2011 Mazda 2 Touring: Groooooovy
February 08, 2011
Here in L.A., nearly every stretch of highway surface has rain grooves. These small channels are cut into the concrete surface in an attempt to direct water off of the driving surface. To the beginner motorcyclist, these rain grooves make it feel like you have a flat tire. In our long-term Mazda 2, it feels squirmy.
Maybe it's the narrow-ish 185-width tires. Maybe it's the all-weather tread pattern or short wheelbase. More likely, it's a combination of these. I rarely feel the grooves when I'm riding on wider or higher-performance tires.
When these rain grooves don't follow the lane direction (maybe the operator spilled his coffee and the cutting machine wandered off its path), the Mazda feels like it has four-wheel-steering that has gone awry. It's not that big of a deal, though, just a semi-rare occurrence. Just like on a bike, if you relax your grip on the wheel and let it do what it's going to do, you get used to it.
Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor