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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by 390beretta, Apr 21, 2013.
...probably would have helped avoid at least one of the instances you describe.
I use my front brake with the wheel turned at parking lot speeds all the time. I think new riders should be taught how to do this as it will help break them of the tendency to grab the brake rather than smoothly applying it.
Exactly! - Although for a new rider, especially one who is short-of-leg and/or light weight relative to the height/mass of their motorcycle, emphasizing the need to have the handlebars square when coming to a stop is probably more important. The reasons for not doing so may have to do with other aspects of machine control, rider posture, etc. If you're not sure what is causing the problem, it may be difficult to fix. Smoothly applying the front brake rather than grabbing it is an important skill irrespective of whether someone has the bars turned. The OP's wife may be ready for an MSF experienced rider course or some other form of additional training.
Well, that's not what the MSF teaches, and they've done decades of research and studying data, and taught what has to be in the millions of new riders across the Country.
YOU may realize, and it sounds like you do, that while the front brake (and or rear) can be used when cornering, it takes a lot of experience and awareness that you can only use if very little (aka trail braking).
But teaching that to new riders? never been on a bike before? Absolutely NOT!! Be aware, more than half of these people are scared shitless. They are feeling so much anxiety it's palpable.
As much as we suggest deep breaths etc etc, it's very difficult to get them to relax. Even mentioning simple things become difficult if we can't relax. It's a monumental thing for many of them to be on a motorcycle.
The MSF doesn't teach trail braking until you get to their most advanced class, The Military Sport Bike class. Even in the Experienced Rider Course, it's not mentioned.
Basically, what they're trying to accomplish, is to not have to have newish riders learn the hard way that you can't use that front brake that hard with the bike leaned over. So they recommend riders do all their braking with the bike straight up, then get off the brakes and lean it over and power around the corner.
In slow tight turns, and you have to slow a little before the turn, rear brake only. Then get off the brake before the turn and use the friction zone and power around the turn. This changes for scooters as they have to simulate a clutch by using the rear brake throughout the turn and keep the revs up.
And to someone else... no, you don't modulate the front brake, you either have ABS or you don't. Our full stopping power is both brakes to their fullest extent without locking up either tire.
The technique for using the front brake on a motorcycle is called "a delayed firm squeeze". We delay the firmness of the squeeze until the weight of the bike gets on the front wheel and flattens out the contact patch, NOW at this point we can be firm, not before. Never modulate the brake, yer increasing your stopping distance.
Newish riders don't understand these things, and tend to grab that brake hard even if the wheel is turned or they're leaned over etc. And when they do that, that's called "learning the hard way". Learning the easy way is when you take a class and have competent instructors.
Um, what? You don't need full stopping power every time you use the brakes. Most times you just need to gently shed a little speed, so you'd modulate the brake, not grab and squeeze to the fullest extent without locking up...
v. mod·u·lat·ed, mod·u·lat·ing, mod·u·lates
1. To adjust or adapt to a certain proportion; regulate or temper.
2. To change or vary the pitch, intensity, or tone of (one's voice or a musical instrument, for example).
a. To vary the frequency, amplitude, phase, or other characteristic of (electromagnetic waves).
b. To vary (electron velocity) in an electron beam.
I would like to see an exercise where you have to stop in the middle of doing the figure 8 box using only the front brake. That would teach those newbies how to be smooth and gentle with that lever I bet!
Okay, I'll take the time and explain this too, but you might want to take (or re-take) the class sometime...
In an Emergency situation, you're going to go with what your habits are, it will become like an instinct, without you having to think about it.
So someone pulls out in front of you, doesn't see you. Your habit is to (say) use one finger on the front brake only. Or maybe your habit is to just use the rear brake, or modulate the brakes... you get the idea.
And in the middle of this Emergency braking situation you realize... Oh SHIT! this is an emergency!!! I should be using both brakes to the fullest extent so I can stop!!! And right after that flashes through yer head is when you'll slam into the car...
But if yer habit had been to always use both brakes, that's what you would have done, and you may have avoided the crash all together or lessened the impact so that you walked away from it...
It's perfectly understandable that like in a parking lot you just drag the rear brake or something, I mean we're doing like 5mph. But out on public roads, when shit can and does happen, always have the habit of using both brakes.
It's like this; would you drive your car the way you do now if only 1 brake on 1 wheel was working? Of course not, if someone stops short in front of you, you'll probably run into them. So with your bike, always be prepared to use your full stopping power, in case you need it.
