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Consider your braking while riding over Xmas

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by raven, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. Alot of effort goes into the various techniques required to ride a bike swiftly and safely...but spare yourselves a good long thought for braking.

    Simply put...if you can't slam on the brakes hard in an emegency and still maintain good control of your bike, then you need to slow down a bit.

    Speed in of itself is not too much of a problem if it's the right speed for the conditions, but don't forget relative speed.
    If traffic is travelling at 60, 80 or 100k's and you are moving along at that same relative speed with the traffic then you are 'relatively' safe...If you you travel at a speed well in excess of the general traffic - ie 80k when everyone else is doing 60k, then you need to think about your braking abilities.

    Out accelerating cars is'nt hard to do...out braking them is a different story all together, and can put you in serious danger the higher your speed is, relative to the general traffic speed.

    Anyway...just be mindful of your braking, as it is very easy to get caught out, and suddenly find yourself way out of your depth. And you won't like the result. :-(

    Get comfortable braking hard - get proficient at it, and then don't be afraid to use them. :)


  2. Good point.
    That's something I could practice. :)
  3. Raises a question I've often wanted to ask on here.. How many people out there practice there emergency braking and how often?? I'll usually do one coming off the freeway every day (from 100 down to 0) and one in my local street (50 down to 0) every day.. These both assume nothing behind me of course..

    What about everyone else?

  4. I do it once or twice a day...just to keep me tuned in a bit.

    Steve, your practicing is good...especially the one from higher speed, but I am guessing that these situations are still fairly controlled circumstances.

    To test yourself beyond the typical situation, which is always when something bad is going to happen...try, for example going from full power accelleration to sudden maximum braking.
    Imagining for intance that you are flat stick (maybe giving it a bit of a blip, in a seemingly safe situation), when a car just pulls out from a side street, or slams the brakes on infront of you, to avoid the kid chasing his basketball across the road).

    Put yourself in a bad gear for quick braking and try that....maybe try...emergency panic braking - quick release and swerve avoidance - then hard braking again.

    This is the sort of thing I throw at myself when circumstances permit...more to learn about how the bike will behave, so that I am at least a little prepared for something nasty, when it inevitably comes along.

    I've been tested for real now on three occasions...Once I failed, the other two, I survived, but I think I got lucky...it's the next one that is a concern now. :)

  5. Good point being mader there. And i dont practice my emergency braking enough!! I need to be doing it more than i do. But from now on when im out i will think of this post..
  6. that is a good idea. especially given i've only been riding a few weeks and i'm still getting used to my bike. my inexperience only puts me at greater risk where i will be the who needs to do it.
    I'd tried to do a few quick stops. but only realized that i will probably have to swerve as well. will have to practice that too. Thanks for the heads up
  7. Tom...be very careful braking and swerving at the same time.
    You can go down very easily, and almost instantly if you overdo either at the same time.

    Brake hard - release most brake pressure and swerve - and then brake hard again, is the "Ideal" situation. (not always present in the real world though). :-(

    ie..following cars on freeway - everyone hits the brakes but you don't have enough space to stop.

  8. This is very good advice, and definately something I plan to learn and practice....just wondering if throwing yourself into that exercise straight away might actually cause you to have a self inflicted accident though?

    Eg accelerating at hight speed then trying to an emergency brake could cause you to drop the bike in a practice run? Obviously you need to go through the exercise and get it down before you have a real situation, but are there stages that this should be attempted relative to skill level?

    I plan to do an advanced course in the new year but will slowly build my skill level with practice. Any tips on the approach to do this?
  9. I had two chances to practice emergency braking last night in the middle of Wollongong, when at two consecutive roundabouts people enforced right of way that they didn't really have! I was prepared for them to do it (Wollongong drivers :oops:) but it was still good practice to haul down from normal speed to a stop very quickly while still watching what else was happening...
  10. Oh yes...throwing oneself into an excercise that is above ones abilities indeed will cause self inflicted accidents.

    One has to always ride within their own limitations....we are all at different levels, at it is extremely important to recognize our own limitations.

    As you stated...a rider needs to get established and capable at a given level and THEN raise the bar a notch...wait till they have THAT level accomplished and then move on again. A good rider will do this more or less all through their riding years, until they arrive at a level that they are satisfied with - from that point on, as long as they don't then push it beyond the level they have reached, they will be ok. It's really only when we get outside of our individual levels of learned experience that we are likely to come unstuck.

