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Back wheel lock-up

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by cam77, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. Found out last few days how easy it is to lock up the back wheel, particularly in the wet..hopefully this info is useful for other noobs!

    Earlier in the week I had to pull up when someone drove out in front of me - bad habits from when I used to ride trail bikes made me automatically go for the back brake - and I slid. Almost came off, but held it.

    Since then I have been analysing the whole incident. So coming home last night in the wet, I decided at low speed I would experiment with how much traction you do actually get using only a back brake. It was f*ck-all. Light pressure on the brake resulted in skid. Immediately. The locked up wheel basically did slow the bike, but barely at all.

    So I tried again using only front brake, and the weight transfer made an enormous difference. The stopping ability was very solid.

    So I learned my lesson without having to lose skin, pride and paintwork. How I see it now for myself (pretty much same thing they teach you when you go for your licence):

    1, try to avoid riding in the rain
    2, slow down (even though I was doing about 20km/h)
    3, have that front brake setup and ready for a gradual squeeze in tight situations
    4, assume that silly focker in the car hasn't seen you.

    Anyway, my 2 cents. I will now go and change my jocks.
  2. Wait till you get a bike with enough capacity to cause the rear wheel to lock when you're too brutal on the down shifts.
  3. In the Vic Rider courses they spend most of there time teaching you exactly this leson.
  4. What??? I can do that on my ZZ-R250
  5. Yep that can be a trap for the unwary (locking back wheel on down changes). It takes a while to get into the habit of getting the revs/speed/gear right or bliping the throttle.

    At least you didn't to any street surfing to get that experiance \:D/
  6. They do here as well. And I took the advice on board. I really keep away from that back brake. But in a split-second moment, conscious thought was overtaken by bad old habits.

    5-6 yrs on trail bikes without a lesson. Never used the front brake.

    1 month on a road bike. That's where the problem is for me.
  7. Atually I find it's a great idea to go out deliberately and practice. You can't avoid it forever so you may as well have practiced skills. Find somewhere safe and do a few practice runs with emergency braking and counter swerving. It's always worth getting a bit wet for.
    Yes. And also leave a much bigger gap. Double should be fine.

    "Set up and Brake" always applies. It's the same proceedure but you'll need to be gentle and allow more time to stop. Remember it's the front brake that stops you. The rear brake takes up the slack to keep the rear wheel in line.
    Spot on. :) :)
  8. practice your stopping ;)

    you can either find a carpark to use after hours or alternatively what i've been doing lately is when riding late at night (when there's no traffic tailgating me), if the lights turn orange, rather than flooring it to make it through, i'll put on the brakes and pull up.

  9. hmmm, well its certainly easy to do on my little 250 bandit so I think compression lockup applys to all bikes, big and small :p

    Riding in the rain is a real pain in the ass and I hate it with a passion but it's a excellent idea to actually suit up and brave the elements sometimes purely for practise.

    I did this the other day with a few other biker dudes in some seriously heavy rain and i'm surprised I made it back home again. One things for sure though, I certainly felt more confident about my braking ability in the wet after the ride. It's also a great way to get the feel for YOUR OWN bike because everybodys will be different.

    Even though my mate and I were both on 250's, our stopping distances were very different. There are a hundred reasons why but some of them were most likely skill level, tyre tread and braking setup ect.

    So next time its pissing down, grab your raincoat and gumboots and practise those slides!
  10. Yeah it happens to me quite often if i get to spirited in my riding or a change down 1 gear too many without realising.
  11. I'm not sure about this info but I think it is right....

    If applying the rear brake, pulling the clutch in will make it easier to lock the rear wheel as there is less force working against the brake.

    So don't go pulling in the clutch while braking.
  12. Yeah I have a tendency to use the rear brake too much at times - bad habit developed from driving (right foot = stop). Still I don't consider locking the rear wheel something to panic over, in fact deliberately locking the rear wheel and sliding in the wet can be fun in the right situation :grin:.
  13. Me too.

    I really don't think this is limited to larger capacity bikes, rather the aggressiveness of the downshift and clutch let out in lower gears. I've quite often thought I'd changed down to second, went to first, let the clutch out in a hurry and got a bit of chatter form the rear wheel.

    My first rear tyre wore a heck of a lot quicker than my current one due to the constant compression-locking when I first got the bike and wasn't used to it. I used to curse the lack of gear position indicator because of it. I'm getting better at it now though and only do it every now and then.
  14. I did about a 50 metre skid when I was test riding my RGV, was the first time I'd ridden a bike with rear disc brake. :)
  15. Well thank heavens - I thought it was just me !! :grin:

    After a return to bikes from a seven year lay-off I found myself always hitting the rear pedal in panic-brake situations due to constant driving habits. Needless to say I found my self skidding along with little effect other than a flat-spotted rear wheel and severely reduced heart function ! :shock:

    Eventually, despite two HART intermediate courses (advocating the use of both brakes without pulling in the clutch, which is a good idea if you have no bad habits), I banned my right foot from the rear pedal for six months (i.e. front brake only).

    It worked - problem solved. If I need the brakes in a hurry, my first reaction now is the front lever. :cool: I have since re-introduced the rear brake for brake-trailing into corners and lane splitting control, with no problems.

    Of course when I'm in the car I sail through intersections squeezing the leather stitching off the steering wheel :LOL: :LOL: (kidding, of course.)

    Hope this contributes something.

  16. Excellent.

    This is exactly what I do every single time im riding and there is no traffic around me. I practice my emerg stops when coming up to lights as often as possible.
    It is most often during the day for me. If I'm on the bike then I'll do it at least 2-3 times before getting to my destination or home.

    Of course I also practice my GP starts too :grin:
  17. Yay for compression lockups, they feel unreal :grin:
  18. So whats the best way to avoid locking up the back wheel on the downshift ?
    Ive done it a few times on my Hornet. Scared me the first time and the second time wasnt so bad , but I would like to know, whats the best way to stop it when it happens, should you pull in the clutch ?
    Will that release the back wheel ?
    Is that a good idea ?

    Im used to a V-twin and often used the engine braking in twisties. now im on the hornet engine braking is insufficient and lock up the back wheel.

  19. Match the engine RPM to your speed when downshifting
  20. Pull in the clutch,or kick it up a gear,means your going too fast for the gear you dropped it down into,but it can be fun,but not for Mr gearbox and Mr Conrod