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 Post subject: Emergency Braking 101
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:49 am 
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Joined: Feb 23, 2009
Motorcycle: Rebel 250 plus a few others
Rebel: 250
Country: Canada
State/Province: NB
City: Fredericton
i posted this on the other board earlier, but perhaps it would be useful to put it here as well since the subject of emergency braking came up. this is a subject that is not well understood by many, and many who have not taken any training have no idea about it.

It's very important that all riders be able to execute a maximum performance stop without hesitation when the need arises. This can only happen if the rider:

1. knows how to do it and
2. has been practicing and can do it almost instinctively.

The MSF course will cover this subject, and you will get some practice and a chance to improve your performance. Those who have taken this course should continue to practice this skill with their own bikes so they are familiar with how it handles in an emergency situation, and they can draw upon the skill in an instant without hesitation. It could save your life, or at least save an accident. Take the course if you haven't already done so.

For those who don't know I will describe the technique briefly. If anyone has any comments or questions by all means lets hear them .

Very briefly: the technique is:

1. Stand the bike straight up if turning even a little bit while beginning step 2.

2. roll off throttle, pull in clutch and grasp the front brake as quickly as you can. Smoothly and quickly pull (do not "grab" or "hit" ) the brake lever immediately until resistance is felt. At the same time apply moderate pressure on the rear brake pedal such that the wheel does not lock up. (make sure you have been riding with your wrist carried low so that quickly reaching for the front brake lever does not cause the throttle to be rolled on)

3. begin a quick progressive squeeze of the front brake lever that takes perhaps a second or more to develop towards maximum effort. (this allows for weight to transfer to the front wheel enabling it to generate more braking force without skidding) Listen to and feel the response of the front tire as the weight transfers forward and the forks compress. At the first sign of a skid, ease off pressure. You should hear and feel the front tire squirming. Once the forks are fully compressed, you should have progressively lightened up on the rear brake to avoid a skid.. It's a quick dab on the rear and then ease up as weight comes off the rear tire.

4. Once you have reached the threshold of traction on the front tire, hold that braking pressure until you get stopped. Listen and feel the tire and if the wheel locks release the brake pressure immediately to avoid a crash. Pull harder if it feels OK.

5. Do not "pump" the brakes.. it extends your stopping distance and upsets the chassis of the bike by causing the forks to "pogo" up and down.

6. Once you have the bike established in a maximum performance stop, downshift to first gear by stepping down on the lever multiple times in a smooth way. Don't let out the clutch at all.

If you want to practice doing this, find a clean parking lot somewhere and practice from 30 mph or so. remember it has to be a sudden stop from cruise. Don't cheat yourself by anticipating the stop and spending 3 or 4 seconds getting ready and covering the levers. Start braking from a marked line and work on stopping shorter as you get better.
Start with moderate braking pressure and work your way up as your skill develops. This is an easy exercise if you start slowly and work your way up as you get a feel for it.

I do this every once in a while for practice out on a secondary road from cruising speeds . After making sure there is no traffic behind or ahead of me, I attempt to stop as quickly as I can. It's good to remember what a quick stop feels like on your bike at all times. That way, when the time comes you will be ready and able.

Ride safely!

2004 Honda Rebel 250
2003 BMW K1200GT
2004 BMW R1200GS
1996 Ducati 900SS
1973 Norton 850 Interstate

 Post subject: Re: Emergency Braking 101
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:02 pm 

Joined: Aug 9, 2012
Motorcycle: 2008 FLHRC Road King Classic
Rebel: 250
Country: united States
State/Province: In
City: Peru
Good post, thank you. Its always a good idea to practice what you learned in the class. (Take it if you have not, its not about being macho)

1985 CMX250C Rebel "Juice" Sold
1982 GL1100 Gold Wing - Traded for an F250 pick up
2009 VN900C "Sunni"

 Post subject: Re: Emergency Braking 101
PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:43 pm 

Joined: Jun 27, 2008
Rebel: 250
Country: USA
State/Province: MA
City: Amherst
Some of you may have seen my recent post ("Well, THAT was exciting..."). Having taken the MSF class kept me upright that day, and practicing emergency braking helped!

If you're not practicing, do it!

My Flickr page.

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