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Bracing yourself under hard braking

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by POPEYE, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. iam a track day newb (5x trackdays) & have 2x specific questions regarding track day riding....

    i have learnt to set up my body position when braking for a corner.

    taking advise from sources like Twist of Wrist, i should not be putting my weight on the bars when braking.

    now that works great, i can flick the bike in alot quicker & with more control and stability....basically if my weight is not on my groin it must be not be on my arms, so i make sure under heavy braking a feel that.

    This is fine on the street, because 1. i dont brake that hard into the entry 2. i usually dont bother hanging my whole body on the street

    but on the track i have found my self braking so hard (entry into hairpins) that my torso is going right over the tank....i know your supposed to brace your self with your knee when you set up, but man its hard. feels like your gonna go right over & then you start to put your weight back on the bars upsetting the bike...

    can anyone give me any advise / tips on this?

    Now the 2nd question:

    the other tip i picked up is applying some front end trail braking. Basically when unloading the front end you do it progressivly, opposite to e-braking when entering a corner.
    I found that this works great help tip in the bike quicker & keeps the bike stable, but should you be doing it deep into the lean?

    the motogp guys seem to do it very deep into the entry & then some of them then keep one finger on the lever mid turn? are they still trail braking? can anyone explain this?
  2. Some very good questions there Popeye.

    I'm sure Raven, Kneedragan, Bretto, Jimmy D etc will chime in and give you some excellent, in depth responses.

    For what it's worth, I brake hard initially with both knees clamping hard on the tank and then slowly release one and setup for the corner and then tip in.

    Front end trail braking is a a fine artform that should be used once your initial braking, setup and corner entry is all sorted. I think it is an advanced move and should only be attempted once everything else leading into the corner is downpat.

    The other guy's will be able to enlighten you further on the finer points of your questions.

  3. I couldn't find the article I was looking for, but this one is interesting, but kinda goes against what your asking;


    I'm guessing your holding on with your outside knee? Your rearset position puts your knee in a good spot on the tank for grip? Have you tried using those 'stomp grips'?

    One thing I've tried on hard braking entries is moving across on the seat but still holding on with both knees. I think the real answer is using your core muscles more.
  4. Stompgrip...it'll fix the problem of the sliding up the tank. When going through esses once your tipped into a corner shift your arse across to the new corner direction then turn, this helps to stop the bike being unsettled and gets you into good body position for the flip flop.

    Be careful when trailing brakes, a bit too much and the front end goes. I wouldnt rest my finger on the brake just incase I had an O sH_it moment and grabbed it.

    Remember that moto gp riders are moto gp riders freaks, they understand the dynamics of braking better, they are constantly riding and practicing, getting advice from coaches, watching footage and printouts to say they could brake later for .111 seconds into a specific corner.

    Just practice practice practice, the more riding the more confident the more skilled you'll become.
  5.  Top
  6. And better because it doesn't ruin your leathers through excessive wear.
  7. Tell me how you're managing to keep weight off your arms under heavy braking, Popeye. The motoGP guys and other top racers still have a lot of force on their arms when braking for an appropriate corner. With forces in play, especially at their level it isn't possible to avoid it, even though the are using the the tank against their pelvis to assist. I don't believe they are using their legs much.
    That's my understanding, and observations, anyways.

    Personally for me, the critical time is when I have to get off the brakes. It must be a smooth action to avoid unloading the front-end in a sudden movement which can cause stability problems, and loss of grip.

    MotoGP and other professional riders are in a race, so they leave their braking to the last minute and will brake all the way to the apex, where applicable. That's to keep the other riders behind them, as it is one part of getting in very fast laps.
    Leaving a finger resting on the leaver, is just that. They aren't actually braking once they've apexed unless they've messed it up, and are in minimize screwup mode.
    Trailing a front brake does NOT help turn-in on the bike. Even a brand new with everything superbike's will be wanting to stand up when the fronts are used. Although it's not as bad as other types of bikes, or lesser superbike designs.

    Any pro, in a race, during braking will be looking to transition from braking grip to cornering grip progressively into the apex. They won't be or don't want to be braking at all AT the apex because they need all cornering grip.

    Us mortals are on a track day. It's not a race, so we don't need to emulate the GP riders, in the way they need to ride, but we do make use of the same tools, just in less dramatic circumstances.
    Ie: being a late braker, I have a tendency to be on the front brakes deeper into corners, but I am using all the track, and running similar but not the same lines as them.

