Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

newbie turning question and using of brakes

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by livingstonest, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. hey all was wondering if you can help me.

    was riding along today at approx. 75km/h and was taking a left curve so i was leaning over, then i noticed that it started going downhill and the corner was sharpening. straight away i knew i was outta my comfort zone cause for me that was fast and leaning more than i was already is scary for me. anyway i instinctively leaned harder and everything was ok. after the turn i noticed that my hand was over the front brake and i knew that if i couldn't turn then i may have used the front brake.

    now here's the question. going at that speed if i set up and sequeezed the front brake(not full squeeze but progressive), would i have....
    a) continued along my path but slowed down due to braking
    b) by using the front brake instead of continuing along my path would it have caused the bike to start standing up vertical(ie take me out of the lean)
    c) caused the bike to slide out from underneath me(which i was terrified might have happened)!

    all i know is that never use the front brake when the handlebars are turned otherwise the bike will slide out.
    what i want to know is that can i use it effectively when i'm turning but with the front wheel straight and me in on a lean?

    thanks for your help guys!
  2. Short answer = No.

    At 75 kph (b) Bike will stand up and put you on the wrong side of road, or (c) loss traction and slide.
    You did the best thing and lent further into corner. :D

    Practice slowing down using the engine/gears and rear brake (only to activate brake light) to let the cages know that you are slowing down. Only using the front brakes when you need extra stopping power. Soon this will become second nature, and you will find that you don't grab for the front brakes as often. Combine this with confidence leaning bike over , that situation will no longer be a problem.
    Another tip, enter all blind corners one gear lower than the gear you expect to exit in, sets you up to use the engine/gears to bleed off a little speed, less chance of using the front/rear brake a little to hard as well.

    Hope this helps.
  3. You did the right thing by leaning in harder.
    In Kieth Codes book - Twist of the Wrist II - one of the worst things you can do while cornering is too
    i) roll off the throttle (which you would have to do in order to aply the front brake (he calls this an SR - survival reaction) and
    ii) apply the front brake.
    Both of these actions result in rapid and excessive loading of the front wheel that is already quite loaded due to the corner. It usually results in a low side.
    You can apply the rear brake rather than the front but as the previous poster said it will straighten the bike and possibly put you on the wrong side of the road. In the licence course they teach you to stand the bike up and brake hard but they prefer to teach you to select appropriate gearing and speed on corner entry so that you don't have to do this due to the fact if you are doing a left hander you may end up in oncoming traffic or if you are doing a right hander you end up in the gravel bit at the side of the road.
  4. The "natural" intstinct is to think that the bike is leaning over too far. The real situation is, if nothing's touching the ground, it's still got some way to go; lean more!!!
  5. Yeh, good advice. Modern bikes are very fogiving and can make up for all sorts of emergency situations that a rider can get into. Lean it more.

    Later on, you will find that you can actually brake while in the corner, but its not something that a new rider should try.
  6. The best remendy right there . But continue to look through the corner and not straight ahead or you will be grabbed by object fixation.
  7. Very good point, Dave, what they eye fixes on the bike follows, potholes, armco, etc. Looking "through the corner" as I was just doing on the glorious Macquarie Pass (!!!) is the way to go.
  8. Actually you CAN brake with the front wheel into the corner even tipping the bike in but alot of people will tell you only the 'set up before the corner' stuff which is all well and good until that one time at band camp when you come into a corner you're unfamiliar with and discover not only one, but two nasty surprises - (1) Its a decreasing radius turn and (2) its going downhill. Both of these things will obviously make your initial entrance speed (possibly) too high and you need to bleed speed or tip in harder or BOTH.

    What if you find that even tipping in further you're still going to fast ? What are you going to do then ? If you can't brake you're committing yourself to a stack....

    You can set up and apply the front brake and usually you'll find that you only need to bleed 10-15kph or so before you can comfortably take the corner in which case you dont even need to brake all that hard so the chance of washing out the front wheel is low assuming you dont already have the bike totally on its side and are at the edge of your traction limits.

    If you comfortably made the corner in this case by tipping in further then you were no way near the limits anyway but it would certainly be worth your while talking to riders who trail brake thru corners and learning the skill cos it may save you crossing the line one day into oncoming traffic....
  9. thanks all for your help!

    yeah i just wanted to know what would happen in case of an emergency. of course i wouldn't try braking in a turn as my usual method. its always set up speed/gears, look through corner. just that this one caught me off alittle and i'm sure it won't be the last time

    in my case i had to lean over more that what i was comfortable with and although i was in my lane the whole time i think i did hold my breath till it panned out ok. well its good to know that i coulda leant harder over and if that still don't work then i can wash off some speed with front braking? right? like just 5-10km/h if it meant the difference from me running wide and taking the corner?

    i plan to do some further riding courses
  10. OK, I don't mean to be trivial, but the best way of handling an emergency is to avoid it in the first place.

    You can use some fairly simple techniques to minimise the chance of sudden surprises.