The car analogy is a good one because generally, the front brake is about 70% of our stopping power and the rear is 30%. 30 is about 25, thus 1 brake on 1 wheel working.
To clarify, the MSF is about "best practices". I mean, anybody can go and do whatever the hell they want. They are not the police. But what they are saying is if you want to have a long enjoyable motorcycling career, this is what they recommend.
Do it or don't do it, your call.
That would not make "those newbies" much safer on the road but would scare and/or injure quite a few of them. Counterproductive methinks.
Tell you what - Why don't you contact MSF and suggest your change to them? You'd be bypassing tens of thousands of hours of curriculum development, debate, refinement, and millions of hours of ridercoach experience. Someone might give you an award for such an innovative and novel idea.
Nope, with two fingers I can unload my rear tire to the point that the throttle actually locks it. Those same two fingers are more than capapable of standing the bike on its nose.
I've actually started doing sort of a stab when I only use the rear while I'm clamping on the front, once I have the suspension compressed there is no more rear break.
Maybe on a Cruiser or long Touring rig, on a 55" sportbike if you are getting 10% out of the rear wheel you aren't breaking very hard.
MSF isn't the bible. They make a number of calls in order to prevent litigation and to preserve their equipment. All well and good, but as they tell you in MSF "congrats, you can now ride in a parking lot."
Things like four finger braking, never throttling with the brake covered, no trail braking. Things like that.
I see what you're saying. Basically thin the herd, survival of the fittest. Maybe line the box with spike strips. Woe be the individual that drops it in the box of doom.
How do you get 390Beretta's one armed wife out of a tree?
Wave to her
As for a Course, I'd love to take one, and was seriously considering it when we thought we had an extra course booked, but I just found out today that I'd be yelled at for modulating my front brake, or keeping a finger on it at slow speeds.
I had to to do the ERC bi-annually when I was in the military. I usually got the coaches to give up about the 4 finger thing. Usually pointing them at my front wheel and pointing out there was a pair of 120mm discs there got them to back off.
The best way to prevent litigation and preserve equipment is to do what works and is safest for NEW* riders, with data/experience to back it up.
We've been over this ground before but for the benefit of anyone just joining us, the MSF BRC is for BEGINNERS*, inlcuding people who have never ridden before. It aims to give them the best start possible in just 15 hours. Trail braking does not fit with that model.
Some RiderCoaches have been known to congratulate people over riding in a parking lot but that's really crass - even though they are trying to make a good point that completion of the BRC should just the first step in learning to ride safely on the road. The course covers the BASICS*, in a safe place away from traffic. That has been determined to be the best way to do it when you've only got people for a couple of days.
[*concepts you repeatedly fail to grasp]
Hey, she's getting better at picking up the bike a lot faster than you are!
It's all a matter of perspective. :)
hahaha luv it, even if it's stupid!
Let's talk about this: Even in the damn Moto GP, some riders use 1 or 2 fingers and some use all 4...
Guess those using 4 just have shitty brakes right? Yeah, those Duc's can't stop worth a shit...
Look, different bikes obviously (duh!!) have better or worse stopping capabilities.
The MSF is just making it clear that most of your braking ability is the front wheel. They are making it clear to NEW riders to help them understand why they need to use BOTH brakes.
Bikes abilities will vary (no shit! really! are u sure??? - sheeesus yer killin me here with this ignorance!) But you might want to consider, NEW Riders generally don't go and buy a 190 mph Eye-A-Buser (or whatever) for their first bikes!!
their instruction is not a bad thing, and if you can do better call them and tell them or start your own business.
New riders sure as shit do. In fact go over to the sportbikes.net and there are 5-6 posts a month by people that just bought new 600cc super sports as their first bikes.
So its only 170mph eyerbusa, but everything else I said holds.
Yes they sure as shit do, and many of them end up killing themselves.
everything I said holds as well.
you better not end up in my class buddy! I'll know who u are modulating that damn brake and unload some shit on you!!
I wouldn't be so quick to say this...my read of the original post is that all of these incidents happened in parking/stopped situations. A Versys weighs 450lb or so and is a fairly tall bike with a 33" seat height. Very low speeds are going to be the most difficult for a woman on a tall bike. Unless she's planning to enter a trials event next week, it doesn't sound like this is a terribly dangerous problem.