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Old 10th June 2011, 09:00   #91
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Default Re: The Safe Riding thread

Excellent Thread Rollin' Thunda 5 stars

I have learnt a few tips the hard way and would like to discuss.

1. I change my riding style depending upon the road surface - Tarmac, Concrete, Paver blocks.

2. While descending from a bridge I have seen lot of people race their bikes only to brake very very hard at the exit. I have done it in my car and almost got a biker (when I was a new driver ) enough to ring sense in to me.
We think its common sense that you dont accelerate on a slope as it becomes difficult to stop due to the momentum but I have seen people measure their top whacks on slopes to get a better figure.

3. Maintaining a certain speed on Highways is extremely important, I have seen guys riding a splendor or passion or the likes at 50kph or less on eastern express highway(mumbai) middle lane. I feel they are sitting ducks and an accident waiting to happen. If you cannot maintain the expected speed move to the left most lane else dont ride on the highway.

4. Stop the bike and wait at the side in rains if the visibility is low, even though I can see I fear that a speeding car might not see me untill its too late.

5. Intersections or U turn locations can easily kill a biker, I have had a really scary experience where a newbie driver under steered and came in the left most lane(my lane), something I had not anticipated though I had seen him.

6 One experience - When the others are slowing down try and observe why they are doing so and dont overtake them in a hurry. Some 2 years back in powai when I was returning form my office in the rains I saw all the bikers slowing and the cars as well. A clear road lay ahead so I was about to accelerate but as its a slope I slowed only to notice a layer of fine yellow soil from the powai hill covering the road, In the yellow city lights I missed it initially.
The soil was so slippery that the bike fishtailed even at 5-10kph. I was left standing and the had to let go of my bike. A couple of guys who came at some speed had bad falls.

Same goes for oil spills or like on the eastern express highway where the surface was so smooth that it provided no traction in the rains ( a glassy surface ) and had many a car skidding in the first rains. The road was worked upon to provide better traction.

Last edited by Slick : 10th June 2011 at 09:08.
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Old 18th January 2012, 20:48   #92
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Default Re: Effective braking

Found an old but interesting article on braking on a motorcyle, following an URL posted by bblost on another thread:
Effective Braking - Street Survival

From the August, 2006 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser

Effective Braking - Street Survival - Motorcycle Cruiser Magazine

I'm copying some excerpts here for convenience:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cruisers stop as quickly as sports-bikes
"It turns out that measured stops with expert riders from 100 km/h (just over 60 mph) required an average of just 7 inches more on a Honda GL1500 Valkyrie than on Honda CBR929RR. Of course, that assumes you use proper technique. Proper technique involves using both brakes quickly and effectively."


Use both brakes
"We hope that everyone knows that the front brake provides most of your motorcycle's stopping power. Testers using both brakes on conventional braking systems made stops with a mean deceleration of .776 G. With just the front brake, that dropped to .711 G. But if they used only the rear brake, their stops developed a mere .425 G. That even applied to bikes with linked braking systems (LBS), which typically apply both brakes when the foot pedal is pressed. Using the pedal only developed .583 G, but using both controls brought braking force to .74 G. However, using just the front brake control on an LBS bike made only .44 G. So no matter what you ride, you should apply both brakes using both controls."
[1 G=9.8m/s^2]


Pull in the clutch, but don't downshift:
"The study found that downshifting added about 10 feet to stopping distances, compared to not shifting and pulling in the clutch. Pulling in the clutch improved stopping performance compared to leaving it engaged and not shifting."

Practice, practice, practice: "The researchers recommend practicing long and hard, so that you can immediately and automatically apply maximum braking in an emergency situation."
but with caution:"A rider practicing stops from 60 mph risks crashing if he locks the front wheel."

ABS is better:
"Stops improved from .776 G with conventional brakes to .866 G with ABS. That's a substantial difference and reflects how much better ABS is at modulating braking pressure for changing conditions than our minds, which are still mulling over how hot that girl on the bicycle looked. With ABS, you make very aggressive initial braking inputs without having to "feel" for traction. In a panic stop on wet, slippery or dirty pavement, the ABS would be even more effective."

