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Anyone Have Any Idea's For Braking Drills


Scooby
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I was wondering if anyone had an idea for braking drills that I can practice at home. My track time is kinda limited and I would really like to improve on my braking. Specifically high speed corners and thier entry. If I can instill more confidence in my braking then I can go deeper and harder and drop my lap times. This in an area that would help me around every race track since you brake for most corners ;) I realise that you should go into a corner and hit your braking marker and if it works go a little deeper next time, but my SR are kicking in really hard and I just can't seem to get over this little barrier of mine. If anyone could help I would really appreciate it. Thanks in advance!

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Scooby,

You question poses an intersting dilemma as track time is usually not readily available and you need track time to hone your track skills. As a rider with very limited track talent, I share your frustration. Where we differ is that I no longer believe that you can "practice" this stuff on the street - at least without taking considerably greater risk. This season, I was all but resigned to finding more track time because the track environment is just so different from the street that for me, street riding just didn't seem to translate to the track.

 

Earlier this month I was at a private track day at the Nelson Circuit in Shannonville, Ontario (CAN) where I low sided in a turn carrying some pretty good entry speed. I was amazed at how far I slid across the track and then the asphalt infield access road before exiting onto the grass. Once I hit the grass, I was even more amazed at how fast and how much out of control I was as I started tumbling. Never once in this journey could I control where I was going or how fast I was getting there.

 

I was on a track that was in excellent shape with lots of run off room, no unpadded armco anywhere and professional emergency medial help on site; everything you could need in an emergency. I am fine (maybe a little sore) but if that low side had occurred on a street, I would have slid across on coming traffic and then assuming I avoided getting hit by a vehicle, my tumbling could have been into a stand of trees, guard rails, bridge railing, utility poles you name your poison. Oh and yes, I was practicing a drill when this happened with complete concentration on it because I wasn't thinking about on coming traffic, cops, broken pavement, unleashed dogs or gravel on the road.

 

...but that's just me.

 

Kevin Kane

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While reading the above two posts....it has made me rethink my reasons for why I should be signing up for Levels One and Two this Fall.

My real interest in not in accumulating a lot of future track time and running at 150 mph...... but learning how to become a more accomplished rider.... at cornering through the twisties.... (which I love to do) at speeds usually at 50 mph or lower on the back, mountain roads in western NC.

I have been riding most of my life and ride a 650 V-Strom on the back roads. This bike is only about 40 lbs heavier than the S650S I owned (past tense), which I low-sided about two months ago. At 65 yrs young, I like the more upright bars and naked bikes for my comfort level.

I ride pretty with several younger guys, who ride Aprillias, S650S's and other sport bikes......they all have track time. They aren't wild....they are very careful....but ride fast and within each of their own ability.

With having said the above.....can someone or an instructor out there tell me if my reasons for considering Levels One and Two still make sense?

I simply want to learn how to corner more effectiviely and improve my riding skills. I also have read over and over and over.....TOTW II...which I feel has helped me a lot.

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Waynerman,

By all means go. You will learn a great deal about cornering that WILL translate to the street. My reason for responding to Scooby's post with my story was to suggest that the street is NOT the place to practice TRACK drills. There is and always be a big difference between these two environments.

 

The Superbike School is all about CORNERING. I have seen riders of all ages (older than 65) and all kinds of bikes (including a bone stock 883 Sportster) and everybody learns how to improve their cornering skills in a controlled, safe environment. You will be given concise, focused instruction and on track coaching that will allow you to practice what they teach. My mistake was caused by me pushing beyond my TRACK riding abilities on a TRACK. Even thought I still street ride, I do so with less aggression than I did after gravitating to track days.

 

Keep your registration, you will be a better rider for attending Level's I & II.

Kevin Kane

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First off thanks for the reply's! Second I wish I could spend alot more time on the track, but that isn't in the cards right now. And thank you for your concern, but I have the next best thing to the track, a private airstrip :D A friend of the family has a small private airstrip that is used by the family only, so I don't have to worry about a plane landing on me :o Actually the strip is a large T with elevation change on one leg. It seems like a great place to practice because I can turn and have a good view of the path in front of me. Anyway it's the next best thing that I have can ride besides the track and I don't like to ride on the street simply because of the inherent risk involved around corners I can't see through. Thanks again for the reply's.

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Hey Kevin:

Thanks for the reply. I guess I conjured up the idea after reading a lot of the posts, that the school is really for guys who want to run the track...period!

I think your input makes sense. My lowside two months ago on the S650S kind of slowed me down a littel bit. I am still sore, but fortunately didn't break any bones. Just glad I had a good pair of protective riding pants.

I also own a Hayabusa down in Florida where I ride during the winter. I ride with some guys who like to ride pretty hard out in the Everglades where there are some fairly good deserted roads.

