Braking by Nick Ienatsch

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by outlaws justice, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

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    You're never not ready for advanced skills, at least to be introduced to the concepts. A good coach can discuss the concepts with you and still have you more focused on what actually needs to happen.

    Allot of track day schools dumb stuff down, you get told the wrong thing to prevent bad things from happening. Look at the prevalence of late apex's. The "school line" is almost always late apex _everything_ because the consequences of fucking up a late apex aren't nearly as bad as being early. This dumbing down is lowest common demoniator training. It keeps everything nice and safe and relatively slow, but holds back fast learners to an extent, because you learn the wrong way then learn the right way. The question always remains if you'd have survived learning the right way from the very beginning.

    As to blisters... Well there's another one of those track day lies no?
    All control inputs should be as _smooth_ as possible says the instructor to the n00bs. Well define smooth... I can turn so smoothly you'll never feel the G's building up, it's going to be slow around the track.

    Really when you say smooth you mean bring the tires to maximum traction without exceeding it as quickly as possible which is going to require a progressive application of brakes, throttle and steering (and most likely an overlap of all 3). But when done by a racer it would not feel smooth it's going to feel very abrubt because the brakes are going to come on to maximum very quickly, and then they're going to feather off as lateral acceleration replaces the decreasing brakes, but it won't feel in your classical sense "smooth" to anyone but the operator or the guy looking at the data acquisition that see's the G-force line shoot to 1g deceleration and then without ever coming back to the middle goes directly to 1g lateral acceleration and then with out ever coming back to the middle goes to .3g of acceleration.

    When you're doing it right on a fast bike you're defiantly hanging on as you move from side to side while hard on the throttle.
    #81
  2. Harvey Krumpet

    Harvey Krumpet Been here awhile

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    I've only had blisters from dirt riding but Casey Stoner reckons P!$$ing on your hands toughens them up.

    I do think body position & bar grip is a pertinent thing to think about with braking. When I started practising braking technique I ended up with a lot of weight on the bars which compromised my mobility & control. Dropping your head makes it worse. I had to learn to use my knees in the tank to lessen the weight transfer. Quite alien to begin with.
    #82
  3. B.Curvin

    B.Curvin Feral Chia tamer

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    :thumb


    We are on the same page.
    #83
  4. outlaws justice

    outlaws justice Long timer

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    Quote:
    <TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD class="dg-bbcode dg-bbcode-quote">Originally Posted by Nick Ienatsch, "The Pace"
    The street is not a racing environment, and it takes humility, self assurance and self control to keep it that way. The leader sets the pace and monitors his mirrors for signs of raggedness in the ranks that follow, such as tucking in on straights, crossing over the yellow line and hanging off the motorcycle in the corners.


    </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
    Try Using the WHOLE QUOTE next time:

    The Pace's style of not hanging off in corners also reduces the appearance of pushing too hard and adds a degree of maturity and sensibility in the eyes of the public and the law. There's a definite challenge to cornering quickly while sitting sedately on your bike.
    #84
  5. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

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    Not that we'd give a fuck about looking "mature" or "sensible" in whomever's eyes. Mr. Law stopped me for speeding a few times, but never because of looking immature or insensible.
    #85
  6. ibafran

    ibafran villagidiot

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    I beg to differ in primary outlook. Advanced skills require basic skills honed to a level where advanced skills can be attempted, as noted by dwoodward. Advanced skills do not contradict the basics. A rider needs only one bad habit or basic flaw in execution of a basic skill to prevent or severely impede acquiring an advanced skill.

    Track day schools do not dumb stuff down. Track schools are primarily interested in helping riders learn good stuff and appoach their limits in the safest possible way. Ergo, the school line is the safe line from which everything is adjusted toward more speed as acquired for the day. This is why 'fast' riders who don't bother to learn much in the beginning of the day get passed in the afternoon by the morning's 'slow' riders who did.

    If one learned anything the right way from the beginning, then survival would be assured. (And all our penmanship would be legible and math errors would be unique and humorous.) But we often don't. Crashing sux and is usually the end of the day at any track school for that rider. Track instructors are often very good riders and very good people. And often they do not come from an educators' background. Thus they learn to teach at the track as best they can. The big buck schools may train their staff in a particular program and maybe offer one-on-one help for a price. Less costly schools have lots of advantages as well as problems. Nick has my respect for writing something that any rider might read and attempt without worrying about the survival rate. YMMV
    #86
  7. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

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    There are no such thing as advanced skills, advanced skills are the basics executed perfectly...

    Did you come from an educator background?
    If you set the bar low, you get low results you set the bar high you get better results. Lowest common demonitator training doesn't help anyone.
    While the bar is certiantly higher at a track day school for advancement than at a MSF class, The results are similar.