Handle the pressure:
"Maximum braking loads your body tremendously, throwing you and your passenger forward and putting lots of pressure on your arms and upper body. The researchers said that the pressure was equal to what you'd feel if the bike was angled 64 degrees nose-down."

For best results: "Basically, there are two major components of a typical hard, short stop: quick and effective initial braking and then modulating pressure as the bike's weight shifts and speed decreases. The researchers offer this sequence: 1) Close the throttle and apply the rear brake; 2) Straighten the motorcycle and adjust your posture and hand position; 3) Apply the front brake and declutch; 4) Adjust brake pressure. The initial weight transfer takes about .6 second, and the whole stop from 60 mph requires about 3 seconds from initial brake application."
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Old 22nd February 2012, 16:14   #93
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Default Re: Effective braking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollin' Thunda View Post
Pull in the clutch, but don't downshift:
"The study found that downshifting added about 10 feet to stopping distances, compared to not shifting and pulling in the clutch. Pulling in the clutch improved stopping performance compared to leaving it engaged and not shifting."

I know those words actually go against the grain of our thinking. I mean, this got me really thinking when a manager in our organisation sent out a mail saying that there have been more bike accidents recently in our organisation and that these were mostly because of the bike skidding. He had also advised that we should not pull in the clutch when braking.

Is it actually better to not pull in the clutch but start braking - and then, once the bike is adequately slowed, then pull in the clutch and shift down? Won't pulling in the clutch when you're braking actually make the bike go faster - no engine braking?

I also read in this site - Index - Beginners Guide to Motorcycling - Beginner's Guide to Motorcycling - that we should pull in the clutch? Confused am I
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Old 22nd February 2012, 18:37   #94
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Default Re: Effective braking

Quote:
Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
I know those words actually go against the grain of our thinking. I mean, this got me really thinking when a manager in our organisation sent out a mail saying that there have been more bike accidents recently in our organisation and that these were mostly because of the bike skidding. He had also advised that we should not pull in the clutch when braking.

Is it actually better to not pull in the clutch but start braking - and then, once the bike is adequately slowed, then pull in the clutch and shift down? Won't pulling in the clutch when you're braking actually make the bike go faster - no engine braking?

I also read in this site - Index - Beginners Guide to Motorcycling - Beginner's Guide to Motorcycling - that we should pull in the clutch? Confused am I
Pulling in the clutch is advised so that the engine does not stall. In a panic moment, concentrate on braking and steering away from the obstacle (look where you want to go) rather than declutching and downshifting which takes more precious seconds. Some golden rules:

1. Front brakes only - Unless you're riding on gravel or wet tarmac. Rear lockup can throw you off the bike especially in a turn (highside)

2. Look where you want to go - Look for an escape route instead of target fixating on the obstacle. If your gaze is fixed on the obstacle, you WILL crash into it. How many times did you stare at that pothole in your path and land directly into it and ended up cursing yourself? Now next time, look away from it and you'll see that you can avoid it, no matter how fast or how leaned into the corner you were

3. Scan the road ahead and keep 2 fingers on the front brake for emergency braking. If something darts in front of the bike, use only 2 fingers to slow down (and steer away) or to stop completely. A quick glance at the RVM will let you know if you need to steer away from a potential rear-end situation.

4. the TWO fingers on the brake rule - ensures that you dont grab the lever with the rest of the fingers causing a wheel lockup. Squeeze gently and increase pressure as required. There is a point where the front tire and suspension is loaded to a point where it is at the threshold and anymore force can cause a lockup. Practice will ensure you are aware of this threshold and the braking distances needed in a panic moment

5. Practice, practice, practice - thats the ONLY way you can improve braking distances, ABS or not.

Last edited by n_aditya : 22nd February 2012 at 18:38.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 19:26   #95
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Default Re: The Safe Riding thread

I think whatever point mentioned for breaking are correct.

