How to save a motorcycle rear wheel slide | Bike riding advice | Don't crash!

Chris Northover explains what to do if you lose grip on the rear wheel of a motorbike – how to avoid a crash!


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  1. Mud experience. …learn to feather the throttle in mud and dirt. Then there’s a chance of survival on the road…
    here’s my story.
    Entered the freeway. Opened my HD softy up. Banking to the left on entery hit cow or horse dung from a truck .. I felt the bike coming out from under me ( mud experience ) looked in mirror. Cars in all 3 lanes. Close. I entered the freeway and exelerated to 60+ mph knew I would bounce off the concrete wall back into the cars behind me. So I lifted the bike up ( pulled it out of the lean and straightened up the bike ) the bike, the bike tank slapped as I road out of the dung banked back over before I changed lanes And hit the wall and proceed. Sounds like a lot of thinking. But was about two or three seconds. If it’s not in your body your dead. If you need to think about it your dead. It has to come naturally … that’s my opinion.

  2. Dont turn the traction control off ! Lol better still don't ride in the wet that's what cars are for,or better still training and may be of road riding,this can really sharpen your reactions and ability to deal with things moving around all of a sudden,but training Def great advise.

  3. When i loose it, i never felt for the moment, maybe because i like racing it helps ? Its seems i shut the gas but in reality i think i dont have time to cut the gas and the traction is back so i keep it 10% 20%… damn the greasy roundabound or crosswalks

  4. Great, helpful advice thanks, but please stop using the expression 'muscle memory' in the context of rapid reflex actions as this is a common misconception. What you are referring to is in fact brain or neurological memory. Muscle memory refers to a muscle's ability or otherwise to return to it's correct length or tension after any given neurological or external input such as a message from the brain or massage/stretching. Muscle memory refers to it's 'set length' if you will, be it ideal, spasm or at the other extreme flaccid. An example being a muscle in spasm returning quickly to it's spastic condition after a massage.

  5. Great advice. I had my first rear wheel slide on my s1000r on a hot track day, where I hit a wet patch (seepage). it happened quickly but my slow brain recalled “do not shut the throttle” and “this bike has TC and other electrickery” – and it was fine – BMW brain sorted it and the little that my brain remembered saved the day. Will be enrolling on an off road course by the same track day people, which the quicker guys I chatted to said they had done and did wonders for their confidence and skills.

  6. eas of brakes or the throttle.dont panic.sometimg l go out my way so the back end dose come if it dose happens l know what to. people can watch has many video about this .u have to go out an doing yourself or your never know how gonna feel in real life. but l do appreciate the video keep up the good work

  7. As I'm commenting this, I just crashed a few hours ago. Quite many times it happened to me on wet road and I could control the slide and get back on it. But not this time though. Dry road and my rear tire catches the grip too quick and I didn't have enough time to react, the bike wobble hard for a bit and sent me airborne. Dry surface kinda hard to control, it's different.

  8. My instinctive reaction to the rear wheel starting to lose grip is to reduce the lean angle, has worked every time so far, but I've never properly lost grip, or at least never skidded more than an inch or two sideways before catching it. I keep the throttle steady.

  9. Don't: Think "Hmm I better keep the throttle wide open so I make some sort of low side" and then "Nah, I can probably still shut it and make it". 10 days in bed, 2 months on crutches. Came pretty close to completely ripping off some ligaments in my ankle, still can't move it 100% after 3 years :X Was a fun day supermoto-ing with slicks in the rain though!

  10. I high sided once. Was due to an ongoing relationship with a neighbor's goofy great Dane dog punking me out .. Landed on my feet + my 1982 v45 was fine.
    but yeah, literally catapulted me up though the air

  11. Nearly highsided the second week after I got my R1, as you say the natural reaction is to shut the gas off and I panicked and ended up sitting on the tank :/

    Easy to control the rear when you're expecting it, terrifying when it catches you off guard.

  12. I've had very few slides but thankfully so far have come out of them alright. They all happened so fast I can say I truly don't know what I did. If I had to guess I would say I backed off, not chopped, the throttle. Each time was 30-40 mph around a corner.
    I know one time I did hold throttle when my tire spun on gravel. When the tire regained grip the handlebars whipped violently and I came off the seat slightly. I know it spun on gravel because I rode back to see what caused this action on an otherwise clean and grippy surface.


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