    As for crashing, that's why most sport bike riders take so long to learn to ride quickly. For many of them front and back slides are scary and you hear them blaming the tire or track and looking for stickier rubber. If they'd learn on a supermoto or mini on a kart track they'd develop much more quickly because they'd learn to use and loose traction.
    #87
  8. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    Braking in corners is a frustrating topic for me. It is frustrating because I had a pretty good low-side crash on New Year's eve that still haunts me. I still don't know exactly what I should have done, other than the obvious "slow the fuck down before the corner and pay more attention."

    Here is what happened:

    I was on a rental bike on a motorcycle tour in Chile, riding down the side of a volcano. On the way up, I knew the ride down would be a challenge. The road was in very good condition with no potholes or gravel, but it was very steep up near the top. The switchbacks had very steep elevation changes right at the apex which made everything extremely off-camber.

    Coming down, I took it very cautious in the switchbacks. I kept my speeds low and wasn't pushing limits. As things leveled out a bit the corners were more sweeping and lacked the steep elevation changes. I relaxed. I was in 3rd gear, again not pushing limits and not worried that a few riders were getting farther out in front of me.

    At that point, I came into another corner which I thought was just another sweeper. WRONG! It was the last switchback and it had a very nasty elevation drop at the beginning of the corner.

    SHIT!!!

    I was probably going 35 or 40 and was completely off the throttle, esentially coasting in 3rd gear. On the plus side, I had been riding with my toes on the pegs and had been swinging my butt off the seat prior to the corners so my body was at least in a good position. I made a distinct decision to lean harder and not grab the brake. I figured it was my only chance. I was in the wrong gear and by the time I saw the corner, the amount of speed I would have needed to scrub was pretty dramatic.

    I looked through the corner and hung my butt out, weighted the inside peg and pushed the bike as far as possible into the corner.

    I heard and felt my peg scrape almost instantly. I remember distinctly thinking that was OK. I have dragged pegs before and it didn't upset me. I then heard a second hard part scrapping. That would be the skid plate on my F650GS. As soon as that happened, the bike slid out from under me and I low-sided. Touching the skid plate down levered up my front wheel.

    At first, niether myself nor anybody in the tour thought it possible for the skid plate to hit before low-siding. I was questioning myself and the order in which I thought I heard and felt things happen, but I remain certain that I heard the second scrape before losing traction. My only explanation is that the extreme off-camber and elevation drop is what made this possible.

    This was totally my fault. I was just going too fast for conditions. I was relying on engine compression to control my decent and because the road had leveled out, there wasn't much of this anyway. I had relaxed and wasn't ready.

    So, would brakes have helped or hurt by the time I realized I was screwed? My hunch is that anything I did would have still resulted in a crash and that braking could have made things worse, but should I have tried it? I still don't know.
    #88
  9. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

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    It sounds like you know the answer. There is a point where your entry speed is just to high and there's nothing you can do about it, all you can do is try to make it suck less. Get the bike slowed down and try to aim the bike into the runoff straight if you can. If you're going to go off the the road or track do it upright (obviously not an option in your case.)

    "Never run out of real estate, traction and ideas at the same time." - Mario Andretti

    Imho, never coast, either on the throttle (even if it's just cracked open) or on the brakes, if the bike was still upright when you saw the corner, drop anchor, squeeze that front brake and start panic stopping on good pavement bikes can still stop pretty quickly, this would set you for continuing your braking into the turn, which being downhill off-camber would require some serious finesse.

    Other than looking farther ahead and slowing down before hand, or a dramatic SuperMoto style backing it in, you where fucked. When hard parts go down at turn in and you still need to turn more, bad things are ahead.
    #89
  10. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    Yup... I think that is the thought that keeps bothering me. I don't know if I was still upright when I realized the nature of the corner or not. If I was, any amount of speed that I could scrub would have helped. Whether it was lack of skill, not enough time or just not thinking quickly enough, that didn't happen. My brain saw the problem and defaulted to "fuck it... lean harder and look through the corner" instead of considering finesse on the brakes.

    As you point out, there is a moment when one is past the point of no return and the best is to "make it suck less" and the low-side certainly sucked less than a high side into the railing or down the side of a volcano.
    #90
  11. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

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    Research: OODA loop: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_loop

    The corner caught you out, because you had to reorient to what you observed leaving you with less time to decide and act.

    Honestly though, out of all the options you could of done I'd say the LEAN MORE decision is a mark of an experienced rider. Better than target fixating at the outside of the turn.
    #91
  12. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Judging from your description of the road, you were at least a gear too high.



