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Old 25th February 2016, 23:16   #46
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Default Re: Motorcycles: Improving Braking Skills

I've got only about 4 years of experience riding a bike.. Here goes what my short journey so far has taught me-

1) My CBR Standard doesn't have ABS. Right off the bat I knew that I'd have to learn to cope with the spongy brakes or else I'd be in serious trouble. Rev matching while down shifting solved the issue to a huge extent.

2) Counter steering was something I (and almost everyone here, I presume) used to do involuntarily. It helps a lot.

3) Knowing which brakes to use and at which time. In terms of stopping power:

Rear<Front<Front+Rear

4) I use the front brakes predominantly. Front+ Rear if I have to stop real quick. I just jab or feather the rear brake- that too only for keeping the rear end in line. I use the rear alone for bringing the bike to a complete stop in conditions like these- crawling to a stop at a signal, parking at a low speed, etc.

5) While off road or while encountering loose gravel, I try not to make any sudden braking movements at all. I try to use engine braking with some judicious amount of the rear at low speeds in sand and dirt.

6) In the wet, I try to go a shade slower than usual. Here too, I try to avoid any sudden braking movements. I use both the front and rear in such cases. The rear brake I feather to keep the back end planted and in line.

7) I have felt that body posture is also important. I believe in keeping my arns loose at the elbows, shoulders relaxed and letting my body core take the brunt with my knees gripping the sides (specific to only some bikes. Different story for cruisers, standards, adventure bikes).

8) Hardware mods also help. A better tire, for starters. The stock Contigos in the CBR, for instance, are not at all confidence inspiring. An upgrade to Michelin Pilot Street Radials improved the bike's handling and braking. Steel braided lines along with DOT4 braking fluid can improve the feel and maybe shorten the braking distances. Better brake pads are also a crucial upgrade.

In my experience, rev matching and counter steering have helped me to stop on a dime always. Rev matching takes some practice. After that it becomes second nature. I also used to practice braking on empty roads late at night, on parking lots and on playgrounds when I'd bought my bike to come into terms with its braking before I started riding it regularly in daylight.

I've also ridden ABS equipped bikes like the Duke & RC 390, CBR650f, HD Street 750, etc. ABS, when implemented well does make a difference- that's a fact that cannot be denied. This was especially evident in the CBR650f- absolutely no drama even while braking hard from silly speeds. However, there are cases where bikes without ABS also have top class braking- a shining example being the RE Continental GT- one of the best feeling brakes ever.

Not all ABS units are equal- I fail to see how the single channel ABS of an Pulsar RS200 can be dramatically effective over a set of well tuned conventional brakes.

I think that ABS is a tool - not the panacea to all braking issues like some people make it out to be. It's like a complementary aid to a biker's skills. If one doesn't know how to brake well in the first place, not even the best brakes in the planet can be of any help. If one knows the basics well, ABS can seriously enrich his riding experience and makes him appreciate its presence. If it is made mandatory on all bikes, that's great! Any tech is a success if it saves at least one life.
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Old 26th February 2016, 19:41   #47
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Default Re: Motorcycles: Improving Braking Skills

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
"squeeze, transfer weight, then squeeze more." Would like to know peoples opinion on this.

Regards
Sutripta
If you make that an habit then it would be a disaster when you ride a bike without ABS, just my personal opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonsterTorque View Post
I have ridden both, 390 and 200, Duke. The stock MRF tires are the problem. I had the chance to ride a friend's 200 that wore Michelin Pilot Street Radials. Traction was much better, but he felt that the ride quality became worse.
Good to know , will be switching soon to Michelin or something similar!
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Old 26th February 2016, 21:41   #48
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Default Re: Motorcycles: Improving Braking Skills

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Originally Posted by giri1.8 View Post
If you make that an habit then it would be a disaster when you ride a bike without ABS, just my personal opinion.
Treat that as an absolute fact, not just an opinion!

Still, it would be interesting to have the opinions of the biking stalwarts on the very particular question of best braking technique on an ABS equipped bike.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 26th February 2016, 22:50   #49
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Default Re: Motorcycles: Improving Braking Skills

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Treat that as an absolute fact, not just an opinion!

Still, it would be interesting to have the opinions of the biking stalwarts on the very particular question of best braking technique on an ABS equipped bike.

Regards
Sutripta
Just speculating for discussions sake.

I think squeeze, transfer weight and squeeze more is the right way to brake in an ABS equipped motorcycle as this will result in less stopping distance, because you can utilize the maximum braking power before the ABS kicks in.

Grabing a handful of front brakes will cause the front wheel to reach the lockup threshhold early as the front end is not loaded. Naturally the ABS will kick in early, modulating the brake force which results in a much longer stopping distance.
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Old 26th February 2016, 23:24   #50
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Default Re: Motorcycles: Improving Braking Skills

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
best braking technique on an ABS equipped bike.

Regards
Sutripta
Don't think the learning curve will be that steep going from a non-ABS bike to an ABS bike as opposed to the other way around.

