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Old 05-10-2013, 04:49 AM   #76
atomicalex
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ha! If I ever figure out a practical purpose for any of them, I'll let you know.

In the mean time, the best we can typically do on the street is amass a general understanding of the relative directions and magnitudes of the forces at play, and hope that we have enough of that imprinted into our skulls so that we can quickly pick out the most important pairs of forces to balance when we face challenging situations.

The art of riding well lies in quickly knowing what the biggest influencers of the total traction equation are and how many significant figures you need to calculate, all without having the computing power required to process the entire situation down to the nth sig fig in a timely manner.

Trailbraking is one more tool in the traction management toolbox. It's a sort of acetylene torch, though. A pro makes pretty beads with little flash or slag and no warpage. A beginner just makes holes.
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atomicalex screwed with this post 05-10-2013 at 06:30 AM Reason: I missed an r
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:59 AM   #77
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I read the whole thread. Learned a few things. I don't hang off the bike street riding. Trail breaking Is another tool I need to learn to use.

I AM a weldor. ;)

David

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Old 05-10-2013, 05:01 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post

The art of riding well lies in quickly knowingwhat the biggest influences of the total traction equation are and how many significant figures you need to calculate, all without having the computing power required to process the entire situation down to the nth sig fig in a timely manner.

Or in my younger years, my buddies called me George, as in "watch out for that tree"

My nth degree was pretty much the decimal point.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:40 PM   #79
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Trail braking for the sake of practicing it is a good idea but I hate some of the other more opinionated parts of it without any actual fact. The biggest thing that bothers me is the "trail braking loads the front tire which gives it more traction" theory. The straight up truth is if you're trail braking, the front end is more likely to wash out compared to if you weren't. You're asking the front tire to slow you down and corner simultaneously. "Loading" the front tire doesn't magically give the front tire more traction; instead that load is just using more of the available traction the tire does have. That leaves you with less traction for cornering.

When used correctly it is a good tool to have but I think a lot of street riders who don't get the chance to use it on a track end up getting themselves in more trouble with it. I've seen a few in person and hundreds on youtube where the rider trail brakes into a corner and rides straight off the road. If said rider either A: got the bike straight and broke hard he would have stopped, or B: let off the brakes and used that extra available traction for cornering then they would have made it through the corner just fine. Downhill corners are tricky and are probably the most practical use for trail braking.

No matter what way you look at it, setting your corner entry speed before you need to tip the bike in is always the safest way to ride. Even if you're riding faster then the law says you can.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:23 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
Trail braking for the sake of practicing it is a good idea but I hate some of the other more opinionated parts of it without any actual fact. The biggest thing that bothers me is the "trail braking loads the front tire which gives it more traction" theory. The straight up truth is if you're trail braking, the front end is more likely to wash out compared to if you weren't. You're asking the front tire to slow you down and corner simultaneously. "Loading" the front tire doesn't magically give the front tire more traction; instead that load is just using more of the available traction the tire does have. That leaves you with less traction for cornering.

When used correctly it is a good tool to have but I think a lot of street riders who don't get the chance to use it on a track end up getting themselves in more trouble with it. I've seen a few in person and hundreds on youtube where the rider trail brakes into a corner and rides straight off the road. If said rider either A: got the bike straight and broke hard he would have stopped, or B: let off the brakes and used that extra available traction for cornering then they would have made it through the corner just fine. Downhill corners are tricky and are probably the most practical use for trail braking.

No matter what way you look at it, setting your corner entry speed before you need to tip the bike in is always the safest way to ride. Even if you're riding faster then the law says you can.
What about what trail braking does to the rake / trail (geometry) of the bike?
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:42 PM   #81
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Fajita Dave - you have a valuable point. As noted, the art of riding well lies in knowing how much you can load the front before washing out (managing the available traction), and this is the balance that trailbraking is chasing. It is IN NO WAY a black-and-white technique, and this is what makes it problematic to teach and use. One must be comfortable in an analogue world, so to say. The technique is relatively simple - modulate and bias braking into the turn in a manner that allows the maximum amount of speed to be carried through the turn and remain available at exit. The physical actions are also relatively simple - roll off braking under suitable bias and roll on throttle, downshifting as necessary. It all sounds so simple!

It comes down to judgement calls.

The role of trailbraking on the street is not to maximize corner speed. It is instead to become competent at the brake-lean-modulate-downshift-throttle transition that can bail your ass out if you get caught in a bad situation in a corner.

The fact that this enables you to enter corners a little hot when you want to is only a side benefit.

