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I Have A Braking Problem


rootkit007
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I recently took my very first trackday/clinic - woohoo! Super stoked about it, especially considering it was raining cats & dogs all day, yet I was riding faster & more confident than ever before!

 

Now, towards end of the day I realized I have a problem with braking. Sometimes I would approach the turn entry point a fast enough to require some hard braking, and once I managed to lock it up. It felt like bike was sliding, but was not unstable - ie it kept going forward with no noticeable wobble. I released front brake pressure a bit and it stabilized itself (obviously I was not using rear brake at all).

 

Coach was riding behind me, and didnt notice anything wrong, and wasnt able to offer any explanations. I think my problem is not fully releasing the throttle while braking & downshifting. This sometimes happens to me whenever I start to push the envelope a bit - not exactly fear but just insufficient attention towards full throttle rolloff. Obviously I need to work on my brake/down technique.

 

I am trying to understand what happened... could it be that my front tire was not locked, but rear was spinning & loose due to the throttle not being completely off? I was in 3rd gear for pretty much all turns, Kawi Ninja 650 (all stock).

 

Thanks!

Peter

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Now, towards end of the day I realized I have a problem with braking. Sometimes I would approach the turn entry point a fast enough to require some hard braking, and once I managed to lock it up. It felt like bike was sliding, but was not unstable - ie it kept going forward with no noticeable wobble. I released front brake pressure a bit and it stabilized itself (obviously I was not using rear brake at all).

 

Coach was riding behind me, and didnt notice anything wrong, and wasnt able to offer any explanations. I think my problem is not fully releasing the throttle while braking & downshifting. This sometimes happens to me whenever I start to push the envelope a bit - not exactly fear but just insufficient attention towards full throttle rolloff. Obviously I need to work on my brake/down technique.

 

I am trying to understand what happened... could it be that my front tire was not locked, but rear was spinning & loose due to the throttle not being completely off? I was in 3rd gear for pretty much all turns, Kawi Ninja 650 (all stock).

Peter,

 

I'm not sure you have a braking problem (you did very well to catch the locked up tyre before crashing), but let me turn your questions around:

 

What If the bike was in perfect balance - how would the bike reacting to a locked up the front tyre?

Could you think of application of the front brake, that would lead to sub-optimal traction?

What makes you think that you are not releasing the throttle completely while braking/downshifting, and what effect would it have on the bike?

 

Cheers,

 

Kai

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Now, towards end of the day I realized I have a problem with braking. Sometimes I would approach the turn entry point a fast enough to require some hard braking, and once I managed to lock it up. It felt like bike was sliding, but was not unstable - ie it kept going forward with no noticeable wobble. I released front brake pressure a bit and it stabilized itself (obviously I was not using rear brake at all).

 

Coach was riding behind me, and didnt notice anything wrong, and wasnt able to offer any explanations. I think my problem is not fully releasing the throttle while braking & downshifting. This sometimes happens to me whenever I start to push the envelope a bit - not exactly fear but just insufficient attention towards full throttle rolloff. Obviously I need to work on my brake/down technique.

 

I am trying to understand what happened... could it be that my front tire was not locked, but rear was spinning & loose due to the throttle not being completely off? I was in 3rd gear for pretty much all turns, Kawi Ninja 650 (all stock).

Peter,

 

I'm not sure you have a braking problem (you did very well to catch the locked up tyre before crashing), but let me turn your questions around:

 

What If the bike was in perfect balance - how would the bike reacting to a locked up the front tyre?

Could you think of application of the front brake, that would lead to sub-optimal traction?

What makes you think that you are not releasing the throttle completely while braking/downshifting, and what effect would it have on the bike?

 

Cheers,

 

Kai

 

Hi Kai,

 

Let me see....

 

If bike is in super-perfect balance and going perfectly straight I imagine it would keep going straight - highly unlikely in real life. Any steering input would upset the balance, and you have no steering to speak of with locked up front... This is what makes me think I did not actually lock up the front, it must have been something else.

 

Squeezing front brake too fast, before weight is transferred forward, would result in early loss of traction. I probably did squeeze a bit too fast, but it was not abrupt.

 

I have caught myself not releasing throttle fully when braking on street - this results in (and I notice it by) reduced front brake performance, longer stopping distance. I believe it could lead to front locking up early.

 

Peter

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It is no problem to control fairly long front end slides with a locked front tyre. I often do it on purpose in the wet just to keep familiar with the experience. Even on ice you can lock the front without going down. You do not want to do it for seconds, but with the bike upright you won't go down until you can release the pressure and get the wheel rolling again. Locking while leaning is not such a good idea, however ;)

 

BTW, it sounds like you did a great job with no abrupt actions and a smooth brake release!

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It is no problem to control fairly long front end slides with a locked front tyre. I often do it on purpose in the wet just to keep familiar with the experience. Even on ice you can lock the front without going down. You do not want to do it for seconds, but with the bike upright you won't go down until you can release the pressure and get the wheel rolling again. Locking while leaning is not such a good idea, however ;)

 

BTW, it sounds like you did a great job with no abrupt actions and a smooth brake release!

 

I learned my lesson the first year after I started riding: slammed front brake at ~2mph and put the bike down. Luckily just some scratches on fairing and bent brake lever huh.gif Never again.

 

Coach told me locked up front feels wobbly and unstable, but it wasnt like that at all - the bike felt like still going straight, but lost the feel for road... like smoothly sliding forward on ice. Not sure how to better describe it...

