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Discussion Starter #1
Today I was accelerating from a stop light and two cars in front of me started to brake. I saw a turn off ahead and I guess my brain assumed they would be slowing for that turn as a started applying the brakes. Anyway they quickly just stopped in the road and I found I was closing way too rapidly.:eek: Although I did lockup the back wheel for a second, I got it rolling before I got too sideways and was able to stop without incident. (never saw why they stopped?)

I've been riding a little over a year and this was the closest call yet. I was really glad I try to practice emergency stopping. We get to practice turns and general bike handling many times every ride, but most rides don't see hard braking drills. As I gain riding skills I have noticed it is easy to out ride my ability to stop. I try to take some time about once a month to practice emergency braking on a back road coming home. I pick a mail box and stop as quickly as I can trying to get a feel for when I'm about to lockup either wheel. I notice how much I'm use to the ABS brakes on my car! I guess I need more practice.:)
 

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You are right, most people don't practice that enough. A good suggested practice is to NOT use the back brake while practicing sometimes. It trains you to not rely on the rear brake. While you're at it, practice the emergency stop, then take off without putting your feet down, making sure you come to a complete stop before taking off. Sometimes when you need to perform an emergency stop, you also need to perform an emergency get away. Like in your situation, a car could have been behind you and not paying attention to everyone stopping in front of them. You may have needed to scoot to one side or the other of the stopped cars in front of you to avoid being rear ended. It's a real confidence booster when you master that technique, and the goal is to practice enough to build in auto-responses.

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Today I was accelerating from a stop light and two cars in front of me started to brake. I saw a turn off ahead and I guess my brain assumed they would be slowing for that turn as a started applying the brakes. Anyway they quickly just stopped in the road and I found I was closing way too rapidly.:eek: Although I did lockup the back wheel for a second, I got it rolling before I got too sideways and was able to stop without incident. (never saw why they stopped?)

I've been riding a little over a year and this was the closest call yet. I was really glad I try to practice emergency stopping. We get to practice turns and general bike handling many times every ride, but most rides don't see hard braking drills. As I gain riding skills I have noticed it is easy to out ride my ability to stop. I try to take some time about once a month to practice emergency braking on a back road coming home. I pick a mail box and stop as quickly as I can trying to get a feel for when I'm about to lockup either wheel. I notice how much I'm use to the ABS brakes on my car! I guess I need more practice.:)
Good on you.

Virtually all our stopping power is in the front but, in a panic, we tend towards that rear brake and are worried about using the front too much and, as a consequence, use it nowhere near as much as we could. If your rear isn't damn near coming off the ground, you ain't applying enough front. In fact, one drill I was taught was, on smaller bikes, to GET the rear off the ground while maintaining balance and control in the front. Scary as hell but, it can be done.

I know I am a broken record but, again, dirt bikes are awesome for skills development. Learning to do a 'stoppie' on a dirt bike is a damn sight safer and cheaper than on the street. It won't be the same on the street but, developing the feel for it does nothing but help.
 

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Good on you.

Virtually all our stopping power is in the front but, in a panic, we tend towards that rear brake and are worried about using the front too much and, as a consequence, use it nowhere near as much as we could. If your rear isn't damn near coming off the ground, you ain't applying enough front. In fact, one drill I was taught was, on smaller bikes, to GET the rear off the ground while maintaining balance and control in the front. Scary as hell but, it can be done.

I know I am a broken record but, again, dirt bikes are awesome for skills development. Learning to do a 'stoppie' on a dirt bike is a damn sight safer and cheaper than on the street. It won't be the same on the street but, developing the feel for it does nothing but help.
I totally agree with the dirt bike stuff. I wear out front pads on my dirt bike as quick or quicker than the rears. That's virtually unheard of. I know a guy that took the rear brake lever off of his kids dirt bikes when they were learning. They were made to learn perfect control with the front brake. Then when they got their rear brakes back that was used in assistance with the front.

