Slip-streaming other traffic: a rough guide

A quest to see what's worth slip-streaming on UK roads

Ben Cope's picture
Submitted by Ben Cope on Mon, 05/06/2006 - 17:59


Well they are bloody useless for a start.


Not tried, I fear a slight timing mix up and I could be cleaning horse shit from my teeth for weeks. Added to the fact I don't think they generate enough turbulance from which to benefit.


Z1300 not exactly God's gift to making subtle progress is it? When they go past you at 120 on the M4 between J6 and 7 you have to have a piece of the action. So un-aerodynamic, it was sucking voids of air out of Slough on its way through. The riders puffer jacket was inflated like a whopee cushion, furthermore adding to my advantage. The Bandit was off the clock and bounding off the limiter. Z1300's? I love them I do. Slip-streaming bikers is recommended only for advanced riders, breaking stream is all to easy.


Entry level. They were put on our roads purely to carve up the air and suck you along like an X-Wing going through Deep space 6 or whatever number their on. These rolling bricks provide you with a powerful sling-shot and are ideal for motorway entry. If timed right, a lorry enhanced motorway entry can have you up to law breaking speeds before you can say a rather large and fast approaching "long vehicle". Shit, time to change lanes.

The numbers on the back of lorries should provide you a rough guide as to how good the slipstream effect will be. Aim for lorries that display a 100 sticker. Bonus points if you can find and utilise one displaying a larger figure. Claims for streaming anything much larger will be looked on with envy.


Oh yes, unlike lorrys they do go over 50mph, and in general most vans have been designed with aerodynamics a positive last. Result? A supreme weapon to add to your slip-streaming arsenal. Best of the class is the Mercedes Sprinter. Capable of ton plus speeds and sizeable enough to carry even Branson's wallet, they are a slip-streaming mecca, careful you don't end up in the passenger seat.

On the downside, it seems that to qualify as a van driver you must discard 90% of the rules of the road. Getting 1 ladder, 2 buckets and a few sacks of cement across the capital IS important and DOES demand eratic lane changing. Must also be done whilst scoffing a service station sarnie or sparking up a Benson. So lining yourself up for a bit of the action with a Van is not as easy as it may seem. By the time your target is within "reeling in" range, the Van in question has probably done about 3 lane changes and foiled your plans. Be tactical.


Useless. There really is no point in using anything they have on offer. By the time you have lined them up and zapped past, they more often than not see it as a sign for a race. Yes, I do know a Mondeo can go faster than me in a straight line, thanks.

If you are going to play with cars, try anything that has been "modded". Huge rear splitters, trim and "aerodynamic" wind screen wipers, not to forget the compulsory arm out window, all add up to a lot of shifty looking air. It would be rude not to.

Random Traffic:

There's a house. It's on the M1. It's huge. It's on the back of a lorry. Bliss. To coin a Walkerism, Rare events like these don't happen very often. You have to slip-stream a house at *least* once, don't you?

Shrubbery and small animals were being ripped from the ground as the house trundled up the M1. No police escort so I lined it up, an amazingly long way away I could feel the effect, I was being hauled along by someones living room, fantastic. A last minute knock on the bars to change direction had me ducking under the edge and past, off for a more common fix. I'll never look at a mobile home in the same way again that's for sure.

More rough guides coming soon.

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