Panic/aggressive braking is the only time a difference would be felt, but don't think there should be any change in technique, it's just that the wheel lockup ( or the feel of impending lock) which would have made you release the brakes will never arrive, giving you steering ability. And since the lock never arrives, you tend to squeeze more, mainly to stay on top of the pulsing lever.

I could see how one could panic with the pulsing lever, and release the pressure, leading to ineffective deceleration, and hence the advice of aggressively squeezing might seem prudent.

ABS will seem like a revelation after you have had your first panic stop, and no amount of theory can substitute that feel. You will be a believer.

Cheers

Ride Safe.
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Old 27th February 2016, 02:41   #51
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Default Re: Motorcycles: Improving Braking Skills

I ride a FZ-09 here in the US. I rode miscellaneous bikes in India before that.

This is not an expert opinion instead are from my experiences, so take it as suggestions. ABS is awesome but many bikes still does not come with ABS which means you still have a way to buy a non ABS sportbike.

Most bikes have 70/30 ratio on dual disc front and rear disc bias. This may change with style of bike(Sport/Cruiser, etc) but will in most cases remain close to this number.

Engine braking/Bliping: This is what I personally use the most, blip the throttle before downshifting reduces speed by good amount while being smooth. Reduces the need to press any brake until coming to absolute stop or little bit get to desired output(stop/slow).

Front Brake: Key here is to be very smooth. With experience you will find the sweet spot that works the best with front brakes. Combine this with engine braking and you will not need to touch rear brakes at all.

Rear Brakes: Generally to be used in combination with front brakes as per MSF to get 100% braking. This is how it should be used but people have their riding styles. Slamming hard on rear brake only will result in rear wheel jamming and eventually falling down. Key again here is to be smooth. However when in offroad situation this is the only brake you want to use.

Cornering: Texas has 70-85 mph speed limit, A good amount of twisties where people love to ride hard. Key point here are never brake in a corner. Always brake before entering a corner. Some people advice to downshift before entering a corner but that depends on riders.

Combination of the above three based on the situation will give you that confidence with which you handle the tarmacs condition.

One more important thing around a corner is your body position. This is probably not what OP asked for but is as important as braking when going in corner/regular riding or tracks.

I hope this helps.
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Old 27th February 2016, 19:27   #52
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Default Re: Motorcycles: Improving Braking Skills

Quote:
Originally Posted by gthang View Post
You will be a believer.
Have both. Use both. Explored (commonsense, sane) braking limits on both. Preaching to the choir.

My question was very specific, but I should have added a "and why" to it.

For myself, I'll stick to the old way of braking.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 28th February 2016, 13:00   #53
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Default Re: Motorcycles: Improving Braking Skills

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Originally Posted by MonsterTorque View Post
I have ridden both, 390 and 200, Duke. The stock MRF tires are the problem. I had the chance to ride a friend's 200 that wore Michelin Pilot Street Radials. Traction was much better, but he felt that the ride quality became worse.
If you buy a new motorbike and find it shod with MRF/TVS tires, take it to the nearest tire shop and get it changed to better quality tires. Worst case, I would live with some MRF models but I had very bad experiences with TVS tires, making the motorbike dance around in the rains.

The above suggestion is from my experience.
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Old 29th February 2016, 16:56   #54
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Default Re: Motorcycles: Improving Braking Skills

1. What is the safest method to stop or slow down a speeding motorcycle in different road conditions like wet, dry and a mix of both?
2. Is braking different on tar/concerte roads and unpaved roads?
3. What is the difference between the use of the front and back brakes?
4. What is the difference between braking on public roads versus braking on race tracks?

The safest method depends on the road surface, speed, angle of lean and lot of other factors.

It includes using both brakes and your engine to your help.

The first thing to get used to is the grip available to you. This needs experience and going by the bike you ride and your experience with her, i assume you know how your bike behaves in different conditions.

The front brake lever will always give you feedback on how the front brake is grabbing. Some bikes have it more than others, for example R15/RTR vs pulsar series. You ride them once and you'll know what i'm talking about.

Majority of braking is done by the front brake & tyre and the rear is there for stabilization. When you start braking by only using your front, you'll get a better idea of how much the front tyre will hold up in tarmac and on dirt.

Start understanding the brakes first. They talk to you if you listen.

Next step is engine braking. Dropping down gears as you decelerate actually uses the engine as an thermodynamic brake. Similar to when you close your throttle suddenly and the bike slows down. Now you have to match the downshifts with the revs as you go down and the bike is slowing.

Start braking, take in clutch, rev match the downshift, release clutch, repeat the downshift. All this while you have to keep the brake lever pressed. Its just a matter of habit and you can actually do it quick enough when entering a corner.

http://www.wikihow.com/Match-Rev-Downshift-a-Motorcycle

When on roads with uneven surface, the rear brake needs more input than the front as the grip is reduced and the front will tend to slip more. Depend more on engine braking in these cases.

