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First proper ride out - Stopping at intersections

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by mogley, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Hi all,

    So i finally took my Ninja out for a spin tonight after deciding that late at night is the best time to ride in my area as i live in the inner city and traffic is furious at all other times of the day.

    My quick observations were:

    1. Anything faster than 40km/h is still quite scary.
    2. Night riding appears more dangerous but the lower traffic + car headlights allowed me to focus more on my riding and less on traffic/stressing out. I also found the darkness keeps my ego/confidence in check.
    3. Had some open stretch of road and started to slalom at 30km/hs and realised its all in the hips and counter-weighting to keep me upright.
    4. My left hand turns feel better than ride hand turns (right handed).
    5. My gear changes are terrible esp when negotiating braking + gear changing to stop at an intersection. Add an uphill intersection and i'm glad its 11pm at night. 8-[

    More on my last point...

    If i am coming to a stop i want to downshift through the gears to make sure i'm in the right gear should I need to take off again. Problem is i need to brake too.

    What i'm doing is (crusing in 3rd)

    1. Setup front brake, roll off throttle, clutch in, downshift to 2, still squeezing the brake to slow down...
    2a. Now at this point I'm not sure whether i should hold the clutch in and just keep pressing the front brake and then as i slow even further downshift to first and then front brake + rear brake to come to a complete stop (i like to use the rear brake towards the end as it stabilises and front brake is a little harsh once im crawling).
    2b. Should I engage 2nd gear by releasing the clutch all the while still front braking (adds engine braking) so in case i need to take off im already in-gear.

    I would think 2b. is the preferred method as i will already be in gear. When there is a lot of time to stop it is easy to do 2b. but when the stopping distance is short i find myself just banging down to 1st gear and holding the clutch in while I coast to a stop (problem being the gear i probably need to be in is 2nd gear but its hard to cycle down through the gears properly when i need to stop fairly quickly).

    • Like Like x 1
  2. i would think 2a. (because it's correct)

    2b. presents risk of compression lock rear wheel. not hard to do at intersections because road is covered in car poop. extra slippery when wet. this can either come of making you look really cool, or not so great, because bike falls down. cagers laugh at you.

    if you need to stop really quickly, forget the gears.
    if you want to assist with engine braking in 2nd gear, then blip throttle in 3rd when downshifting and release clutch nice and easy.
    you snick her into first when you are either completely stopped or crawling toward it with clutch in.
    if you have to, you can take of again in second at any point, just dial more revs and ride the clutch out.
  3. 2b, you want to be in gear and ready to go at all times and having the rear wheel "connected" to the drive makes it a bit less likely to lock under rear brakes. You might even get a little bit of benefit from the smooth goodness of engine braking. If you hold the clutch in and coast to a stop, working your way down through the gears, eventually you'll get caught off guard, in the wrong gear when you need it.

    Also, if compression lock up is a problem coming into an intersection then slow the f*** down and practice being smooooooth more.

    You'll get better at coordinating everything.
  4. you cannot "compression lock up" if you rev match the downshift.

    end of.

    the correct way is to do all your changes and set up before braking... but that's not always possible and understand you're starting out and haven't come to terms with the clutch yet, so just click down and keep it clutched and be safe until you develop the advanced skills.

    9/10 manual drivers don't know what rev matching is, let alone double clutching, heel and toeing.... but rev matching is even more important on a bike, as mentioned above, bad clutching and mis-matched revs can lurch a bike and upset the riding line depending on the size of the motor and 2/4 stroke etc...

    you'll get there with some advanced instruction.

    for now, be safe and concentrate on traffic, and don't forget you have a foot brake if you feel your right hand is overworked... likewise, forget about the force of engine braking - it's not much in an emergency stop, let alone normal braking for stop signs, lights.
  5. mogley get yourself down to sat morn prac session all this can be addressed for you
    getsome emergency braking practise while youre there!!
  6. I don't think this is good advice for a learner who is still struggling to get their gear changes correct. Let him get them smooth 100% before trying to start blipping and braking on downshifts. He's more likely to get himself in trouble by farting that up into a corner than normally downchanging and getting a compression lockup, provided he can use a clutch moderately well..

    And I hope you don't mean clutching in and changing down gear BEFORE braking for a corner/stopping do you!??!! If yes, do you release it too? :|

    To the OP, read or watch Twist of the Wrist Vol 2. It's made by Keith Code, founder of the California Superbike School (one of the best schools for riding in the world). Learn those skills and practice them on the road.
  7. agreed. that's why i said forget rev matching and concentrate on the road for now.

    I beleive there is utility in telling everyone what is correct so they know, rather than what is simple and never improve or even know that what they are doing is 'wrong' or at least not optimal...

    re: clutch... i was not referencing cornering but answering the OP's question as to coming to a stop... simply clutch in.. click down and brake using both brakes.... keep clutch in until you need to take off again from a stop (1st gear). being wet there is no issue in holding the clutch in until you need to take off.

    so short answer for now while learning: 2a. clucth in.

    for the future: seek advanced instruction. HART is excellent IMHO.

  8. Nothing wrong with your thinking. Just a couple of comments:

    With the clutch lever in, you can bang down through the gears (or up for that matter) however you like, so long as the rear wheel is turning.

    You say you're in third - this means you should be able to get into 1st in about 2 - 4seconds. What non emergency braking are you doing that you need to stop shorter than 4seconds? If you really do need to stop in a hurry, just pull the clutch in and brake. If you have brain capacity left over, kick down gears. If it's an ebrake, brake as hard and controlled as you can, per your procedure.

    2b is broadly speaking better - it leaves you with maximum control. If you let the clutch out slowly while rolling on the throttle a little, the gear engagement should be smoothish.

    Since lurching give newbs the willies and rev matching avoids lurches, if you find somewhere really quiet to ride around (after hours industrial parks are good) then you can experiment with rev matching easy enough.
    • Ride around in 2nd at a certain speed.
    • Note your revs on the tacho or the sound of the engine.
    • Change up to 3rd and bring the bike back to that speed.
    • Now ensuring you have plenty of straight road ahead, pull in the clutch, kick down to 2nd, then roll on the throttle to dial up the revs or the sound you noted before.
    • Slowly release the clutch.
    • If you've done it right, there should be barely a lurch.
    You can do that experimenting for every gear combo. It's easier to do in the higher gears ( 6th to 5th say) than the lower gears.

    In time, when you down shift, you'll simply roll on throttle as you let the clutch out - and the rev matching will take care of itself. In more time, you'll even blip. (please search for blipping when you're ready - there are millions of pages on how to's :) ).

    Happy riding.
  9. Robs right. Completely!.
    I'd prefer to see you practising in car parks. You can do a little at night, but it does teach you bad things, unless, you've done a lot of daylight riding first, or as well.
    And simply put... You need to be able to run at traffic speeds, and there is only one way to do that...I'm pretty sure you know the answer. :)

    We all appreciate that it's your first time, or at least very early in your riding, but another week and you should feel a lot better at things that bother you now. And get to one of the sat morning sessions ASAP. They will get you sorted a lot more quickly than here in the forums.
    Well done for getting out there and having a go. :)