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3rd strike, and maybe out

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by David@DHill, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. #1 David@DHill, Nov 11, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
    Had my third fall today. Gear pedal is bent out of reach, so bike is again off the road. Even if it wasn't, my confidence is in pieces.

    The same as last time ... coming to a fairly quick stop in rain (someone had darted out onto a pedestrian crossing). The start of the braking - using both brakes - went fine, but again, just as I'd almost come to a stop, the front wheel lost traction, went sideways, and I went down, though this time to the other side.

    This was with the replacement tyres fitted a week ago, that I was assured would have much better grip in the wet.

    I can't blame the road this time - as taymaishu pointed out in his thread from earlier today, it's been raining in Sydney for 24 hrs, so the roads should be well & truly washed of muck.

    The main common factor in the story is me, so it's obviously something I'm doing or not doing. Everything else has been going well: cornering, u-turns, rapid (dry) stops, all good. But this wet-weather no-traction thing is over in a split-second, and since I don't know how or why it happens, I don't know how to fix it.

    So, three strikes ... should I be out for good this time? Maybe I'm just a poor rider.
  2. Sounds to me like you are learning. Don't be so hard on yourself mate, everyone makes mistakes.

    A biggie is braking effort. As your bike speed slows down, the amount of braking effort you need to apply has to be reduced - otherwise (particularly in the wet) you will lock the front, cross-up and down you go.

    As you slow, you need to relax your braking ever so slightly. A good thing to practice somewhere off the public street.

    Another thing that will catch new riders out is lane placement in the wet. You might think you are welll-placed in the lane, but depending on the way the road surface lays etc, you may actually be in the wrong spot for a hard stop in the wet. When you commence an emergency stop, your attention should be on removing yourself from the danger of the situation. Your attention should not be on what you hope not to hit. SOME of the things that should be at the forefront of your attention are lane position/road surface, brake modulation (front AND rear), body position (if you scoot your bum forward a poofteenth, you will get a little more weight on the front wheel, increasing traction), what's beside you, what's behind you, what's my escape path...no particular order mate, just a brain-dump of randoms.

    To me though, front-end drops in the wet are usually a symptom of over-braking when the speed slows.

    The very fact that you are asking yourself whether you should be doing this says to me that there is a very good rider lurking in there, who will live to a ripe old age and be (probably) a crazy old Triumph guy.

    FYI - the only difference between you (getting started) and me (riding for over 35 years) is that if/when I drop the bike, the repair bill will be bigger.

    Don't beat yourself up mate, get out there and ride it, love it, live it.
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  3. If you're fine doing other things and riding in the dry then don't give up. Advanced motorbike rididng course? OR just don't ride in the wet until you have your confidence back?
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  4. as above, dont give up, established riders get caught out like you did, split second is all it takes, ABS kicks in where 'you will' to release pressure at the righ time.. You WILL get better!! Think positive, go to sat prac sessions and practise the emergency braking!! dont complicate life for yourself.
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  5. Sounds like you need more training and preferably ABS mate.
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  6. I had never thought about it like this before, It's something I do as a natural repsonse to riding, as I come to a stop I reduce pressure on the brakes. I've been doing it so long in a car or on a bike, I don't think about it. I just try to make as smooth a stop as I can for my own comfort. But now that I think about it, I do release some pressure on the brakes as I come to a stop so that the stop is smooth and not Jerky. Cerainly worth a try.
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  7. I went for a ride this morning in Sydney. It was wet and miserable. There wasn't many bikes out today. Why? because they are pussys. Wet riding is butt clenchingly scary for anyone no matter the experiance. You are among the few riders brave enough to stick to the bike in conditions like this and not pussy out to the car or PT. So don't be ashamed of yourself. It is really really easy to drop it in the wet.
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  8. I'm going to say that it might be worth considering in this case. But it would be better if you can ALSO gain the manual control.

    Start analysing: when you are coming to a stop, does the front wheel (or the rear!) stop rotating (ie lock up) before you come to a complete halt?
    It shouldn't. If it is locking, that's a sign of (a) too much pressure at the lever, or (b) shit brakes (I wouldn't rule this out).

    If it's not locking wheels, are you letting the bike lean too much under brakes, so that you can't hold it when it stops? That's a balance problem, not brakes.

    Exactly what tyres are on the bike? A half decent tyre does not just slide out without a good reason. Even in the wet.

    Could it possibly have been oil/diesel on the road? Was the road bumpy?

