Tips on hard braking practice?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Stonefly, May 10, 2012.

  1. Stonefly

    Stonefly Been here awhile

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    I signed up for the MSF Basic Rider Course 2 a week from Saturday. This got me thinking that I should be practicing my hard braking and avoidance maneuvers a lot more than i do. Do you have any tips on how to get the most out of these particular skill building techniques? Usually I just run up to the local church parking lot, get up to about 40mph, and try to stop in the shortest distance possible while remaining under control. But I feel like I'm missing something, like I'm not getting the kind of experience from this that I should. Im interested in how y'all practice your hard braking and avoidance maneuvers. Anything in particular I should be focusing on? Any bad habits I need to avoid?
    #1
  2. shaddix

    shaddix Banned

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    That's exactly the thing I do too. Interested to hear if you're doing anything wrong.. or if you could be doing more
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  3. helion42

    helion42 Been here awhile

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    This Gymkhana stuff was posted in another thread, looks like you could get good practice for everything out of it.
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=788591

    or, directly to the Youtube vid of it: http://youtu.be/nIRFXv7W5yE

    I used to do cone practice on my scooter all the time, nothing this extreme tho, but it definitely helps. Lots of stuff you can get out of an empty parking lot and some small marker cones, like setting up a straight run w/ an obstacle, or setting it up to measure your stopping distance
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  4. Harvey Krumpet

    Harvey Krumpet Long timer

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    :roflIt just so happens that I had the opportunity to do exercises for "correct braking" technique & avoidance maneuvers recently.
    For braking,find a grippy open area to practice (obviously) & start with your technique. I ride a TDM & need both brakes, a sports bike more front, a cruiser likes the back more.
    Set up a braking marker so you can gauge your progress. I was told to use 4 fingers on the front brake after a life time of using 2, felt weird at first but is better. Your little finger is the most sensitive of the bunch, it avoids you squishing fingers if your brakes are soft & most importantly you have to close the throttle to brake, I started with 2 fingers & without realising it I was holding the throttle slightly open. The technique when you have the lever covered is as simple as making a fist.
    Start gently, loading the forks before you really squeeze, giving the front tire a chance to maximise it's grip, apply the rear brake as your loading up. Adjust the rear if it locks easily, same with the front, if you can't get four fingers on it, adjust it.
    Get your technique right & comfortable before you try an emergency stop, decrease your braking distance gradually.
    I found with my Pirelli Scorpion front tire that I can hear it when it is about to lock up, a shuush sound, it also leaves rubber on the road without locking up too. Not a lot of braking left at this point.Practice somewhere flat so if you do lock the front you can release the brake still going straight, a camber will hurt you.
    Wheres your head at? Look ahead through the maneuver, it's hard not to end up looking just in front of the tire but you have less control & loose your escape route. Keep your head up!
    #4
  5. Harvey Krumpet

    Harvey Krumpet Long timer

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    Evasion! When the car pulls out...

    This exercise blew me away. In your chosen training area set up 2 gates using cones or half tennis balls, your entry & exit. In the middle place another cone or ball, your Volvo...
    You need a reasonable distance throughout, ride the exercise at 20 - 30 kmh +.
    Enter the first gate & as you approach the central ball aggressively counter steer to the right to get around it, immediately counter steer to the left as you pass so you can make the exit gate & avoid the oncoming traffic. Do it again but left right, rinse & repeat, building up speed gradually. If you have somebody with you stand them in the centre & let them dictate which way you turn & also how much time you have to react, be prepared to scare them, it makes you ambidextrous. When your comfortable, do it with one hand, no, seriously, it's push, pull & scary. I opened the throttle first time I tried so do it slowly. When your head is spinning with that start weighting your inside footrests in the maneuver, one handed while talking on your cell phone.. Nah, no phone. Really weight the footrests, move your bum in the seat to do it & the turn will be much stronger. Now combine your counter steering & footrest weighting & gradually increase your speed within your own limitations.
    We were moving approximately 1 mtr to the left or right for every 3 mtrs or so forward @ 50kmhish. This has been improved to the point I have no chicken strips.
    Again keep your head up, look where you really want to go! And remember, you have to get back in lane to avoid a head on, or in this case, make the exit gate.
    Enjoy & take care. It needs practice, practice, practice.:freaky
    #5
  6. yzmaico

    yzmaico Slacker

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    Don't lock your elbows, your back should hold you up not your arms, hug the tank with your knees.

    A really good book that is mentioned on this forum many times is Total Control by Lee Parks.
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  7. dbuzz

    dbuzz Citizen of the world

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    ... use the tips of your fingers rather than wrapping the fingers around the lever. The tips are more sensitive.

    If you try to wrap the fingers around the lever there will be a tendency to grab rather than squeeze.
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  8. Harvey Krumpet

    Harvey Krumpet Long timer

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    First joint from the finger tip? Sounds about right to me as long as the grip is their.
    My gf had a tendency to grab the front brake & we figured out it was because the lever span was too big, she was just getting the tips on & braking harder / with less feel I guess, to compensate. When we pulled the lever in giving her better coverage the braking was much smoother & controlled. When I went from 2 fingers too 4, my braking was grabby initially until I got the feel for it.
    Having big hands I had not given any consideration to my levers for years but advanced training really opened my eyes to setting a bike up properly for the rider. It makes a big difference to feel & control.
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  9. dbuzz

    dbuzz Citizen of the world

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    um yes ... distal metatarsal ie end bone :D

    PS everyone is a bit different in feel
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  10. KingOfFleece

    KingOfFleece SplitWeight(tm) waterproof seat covers

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    You might want to get "Riding in the Zone" by Ken Condon and "Ride Hard Ride Smart" by Pat Hon.
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  11. OldPete

    OldPete Be aware

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    If your mc has ABS, use it once in awhile as it is good for the system to be cycled and you will get used to the feel of its operation.