I guess it is mentioned to pull clutch and not to downshift because in powerfull bikes if you downshift the bike, it fractionally leaps forward and then engine braking starts. In a panic situation this small leap can add to stopping time and distance. Plus your bike does not stall also. I guess these are the two reasons why it is mentioned to Pull clutch instead of downshifting in a Panic situation.

I guess this technique would be helpfull in a Panic situation only. In other cases I personnaly think downshifting helps braking.
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Old 22nd February 2012, 21:29   #96
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Default Re: The Safe Riding thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
Is it actually better to not pull in the clutch but start braking - and then, once the bike is adequately slowed, then pull in the clutch and shift down? Won't pulling in the clutch when you're braking actually make the bike go faster - no engine braking?

Confused am I
This question has been answered before on this thread:see post 30 (at the end of page 2) and the URL referenced there. Shifting down is okay for a gradual slowing down of the bike, but for emergency braking pull in the clutch if you have disc brakes (at least on the front wheel), which can slow the bike faster than engine braking.

PS: A lot of the "received wisdom" regarding engine braking comes from people who learned to ride motorcycles when there were only drum brakes on Indian bikes. A lot of that "wisdom" became obsolete with the advent of disc brakes which are now common, at least on the high-end bikes.

Last edited by Rollin' Thunda : 22nd February 2012 at 21:37.
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Old 23rd February 2012, 03:41   #97
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Default Re: The Safe Riding thread

What about bikes with slipper clutches? Aren't those designed to just be stomped down all the way to first and the clutch release without the rear wheel locking up? Engine braking from 1st gear will definitely be effective when combined with front and rear brake application.
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Old 23rd February 2012, 19:34   #98
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Default Re: The Safe Riding thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreaseMonk View Post
What about bikes with slipper clutches? Aren't those designed to just be stomped down all the way to first and the clutch release without the rear wheel locking up? Engine braking from 1st gear will definitely be effective when combined with front and rear brake application.
Just because you are using engine braking does not mean you cannot skid and fall.

For a given road-surface, locking of the wheels depends on the total retarding torque applied to the wheel. For the rear wheel, this includes the retarding torque applied by the brake as well as by the engine (braking).

If your brakes are strong enough to lock the wheels, you have as much braking power as you require. You don't need engine braking on top of that, as any more braking power would just take you faster to wheel-lock-and-skid.

Moreover, if you have powerful brakes, it is best to use only the brakes, as you can let off the braking if you feel your wheels are near lock-up. It is much more difficult to do that with engine braking. So you have less control during engine braking than with using just the brakes.

My 2 cents
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Old 13th March 2012, 12:27   #99
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Default Re: The Safe Riding thread

Here are some books which teach motorcycling techniques for the street as well as for the track.

1. Sport riding techniques - Nick Ienatsch

2. Twist of the Wrist - Keith Code (available on dvd too).

3. The soft science of road racing motorcycles - Wayne Rainey

4. Total Control: High Performance Street Riding Techniques - Lee Parks

5. Techniques of Motor Cycle Road Racing - Kenny Roberts

These are available on Amazon.com and eBay.com
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Old 29th March 2012, 14:44   #100
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Default Re: The Safe Riding thread

I have a query regarding this, I ride a Rx100 (no discs) and find downshifting effective but when I used the same on a friends 4stroke the rear locked up and scared the living daylights out of me(This might also be due to familiarity with my bike and lack of it with his).

Do different engine types respond differently to downshifting for braking?
+1 @n_aditya,
I have been in a small accident where I could have weaved away from the other vehicle but went and banged (albeit very slowly) because I was too focussed on stopping my bike.
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Old 29th March 2012, 15:23   #101
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Default Re: The Safe Riding thread

Slick, the deceleration of the wheels would depend on the gear that the bike is in. Lower the gear, higher the braking effect. At the risk of repeating something probably mentioned already: Decelerating with throttle closed and clutch engaged can be imagined as the wheels (vehicle momentum) driving the engine and not the other way around. Engine compression acts as a retarding force (analogous to road friction that engine overcomes during acceleration) and slows down the vehicle.

