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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by IdahoRenegade, Jul 23, 2014.
Some will, some won't. None of them would be killed by telling them there's another way.
Had a further thought on this subject. The reason I'd added the throw away comment 'body position' at the bottom above was because as I read through the paragraph from the article I felt 'body position' could be equally substituted where ever the word 'braking' was used. The advanced rider has two main skills to deal with the unknown, good braking skills and good body position. By 'body position' I mean everything associated with the confidence and technique to hang into the corner and get on the gas to drive the bike through the emerging 'challenge'.
To my point, I accept the the beginning rider is unlikely to have much in the way of 'body position' skills, it takes time to develop. So that ONLY leaves them with the skills of the braking in the corner to deal with the unforeseen. With me so far? They aren't going to drop into a corner and gas it, they will always go for the brakes. So rather than being something a beginning rider doesn't need to be concerned about, because its the ONLY skill they have to deal with the unforeseen in a corner it is even MORE important than an advanced ride that they have some ability in this skill. The advanced rider has a 'couple of strings to his bow', the beginner only has one, so they better have some skill in it.
Did that make sense after a six pack waiting for the Friday night football to start on TV?
Slow in, fast out has always been the go for me. I'm talking bitumen, not dirt.
I know that if I have the braking mostly done before tipping in, I can adjust the throttle through the corner and accelerate harder when I can see the exit.
If its a tightening radius corner then 99 times out of 100 looking where you want to go will get you there. The bike is more capable than you are (mostly!).
If I need to brake during the corner I will, but remember that braking will make the bike stand up, when you actually want the opposite!
Did you have a chance to read the article about why braking into a corner was critical by the Lead Instructor - Yamaha Champions Riding School? Seems a pretty credible source to me "you can actually improve your bike’s steering geometry, helping it turn better. A slightly collapsed front fork tightens the bike’s rake and trail numbers and allows it to turn in less time and distance." "As the front brake is released the fork springs rebound, putting the bike in the worst geometry to steer. As this rider works within this technique, he/she will attempt to turn the bike quicker and quicker, trying to make up for the extended steering geometry with more and more aggressive steering inputs. The faster they ride, the wider the bike wants to run through the corners, …a recipe for disaster.".
I brake hard and deep into corners and just as the author says when done together with aggressive body position no standing up of the bike is experienced, quite the opposite. The bike turns into the corner far better when I'm hard on the brakes and body position down and forward. If a bike did stand-up just because the brakes were applied going deep into a corner a MotoGP rider would run wide on just about every corner.
This is not true. Braking will tend to make the bike stand up, but you don't have to let it. You can easily hold any bike down in a curve while braking, but it does take more countersteering to keep it down. Just another reason to practice at braking while cornering. If you do it all the time the bike will never go off it's intended line from braking. If you only do it once in a blue moon when something scares you, who knows where it will all end up?
FTR, I've taken two MSF BRCs in my day, and in both of them, the instructors mentioned trail braking as an advanced technique that the new riders will want to eventually learn. Both times they made it explicit that they were ensuring that new riders were taught the fundamentals first, but never once said "this is the only way to brake or you'll die."
I have a strong memory of training with Keith Code and doing his (back then, not sure if he still does it) exercise where he had you select a single gear and ride the track without using brakes at all. He said a couple of club racers with a year's experience each had dropped a second from their best lap times using this method, and after trying it I could believe him.
His point was that the critical judgment for fast laps on a track was the maximum speed at which you could enter a corner and still make it around. The harder you are braking on entry, the harder it is to pick that speed and turn in at that speed, rather than slowing past that speed and entering the corner too slow.
Now that is track, and we are talking public roads and trail riding. Seems to me the point is worth even more off the track. Sure, cover the brake on turn-in, just in case. But if you are braking hard-ish all the way to the apex on the road, my guess is you could go faster and safer by getting your braking done sooner.
I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who does stuff like this.
Let's see what *Nick Ienatsch, Lead Instructor - Yamaha Champions Riding School has to say on that point:
We want to trail brake to control our speed closer to the slowest point of the corner. The closer we get to that point, the easier it is to judge whether we’re going too fast or too slow. If your style is to let go of the brakes before turning into the corner, understand that you’re giving up on your best speed control (the front brake) and hoping that your pre-turn-in braking was sufficient to get your speed correct at the slowest point in the corner. If you get in too slow, this is no big deal. The problem comes when the rider’s upright braking doesn’t shed the required speed and suddenly the rider is relying on lean angle to make it through the surprisingly tight turn. Or to get under the gravel patch. Or to the right of the Chevy pickup halfway in his/her lane.
So if you assume the apex is the slowest point in the corner Nick is saying, if I understand him correctly, braking all the way to the apex is the fastest and safest method.
