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Trail Braking---not That Fastest Way, But They All Do It


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I think there was also an old adage along those lines for 2-stroke GP bikes. Being that the lubricant for a 2-stroke motor is mixed with the fuel, closing the throttle at high RPM or redline tends to starve the engine for lubrication creating a risk of seizure. So, staying on the gas as long as possible before hitting the brakes and getting back in the gas ASAP reduces the risk of seizure due to lack of lubrication... or something like that.

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Watching MotoGP races, especially when they have cameras pointed straight at some of the riders' throttle hands, it does seem that they are braking beyond the apex in a lot of the turns, even when there is no one threatening to overtake. I've been curious to know why that is. I don't look at it as some technique to adapt to my own riding, but rather I am just curious to know why they are doing it.

 

The only thing that makes sense to me so far is that it has something to do with the particulars of the turn or turn sequence in which they are doing it, as in the double apex example. But, it just seemed like it was being done in too many of the turns to be explained entirely by this.

 

I can see how it could be shown mathematically or demonstrated that really good trail braking by the top top guys was faster in most turns UP TO THE APEX, but not beyond the apex.

 

I am also curious about the 10 to 12 psi in the MotoGP tires. Anyone know of any articles out there on the internet that explain what is different about the tires that allows them to run those kinds of pressures? I tried searching but so far haven't found anything.

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Another thing to consider when it comes to evaluating the balance between trail-braking vs. the quick flick for a given turn is dips and rises. For example, the only track I've ever been on so far is VIR North Course. The only turn that I sometimes have a little fun with trail-braking is turn 7, which is the right-hander that starts up the hill after going under the bridge. The dip that starts up the hill adds so much mid-turn traction that the more elliptical trail-braking line works really well. Whereas the more constant-radius quick-flick line fails to take advantage of the added traction provided by that dip. The last part of this turn is an off-camber rise - a popular spot for high-sides - so a straighter exit line is useful here as well, further encouraging the more elliptical line overall for this particular turn. Due to the dip and rise and camber changes it is also a really fun turn! I need to get out to more tracks!

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More tracks is always a good idea, and you have some nice ones east of the Mississippi: Mid-Ohio and Barber to just name a few.

 

Don't know of any references on the tire's pressures they are running on modern GP bikes, if you find something let us know.

 

One thing I heard mentioned (somewhere else on the forum) was that the data from the onboard cameras where they show braking/accelerating is not taken directly from sensors.

 

Another point regarding the cameras, is even if you see the fingers on the brakes, how much pressure is being applied--and do some riders just leave their fingers there, when none is being applied?

 

C

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Another point regarding the cameras, is even if you see the fingers on the brakes, how much pressure is being applied--and do some riders just leave their fingers there, when none is being applied?

 

At various times in my racing "career", I left my fingers on the brake all the time. Never took them off at all.

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I remember seeing the fingers come off the lever and the throttle rolling on. And it seemed to happen a lot after the rumble strip/apex passed by in the background. But certainly I agree there is limited context and easily misinterpreted.

 

Here is an onboard lap of Laguna from MotoGP.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFGjfe0ita0

You can pretty clearly hear the throttle coming on mid-turn very consistently,except the first double apex and the corkscrew. So there is no trailing passed the apex as far as I can tell except where there's obvious explanations for it.

 

Onboard with Rossi:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0aE9tVyKYg

Once again, based on the engine sound, I don't see any examples of trailing passed the apex except where there are obviuos explanations, not even in the first lap when there is likely some other riders close behind.

 

More examples:

 

Onbaord in Jerez:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkLuqgrAo_4

 

mugello:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saRAvlipuMQ

 

And so on, every track is probably on youtube somewhere. :-D

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I remember seeing the fingers come off the lever and the throttle rolling on. And it seemed to happen a lot after the rumble strip/apex passed by in the background. But certainly I agree there is limited context and easily misinterpreted.

 

Here is an onboard lap of Laguna from MotoGP.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFGjfe0ita0

You can pretty clearly hear the throttle coming on mid-turn very consistently,except the first double apex and the corkscrew. So there is no trailing passed the apex as far as I can tell except where there's obvious explanations for it.

 

Onboard with Rossi:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0aE9tVyKYg

Once again, based on the engine sound, I don't see any examples of trailing passed the apex except where there are obviuos explanations, not even in the first lap when there is likely some other riders close behind.