When the throttle is closed (in petrol engines), the piston is working with a closed intake passage, essentially sucking through a vacuum, requiring more effort. Try sucking through a straw while pinching it almost fully closed, quite hard isn't it? This vacuum provides the retarding effect. Hence, higher RPM = higher braking effect. So shift from 4th to 1st gear really quickly, watch the RPMs shoot up and the rear wheel skid!
So basically, engine characteristics and gearing can affect the intensity of engine braking.

Timing your shifts right while rev-matching by blipping the throttle would eliminate this. Throttle-blipping also explained somewhere on this thread I think.

Hope this helps!

Cheers,
Rahul
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Old 29th March 2012, 15:25   #102
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Default Re: The Safe Riding thread

@vodoochild,
very well put, thanks,

So my question regarding the engine type was with the intention to know exactly what one should expect when riding an unfamiliar bike.
The gearing, yes but like you put so well the resistance provided by the engine decides the retardation, this part answers my question.
Thanks again.


I found this article on braking, thought I should share with all.
courtesy - Motorcycle Braking: 15 Questions and Answers - webBikeWorld

I found it enlightning, if it states some wrong technique mods can delete the post.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Which brake is the most effective?
The front brake is the most effective, giving between 60 & 80% of the bike's stopping power in hard stops, depending upon surface conditions. This is because most of the weight of the bike and rider transfers forward onto the front wheel when the brakes are applied.

A common example of weight transfer is when you trip on a gutter - your feet stop but momentum keeps the top of you going and you fall flat on your face. The weight transfer that takes place under braking on a motorcycle pushes the front wheel onto the ground and makes it grip very well.

2. Is the front wheel likely to skid if you apply the front brake hard?
No. The front wheel is likely to skid uncontrollably and bring you down only if you jam the front brake on hard. If you apply the front brake in a staged (progressive) process, the front wheel may skid but that skid is normally quite controllable.

3. Is the rear wheel likely to skid if you apply the brakes hard?

With most of the weight being on the front wheel, the rear wheel tends to be light under braking and will therefore lock up and skid very easily.

4. How do you control a rear wheel skid?

Control of a rear wheel skid is easy. Just keep your eyes up to the horizon and look where you WANT to go (not necessarily where you are actually going) and the bike will skid in a controllable manner with a minimum of fishtailing.

Basic and advanced braking techniques are best learnt under controlled conditions rather than when a truck pulls out on you! Your local motorcycle school will run a fun braking exercise session for you and some mates if you care to call the school and arrange it.

5. Is braking a natural skill?
Braking, as with any riding skill, is a learned skill, not a natural one. This means you must practice the correct braking skills enough to make them an instinctive reaction before you can be sure that you will do the right things in an emergency. Overseas research has shown that, because of panic overpowering the rider's conscious reactions, nearly a third of all riders do absolutely nothing in an accident situation: they don't even apply the brakes!

If, however, your high level braking skills are so well learnt that they are instinctive, you will do it right, no matter what the situation. However, this requires you to do a lot of high level braking skill practice, the skills will not come with normal everyday riding.

6. Is there a special braking technique that ensures that a rider will get the best out of a motorcycle's brakes?
Yes. The process is called STAGED BRAKING and it involves the rider applying the motorcycle's brakes in a staged process. This gives the rider predictable, progressive braking.

7. In an emergency do we concentrate on using staged braking on both front and back brakes?
This is a controversial subject. Some experienced riders reckon that, even in an emergency when research has shown that panic tends to decrease your riding skills, they can apply the back brake perfectly with no loss of braking on the front.

Well, research has shown that the average rider can only properly concentrate on the use of one brake in an emergency so, unless you think you're road motorcycling's equivalent of a top motorcycle racer, we would suggest that you concentrate on getting the best out of one brake.

