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Old 03-08-2020, 04:33 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by sportsluvr View Post
I have been riding off and on for a while. One skill that I need to improve is being able to stop the bike very smoothly, like police officers. How do they do that? Smooth braking? Being relaxed? Looking far ahead? What else?
Anticipate. See how much you can do by anticipating stops and using momentum and carefully timed downshifts to modulate your speed. Pretend you’re trying to make your brake pads last forever. I like to see how long I can go riding in traffic without putting my feet down. This requires a lot of planning ahead. Good brake control is required.

Practice. Just like learning how to stop a car. You learn to ease up on pedal pressure just as the car comes to a stop. Same thing with bikes. Practice it. There are a lot of potential inputs, including clutch, gear changes, and front and rear brakes. Focus on front brake and downshifting first, timing clutch all the way in and held for just before complete stop. Practice. Practice.
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Last edited by ThinkFast; 03-08-2020 at 04:34 PM..
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Old 03-08-2020, 06:43 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by motomania2007 View Post
What possible benefit is adding the complexity of feathering the clutch while you're stopping in a quick stop?

None that I can think of same way with anyone else that's written a book on the topic.

It's a lot simpler to simply squeeze the clutch and keep it in while applying both front and rear brakes smoothly to the stop and downshifting to make sure you're in first gear before you stop.

There's nothing to be gained from working the clutch. The rear brake is already doing all of the stopping that the rear tire is going to do because the rear brake is using all the rear tire traction and the rear brake is a lot easier to control than using the engine to brake.
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Originally Posted by Frisco View Post
I think you two probably agree. Clutch in for emergency full stops, downshifting for normal stops or slowing.

The fact is, we rarely make emergency stops, thatís why they should be practiced regularly. 99% of my riding Iím downshifting while braking, ready to go if needed.
I gave it a few days to think about why we're seeing things differently. Either it's a beginner VS more advanced rider discussion or perhaps we're speaking about different types of bikes. I'm not sure. However, I am quite sure that using the rear brake in an emergency situation isn't the best on a sportbike. I'd much rather use the engine braking, especially with the aid of modern slipper clutches, etc (even though I still slip my clutch by hand). This probably is also the place to insert the all too typical "practice at the track what you'll use on the street" comment here.

I don't understand the concept behind taking all the load off the engine for an emergency stop, much less a normal stop for anything but a new rider. I'm with Robert completely on clutch usage. I'm also with Robert in that our riding is almost exclusively a series of emergency stops; give or take 7-8 times in less than two minutes. Rinse and repeat. At no time are we pulling the clutch in and freewheeling the bike nor are we using much rear brake (I'm assuming with Robert, from when I've ridden with him). Instead, we're letting the slipper do it's job, using our hand to the do the rest on the clutch and using max front braking several times a lap.

George, I asked the question on false neutrals because aside from losing the front on brake application (or not having brakes at all), false neutrals are about the scariest thing on corner entry. The bike just freewheels past the turn in point and won't slow down at all...the rear brake is pretty useless due to the massive weight balance to the front and things get pretty interesting fast. Just hope you can get up a gear quick enough and make it stick. That's essentially what braking with the clutch in is, so I don't understand the idea that it gives more control. Sure, if I'm on the street going to bux, who cares what technique I'm using. I'm doing what, 40-50mph?

I think far more important than worrying about clutch usage in a panic stop (avoidance emergency) are the eyes and being disciplined to look at one's escape route and not what a rider thinks they're going to hit. IME and IMO. I've got lots of experience there...

OP, back to on topic, or more on point as to your question: It's not how you apply the brakes, but how you release the lever that leads to a smooth stop. The idea is to not bounce the front end in the last 2-3 feet by not releasing the lever all at once. You should be in the habit of applying braking force by squeezing the lever, holding as long as needed and then releasing in an effort to control the rebound of the front end predictably. It's all in how you release the front brakes...which has lots of more benefits to riding than just smooth stops. Best part of our hobby...lots to learn and practice with instant gratification!
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Last edited by Holeshot; 03-08-2020 at 06:45 PM..
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Old 03-08-2020, 06:49 PM   #78
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Nicely stated, Berto. We, beginner or not, can all benefit from your insight.
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Old 03-08-2020, 09:15 PM   #79
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Seems on topic to me, esp since it contributes to my point that one should use the clutch properly to contribute to smooth braking. I also typed that to call attention to the fact it was a bad example since it’s possible and an intermediate technique.
It sounds like it's on-topic when it supports your point, and off-topic when it doesn't.