    I guess the real point is...bikes can very quickly get us beyond our limitations, and it is at that time we become very vulnerable.

    As one example - If a given rider spends alot of time commuting, he/she will eventually become quite proficient at it. Their mind and body will be "tuned in" to what it needs to do. They may begin to feel we are doing very well, reading the traffic, avoiding serious mishaps, cornering well etc etc.

    Then that same rider hits the hills with that given level of confidence, feeling great about himself for fair-enough reasons - trouble is, he is no longer in his practiced regimen - the one that his mind and body are used to. Suddenly now is is fanging it through sweeping turns and switchbacks, having a great old time, until something happens and he is required to hit the brakes alot harder than he is used to, because everything is moving much faster.
    This rider is now in considerable danger, and at speeds that will get him into trouble far more quickly than he is used to reacting to.

    It is very necessary to builld up our skills, one step at a time.

    An advanced riding course of any kind is a great way to explore these things in the safelt of controlled circumstances...at best it can be very revealing...at worst it can reaffirm where we think we are with our skills.

    Go for it I say. :)

  11. Yep guys I would definatly recommened practicing braking. I've just got myself a ZZR250 and already had the pleasure of dropping it due to hitting the front break to hard.

    All the drilling in the L's course said to use the front break, i knew to use both but got freaked out when i almost ran a red and just jammed the front break and went ass over tit. Only was going 40 k's though, besides the brused ego a grazed knee and fairing damage i was off.

    So yeah, breaking is probably one if not the most important thing to know.
  12. One more quick comment before I shadap and stop annoying everyone.

    To all the newbies out there...I have the utmost respect when I see a learner, or obvious new rider, riding within themselves. Keep that up!. :)
    Every now and then I see a fellow giving his 250 a fang and it is quite obvious (beieve it or not) when they are beyond their limitations.

    It's all about attitude...Ride confidently, don't be hesitant to take your place on the road, and be vigilant at all times. Get some miles under you before you start pushing your limits too quickly, and most of all, know when NOT to twist the throttles wide open.

    Even a monkey can go fast on a bike!...it's everything else that requires experience and training.

  13. It is thought provoking. I do some heavy braking when on the track in places like Honda corner and into MG at PI, but I haven't practiced it on the road for a while. Next road ride...
  14. Good idea this thread...I've practiced it every now and then when the situation arises but I've really got to practice it in spare time.
  15. Hi G.
    With that track experience you are likely to be quite advanced in your braking abilities, because you will be in-tune with your bikes quirks etc, and far less likely to get caught out.
    The only thing I would say though, is that track operations are on known corners with plenty of pre-planning for your braking, and that is more of a controlled maximum braking situation.
    The uglier side is out in the twisties where you may not fully know the state of the approaching turn (whether it will tighten up, change camber etc), and you may have to brake hard to make last minute adjustments for what you eventually descover upon arriving at the corner. And that is on a regular road complete with poor surface and other irregularities (compared to the track, I mean).

    BTW...not meaning at all to sound like I am preaching to anyone - just saying things out loud so that newer riders might benefit from the conversation.

  16. Hi John,

    You're right. On the track, you get to know the lay of the land and can guestimate with a high probablility, the circumstances you are likely to encounter. On the road, unless you're doing laps of a particular stretch, there are likely to be changes each time you approach a corner. And then there are the times when you've never been there before. The unknown.

  17. Thanks for the thread, John.

    A timely reminder, and I'll be adding some practice stops to my routine when I'm out there on the bike.
  18. You need to remember to 'set up' your braking also when in a dangerous situation like that. It helps avoid the "shock" you give to the forks by suddenly slamming the brake on. This makes the front tyre wash out alot easier. In the L's course they would have told you about setting up your brakes by pulling the lever in till it clicks. This will allow you to progressively squeeze them on better as you don't have so much 'free play' in the lever in which to build up excessively squeezing force before the pads touch the disc.

    A very light pressure on the brake first allows you to brake harder sooner. Being smooth and progressive is the key to controlled braking. That is if you brain let's you do so in an emergency situation.