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SUV on Gore Hill Freeway

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by RatherCeebs, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. I thought it appropriate my debut post outside of the Welcome area should be a mini-vent, since most of my friends are drivers and therefore unsympathetic to pretty much everything I do on a bike :(

    So this was my one of my first commutes back from from uni (USyd, if anyone here goes there... give me a shout!) on the Gore Hill Freeway. Near the Neutral Bay exit, a big black Mercedes GL in front of me suddenly slams on the brakes. I was super wary - and jumpy - at that stage given my lack of experience, and I jammed on the rear brakes with almost nothing on the front. A childhood of cartoons gave me the mental picture of me flying over the handlebars otherwise, haha :p

    Turns out the rear brakes weren't a great idea either - my rear wheel locked up and slid crazily all over the place. I only just managed to keep my balance and from rear-ending the Merc, and it turned out the taxi behind me had only just managed from doing that to me too. Later I saw there was a broken down car on the road ahead, and it seems the GL driver wasn't paying attention... wouldn't be surprised if he was on the phone or texting. I was probably very close to becoming a motorcycle sandwich if I'd braked any later.

    This taught me to keep a bigger buffer gap and to use the front brake more, to the point where last week I fell off my bike going down a steep driveway whilst using only the front brake... eh fail.

    I suppose I should just be glad I sorted out this brakes business early on before anything major happened 8-[ All I've really lost now is a pristine bike... I have a small crack in my fairings! Sad sad sad.

    Any suggestions on hard braking? I can't seem to get the front/back balance quite right.
  2. So... did you drop the bike this time or not? Hope it wasn't too bad if you did. You'll also want to try to see as far ahead in traffic as you can

    On braking? Head level, look at the horizon. Set and squeeze the front, it's gradual, like throttle roll on. You'll end up squeezing quite hard without locking a wheel, thus: effective braking. Rear is tricky. Some say they never use it for a real stop, but others say you'll stop sooner with a small amount.

    That said, I still have lapses and use too much rear (combined with, I think, the right amount of front) and lock it occasionally. I'm working on it. :p
  3. Personally I don't use the rear brake much, except for dragging when doing low speed maneuvers.
    Theorists usually say to start with the rear, that will transfer more weight to the front, then a little bit after apply your front. I am usually riding with the balls of my feet on the pegs, so it takes a bit longer to get my foot in position to apply the rear, so I normally don't bother. Emergency stops, I pull in the clutch too.
  4. Lightly touch the rear brake before you hit the fronts - it steadies the bike up significantly. As you progress harder and harder on the front brakes, remove the rear.. As you brake harder, the rear provides less and less grip to the point where the rear wheel may not even be in contact with the ground since you're so hard on the front (where it's not going to provide any grip at all :D )

    Basically, front brake is for stopping, rear brake is for stability

    I cannot stress the importance of proper braking technique though - you will need to learn to do it eventually as in a panic situation... Well you panic. You need to make hard braking an 'instinct' where you can just do it without thinking. Squeeze the front, let the weight transfer and squeeze more and more.. On modern tyres you should be able to brake hard enough to take the rear off the ground entirely so don't be worried about going endo
  5. So many things wrong here.........
  6. i think i have used the rear twice since i started riding
  7. well done, take any prize from the second shelf down.
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