Stayin’ Safe: A Pain in the Grass

grass clippings on the road
Grass on the roadway can be a non-issue or an extremely slippery condition. If possible, slow down using clear pavement ahead of the covered area.

I’ve got a grass-fed beef. And, based on recent conversations, so do a lot of riders. Homeowners mowing their lawns and throwing abundant grass clippings onto the roadway can create a special kind of threat to motorcyclists.

Dry grass will typically blow away as vehicles pass through or breezes sweep it off the roadway. But if grass is wet, it clings to the surface and can be like grease under motorcycle tires.

If possible, when confronted with grass-covered pavement, do all slowing on clear pavement leading up to the grassy area. Keep eyes up, looking well ahead to increase stability. To maximize traction, minimize steering, braking and throttle inputs and coast through the grass patches. If the equivalent of one of these Chia Pet patches of pavement appears in a corner, the rider should minimize lean angles and look to the exit, not down at the grass or toward the edge of the road.

Remember that grass will stay wet longer than pavement. So, after a rain shower or in the morning when dew blankets the landscape with moisture, the road surface may be dry, but grass clippings may still be wet and slippery.

grass clippings on the road
When riding through grass, minimizing steering, braking and throttle inputs will help to maximize available traction.

The best way to avoid problems? Ride only as fast as you can see and anticipate the possibility before you encounter it. If you see homes with lawns–especially on the weekends when homeowners are most active doing yardwork–there’s a good chance someone will be mowing. Larger lawns, like those found in rural areas where we like to ride, are often maintained with lawn tractors that process large amounts of grass and throw it greater distances.

While discharging grass onto roadways is illegal in many areas, it remains a threat to riders. Anticipating the condition and riding smoothly and calmly through it will reduce the likelihood that grass on the road will clip you.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here