 

More examples:

 

Onbaord in Jerez:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkLuqgrAo_4

 

mugello:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saRAvlipuMQ

 

And so on, every track is probably on youtube somewhere. :-D

 

 

Thanks for the links, hadn't seen that.

 

C

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Yes watch the onboard vids... They have close ups and you can clearly see that all motogp riders trailbrake through just about every corner. Its clearly not just them resting their hand on the brake. With the close ups you can download and pay for on motogp.com you can clearly see they are applying and releasing pressure up until apex at which point they roll on throttle. Yes that means trailbraking. Thanks for the link Harinos!

 

as a side note I dont really care how this applies to my riding either, as I am more interested in why and how this produces the fastest lap times in the world from a technical point of view simply due to of my own curiosity.

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Another thing I noticed about the videos, is that the riders consistently reach maximum lean angle, or very close to it, almost immediately, way before the middle of the turn... in other words, quick flick. So they can't be trail braking all that heavily.

 

If you compare it to the most severe cases of trail braking, like what they may do when overtaking in a braking battle, their normal technique and line obviously lies somewhere between that example of severe trail braking and the quick flick, but looks to me to be much closer to the quick flick.

 

It's seems to me that the advantage of trailbraking, and the reason why it produces the fastest laps, is basically common knowledge in most forms of motor racing - cars, bikes, whatever - which is mainly a later braking point. But I do trust experienced coaches who say their students go faster when they use it a lot less.

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Another thing I noticed about the videos, is that the riders consistently reach maximum lean angle, or very close to it, almost immediately, way before the middle of the turn... in other words, quick flick. So they can't be trail braking all that heavily.

 

If you compare it to the most severe cases of trail braking, like what they may do when overtaking in a braking battle, their normal technique and line obviously lies somewhere between that example of severe trail braking and the quick flick, but looks to me to be much closer to the quick flick.

 

It's seems to me that the advantage of trailbraking, and the reason why it produces the fastest laps, is basically common knowledge in most forms of motor racing - cars, bikes, whatever - which is mainly a later braking point. But I do trust experienced coaches who say their students go faster when they use it a lot less.

 

 

Good observation on the turning and connecting that to the braking. Watch Stoner turn the bike, he doesn't fool around, he gets it turned.

 

C

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Turn 1 at Brainerd is a faster example of a similar turn that holds true for large-bore and open class bikes, I believe, ie. off the gas, backshift and no brakes.

 

I was perusing a few more pages of Twist II this morning and, oddly enough, in Chapter 4/Throttle Control, Keith uses Brainerd Turn 1 as an example of an exception to the rule, where the goal is to remain WFO in 6th gear entering that corner for 250GP, 600 and 750 cc production classes.

 

That was 15 years ago (copyright 1993) when a 600 production machine was making perhaps 90 hp and a 750 maybe 110 hp off the assembly line, but, that probably still holds true. So, I'm still not certain whether the open class machines (1000 cc) actually backshift or not, but, as I understand it, they and the superikes do, at least, roll out a bit. (As do the middle class riders who haven't worked up the courage to hold it WFO, yet. :) )

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  • 1 month later...
Hi kwh,

 

If there is "extra grip" left over, wouldn't it be preferable to use it to carry more speed, rather than use it to slow down?

 

(Aside from say a decreasing radius turn, of course.)

 

Ah! Sorry, I never saw your reply back when you wrote this!

 

Yes it would be great to carry more speed, but what does that mean?

 

OK, so you are a MotoGP riding god with more talent in your little finger than the rest of us mere mortals have in our entire bodies put together. And your chief telemetry technician comes and tells you that you aren't using anything like all the grip your MotoGP front slick offers you in the corners. What to do?

 

You you can try to turn ever faster, but there comes a point when your arms are moving as fast as humanly possible, and the bike is going from vertical to full lean as fast as a human can make it. Being a MotoGP riding god, you probably already reached this point. So what then if you still have lots of front grip in reserve?

 

So then you can try and carry more corner speed. But at a certain point, you will be so far over on your ear that you will be about to ride off the edge of your MotoGP spec slick tyres and/or deck the footpegs etc, however much you shift your weight to try and reduce the lean angle. Again, you are probably already there. So what if even then you still have lots of front grip in reserve with your MotoGP front slick? Presumably some cheeky competitor will use that extra grip to ride under you before you turn and then use that spare grip to brake all the way to the apex while holding a similarly tight line, right in your way?

