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Old 08-31-2012, 09:11 PM   #1
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From: Vancouver, WA

I Ride: '82 Yamaha XJ1100J
Tar snakes...Why??
As I was riding around SW Washington today I discovered a pile of new tar snakes....Washougal area, Amboy, a few other places.
It made me wonder why to various DOT's don't simply throw some course sand or small gravel on them when they lay them down? Obviously there's a minor added expense to doing this, but the safety gain has got to be well worth it. Then I thought why doesn't the AMA or some of the other big motorcycle advocates lobby the various DOT's to do this? Have they ever tried?
Anybody know anything about the history of tar snakes?

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Old 08-31-2012, 09:19 PM   #2
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Dude I pulled over in amboy today after I unknowlingly hit some tar snakes. I thought I had a front flat. They had to have been new because it was a corner I've hit many times without issue. Oh and Wtf was up with all that gravel in that fresh paved section of switchbacks?

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Old 08-31-2012, 09:25 PM   #3
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From: Everett, WA

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I know the history of tar snakes. If you lean too far on them, they'll bite.

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Old 08-31-2012, 09:28 PM   #4
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From: El Mar

I Ride: 07' Triumph Tiger, 08' KTM 450 EXCR, 08' GSXR 1000 Track, 07' Aprilia Tuono
Tar Snakes are listed as a protected species under the Environmental Protection Act. They cannot be tampered with. If you encountered them in a pile, it means that they are breeding so do not interfere or hinder their mating ritual or you will face severe noodle lashing.

If DOTs throw anything at them or attempt to lay them, they could become violent and attack.

The AMA has historically just filmed them for their personal (say brown chicken, brown cow fast) gratification at a later point in time.

Annually they only breed at the most inconvenient time for motorcyclists.

Hope this helps. If it doesn't drink another beer, cause I will be.

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Old 08-31-2012, 09:31 PM   #5
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“ Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSumoBear View Post
Dude I pulled over in amboy today after I unknowlingly hit some tar snakes. I thought I had a front flat. They had to have been new because it was a corner I've hit many times without issue. Oh and Wtf was up with all that gravel in that fresh paved section of switchbacks?
Yup the gravel was a bitch and I don't remember the snakes being there either. Slippery f*ers for sure. Just seams like a really easy thing to make them much safer...a little sand, the excess of which would blow away in a few days.

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Old 08-31-2012, 09:38 PM   #6
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I Ride: 09 Blk Daytona 675 (better than hoochie), BLK/Silver 06 Tiger, Red 04 R1, Yellow 99 Daytona 955i
yeah hit some they had SANDED on a road - eff that better off to have NO SAND on them it just makes them WORSE

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Old 08-31-2012, 09:39 PM   #7
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Because the various DOT's and county road departments are trying to spend the tax dollars they receive in the most cost effective manner possible. I hate them with a passion, but if the authorities asked for enough money to do a proper job they'll get crucified. They're basically a way to hold a road together and delay more expensive repairs. Chip seal is the same way. Cheaper than a proper job.

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Old 08-31-2012, 09:45 PM   #8
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“ Quote:
Originally Posted by Stringcheese View Post
Because the various DOT's and county road departments are trying to spend the tax dollars they receive in the most cost effective manner possible. I hate them with a passion, but if the authorities asked for enough money to do a proper job they'll get crucified. They're basically a way to hold a road together and delay more expensive repairs. Chip seal is the same way. Cheaper than a proper job.
yeah but hell on bike tires - chip seal doesnt chew car/truck tires up as bad as supersport bike tires

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Old 08-31-2012, 10:56 PM   #9
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Joined: Aug 2005
From: Vanquivering with Kevin in WA.

I Ride: Kawasaki Z1000; Yamaha RZ350 (2); Yamaha RD400 (2); Yamaha RD350 (2); Yamaha RD125; Yamaha RD60; Kawasaki '72 G5-100; '66 Suzuki X-6 Hustler FINALLY!!
I almost bit it today turning R to continue onto 503 in Amboy (by the old torn down school). I don't know if it's the newness, or some tar snakes are of a different composition/thickness but while leaned into the turn my front tire slipped on one of those f*ckers and I thought that was it.

Luckily stayed upright to my surprise...they shouldn't be allowed to do this sloppy shit....pouring about 1/2 gallon of tar on cracks 1/8" wide is just total bullshit. In this day and age of technology, there should be a way to make a machine that would use laser sights or electronic eyes to precisely inject a proper amount of tar directly into the cracks...not this half-assed, sloppy overkill that serves zero purpose except for endangering motorcyclists.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!

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Old 08-31-2012, 11:24 PM   #10
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Right at the end of that section of road where its a 90 degree right and there's that other road that continues onto it from the left is where I had my moment. Except I was coming back so it was a left hand turn for me.

