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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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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. :yesnod:
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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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.
 

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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.
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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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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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.
 

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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.
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.
 

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With a lot of practice, an emergency brake will happen like you practice it.
And once it's automatic you'll never lose it. Kind of like that point in life when you no longer have to think about balancing a bicycle, ever...

I got my license young and rode for 20 years straight, then took 15 years off (wife, kids, etc.), and when I got back on 4 years ago I was pretty wobbly. My body had forgotten an awful lot, but the first time that I had to brake in an emergency everything kicked in just right, without even thinking about it.

Once it's hard-wired it never seems to go away.
 

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...The panic braking mentioned here happens because emergency braking has not been practiced. ...
With all due respect, GW, this statement just sounds a bit haughty to me.

You can't decide to not panic - it's a primal, visceral, hormonal, autonomic reaction to imminent death. A bunch of brain switches throw; a bunch of chemicals are released. How does one practice "reptilian brain immunity"?

Take Mr. HD: His buddies have told him using the front brake will throw him over the handlebars. He knows from poker runs that his best stopping distance with the back brake is 100' at Xmph.
Mr. Practice can stop it in, say, 50' at Xmph sans ABS.
A meteor crashes into the road 75' ahead - Mr. HD knows there's no way he can stop in time. He panics, locks the rear, lays 'er down. Mr. Practice calmly applies brakes and stops in plenty of time.

Mr. Practice continues on his journey. He carves around a corner at Xmph, and upon exit sees the bridge over the gorge is out 20' ahead (damned meteors!!). He knows he's about to die, and there's nothing he can do to stop it. He WILL panic. It's what his brain is designed/ has evolved to do. He will grab his brakes with superhuman strength, and slide over the cliff in a panic.

His practice can't prevent panic in the face of certain death. It just increases - compared to Mr. HD, anyway - the number of situations which he can survive, thereby giving him less occasion to panic. He may even confuse not experiencing panic with believing that his practice has rendered him immune to it.
If you're aware of research that suggests Mr. Practice would NOT panic with the precipice 20' away - that his having practiced means he would have no adrenaline surge - that he would rationally apply maximum "emergency braking" force, and calmly careen off the cliff without locking up, then I stand corrected.

Now put the cliff 100' 6" away and give Mr. HD a crack at it. He panics, mashes the pedal, ABS engages - he stops just in time. His identical twin on the non-ABS bike locks the rear, he goes down, and slides over the edge to his death. Two riders, identical situation, identical reaction... but the one with ABS lives. The one without dies. ABS has pulled a "panic stop" out of the fire.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Panic is a reflex. It does not involve thought but reaction. If braking is practiced and set into muscle memory until it becomes a reflex, that's how you will brake if you panic brake. I've done it. Lot's of other people have done it.

It isn't a rational process and does involve adrenaline. In my personal example, I was doing 30mph when a car turned left in front of me. The next thing I knew, my tire was jammed against his front bumper, and my heart was racing. I gave no thought to how I was braking. I just did it.
 

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[ ...]

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

Wasn't there a study that showed that ABS efficiency was similar to TRAINED manual braking - or did I misread that? In other words, someone who practiced enough to make it second nature was able to effect emergency braking as effectively as ABS?

There is definitely truth to visualization and practice when, early on in my riding career, I had to change lanes to avoid a car in front of me whose driver was riding / flashing their brakes, only to find the pickup truck in my new lane slam his brakes (his trunk did the tell-tale rise, indicating sudden braking) and I squeezed both front and rear brakes really hard (I had not yet learned the value of nor practiced emergency braking yet but knew the dangers and cause of high-siding), the rear began to slide to the left, immediately causing me to release both brakes and pulse them as best as I could, and, fortunately the pickup assumed regular freeway speed.

To this day, I believe he did that intentionally as there was no reason for him (her?) to initiate such sudden braking. I don't claim to have replicated the controller and rapid mechanical pulsing an ABS system can do but do admit that I was fortunate, coupled with remembering to not allow a full lockup.

The point is, keep one's wits about you and one can still master the "flight or fight response" to effect the appropriate action. So, I agree with Pat and respectfully disagree with the other poster who stated that panic braking was a binary process: one can train oneself to prepare for contingencies.



Sent from my iPhone using MO Free so there will be grammatical, syntax, and spelling errors.
 