 

So, is the answer (for our imaginary MotoGP riding god, not for us) to turn in at a higher speed than we otherwise would while quite hard on the brakes to make full use of all that spare grip?

 

I only ask the question. But it would explain the observed effect...

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Hi kwh,

 

If there is "extra grip" left over, wouldn't it be preferable to use it to carry more speed, rather than use it to slow down?

 

(Aside from say a decreasing radius turn, of course.)

 

Ah! Sorry, I never saw your reply back when you wrote this!

 

Yes it would be great to carry more speed, but what does that mean?

 

OK, so you are a MotoGP riding god with more talent in your little finger than the rest of us mere mortals have in our entire bodies put together. And your chief telemetry technician comes and tells you that you aren't using anything like all the grip your MotoGP front slick offers you in the corners. What to do?

 

You you can try to turn ever faster, but there comes a point when your arms are moving as fast as humanly possible, and the bike is going from vertical to full lean as fast as a human can make it. Being a MotoGP riding god, you probably already reached this point. So what then if you still have lots of front grip in reserve?

 

So then you can try and carry more corner speed. But at a certain point, you will be so far over on your ear that you will be about to ride off the edge of your MotoGP spec slick tyres and/or deck the footpegs etc, however much you shift your weight to try and reduce the lean angle. Again, you are probably already there. So what if even then you still have lots of front grip in reserve with your MotoGP front slick? Presumably some cheeky competitor will use that extra grip to ride under you before you turn and then use that spare grip to brake all the way to the apex while holding a similarly tight line, right in your way?

 

So, is the answer (for our imaginary MotoGP riding god, not for us) to turn in at a higher speed than we otherwise would while quite hard on the brakes to make full use of all that spare grip?

 

I only ask the question. But it would explain the observed effect...

 

 

This has been a really interesting discussion and just wanted to make a comment. I have been doing track days for about 4 years now and feel that trail braking has made my transition from off the gas, on the brake and into the corner much smoother. I used to think it was an all or nothing proposition seeing what can happen if you loose the front. I feel like there is less force on the front (more balance between the front and rear). less stress on the arms and a better feel for body position when I know I can carry the braking into the corner.........smooth. I may be full of it but the bike seems to be more stable ( I am not wadded up on the front of the bike) and I feel more confident about controlling speed into the corner but then again I'm not racing. I am just having fun.

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From my experience, there are some turns that you really have to trail into to maintain your speed, Turns 3 and 9 at Fontana are good examples. In general, I try not to, but once in a while I don't see a way around it.

 

For sure there are some turns that it is needed. Often abused, it can cause late throttle control, and having the front brake on and turning accounts for a lot of racing crashes.

 

C

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was looking through some old posts and found this write up from Keith about trail braking. I'm not sure if it was posted previously in this thread (too lazy to read the whole think again), but it has some great info. The last paragraph is very interesting.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Keith wrote:

 

 

What I love about forums is their thought provoking aspect. Rider?s comments, and personal experiences make me think. Behind every answer is a question and behind every question there is an answer. This trail-braking issue brings up a load of both.

 

Ever since I first investigated trail-braking and graphed it and set up some guidelines for it in the first ?A Twist of the Wrist? book in 1981 I?ve mainly focused on its more basic aspect, that of a rider?s Sense of Speed.

 

Sense of Speed is a rider?s ability to accurately judge differences and similarities in speed from one pass through a corner to the next time they encounter it. No matter how or when a rider is braking his Sense of Speed directs the whole activity. This is the irreducible part of the rider/bike/road combination which must be in good working order.

 

Following right on the heels of this sense is the rider?s Sense of Traction and I?ll talk about that a little later in this.

 

One of the other main issues that revolve around braking is the suspension action. The compression and extension that can occur with either 1) straight up braking or 2) trailing brakes into the corner.

 

Cornering enthusiasts both feel it and understand that making the transition from on to off the brake(s) and entering the turn should be as seamless as possible in order not to upset the suspension (read traction).

 

On a telemetry graph it would look like a continuous line as the rider released the brake and the cornering forces took over--that goes for either method of braking.

 

Now if you look at this aspect closely you will see that there is actually another sense which we develop to comply with this demand to make that transition a smooth one.