*Nick Ienatsch is the YCRS chief instructor with over 18 years of world-leading motorcycle instruction, heading the Freddie Spencer school and the FastTrack school before that. His teaching techniques are rooted in a successful professional racing career which includes two AMA SuperTeams national championships, four top-three annual finishes in AMA 250 GP competition, two #1 plates from Willow Springs, three WERA Grand National Championships, and top-three finishes in AMA 600 SuperSport. Nick has been a motojournalist since 1984 and currently writes for Cycle World magazine. Has written a book Sport Riding Techniques and The Pace and The Pace 2.0, two seminal articles in motojournalism.
Ienatsch iirc is a former magazine test rider who got into racing and nearly won an AMA 250 championship. So he should know his stuff and he should be able to express it. But context is important and especially so here.
The top racers brake hard almost to the apex because they have top-racer skills. Even then Jorge Lorenzo, until last year the benchmark in MotoGP, was widely known to have developed unmatched mid-corner speed by getting onto - and off - the brakes sooner than his rivals.
Ienatsch in that article recommends using a wee bit of brake going in. Not a lot - he says most of the braking should happen beforehand. His point IMO is that if you are using a bit of brake then you can more easily use a bit more if required.
What he neglects to distinguish is the way racers trail brake from the way good road riders trail brake. Top racers are not holding a bit of brake just in case they got in too fast, or the turn tightens up. Either scenario will cost them half a second and the best racers' lap times vary by only a couple of tenths lap to lap, unless they are overtaking or defending a line. They know exactly how tight each turn is and if they are fine-tuning their apex speed with the brake we are talking small fractions of one mph. Ienatsch knows this and I imagine the reason he brings racing into the piece is for emphasis.
In road riding the turns usually are much less familiar and he is simply pointing out that it can be helpful to feather the brake in a turn rather than succumb to the belief that in a turn the front brake is off limits. Hence his anecdote about cruiser riders who'd never used the front brake.
But I doubt very much that the author of The Pace is proponing rushing into road turns so hard that you need to use the brake. Think about it: if you can use the brake while leaned over, then if you weren't using the brake you could lean over more.
The deeper point here is that the road (or trail) isn't the track. Cornering on the road at track pace is a quick route to the cemetery. Typically we all have heaps of mid-corner grip to spare most of the time on the road, and especially on unfamiliar roads. Most of the time if we run wide it is not because we run out of grip, but because we can't steer the bike quickly enough to make use of the grip we have, or because the grip level is uncertain and we don't want to test it. in either case braking is a good option, since we have grip to spare - or if we don't then at least we can learn that with the brake. That I think is Ienatsch's core point. And so he recommends being prepared for that choice, by holding a wee bit of brake going in. But - critically, I think - that wee bit of brake isn't really necessary for making the turn. It is just about settling the bike. My point was that those entering road or trail turns hard-ish on the brakes could find some speed and safety by getting slowed sooner. It is not clear to me that Ienatsch would disagree. (But I've been wrong before. )
Hey, what happened to the pissing contest that Catweasel was trying to start? I was looking forward to that a little bit and then.... nothing.
I have no idea. This little pissing match was enough to put him on ignore.
Some of you guys are very sensitive fellows aren't you. Good for you.
For those of you wondering about the so called pissing contest I've quoted my post below but if you're as sensitive as B Curv and Steve, maybe you'd best look away
I would like to point out the irony of johnCW post. in a thread on countersteering he is adamant about not explaining it to new riders as it is too much information for them. instead he insists on pushing body position as the proper way to turn. on this thread he thinks a new rider must be taught advance braking techniques.
I maintain he is wrong on both threads.
Ahhhh. There, now it's a advrider thread!
Not explaining counter steering to beginner riders????? Correct body position isn't a valuable technique?????? Trail braking is an advanced technique not an important fundamental??????
You clearly have taken to making up anything to try and personally discredit me, even changing topics, making up things I'm supposed to have said, anything. As you aren't interested in discussion the point in any way, have nothing useful to say, and only want to engage in personal attack..... goodbye, this will be the last time I'll respond to anything you ever write.
No disagreement of the first point. My first thought when reading Nick Ienatsch's article was this is a guy who knows his stuff, and knows how to communicate it. What's the article called? Trail Braking: On the track to win, on the street to survive What the very first words of his article on trail-braking ...... Many “riding experts” feel trail braking is an advanced technique that beginning riders shouldn't worry about. I don’t agree. It’s the new, low-mileage riders that are crashing the most, and the main reason they crash is due to too much speed at the corner entrance. He also goes on to say they are ill equipped to deal with the unforeseen once into the turn. Simply saying that if riders are at the correct speed before entering a corner they'd have no problem, is not dissimilar to saying if everyone drove safely there would be no smashes. They are both true statements, but they are theory not what actually happens.