    That's my 2 cents worth...
    • Like Like x 1
  8. From what I've read and watched and experienced it's better to set your body position prior to braking. Once you've set up, use the ball of your feet, your heel and the outside knee and thigh to get a hold. Just be sure you don't start accidentally leaning the bike over while you're getting the main part of your braking done

    if you rely on using your arms to hold you back you may lose feeling in the front.. Also a bad habit to get into for many other reasons too
  9. #9 POPEYE, Dec 18, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    thanks UDLOSE, this was a very good read reminds me of this video
    of Eddie Lawson at Eastern Creek & reinforces stuff i read on Twist of Wrist

    I have been practicing E-braking & have tried to remove the weight of my arms by bending them & hugging the tank with my knees, helps greatly as the bike does not want to stoppie anymore & seems to stop in less distance

    the only real place that i have had this problems is braking hard before entering turn 2 & turn 9 at Eastern Creek....i dont use my arms at all & the braking forces have made my whole torso lift & hang right over the tank

    i am not racing on the track but in alot of instances i eager to pass slow riders under brakes (i am on 250, they are on a big bike) then braking hard to set up my corner speed (next track day i will be moving up a group, so hopefully less people to pass)

    thanks Raven for clearing things up for me, there is no huge advantage in deep trail braking & no magical trick to counter hard brake except that hard braking is not condusive to fast lap times
  10. #10 raven, Dec 21, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Yes mate :)
    A very good rider here on netrider, after I had complained that my lap times at PI, we're less than stellar, 2-3 yrs ago, and he told me that all other things being equal, braking was THE area where most time was lost.

    Since then I have worked fairly hard on positioning and setup, that prepare me for a corner ahead of time so that I could concentrate hard on transitioning from hard braking to smooth cornering, while carrying more momentum.

    He also told me it was the hardest part of riding. I agree. And you are coming to the same realisation. It can perfect, or ruin a lap time, or make you erratic instead of smooth on the road.
  11. My 2c worth...

    You can't get out of applying some force to the bars when braking, through your hands and arms, because we don't all wear our undies on the outside.

    Keith Code said (many years ago) that you should hold full braking while upright, and that the forks will compress a bit. As you begin to tip in, you back off the braking. The forks should not compress any more because you're tilting in, but they should not extend or rebound. Fork compression should happen due to brakes, but the compression should be continued and transferred gradually to cornering force and the height of the front (the compression of the forks) should stay more or less the same. The total load the tyre can accept doesn't change, only the lean angle does. As you smoothly and progressively tip the bike in, the brakes have to smoothly and progressively come off. The sum of the braking force and the cornering force should be constant.

    I'd like to say I can show you how to do this but in truth, I tend to brake hard while upright, then get off them, then drop the bike into the corner hard. That isn't really the right way, and it's not what I want to do, but that's what usually ends up happening.
  12. You really need to use your tummy muscles. Heeeeeeeaps. Use them to lean back. Not that you are going to be able to with over a G in retardation. But it takes the weight off your arms. no you will never completely have the weight off the bars in big stops. But if you set you up right then the bike will react well and braking distances will decrease dramatically.
    So absolutely if you are not set up before you brake your never going to get into position while braking. And your braking won't be as efficient.
    Easing off the front brake helps the rebound in the front. keeps it all nice and balanced.
    Right on the apex on the limit I wouldn't want to be braking.
    Mentally make sure you are getting forward trailing the front too. Subconsciously you will want to sit back a bit.
    So yeah if you sit up and take the kinetic energy with your knee's braced against the tank the bike will brake a lot flatter to begin. Washing off distance. By the time your Banking in your thigh and ass are taking the weight. The trick is to keep the transition smooth and don't upset the bike at all.
    Focus is another big thing. When I am on it my markers are small imperfections in the tar. Maybe the size of a ten or twenty cent piece.
    When you can have markers like this then your brain has acclimatized to the speed you are doing. Good way to find out how your focus is working that day before feeling it with your ass on the deck
  13. Agreed.

    I brake deep into typical 90 deg corners generally speaking. Tip in but now trailing the front brake, decreasing the pressure as cornering forces come on, so that I am off the brakes at maximum lean, and also still off the power as i'm transitioning the apex. Then I am hard on the gas and still hanging off more or less all the way to my exit point, where I'll hit vertical and can come in.

    This method keeps the front forks loaded up all through the turn. And could but usually doesn't extend beyond the apex. At apex with exit spotted power comes in quickly, with some initial progression, then it's open.

    Eurgh!...I'm rambling. Very tired and drugged up.

    So I guess, I'm an on/off rider through the typical 90deg corner. My technique differs for all types of corners though. Many I will have the throttle crack open before the apex.
  14. He he he. I think you might be getting a bit confused. I'd say what the main thing to NOT do, is lock your elbows under hard braking. Not putting any weight on the bars is just not going to happen when you're really getting on the brakes from big speeds. I'd almost say it's a physical impossibility on a sports bike with so much of your weight forward of your hips. Even with weight on the bars, you can still have plenty of manoeuverability, as long as your elbows aren't locked.
  15. Yes, exactly right roarin.
    Keeping ones weight off the bars is a good thing that is always desired and promoted for general riding, but as you say...once things get serious, it IS a physical impossibility (well I for one agree with that premise).

    To compensate a little, just to ease it a bit, besides keeping the arms unlocked, I will focus on unloading the OUTside arm, which allows the inside arm to do it's thing more easily.
    Alternatively, I will switch to the outside arm for steering, because I can brace myself on the tank with upper arm and shoulder, (when hanging off) which leaves my forearm unloaded and able to control the bike. So it's a little push pull to help overpower the weight on the arms and clipons.

    Not suggesting for a second that anyone else do that...it just seems to help me, and I don't worry if it's not an ideal technique. If I was 30 again, I'd have time to perfect a better method, but too late to bother with now. (for me).

    And Hey! Good to see you chime in with your experienced viewpoint, mate.