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Correct braking (for a learner)? - 1st Near Miss

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by cakeman, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. Hi, i just had my first near miss no more then an hour ago. Im a learner and was on my way home. I was travelling in a straight line around 90kmh (i realise i was 10kmh over my L's speed limit and should have been under).

    A car pulled out from a service station in front of me and i could see it unfolding about 50-60m away id say. I obviously had to brake quickly and did. I braked more with the front brake then the rear however the wheel locked up but not fully (sort of on, off, on off locking up) and the rear started to step out.

    I cant be 100% certain as it happened so quickly, im pretty sure i took my foot off the rear brake and braked firmer with the front brake. This seemed to work as the rear wheel came back in line.

    The accident was avoided and in the heat of the moment i exchanged a few words with the other car when we came to lights (i know its not the right thing to do)

    From an accident avoidance point of view, i was buffering and in the right side of my lane and i do admit i was 10kmh over the L speed limit and was in the wrong in that perspective.

    My question being. In that situation, if the rear wheel locks up and/or starts to get away from you, is it best to release the rear brake and put more on the front? Also should i have braked in a different way.
  2. Few days after I got my new bike I was forced into a few close calls, First time I had to stop hard I was way too hard on the rear and it started sliding about like mad, held it though and as I came down to a more reasonable speed it all fell together.

    Second time I released pressure on the rear, then reapplied it, didn't feel I had to readjust my front and I stopped alot better although the rear was still a bit washy.

    I'd recommend doing what I did, finding an industrial area and practicing your emergency braking, try to find where it is that your rear tends to lock up and hold it just shy of that. It has done wonders for me.
  3. If rear locks up yes you want to ease off it, but gradually don't just lift off. If there was a gap I'd prefer to ease off the brakes and accelerate out of the situation.

    In reality it comes down to practice as to how well you respond.
  4. When you lock up the back its usually in case of an emergency and I doubt many riders in his position could remember to start easing off the back brake gently while headed straight into a cars passanger window.

    The best thing one can do in those few critical seconds is to attempt to keep the handle bars straight to prevent sliding out. Hopefully you'll stop in time too.

    I've locked up a few times (stupid cagers) and I've always done my hardest to keep the handle bars straight to prevent the bike falling over/sliding out until i make a complete stop.
  5. I must be weird, people never seem to pull out on me... Everytime it's happened, i've had an exit strategy and run with it. I can only think of a select few occassions where i've had to brake hard and i haven't locked it up in these. The only times i've locked it up braking has been in quick stop practice and practicing blipping while dropping gears quickly.

    Am i lucky or do the idiots just never seem to cross my path? The only people that i've had trouble with have been aggro drivers and numpties on the mobile.

    Strange... :?
  6. A few days after getting my L's I was riding to Uni at 8 in the mornin, heaps of traffic everywhere and the roads where soaking wet...

    Anyway, near the uni, we (the car in front, and myself) underestimated the traffic build up, I saw the car in front apply its brakes, so I thought yeah, I'll slow down now (on the highway btw, Wollongong Uni) then the car in front slammed the brakes on n skidded, and I thought WOAHHH. I didn't leave a big enough buffer and locked up the rear due to the wet road. I just applied the front brakes harder and gently let off the backs, so that it wasn't completely skidding.

    But yeah, quickly learnt that Emergency stops is something you must definitly practice, because I don't want to have to learn how to do them properly in the middle of another emergency.
  7. At 90kmh, you should have had enough distance to slow down sufficiently enough, so that with the acceleration of the other vehicle you should never have even got close to each other.

    You don't say what wheel locked up. If it was the front, on an RVF, then you've grabbed too much of a handful. If it's the rear, release, then reapply.

    The only way to become familiar with your bikes braking capability is by practice, practice and yet more practice. It's too easy to grab too much front or stand on the rear and then lose the braking efficiency you need to stop. As a learner you then start spending time thinking 'wft' and not reacting correctly.

    As a practice, when you approach junctions (side roads, servo's etc'), cover the brakes, be prepared that you might not be seen and start looking for options. As you get more experienced, this will become more natural and you'll do it without thinking.

    Setup and prepare.
  8. It was the rear whell that locked up. Unfortunately the other car didnt accelerate out when they saw me coming. The driver was pulling in to the lane and was just about completley in, and as he saw me coming he froze and did not accelerate, simply stayed put
  9. OK. Anyway, practice, practice and practice.
  10. ye might help if u ride over 40kph in a 60 zone u grannie, accelerator is on the right mate :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :grin:
  11. BS, you just have to practice until it becomes the natural reaction - then you dont have to think about it in an emergency.
  12. Also I believe 90% of braking comes from the front brake, hence this is what you really should be concentrating on when you do an emergency stop.