 

In order to make this work out we first of all must be aware of the bike?s dive attitude (how far down is the nose of the bike). In order now to make it successful the rider must also be aware of the compression the cornering forces will provide for the speed he has entered the corner. How much will it compress from that force?

 

A straight line braker?s ability to reckon where the suspension compression will be once he is into the turn plus his timing of letting off the brakes and turning to maintain the compression at that level have to be very good.

 

The trail-braking rider feels his way into the turn more on his sense of traction and has both forces (braking compression on the suspension as well as the cornering forces on it) acting on the bike at the same time so his job is simplified to a great degree. It more or less eliminates the precision timing and sense of the bike?s pitched-forward attitude that it takes to do it the other way. He approaches the lean, speed, traction more gradually and gets continuous feedback from them.

 

With the straight line method the rider has to also determine by his feel and prediction just how quick his flick into the corner needs to be to maintain the suspension compression smoothly. A lot of multi-tasking is going on here.

 

When you realize that this all has to be figured out just BEFORE he does it you see why the two methods are so different.

 

Here is another way of saying it. The trail braking method privides the rider with feedback as he transitions and the straight line method doesn?t allow you feedback until after you already committed and completed it and there ain?t no fixing it, at least not on that lap.

 

There is a high degree of confidence in yourself and your prediction of the forces and your other senses of speed and traction and your ability to quick turn the bike that are essential before you?d be willing to make this level of commitment.

 

Beside all that, there is another huge benefit to learning the straight up/quick flick style. It provides a rider with valuable feedback about tire traction and cornering loads.

 

When you quick flick the bike with poor timing you get a sudden load on the suspension and the tires. This is the thing that riders get into their heads will make them crash?usually they think they are going to loose the front and go down. They get spooked from that sudden load.

 

The feeling of the sudden load came from releasing the brakes too soon before they flicked it. The front end comes up from the release and then dives again from the flick in. If you break that down you?ll see that the load, while it may have a little higher peak force, wasn?t anymore than they would have experienced if they had made that transition into the turn with perfect control timing. The sudden load came from their error not because it is part of the style of riding.

 

This is another one of those things that can become confusing to any rider. They have simply misidentified the real cause of the sudden loading. It could and often is enough to make riders think that they are going to crash by quick flicking the bike.

 

I think that the facts and the physics of the matter are this: If you had the front tire right at 110% traction and you flicked it in and maintained that load that you would be OK and have a killer turn entry speed. You would not have violated the traction limit of the tire (they like to slide a bit for max traction in any case) and would have learned an enormous amount about traction limits. It?s that commitment thing that makes this

difficult.

 

I have heard schools of thought that say that trailing the brakes is an ?advanced? skill.

I have heard schools of thought that say you will get passed if you don?t learn to trail.

That may very well be true, I don?t know everything. What I do know is this: Once a rider can successfully and confidently do the straight line method; once he can do it with flawless timing and clean seamless transitions and he trusts himself and is willing to make these commitments, learning the trail-in style is a piece of cake. Doing it in the other order is not so easy.

 

Keith

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So, one reaches max traction either way, but, won't max traction with the brake applied be at a slower speed as braking reduces available traction one might use to carry more speed?

 

Whereas by not trailbraking and then rolling on the throttle, one can carry more speed to start with and then add even more speed when rolling on the throttle to shift weight off the front? :)

 

but isnt the whole point to maintain the intended line? going faster (higher rate of speed in a specific section of the turn) isnt necessarily the goal if it takes you off of your line *cough bayliss*.

im a total newb, but i cant say for sure when i trail the brakes and when i dont but i know i do it often. in every intentional case (not the "oh ###### tooo fast!! case) i begin releasing the brake just before turn in and trail off as i lean with zero brake pressure by the time my knee hits the ground. that is because as soon as i reach max lean angle im rolling on the gas.

 

for me TB has two great advantages: i control the rebound effect after hard braking and i can brake a few feet later and scrub off the last bit of speed in the turn while maintaining my line.

stu, racer, keith; if this sounds bad please correct me.

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Hi kwh,

 

If there is "extra grip" left over, wouldn't it be preferable to use it to carry more speed, rather than use it to slow down?

 

(Aside from say a decreasing radius turn, of course.)

 

Ah! Sorry, I never saw your reply back when you wrote this!

 

Yes it would be great to carry more speed, but what does that mean?