Front brakes always provide better braking power due to the shifting of weight over the front wheel.

Almost all braking techniques used on track can be used on the street too, and it'll always be to your benefit.

start engine braking if you haven't. Once you get the hang of it, its extremely satisfying and you have much better control of the vehicle.

Ive been doing it for quite a bit of time now, and it'll help you in bikes not equipped with ABS. Once you understand how brakes behave without ABS its a boon to use ABS. You can use it better.

This is just my personal opinion on techniques i use on daily basis. It may not work for someone else, but its worth a try.
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Old 1st March 2016, 15:30   #55
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Default Re: Motorcycles: Improving Braking Skills

I have been riding bikes for the past 6 years and this thread served as quite an eye-opener for me in terms of braking, which has dispelled a lot of my mistakes.

Now, since the weight and position of the person riding the bike matter a lot in braking techniques, is there any particular things to be taken care of while riding the bike with a pillion rider?
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Old 1st March 2016, 20:54   #56
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Default Re: Motorcycles: Improving Braking Skills

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Treat that as an absolute fact, not just an opinion!

Still, it would be interesting to have the opinions of the biking stalwarts on the very particular question of best braking technique on an ABS equipped bike.

Regards
Sutripta
ABS would never substitute braking skills. ABS or not, the right technique does not change at all.

Squeeze to actually feel the weight transfer to the front - This would increase contact patch and more contact patch = better grip. Then, squeeze as hard as the situation demands

FYI - I ride a Duke 390
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Old 1st March 2016, 22:16   #57
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Default Re: Motorcycles: Improving Braking Skills

Quote:
Originally Posted by voyageur View Post
If you buy a new motorbike and find it shod with MRF/TVS tires, take it to the nearest tire shop and get it changed to better quality tires. Worst case, I would live with some MRF models but I had very bad experiences with TVS tires, making the motorbike dance around in the rains.

The above suggestion is from my experience.
Certainly. After experiencing Pirelli and Michelin, I get paranoid while riding bikes that are on TVS/MRF/Ceat tires these days.

I got my brake/clutch levers replaced with adjustable ones from ebay and the feedback they offer is surprisingly good. Not only can the reach of the levers be adjusted, the effort required to engage the brake reduces considerably.

Adjustable levers also sort out the heavy feel of the clutch.
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Old 4th March 2016, 11:20   #58
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Default Re: Motorcycles: Improving Braking Skills

Wonderful thread with various techniques on braking. I ride Yamaha FZs and would like to share my experience on braking. In my view we have various permutation and combination for breaking:

1. Rear Brakes
2. Front Brakes
3. Engine Brakes
4. Combination of Front and Rear Brakes
5. Combination of Engine, Front and Rear Brakes

All above has been discussed extensively in the thread.

6. The most crucial in my view in throttle / accelerator, the timing of leaving the throttle / accelerator is very important, the breaking would be very effective without getting panicked if this system of braking is used with all the above combination.

Question is how to understand when to leave the throttle, my answer is anticipation and it could be learnt only with the practice, more you ride, more experience you will gain about this techniques. In simple words, this technique puts emphasis on understanding and anticipating move of the vehicle ahead of you, behind of you, etc. This will help you in planning your next move, one of it is leave throttle / accelerator depending upon the situation.

Apply this technique in combination with engine braking, in case of extreme scenario apply this technique in combination with engine, front and rear braking, in my view one will never have any bad experiences. However this technique requires 100% concentration on the road, it is more of a mind related.

Needless to say, having an ABS is always an advantage and little bit increase in budget for ABS is always recommended.

Last edited by nndp87 : 4th March 2016 at 11:30. Reason: Small correction.
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Old 4th March 2016, 15:12   #59
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Default Re: Motorcycles: Improving Braking Skills

Pothole Panic !

My query is about what should be done in case we spot a pothole all of a sudden.

I follow:
Brake till before the pothole -> release the brake just before hitting it -> weight on pegs -> ride over.

Now I have started to wonder. If I have braked before a pothole, I am already using some of the suspension travel. So am I not using the entirety of the travel if we then hit the pothole since I would have just released the brakes ?

What is the best way to counter one when the speed is on the higher side ?

Thanks in anticipation.
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Old 4th March 2016, 15:31   #60
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Default Re: Motorcycles: Improving Braking Skills

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sojogator View Post
Pothole Panic !

My query is about what should be done in case we spot a pothole all of a sudden.

I follow:
Brake till before the pothole -> release the brake just before hitting it -> weight on pegs -> ride over.

Now I have started to wonder. If I have braked before a pothole, I am already using some of the suspension travel. So am I not using the entirety of the travel if we then hit the pothole since I would have just released the brakes ?

What is the best way to counter one when the speed is on the higher side ?

Thanks in anticipation.
I find that using a braking technique biased towards rear brake helps while slowing down for potholes or speed breakers that pop out of no-where.
In that case, the front forks will have lot of travel left.

If you use more of front brake just before potholes, you sure to bottom out your forks.
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