Traction control (TCS) is a common safety feature on many modern motorcycles, including trail bikes. This feature uses sensors to detect the bike's wheel speed and acceleration, and adjusts power delivery to help prevent wheel spin. While TCS can be a valuable tool on the road, there are reasons why you should not activate TCS when driving offroad. In this article, we will explore why it is not advisable to activate traction control on a trail bike when riding offroad.
Traction control works to maintain grip between the motorcycle's wheels and the ground. Before talking about the function of traction control, it is important to mention the importance of grip when riding motorcycles, especially on offroad motorcycles.
Grip, when we talk about motorcyclists, consists of the ability to attach or hold the wheels of a vehicle (it can be a motorcycle or car) to the surface of the ground. This surface can be very varied, the most common is asphalt, which is a typical construction material for roads, followed by cement. These materials are generally designed to last and have good grip with the vehicle's tires, since they are designed just for these means, for traffic roads.
Now traction decreases noticeably when we are driving in offroad environments, especially in sand, mud and snow. This happens because they are elements of nature that are simply not designed for a pair of tires to be rolling on them. So without good traction on a trail bike, the chances of your bike sliding increase. On many occasions skids occur when the rear wheel spins a little faster than the front.
Traction control is a mechanism that works to read and control wheel speed. Generally this action is done through different sensors installed on the motorcycles, these sensors capture the speed of the wheels, if the rear one rotates faster than the front one is where the slip occurs.
This advanced sensor records and compares the speed and revolutions of the wheels and if the rear wheel is spinning faster, this sensor automatically reduces engine power to decrease and match the number of revolutions and speed. In this way the possibility of slipping is reduced to a minimum.
The main objective of traction control is driver safety. We can find different types of traction control, for example there are some with adjustable controls where you can select the intensity of the traction control on the wheels.
Traction control is very good for safety and precaution issues, however, its activation will depend on the context. For example, it would not be useful at all to activate traction control in situations where we need power, especially in stagnant situations where we need as much force as possible to get out, these occur a lot in sand and mud.
It is also not advisable to activate it if we need to avoid or overcome an object or obstacle, since here we would also need power, something that we lose with the activation of the activated motorcycle traction.
Some experienced drivers comment that activating traction control does not generate better grip or stability, however, this is a very subjective issue where we will find different opinions, it is best that you do the test and verify for yourself.
TCS is designed to prevent wheel spin on slippery surfaces, such as wet asphalt. However, when driving offroad, sliding is often necessary to overcome obstacles such as stones, sand and mud. TCS can limit the trail bike's ability to address these obstacles by reducing power and preventing wheel spin. This can cause the trail bike to get stuck or not be able to overcome otherwise manageable obstacles.
Traction control can make the trail bike unstable on uneven terrain. When the wheels encounter a slippery surface, TCS reduces power delivery, which can cause the trail bike to wobble or lose balance. On uneven terrain, it is important that the trail bike has a constant power delivery to maintain balance and control.
In offroad driving situations, traction control can increase the risk of falls. By reducing power delivery, TCS can cause the trail bike to slide or skid in situations where sliding is necessary to maintain control. While TCS can help prevent wheel spin, it can also make your trail bike unpredictable and harder to control.
In offroad driving situations, you may need consistent power delivery to get out of sticky situations, like getting stuck in mud or sand. If you have traction control activated, the trail bike may not have the power necessary to get out of these situations, which can result in unnecessary wait times or even having to call a tow truck.
In short, traction control can be a valuable tool on the road, but it is not advisable to activate it when driving offroad. Consistent power delivery is essential in offroad riding situations to maintain balance and control, and TCS can limit the trail bike's ability to navigate obstacles and get out of sticky situations.
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