As a trail and hare scramble rider the rear brake is used for getting the bike lined up out of a corner, or setting the bike into the rut on the track/trail. The front brake is what sets you at the speed you want to enter at.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey thanks for the tips. I didnt think about accelerating after the stop. That's a great idea. To tell you the truth I didn't even think about what was behind me when I saw how fast his rear bumper was approaching :). I'm going to add quickly moving to the side or center of the road after braking to my drill so it becomes 2nd nature. Even though I got on the rear brake a bit too hard, since I have done it many times in pratice it was easy to recover and I didn't panic. So I'm a big fan of praticing stops!
 

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quick braking is good to learn, but also learning what your escape paths are. if something happens in front of you and you need to make a sudden decision, sometimes the best one is to move your bike into a different trajectory, ie. swerve around whatever object you are about to hit. when i ride, i try to make it a point to always ride in a position where i can move my bike to the left or right if something happens and i don't have enough time to make an emergency stop. and even if you do manage to make a good sudden stop, there's a chance the vehicle behind you might not be able to and could hit you even though you made a good emergency stop.
 

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Glad I was directed to this thread by another member, some more ?'s

I had a issue today on the road : I had a light change to red on a 55mph rd with 2 cars that possibly stopped on the tail end of yellow, whatever. I had to slow quickly. but didnt want to slide locking up the brakes. Upon complete stop I was front wheel length past the car in front of me to the right(trying to make room to slow w/o smacking into it). I was braking and downshifting to a stop. It was a bit on the scary side.

I always have plenty of room in front, being the super new rider that I am(not this time obviously). Very aware of all cars around me and a tendency to slow a bit early at this point. I have respect for my bike and want to be safe.

That being said can I get some input? How fast can I stop with out sliding and possibly wrecking? That is my main goal saftey. Brake? Downshift? Front/Back brake?
 

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Im one of the lucky ones to have a motorcycle test court at my nearby DMV office, which they encourage people to use on the weekends and after hours when they are closed.

There is a "braking" area to test your skills, your post reminds me that I have not taken the new Road King and tried it yet. I do have ABS on this bike, honestly one of the requirements I had for a new bike.
Im curious if, on the day I picked it up (no less,Ha) I had to slam stop on the interstate as traffic backed up. I made both front and rear tires chrip and leave a small rubber patch for the front and rear tire. I didnt feel the ABS kick in but I am assuming it had to because damn, I stopped so quickly and straight as an arrow, it was either that or I made the perfect stop on my own, which I would question as I too, have started to slide the rear tire a few times when I had the 1300 tourer. SO I am unsure, maybe next warm day I will get over to the DMV and try the RK out.
 

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That being said can I get some input? How fast can I stop with out sliding and possibly wrecking? That is my main goal saftey. Brake? Downshift? Front/Back brake?
I am certainly NO expert, there is a video out there called "Ride Like a Pro" I have it, never watched it and I should.

Anyway, over the years, from what I heard in forms like this and magazine articles, You should be in the habit of always using the front and rear brakes, because in an emergency, your reaction will always then be to use both brakes, which of course will stop you faster.
The vast majority of stopping power should be the front and use the rear always but let up on the rear as soon as it starts to skid, its the panic in a stop (as I have done also) that when slamming on the brakes you tend to lock up the rear and causes alot of crashes with the bike sliding out from you. If your aware of it, you will then let up on the rear to maintain control.
Anyway, another morning reminder for me is to watch the video.

One other thing I do, all the time, make a game out of it, is look for "escapes" in case you cant stop in time OR if you think the car coming up behind you may not stop in time! Im kind of always set in my mind, which way I may pull off to the side of the road to avoid hitting another car or another car me at things like stop lights.
 

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don't worry about downshifting if you have to make a sudden stop. you can downshift afterwards. just squeeze the clutch lever as you're braking. as for how hard can you brake, that's up to you and your bike set-up. i would say, as long as you give more front brake than rear, and you don't just jam on the brakes; gradually squeeze all the way through, just at a quicker rate than normal.
 

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Emergency braking ratio should be 90% front brake and 10% rear. It takes practice to get used to doing this. The reasoning for this ratio is that when braking in an emergency, the rear wheel tends to loose contact (not lifting off) with the road because of the inertia of the bike. So more front brake is a good thing. Bevo is right in saying don't worry about downshifting in an emergency stop. You can do it after you're stopped.
 

