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Emergency Braking - Sportsbike n00b

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Jordang, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. Hi all,

    Apologies if I'm flogging a dead horse. I've recently upgraded to my full licence and I've always been dying to get a supersport/750. I recently got that wish when I bought a '97 GSXR750. To make a long story short, I ended up in two emergency braking situations (Sydney ofc). I was going straight in both situationsand have hit the brakes fairly hard. The front end just completely washed out beneath me. To be honest, I've become quite spooked to hop back onto a proper sportsbike.

    My tyres were definitely cold but it had not been raining. I have a feeling the tyres hadn't been used in a while either... I imagine with the bigger bikes and with cold tires, I should be starting off lightly with the front and gradually building pressure, especially after a period of acceleration?

    I have previously owned a 2T RS125 Aprilia, GPX250, DRZ400 and most recently a Duke 390 (with ABS). I've never had this problem (understandably with the Duke).

    As you all know, sportbikes with ABS are a dime a dozen. Should I save up for a CBR600RRA/675r? Or should I buy a cbr600rr, invest in some good tires and some superbike/riding courses? My budget is $7000.

    All the best and thank you.

  2. image.
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  3. Emergency braking is a fine art. Out of panic you often grab too much front brake, the front tyre locks and the front end washes out. The idea is to learn how hard you can brake without locking the front brake. That is brake as hard as you can but don't lock up. Squeeze the brake lever, don't Grab it. Keep squeezing till the front lock just a touch and then release a little of the pressure. Then you'll know how hard you can brake.
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  4. Thank you for the expedient replies. :)

    Just wondering if anyone had any recommendations on a decent set of hoops? Looking for grip over endurance, obviously...
  5. You can pay whatever you want for tires. Everyone on a fast bike seems to be running Diablo Rosso corsa's or Metzlers lately, and they're quite sticky when they're hot. I've got pilot road 4's on my firestorm, and it handles just fine in the wet, and in the dry, and even when the tires aren't way up to temperature they're still pretty sticky. I feel much safer on these than on my mates sportsbike (Rosso corsas) as until the tires are hotter I feel the bike slips around a bit. I'd rather have less maximum grip if it gives me more useable grip, more of the time... In saying that I'm no knee dragger, and I'm not out every weekend trying to find the limit of my tires. Take from this what you will...
  6. The words 'Slam' 'Grab' 'Bang' have no place in the motorcyclists lexicon when talking braking technique

    Set up and squeeeeeeeeeze are the only words you need.

    Sounds like some training is the best idea ...
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  7. Imagine the brake lever like a boob, you want to be smooth, subtle and gentle... grabbing and slamming will just get you hit.
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  8. Firstly what do you mean by "washed out" this is normally a race term meaning the front has lost traction coming out of a turn and the front end then folds under and the bike low sides, if you mean the front end dived heavily under the braking then that is different thing and it is normal for any bike with telescopic forks to dive a bit under brakes.
    Next if the tyres are old get rid of them! If they're reasonably new make sure the air pressures are correct by the tyre placard on the bike (will be either on the swing arm or under the seat). Tyre pressures are more important than warmed tyres, unless you're on a race track the myth of having to warm tyres to get grip on the street is just that, street riding the tyres will warm naturally enough.
    If it is excessive dive under brakes then with an older bike there is a good chance the fork oil is well overdue for a change, springs and valves could also need to be replaced, plenty of articles on the interwebby thingo about setting suspension.
    Also don't discount rear suspension as a cause of front dive, improperly set up rear suspension can lead to front end dive as well.
  9. I'm yet to speak to a rider who thinks training is a waste of money. Obviously the better your mastery of the thing you're riding, the better you'll handle it in an emergency. Practise is a key word. But x tyre has x available grip and any given temperature, and y tyre has y grip at any given temperature, so take your riding style and skill level into account when making the decision. Most casual street riders wouldn't be riding in a way that would allow top line tires to get to temperature for maximum grip, but a lot of people have to have "the best" so they buy tyres they'll never actually use. In saying that, if you feel comfortable doing so just go for it. But I ran PR2's on my cb400 and I've switched to PR4's on my firestorm, and I have squeezed the absolute Christ out of the brake until I heard the front wheel skidding and then backed off, and I was so surprised at how hard I had to yank the lever in before I felt the traction give...
  10. I tend to think of how to handle testicles :whistle:
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  11. First off, make sure your tyres are in good condition, set to the right PSI and aren't too old. Then check that your brakes are right and there isn't a faulty there. Also check out your suspension, front and rear.

    Most of all though make sure your technique is right. Go back to basics. But it may mean you'll have to seek out the help of a rider trainer.

    And don't forget, practice, practice and more practice.
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  12. Get yourself a copy of "A twist of the wrist 2", the book and the DVD. Usually around $20 each from Amazon. These are the foundations of California Superbike School, the best rider training you can get. Stay Upright and Moto DNA also have excellent courses. Rider training is the best investment you will ever make. You'll sort out problem areas, things you may have misunderstood or just developed bad habits. Your riding will flow much better and your enjoyment of riding will be heightened no end. You'll get your confidence back and much more. It's not all about track riding. Every technique has it's road application as well for a safer and more enjoyable ride. Another benefit is that you will be far less tired at the end of a good ride.
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  13. Yeah, sounds like you are blaming your tools. Getting a better bike won't help. It will just move the lock up point, but you'll get there faster. You need to be confident in getting to that point and changing tools will just give you false confidence and that is worse.

    learn the technique and practice it until it's natural. and then make the effort to practice on occassional, but regular, basis.

    after that, any tool upgrade will be just a bonus.
  14. The first half day on the Advanced Riders course with Toprider is spent learning how to brake efectively - those with ABS have to switch it off.

