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Braking in a turn

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by AndR3w, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. Yesterday I found myself in a position of having to brake to a stop very suddenly whilst deep into a left hand turn. Everything was fine and I had enough room to pull up ok. But for a split second my sense of imminent disaster was triggered as I applied front and rear.

    The bike stood up pretty quick and I tried to bring it up without running overly wide and into oncoming traffic.

    I was probably at about 60kph at the time.

    It got me thinking about what is the right technique in this situation?

    My bike is an R3 with ABS if that's relevant.
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  2. Don't brake if possible, tip further into your turn and keep throttle steady. As soon as you brake, as you discovered, your bike stands up and takes you out of the curve and into traffic or off the road.

    Braking is a survival reaction and while completely natural, its the wrong thing to do. Bikers need to overcome SR's in order to avoid incidents such as this. There's a lot of info on this site on this sort of topic if you search, but if you haven't watched Twist of the Wrist (youtube) go check it out and follow the theory and see the practical demo's. Also includes target fixation etc, so bloody good to know about and try and apply whilst riding.
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  3. I think he means what if you have to brake in a corner or you'll hit something that is in front of you.
  4. Is there a specific technique for that? If you are practising your E braking on a regular basis I guess you're better off than if not, but you also have to go back and ask about your roadcraft and why the event has actually occurred (as per that responsibility thread a month or so ago). Going too fast, not concentrating, not checking vanishing point, etc. Or a totally unexpected and random event like falling tree or something.

    So I don't know the answer in that case. Maybe robsalvvrobsalvv can add something?
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  5. I've had this occur before. Some dickhead decided to brake hard to a stop and do a U-turn mid corner on Glorious one day.

    I believe the correct technique has something to do with puckering, praying and swearing.
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  6. Saw a technique where if you're leant in a turn and need to brake you keep body position static, push the bike away from you so your outside arm is fully extended and brake as required. The theory is that your bike is at a lesser lean angle hence more tyre contact and safer to apply brakes.
    I can see problems with this technique but in saying that I think if you need to emergency brake while at a good lean you have problems any way you look at it.
    I'd like to hear expert's opinions on this topic cos it's likely gonna happen to everyone at some stage.
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  7. Well there are a couple of things at play. Is it for obstacle avoidance or in too hot?

    Obstacle avoidance doesn't always require braking. Your front and rear brakes do opposite things so it's really going to depend on what you need to achieve. You can wash off excess speed by sliding both front and rear wheels while cranked :)

    I know at times if I am in too hot I will stand it on the front end end HARD with a straight line through the apex and out the other side and then at the last second before centreline or Armco, release the front, stamp on the the rear brake, throw it on it's side and give it an almighty fistful of throttle..

    Obstacle avoidance is usually just whatever it takes not to hit it. With moving objects I aim for the space at or just behind the rear of the object in direction of travel.

    A lot depends on the exact situation.

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  8. We all come away from learner training with a "do not brake in a corner" fear/rule. And it is reinforced at other times. This is actually a good rule of thumb for clumsy brakers and cornerers. You do not want to panic brake in a corner.

    But unless you are on the edge of traction already, you CAN brake in a corner. There will be an amount of braking you can apply gradually and safely before starting to demand too much the available traction and entering into a slide. At this time, you need to be trading cornering force for braking force, which means widening the radius. The widening radius is likely to happen automatically to a degree as the weight transfers forward. But as the speed slows, you can give more traction over to cornering so countersteer harder!

    Grab a cuppa and read this: Motorcycle Tips and Techniques "The traction pie" aka "Braking in a curve".

    No, stop, go an read that link.

    Understand what I'm saying now? You can brake and corner, up to a point and then you have to trade off one for the other.

    If you have to emergency stop, you have pretty much have no choice, except to get on the brakes, stand her up, get on the brakes harder. But if you need to rapidly slow, get those fine motor skills working, and get smoothly on the brakes - probably more front than rear as rear can be clumsy (YMMV). Actually nix that declarative statement ---> The latest flagship ABS packages with brake force distribution and 5 way axis accelerometer inputs and fancy programming are now smart enough to give you cornering ABS. They magically do away with a bike standing up significantly under heaving corner braking. It's truly black magic. They came out on the KTM 1190 or some such a year or two ago and are now starting to appear in more models. They call it Motorcycle Stability Control. Read the spec sheets for MSC ABS.

    That being said, like Chillbutton pointed out, if you have traction enough to brake, you probably have traction enough to tip in harder - i.e., corner more tightly. This is probably the preferred approach if running hot and threatening to go wide (as opposed to braking heavily, standing up the bike and target fixating off the road).

    (I remember a right hander somewhere on the Grand Ridge road where I was staring at the possibility of going wide over the drop... I looked harder through the corner, yelled push, gritted my teeth, kept pushing, the bike kept leaning and kept leaning and kept leaning while I gently rolled back the throttle to drop some speed to further tighten the turn - I was rapt in my pilot sport tyres that day I can tell you.

    Oh and another war story, coming back from Apollo bay on the GOR one day, road was slightly damp, wasn't pushing it too much, got caught out by a tightish left hander with a caravan emerging from the vanishing point and I totally hamfisted stuffed up the front brake, mashed it on, the bike suddenly and rapidly dipped forward which by the knowledge I had at the time should have had me on my arse due to the massive destabalising input I just gave it... plus the road was damp, but I caught myself, released the pressure a fraction while wondering why I wasn't on my arse and feathered the brake as I pushed left left left with a focus on nothing but getting me to the vanishing point. And I did.).

