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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this past weekend, I was riding along a downtown-type street (lots of lights, cars parked at meters on the side of the street). Anyhow, I was probably following a bit too closely, and the car in front of me had to brake really fast. We were probably only going about 15 mph, but I still had to do an emergency brake. I had no problem stopping in time, but I ended up locking my rear tire which caused my back to skid a bit.

What I did was focus on keeping the bike in control by steering it as straight as I could, and I did not release the brakes at all. And I was proud of myself for not pancing. I guess under those circumstances, what I did was correct, but I was wondering in cases like that, is that what to do? Also, we all practice emergency braking in a parking lot, but the reality is that practice scenarios where you are prepared for the action is quite different then when you have to make a nervous split second decision. Just like in a car, I would imagine most people's natural reaction would be to jam on the brakes hard if you are desperate to stop fast. Of course on a bike though, you risk locking a wheel or two. How does one manage a situation where they tend to hit the brakes hard without locking a wheel? Or if you are trying to stop that fast, you probably will lock a wheel, but need to just try to keep the bike straight, like what happened to me?

Also, I don't think I've really experienced locking the front wheels yet. What does that feel like?
 

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what R you lookin' at?
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msf?

you did the right thing keeping rear locked. practice on emergency braking w/o locking the back

and sounds as if you haven't taken the www.msf-usa.org class........if not do so, they cover these situations in class.......better to get hands on experience the right way vs i-net information, or trial and error on the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I took the MSF. But like I said, practicing emergency braking scenarios is quite different than the real thing. Without an actual threat, your mind will still be a lot more calm in a parking lot practice situation.
 

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what R you lookin' at?
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well, practicing makes your muscles get a certain memory........and it becomes instinct.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Actually, in my class, they didn't really go over how to handle skids. We just did the emergency brake drills.
 

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The only thing I can add is just make sure that you leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you. And this this way if you have to react quickly you will have more time to react. And when you have to brake hard or any other reason for that matter make sure you apply both front and rear brakes.
 

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I locked the front brake at my msf class... it was not an easy feeling. The front immediately slipped out from underneith me to the right. I was able to catch it by letting off the brake but something I don't want to experience again. Now granted I only had about 30 miles on two wheels at the time, it would probably not be as tramatic a second time. Still something to avoid.
 

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Old school fool
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A skid is scary, but like Racer X wrote, once you lock it up leave it that way. Studies show that a skidding bikes take longer to stop then one that is under proper braking, but the studies also show that the stopping distance of a bike where the rider locks the wheel, then unlocks it and reapplies the brake roperly is longer than either of the first two scenarios.

The other thing to take from this is don't tailgate. As riders we often over estimate our stopping ability. It is true, bikes can stop more quickly than cars but there is so much BS to deal with under emergency braking that you want to avoid doing it as much as possible.

And also, like the man said, practice, practice, practice.
 

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As others stated, give yourself more room. I ride with an imaginary bubble around me; my cushion of space. In that space, I always try to find 2 emergency exits; one to the side and one in front. Keep in mind bikes are very nimble machines, and swerving may be more efficient and safer than actually breaking. That's why I try to keep an escape route at all times.

When practicing your emergency breaking, also practice your emergency swerving. I've seen and read about too many accidents that were avoidable if they swerved instead of slamming the breaks. I witnessed one rider swerve hard in his lane to avoid being side swiped by a truck. If he hit the breaks, he would have been rear ended by the car behind him. I was pretty impressed by his reaction and control and started practicing swerves myself. I knew if I was in that situation, I would've hit the binders- and been someone elses hood ornament. :bitchslap

When practicing your breaking, find and get used to the feel of when the front is about to lock; same with the rear. THAT is what you're training your mind to react to in a hot situation. If you lock the front, you can release and break again with little loss of control. If you lock the rear, the only time you can safely release it is if you're going in a Straight line. Once that rear starts to slide left or right you run the risk of high siding if you release the break.

I've had to break hard a few times myself, and my mind screams "Don't lock!, Don't skid!, Don't Lock!" :lao Luckily I haven't had to do a stoppie or lock the rear hard enough to slide. My bike (ninja 250) stock breaks aren't the best, and the front end dive makes it worse. So I give myself Extra space.

Try to keep an escape route in mind and that there can be two ways to avoid an accident; Breaking or Swerving. Learn to control both.


Good luck!
-Scea
 
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