All the tarsnakes on that stretch were greasey as shit though. I could feel the whole bike wiggle under me in the straights.

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Old 09-01-2012, 06:00 AM   #11
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From: here going there.

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Think its bad now? At least you can see them. Wait until the rainy season starts. You get that thin film of water on the road, you can't see them. They're a hell of a lot more slippery too. That's about the same time those large (steel) manhole covers start getting slick.

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Old 09-01-2012, 06:09 AM   #12
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“ Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSumoBear View Post
Right at the end of that section of road where its a 90 degree right and there's that other road that continues onto it from the left is where I had my moment. Except I was coming back so it was a left hand turn for me.

All the tarsnakes on that stretch were greasey as shit though. I could feel the whole bike wiggle under me in the straights.
The first 90 you run the centerline to stay away from them and on the second one you hug the fogline (heading out of Amboy towards Cougar). Hmm I may have that backwards though (I do that sometimes).

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Old 09-01-2012, 12:17 PM   #13
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Yep, my buddy and I were up there on Wednesday and we were both looking down to check our tires and commented about it at the Chelatchie gas stop. I almost went wide on that section, right into a truck. That used to be a fun corner.

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Old 09-01-2012, 08:20 PM   #14
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From: Lakewood, WA

I Ride: '07 GSXR1000, '06 gixxer 600 track bike, '08 CBR1000RR gone but not forgot...
This is my beautiful '08 CBR1000RR a few minutes after the accident. I could go on and on about tar snakes. It was in a hot afternoon in Ukiah, OR this past June (fantastic roads btw as everyone who rides them knows).

We were whipping along the backroads having a terrific time when I felt the front end getting light. All in a flash --these things happen quick--I tried to analyze what the problem might be: low tire pressure, suspension, ???. Weirdly, I never noticed the tar snakes although they were big as life and greasy as hell. I just didn't see them. There were two fat snakes running parallel to the road, I lost the front on one snake and again on the other, then I am in the gravel, a little panic, a little target fixation...and then into the ditch. That was like being shot out of a circus cannon. Luckily a tree was growing in the ditch to slow me down. Bike stopped, I flew (I am told) 30+ feet and landed flat on my back. Miraculously, I escaped without a single scratch.

I should have known better. I do know better. But thats how shit happens at high speeds. The tar snakes caught me by surprise but I attribute the crash to rider error.

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Old 09-01-2012, 08:34 PM   #15
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From: HighBridge Snohomish, WA

I Ride: GSXR600,DRZsm
“ Quote:
Originally Posted by Stringcheese View Post
Because the various DOT's and county road departments are trying to spend the tax dollars they receive in the most cost effective manner possible. I hate them with a passion, but if the authorities asked for enough money to do a proper job they'll get crucified. They're basically a way to hold a road together and delay more expensive repairs. Chip seal is the same way. Cheaper than a proper job.
im not a big fan either but tar snakes and chip seal are not repairs. they are preventative maintenance. they stop moisture from leaking into the surface and ruining the pavement from the inside. if the road is total shit they re-do it.

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Old 09-01-2012, 08:35 PM   #16
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Sure seems like a big pile of crap. We should all be writing our congressmen and bitching up a storm. These things kill people and I'm at a loss as to why the various motorcycle groups haven't lobbied to stop the practice or modify it to make it safer. I realize it's cheap, but it's just plain dangerous enough out there already.

Mattinski: What did your insurance company have to say? I would have thought the insurance companies would be all over this...or do they just blame it on the rider every time. I'm not saying you shouldn't be in control of your machine, but this it the equivalent of black ice in July....

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Old 09-01-2012, 08:40 PM   #17
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“ Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeames View Post
Sure seems like a big pile of crap. We should all be writing our congressmen and bitching up a storm. These things kill people and I'm at a loss as to why the various motorcycle groups haven't lobbied to stop the practice or modify it to make it safer. I realize it's cheap, but it's just plain dangerous enough out there already
they arent dangerous if you are going the speed limit

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Old 09-01-2012, 08:42 PM   #18
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“ Quote:
Originally Posted by SiCC View Post
they arent dangerous if you are going the speed limit
ooohhhh! that was the problem! next time I won't try to keep up with you.....at least on sketchy roads...

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Old 09-01-2012, 08:45 PM   #19
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“ Quote:
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they arent dangerous if you are going the speed limit
Sure, whatever you say.....

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Old 09-01-2012, 08:45 PM   #20
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“ Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinski View Post
ooohhhh! that was the problem! next time I won't try to keep up with you.....at least on sketchy roads...
hey i never said i obeyed the speed limit, it is merely a suggestion!!

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