    Downhill hairpins suck though, they are my nemesis.
    #92
  13. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    Brakes would have helped a lot if you were good at using them. If you have to wonder, you are not very good at it yet.
    #93
  14. Harvey Krumpet

    Harvey Krumpet Been here awhile

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    I guess your off was due to being to quick, when you realised it you had run out of options. My G/F's first off was in similar circumstances, gravel, pine needles, downhill, off camber, too quick & the clincher for her was grabbing the front brake.
    The only option would have been to get the back around either on the throttle weighting the outside peg, body weight out of the corner or giving less control, locking the rear. Bloody scary when your going too fast but it's the last port of call to keep control.
    A lot of gravel roads round here follow steep ridges, like a roller coaster with up & down hair pins, deep gravel & at times wet clay. I've had to steel myself to use the throttle through down hill corners with gritted teeth & clenched buttocks. Works every time, though.
    #94
  15. TheWall

    TheWall 0 miles and counting

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    Not to be argumentative, but I am genuinely curious...when I took the MSF basic course, the instructor advocated either the "push harder or stand it up and brake straight ahead" point of view. His reasoning was that, if you haven't yet used up 100% of your available traction, then you can still turn tighter; if you are at 100% then you don't have any reserve for braking. I see two flaws with that viewpoint, however. First, I've dragged the pegs on my bike (not often, but I've done it), which tells me that ground clearance, rather than friction, is what limits my lean angle and turning radius. Second, Second, as you slow, your turning radius decreases, so it seems to me that braking gives you more options and more rom to turn and less severe penalties if you do try, ahem, inadvertent off-road excursions, shall we say?

    Am I on the right track here, or did I miss Nick's point in the original post?
    #95
  16. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

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    You're on the right track the msf program has fundamental flaws in there curriculum because they don't believe people are capable of learning "advanced" techniques or they don't trust there instructor cadre to be able to teach them not sure which, all I know is low standards produce low results.

    Things to think about when you're on the front brake you're transferring weight to the front, if you put weight on the front end you get more traction. So while braking in the turn means you are asking more of the tire, the tire also has more to give you with the additional weight, this is why it's incredibly important to ramp the forces up, and not spike them up (gently apply the brakes don't grab them.) however this isn't infinite eventually the tire will give you no more, as long as you approach the tires limit gradually, nothing bad will happen, the front tire will start making noise and then push a bit, if you exceed it rapidly you low side.

    Also as you're bike bleeds speed if you don't want to continue running a tighter line you can start to stand the bike up which gives you more and more power you can use for braking.

    Chris
    #96
  17. TheWall

    TheWall 0 miles and counting

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    Thanks -- that makes a lot of sense :thumb
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  18. ibafran

    ibafran villagidiot

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    Surferchris1 posted this in another thread.

    "My supermoto coach put it to me a good way.

    "It doesn't make you fast, it's just a byproduct of being fast."

    I asked him a long time ago if I would get faster if I practiced backing it in? He told me not to practice it, and not to even think about it very much, that as I got faster I would just find myself doing it. It should be something that just comes naturally at a certain skill level, don't force it. He was right.

    He told me the problem is that backing it in is flashy, so people do it to show off, and they end up doing it in places where they really shouldn't, and they lose time, or crash.

    There is a time and a place for it, but most people think about it way too much, just focus on hitting your corners right, braking right, and having your weight in the right places, and the back end will brake loose if and when it needs to. "

    - - - - - - - - -

    Regarding trail braking, this quote speaks to me. As speeds come up due to proper straight line threshhold braking, hitting one's turn-in mark and straffing the apex reliably, the rider will begin to introduce SOME trail braking as part of the cornering technique. It is a natural progression from a well learned set of skills. One learns to trail brake because one percieves a need to do so only after all the basic skills are max'd out. Most people learn to juggle bean bags every which way near perfectly before they try it with chain saws.
    If a rider was to ask me trail braking questions, I would be looking at his ability to do everything else so well that his/her questions would be well founded. And then I would most likely point him to a peer for assistance as he would be beyond my level of skill both as a rider and as a riding coach. It doesn't bother me to reply, "I don't know." when I have nothing left to add to the discussion.
    Maybe what such a rider needs to learn is to become more like Freddie Spencer and cross up the forks during straight line braking and push the front end up to the turn-in point rather than trail brake after corner intitiation? Kenny Roberts teaches that to his go-fast guys. And he uses 50cc pocket rockets on dirt for his initial lesson to the art.
    Carp! I don't know? How many track gurus does anyone know who can go so fast, so reilably, while trail braking to be able to calmly watch another rider trail brake and catch some minute ridding error in the the other rider's execution? I can't do that. Yet.

    <!-- / message --><!-- edit note -->
    #98
  19. Craneguy

    Craneguy British Hooligan

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    #99
  20. Harvey Krumpet

    Harvey Krumpet Been here awhile

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    Check out the Gymkhana thread right here on ADV. A number of inmates are putting a lot of time into this, me included. It's the most fun I have had on a bike in years & the skill development is fantastic.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=788591

    Braking on a lean is mandatory.