Best way to practice ABS braking? - 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 90 Old 01-26-2011, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Best way to practice ABS braking?

What's the best way to practice using your Strom's ABS brakes?

When people are taught to drive cars with ABS for the first time, instructors make sure they understand that they can and should stomp on the brake pedal in an emergency. You don't need to pump them like in the old days.

I've been riding for 4 decades and got really good at modulating my brakes in a panic stop. I did regular braking practice, usually locking up one wheel at a time to get used to the feel of it and know when to release pressure and for how long. It must have helped. I never went down as a result of braking.

Now I have ABS and want to learn how to get the most out of this new kind of braking.

Is there a particular braking exercise that professional instructors recommend? Or something that works for you?

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Mike Brown
Vancouver, WA

2011 DL650 ABS (white) Fully farkled and going strong.
2004 DL650 (blue) sold to Blair Layton for use as a project bike.
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post #2 of 90 Old 01-26-2011, 01:16 PM
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Likely to generate a lot of input! (not a bad thing - gots to love technique topics)

Short layman's version the way I've always understood it: Brake just as you normally do up to the point of lockup, but when lockup occurs or you sense that it is about to occur, you let ABS do the job to modulate the brakes and do not pump. And then....

What you do immediately after that point is likely to vary from condition to condition and your judgment of the specific scenario; but I gradually back off the brakes to find the sweet spot which provides max braking while almost but not quite, just barely engaging ABS. The theory being that a fully braking and stable, but not pulsating, tread has better energy absorption than one that is constantly or frequently in transition. Which goes to why some riders feel they can outperform ABS themselves. 'Nother topic though.

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Last edited by Stoopy; 01-26-2011 at 01:23 PM.
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post #3 of 90 Old 01-26-2011, 03:05 PM
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No expert here but when I practice my braking on my abs equipped wee I just hammer them both. I thought the abs was supposed to take the thinking out of it, besides that's what I'd do if a moose stepped out of the bush into my path.

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post #4 of 90 Old 01-26-2011, 03:17 PM
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ABS

I grew up in France and many of my bikes had ABS but we never train to use it , it is good to know the theoric side and that if you experience it what will happen ( and make some funny noise ...clac ...clac...)but it is only in case of emergency , the thing to remember is when you are off road you need to disconnect it as you may be in serious trouble if not.
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post #5 of 90 Old 01-26-2011, 03:52 PM
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You'll probably engage the rear wheel ABS without even trying.

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post #6 of 90 Old 01-26-2011, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicago View Post
No expert here but when I practice my braking on my abs equipped wee I just hammer them both. I thought the abs was supposed to take the thinking out of it, besides that's what I'd do if a moose stepped out of the bush into my path.
Yes and no.
Many people including you apparently misunderstand ABS. The whole point of ABS is that the brakes will not lock the wheels which allows you to manoeuvre the vehicle to avoid obstacles that are in your path.
Simply grabbing a handful of brake and hurtling headlong towards the Moose may result in a crash and may not but that is dependent on the distance between you and the Moose and your speed at the time you react and start braking. ABS may shorten stopping distances by a small amount in many instances but it cannot make the Moose move.
What people need to practice with ABS systems is manoeuvring during braking. Find a quiet place and slam the brakes on a couple of times to get the feel of how the ABS operates then start turning to avoid an obstacle (a piece of paint on the road or a small mark of some sort that isn't going to cause a problem if you hit it) whilst braking hard and as you gain confidence make your manoeuvres more pronounced until you are comfortable with the concept of braking and turning simultaneously. Once you can do this you will be using the ABS to it's full potential.
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Last edited by K1W1; 01-26-2011 at 04:02 PM.
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post #7 of 90 Old 01-26-2011, 05:41 PM
 
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Probably best not to over think it, just act in the same manner you would during a real emergency stop- slamming them on.


Go somewhere deserted and slam on the brakes while riding in a straight line, start out slow and gradually try it at different speeds. I would think once you got comfortable with the straight line stops you could try other things if you feel it's necessary.
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post #8 of 90 Old 01-26-2011, 05:46 PM
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Interesting K1W1. MSF training emphasizes you can either brake or swerve not both at the same time. I've often wondered -why not? And you seem to indicate you do it regularly. I just watched a local video of a guy on a BMW with ABS go straight into a car that pulled out in front of him and stopped (typical) blocking his path. He made no attempt to swerve. Is the oft mentioned bromide brake or swerve not both, a wives tale of sorts, like don't let up on a locked rear brake?
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post #9 of 90 Old 01-26-2011, 06:16 PM
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You can't brake and swerve with a traditional braking system on a bike because as soon at you turn the wheels you loose grip and lock the wheels up and go into a slide. That's why things like the MSF courses teach braking the way they do because they are teaching based on the premise that bikes do not have ABS which up until now has been correct.
I think that you will find that in two or three years time when ABS is mandated on all street bikes (the question is when not if) I'm sure that courses like MSF will change to reflect new techniques.
Grabbing a handful of brakes on a bike with ABS will generally result in shorter stopping distances for most people but as I said simply pointing straight ahead and hoping is not always going to work because of the laws of physics but practising avoidance at the same time as braking will allow a rider to get maximum benefit from ABS in situations where it's needed.
Lets replace the Moose with a child running onto the road. Would you prefer to slam the brakes on and hope you stop before you hit the child or slam the ABS equipped brakes on and try to avoid the child?
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post #10 of 90 Old 01-26-2011, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keetmanaa View Post
I just watched a local video of a guy on a BMW with ABS go straight into a car that pulled out in front of him and stopped (typical) blocking his path. He made no attempt to swerve.
That is probably panic on the riders part and has no relationship to whether the bike had ABS or not.
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