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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by outlaws justice, Jul 3, 2012.
I will, thanks. I'm not sure I have the memory to compete in this.
Wow! Just...wow. <i>One</i> of these days, I'll be this good (hey, set your sights high, right? :)
That's always my reaction watching the pro's. After I've done some practice & it feels like I'm the man I watch the video of myself. Er, no, not even closebut on the bright side, getting better.
Yep, that's the way I see it. If I aim high, and only make it half way, I'm still a better rider than if I set them low and failed to hit even that low bar
On another note, this topic has given me some ideas on things to try and skills to work on. Can't wait to get some maintenance done on the bike so I can try these ideas out.
I am glad I found this topic because it confirmed and explained something that bothered me for a while.
When I bought my first bike, I used trail braking instinctively: braking before the turn and slowly releasing the front brake until I couldn't see the exit - and then roll on the throttle. I didn't know what trail braking was or any other technique, I was a complete noob. My riding needed (and still needs) a lot of improvement.
After few months I took a course where they told us that we should not brake under any circumstances while leaning. I practiced that and I could ride that way, but it just felt "wrong", specially on the roads. My friend who adopted this technique (accelerating through the turn) once ran wide in the right turn while riding in front of me, and stopped in a bush by the road. We entered the turn approximately the same speed, he was probably afraid to even touch the brake lever.
My opinion is: in terms of safety, accelerating in a turn is not so safe, because we don't know if will we be forced to react instantly during the turn because of the incoming vehicles and other concerns of the traffic. If I accelerate in a turn, I take the weight and traction of the front tire and it is difficult for me to react abruptly without pogoing the bike. If just a liitle bit more weight is on the front tire, I can change the direction or slow down quickly if I need to avoid something on the road, and the ride feels more relaxed.
Finally, in this topic, I found an explanation for what I thought was good all the time.
@Andrew, I was taught the same thing in the MSF course I took when I was learning to ride. Here is a post explaining how that worked out for me. Basically, MSF is teaching *survival* skills to the lowest common denominator -- what will give the crappiest rider in the course the best chance of surviving?
Yeah, it's true that when I rode off the side of the road in a downhill, decreasing radius turn, following the MSF's advice allowed me to walk away, unhurt, and with an undamaged bike. But since I started the the thread that I linked to above, I have learned a bit about riding and (hopefully) a thing or two about some more advanced techniques. I honestly think that I *could* have negotiated that curve successfully had I followed the advice in this particular thread -- that is, smoothly apply some brake and maybe push a bit harder on the handlebars on that curve. I wasn't at 100%, so there was some room to apply some brake in the turn without low siding.
Think about it for a second: what is the difference between acceleration and deceleration? In physics class, I learned that they are the exact same thing, only with a vector pointing in a different direction. So, if you can apply throttle (accelerate) in a turn, you theoretically should be able to brake (decelerate) by the same amount, no? I've recently joined the gymkhana thread here on advrider, and while practicing, we DO brake and accelerate in turns. IMHO, if you want to learn to negotiate corners on the street better, spend some time practicing these techniques around some tennis balls in a parking lot. I guarantee, it will help in the twisties :)
That mindset is just as wrong as the never trail brake mindset.
Being on the throttle has some advantages in the corner too:
* almost impossible to loose the front while on the gas. This is great for when the corner is slippery.
* You've got more ground clearance when on the gas because anti-squat effect of chain torque.
* The bike slows down when you lean it over because of the change in tire size.
And obviously in a increasing radius corner you're going to be very slow if you're trail braking to your apex.
If you didn't have hard parts down you could have just pushed the bike over more with no reguards to braking.
I think downhill corners are scary for allot of new riders, you got in a little faster than you wanted to, had a survival reaction looked where you didn't want to go standing the bike up, hit the brakes and rode off the road. Trail braking would have helped but so would have just pushing the bike over farther too.
And don't get me wrong i'm one of the biggest proponents of trail braking
I just found this thread. I think the one point Nick was a little off on was his last... Particularly for a racer. IMO the mentality to master is 'committing to the turn' even though you may be in too hot for comfort. Anything less is going to result in running off your path and into whatever is out there. I was taught that by my oldest son who was a successful pro road racer. I saw it regularly with my #2 son who was also a pro and excelled on really fast turns. Like the top of 5th on his knee. :eek1
I got into the habit of that attitude even on dirt roads and such. A good motorcycle is capable of better cornering than most of us realize. You don't want to run off into the drainage.
Regarding trail braking; on the street we are not near the limits of grip so trail braking is a fair practice even on dirt surfaces. But it's still a very touch feely thing to execute in my experience. It takes lots of seat time to become second nature.
I have great respect for Nick's riding ability, and even more for his ability to clearly explain what he's thinking . . . . .
I guees that I'm lucky in that I learned to ride before anyone thought much about the dynamics, much less wrote about it. When someone pointed out to me that my trail breaking would kill orphans and starve kittens, after I'd been doing it for decades, I paid little attention.
