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Old 06-03-2010, 09:23 AM   #1
jeff10236
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Default Tunnels?

So, I'm getting more and more new experiences on my motorcycle, and I'm starting to think ahead a year to when I want to start touring the country on my motorcycle. I may do a trial trip this year. So, I'm thinking about different conditions I may hit.

I've taken several runs now on decent sized bridges, and while I can't say I like riding on a large bridge, I don't mind them anymore (though I haven't yet hit a large, several mile, suspension bridge).

I'm thinking the next thing to tackle are tunnels. It may not always be possible to avoid them, at least not without a sizable detour (and in an area where you don't know the alternate routes, that means you may not be able to avoid them). In a car I used to love them, when I was a kid. Driving in them is no big deal, and I doubt the drive will be on a motorcycle either. However, I always close up all the windows and my sunroof. Being so enclosed, the air in there can't be healthy.

So, how are they on a motorcycle? Do you come out feeling like you just smoked 2 cartons of cigarettes? Through ventilation and fans do they keep the air in there relatively fresh (as fresh as they can) and it isn't too bad?

Whenever possible, if riding in or near a major city at rush hour I'll take a bridge if there is one as an alternative. I really don't want to be stuck in a tunnel in a traffic jam breathing in all that carbon monoxide (I'll take a traffic jam on a bridge instead of a tunnel when I have the choice when in my car for the same reason- on a bike I definitely don't want to be down there breathing in those fumes). But, when traffic is moving, should I still avoid them, or are they OK? We certainly can't hold our breath for 2-5 miles through a mountain or under a river or harbor, even when traffic is moving.

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Old 06-03-2010, 09:40 AM   #2
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Tunnels are fine, if I were in a traffic stop stuck in a tunnel, I'd ride the shoulder to the end if the air quality was questionable. I ride through the Big Walker Mtn. Tunnels at the Wv, Va state line a lot and have had no problems other then being able to see wearing sunglasses in the dark.
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:42 AM   #3
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I've never noticed any breathing problems, but then again the longest tunnel in this area is only about 1/2-mile or so long. My biggest problem is I seem to roll-on the throttle without realizing it, and might be doin' over a Buck when I emerge from the other side (D'OH!).

One guy I used to work with went on a ride that took them through this particular tunnel, and about 65 open-piped Harleys downshifting and rackin'-off the pipes as hard as they can, set off the Earthquake Alarm in the thing.............
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_AirHawk View Post
about 65 open-piped Harleys downshifting and rackin'-off the pipes as hard as they can, set off the Earthquake Alarm in the thing.............
...........and saved a life?
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
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...........and saved a life?

Whole bunch of them from the sound of it....Good Job boys!!!
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Whole bunch of them from the sound of it....Good Job boys!!!
WHAT!? HUH?! YOU'LL HAVE TO SPEAK A LITTLE LOUDER!
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:58 AM   #7
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Longer tunnels are carefully engineered to provide plenty of fresh air for the vehicles and their occupants. Remember the entry to the MIB HQ? That's the air intake for the Holland Tunnel in NY. You'll get no more fumes etc. in a long tunnel than you would on a busy city street.

Tunnels are rare here in South FL, but we do have one that goes under the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale. It's hugely popular with the Harley Fags because if you whack the throttle open with straight pipes, the noise is incredible.

A few years ago they used to have a Friday Bike Nite at Fuddruckers, which is just South of the tunnel. About 30 bikes were on their way there by way of the tunnel. The group entered the tunnel, whacked their throttles and blasted out the other side, where there was a minor car accident that had stopped traffic. Within seconds 20 bikes were crashed. IIRC, 2 or 3 riders died and several went to the hospital.
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:08 PM   #8
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And as far as air quality goes, you're breathing the same stuff when you're driving the car, although you do have the option of heating or cooling it.
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:14 PM   #9
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Unless of course you drive a high quality Ford vehicle with built in cabin air filter, then the air your breath is as fresh as Gods farts..........
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:22 PM   #10
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Yeah, but aren't they just particulate filters?

The fumes would still get through, eh?

I mean, if they do, what are we to blame when we 'off-gas?'

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