 

I was going into multiple little slides around corners as well, and it felt like front was giving out. Instead it must have been rear slipping a tiny bit and that reflected on the front... so I'm not sure anymore which wheel is losing traction unsure.gif

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I recently took my very first trackday/clinic - woohoo! Super stoked about it, especially considering it was raining cats & dogs all day, yet I was riding faster & more confident than ever before!

 

Now, towards end of the day I realized I have a problem with braking. Sometimes I would approach the turn entry point a fast enough to require some hard braking, and once I managed to lock it up. It felt like bike was sliding, but was not unstable - ie it kept going forward with no noticeable wobble. I released front brake pressure a bit and it stabilized itself (obviously I was not using rear brake at all).

 

Coach was riding behind me, and didnt notice anything wrong, and wasnt able to offer any explanations. I think my problem is not fully releasing the throttle while braking & downshifting. This sometimes happens to me whenever I start to push the envelope a bit - not exactly fear but just insufficient attention towards full throttle rolloff. Obviously I need to work on my brake/down technique.

 

I am trying to understand what happened... could it be that my front tire was not locked, but rear was spinning & loose due to the throttle not being completely off? I was in 3rd gear for pretty much all turns, Kawi Ninja 650 (all stock).

 

Thanks!

Peter

 

I was chatting with Will recently and he mentioned something that you might want to check on - he said that sometimes a rider's glove can be a bit too loose in the palm, making it hard to fully release the throttle while braking. Apparently it can feel to the rider as though he has released the throttle but the material in the palm of the glove (which is usually a high-grip material) keeps the throttle from going closed. I'm not sure if the happens because it creates a fold in the leather or just because it is loose, but when I read your post I thought it might be worth mentioning, something to watch for. I have had it happen to me and I didn't know why; after talking to Will I think a too-big glove was the actual cause.

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Were you riding an S1000?

Have you ever experienced a front wheel lock, that you knew for sure was a front wheel lockup under braking? The first time for most people is often a quite a heart pounding experience.

 

If you aren't absolutely sure of that feeling, I HIGHLY recommend taking a whirl on the brake rig. It's definitely my favorite contraption at the school. During the last school I got on it again to continue to refine my braking ability.

 

One thing for me to offer. I generally never use the back brake, or use very little back brake. There have been a handful of occasions where I accidentally locked up the back under braking and was totally surprised as I thought I was using none or only a little rear brake.

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I recently took my very first trackday/clinic - woohoo! Super stoked about it, especially considering it was raining cats & dogs all day, yet I was riding faster & more confident than ever before!

 

Now, towards end of the day I realized I have a problem with braking. Sometimes I would approach the turn entry point a fast enough to require some hard braking, and once I managed to lock it up. It felt like bike was sliding, but was not unstable - ie it kept going forward with no noticeable wobble. I released front brake pressure a bit and it stabilized itself (obviously I was not using rear brake at all).

 

Coach was riding behind me, and didnt notice anything wrong, and wasnt able to offer any explanations. I think my problem is not fully releasing the throttle while braking & downshifting. This sometimes happens to me whenever I start to push the envelope a bit - not exactly fear but just insufficient attention towards full throttle rolloff. Obviously I need to work on my brake/down technique.

 

I am trying to understand what happened... could it be that my front tire was not locked, but rear was spinning & loose due to the throttle not being completely off? I was in 3rd gear for pretty much all turns, Kawi Ninja 650 (all stock).

 

Thanks!

Peter

 

I was chatting with Will recently and he mentioned something that you might want to check on - he said that sometimes a rider's glove can be a bit too loose in the palm, making it hard to fully release the throttle while braking. Apparently it can feel to the rider as though he has released the throttle but the material in the palm of the glove (which is usually a high-grip material) keeps the throttle from going closed. I'm not sure if the happens because it creates a fold in the leather or just because it is loose, but when I read your post I thought it might be worth mentioning, something to watch for. I have had it happen to me and I didn't know why; after talking to Will I think a too-big glove was the actual cause.

 

That sounds likely. I have small hands, long fingers and most gloves are too lose in palm area for me. Thanks for the tip!

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Were you riding an S1000?

Have you ever experienced a front wheel lock, that you knew for sure was a front wheel lockup under braking? The first time for most people is often a quite a heart pounding experience.

 

If you aren't absolutely sure of that feeling, I HIGHLY recommend taking a whirl on the brake rig. It's definitely my favorite contraption at the school. During the last school I got on it again to continue to refine my braking ability.

 

One thing for me to offer. I generally never use the back brake, or use very little back brake. There have been a handful of occasions where I accidentally locked up the back under braking and was totally surprised as I thought I was using none or only a little rear brake.

 

Agreed, no rear brake on track. Period.

 

I am not sure it was front wheel lockup... did not feel like heart pounding experience at all :) Still wondering what it was. This was my own Kawasaki Ninja 650r, not S1000.

 

Peter

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This morning coming to work filtering between 2 lanes of traffic going opposite directions, some kid popped out behind a truck, crossing the road...

 

I was not going very fast (about 30 MPH) and locked the front. The bars went quickly almost all the way to the stop on the right, and I let off the brake and the bike immediately stabilised - I had to tuck my right elbow in to avoid clipping the kid.

 

I stopped the bike , and turned around, and the kid was still walking in the middle of the road.

 

I hate kids!!

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