    One simple rule is to always ride on the road you can see. That means be able to stop, or at least take evasive action on the road surface you can see. Never commit yourself to going somewhere you can't see. I have, ofn a couple of occasions come across a fallen tree just around a corner. When evaluating my speed in a given situation, I picture a fallen tree around the next corner. It means I sometimes go a bit slower than others, but hey, there are still some places I haven't ridden yet.

    Same with overtaking. In assessing an overtaking opportunity, I assume there is a rice-person on a sportsbike coming the other way, just out of sight. I think I've upset a few people who thought I was passing up a 'reasonable' passing opportunity.

    One thing you can do is maximise the amount of road you can see. Entering a corner slowish and widish not only gives you a better view of whats ahead, it lets you go harder on the exit.


    has some good tips.
  11. thanks for the great advice moike i hear what your saying and that's what i try to do.

    unfortunately i was riding at night, poor road visibility and the dip took me by suprise. its ok, next time i won't be going so fast i hope. but even though i may be really careful S$(*Y still happens and i need to plan in my mind what i'm gonna do before hand.

    appreciate the comments but what's with all this "rice-person"/"riceboy" comments on these forums?
  12. Everybody is giving you advice livingstone relative to their own experience levels and also relative to their own bikes.
    Without knowing what sort of bike you are riding and what general state of maintenance it is in it is difficult to say.
    You also failed to mention what the road surface was like, grippy or slippery?

    You can use your brakes just about anywhere but it only comes with a lot of practice, and you want your bike to be well maintained with not too much pressure in your tyres and a fairly soft compound with plenty of tread.

    I am sure you probably already know all of this already and you may disagree, but then agian you may not be able to corner that way if you own a virago, so it's up to you to find out what you are comfortable doing and not let peer group pressure dictate otherwise.
  13. Braking into/thru corners is more of a track technique than street but I guess my point was that everyone should know it and understand that you can do it in case you get caught out by surprise - fallen tree/car/bike/dirt/animal whatever... you cant assume that just because you're riding 'slow' that you are going to be in complete control into and out of the corner. Alot of people will say 'dont touch the brakes' once you start the turn which is just plain wrong. Go out with riders that can show you safely how to do it and learn how you can apply it and if you never use it then there's no harm but at least you KNOW when you can brake and by how much....

    Not sure about this comment tho
    If you want your tyres to last more than a few thousand kms then you actually want high pressure in them regardless of the compound so that they maintain their shape and give an even contact surface with the road...low pressures are a thing of the past with modern tyre compounds unless you're on the track
  14. Would this be a thing covered by the SBK school?

    If so get down there.

    If not....get down there anyway. :LOL:
  15. I'm afraid I don't agree with this method. While the theory is sound, and works great for this situation, it trains you to not use your front brake - meaning in an emergency situation you're more likely to react too slowly, incorrectly or not at all.

    In everyday riding I would still suggest using both brakes regularly, and practice your emergency braking as often as you can. For cornering, you can drag the rear brake a little, but while leaning there is very little braking you can do. In bad situations, you can squeeze the front brake on and stand the bike up to wash off some speed, then reset your line in the corner. Assuming you weren't already running wide, you should be able to do this without crossing the centre-line or running off the road.

    Or just lean more, as you did. :D
  16. once again thanks all for your comments, much appreciated!

    this link from moike seems to answer my question in an emergency:


    "If braking into a corner with the front brake still applied is required, the under-steer effect of this can be counteracted by the simultaneous application of compensating push-steering. For example, when braking into a left corner, apply a little extra forward pressure to the left 'bar to counteract the tendency for the bike to stand up to the right."

    i think this is exactly what i wanted to know. that in an emergency i can apply "some" front braking and counter the lifting of the bike with more lean/countersteer. is this right? of course this won't be my norm, just emergency
  17. Actually I agree with domhnall. I don't use my front brakes much except when I want that extra stopping power. I use engine braking and rear brakes (maybe a touch of front) to set up my corner and lightly tap my rear if I'm too hot into the corner. Never do I use the front brakes (I prefer to avoid high sides) while in turn. This doesn't mean I don't practise my emergency braking and I find that with the normal (engine and rear) braking I do with the front, I'm confident I can stop. That's my style, each to their own style of riding.
  18. Front brake will stand the bike up, rear will put it down. Used in tandem you can maintain your lean angle and wash off speed in a corner but this requires practice and I wouldn't recommend it as standard technique. The link posted by Moike is fantastic - read it several times then go out and practice.

    In regards to which brake to use, front accounts for 70% - 80% of your stopping power (depends on weight distribution) and as such should be used all the damn time. Rear isn't designed to beyour main brake - the rear wheel spinning is what keeps the bike upright, stop it and bike falls over. Learn to use them together.
  19. Um , using the front excessively on corners will result in lowside usually as the front will lock up mid turn and lose traction. A rear lockup and subsequent regain of traction results in highsides.
  20. I use the rear on it's own very rarely, in fact it's pretty well useless when it comes to stopping power, the rear is realy only good for low speed stopping or using it to control the bike.

    Smee has it right, look out for a highside using your rear to heavily through a corner.