Rain grooves
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  1. #1
    Are we there yet? galute's Avatar
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    Default Rain grooves

    What are rain grooves and where do you find them?
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    Seasoned Member Addicted's Avatar
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    Rain Grooves are the grooves in the road to help channel the rainwater off the road. These are generally on the highways.
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    Default Rain grooves

    Usually found on concrete roadways,Interstates & freeways. They are grooves imbedded in the road surface to dissapate water during heavy/moderate rains. Sometimes can go for a mile or more only to reappear again.
    Depending on the tread patterern & size of the motorcycle tire,they can cause a front wheel shimmy,some more severe than others.
    I've encountered them on Interstates in the West,Ca. is fond of them,& on I-81 & 70 ,WVA,I-64 around Charleston,NY & PA. in the East.
    No big deal really,just relax your grip on the handel bars & you'll be O.K..
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    Seasoned Member HiYoCheeto's Avatar
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    Galute,
    Here's a good picture of rain grooves in California, a lot of states have them;


    On the straights they are not too bad, but, on curves they can throw you off. I almost landed under a semi once when I hit grooves on a turn with a 750 Honda.

    Any tire with a solid center groove will tend to track these and feel squiggly, i.e. Bridgestone D250s;


    Frank
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    we've got rain groves out here in phx on the cement interstates in some places but the time that comes to mind is when my wife and i came off the golden gate bridge into the marin side and got hit by the high winds and deep rain groves it sure got our attention, at first it felt like flat tires glenn in phx

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    Seasoned Member J-mac's Avatar
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    Rain groves in NY are used primarily to accumulate water during the winter, which then freezes, creats large slabs of ice and keeps the collision/auto-body companies in business.
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    As Hiyo said..those tires can be scary!!!! Wiggle wiggle wiggle......When I ride my XL250 on the highway,,,the front end goes eveywhere but straight !!!!>> MY metzelers on the GW dont even notice the grooves........

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    Seasoned Member NJREF's Avatar
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    J=Mac.......I spent 6 summers and 10 winters in Rochers (U of R)

    Fond memories of Nicks...late at night

    Hijack alert!!!

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    Seasoned Member Don Swanburg's Avatar
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    Up here in New England the things of concern are steel grated bridges and grooves in the asphalt like you've shown.

    The only time we have the grooves are when they are preparing to repave. It helps to smooth out the base and give the new asphault a better grip.

    It's worst than those pictures, though as you would think they were layed down by a drunken sailor. Can't draw a straight line. They often are not straigh or even.
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    Some of the grooves are not straight, even on a straight road. These are the ones that I find cause the greatest oscillation with a D250. The E3 tracks them fine. I believe that these grooves can greatly accelerate cupping. I had taken about a 750 mile trip with a very few twisties (maybe 100 miles) in the middle. I noticed no noise from cupping in that 100 miles. After a 320 mile run home on straight roads I had about 200 miles of rain grooves. By the time I got home the D250's were howling and cupped.

    Don't claim to be scientific here and I wasn't looking for this, so I cannot be certain of when the cupping started, but I didn't notice it in the turns on smooth roads before I went home. Be that as it may, I hate riding on concrete roads.

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    Are we there yet? galute's Avatar
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    Thanks for the picture Frank. I have seen a lot of talk about rain grooves on these boards but in 23 years of being in the road construction business I had never seen one. I was just wondering what everyone was talking about. Those are not rain grooves nor do they have any thing to do with rain. They are simply where the Hwy dept has milled a high spot from the road or in some cases they have milled the road down to keep it from being too high for future overlays or such as that.
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  13. #12
    Seasoned Member J-mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJREF
    J=Mac.......I spent 6 summers and 10 winters in Rochers (U of R)

    Fond memories of Nicks...late at night

    Hijack alert!!!

    aaahhh Nicks, an experiance that needs to be felt, not discribed
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    Seasoned Member Yellow Streak's Avatar
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    Grooved pavement is so bad it can actually make a cage squirrely ..

    I was in the middle of some groovy Rain on my way home from work today...
    We havent had rain in weeks ..

    It rained so hard, cars were slowing down, I ducked in behind the windscreen and enjoyed it .. What a blast..
    Was impressed with the new E3 on the rear , just wish my front wasnt bald..
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    Those are not rain grooves nor do they have any thing to do with rain. They are simply where the Hwy dept has milled a high spot from the road or in some cases they have milled the road down to keep it from being too high for future overlays or such as that.
    Au contraire. In California they put them in brand new concreate, in fact those are the worst because the grooves are not square cut but are rough and squiggly. I image they have something that rakes it before it is set completely. I believe the photo shows some of those. The ones the grinders cut are much more even and the surface is smoother. I keep thinking what it must be like to fall and slide on one like in the photo. I'll bet it would even shread leather. I

    The noise and vibration on the concrete is very irritating. Really makes you appreciate asphalt.

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    Seasoned Member pshivers's Avatar
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    You guys should have been out here in the early 70's when they first starting cutting the infamous California Rain Grooves! They cut them deep and they cut them wide!

    Unfortunetly for a few California Highway Patrolmen, they found out the ribbed front tires (Factory Issue) on their brand new Honda CB750 policebikes and the new rain grooves did not get along very well!

    Many officiers (and a few of us citizens), went down before they figured what Hell was going on
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    Contributing Member LBS's Avatar
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    Yes, rain grooves are found on "finished" road surfaces. ALSO, having just returned from a ride on I-70 outside Glennwood Springs, Co, the asphalt road construction/re-construction method includes taking up the old asphalt. This leaves some VERY Serious grooves until the asphalt is replaced. Lots of caution because there is serious "wiggle and shake" going on. Slower speed made it worse and normal speed made certain parts of my body pucker!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LBS View Post
    Yes, rain grooves are found on "finished" road surfaces. ALSO, having just returned from a ride on I-70 outside Glennwood Springs, Co, the asphalt road construction/re-construction method includes taking up the old asphalt. This leaves some VERY Serious grooves until the asphalt is replaced. Lots of caution because there is serious "wiggle and shake" going on. Slower speed made it worse and normal speed made certain parts of my body pucker!!!

    Ride Safe, Ride Often
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    This is not so much of a grove as its where they ground the top off to lay new black top on top.

  19. #18
    Seasoned Member donniejoe's Avatar
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    Hey Galute,
    In Arkansas, we have some on I 430 between the Arkansas River and the Cantrell Road exit in the north bound lane. They have them all over in some states, but Arkansas doesn't use them much. Just as glad.

  20. #19
    Seasoned Member stumpbucket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-mac View Post
    Rain groves in NY are used primarily to accumulate water during the winter, which then freezes, creats large slabs of ice and keeps the collision/auto-body companies in business.
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    Seasoned Member Dakota Triker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Mays View Post
    First, what is Rain? I forgot what it looks like.
    Rain is that wet stuff that falls whenever you forget your raingear. (Except this year!)

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    Seasoned Member kwthom's Avatar
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    ...and this is how we pull up six year old threads and continue the conversations within them.

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    Seasoned Member ReRide's Avatar
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    So riddle me this: The grooves are parallel with the road. If they were going channel the water off the road, wouldn't it make more sense that the grooves should at 90 degrees to what is shown in the picture? Is it possible that the crown of the grooves offer a chance for more solid contact with the tire, and then the lower part of the groove just holds the water? It would seem like the water has to flow over those grooves to get off the road, meaning they are a bit of an obstruction rather than an aid in getting rid of the water on the road. I've always wondered about that myself, because to me, they would have to turn the direction of the grooves to actually improve the movement of water off the road. Call me crazy, but that is the way it seems to me.

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