Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: El Reno, Oklahoma
repost of some info from Faster Safer. This is very timely as I have found the stiffer than I expected front forks on my new 2013 dl 650 trail brakes very well for me. Trail braking has given me much more latitude when entering corners.
How about some new rider info to start your week off....
NEW RIDERS AND THE BRAKES
AN ARTICLE INSPIRED BY THE OPINION THAT NEW RIDERS SHOULDN’T EVEN HEAR THE WORDS “TRAIL BRAKING”
BY NICK IENATSCH
Among the least-desired activities is an internet forum argument, yet that is what I risked last week when
I posted on my local Colorado sportbike forum after reading that new riders shouldn’t be taught trail
braking. Thankfully, the thoughts written below were well received; I had asked the members to read
them with an open mind, thinking only of motorcycle riding and industry health.
Here’s my train of thought:
-New riders ride the same bikes veteran riders do, and a new rider can buy a GSX-R 1000 the day after the graduate from a new-rider school.
-If a new rider buys a sport bike, that bike is designed by roadracers...if the new rider wants that bike to work correctly, he or she will trail the brakes past the tip-in because no good roadracer anywhere is off
the brakes before turn in while entering corners that need braking. The champions from last year design the new bikes for this year...and they all trail brake.
-If "instructors" feel new riders can't master trail braking, they may be underestimating their students.
--Here is a quick but incomplete list of dexterous activities that are more difficult than trail braking: Playing guitar, piano, harp, flute, banjo, drums. Flying a helicopter. Flying or driving an RC vehicle. Shooting a gun well. Typing well. Having neat handwriting. Playing video games. Using an adding machine. Texting quickly and legibly.
-If instructors believe students have no experience with trail braking, the instructors need to stand on the sidewalk by a freeway onramp that requires braking and watch Grandma in the Buick, soccer-mom in the mini-van and Joe the Plumber leave the brakes on past the turn in. That's trail braking. They are giving away brake pressure as they add steering-wheel angle. Everybody does it, everybody trail brakes their
cars...yet they go to a new-rider school and get told not to. But they want to...for all the reasons written about in The Pace 2.0.
A few years ago I would have said that any rider training is okay...but not anymore. Our sport is not growing, and what industry can grow if its new members are getting maimed and killed?
Getting all your braking done in a straight line is fine when you're cruising because nothing matters at low speeds and high grip. It's when you misjudge the turn, or are trying to set a lap record at the track, or it starts to sleet on the way home from work, or there's gravel in your favorite corner, or you're on your buddy's 1300 and you just twist the throttle too long, or the corner goes right at 20mph instead of left at 50...then everything counts. And any one of these scenarios (and many, many more) can and happen to any rider...even a new one.
Final Thought: Trailing the brakes (leaving the brake light on at turn-in) is fourth on my list of priorities with
a new rider...fourth!
First is getting those eyes moving and scanning. Second is concentrating on What's Next with relentless focus. Third is smoothness with brakes, throttle and steering. Then trail braking...
In search of the next Starbucks