Braking vs Engine-Braking before entering a corner - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
Riding Proficiency Tips and suggestions for improving the rider's safety skills and riding techniques

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post #1 of 41 Old 07-01-2015, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Braking vs Engine-Braking before entering a corner

I ride two different bikes with plenty of engine-braking power each (SV650 and Vstrom 1000) so for the last few years I became lazy regarding the use of my actual brakes to set my entry speed before entering a curve; I would just roll off the throttle enough to slow down and dive into the turn. (I live at the foothills of the central Sierra Nevada so I spend lots of time in my "backyard", which is full of amazing twisty roads).

Anyway, lately, I have been trying to be more conscious of the way I set my cornering entry speed and I started using both my front and rear brakes —as in lightly— to reduce my speed before entering the curves. My entry speed has remained basically the same as it was when I was simply engine-braking but there is a very noticeable difference in the way the motorcycle handles entering the turn. The bike feels more stable, better planted on the pavement and this, in turn, makes turning and getting back on the throttle much easier. The end result is a smoother and more controlled turn.

I'm sure there is plenty of detailed, technical information of why this happens (suspension compression, etc.) out there, but I won't discuss that here. Let's just say I get a very satisfying feeling by experimenting and discovering those little motorcycle dynamic quirks on my own.

Food for thought.

- Ofir


http://www.ofirmx.com/blog/2015-07-0...ng-a-corner/53

Last edited by OfirMX; 07-02-2015 at 12:25 AM.
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post #2 of 41 Old 07-02-2015, 12:11 AM
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It has to do with suspension mostly. When you brake - it causes the suspension to react. Same when you accelerate - which is why you should brake before a corner and then accelerate smoothly through.

And yes - there is a lot of physics involved and would have been fun for me about 20 years ago. Now, it'd just be a headache figuring out all the forces...

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post #3 of 41 Old 07-02-2015, 09:31 AM
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Maybe it all depends on whether you are out for a pleasurable ride of trying to conquer the road. I can ride Angeles Crest at it's posted speeds and not use the brakes. My buddies ride like stink and use everything at their disposal.
Roads like those in Sequoia Nat Park will have you using the brakes even of you down shift for engine help.Thankfully the Sierra's are full of roads like that to entertain us!
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post #4 of 41 Old 07-02-2015, 10:03 AM
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Using both is prudent..using the front brake loads the front tire - slightly increasing the size of the contact patch and also forces the front tire onto the pavement, but it also tends to unload the rear tire. Watch the real pro road racers - they will use that unloading to assist sliding the rear of the bike around to assist in tightening up the corner..

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post #5 of 41 Old 07-02-2015, 10:11 AM
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Being in the right gear to me is much more important, but I am an engine braking guy myself with a bit of speed scrub off from the brakes before entering the curve "if needed".

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post #6 of 41 Old 07-02-2015, 10:21 AM
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I thought "The Pace" was a good set of principles for spirited Street riding:

http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/pace

The author has revisited it with "The Pace II":

The Pace 2.0- Motorcycle Safety and Riding Skills Explained: The street is not a racetrack: How to ride swiftly and safely on the road.

..Tom
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post #7 of 41 Old 07-02-2015, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V-Tom View Post
I thought "The Pace" was a good set of principles for spirited Street riding:

The Pace | Nick Ienatsch | Motorcyclist magazine

The author has revisited it with "The Pace II":

The Pace 2.0- Motorcycle Safety and Riding Skills Explained: The street is not a racetrack: How to ride swiftly and safely on the road.

..Tom
Great advice and thanks for the link V-Tom... and clearly the author and I both culminate with this, "Let me close 2.0 with this: Most of us don’t approach our riding improvement seriously enough. Get relentlessly focused on your riding, don’t put up with riding errors...". In another Proficiency thread I talked about my 'Demerit System' and I think a lot of other riders could benefit from critical self-assessment.

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post #8 of 41 Old 07-02-2015, 12:04 PM
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Here's what he says:

"
Let me close 2.0 with this: Most of us don’t approach our riding improvement seriously enough. Get relentlessly focused on your riding, don’t put up with riding errors, don’t think “good enough” is: When you add speed to mistakes, you don’t just hit the ball into the net. Our riding mistakes not only hurt bodies and wallets, but our sport, as well. Consider giving this article to your friends, or adopting it for your club. More important: Carefully evaluate the riding advice out there and seriously study how you ride your pace. It may help save our sport.


Riding well is the most wonderful feeling in the world, the reason we’re all hooked, and that’s what The Pace celebrates. You’re riding quick and controlled. Your friends file through a tight, left-right-left with the fluidity of a rushing stream. Your mirror is filled with friends riding your pace, using their eyes, brakes, throttle and body to ride with you. You arrive together. You and our sport are healthy tomorrow. The best."


..Tom

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SMIDSY detailed report.


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post #9 of 41 Old 07-02-2015, 08:05 PM
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Post brake which wheel? when? how?

By the time I'm fully turning, I want the bike at the speed which I intend to maintain through the rest of the turn. This is because I want the fore/aft downward force distribution to match the fore/aft mass distribution, which then yields the same ratio of required turning traction to normal force on each contact patch. (Given the same rubber compound and pavement condition at each patch, this match then provides the same traction margin for each wheel.) Anything which reduces downward force on one patch or the other, such as deceleration or acceleration, is going to reduce traction margin over that available at steady speed.

Now, getting to this thread's topic: It really does not matter how you reduce speed while approaching a turn as long as speed is steady through the turn and the suspension has had a chance to stabilize before the bike is fully leaned.

I find that the rear brake is a little better than the front during the entry and initial partial lean, because it seems to disturb the fore/aft weight distribution less. I also find that engine braking alone is frequently enough, probably because most turns can be safely taken near the speed limit and I've been trying to avoid fuzz interactions. I doubt there is any real difference between engine braking and getting the same deceleration from the rear brake.

If the topic is the best brake(s) to use well into a turn (when fully leaned), or so late in the approach that the suspension will not timely settle to that equal traction margin condition, then I would say: (1) You're doing it wrong; and (2) Do whatever produces least motion of the suspension. (Looking at the physics, I see no reason to believe that, for the same deceleration, braking one wheel will produce less torque upon the bike/rider system than braking the other. They both act with the same moment arm on the same center of mass.)

More important for any pre-turn braking than which mechanism to use is how it is done. If enough late braking is needed for it to matter at all, then a non-jerky release (and perhaps application) will better maintain the optimal fore/aft weight distribution, giving the most traction margin.
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post #10 of 41 Old 07-02-2015, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trepidator View Post
...(Looking at the physics, I see no reason to believe that, for the same deceleration, braking one wheel will produce less torque upon the bike/rider system than braking the other. They both act with the same moment arm on the same center of mass.)
...
The front forks being raked back means that some of the braking force in the front wheel compresses the forks more than the same amount of deceleration caused by braking in the rear. BMW spent a lot of effort inventing their "Telelever" suspension to conteract the effect.

..Tom

2006 DL650: 202,000 km 125,500 miles, Sold
2012 DL650 139,500+ km, 86,700+ miles. Sold
2015 DL1000 New July 2015 193,000+ km, 120,000 miles.

This can help preventing from cars pulling out in front of you (SMIDSY)
SMIDSY detailed report.


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