StromTrooper banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,568 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Original article: Maximum braking on a motorcycle | Ofir Ramirez-Rios

Whether you have an ABS-equipped motorcycle or not, it's a very good idea to practice quick stops regularly on your bike to keep your skills sharp in case you need them during an emergency situation.


Front brake

Think about your front brake lever as a large lemon — to get all the juice out of your lemon you don't crush it but you squeeze it firmly and progressively. If, by the time you're fully stopped, you feel there is still juice in the lemon, it means you didn't squeeze your lever hard enough through the end.

Find a safe place to practice and try to achieve max-squeeze quicker each time. The goal is to achieve maximum braking power through the entire stopping procedure, not only at the very end. If you lose traction on the front tire, it means you were too abrupt — no biggie (seriously), just release it quickly and reapply. If you are going on a straight line you won't fall unless you keep skidding for too long. Again, just release and reapply.




Notice how the front suspension on my brother's bike compresses. It's quick —but not abrupt— and it compresses fully. If you are not achieving full compression on the forks it means you are not braking at your max capacity — you still have juice left in the lemon ;)

By the way, you don't need to do a stoppie, but if you do it means you achieved max braking — at least during the last part of your stopping procedure.


Rear brake

Keep in mind that the rear brake on a motorcycle only carries so much of the braking power, especially when all the weight of the bike is being transfered forward during max-braking, so be very gentle on your rear brake at first and release it as the weight transfers forward to avoid a rear wheel skid — the less weight you have on your rear wheel, the less traction you will have too. If the rear tire starts skidding, release the rear brake very slowly to avoid a high side, then you can reapply if needed.


Now go and find an empty street or parking lot and practice those braking skills. I recommend you start slow, at 10 or 15 MPH and build up your speed and technique from there.

Remember that quick, maximum braking on a motorcycle can only be achieved when you are going in a straight line so, if you are in the middle of a turn, make sure you straighten up the bike first and then apply the maximum braking technique described above. Oh, and keep your eyes up! If you look down you may hit the ground.

Be wise, ride safe.

- Ofir
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,454 Posts
I love seeing riders practicing....braking is so neglected. After everyone gets comfortable with the braking, add an "escape" at the end. The reason is that when we have to apply threshold braking, the vehicle following us might not be able to stop as quick, so we don't want to be sitting there with our foot down.

Besides, having some mini cones make for a lot of fun exercises.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,493 Posts
It's all well and good to learn maximum braking at low speeds but you need to practice at the speeds you typically ride at.

Find a deserted road somewhere and maximum brake at highway speeds. Gradually work up to top speed though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,568 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
It's all well and good to learn maximum braking at low speeds but you need to practice at the speeds you typically ride at.

Find a deserted road somewhere and maximum brake at highway speeds. Gradually work up to top speed though.
:fineprint:

...Now go and find an empty street or parking lot and practice those braking skills. I recommend you start slow, at 10 or 15 MPH and build up your speed and technique from there.

Be wise, ride safe.

- Ofir
 

·
FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
Joined
·
38,047 Posts
High speed practice is not required. Practicing from 20mph puts you through exactly the same motions as from higher speeds. Train your reflexes to put braking into muscle memory and your reactions will serve you well at higher speeds too. Practicing at higher speeds is unnecessarily dangerous. You can do a few at higher speeds to establish a comfort level but practice a lot from 20mph to put the proper actions into your muscle memory.

Here are some more tips. Motorcycle Safety Site
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,493 Posts
High speed practice is not required. Practicing from 20mph puts you through exactly the same motions as from higher speeds. Train your reflexes to put braking into muscle memory and your reactions will serve you well at higher speeds too. Practicing at higher speeds is unnecessarily dangerous. You can do a few at higher speeds to establish a comfort level but practice a lot from 20mph to put the proper actions into your muscle memory.

Here are some more tips. Motorcycle Safety Site

For most people there's a mental barrier to deal with when hitting your brakes hard at 70+ mph. It's not the same as doing it at 20 or even 40 mph.

It's not "unnecessarily dangerous" it's a technique to learn. Same with max acceleration.
 

·
FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
Joined
·
38,047 Posts
I'll just say there is a need for a lot of practice at lower speeds because it takes a lot of repetitions to build muscle memory. Thinking when emergency braking takes too much time. There's no mental barrier when the muscles move before the rider even thinks about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,568 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
^^ Agreed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
738 Posts
High speed practice is not required. Practicing from 20mph puts you through exactly the same motions as from higher speeds. Train your reflexes to put braking into muscle memory and your reactions will serve you well at higher speeds too. Practicing at higher speeds is unnecessarily dangerous. You can do a few at higher speeds to establish a comfort level but practice a lot from 20mph to put the proper actions into your muscle memory.

Here are some more tips. Motorcycle Safety Site
I'm not disagreeing with this, but I believe it is important to have done enough swerving, braking, and acceleration at ordinary riding speeds to be aware of what can be done and what kind of time and distance is required. I advocate continuous evaluation of potential evasion safety margin, which requires knowing how far one can swerve in a given time at various speeds, and how much time and distance a hard stop will consume. Without a realistic awareness of actual margin against cagers doing their worst, it becomes a guessing game to determine whether one has put their life into the hands of sometimes inattentive or stupid drivers, or has retained realistic options for when they do something dangerous.
 

·
FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
Joined
·
38,047 Posts
A rider with good situational awareness may never need to approach the limits but it's good to know where they are. There are still deer and falling rocks out there. Practicing to the limits is best done on a, uh, limited basis, just to know where they are. Practicing braking and reacting to a line change need a lot of reps. I liked to practice avoiding mahnhole covers when riding on city streets for example. It takes some skill when a staggered pair comes out from under the car in front. It also reminds not to ride too close to said car.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,454 Posts
Yep, counter-steer practice can be done every ride and is always fun. Anything in or on the surface of the road gets to play in my game and it's really interesting to see how late you can begin the move and still clear it by a safe margin. And the harder you push the further away you can get.

A buddy of mine was headed home late one AM. At 50 mph(yep, too fast), a car ran a red light at an obstructed view intersection. Since any braking would have involved a collision, he automatically and violently counter-steered around the rear of the car, missing it by about a foot. That is a perfect testament to practicing the basics on a regular basis. Like GW said, it all comes down to muscle memory. Without the repetition to build it, we are just hoping to get lucky....and I don't like those odds at all.

Braking is just so important yet so neglected by many(myself included). Bike is coming apart for winter, shock & forks going out for re valve/spring/emulators. This spring I'll try and put together a few cone exercises & see if anyone wants to ride em.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top