Of the front and rear brake on a motorcycle, the one to concentrate on in an emergency is the front brake because if you get that one wrong, lock it up and don't correct that problem then you're going to crash.

According to the American Motorcycle Safety Foundation, if you try to get the best out of both brakes in an emergency, you will get the best out of neither. The MSF says you can't concentrate FULLY on both brakes at one time. You know your mother's old nag, "You can't concentrate on two things at one time"!

So, to get the best braking, you have to concentrate using either the front or the back brake and, since the front brake gives up to 80% of your braking power and incorrect application is likely to make you fall off, it makes sense to concentrate on the front brake.

The American Motorcycle Safety Foundation teaches their instructors that "in an emergency braking situation you should apply the back brake hard and let the back wheel slide if it wants to. This way you can concentrate on what is happening up front; there's enough to think about in the use of the front brake."

8. So how should I apply the rear brake?
Apply it and forget about it. Let the back wheel skid if necessary. Concentrate on using staged braking to harness the superior power of the front brake to save your life.

9. Is Staged Braking difficult to learn?
Given practice, the skill is not difficult to learn. The best way to learn it is to start off with a four stage application of the front brake. Later you can increase the number of stages to make your braking more and more progressive, if you want to.

10.Can you explain four stage braking in practical terms?
To understand four stage braking, think of a rider coming up to a set of lights. Stage One is the force with which he applies the front brake when he sees the lights turn orange some way ahead, in other words, lightly.

At Stage One, the rider is applying the front brake to the point where the brake is just on and slowing the bike down very, very gently to roll to a stop.

Stage Two is the force the rider would use if he was a bit closer to the lights when they turned orange, and he had to make a normal, smooth stop at the lights. So, Stage Two is the firm pull used to bring the bike to a firm, but quiet stop. The rider applies his front brake to Stage One (friction point) before going on to apply to a steady force at Stage Two.

Stage Three. Our rider has dithered about whether to stop for the orange light before deciding he'd better. By this time, he has to stop quite hard to stop. So he applies the front brake to friction point (Stage One), then onto a firm pull (Stage Two) before applying pressure with a strong pull at Stage Three.

Stage Four. The rider very unwisely decides to run the orange only to find, just before he reaches the lights, that they turn red. In this serious situation the rider needs all the braking he's got. So he applies the front brake to friction point, moves onto the firm pull of Stage Two, then to the strong pull of Stage Three, before giving it all he's got at Stage Four.

11. If you "give it all you've got" on the front brake at Stage Four, won't you get front wheel lockup?
Possibly but by using the staged braking process, by the time the tyre gets to the point of locking up at Stage Four, the weight has transferred forward onto the front wheel and any tendency of the front tyre to lose grip is both easily sensed and controlled, unlike a front wheel skid caused by a tyre locking up when the brake is jammed on hard while weight is moving around on the bike under weight transfer.

With correct use of the Four Stage process, controlling a front wheel skid is simply a matter of keeping the wheel steering straight ahead as you relax pressure on the front brake to allow the wheel to revolve again and regain grip.

12. What will happen if the front wheel locks and I don't relax some pressure?
You'll fall off as the wheel will eventually tuck under and the bike (and you) will fall down.

13. How good can you get at emergency braking?
In emergency stops, expert riders are capable of controlling a front wheel skid by releasing pressure on the front brake just enough to get that wheel turning again without actually letting the brake right off. This requires considerable sensitivity on the brakes and the only way you will gain this sort of sensitivity is to practice.

At the NZMSC higher level Megarider sessions, the way the instructors tell if the pupil has reached a suitable standard is whether they can hear the front tyre chattering as the tyre grips at the point of adhesion during emergency stops.

14. Is a bald tyre a liability when braking?
A treadless tyre will quite adequately handle braking stresses on a perfect road surface. The trouble is that perfect road surfaces are more than rare - they're virtually extinct. Tyre tread acts like a broom, sweeping debris, dirt, gravel and water etc off the road surface in order that the tyre can grip the road.