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Originally Posted by Holeshot View Post
I don't understand the concept behind taking all the load off the engine for an emergency stop, much less a normal stop for anything but a new rider. I'm with Robert completely on clutch usage. I'm also with Robert in that our riding is almost exclusively a series of emergency stops; give or take 7-8 times in less than two minutes. Rinse and repeat. At no time are we pulling the clutch in and freewheeling the bike nor are we using much rear brake (I'm assuming with Robert, from when I've ridden with him). Instead, we're letting the slipper do it's job, using our hand to the do the rest on the clutch and using max front braking several times a lap.
My thoughts on this...bare with me...

I don't agree that racers use emergency braking multiple times a lap. I see the differences as:

RACE: Maximum braking at initial application, then trailing off as lean increases.
STREET: Maximum braking with progressive increasing pressure until stopped. Bike is vertical through the process nine times out of ten.

RACE: Use the traction available to you, and occasionally use more than available.
STREET: Maintain a large traction reserve.

RACE: A plan on when to begin braking, a known location. It's a proactive skill and generally methodical, calm, time to think.
STREET: No plan. True panic. Damn difficult to NOT look at the solid object that just turned into our path (most common multi-vehicle crash).

RACE: No panic (see above), generally not trying to avoid stationary object that jumps into your path. Generally don't think about death when "emergency braking" multiple times a lap.
STREET: Panic / fear of the unknown (will I die).

RACE: A whole different animal (person) grasping the bars. Most racers are constantly attempting to improve their skill set. Calculated risk takers (consciously).
STREET: Most streetriders learn the most basic of skills and stop there. They have no 'need' for more advanced skills "I took the (beginner) class, I know how to ride." Almost never factor risk into their ride. Don't think about it.

So what does all that mean? We all know the answer. The street and track are different. What we fail to understand is the biggest variable is the rider. The street and streetriders need to be given and practice the skill that produces the best result in manner that is easy to understand and apply. Multi-tasking is not good in these life or death events. Squeeze the clutch and brake. 2 things, that's it. It's all most streetriders can handle. They are already going to be less effective stopping because a huge part of their brain is gripped by fear. There isn't much more processing capacity left over for braking (very similar to the traction circle, or K. Code's money reference).

One of the things skilled motorcyclist fail to grasp is the learning curve. I've compared it to math before. We must be proficient at addition & subtraction before moving onto multiplication. The proficient at that before moving to algebra, then the same before calculus, etc.

Feathering the clutch and downshifting into 1st at 50mph is nothing more than trying to teach an elementary school student algebra. It actually slows their learning.

This is similar to the BARF mantra of "get your suspension set-up" first. Or "fix your body position" instead of eye placement / where to look.

Being a good mentor (notice I didn't say teacher or instructor) is not just knowing more than the newbie, it's knowing what to expose them to and when to do it.

Tl;dr:
Hey sportsluvr, for smoother stops, keep your head and eyes up, squeeze the clutch and focus on smooth application of the brakes. Once you've gotten those skills down and can easily repeat them without thinking, then decide if you want to add downshifting into the equation (SWIDT?). Learning the skills separately then adding (SWIDT #2) together will make it easier to learn and apply. A huge benefit of this is that it is exactly the same technique you will need in an emergency.

I'm a huge proponent of rear brake use, and I intentionally left that out in the previous comments. I use it mainly to compress the rear suspension and reduce the initial pitch rate of the chassis. The slightly shorter stopping distances are a side benefit for me.

