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How To You Use Anti-Lock Brakes?


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I read a bike test of the S1000RR and they were doing laps against other liter bikes, but they turned OFF the anti-lock brakes. If I had the bike, and I'm no racer, but at the school, commuting or just riding around, I think I'd want to keep the ABS on. What do you do? Does CSS have a policy on this, or do you encourage certain people to keep the ABS on or allow others to turn it off? I'm wondering because I plan to insist on this feature on my next bike.

 

Also, while I've locked the rear tire, and I've seen racers lock the front tire in a corner (and fall down Instantly), does anyone regularly lock up the front in a straight line? What does that feel like? What does it feel like just Before it locks? I'm asking this because my current bike has dual discs, and I had to use my brakes pretty hard yesterday when a car driver looked right at me and pulled out right in front of me anyway. The front tire (and I was using ONLY the front brake at that point) didn't squeal, fade or slip that I could tell. I slowed down enough. He stopped. I pussyfooted around him.

 

Just wondering. Thanks.

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I have locked the front on icy, snowy, wet and dry roads on purpose many, many times. What happens just before it locks will vary from one bike to another and from one tyre to another, but typically oif you approach lock-up gradually you first get a vague, almost floating sensation, a feeling that if you try to turn now, you will fall. And you will because you do not have grip for turning or leaning anymore. Some tyres howl loudly long or shortly before they lock up, but not all. If the suspension bottoms over a bump, lock-up can happen abruptly.

 

If you just slam on the brakes hard, lockup will happen instantly without much feel at all. That's also the idea, for me at least, if you want to learn how the bike acts with a locked wheel. You should not fall down if you are in a straight line and release the brake within a second - but do not send me the repair bill if you do :D As mentioned, I've done it many times just as practice to prevent me from panicking if it happens under stress, and only one bike gave drama; an Intruder 1400 with a very narrow and straight handlebar with very little leverage. It happened at around 80 mph and I didn't expect it (brake effect was poor, so I gave it repeated beatings of maximum stopping to strip off expected glazing - and suddenly it bit like mad :blink: ) and the front instantly wanted to tuck. Getting off the brake saved the day. I'm pretty sure my regular practice helped me that day.

 

BTW - I personally would begin practice in the wet when grip is reduced since you do not have to stop so brutally hard in order to lock the wheel.

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Crash,

 

I also practice locking up my front brake and the way Eirik describes it is accurate to my experience as well, vague right before lock up is as good as I could describe it. And I practice on dry pavement (I've practiced in the wet and I almost lost the front end), definitely straight up, and at low speeds with good seating position and a firm lock on the tank pads with my knees (when it locks any errant steering input could be disastrous). I can tell you that doing it on the Brake Bike at CSS was much less...concerning. Those outriggers take quite a bit of the danger out of it.

 

I don't know how many people practice this or if it is even a good idea but I feel it's worth the risk of a low speed accident while practicing to help in the event I have an incident in traffic.

 

As for ABS at the school, I'm not sure of the policy but I would imagine they leave the ABS intact. I guess some racers or other highly skilled riders could have some prejudice against it as they like to maintain the control (ask Rossi about traction control in MotoGP biggrin.gif) .

 

Best,

Carey

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Sorry I didn't try to answer your original question, Crash. Basically, ABS allows you to just slam on the brakes any way you like as long as you're not leaned over very far. Up until they start to regulate, they operate just as any other normal brake system. I cannot tell you why CSS turn them off, but my guess would be that they A) want to teach their students proper brake control, B) avoid students getting shocked by having ABS kick in and do something silly and C) avoid teaching people they can get away with ham-fisted brake use only to crash once back on their own bike sans ABS and go on to take CSS to court for learning them bad habits.

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