    Spend some decent money on training and take it from there.
  15. Out of curiosity, how often do you practice emergency braking? Practicing means you stand a half chance of getting right in a real emergency.
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  16. It could be that you need more practice/training. No matter how good you are, it never hurts to do more. Sport bikes have far more powerful front brakes than any of the bikes you have listed above. Go back to one of them after the sport bike and it will feel as if the brakes don't work. You can stand a sport bike on it's front wheel pretty easily with two fingers. So yes they require more technique and finesse, but they also tend to give you a lot more feel and feedback than brakes on other styles of bike. Does your bike have braided brake lines ? These are a common after market accessory on sport bikes that give more braking response as they lack the stretch that unsupported rubber lines have. All the hydraulic pressure goes to the calipers, none is lost in expanding the brake lines. That also makes them much twitchier to use and you're much more likely to lock the front wheel by squeezing a little too hard too soon.

    Suspension problems are possible too. A mate of mine went down because the mechanic didn't allow for the volume of his custom springing and over filled the fork oil. The fork didn't compress properly and the tyre slid out. That's his theory anyway. As mentioned above the suspension settings may be wrong for you if the bike was set up for someone a different size and weight.

    It could also be that the previous owner has fitted track tyres that need some more aggressive warming up and are not ideal for normal road use as they just don't get hot enough at road speeds.

    Based on your comment that the bike hadn't been ridden much I think this is the most likely one. If the bike hasn't been ridden much, the tyres could be old and hard, the rubber ages and stiffens and then the tyres are just dangerous no matter how much tread they have on them. Shelf life on tyres is usually five years under ideal conditions. Ideal conditions aren't a tyres natural habitat once it's fitted to a bike. So if they're more than three years old, be suspicious. Tyres are too important to skimp on. Being at the right pressure is important too. The tyre manufacturers web site will usually tell you how to identify the age of their tyres and if you post the make and model, it should be easy enough to tell if they're road or track tyres. A combination of hard tyres and poor technique will make the result you got fairly likely.

    Tyre choice is pretty individual, some like a quicker tip in, some prefer a more consistent feel. People make different compromises between handling, dry grip, wet grip, mileage and so on. Different tyres can suit different bikes too, so talking to people who actually ride the same make and model is most useful.

    The GSXR 750 is a big step up in power and performance from what you're used to. Should you trade it ? Well frankly the GSXR 600 or the CBR600RR are also a big step up in power from what you were riding. If you have some self restraint and common sense, you will get used to the 750 fairly quickly. Some rider training will help you get the best out of it and keep you safer on the road, boost your confidence and your enjoyment. They're a lovely bike and there's no reason to trade it in if it suits you and is set up right, but you will need to take it pretty easy and keep that right wrist down until you get used to it. It's like stepping up from a domesticated tabby cat to an angry tiger, twist it's tail too hard and it will bite you.
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  17. The brakes on the Bandit aren't bad. They aren't brilliant, but they're not bad. But, the brakes on my wifes old 750 monster were brilliant, due to better quality calipers and partly because it had braided lines. If I hadn't ridden the monster for a while the first few braking attempts usually resulted in me 'over braking', the difference was that great. Then going back to the bandit, the reverse would be true.
  18. Wow, very helpful posts. Netrider seems to be a fantastic community. :)

    PR4s sound pretty good, I'm looking more for overall usable grip than anything else. I intend to take it to the track, but I'm no Doohan...

    The brakes had braided lines, I will get back to you on the tires. By 'washed out' I meant braking in a straight line, the only thing that irks me is I really didn't feel or hear that much of a lock up for the front. The bike felt like it just lost traction instantly, and I was on the ground in no time.

    I have no doubt it was more rider error than anything else. I used to practice emergency braking on my duke, but as mentioned, this is a massive step up in braking power. I am leaning towards a CBR600RR with no ABS and investing money into rider training, getting the forks and shocks set up correctly, and getting some decent tires (if required). I tip my hat off to you all, riding these bikes ironically requires a lot of restraint and practice. Kudos.

    Props to the boobs analogy btw. I will remember that one.
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  19. If ABS is an option, why not get it?

    There's riders that will tell you it's better to know how to brake appropriately and to use that skill to come to an emergency stop, not to rely on ABS and to know the limits of your bike etc, but if you don't practice regularly (and even if you do...) there'll be a time when you "accidentally" grab too much brake. They're called accidents for a reason. ABS can prevent that washout. I'm not saying it will. But to me, not having ABS to help you learn proper braking technique is like not wearing a seat belt so you can learn to not crash... What happens when you do? Food for thought...

    Obviously that's just my opinion. I guess money is a factor. We'd all have the most expensive and safest most comfortable lightest best fitting helmet if we could afford it. But not all of us have that luxury. But considering you know first hand what that front end loss feels like, and what can happen as a result, why would you not choose ABS?
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