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All in my head? Rear squirming under brakes

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Alasdair86, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. Good afternoon everybody. I've had my GS500F about 5 weeks now, and have ridden almost every day, in all conditions since day one (which is totally not what I expected given how rubbish I was at my test, and that I didn't get a bike until 2 months later). All good. Apart from last night. I stopped on orange where I should probably gone through, but I'd only ever had to stop quickly twice before and it was a what made me fail the test the first time, so I thought it would be good practice. Lo and behold, the rear steps out, which was uncomfortable, but I caught it fine. It took a good kick of the gear lever to get it into first again, but aside from that I thought no biggy, but checked my tyre pressures just to be safe. So the rear was at the recommended 36, and the front was at 29 instead of 33 (which always seems to be the case - slow leak?). Anyway, riding to and from work today, it feels like the bike is moving sideways under the rear brake, but there is no damage at all to the tyre and it didn't lose any air (checked this morning too - front was fine, seems to take a week to get down to 29). Is it all in my head? I've been having a ball, but have been sensible with the exception of last nights impromptu self test, but for the first time since buying it I haven't felt confident and unsafe (traffic has been very good to me - dare I say it the only ******** behaviour was some guy on some black bike on Dandenong rd who passed me in my lane at about 110, standing up and hands off the bars!). Any ideas (assuming it's not just in my head) what might be causing it?

  2. in a word suspension. don't know how adjustable yours are but look in the manual and see.
    or you might be hitting the rear too hard and locking it up. try a stop with no rear
  3. Your rear wheel alignment might be out. Does it always go to the same side?
  4. if it's never wiggled until you stepped it out, i'll bet my reproductive organ it's in your head.
    you're scared it's gonna side-step again so every little movement feels like it's going walkabout, in turn you're likely tensing up strangling the steering and making the step-out feel even worse
  5. Why was your bike in neutral ?
  6. Paragraphs alasdair... they help us help you.

    You did an ebrake coming up to a traffic light, where there's plenty of oil and dirt residue and the rear stepped out. You locked the rear.

    I'm disappointed that as a noob you've only practiced the most critical safety skill, twice. And you failed your test because of it. <--- There's a clue to prompt your practising.

    Anyway enough riding your arse... I'm just trying to get you to step up to the plate.

    How do you know your bike is moving sideways under rear brake?
    Are you skidding?
    Is your rear axle tight?
    Is your rear axle even - check the markings on both sides.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Seemingly to the right, which was the direction the slide took. But to be honest I've probably only done half an hour of riding since the slide (it happended near home, and work is only 10-15 mins away). Do you think one lock-up would be enough to somehow stuff up the rear allignment?

    I get the point about not practising much, but my first ride ever was a 50 kmph one in heavy traffic, and I had 2 hard braking moments when people pulled out of carparks into the road (single lane road) and I had no problems, so I figured it must of just been nerves on the test, and until last night had been totally comfortable (complacent much?) because all the stuff on here that scared me reading about it (traffic, tram tracks, wet tram tracks, U-turns, riding on dirt roads, riding on wet dirt roads with loose gravel etc etc etc) I've had no problems with and face daily (not dirt roads, but did some of that yesterday afternoon - and no, there was no mud on the tyres by the stop) so I just figured I had a really good bike to start on. I rode over 200kms on those first 2 days.

    But on the practice note, any industrial estates around St Kilda East? I don't know of any nearby.
  8. check everything. if you have access to a stand check to see if the wheel wobbles. but I'm willing to bet its just your mind. ease up on the rear brake a tad or do a couple of stops completely with out it. try reset your mind out of thinking the bikes stepping. i had similar problems when i made the change from dirt bikes to road bikes.
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  9. If you're not working on Saturday mornings and you live around St Kilda, get to Saturday noob practice and do yourself a favour.

    Here's a pro tip, ebraking is not a skill you learn and then forget. If you don't practice it, it's not there for you when you need it.
  10. Do you get your Pro tips from St Kilda
  11. :rofl: I'll pay that. (y)
  12. You seem to be trying hard not to help yourself.
    (and I really don't know why I should have to say this)

    Go look around! If there is nothing close by, then ride to wherever you need to go to. As mentioned, the sat morn practice sessions are very helpful.
    Just get out there...Sunday means lots of empty car parks...etc.
  13. Tend to agree with those above. You partly or perhaps completely locked the rear wheel, by using too much rear brake and not enough front. On a standard type bike (GS500 is one such) full braking effect comes almost entirely from the front wheel. Put another way, when you have as much front brake happening as you can manage, then pretty much any rear brake is too much.