 

OK, so you are a MotoGP riding god with more talent in your little finger than the rest of us mere mortals have in our entire bodies put together. And your chief telemetry technician comes and tells you that you aren't using anything like all the grip your MotoGP front slick offers you in the corners. What to do?

 

You you can try to turn ever faster, but there comes a point when your arms are moving as fast as humanly possible, and the bike is going from vertical to full lean as fast as a human can make it. Being a MotoGP riding god, you probably already reached this point. So what then if you still have lots of front grip in reserve?

 

OK, you're hypothesizing a situation where the ultimate limit of everything is the rider and the turn radius, ie. the tires are beyond human capacity to force a slide. There is more grip than you can ever use.

 

So then you can try and carry more corner speed. But at a certain point, you will be so far over on your ear that you will be about to ride off the edge of your MotoGP spec slick tyres and/or deck the footpegs etc, however much you shift your weight to try and reduce the lean angle. Again, you are probably already there. So what if even then you still have lots of front grip in reserve with your MotoGP front slick? Presumably some cheeky competitor will use that extra grip to ride under you before you turn and then use that spare grip to brake all the way to the apex while holding a similarly tight line, right in your way?

 

So, is the answer (for our imaginary MotoGP riding god, not for us) to turn in at a higher speed than we otherwise would while quite hard on the brakes to make full use of all that spare grip?

 

He is turning in at a higher speed ... while quite hard(er) on the brakes... to make use of all that spare grip (that all of us have)... hmmm...

 

If the tires have ultimate grip, then the limit to turn the bike is the strength of the rider. In that imaginary world, I say go to the gym. The rider who can counter-steer the bike hardest will be able to corner fastest. Whether you are off the brakes or on the brakes, you still need to turn the bike and if the rider off the brakes is turning as fast as humanly possible already, how can the guy on the brakes turn faster? Not to mention that turning on the brakes is harder to do in the first place!

 

As for the cheeky competitor who gets under you on the brakes, I don't think he will be able to hold a "similarly tight line". Even with all this hypothetical traction, simply put, the lean angle and turn radius required of him to stay on your line is impossible. You are already at max! And once under you he has to turn TIGHTER than you to stay on your line. In that scenario, the only way he can turn faster or tighter is if he is going slower than you are. The solution is the same... drive under him on the exit. Whether there is infinite grip or not, it is still the same grip for everyone. And the bottom line is the bike goes faster with the brakes off. (Go figure. The ultimate secret to riding fast is less brake and more gas. D'oh.)

 

Seems to me that nothing much changes. If traction is not a factor, and the limit of cornering speed is the radius of the turn and lean angle, then the critical issue is still the transition to max lean... and the faster/sooner you can get down to it, the less lean angle you need for a given speed, hence, the more speed you can carry through the corner or the sooner you can start to pick it up from max lean and go hard for the exit and the next corner. The final arbiter of corner speed (and a fast lap) is still going to be how fast you get the bike turned in. IMO, all else flows from there.

 

I only ask the question. But it would explain the observed effect...

 

Watching the world superbike guys go at it, late braking duels usually seem to end in a rear wheel slide entry (backing it in) to the corner, ie. the guys who are late braking, charging and/or trailbraking hard don't flick it in to get the bike turned. So, they end up blocking the corner but then have a lot of motor to accelerate.

 

Traditionally, the GP guys have a slightly different style dictated by the bike and the type of tracks they ride. I am told that it is difficult to put into words just how blindingly fast and powerful a MotoGP bike is. And how razor sharp and unforgiving its envelope is. The bikes are lighter and smaller, hence, somewhat less stable to boot. You can't manhandle them like a superbike. Yes, Gary McCoy and others have made an art form of sliding them, but, it is a far more precise and graceful art than what we see in superbikes. And there is a very fine line between having everything just right and just wrong. A good rider can ride around some issues on a superbike if it is not set up right. It is not so easy on a GP bike. Anyway.... the point is...

 

Larger, heavier, and more powerful equals easier to get away with certain things as the extra mass tends to increase period and decrease amplitude of the bike's reactions... and the longer wheel base also creates less/slower reactions to inputs and more motor gives the rider more options under acceleration.

 

As for what is going on in MotoGP with trailbraking these day I can't really say, I've only just begun watching the races on TV again, but, I promise I will.

