Motorcycle Skid Control

For most of us, a skidding out of control vehicle is a frightening predicament as it can easily end in an accident.

For vulnerable motorcycle riders, this is of even greater concern due to having little protection. Ideally it is of course far better to avoid a skid occurring rather than having to deal with one. But if the worst happens and you lose control, this motorcycle skid control guide offer advice on what to do.

A skid is essentially when tyres lose traction with the road surface, the vehicle no longer follows the intended course and the effect of braking is significantly reduced.

Causes of a Motorcycle Skid

A motorcycle skid can be caused by various circumstances and will typically involve:

  • Excessive braking which locks one or both wheels.
  • Excessive acceleration which causes the rear wheel to spin.
  • A sudden change in direction.
  • Leaning over too far whilst cornering which may cause one or both tyres to lose traction.

How to Control a Motorcycle Skid

How you will control a skid on your motorcycle depends on the cause.

Motorcycle skid control
Excessive speed on corners is a common cause of skidding

Excessive Braking

How to control a motorcycle skid due to excessive braking.

  • Release the brakes to allow the wheels to turn again and in return, regain traction.
  • Now reapply the brakes as firmly as possible, but so to avoid locking the wheels again.

If excessive braking has caused your motorcycle to skid, it’s natural to brake harder. However, tyres that have lost traction with the road surface prevent you from steering. Although it feels like a natural response to brake harder, avoid doing so because it’s essential that you regain traction with the road surface to gain control of your steering.

Excessive Acceleration

How to control a motorcycle skid due to excessive acceleration.

  • Excessive acceleration can cause the rear wheel of your motorcycle to lose traction and slide sideways. Steering into the direction that your motorcycle is sliding.
  • Reduce throttle to regain traction.

Cornering or a Change of Direction

Your motorcycle may begin to skid whilst cornering or changing direction.

  • If possible, try to keep your feet on the footrests. Placing a foot on the ground can upset the balance of your bike and make the vehicle more unstable.
  • Steer into the skid. If your motorcycle is skidding to the left, steer to the left and if it begins to skid to the right, steer to the right.

Skid Avoidance

Avoiding a skid occurring is the best situation and can only be done when the rider is alert to road and traffic conditions and can plan and anticipate ahead. Essentially this is defensive riding.

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