    Lastly... (and this is just my opinion) if an adult, generally healthy-looking jaywalker jumps out in front of me, I would be looking after my own interests ahead of theirs. Just sayin...
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  9. This is really helpful ... I was desperate for some suggestions for what it could be, and you guys have given me some. Too much brake pressure at the end of the stop sounds like a prime suspect. I've no idea if I'm actually doing that, but it won't be hard to find out, given the Bureau is forecasting plenty more rain for Sydney in the next week.

    ABS and ongoing repairs are not an option, as I'm a poor electrical apprentice (financially, though not in life satisfaction!), and so I might just try to fix the gear pedal myself ... I have a perfectly good vice and mallet at home.

    Oh, and extra kudos to smileedude for reminding me I'm not a pussy. :D I needed to hear that.
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  10. Take it slow, and put some heat on it if you can - will relax the metal and less likely to crack.
  11. No worries.

    For the record I had 2 wet drops in my first month of riding. And I think a few others here will have similar stories.
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  12. Mate,

    as others here have mentioned... 'stick with it'.

    After reading your first thread and now this one... in my opinion, you are grabbing a handful of front brake.
    It takes a fair while to get a good feel for your front brakes, and I'd reckon, because your new to riding and now your confidence has taken a hit, that you are not that relaxed through your arms/wrists/ hands and as the bike slows you are applying to much front at the last moment to stop the bike.

    I'd suggest, finding a more experienced rider to help you out and practice manoeuvres at slow speed.

    In the wet, work with the rear brake more, until you build up your skill level.
  13. Work on braking skills and work harder on avoiding ever needing said braking skills (I don't mean give up riding).
  14. #14 twistngo, Nov 11, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
    bit of pipe rather than a mallet and be gentle. slip the pipe over it and gently use the leverage

    might need to plan a bit further ahead so you don't need to brake hard? part of roadcraft. how far ahead are you looking when you ride? Most of us rarely brake hard.
  15. So, thinking further about this ...

    In Stay Upright, it was all about "set up and squeeze" to come to a stop. In the learner lessons, the quick-stop part, we're encouraged to ease on to let the front brake grip and then squeeze really hard to stop. So, that's what I've been doing - just what I've been taught.

    I've heard nothing before today about "also, ease off the brake as you slow the bike down". That's new.

    So either I've been misunderstanding the instructors, or the technique I was taught is what's causing me to smash my bike into the ground anytime it rains? Huh? :confused:
  16. You just need to keep getting back on it, definitely don't give up.
  17. Don't feel bad. Riding in the wet is brave, so good on you for not wimping out. Stopping suddenly when you weren't expecting too can be a pain in the ass whether its in the wet or the dry. It really is practice makes perfect, maybe check out some emergency braking videos on youtube, there are heaps! A motto I say in my head when I'm riding whether I'm letting out the clutch or braking - is "nice and smooth" sounds stupid, but whether you are doing it quickly or slowly, pulling on the brakes should always be smooth. Best of luck :)
  18. The instructors don't care if you drop your bike at 5kph. Their job is to stop you hitting the back of a car at 60kph.

    I had a similar issue to yours when I first started but due to a long pushbike experience I'd only lock up the rear at the end of the braking -- and would also be standing on the "pedals" ready for a quick get away!

    What gloves do you wear in the wet? Are they thicker? Are your hands freezing cold?
  19. #19 Jem, Nov 11, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013

    Firstly do not give up
    Secondly do not give up

    By the sounds of it you are using your bike as your main form of getting around, if so it is going to rain on you at sometime.

    If so you need to practice in the wet as much if not more than in the dry. Not sure how close you are to the Sydney learner sessions but if you can get there do so when it is wet and practice stopping in a safe environment.

    Like smilee I ride every day and wet stopping is the thing I practice the most, will stop at least 3 times in the first street I go down every time it is raining. I agree that you need to ease of as you come to a stop, if you do not the front wheel will lock for sure as you come to a stop.

    Being smooth in the wet is the key, try to avoid anything jerky be it starting, stopping etc

    Hard to do and few of us do it enough but drop your speed and increase your buffer distance in all directions in the wet. This will give you more options than having to hit the brakes hard.

    Lastly no matter how experienced you are stuff happens, after close to 2 years riding I put my bike down last week doing a U turn in the wet, just misread the road slope and over I went. Thankfully no damage other than to my pride. It did make me practice u turns again in the wet for the next 2 days however till I got my confidence back. ( don't tell anyone I am only putting it here so you know it happens )

    I do like the fact that you arg thinking about it and asking questions. This is sign of a rider who is on the right path and wants to build their skill level. Q

    And really lastly - Do not stop riding !!!

    Cheers Jeremy
  20. I withdraw my last comment - I was wrong to question the people trying to help me. I'm just still a bit upset, that's all.