    All the above assumes good stable adequate grip well made pavement with good available traction. YMMV.
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  9. Give it a go and see what happens, do it slowly and with no traffic and plenty of room and learn what effect it has.
  10. Just for clarity the car in front of me slammed on his brakes to pull up because someone turned right across his path. I had sufficient room to stop in time, but the incident got me thinking about braking whilst leant over.
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  11. Interesting link robsalvvrobsalvv, Love that key word, smoothly.
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  12. Grab a cuppa and read this: Motorcycle Tips and Techniques "The traction pie" aka "Braking in a curve".

    No, stop, go an read that link.

    OK thats going to take a few reads to absorb.... :confused:
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  13. Fair enough. Good roadcraft will keep you far enough back or with a safe escape route though, no matter what happens in front.

    Do you tend to focus on the car in front or do look well beyond that? Wherever possible you need to be able to anticipate whatever is about to occur up front.

    Forgive the preaching tone, if you're aware of all of this then good.
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  14. If you can keep weight/pressure off the bars you can brake in a corner without drastic standing up and running wide.
    Try a bit of practice of the technique and you might just gain a skill that you need one day.
  15. I was always told that if you need to e stop mid corner, to slowly apply front to stand the bike up and then e brake normally, as the bike will stop fastest when upright. As said though, this will take you wide, so on a right hander you could be off the road and on a left hander you could be in the oncoming traffic. Sketchy...
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  16. #16 Rexxy, Oct 7, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
    Grip with the legs allowing you to lighten up on the bars. Practice that while practicing e-braking. Imagine it now. Go on.... I'll wait.

    OK so what's the difference?

    Going all holy shite stiff - what does that do? Pushes BOTH bars away. So of course the bike will straighten.
    Grip with your legs - that's the 'oh shite' taken care of, now you can finesse the brakes and throttle with a clearer mind.

    Make it automatic.

    On my humble bike I have more of a problem running wide because I roll it on too hard out of the corner (less grip on the front/LAMS bike suspension). Braking when I'm coming in too hot has never really scared me (not going fast enough probably) but I do use only one or two fingers to prevent a full on lock up.
    The only time I use the rear brake whilst not straight is for stalling-speed-slow manoeuvres.

    Feel free to critique; I'm here to learn.
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  17. #17 chilliman64, Oct 8, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
    mate some great tips here already.

    for my two cents - try not to take wide lines right through corners that way if you need to brake (suddenly or) quicker than you'd like to given your lean angle and traction concerns, stand the bike up a bit so as to increase your contact patch, apply your brake with the bike a bit more upright then continue through your corner.

    of course if you are cornering at high speed (which is not necessarily a good idea on the road for someone still learning) then your best option may be to press on the inside of the bar and ride it out if you needed to brake due to going in too fast.

    as it was collision avoidance that caused your braking need in a corner then I'd politely suggest that you were riding too fast for the conditions and need to slow down a bit and look ahead a bit more.

    glad you made it through ok - anything chillibuttonchillibutton or robsalvvrobsalvv suggest is like gold to new riders so recommend you absorb their advice!
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  18. Hi mate,
    at some stage we have all had a moment where survival kicks in and we brake too hard on the front and stand the bike up, usually early in our riding career.
    'Standing up' can become a major issue if in a left hander, on a public road.....
    I hear track riders suggesting this and that with regards to cornering and braking, but the big difference is the big truck coming the other way.

    Over the years, you'll learn what you can and can't do in a corner, yes throttle application is good; however, this has to be learn't through practice and experience, as it just doesn't seem natural.

    As a newbie rider, (or just to re-enforce what you already know) go to a track, or find a quiet dead end road, with twisties on it, then at a controllable speed for your skill level, try 'Gently' applying front brake mid corner, to see what your bike is going to do (Stand up, normally!!).
    Then try it with just rear brake, under rear brake you'll find the bike a lot more controllable, allowing you to drop further into the corner, whilst under brake.
    Finally, try a combination of front & rear.

    I personally, like to wash off straight line speed with a combination of front and rear; however, once in the corner, I'll cover my rear brake and use it to assist me with cornering, and having regularly riding the Alpine roads, I also prefer to position my wheels, so as my head never (rarely) hangs over the centre line, this gives me more 'fudge' factor.

    Remember, practice, 'Enter wide and exit tight', this will keep you away from that truck coming from the opposite direction, experience will play apart in how startled you get, when something surprises you mid corner.
    Speed will come with practice and time, just practice being smooth.
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  19. The rear brake advice is fine (to a degree - don't get me started) if you're NOT hammering along and weight shifting while performance cornering.

    In a nutshell, I'm not a fan of relying on rear brake in and during cornering - an over reaction in an emergency could result in a rear brake stomp and major destabalising problems.

    Regarding rear brake use, YMMV.
  20. Given your still going at a 'roadish' pace your biggest danger would be fixation or the semi behind you cleaning you up who had no chance in the world at stopping.
    Your biggest thing is not to panic and instinctively hit a brake, look at what your going to hit while muttering 'ohh crap' or close the throttle.

    Chillibutton nailed it, if you have a choice try to go around the danger or wipe off as much speed as you can then stop, even if it involves pointing yourself onto a driveway.
    Modern spots bikes and tyres have an incredible amount of traction and while admittedly I've never tried the new electronic packages in an emergency they do work and act as a final protection.
    Physics will dictate the bike will want to stand up when decelerating however if you can fight the urge to standup you'll find the bike can stop/slow quite competently in the dry while leaning.

    It's interesting what you say robsalvv on the back brake which I'm seeing quite a few new riders start to rely on.