So I am hoping Levels One and Two will help me ride safer and more effectively!

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Yes. Simple maximum braking a la MSF in a parking lot will help.

 

20mph, straight line, pick a marker and stop as quickly as you can. Measure your distance and practice until you are confident floating the rear tire only a 1/2 inch off the pavement. Keep your weight back as possible. Stoppies don't help your effectiveness.

 

Increase your speed only when you feel your results are consistent and highly effective.

 

Braking and turning are 2 different skills. practice them separately for a while and it will come together...

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Believe it or not, riding the twisties without using the brakes is a great drill for getting better at using the brakes. IMHO one of the most common problems people have when hard braking is they slow down too much. Riding without the brakes goes a long way towards improving your sense of speed and setting you entry speed correctly is what braking is all about.

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Specifically high speed corners and thier entry. If I can instill more confidence in my braking then I can go deeper and harder and drop my lap times.

Do you mean corners where (for example)

1. you brake from 150 to 50. Or do you mean corners where you brake from or

2. you brake from 150 to 100 ?

 

The first could be braking technique, where the second is more likely to be sense of speed

 

These are both covered in the schools.

 

They also have a great breaking rig that lets you practice braking up (and past) the limits.

Not sure what level it is normally in as I did the two day camp. Also check as it is not available at some tracks

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  • 4 weeks later...

I believe there is some school out there (not sure which one) that REALLY works braking.

 

I brought this up to Keith and had discussions on braking many times with him and others. The bottom line is that if you don't understand your cornering capabilities and know the corner speed which can be carried, braking will do you fine little good (same as HP).

 

Braking will change from lap to lap, corner to corner, based on surface, surroundings, fatigue, etc. What is key though is knowing how much is enough. There are many times when I will find myself incorrectly braking too early. When I do, I will LET OFF early too, and accellerate THROUGH the corner, making note of where I started braking and pushing that point up further and further until I get it right.

 

The throttle is the most abused input on the bike. Learn throttle control, and braking will follow.

 

Just my $.02 based on 25 years of riding, 5 years of racing and well over $100k invested in "going faster".

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If you can get hold of a small dirtbike like an xr100 you can practise locking up the front brake and also letting go of it and getting back on the throttle when it is starting to tuck under into a corner.

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  • 3 weeks later...

When I started doing the new racers schools for the AFM race club in 1977 I used to make every new rider lock up the front brake for me in the pit lane. I used to send them around and around until they could do it and I made everyone do it.

 

All I was looking for was a momentary lock up of the front wheel and you can still do that on any bike on practically any surface. Don't do it with hot tires, cold works better. It isn't that you get the total experience of a locked up front by doing this it is that you become willing to expereince it and break through the fear of it.

 

The solution to a locked up front wheel hasn't changed, as soon as it locks you let up slightly on the lever and the front wheel comes back to your control, same at any speed.

 

Meanwhile, it isn't necessary toi burn up track time to practice braking. What is the most essential -part of it is that you become consciously aware of the lessening of your lever pressure as you are approaching your final turn in position (either trail or straightup braking). It is the lightening of the lever that gives you choices and judgement on your turn entry speeds which is the only thing that is important about the entire braking process for performance cornering.

 

Keith

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  • 2 months later...

:huh:

 

Here's something I just don't get. Yet, I see the advice posted from time to time elsewhere:

"....This may be a good place to rear brake [in a downhill, decreasing radius turn] just a wee bit if you need to scrub off a bit more speed. Just watch for gravel." The writer continues: "It's tougher balancing a bike off the gas. Keep the bike in gear, don't shift down in the corner. Keep a bit of gas on and feather the rear brake [discussing teh downhill, decreasing radius turn, after the turn-in]."

 

I don't understand "trail braking" which this advice, I suppose, is trying to describe. Why would you apply the brakes, whether rear or front, while applying throttle?

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
I don't understand "trail braking" which this advice, I suppose, is trying to describe. Why would you apply the brakes, whether rear or front, while applying throttle?

I'll read the braking thread after I comment on this (and then probably change my opinion LOL).

 

Trail braking is simply 'trailing' the brake INTO the corner. Staying on the brakes while turning is trail braking.

 

The concept of braking while on the gas from my perspective is EXTREMELY dangerous. I've done it accidentally a number of times and it leads to extremely undesirable results. Like, "I'd rather have my front wheel fall off at speed" type undesirable...

 

The rear end climbs WAY high, while the front end compresses too far. When either hits the limits, you fall, or come damned close to it. There is no positive result I could imagine in holding on the throttle while braking...

 

(these are my opinions.. from a guy who does not touch the rear brake, and has been racing for a good number of years.)

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