Practice, practice - 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 20 Old 09-23-2012, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Practice, practice

Was out walking with the grand-kids the other day, came across a MC accident. Fortunately, except for a scraped elbow the biker was OK. And the bike had more road rash. From the short tire skid mark followed by 60 or so feet of scrape marks on the pavement, rider jumped on the rear brake, back slid out, and down he went. Since the speed limit in the area was 30, could have braked (properly) in about 35 feet. Yeah, the car pulled out of the cross intersection, but a proper reaction would have resulted in nothing more than hard feelings. Though ABS would have kept the bike upright, most likely, rear-brake only probably wouldn't have stopped the bike in time. Maybe time for me to re-practice that hard braking.
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post #2 of 20 Old 09-23-2012, 02:41 PM
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Braking practice is always a good idea. I just wish I had anti-lock brakes so when I found the point of lock up, bad things wouldn't happen. I've always been squimish about locking up the front. Maybe something I just need to get over.

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post #3 of 20 Old 09-23-2012, 03:23 PM
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I used to practice a lot. I don't know if there's something wired wrong in my brain or what, but I have a new appreciation for the word "panic."

There are close calls, quick reactions, bad scenarios, whatever... and there's "panic."

"Panic" is - at least my case - a reptilian brain thing: there is no thinking, no remembering training, no muscle memory, no rational response. There is immediate, decisive, unthinking ACTION accompanied by a CRAPLOAD of adrenaline. Your body knows it's going to die in less than a second and does whatever it can do without bothering to wait for the approval of your conscious mind.

"Apply brakes until just before the point of traction loss"? Really?

If it's a true "panic," I'm going to apply brakes to the point of bending the levers with my hands and foot. An autonomic/ automatic uncontrollable reaction is not something that can be predicted or reasoned with. I put a lot of faith in the ABS for this reason.

There's a world of difference between "emergency braking" and "panic braking."
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post #4 of 20 Old 09-23-2012, 03:43 PM
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Just out of curiousity, has anyone ever locked up the front tire under hard braking on the vee? It doesn't count if the road was wet or you were on anything loose, (the only arguement for ABS in my book). In my experience, the front brakes on the Vees are not strong enough to lock unless you have 12 inch forearms, and maybe not even then. I have tried within reason, and I can't get the front tire to lock. The vee front brakes aren't too terribly bad, but in comparison to the 6 pots on my TLS, the vee's brakes are lacking. My wish list includes a Nissan upgrade in the future.

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post #5 of 20 Old 09-23-2012, 04:06 PM
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I gave a car a little bump earlier this week after she stopped quick for an idiot that stepped off a curb into a crosswalk and caught me in a shoulder check. All around worse case scenario that luckily worked out with nobody getting hurt. I did lock up the rear but not the front... and I can tell you that it was a panic brake and avoidance maneuver without the avoidance part actually working for me.

Made me realize that my front brakes are the next thing I invest money into. I see a call to Blair in my plans over the winter.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC][quote=Bwringer]It's a feature, not a bug.[/quote]
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post #6 of 20 Old 09-23-2012, 04:19 PM
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With a lot of practice, an emergency brake will happen like you practice it. The panic braking mentioned here happens because emergency braking has not been practiced. Practice braking from 20mph until it becomes a reflex action. After that, your reflexes will brake like you practiced.

You can't train your reflexes for dry and wet. Your reflexes will only allow one action. Choosing between two actions requires thought and a reflex action goes straight from the spinal cord to the muscles, never getting to the brain. Practice for dry and involve your brain when riding in the wet.

ABS helps keep riders out of trouble often, especially in slippery conditions, but is no substitute for practice.

Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
See https://www.stromtrooper.com/general-...nicknames.html

Please vote in the poll on what Strom(s) you have at https://www.stromtrooper.com/informat...-you-have.html
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post #7 of 20 Old 09-23-2012, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greywolf View Post
With a lot of practice, an emergency brake will happen like you practice it. The panic braking mentioned here happens because emergency braking has not been practiced. Practice braking from 20mph until it becomes a reflex action. After that, your reflexes will brake like you practiced.

You can't train your reflexes for dry and wet. Your reflexes will only allow one action. Choosing between two actions requires thought and a reflex action goes straight from the spinal cord to the muscles, never getting to the brain. Practice for dry and involve your brain when riding in the wet.

ABS helps keep riders out of trouble often, especially in slippery conditions, but is no substitute for practice.
Advice to survive by. IMHO, (for what it is worth), I make every ride a practice of some sorts, whether it be obstacle avoidance, hairpin manuvering, braking, etc. After almost a half a century of riding, I find commuting to be mundane, and the games I play in practice keeps me sharp and challenged. How many here can go into full lock steering manuvers? Practice going from one surface level to a higher/lower one. How high do you feel comfortable with? What angle? When doing your braking practices, do you brake hard with the front and lock up the rear, steer the back out to a point you can make an abrupt directional change? I can go on and on, but the point being make a game out of it and make advancing your skills the goal. Too many take the MSF courses and call it a day. Training never ends.

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post #8 of 20 Old 09-23-2012, 06:34 PM
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The Marines say practice like you fight and fight like you practice. The same is true for riding. Making part of each ride a practice session. My easy favorite is avoiding manhole covers as they pop out from under the car in front. That was handy for missing roadkill today.

Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
See https://www.stromtrooper.com/general-...nicknames.html

Please vote in the poll on what Strom(s) you have at https://www.stromtrooper.com/informat...-you-have.html
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post #9 of 20 Old 09-23-2012, 07:02 PM
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Practice panic slows and swerves into an escape
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post #10 of 20 Old 09-23-2012, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greywolf View Post
The Marines say practice like you fight and fight like you practice. The same is true for riding. Making part of each ride a practice session. My easy favorite is avoiding manhole covers as they pop out from under the car in front. That was handy for missing roadkill today.
Yes, it is extremely hard to develop more than one automatic action for a quickly occurring circumstance. You will actually do what you've been doing when there isn't time to think of an alternative movement. If you don't consciously practice squeezing the brakes, and squeezing them further, not faster or harder, to stop shorter, you won't do it. And, you may slide down because of this.

"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.

"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."

Marcus Tullius Cicero
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