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Motorcycle Skills Practice Guide - anyone read this?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Nightowl, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. *Note to mods - was unsure where to raise this, general, new riders or even politics. As question I have was general I posted it here - please move if more suited elsewhere.

    Was recently trawling the VicRoads site in relation to some other matters and stumbled across this.

    Motorcycle Skills Practice Guide (for new riders, working towards their licence etc, first published 2005 by Roads Corporation)

    I haven't read it in its entirety yet, but on a quick glance through noticed this:

    pge 88

    Brake into a curve

    It is important that you are actually using the brakes as you go into the turn.<snip>

    As you approach the corner, slow down for it using both brakes.

    Continue to brake as you go into the corner, then ease off the brakes and gently accelerate as you leave the curve.

    Return to the corner and repeat.

    Check yourself

    Did you:
    - Apply both brakes while you were travelling straight?
    - Keep braking as you leaned the bike for the corner?
    - Ease off the brakes before accelerating gently out of the corner?

    After you’ve done this several times, try increasing your speed a little.

    This is contrary to what I was taught at new rider level (at both accredited schools and in mentoring), ie. was taught get braking out the way before tip in.

    If it's an allusion to trailing brakes through corners then that's a step up, more advanced technique (intermediate+) ... trailing rear brake through corners was touched on in Stay Upright's intermediate course, trailing front brake I'd have thought a step up from that (and subject to type of bike?)... but trailing both brakes?

    And practice "may increase your crash risk" (pge 30). :facepalm:

    Was curious:
    - Has anyone read this?
    - Thoughts?
  2. I was always told, as a general rule, to get your braking done before the corner.

    Seems like strange advice to give a learner.

    Maybe someone more knowledgable than myself has the answer.
  3. I agree. As a general rule, it's not what I'd be saying to a learner. There will be times when you need to slow down while turning, so I guess practising it is not a bad idea, but I'd be stressing that the desired approach is to slow down first (using the brakes) and enter the corner (without the brakes), at the speed at which you intend to negotiate it.
  4. Geez.....

    Please don't tell me every part of that guide was put together by experienced motorcyclists.....](*,)

  5. I dont know about you but my quick glance only gets me to the front cover or even the TOC........page 88 is exhaustive reading already :).

    I do agree with everyone, its going to confuse learners when they get adviced on two different things.

    In saying that I actually trail brake but try to keep it at a minimum.....since im nowhere near a good enough rider. I definately try to avoid the front mid corner.
  6. For General commuting ie slow and steady like youre supposed to and just like driving a car with your head up your arse like most commuters do, its fine. If your riding is a little more 'spirited' then you may have problems.
    I think Context is important, vicroads guides are written by, or at the direction of, people trying to justify their existence who Have no fuggin idea why we ride.
  7. Without disputing the comments about confusing learners, the very first words on page 88 are

    "In a perfect world everybody would always go into turns and
    corners at the right speed, but at some stage you could find
    yourself going into a turn at an intersection or going into a corner
    too fast.

    This task lets you feel what it’s like to keep braking as you ride
    into a turn. It is highly recommended you do this task with an
    instructor or coach and at 20 km/h."

    It does seem their pitch is, experience braking in a corner before you find yourself hot and doing it in complete panic.

    It would be interesting to see if a control group were taught this and alternatively "hold tight, get your weight closer to the inside of the turn and don't panic and try to brake" to see which results in fewer crashes, but there are of course too many variables to draw anything meaningful from such a test.
  8. If anyone went to Chromes Kangaroo Valley ride, then I'm the one who tried to use the brakes on one of the corners and ran wide into the groove off the side of the road, nearly hitting the rail - I think it might of got it on film, someone had the GoPro and I was in front of them, not sure.

    None the less after that I checked out Robs thread on cornering and grabbed a motorcycling road craft book and been putting them into practice (and no more serious hiccups - unless dropping the bike while trying to put it on the center stand counts :p)
  9. Hi parker,
    Yeah I remember that one quite well. I was a few riders behind you but you were already by the side of the road when I went past so i didnt see what happened or any brake lights. My first guess was not the usual "target fixation" but that your braking in the corner caused you to stand the bike up and run wide. You might recall me asking you about it at the time? As a noob myself, I wondered if maybe it'd be better to discuss it with the more experienced guys, so I left it at that. Its nice to hear that my guess seemed on track, so thanks for posting this up.

    I've really gotten a lot out of Rob's threads here, too. I always have a bit of a laugh when I read someone saying you cant learn anything about riding from the internet! I guess the same goes for books? Which one have you got? Would you recommend it?
  10. they sent me a free dvd in the mail once. made a great drink coaster.
  11. I had my licence for a couple of months, and got my bike in August but I hadn't really rode it for very long before tackling the RNP, basically only did to/from work (same route every day) and streets around the Sutherland Shire, so inexperience played a big part I feel, basically I did nearly everything wrong. I was going too fast [+ going downhill as well] (not so much fast for other riders but considering my skill set I was going too fast), I wasn't very observant for example I didn't notice the sign coming into the corner, I applied both brakes mid corner because I didn't think I was going to make it, and at that point I was looking straight down at the ditch thinking I don't want to go there, and sure enough I went there, I still think the only thing that stopped me going further was the shape of the groove as it kind of made me go in a straight line off road and not into the barrier, so that and luck helped out.

