give the tracks more leverage to alter the angle of the front tire.

Besides, tracks are more fun at speed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
984 Posts
I slow down some, but not that slow. I still do the 'stand up slightly on the pegs' thing too.

It depends on the tracks and surface, which at 40mph, you might not be able to tell. I can say that there is one large train crossing in town, and the speeds through it are in the 40+ range. And let me tell you, that road surface is no where near safe for even cars to go over at 40 mph! I have seen cars get their wheels off the ground hitting this particular set of tracks! A motorcyclist hitting them at speed would be very very bad.

So, I guess to sum up: Depends on the particular crossing, but I generally slow down a bit to cross them, scanning both the road surface and for trains and other issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Where I ride there are two rails which cross roads at odd angles. Are we supposed to try to cross rail road tracks at right angles? If so, I would need to slow down significantly and then position myself in my lane such that I can cross the rails at closer to 90 degrees.

However, even then it would be difficult to cross at 90 degrees. Is it bad to be leaning or counter steering while crossing the rails?

Msurk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
The only guy I ride with, rides a harley, and he blasts over the RR tracks like they don't exist.
 
1 - 20 of 51 Posts
Top