    Someone mentioned finger tip braking offers better feel... this is true.

    Go to utube and search counter steering and target fixation because we go where we look.
    #11
  12. RottVet

    RottVet Been here awhile

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    I would suggest waiting until you take the course. The instructors will evaluate andcoach you correctly, and you will not have formed any more bad habits before then. However, one suggestion- as in any motorcycle function- being smooth equals being fast and efficent. Enjoy the course.
    #12
  13. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    You can practice all the time on the street. When there aren't cars around I will slalom the dotted line anywhere from 40-60 mph, trying to go between each. Definitely develops reactions and gets you to look ahead. I also practice riding between the lines on double yellow or dot/yellow lines whenever I can. It is simply training to keep a bike on line. I rode rollers on a bicycle and found it rather easy to stay within a foot range, 6" gets a bit tougher.

    When riding familiar roads or roads with clear line of sight, start moving around, braking, and accelerating in corners. That teaches you how to maneuver in spite of being mid corner. This skill is definitely handy when something appears in a blind corner or something happens mid turn. I can move out or in quite easily in any corner along with braking relatively quickly because of this sort of practice. You also gain confidence in tires as you do this, because as you lean further in your practice you find the limits are beyond your skill for the most part.

    When it comes to hard braking, I find that to be part of my fun on a bike. Due to my off road experience I am a 2-3 finger front brake operator. It allows me to keep a grip on the throttle/handlebar on the right side. It mainly came from my trials riding when starting out, then helped a bunch when harescrambling or trail riding. Nothing worse than having the front end start to wash out when you have a full 4 finger grip on the brakes - you tend to squeeze harder to have control of the bars. With two fingers you have a good grip with your thumb and other two. MSF doesn't like the two-three finger grip, but nearly every racer, pro or amateur, does this type of grip. It works.

    Again, when no cars around I will anchor the bike down heavily when coming to stops just to do it. Practice to make perfect. I can bring the front tire to a howling stop on both the streetbike and the dual sport. With the 2 finger grip I have had the front tire lock, then with a slight lightening of my grip, bring it back without releasing completely.

    Everything I've mentioned happens regularly when I ride. It has for the past 25 years or more, no matter what motorcycle I've owned. For me it is simply part of the experience, as is an occasional hard run through some gears or lifting the front wheel a bit from a stop. Virtually every ride is practice to me, because it is fun to do and keeps the skills up.

    Have at it. Take the classes, visit the parking lots, but most of all, practice every day every ride. Intentionally do the stuff in the places where you actually would use it.
    #13
  14. dbuzz

    dbuzz Citizen of the world

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    :lol3
    self :huh.. you are an idiot ...it is distal phalanges :rofl

    :shog senior moment :shog
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  15. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    Practice every day on your normal rides. Just make certain to check your 6 first.
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  16. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

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    +1.

    i understand why MSF teaches what they do to brand new riders. i don't understand why they don't teach 2 finger braking in the ERC, though.
    #16
  17. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    The relevant point is that, should you be having an event, your brain will go "ABS just kicked in", not "HOLY CRAP WHY IS MY BIKE DOING THAT? LET GO OF THE BRAKES!"

    Agree to both. See what they have for you, then practice. My guess from a distance is smooth application, and head and eyes up and forward. Most people look down, which makes it harder to stay balanced.

    I can think of four reasons to support the MSF's position. These are probably not THE reasons, and there may be OTHER reasons, but I can think of off the top of my head, pre-coffee:

    1) Their primary focus is n00bs. It takes less coordination to keep all four fingers together, and that also helps them close the throttle for braking- because when I forget and the engine starts revving, I close the throttle, but a new rider is more likely let go of the handlebar. They will always blame the bike for having a sticky throttle.

    2) Not every rider can generate maximum braking with only one or two fingers on the lever, especially not a new rider- the combination of finger strength and fine muscle control doesn't exist for them (yet... for many, it never will, because they don't care enough to try).

    3) Not every bike can generate maximum braking with only one or two fingers on the lever. Some bikes need all the strength you can get; some bikes, fingers on the throttle will interfere with lever travel. A KLR fits both examples.

    4) The ring finger (I'm told) has a better sense of feel than the index and middle fingers.
    #17
  18. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    +1, he said it right. Braking hard in a parking lot from 40 won't help you much when the deer jumps out in front of you on a rainy curve.
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  19. SgtDuster

    SgtDuster Long timer

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    Practice almost everyday, usually on yellow lights. I don't run the yellow/red anymore.

    A trick for your hard braking...squeeze your tank hard.
    #19
  20. jamz

    jamz Samsquanch

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    I practice a lot too, generally wen I space out and almost blow past a turn I wanted to take. :eek1

    (While checking my six, of course)
    #20