Same same, real riders never use their rear brakes.
Like hemlines, this stuff is cyclical, for many, and, espeically for those who simply don't know what they are talking about.
Thanks for the original post, and for the mostly rational discussion following . . . . .
Ummm...I don't think that it's always that black-and-white. In normal conditions, we are not near the limits of grip, but I've had the front end start to wash out on me under conditions where I didn't think I was anywhere near the limits (I'm pretty certain there was oil or radiator fluid or something on the road in that particular event), and I've slipped the rear a few times more than that (the Shinko 705 I'm running gets a little slippery when heeled over in the rain, but it recovers with little to no drama, so...)
In the gymkhana thread, we have a theory: trail braking keeps tension on your driveline, so when you roll on throttle, there is no sudden "snatch" as all of the slack suddenly is taken up as the engine starts to pull. If Ienatsch is correct (and I believe he is), then always having tension on your driveline should help keep your throttle inputs smooth (one reason I think I've been sliding my rear tire in the rain -- lack of smoothness on the throttle).
The type of trail braking he's talking about is using the front brake for the most part.
Rear brake against throttle is poor man traction control and is awesome.
Front brake against throttle can very easily lock the front wheel.
Gotcha -- thanks for the education! :)
Hey, Teh Wall, just jumped in here & read "downhill tightening radius corner" after I spotted your moniker.
Last Saturday the missus & and I did a lovely run on a road which would cow The Dragon, numerous "oh shit" corners that feel more like tightening spirals over very steep coastal terrain.
It was her first big run & what she has learned from "the balls" made it an ecstatic ride rather than a terrifying one.
1500 ks total distanced traveled by her on a bike since she started learning & she has the ability to lean further through a corner using the front, rear or both brakes as required balanced against the throttle.
Er, sorry for butting in but I just wanted to push the fact that practice makes perfect. Oh, & give my girlfriend a plug. I'm soooooo proud of her!
The bold/italic above is dead on. Unless you go in to a turn way hot, you always want to be on the throttle. Always, even if you are going in a little hot... stay on the throttle and trust the tires.
This thread is chock full of good and bad info.
And your post is an example of bad info. You don't need to be on the throttle through an apex. Neutral is most common and holds the front up fine.
Word, although a little point of contention. Unless you've got a slipper clutch or are riding a 2 stroke or have your idle turned up a bit neutral does have the throttle sneaked open just a bit to
For the beginning rider it can likely be a tire trust issue, but lean angle limits are what they, but outside of that. The name of the gaming in track riding for sure and hopefully street riding for many. Is accurately hitting your line +/- a few inches of your intended apex because that will build the consistency and speed. Trail braking makes that _much_ easier.
I will say though, once you've come off the brakes stay on the throttle the problem with new riders is they jump back and forth between them. It's possible to do it and do it smoothly but it's always going to cost you laptime.
I understand why some instructors don't want to teach trail braking. I think it is because there is always a percent of students which tend to use brakes in the ON-OFF manner (stabbing and releasing). If they stab the front brakes in a corner, it is likely that they will crash and instructors don't need that kind of responsibility.
Even a light squeeze of the brake lever will slow us just a bit (maybe enough to avoid running wide), and some guys maybe need time and practice to feel it, but after a few minutes of practice anyone can develop that feel, I believe. My point is - I think that teaching people not to touch brake lever while leaning is not the safest possible solution.
I am a "civilian" rider, meaning I don't race against the clock or other people, so being slow an increasing radius corner is ok for me. My opinion regarding this topic is form the perspective of safety and comfort on the roads. I don't know much about racing, so I can not give opinion on that.
I don't like being on a throttle if a turn is slippery, mainly because it is very, very hard for me to quickly maneuver/brake if something happens in the traffic. If I have to release the throttle, the bike will jerk forward, loading the front tire instantly, and I am not comfortable with that. So, when the corner is slippery I slow down and take it easy.
What feels natural to me is to slowly release the brakes until I can see the exit, and than slowly roll on the throttle. I can not explain why, it is just what my feeling tells me, and I am comfortable that way. I think that everyone should ride the way they feel secure. Maybe it is better to have "wrong" technique that we feel comfortable using, than to force ourselves to use the "proper" technique that makes us insecure and nervous. Of course, I will consider any advice and try it, always hoping to find a better way.
I don't know what is anti-squat effect of chain torque, sorry. If it's not too much offtopic, I would like to know something about that. Thanks.
All it means is that when you open the throttle on a motorcycle (any motorcycle, shafties too) that BOTH the front and rear suspension actually LIFT UP -- the center line of the chain lies slightly below the swing arm at the front-- so when the chain goes under tension, it tries to pull the bottom of the swing arm closer to the drive sprocket...which extends the suspension and lifts the bike.
To me neutral throttle means the throttle is open enough to maintain desired speed through the apex but not accelerating. Maybe we are all saying the same thing. 'On the gas' suggests acceleration, no?