RACE: Using the clutch avoids 'freewheeling'.
STREET: Using the rear brake avoids freewheeling.
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Old 03-09-2020, 04:41 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Holeshot View Post
It's not how you apply the brakes, but how you release the lever that leads to a smooth stop. The idea is to not bounce the front end in the last 2-3 feet by not releasing the lever all at once. You should be in the habit of applying braking force by squeezing the lever, holding as long as needed and then releasing in an effort to control the rebound of the front end predictably. It's all in how you release the front brakes...which has lots of more benefits to riding than just smooth stops. Best part of our hobby...lots to learn and practice with instant gratification!
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Originally Posted by Enchanter View Post
Hey sportsluvr, for smoother stops, keep your head and eyes up, squeeze the clutch and focus on smooth application of the brakes. Once you've gotten those skills down and can easily repeat them without thinking, then decide if you want to add downshifting into the equation
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Old 03-10-2020, 12:14 AM   #81
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I don't agree that racers use emergency braking multiple times a lap. I see the differences as:

RACE: Maximum braking at initial application, then trailing off as lean increases.
STREET: Maximum braking with progressive increasing pressure until stopped. Bike is vertical through the process nine times out of ten.



So what does all that mean? We all know the answer. The street and track are different. What we fail to understand is the biggest variable is the rider. The street and streetriders need to be given and practice the skill that produces the best result in manner that is easy to understand and apply.
One of the things skilled motorcyclist fail to grasp is the learning curve. I've compared it to math before. We must be proficient at addition & subtraction before moving onto multiplication. The proficient at that before moving to algebra, then the same before calculus, etc.


I'm a huge proponent of rear brake use, and I intentionally left that out in the previous comments. I use it mainly to compress the rear suspension and reduce the initial pitch rate of the chassis. The slightly shorter stopping distances are a side benefit for me.

RACE: Using the clutch avoids 'freewheeling'.
STREET: Using the rear brake avoids freewheeling.
Good thoughts Tim and I can't argue with most of them. I understand the concept of street riders not having the proficiency of those who ride repeated laps in a closed environment where learning is free of the dangers/ distractions on the street. However a few corrections from My POV and experience:

Emergency Braking: Emergency braking is the same as threshold braking/ track braking. When running race/ track laps, riders are pulling the lever as hard as they possible can on some corner entries. There is no more left to give...this is a rider's max braking force/ effort they will ever have. Period. They won't be able to build more pressure on the street. In fact, once a rider has squeezed their max in a braking zone, this is the max deceleration rate they'll experience. That is, unless they can slow a second traction source; the rear wheel. While this can be done with the rear brake, it isn't when in an emergency. Mainly, this is because use of the rear brake is rare and, will always be locked up, sending most bikes into tail wags, etc. If a bike has ABS, the rear brake will be mostly useless unless on a linked braking system. Linked systems are great on the street and pretty poor on the track in stock form (most). The problems stem from a lack of traction on the rear wheel due to the severe weight shift forward under max/ emergency braking. I'd bet many riders pull the rear wheel well off the ground in emergency situations (another reason a track environment provides superior skills training).

Again, the most important two things in an emergency situation for maximum deceleration is how the lever is squeezed and where the eyes are. It's really not about what effect the rear tire has on the engine or if a rider can control the rear brake at the same time they're hoping to preserve their life. The reason I asked the question of George about false neutrals is if one hasn't experienced one at speed on corner entry (even if straight up and down), they may not understand the difference of a rear end that provides friction (clutch out) and one that does not (clutch in). I'll take and let the engine help slow the bike in an emergency situation while pulling the front lever as hard and firm as I can muster. Additionally, rear wheel engine braking IS rear braking...and done all on it's own with no actions needed by the rider.

FWIW, we ended up here not by what I perceived as a beginning rider, but someone who asked how to stop more smoothly. Pulling the clutch to the bars is not that, IMO, and while George was speaking about emergency braking, I'm surprised this is an endorsed strategy for riders looking to increase their skills. Freewheeling a motorcycle to a stop is totally foreign to anyone who uses their brakes at the limit and aside from simplicity for newer riders, I don't understand the logic that it's a superior technique. As you know, in racing / track riding, we have plenty of unplanned heavy braking and line changes. Not looking ahead may result in more panic, but still, there's lots of dynamic changes that transpire several times a lap. I've got hours and hours of video on the ones I've caught.

Overall, track and street are different environments. Things we learn on the street will not help us progress on the track, however, skills we learn on the track will help us progress on the street when it comes to bike control and riding experience. Certainly there are survival skills learned on the street that will never be learned on any track...

YMMV
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:45 AM   #82
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Yep, like this.
And -
Practice, practice, practice.
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