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The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) recommends using both brakes and downshifting to first to ensure that you are in gear for a quick get away if a vehicle is coming up on your butt. If you practice doing that, you will do it automatically in an emergency situation. The safety classes they provide are worth their weight in gold and in many places they are free.
 

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The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) recommends using both brakes and downshifting to first to ensure that you are in gear for a quick get away if a vehicle is coming up on your butt. If you practice doing that, you will do it automatically in an emergency situation. The safety classes they provide are worth their weight in gold and in many places they are free.
Yup. That's proper technique. Getting it stopped is one thing. What's coming behind you is another. You don't want to get it stopped and then see the folks behind you are still texting only to stall it in 4th gear trying to GTF out of the way because you didn't down shift.
 

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That being said can I get some input? How fast can I stop with out sliding and possibly wrecking? That is my main goal saftey. Brake? Downshift? Front/Back brake?
When I am in traffic and/or remotely think I might need a sudden stop, I cover my front brake with one finger. If you don't cover the front brake, studies show it is about one second between "Oh, ****! I need some front brake!' then getting a finger or more reaching for it and then BEGINNING to apply it. At 55 mph, that one second is about 60 feet or so.

Find advanced skills courses and learn from professionals in a
controlled setting. Total Control;

http://www.totalcontroltraining.net/

...will teach you if you lock up the front release it IMMEDIATELY and reapply, immediately. If you lock the rear up in an emergency, leave it locked and deal with the slide. You're not going to get more braking out of it by releasing and reapplying than you will as it skids across the ground. If you don't need that much and just over reacted, fine, let it loose and reapply under control. If you need it, leave it locked and put all your attention on managing the front right up to the point of skidding as needed to stop under control.

Stay on the bike even if you think you're gonna hit and KEEP trying to control it. All the way to impact you're still bleeding off speed and reducing the severity. You quit, then you're at the mercy of whatever happens. Except for something crazy like sliding under, say, a trailer, ALWAYS ride it out.

If you take class II, depending on your bike, they will teach you to brake so hard with the front that the rear comes up and, on bigger bikes, damn near. This takes GOOD instruction and REAL practice under controlled supervision.

Let me repeat that; that level of skill takes good instruction and real practice under controlled supervision.

You can stop a LOT faster than you think.

So, 'how fast can you stop'? Faster than you think. A lot.

There is no reason to NOT downshift in an emergency. Your left foot and clutch hand aren't doing anything anyway and you may need to stop and then move, right now. If you're not in first or second, a stall could happen, easy. Do NOT go straight to first if you were moving along pretty good. It will be unnecessarily harsh on the tranny. Down shift to appropriate gear as your speed bleeds off.
 

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I had an incident this summer where a dog ran across the road well in front of me. I covered the brake wondering if he had a pal, and, sure enough, he had one. Even expecting this ahead of time I still locked the front brake. That fat ass front tire on the 1300 can make a heck of a squeal. I've always been in the habit of expecting to pump the brakes in an emergency and released the brake pretty quick and got the bike stopped with room to spare. Looking back at the mark I was surprised that even though I was expecting everything and it certainly wasn't a "panic" stop", I still managed to lay about 10 feet of scratch (I was doing about 40mph when it happened).

I can't imagine the philosophy behind teaching riders how to dump their bike on purpose but I hear it over and over in the H-D community. How is sliding lowside across pavement safer than a controlled stop? Maybe it's to point the exhaust at the oncoming traffic so they can actually hear it? To make matters worse, one rider has told me that when he was young he was told to put his toes on the pegs and jump at the point of impact, citing that it was safer to be airborne at the whim of physics. Made me wonder what the scene looked like when a panel van was involved.

What's the point? None. I'm just rambling.
 

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As a pilot the rule was always, "Fly The Airplane" no matter what else was going on. If it quit flying things got worse. I believe that is a good philosophy with the motorcycle, "Ride The Motorcycle". Laying her down or jumping off are not options for me.
 

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I learned yesterday on my ride that I can stop a whole lot faster than I previously thought... Front Brake good! I know that cars are 3/4 front 1/4 rear or something close. But was depending on the rear on my bike too much.. I thank you all for all the great directions, tips, and advice.
 
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