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Motorcycle Rider Skill Assessment

Discussion in 'Research, Studies, and Data' started by blackadder, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. I stumbled across a thesis which I thought was interesting. So I'll share. The aim is to determine the differences between the control strategies of skilled and less-skilled riders as they ride a motorcycle.

    The thesis dates back to 1983 and was completed at Melb Uni. The tone used is unlike what we are use to these days, for example,

    ooh how the times have changed, anyway, here is a summary which I have broken into paragraphs for easy reading. For those who want the quick summary, I've bolded the key points.

    I suppose noobs could take all the differences mentioned and work on them specifically.

    Now, compare this with TAC funded research..... Why don't they have messages like: "Motorcyclists: Learn to brake in corners. " or "Motorcyclists: Practice counter steering"..

    typing all that was a pain the arse.. i'm off to sleep.. more later.
  2. braking properly is obviously very important, it also takes a long time to learn
    how to apply the front brake hard (which is how you use it)
    practise practise practise!

    These skills require intimate knowledge of your tyres and the grip they provide,
    when you know how much grip there is, you can find out how hard to push in corners,
    or how hard you can brake.

    in good conditions tyres can be pushed further than most riders would ever dare,
    which is a good reason to ride pushbikes and trailbikes to explore boundaries.
  3. I found this article interesting. Could you post a link to the whole thing?

    I remember when I did my licence I spent more time practicing the offset cones. It is interesting that this is not the best discriminator of a good rider. The current test is all low speed and encourages use of the rear brake. Good braking relies a lot on the front brake which is where the weight is in an emergency. Interesting that good riders hit the front brake first when I think a lot of experts suggest the opposite. It certainly is a trap to overuse the rear brake in everyday riding so you do the same when things go pear shaped.

    I think the article implies new riders need specific instruction in emergency braking and counter steering that they are not getting in the current course, or at least in whatever instruction was given in the 1980's. Better training would probably require purpose built training areas where riders travel at closer to real world speeds.

  4. A good way to find the limit on a front brake is to slowly squeeze it in and don't stop squeezing till you completely stop. You should get a very acute sense of when the front will lock doing it this way. You might find you get most of the way in, even on a big bad ass sports bike. cause your going to need a fair but of speed to really test the brakes out on one of those.
    Rear brakes were shocking through the seventies and eighties. They worked but the feel wasn't there. It's a bit of a trade off with the rear. You need it small enough to have lots of feel, but no so small it fades so quickly. Hence why your rear brake only has one disc and are only one or two piston at the most.
  5. It took me a while to get a bike. As a result, I managed to do the learners' course in NSW and Q-Ride in QLD. The NSW L's course is a 2-day course, 3 hours per day. Q-Ride is more like private lessons, which you do until you can satisfy the formal assessment (a simpler form of the NSW MOST test, I think).

    In the NSW course they taught to touch the rear brake to initiate the weight transfer to the front, then to squeeze front and rear. During Q-Ride the instructors taught to set up and start braking with front first, then add the rear.

    When I asked my Q-Ride instructor, he said he had a conversation with his NSW colleagues as to why they taught it like that. The answer - easier to teach this way to the group. When my instructor asked his colleagues from NSW if they would start braking with a rear brake on the track, the reply was a resounding 'No'.
  6. Should have asked Mr instructor if he had ever done any track work.
    Ok hitting the rear first squats the bike more neutrally. As in both suspensions come down under the braking compression together. Leaving more weight on the back tyre than if you used the front only. And that in turn gives you more braking power. If the rear is really light or in the air it wont help you in your braking. And that's what I see most of the time.
    Th rear brake at anything over 40kmp/h is a stability device, an attitude adjuster and a shithouse brake.
    And in saying this the only time I have the rear brake on without throttle on as well is right in the braking zone. There are lots of things that need to work in conjunction with each other bits on a bike to really make it shine.
    Seriously wish there was a national training course that got it right.
  7. Aye.
  8. The two QLD instructors i had were very good, I believe from what they were saying that they grew up on the track.
  9. Doing that, with the rear brake first, is not in the script for NSW pre-learners course.

    Either the instructor was ad libbing, or you picked it up wrongly.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. I've done the NSW course twice, a year apart (took me a while to get a bike) with different instructors. One of the instructors was pretty much reading instructions off his course materials. Both said the same thing loud and clear. Both times were with StayUpright.
  11. Rear brake first is Stay Upright ebrake technique as well.
  12. #12 Fractalz, Jan 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
    Incorrect ...

  13. Might be incorrect in QLD, but it certainly is correct in NSW. As per my posts above. The only other explanation is that the Stay Upright instructors I had were incompetent to the point where they were unable to read the script. And I doubt that.
  14. Again incorrect.
    The other possible explanation is that you misunderstood the sequence.

    I would be quite happy to give you, via PM, the contact details for someone who could quite easily sort out your misunderstandings.

  15. Sorry, but despite your name and .sig, there is another explanation.

    The NSW pre-learners course was developed, quite some time ago by the RTA's chief riding instructor.

    Then, up until 2000 or so, to get an instructor's licence, you had to do a course, run and delivered by the RTA.

    But then, the various "schools" got the right to run their own instructors' courses, and, at that point, or since then, the "rear brake first" most likely got put in by some one at StayUpright.

    The RTA used to do various checks on the schools following the official script rather than modifying it, but (shrug) dunno if they still do, and minor changes can probably sneak through without getting noticed.
  16. Nope ... the RMS still controls the syllabus.
    and nope ... nothing has been snuck anywhere.
    and yep ... audits still happen.

    If anything it would be more likely in QLD as the syllabus is not as controlled nor is compliance as strict.
  17. I know that the RMS still controls the syllabus, but, when SU runs the instructor's course, there is a possibility of them sneaking in changes, which only they'd know about, until the changes got noticed in an audit.
  18. Why would a provider sneak in a change that suggests an incorrect technique?
    I believe the issue is a misunderstanding which is the kind of thing that can happen when a student reaches info overload point or if they accidentally stop listening because they already know it all ;)
  19. Er well, having just sat in the back of the room while my partner got her L's a few weeks ago, I beg to differ.
  20. I have no idea, Fractalz, but it is a possibility.

    One instructor may put in a wee bitty "extra" that she feels appropriate.

    Two instructors, as reported, it would seem like a bit of a coincidence.

    That is, in deed, a possible explanation, especially in a second-time-around student, but it still wouldn't explain robsalvv's input.

    Perhaps the official line in Victoria is different to that in NSW....... I dunno.

    I am fairly sure that the "official" as in RMS line won't have changed from "front brake then rear brake" in NSW.