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[...]
You can't decide to not panic - it's a primal, visceral, hormonal, autonomic reaction to imminent death. A bunch of brain switches throw; a bunch of chemicals are released. How does one practice "reptilian brain immunity"?
[...]
I disagree. Most who are unfamiliar or untrained in the shooting sports - and even those not conditioned - will reflexively blink or flinch at the sound and sight of muzzle flash of gunfire. I can't find it now but I remember seeing a YouTube video of a champion shooter named Todd Jarrett, viewed from a safe, front angle, during which he did NOT reflexively blink while shooting a string of multi-shot fire.

PTRIDER, here's an article for your review of how squeezing rapidly (but not too fast) can actually lessen the squeeze pressure required to effect safe, emergency braking.



Sent from my iPhone using MO Free so there will be grammatical, syntax, and
 

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Take two bikes traveling side by side, bike 1 has a rider who doesn't practice anything and just rides to/from work everyday. Bike 2 has a man who magically appeared on the bike and doesn't know squat on how to ride nor operate it. Meteor comes down, takes out the bridge, and the everyday rider screams bloody hell while locking up the brakes and falling to his death. The noob rider just screams bloody hell before falling to his death. He didn't know where the brake levers were. We know because it has been ingrained in us riding around all the time. Both riders panicked, one mashed the brakes. Two riders, same bike, same circumstance. Now think of the everyday rider versus the one who practices emergency braking. Who is more likely to lock up the brakes? Who is more likely to try and evade rather than just brake? If one bike has ABS, then they both should... compare apples to apples. If it's just sheer primal reaction, there won't be time to brake.

Two different reactions to a very dangerous situation.
 

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No real need to dispute "panic" and "practice" as black/white separate cases.

They will always overlap in the emergency braking situation. But there is no doubt that practising will help make the response less panicky.

A meteorite falling just in front of you is one thing . . . but you coming round a curve at a speed which outruns your line of sight, is something different.
I never do that. Well, hardly ever!

If a flying saucer has just zapped the bridge right in front of you, then your best choice is a moment of calm prayer, in the hope that it triggers Alien Abduction.
.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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For sure practice can help and can't hurt. Just do it and ride in a manner to make the need less likely.
 

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... I was doing 30mph when a car turned left in front of me. The next thing I knew, my tire was jammed against his front bumper, and my heart was racing. I gave no thought to how I was braking. I just did it.
I needed to avoid a head-on into a pickup truck turning left in front me (I was driving a small car). I wailed him nearly head-on at a combined 55mph. His truck was thrown across two lanes and spun 180 deg.

My brake pedal was bent, my steering wheel was folded back around the steering column. My driver door was crumbled shut so I kicked the passenger door open and crawled out.

My hands folded that steering wheel bracing for impact. My foot bent that brake pedal applying brakes. The ins adjuster's inspection later revealed the passenger door wasn't crumbled shut, it was locked - my kick had ripped the latch out of the sheet metal.

Adrenaline is a helluva drug.

I guess I'm just not convinced practice would have made any difference in that situation. I'd HAD a lot of emergency braking practice and when the SHTF, I just turned into the Incredible Hulk instead.

...which is not the same as thinking practice has no value. It has tremendous value. It may save your life. But practice is no guarantee you won't panic and act in ways you aren't in control of.

Ok, to avoid any inkling that I might be arguing AGAINST practice, I'll stop replying in this thread. I'm not arguing, I'm splitting hairs... equally useless and annoying I suppose.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
ABS

In a cage, ABS can save your bacon, perhaps. In most situation, just mash on the brake pedal as hard as you can and steer. On a bike, at least one that doesn't have linked brakes, you can still mash on the brake pedal, but you're gonna go a long ways until you stop. Gotta use that lever. I think the greatest change in going from a cage to two wheels is a healthy sense of paranoia, always being on the lookout for the next threat, and planning a response if the threat comes to pass. In the 'accident' the cross traffic was clearly visible from hundreds of feet away. A competent rider would have had at least a couple fingers on the brake lever, anticipating that one or the other cagers would blindly stumble forth into his path. The way to avoid 'panic' stops is to better anticipate the threats. Sadly, with cagers paying less and less attention to traffic, the gap to 'competent rider' becomes greater and greater.
 
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