Idaho Star-Brake before turn vs Trailbraking

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by IdahoRenegade, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. Merckx the Cannibal

    Merckx the Cannibal Been here awhile

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    Yes, the Basic Rider Course is really basic. I had never ridden a motorcycle until I took the course, and I didn't even understand how sequential shifting worked. Most of the people in my class were longtime riders who were taking the course so they could get their endorsements and ride legally.

    The point being: The course is for newbies.

    It's a few hours in a classroom and a few hours on the riding range. You can't teach everything, and trail braking would have to be way down the list. It's more important to learn how to swerve, how to run over a 2-by-4, how to maneuver in a parking lot, than to learn how to trail brake when the time is so limited.

    No one taught me how to trail brake. When I finally learned what trail braking was, after riding daily a couple of years, I realized that I had been using the technique for months. It's just braking late and easing up on the brake while you're in the turn. As you gain confidence, you just start doing it naturally.
    #41
  2. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

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    either they don't actually street ride, they're full of shit, or they brake in corners without even realizing it.

    you would not get very far in the real world without crashing if you never braked in corners on the street...
    #42
  3. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

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    So you go around every corner hard on the brakes eh?

    Must be a dull life.
    #43
  4. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

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    yeah, that is EXACTLY what i said. :huh :fpalm
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  5. catweasel67

    catweasel67 RD04

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    So you're saying there are some corners where you're not on the brakes?

    So,...trail-baking isn't a necessary skill?

    First you say it is, and then you say it's not...which is it?

    Is trail-braking a necessary skill for learners or not?

    Put another way..

    Will learners die/crash if they don't learn trail-breaking?

    Don't worry...I can sense your inner turmoil from here.....the answer is that they don't. It isn't a necessary skill and many folks manage to ride their entire lives without trail-breaking....ever!

    Amazing eh?

    Is it a technique worth learning? Sure. Is it. Is it necessary? Will you die without it? Will you crash without doing it?

    :rofl
    #45
  6. Rgconner

    Rgconner Long timer

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    Red, why you feeding the troll?
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  7. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

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    that's a good question, actually.

    sometimes, i just can't help myself...
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  8. Human Ills

    Human Ills Useful Idiom

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    There is no universal truth here. Why is this so difficult to grasp? Bikes are different, corners are different, conditions are different, skillsets are different.

    What is best for one person on one bike in a particular corner under particular conditions may well not be best on a different bike, or different tires. Etc etcetc
    #48
  9. Rgconner

    Rgconner Long timer

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    Me either. And apparently he likes to get tied in knots too, so no point in rope-a-doping him.
    #49
  10. Benduro

    Benduro It's been handled.

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    You just said a mouthful right there, my man. Well put.
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  11. steve68steve

    steve68steve Long timer

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    To clarify, I'm NOT talking about "trail braking." I'm talking about a progressive squeeze of the front brake - as you would while straight up - but doing that while you're turning. To some that's heresy - it goes against everything you've ever been taught. "Surely the front wheel will tuck under and I'll go down in millisecond." No, not if you don't use up all your traction - it's just braking.

    Someone said they think people's ignorance/ fear of turned braking has put riders off the road and in coffins. I agree. I ran wide a few times early in my riding career because it was drilled into my head by MSF (and online forae) that braking IS NOT AN OPTION. That's just not true... and someday your life may depend on it. Go practice it someplace safe. Don't stab the brakes or try an emergency stop the first time you practice.
    #51
  12. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

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    yep. :clap

    there are a couple stop signs around here that are right at the end of bends in the road. if you couldn't brake while turning, you could not stop at them...

    and that isn't even considering the situation like a kid or animal running out into the road while you are going around a corner/curve.

    if you ride on the street much at all, eventually you will need to brake while cornering. not trail braking, but just plain braking while cornering.
    #52
  13. B.Curvin

    B.Curvin Feral Chia Tamer

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    I practice everyday. I'm at 80mph when I reach the red arrow at the bridge. On the brakes and down to 45/46mph by the time I transition back on the throttle at the green dash. Up to 49/52mph when I once again get on the brakes for the light. Six days a week. My goal is to stay above 50mph start to finish. :D

    [​IMG]

    My front Shinko 705 was quiet cupped at ~6,000 miles. :deal
    #53
  14. Farmer Hank

    Farmer Hank Never one of the cool kids

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    Uhhh.... I'm kinda having trouble seeing any real difference between "trail braking" and "plain braking while turning". True, trail braking happens before the apex and involves a progressive release of the front brake as lean angle increases. Plain braking could happen anywhere in a turn. As I see it, the skill to be learned is that your front brake pressure needs to reflect lean angle. Both throttle and brake need to be finessed very gently at the high lean angles involved in track days or racing. At a typical street pace and lean angles you can get away with quite a lot of braking (or throttle) while cornering if you keep it smooth. Keeping two fingers on the front brake lever when riding twisties helps me avoid "grabbing" with four fingers and having a big sudden input.
    #54
  15. steve68steve

    steve68steve Long timer

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    To my mind, trail braking seems less scary than initiating a hard-ish braking event while already leaned and turning. In the former, what you're doing is a smooth part of the turning process, and you're making a traction "deposit". In the latter, you're making a traction "withdrawal", AND changing dynamics mid-stream (lean angle, front/back weight transfer, etc.). So if you can manage the latter, the former is sort of, well, 'nothing' really. I don't understand why it gets so much hype as "advanced technique" and "save it for the track."

    I want to stress the "typical street pace and lean angles" - that's where I ride. That's the situation I need to cope with when things go wrong. So the fact that I have "quite a lot of braking" available if I "keep it smooth" is a pretty significant thing, avoiding death-wise.
    #55
  16. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

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    i think you've actually outlined the difference quite well.

    applying the brakes while already in a turn is not trail braking (at least not what i understand to be the definition of "trail braking"). it's "just plain braking" while turning.

    i think your entire post is spot on, though.
    #56
  17. BikerNerd

    BikerNerd n00b

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    http://www.n2td.org/trail-braking/

    Lots of good conversation about trail braking techniques being taught by riding courses. I have nothing new to add to that topic but The above link is a very good instructional article on trail braking for the street. Good read.
    #57
  18. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

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    excellent article, thanks for posting it.

    he makes a lot of really good points. i'm inspired to start trail braking on the street more.
    #58
  19. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    Very good read. Too bad it's so short. I especially like the part about how easy it is to brake a little more if needed when you are already planning on braking partway through the corner. Easy as pie to do a little more stopping for that unexpected deer or Deere.
    #59
  20. JohnCW

    JohnCW Long timer

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    + 1 also.

    This paragraph particularly resonated. We don’t crash on perfect days with perfect pavement and perfect tires. We crash when something unexpected crops up. The gravel, the truck in your lane, the water across the road mid-corner. If you’ve entered the corner with no brakes, then you’ve basically reduced your options to attempting to reapply the brakes when you see the unexpected surprise, adding lean angle, or standing the bike up and running off the road. You need to make a habit of turning into corners with just a little brake pressure because the unexpected is much easier to deal with if your brake pads are already squeezing your discs. You will be in control of your speed and as your speed drops, your bike will be able to carve a tighter radius at the same lean angle.

    Now lets talk about body position, just kidding.
    #60