 

Anyway, yes, using trailbraking to control suspension rebound is a viable and potentially valuable skill. And having the front compressed alters or quickens the geometry to a more radical rake and trail. However, it also makes the bike more difficult (heavier) to steer and reduces traction. And there are other techniques to alter center of mass and geometry and "hook" the turn. Also, consider there is more compression and loading from cornering forces than braking anyway. So, what if you came off the brakes in a controlled fashion prior to the turn such that the front was settled when you intiated the turn? Could you turn in faster? Isn't that the final arbiter of corner speed? Faster turn in equals less lean angle at a given speed. Faster turn in equals more potential corner speed. Faster turn in equals earlier exit drive. Faster turn in equals a faster lap, period.

 

(Hey... maybe MotoGP riders have their idle speed turned up so much they have to drag the front brake to keep from accelerating too hard...??? :) )

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So, one reaches max traction either way, but, won't max traction with the brake applied be at a slower speed as braking reduces available traction one might use to carry more speed?

 

Whereas by not trailbraking and then rolling on the throttle, one can carry more speed to start with and then add even more speed when rolling on the throttle to shift weight off the front? :)

 

but isnt the whole point to maintain the intended line? going faster (higher rate of speed in a specific section of the turn) isnt necessarily the goal if it takes you off of your line *cough bayliss*.

 

Yes. I'm not sure what you are trying to say here. From my point of view, it is late braking (going faster in a certain section) that takes me off my intended line.

 

im a total newb, but i cant say for sure when i trail the brakes and when i dont but i know i do it often. in every intentional case (not the "oh ###### tooo fast!! case) i begin releasing the brake just before turn in and trail off as i lean with zero brake pressure by the time my knee hits the ground. that is because as soon as i reach max lean angle im rolling on the gas.

 

OK. Sounds like you are using a good technique for trailbraking. So, the question becomes: when, where and why?

 

for me TB has two great advantages: i control the rebound effect after hard braking and i can brake a few feet later and scrub off the last bit of speed in the turn while maintaining my line.

stu, racer, keith; if this sounds bad please correct me.

 

Maintaining "your" line. What does that mean? Does that mean maintaining the line that you have chosen because you have decided that it is the best line for that corner? Or does it mean the line that is dictated to you by the fact that you are trailbraking? And how do you define "best line"?

 

In TOTW II, Keith defines the "best line" for any corner as the one that allows you to get back on the gas the soonest. Do you agree with that? Does the line you use trailbraking fit that definition?

 

If you read Keith's article posted by 2big above, then my question to you is the same as the last poster: can you control the rebound effect by letting off the brake in a controlled fashion before intiating the turn entry? And, then, being off the brake, isn't it possible to literally flick the bike faster without all that braking stress/load on the front tire? And, hence, carry more speed?

 

When trailbraking, are you carrying more speed, or simply braking later and actually making things more difficult for yourself (even though you might feel more comfortable or in control with your fingers on the brake) with heaveier steering and what amounts to what must by definition be a slower entry speed to accomodate the braking loads on top of the cornering loads?

 

What do you think?

 

racer

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What do you think?

 

racer

 

getting on the gas the soonest vs. getting off the gas the latest. hmmm.

 

your comments did make me rethink a lot turns that i thought were suitable for trailbraking. they also helped me answer my question that i posted in the other thread. i think i get it now, i need to adjust my lines so that i can turn quicker, reach max lean angle sooner, and throttle on sooner! if im turning in later (keith has mentioned before that riders often turn in too soon) i can shift my braking zone ahead and carry a higher entry speed plus get on the gas quicker, thanks racer.

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What do you think?

 

racer

 

getting on the gas the soonest vs. getting off the gas the latest. hmmm.

 

your comments did make me rethink a lot turns that i thought were suitable for trailbraking. they also helped me answer my question that i posted in the other thread. i think i get it now, i need to adjust my lines so that i can turn quicker, reach max lean angle sooner, and throttle on sooner! if im turning in later (keith has mentioned before that riders often turn in too soon) i can shift my braking zone ahead and carry a higher entry speed plus get on the gas quicker, thanks racer.

 

 

 

Check out page 70 of TOTW II. Coming in on the brakes almost forces a rider to turn in early or earlier to compensate for turning in slower and turning in early occurs as a SR for when charging a turn or when a rider feels like they are coming in too hot.

