Locked Brakes: Avoiding a High Side

A high side is one of the most dangerous of all motorcycle accidents. When one occurs, the rider is actually thrown in front of the bike. The results of such an accident can be deadly. The rider is not only in danger of suffering injuries from the fall, but they also run the risk of colliding with the bike itself.

In order to increase your motorcycle safety, it is important to understand the causes behind a high side. Only when you educate yourself can you take the proper precautions and avoid a serious motorcycle injury.

What Causes a High Side?

High sides predominantly happen when a motorcycle is in a turn. It is important to note, however, that a high side can also occur if the motorcycle is unbalanced or if the road’s surface is severely angled or curved.

In any of these scenarios, too much rear brake pressure can cause the rear brake to suddenly seize and lock. The rear tire then begins to lose traction, which causes the bike to lose speed and flip. The end resulting being that the rider is thrown from the bike.

Avoiding a High Side

Of course, understanding the causes behind a high side is only half the battle. To increase your motorcycle safety, keep the following cornering tips in mind:

  • Braking: The majority of high side accidents occur from applying too much brake pressure during turns, ultimately locking the rear tires. Apply brake pressure in moderation, only using it to tamper your speed.
  • Accelerating: Over accelerating during a turn can also cause a high side. Sudden increases in speed during a turn can cause the rear wheel to slip, causing the bike to suddenly jerk sideways.
  • Cornering: When entering a corner do not allow the motorcycle to lean too far. This will result in the rear tire reaching its cornering limit before the front tire. When this happens the bike can suddenly jerk and lose traction.

In the end, the name of the game is motorcycle safety. Use caution anytime you enter or exit a turn. By avoiding sudden shifts in direction or changes in speed, you chances of avoiding a motorcycle accident increase dramatically.

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