    Yeah I remember being asked about it, I was pretty embarrassed and just wanted to continue riding, but my knees were shaking because of shock, so I'm glad you guys just told me to take a breather for 5 while I shake it off.

    When we stopped at Moss Vale Rd I was speaking to the guys around the table and went through what happened and what I did wrong and what I could of done. I came on the conclusion that I did basically everything wrong going into the corner, and if I was in the same situation again I wouldn't of applied the front brake because that's when I knew I was going to the ditch because I was trying to turn one way but pulling the handlebars the opposite way to try and stop drop some speed off.

    Not sure where I got the recommendation from whether it was on this forum or another one but it's called Motorcycle Roadcraft: The Police Rider's Handbook.

  12. Thanks. That looks pretty good.
  13. And in the reference to ABS VicRoads has stated that a bike with ABS stops 9m shorter from 100 kph than a bike without.

    Should make Rob pretty happy :LOL:
  14. Does it really? Well. ... Who was testing for them? Ronald McDonald? :-s
  15. lets all e-mail them to point out their obvious typo in that.
    ie: not 9m but 900m.
    i bet they correct their error on their website haha.
    such clueless twats, you could feed them anything and they won't bother to cross reference it.
    point out that furthermore, braking distance can be significantly reduced by wearing a high vis vest.
  16. Sensational. What's the reference for that figure?
  17. Don't worry, found the page.



    Talk about missing a shit load of relevant debate.

    Who'd a thunk that Vicroads were using biased and confounded studies to make a statement?

    Well blow me down. Who provides a switchable ABS fitted bike? Interestingly, this is the first authority reference that I've seen that recognises that ABS isn't applicable in all circumstances. Wow.
  18. Have had a bit more of a look at this.

    Things that caught my eye:

    1. Slow weave cones, walking pace. Use both brakes. Who uses front brake in steady slow speed manoeuvres, particularly cones, & why?

    2. Slow ride, 18m in 10+ secs. Is part of learners test, not intermediate (but should still be practiced).

    3. Maintain speed at 50km/h and kick down 2 gears from 4th – staying at same speed. Purpose of this? Shouldn’t you be in correct gear for speed at any given time?

    4. Identify controls and switches – is started at learners, not intermediate.

    5. Tight turns, walking pace. Use both brakes. Same question as at 1.

    6. U-turn. Again brakes. Where does front brake come into u-turn? Doesn’t say what body position should be.

    7. Accelerate as go over speed hump? Permission to wheely & probably end up on my bum?! :D My understanding was to maintain steady throttle, is my understanding wrong?

    8. Trailing brakes into curve (already mentioned earlier).

    9. Try changing down a gear mid corner with a pillion aboard. Erm, shouldn’t you try this before taking a pillion?

    10. Braking in a curve. This was mentioned in learners, and licence, not practiced.

    Joe, there’s some good points in this but it does seem to me that it may have been compiled by non-rider(s) who’ve drawn from instructors etc ... which is why it seems a bit out of order (mismatched) etc.

    Phil, for me a few things come to mind with this business of trailing brakes into corners and as always am happy to be corrected and/or hear stuff I haven’t considered, don’t know etc.

    1. It promotes lazy braking habits among inexperienced.

    2. Cornering is kind of brushed over, nothing mentioned on importance of identifying turn in points etc. Emphasis on learning to slow properly for a corner I’d have thought came first.

    3. Trailing brakes through to apex (which is what this seems to be referring to) is an advanced skill. Requires finesse and there’s other stuff I’d thought would be important to master first.

    4. It wasn’t mentioned, or practiced, in either learners or licence – keeping in mind these exercises were aimed at that group.

    5. New riders are more often than not a long way from reaching lean limits of bike. I was told to push a bit harder (countersteer), tip in more.

    Worth having. (y)
  19. Not disputing any of this, just pointing out that the OP implies that the book is suggesting braking in a corner as a matter of course (by omission) and in my interpretation, taking into account the first words on the page, that's not the case. The book is saying you may one day "need" to do it, try doing it some time before the "need" arises.

    I put need in quotes because, as you point out (and I hinted at in my first post) there may be far more appropriate / valid methods of dealing with coming into a corner too hot.

    Is there validity in suggesting someone learn what braking in a corner feels like before they drop out anchor at high speed on the road because they suddenly realise they're not Rossi? Sure.

    Are there other things a publication like this should focus on first in regard to cornering in order to improve rider safety? Almost certainly.
  20. Slow speed manouevres + front braking + noobs is a recipe for a fall. Don't do it until you have your hand motorskills and bike awareness refined.

    DO NOT trail brake into a corner as a noob. You've barely understood cornering, let alone why you might want to trail a brake. Get the vision, input, throttle control sorted.

    As for the speed hump, get your arse off the seat and let the bike ride the bump. Mono-ing over an obstacle is a dirt technique - you could employee it on the road, but that is an advanced thing I'd say.

    Block changing gears while maintaining speed teaches you about rev matching. If you have a tacho you can see how the engine revs have to vary to maintain the same bike speed.

    The police roadcraft manual covers a very robust, solid and defensive roadcraft technique. The only way you can be safer while moving on trafficked roads on two wheels is as part of a police chaperoned motorcade! :) ...it is highly focused on riding using your brain as opposed to employing gnarly bike handling skillz.