    Other points ... car tyres don't leak. (much) Bike tyres do - a bit. Check them every time you put fuel in.

    Get along to the Sat morning practice session.

    Oh - and if you find yourself struggling to get back into first gear after coming to a stop in some higher gear, stomping harder isn't the answer. Let the clutch out slightly, just enough to have it drag a tiny bit, then pull it all the way in, tap down, let out a trifle, pull in, tap down, repeat as required until 1st gear is selected. This is not a fault of the gearbox - it's just the way they work.

    " ... because scared is not spelled sacred." LMAO - Oh, but it should be. I might make that my new sig.
  14. It could be partially in your head but it could just be too much use of rear brake. Remember that as you brake, the weight of the bike moves towards the front wheel so over the course of the braking, the front wheel gains more traction due to weight and the rear wheel loses traction due to having less weight.

    That's why you squeeze the front brake in an E brake - because over the course of the braking, the front can take more and more pressure without problems. The rear can take less and less. If you're braking at the limit, you may find that a constant pressure applied to the rear brake is ok at the beginning but it will lose traction once the weight has moved to the front.
  15. Thanks for all the advice everyone. I do probably use the rear brake a bit too much proportionally when it comes to stopping so I'll try using a bit more front. I think it may all be in my head because I had no problems today. I did check to see if the rear wheel wobbled (GS500F has a centre stand) and it doesn't. I think the gear thing was me lunching my downshifts during the lock, which probably caught me off guard so maybe I only 'half' engaged first if that's possible.

    I was really looking forward to the St Kilda sessions before I got the bike, because I was all over the shop before my test, and even after passing on the retest thought about not getting a bike, because I was pretty sure I would die. It was only a few weeks later when I saw three of my favourite bikes roll by in a line (Hayabusa, Speed Triple and a Royal Enfield) that I decided I would by one. And the first ride worked out fine apart from a few stalls, so I haven't really thought of the danger much as I'd been comfortable riding in all conditions until that lock happened, so I haven't rocked up. Maybe one weekend.
  16. 1. I think the gear thing was that you stopped and were still in 3rd or 4th. To get back down to 1st while stopped, see what I wrote above. You can't be half in gear on a motorbike. You can be not in the gear you think you're in, and you can be in a 'false neutral', caused by a poor or incomplete change. (You fix that while stationary the same way.)

    2. You've bought a parachute, but now you're temporising on going to the class where you learn to pack it. Wise?

    3. If you hadn't thought about death or injury as a result of riding a motorbike, then I respectfully suggest that you set aside a few moments to think about that before you ride it much. We sincerely hope nothing like that happens to you but the chance is real, and the responsibility is yours. Just as the responsibility for your safety is yours. You may argue that that isn't what the law says, but I would counter that there are higher and lower laws. I try and obey the ones written by Sir Isaac Newton first, and worry about the state transport authority second.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. +1 to this. I'm not trying to scare you but I've been riding for a bit over 1.5 years and I've watched 5 people go down on rides I was on. It just takes a split second and over they go. Luckily none were seriously injured (1 did require an ambulance) but it's definetelly something you need to take seriously.

    As a token of seriousness and for practical purposes, I recommend all people new to bikes get themselves ambulance cover (in those states where it's not free). Possibly recieving a several thousand dollar ambulance bill is not a pretty prospect. It only costs approx $50 per year.
  18. Im genuinely interested in why you think you oversure the rear brake. How did you get to this point? This is a typical noobie symptom post license test. The rear brake in the wrong circumstance can have devastating effects.
  19. Can I answer? All you hear when you're first learning is "Dont hit your front brake here....you'll go down, dont hit your front brake there...you'll go down". The rear brake comes across as the safer option when you dont have the skill to know any better.
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. I suspected as much. On the training range, that advice is true. It's not true out on the road however.

    Rear brake is fine for straight line gradual braking, slow speed move stability, dragging as you roll to a stop at lights, use in combination with the front for a quick stop, and with skill and judiscious application with total understanding - dragging into or out of corners... but possibly harmful if stomped on in panic leading to poor decelleration, a skid and step out of the rear with a possible highside, or even deadly if leaned over in a corner and the automatic reaction to an obstacle or going wide is to stomp on the rear brake.