Regarding geometry, it is the opposite of Rule 1. It keeps the bike in a relatively squatted geometry, rather than the extension of the suspension that throttle brings on. As rake and trail are relative to frame geometry, these don't change per se, but the effective rake (relative to the road surface) will change depending on how hard you are on the front brake versus the rear. At first, you dive a lot, but as you get more proficient, you come in more level. One thing in my experience has been that I can reduce the amount of bounce I get from getting on throttle, but I have the feeling the bounce is more due to riding a big thumper than other factors.....
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:50 AM   #82
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I will agree that braking before the corner is safest for the street.
Braking before the corner is not the fastest technique.
In each situation, coming off the brakes smoothly is key, because you don't want your forks to pogo and mess up your cornering experience.
At the end of the day, getting through each corner successfully should be goal #1, because you can't win if you don't finish.
And how else are you going to pick up (insert desired sexual partner here) in the Starbucks parking lot if you're lying on the side of the road somewhere?
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:16 AM   #83
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I personally do not see the benefit of trail braking while street riding and it is useless offroad, at least to me.

Your front tire has (x) amount of traction available. When you use some braking you lose some turning.

If track days and getting around said track as fast as possible are your thing, then go ahead and have a ball.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:28 AM   #84
David R
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With slow maneuvers, I apply the rear brake and the bike is more stable and I have more control.

Is this trail braking too?

David
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:31 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R View Post
With slow maneuvers, I apply the rear brake and the bike is more stable and I have more control.

Is this trail braking too?

David
Maybe one of the "experts" can weigh because I am not sure.

But I do the same thing with the rear brake. Use the clutch and rear brake often to stabilize at parking lot speeds and stop signs.
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:07 AM   #86
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With slow maneuvers, I apply the rear brake and the bike is more stable and I have more control.

Is this trail braking too?

David
Not really.

Trail Braking relates to cornering, and while it can be just the rear brake (or just front, or both), that doesn't equate to "I just used the rear brake, so I must be trail braking".

It's a common misunderstanding. It's best to just remember it relates to cornering, and high speed cornering usually.

Agree with others, mostly on the street, I'm not trail braking in corners. But! if I come up on a decreasing radius turn, or I misjudge my entry speed...

yeah, I'm glad I know a little about trail braking.

Cheers
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:16 AM   #87
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I personally do not see the benefit of trail braking while street riding and it is useless offroad, at least to me.
There are all sort of benefits on the street, particularly if you don't know the roads you are on. I'd wager everyone has been surprised by a corner before. If you only break before the corner you are forced into a later apex (may be good or bad) and you may have to carry more corner speed, the ability to brake AND corner means that you can bleed off more speed than you would otherwise.

So its risk the wash before apex, or risk the wash at apex.....or just not be able lose enough speed to negotiate the corner.

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Your front tire has (x) amount of traction available. When you use some braking you lose some turning.
Of course, but if you are on even a moderately sporty street tire, you have WAY WAY WAY more traction available than many give credit. I've had my 675 on its front tire only at about a 30* lean, hanging off the side and everything. I wasn't running slicks or even DOT race tires, they were just diablo rosso corsas, an aggressive street tire. Granted, that was on a track so that allows some extra due to better asphalt, but I came to the conclusion years ago that most sport touring tires are far far more than you need for the street, you have to be going so bloody fast to get near the limits of traction that its near suicidal.
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:37 AM   #88
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There are all sort of benefits on the street, particularly if you don't know the roads you are on. I'd wager everyone has been surprised by a corner before. If you only break before the corner you are forced into a later apex (may be good or bad) and you may have to carry more corner speed, the ability to brake AND corner means that you can bleed off more speed than you would otherwise.

So its risk the wash before apex, or risk the wash at apex.....or just not be able lose enough speed to negotiate the corner.



Of course, but if you are on even a moderately sporty street tire, you have WAY WAY WAY more traction available than many give credit. I've had my 675 on its front tire only at about a 30* lean, hanging off the side and everything. I wasn't running slicks or even DOT race tires, they were just diablo rosso corsas, an aggressive street tire. Granted, that was on a track so that allows some extra due to better asphalt, but I came to the conclusion years ago that most sport touring tires are far far more than you need for the street, you have to be going so bloody fast to get near the limits of traction that its near suicidal.

Agree with it all. But of course an argument could be made that if you need to trail brake on an unfamiliar road, then you are going to fast for conditions/skill level.

The grip level on even DS tires is truly amazing now. I cannot believe how some of the DOT DS tires I have run on the SE grip compared to years past.

I am not saying that I personally do not trail brake........but not sure that it is something beginners should be focusing on until they have some seat time.
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:12 AM   #89
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Add to that the fact that quite a lot of them are going to wind up on bikes that have- let's face it- less than stellar lean angle and suspension components.
Where can I find some better lean angle components?

Carry on.
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:38 AM   #90
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When I was a turn 1 corner worker at the recent MotoGP in Austin I couldn't believe the amount of smash in the front tires as they entered the corner. The rear wheel was hopping off the ground while they were turning. I could only imagine how hot that tire was by the time they hit the apex. I watched Lorenzo try and square off the corner during practice but eventually they all did a very intense trail braking move in to turn 1.
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