The tread on a sensibly ridden motorcycle can comfortably handle most foreign matter on a road surface - with the possible exception of oil (especially diesel oil), thick mud, and smooth wet paint. But link a bald tyre with foreign matter on the road surface and throw in braking stresses for good measure, and the crash will resound throughout the neighbourhood.

15. How should I brake on slippery and loose surfaces.
Carefully but not timidly. The secret to good braking on poor surfaces is observation. If you know what's under your wheels you can tailor your braking to the surface.

So, keep an eye on the road surface. If you cross a slippery surface under strong braking the front wheel may lock. This is why riders who brake late and hard for orange or red lights often spill off - into the middle of the intersection. The fall occurs because the rider fails to ease the front brake as the front wheel crosses the white line that crosses the lanes at the edge of the intersection. Then the front wheel breaks loose under braking on the slippery surface, the rider panics and freezes, and he and his bike head groundwards...

The basic requirements for braking on a loose surface such as gravel are the same as those applying to braking on a sealed surface. The difference is that you must observe the requirements more strictly on gravel.

You must brake in plenty of time, preferably brake while upright and in a straight line (any braking while leaned over in gravel is extremely hazardous), use both brakes very progressively, carefully interpret the noise from the front and rear tyre while braking to detect and counteract any wheel lock-up, know your road surface, and take particular care when braking on gradients, inclines, and heavy cambers
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last edited by Slick : 29th March 2012 at 15:30.
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Old 31st March 2012, 07:51   #103
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Default Re: The Safe Riding thread

The American Motorcycle Safety Foundation teaches their instructors that "in an emergency braking situation you should apply the back brake hard and let the back wheel slide if it wants to. This way you can concentrate on what is happening up front; there's enough to think about in the use of the front brake."

In my opinion, this advise of applying the rear brake hard is highly questionable. It would cause the rear-wheel to lock and skid. While rear-wheel skids are easily controllable normally (by removing your foot off the brake), they are dangerous if they last for more than a second or so, for then you lose stability and topple (See Motorcycle Safety Site ). In an emergency situation, if you slam down your foot hard on the rear-brake and keep it down, you will fall. (I know, it happened to me).

It is better to apply the rear-brake moderately (the rear-brake anyway has little stopping power, see post 92 above. You apply it mainly to stabilize the bike during the braking) and then concentrate of using the front-brake progressively.

Last edited by Rollin' Thunda : 31st March 2012 at 08:00.
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Old 1st April 2012, 11:11   #104
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Default Re: The Safe Riding thread

Here is some more on the matter of hard-braking with the rear-brake:

Motorcycle Safety Site

I give the punchline:

"Now, the real issue is 'hard braking using the rear brake', not that the rear tire chirps when doing so. IT IS NEVER, EVER - NOT ONCE IN YOUR LIFETIME - APPROPRIATE TO AGGRESSIVELY USE YOUR REAR BRAKE. The dynamics of your motorcycle make it foolish to do so as that immediately limits the amount of braking you can do (leaving a great deal of stopping power unusable) because of lost traction. Worse, of course, it leads to YAW of the rear-end and that, in turn, leads to high-sides."
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Old 2nd April 2012, 10:12   #105
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Default Re: The Safe Riding thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollin' Thunda View Post
The American Motorcycle Safety Foundation teaches their instructors that "in an emergency braking situation you should apply the back brake hard and let the back wheel slide if it wants to. This way you can concentrate on what is happening up front; there's enough to think about in the use of the front brake."

In my opinion, this advise of applying the rear brake hard is highly questionable.
I completely agree with Rollin' Thunda on this issue. Initiating a rear wheel slide and then forgetting about it is highly risky, especially on Indian roads. Imagine how many autorickshaws and bicyclists would be involved in the incident, all while you're "concentrating on what is happening up front" Utterly forgettable piece of advice, this one!

I personally prefer to use a 50-50 braking of front and rear wheels at all times on my Roadking, mainly due to the inadequacy of the brakes in an emergency.

Cheers,
Rahul
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