    Please correct me anyone if I am wrong.
  13. Errr, no.

    A spinning rear wheel provide dynamic stability. How long can you keep the bike vertical at a perfect stand still while sitting on it normally? 1, 2 maybe 3 seconds...? The bike falls to one side or the other in short time. Well when you stop the rear spinning you have 1, 2, maybe 3 seconds before the rear steps out from the bike simply falling over. If you're unevenly loading the bike via riding style, crooked back etc, the stepping out will happen sooner.

    When the rear steps out by 15degrees or there abouts in a slide, and you get off the rear brake, a highside is possible. If you're well beyond 15 degrees, then the best thing to do is ride the skid till you stop. So on a 250, if the rear steps out a foot or just more than that, your probability of a highside goes up.

    You can get all braking done on the front wheel (witness motogp/WSBK braking into corners with the rear wheel in the air) but emergency braking works best with most front, some rear. You'll learn to modulate the rear in time... the heavier the decelleration, the less effective the rear becomes, so the less braking effort needed before the rear locks.

    I usually tell noobs to forget about the rear except for slow speed stuff... get used to all main braking being done with the right hand.

    +100000 what Cejay said!
  14. If your rear wheel locked up you stepped on it too hard and if I understand it correctly weren't really in any real danger of coming off... the wheel just slides behind you as your front wheel comes to a stop.

    A much more dangerous situation is when you lock up the front and the rear steps out... There you have the potential to highside as you come off the front to unlock the wheel and the rear snaps back into place. This is a situation you want to get back under control before it gets too far out of hand and throws you off the bike. Reaction time is critical.
  15. Had the same experience the other week while practicing emergency braking; all of a sudden I'm getting this nasty floating feeling from the rear, like the tyre has been transformed into ice. I let up on the rear brake then put it back on as advised by others up the thread, solved it quick smart for me.

    Not a nice feeling though, locking a wheel up. Good work on dealing with it and avoiding something worse from happening.

    Cheers - boingk
  16. Go and practice your braking!

    It's a lot of fun to practice cornering and going faster, but not shitting yourself when you need to brake will save your arse.

    For the moment, pretend the rear brake isn't there - do not use it for anything but the last 10-15km/h.

    Your natural reaction if you're coming from cars is to stomp on the brake lever with your foot - and that's insta-lockup - you need to get used to using the front. The easiest way to convince yourself is to grab a pushie with decent brakes, walk along beside it and slam on the rear, it'll lock up, slam on the front, and it'll do a neat little stoppie.
  17. i just want to know why it took that long to stop from 90.. guess you were sliding all over the joint
  18. I used to use the rear brake more than the front and had little fish tailed often that was when I was using arrowmaxes that had as much grip as a wooden cutting board.

    I am using my rear brake more atm because the rear brakepad has more left than the front.

    I usually use both brake. in my opinion, I will prefer to lock the back than the front. However, I believe the best technique is to have gradual and firm braking rather than grabbing a lot at once. that apply to both.

    I believe the question shouldnt be which brake to use, but how to apply your brake
  19. on the topic of stopping fast, i've had the back slide out on three occasions trying to stop fast. one time was coming to a stop at the lights and those big white arrows are so slippery. it made a loud screech and the back slid to the side a bit. i found that when i lock the rear up i point the handlebars forward and i lift my ass off the seat a bit and sort of lean towards the side the back kicked out too? any comments on this?

    on another occasion i locked up the rear but it sort of fishtailed from side to side and front grabbing so much front brake i think a lot of my weight were on the handle bars. i'd assume it is better to keep weight down on the rear as well if it locks up? because less weight means it'll lock up easier?

    but yeah i generally find i lift my butt off the seat when i brake hard and i'm leaning forward whether it be from the stopping force or a bad habit.
  20. Erewego, you're making an informed choice. The noob hasn't got enough motor skills control to fluctuate the rear braking pressure with any finesse to the point that it's actually useful in an emergency brake.

    As for the rest of the advice :tantrum:

    Yak has it in two (one after me hehehe) O.P. forget the rear, relearn to make the front the automatic brake.

    TCshadow, seriously, what you said makes no physical sense at all. Locked front will lead to low side most likely. A sliding rear that steps out too far and then you release the brake will lead to a high side as the wheel grabs and now has lateral momentum. Sheesh. This will happen with the front rolling - it doesn't have to be sliding.

    I'll tell you something free. Noobs don't appreciate the venomous cobra at their right foot because they operate at a level where there's substantial traction to overcome most skill errors and so they learn bad habits which they take with them up the performance envelope. Don't be one of these noobs. Getting advice from other noobs who tell ya it's ok, is the blind leading the blind. Get anyone who says anything with a motorcycle technology sounding ring to it, to justify what they say.

    Topics like this get under my skin, I tells ya!