 

And, honestly... I'm still a novice at thinking through this stuff at this level and trying to verbalize it. So, thanks to you for the opportunity to exercise my noodle!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Two thoughts:

 

I don't think this will be very popular discussing other teacher's techniques on this website, but I seem to recall hearing Freddie Spencer mentioning on TV that since trail braking steepens the bike's steering geometry, it allows the rider to change direction more effectively (i.e., run a tighter line to change direction quicker) and, hence, get on the gas sooner.

 

Another thought is: perhaps a reason why fast guys trail brake is to carry their speed from the previous straight longer by compressing the braking area into the shortest possible distance (at a later point) as close as possible to the optimum point where re-accelerating should begin.

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Two thoughts:

 

I don't think this will be very popular discussing other teacher's techniques on this website, but I seem to recall hearing Freddie Spencer mentioning on TV that since trail braking steepens the bike's steering geometry, it allows the rider to change direction more effectively (i.e., run a tighter line to change direction quicker) and, hence, get on the gas sooner.

 

Another thought is: perhaps a reason why fast guys trail brake is to carry their speed from the previous straight longer by compressing the braking area into the shortest possible distance (at a later point) as close as possible to the optimum point where re-accelerating should begin.

 

Hey HRC-E.B.,

 

I think there are different ways to approach trailbraking. It doesn't necessarily have to be used in conjunction with late braking. And it certainly is useful in specific circumstances like decreasing radius turns or outbraking an opponent. However, at the end of the day, I agree with Keith that until one is very solid in the basic fundamentals without it, trailbraking will complicate and slow the learning process.

 

The bottom line is that while being on the brake may steepen the steering angle, it also increases stress on the contact patch reducing traction and, by defnition, dictates a slower entry speed and slower, not quicker, turn-in in with a more shallow entry line. And, in most circumstances, I believe the goal you describe can be accomplished with more efficient techniques that have been discussed at some length here.

 

racer

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If you think about trail braking so it's negative effects don't outweigh any possible benefits, it seems to me that cannot be done without also thinking about exactly what type of exact line that technique requires for the given turn. It would also seem to require thinking about what came just before the turn, what comes just after, any of the turns radius changes, elevation changes, cambers, etc. For that matter I don't see how you can do a quick flick turn without thinking carefully about the type of line you will craft/run to string the techniques of a quick flick turn and roll on together. you wouldn't try and trail brake on a quick flick line, you can't do that well, you would need a line that efficiently fits what you are doing and why you are doing it. No? If the line isn't good for the technique, how will the technique work right? You are doing different things at different times between the two techniques, requiring different radius' on your line (to at least some degree) for each stage no?

 

I think the exit can be the same, but the entry lines have to be different. The bit of geometry playing with Adobe Illustrator I have done show it is very easy to get a trail braking line that works for the technique but gives away too much running it. So, some thinking needs to be done how to avoid that sort of line. Then the question is how can I run the technique, while keeping the entry speed gains and not giving away mid corner speed, or early hard roll on? Can I do that?

 

I have to read this thread a lot better before commenting my useless 2 cents much more, though I can foresee trail braking gaining some advantage coming off a long high speed straight followed by a short straight or a series of turns, that sort of thing. Some other situations have been mentioned.

 

I could foresee a line that begins to protect your entry from a late braker coming up on you which would lend itself to trailing in part way into the turn. Then the question is also how deep to trail? Is it possible to come in trailing part way on a decreasing radius line which allows you off the brakes and on the gas at the same speed where a trail braking and quick flick line intersect? Does my trail braking line allow me to be on the gas hard at the same point as a quick flick line in the same turn?

 

I'll try and figure out how .jpg attachments work here and maybe post up a couple of line experiments at some point that I found interesting.

 

However I don't think you can ask when to use trail braking without considering what sort of line is needed for what technique you are applying in any specific type of turn, and thinking about what it gains and what it might give away.

 

However I may be thinking of trail braking differently, I'll read the thread more completely. To me Keith's off the brakes as you quick flick smacks of "almost" trail braking the way I think of it (which is providing a seamless transition and not necessarily trailing in to the apex the way I think of it).

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I'll try and figure out how .jpg attachments work here and maybe post up a couple of line experiments at some point that I found interesting.

 

 

I upload .jpg files to flickr and then use the the flickr embed link or copy/paste the url address into a BB Code image link.

 

If you click on ("reply) under a post with an image you will see how it is done in the edit copy.

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