Your reference to The Pace (written 20 years ago) is interesting. As I was keen to see what Nick had to say on other aspects I read it for the first time last night. My first thought was hold on, this is a complete contradiction to the trail-braking article. So I read The Pace 2, and what does he say.... So here we are more than 20 years later. The Pace’s message continues to ring true in many ways but I want to review and strengthen the best of the message and make amendments to the worst. Let’s call it Pace 2.0. What does he consider his worst message in The Pace:
In The Pace I wrote that you might not see a brake light flash all day. This is misleading. Readers could interpret this to mean that using the brakes is wrong, and I should have been much clearer. That is the biggest and most important clarification in The Pace 2.0: The use of brakes. You go to the brakes anytime you need your speed controlled more than is possible by simply closing the throttle. The faster you ride, the more brakes you will use, all things (like lean angle) being equal. If you’re in the habit of slamming on the brakes at every corner entrance, you are definitely not riding The Pace and that big speed and abruptness will eventually hurt you. If you use a little brake pressure to trail-brake (brake while turning) into the occasional corner, you've got the right idea.
I'm fascinated that every time a skill to improve someones riding ability and safety is mentioned the discussion like a flash turns to 'the road is not a race track'. Yes, race riders use trail braking and body position (another point for road riders corrected by Nick in Pace 2). So the logic that if you apply techniques used by track riders you'll immediately start riding like a maniac on the road only needs to be examined by reference to counter-steering. Counter-steering is a technique used on the track, will teaching active counter-steering make everyone ride like a maniac on the road? Clearly the answer is no, so why are other fundamental riding skills like appropriate trail-braking and body position any different, it isn't.
You're missing the point John - no one's saying that trail-braking isn't worth learning, just that it's probably, and in my opinion correctly, too much for a learner who can barely do a figure 8.
Let the newb grasp the basics of braking first eh? When it's easy, when grabbing too much is more likely to cause a skid rather than a crash. There's just no way a newb will have enough subtly to correctly use the brakes when cornering. Talk to them about trail-braking and they're far more likely to go in hot and come out in pieces. Slow in, fast out.
As for Ienatsch's article, he's very track orientated, very much about going around a one way road as fast as one can. Not much mention of oil, leaves, other bikers, cagers, trucks coming the same way, let alone deer etc etc. Sure he throws in an occasional reference to the road but his focus is very clearly the track and I think that colours his judgment a tad.
And I'm sure that any decent instructor will end his or her course with words to the effect of "your basic riding course has finished but your training hasn't. Ride, gain some experience, learn your bike, come back for more training. Come back and learn about active counter-steering, come back and do a track day, learn some off-road technique, come back and learn about body positions. Come back and learn".
Slow in, fast out.
Oh, and FWIW, but there's a world of difference between covering the brakes into a corner, or even feathering them (as someone mentioned) and trail-braking.
I had hoped that using the words of the head of a major rider training school, a successful racer, and serious author on the subject would encourage people to perhaps reconsider their perspective. I'm not using my words, I'm deliberately 'cut and pasting' the words of Nick Ienatsch to give credibility to the ideas. Perhaps there are those among us who feel that are more qualified than Nick to speak on the subject, I don't profess to be one of them.
When you say I'm missing the point, your also saying Nick Ienatsch is missing the point. He believes .... "Many 'riding experts' feel trail braking is an advanced technique that beginning riders shouldn't worry about. I don’t agree. It’s the new, low-mileage riders that are crashing the most, and the main reason they crash is due to too much speed at the corner entrance." Originally you were saying because its not included in basic courses is evidence it's not a required basic skill. Nick clearly disagrees with you. You may be comfortable sending out riders who can barely do a figure of 8 and let them learn the hard way. Regardless, it's near impossible to ride a motorcycle without being on the brakes going into some corners from the time you set out on the roads. Not a single person has responded to that reality.
Slow in, fast out. Are you actually reading Nick's ideas, he says ..... "It’s the new, low-mileage riders that are crashing the most, and the main reason they crash is due to too much speed at the corner entrance." You have a theory, in practice beginning riders are getting in to trouble because they don't have the skills of judgement and technique.... simple as that.
Nick Ienatsch's ideas are "very track oriented", and no mention of real world problems such as oil or leaves ........ you clearly can't have read any of them to make such a statement. "We crash when something unexpected crops up. The gravel, the truck in your lane, the water across the road mid-corner." Pace and Pace 2 are 100% road oriented articles, and his book Sport Riding Techniques, while aimed solely at the advanced rider, starts with the words "street riding is what Sport Riding Techniques focuses on" - page 1.
Nick Ienatsch to his credit appears to have significantly changed his published ideas on a couple of important aspects of riding since he wrote The Pace over 20 years ago. Motorcycles have significantly changed in the past 40 years so it is quite understandable that published road riding techniques will lag behind. I can feel the wheels spinning in someone brain on that statement already. Motorcycles before the 1980's didn't even have brakes to speak of, skinny hard rubber tires, wonky poorly handling and ill adjusted suspensions.