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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After getting all uppity (sorry :bitchslap) in another thread about using both brakes, I figured I'd head out to the parking lot this weekend for some practice. Here's what I found out:

- My braking skills were pretty rusty. My first stop was from 20mph, and it took about 25 feet to stop. I thought I was braking hard. After about 5 more tries at the same speed, I was down to 13 feet with the rear wheel in the air. My stopping distance was doubled for no good reason, except that I hadn't been practicing it. Warmer tires might have played some part, but probably not a lot.

- At 25 mph, I checked the difference between using both brakes and using just the front. My best with both brakes was 17 feet. My best with just the front was 22 feet. I also found that I was locking up the front wheel a lot more often when using just the front brake. I think I was squeezing harder, trying to get the same amount of stopping power from one brake. Someday I'll check the difference at 40 mph, but it got too hot outside to keep going.

- Locking the front wheel has a big effect on stopping distance. By the time you let up a little, then brake again, you've added a good 5-10 feet at 25 mph.

- Even at speeds up to 40mph, locking the rear wheel didn't cause the back of the bike to slide around from side to side. Maybe it was because I was riding and braking in a straight line. Maybe if I'd been using less front brake, there would have been more weight on the rear causing it to move around more. :dunno

- Burnouts are fun. :) I was in an empty parking lot and it's time to change the tires, so why not?

All in all, it was a good use of a couple of hours. I think I'll make it a once-a-month thing.
 

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I've locked the rear (unintentionally) a couple times and the bike does remain pretty stable, at least if you're not leaned over like you said.
 

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breaking hard at a light and locking up the rear i have noticed it did swing out a bit but still controlled. dont know it it was cause of the oil on the road or my body position.
 

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V-twin anyone?
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Let us know if you're sore in the morning fraggle. I practiced one morning and was very sore the next day, especially near the traps.
 

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fraggle1:

I started a few months ago to occasionally practise my braking also. Great exercise.

What I learned is that on dry clean road:
1) Braking from 40 kph takes 1 full dash line.
2) Braking from 60 kph takes 2 full dash lines.
3) Braking from 80 kph takes 3 full dash lines.
4) Braking from 100 kph takes 4 full dash lines.

This helps me actually see where my required stopping distance would be on say a blind curve.

Another practise I like is to go into a curve, and then quickly stand it up and brake it. Also lets me see what speed I can carry in a blind curve with potential for emergency stop.

Last is more tricky. Practise braking on wet surfaces. I'll go out immediately after a rain, while roads are still soaked. Carefully practise braking then. Rear brake lockup is very easy, and ensuing fish tailing easily occurs. This gives me practise to straighten out the bike before releasing the wagging rear. This simulates a premature highside. If done at a low speed (20 or 30 kph) then catepulting won't occur if I prematurely release the rear brake.

The most important thing I learned was how slippery even the slightest sprinkling of sand is on a road. And if that occurs to not brake with even the slightest yaw on the steering bar.

By the way, after a prolonged exercise of braking, the front brakes get real HOT. After each 10 minutes, I would ride around for 5 minutes to let them cool down (lest they threaten to warp on me).
 

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Excellent thread fraggl!

I loved your analysis as well skeleton. Keeping distances in mind as your buzzing along is a real sobering trivia fact to keep you honest about speed.

I would not let my son take the FZ6 until he practiced; wet, dry, gravel, corner, stop sign, hard braking. Everyone gets on and thinks as long as I'm aware and ride with slowly increasing limits, I'll be OK. Bull! You've got to practice and try to create unexpected situations, or poor environment situations to better prepare for the real show, SUV pulling out, Dog outta nowhere, gravel, pine needles, sand, oil, water, debris. Who cares about making perfect, this practice keeps us alive, no? Don't just practice that hard braking in a straight line either? When does everyone low side? Dreaded/deadly corner braking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hams51 - Now that you mention it, yeah I'm a bit sore.

I haven't practice in the wet as much, Skeleton, but it's a good idea. For some reason in the wet I usually end up practicing "spin up the back wheel with the throttle exiting corners." Funny how that happens. :) Next weekend is "braking in a curve" practice.
 

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V-twin anyone?
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Uh oh...you might want to treat that neck now. Mine lasted about a week.

Braking is extremely important to me as well. Anyone can go fast, but controlled braking takes skill. I don't want to recommend any particular skill, since practice is where it's really at and not all people ride the same.
 

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fraggle1 said:
After getting all uppity (sorry :bitchslap) in another thread about using both brakes, I figured I'd head out to the parking lot this weekend for some practice.
You just proved you're a smart fuck (for practicing.) Smarter than 95% of riders. :cheers And I commend you for being open to different ideas. Next time try sitting up when you brake to transfer a little more weight to the back. I'm betting you'll knock off at least another foot.

By way of reminder (probably not needed) as you get better at braking, it becomes more important to watch out for that car in back of you that takes at least 50% longer to haul down to a stop. And you can bet he wasn't smart enough to practice his braking. :rolleyes
 

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Here is a good read on braking and a list of references. I think proper braking technique is the most crucial aspect of motorcycling. It's the resort that is always in play in accident avoidance. It's not only the stopping but also how much braking is needed in certain situations.

http://mfes.com/motorcyclebraking.html
 

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Make sure you stay focused. The ability to stop from 40mph to 0 in "x" amout of distance is useless if you don't keep aware of your surroundings and ability to react to them. Key elements are balance, control and never panic. Other than that, great tip on practices to keep your skills sharp.
 

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jim schmidt said:
You just proved you're a smart fuck (for practicing.) Smarter than 95% of riders. :cheers And I commend you for being open to different ideas. Next time try sitting up when you brake to transfer a little more weight to the back. I'm betting you'll knock off at least another foot.

By way of reminder (probably not needed) as you get better at braking, it becomes more important to watch out for that car in back of you that takes at least 50% longer to haul down to a stop. And you can bet he wasn't smart enough to practice his braking. :rolleyes
Depends on what kind of car. Most sport cars have braking better than a motorcycle. Smaller sedans and coupes will be about similar. If you see a SUV grill in your mirrors, I would worry more about evasive skills than braking.
 

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Thanks, fraggle, excellent thread. I was at Jason Pridmore's STAR motorcycle school this weekend, and I'd have to say that hard braking is one of my weakest points. I can trail-brake OK, but to go really fast, you need to know exactly how quickly you can slow down. I think you've motivated me to go out and really work on my braking in a much more methodical manner (not just the occasional simulated panic stop like I do now).

Good job! :banana
 

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CerebralAssassin:

+1

tilejerky:

Your avatar turns my stomach. Is that for real?
 

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Skeleton,

No, it's not real (at least I hope it isn't :) ).

Someone at work was emailing that picture around, and I thought it would be perfect to use for an avatar. Turns your stomach, huh? That's funny, I never took it seriously, so I never was grossed out by it. I never considered what it would look like to others. Kind of like watching the surgery channel while you're posting on the FZ6 forum. :barf
 
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