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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
How many of you here on the forum have had to emergency brake? How long have you been riding and what was the outcome if you have had to emergency brake?

I feel that this is one of the most important skills to master, no mater if I ever use it or not, having only a few years and about 8000 miles experience I have had to stop quickly, but have not encountered a need for full on emergency braking.

I think it would be interesting for everyone to share their experiences on this topic.
 

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I think it is an important skill whether you have abs or not. My 950 of course does not, and nor did the 2007 FZ6 I had last year.

This is only my second year with my license. I took the Experience Rider Course in the Spring. This was after an incident where a car taking a left cut me off. I ended up locking the rear tire. It slid out a little but I knew to release it to re-gain traction, and swerved around the car.

I now know and practiced grabbing more front brake to come to my shortest stops. I only have single disc on my 950, and it's not very impressive, especially compared to the FX6's dual disc sport bike front brakes.

A friend told me I could upgrade to a steel cable and it might help. But I just know to grab a little more front brake with my 950. Load the front forks first, then squeeze/press both levers firmly. Yep. Good skill to have.
 

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I can only think of maybe several times when I have braked really hard in the 4 years I have been riding. Its never been to avoid hitting something in my path, more the case of someone coming down a driveway like they were not going to stop, me coming into a corner way to fast and braking just before the turn, and a couple times stopping for a yellow light harder than I thought I would and locking up the back tire.

Those were the times I 'had to' or ended up stopping quickly, but I practice it frequently. Not every ride but several times a week. Just make sure there is no one behind you.

Locking up the back tire is OK as long as you are going straight. If you do skid the back tire then KEEP it locked until the bike stops completely. If the back wheel starts coming around steer the front into the skid but keep that back wheel locked. If you let the back brake off with any speed and its sideways it will snap back straight so fast it most likely will throw you off the bike. If you have the bike straight when the back wheel locks it normally will not start coming around on you.

And obviously if the front wheel skids let go of the brake instantly! Even if the front wheel is starting to slide out and you are going down, if you let go of the front brake you have a chance the bike will stand back up. If you hold the front wheel locked you are going over the handlebars everytime.

Watch just about every russian MC accident video on youtube. Nearly half the accidents are from the rider locking up the front wheel. Someone crosses their path, they lock the front brake, and down they go.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
So far my research has shown that bike types from sport to cruiser to tourer can all stop equally well and that includes bikes with one disk up front as well as two, the exception is the adventure class and this is probably due to the type of tire that they use. I was really surprised to learn that a heavy cruiser can stop as well as a sport bike. Here is an example of a page stating this Motorcycle Safety Site

I am not trying to state all of this as fact, just reporting what I am finding. ABS is a subject for a thread all it's own.

I am hoping to find that most will report the need for hard braking does arrise at times but full on emergency braking is rare. Best case being that we become profeccient but never uneed to use it.
 

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Good discussion topic there LoupGarou.
Yes I've had to use emergency brake several times.
I started out riding dirt bikes as a kid, but got back into riding consistently in 2006.
Right before I traded in my 650 Classic for my 950 tourer, I had to emergency brake when a girl turned left in front of me heading to the local HD dealer. Fortunately I avoided broadsiding her.
I agree it's a skill hard to master, but a very important one to work on. Every spring after bringing my 950 out of winter hibernation, I head to the closest school parking lot and practice the basics of turning, and braking. When I took the MSF free class in March of this year, I learned more braking techniques that have come in handy. Even for experienced riders, I'd recommend at least the basic course.


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I had to emergency stop 2 times so far in the 4 months I have been riding. The first time I was following my wife home on a 4 lane highway. She was in her car. We were in the left lane getting ready to pass a car. The car suddenly decided it wanted to make a left turn.. The car jumped in front of her then slammed on the brakes. She hit her brakes and started telling me stop stop stop. I locked up the rear and held the front firm without it locking up. The rear started coming around to my right side. I had NO experience in what to do in a skid like that on a bike. Out of driving habit I turned with the skid. The second the car was out of her way I was telling her to floor it.. She took off like a scared jackrabbit I shifted down twice, laid into the throttle and she stood up like a champ and off I went. It was all in SLOW motion for me. The second time I was going pretty slow, same situation a car in front of the car in front of me slammed on the brakes for a turn.. This was in traffic starting to accelerate through a light so no I did not have the 2 second rule going. I locked front and rear up, realized the front was locked and let go of front and rear brakes.. That is when the "fun" started. The rear end started kicking back and forth, I was holding on for dear life. A girl in the other lane going the other way screamed... I said fck it hit the throttle the bike stopped going crazy and I was able to stop. This all happened so fast, but it seemed like slow motion at the time. WEIRD. Now I give metric s**t tons of room. The people I ride with understand after I told them what happened. So when we are in a group I am usually a little farther back than most from the rider in front.
 

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NGM - Geeze man you dodged a spill twice.

Anyone that was into BMX style bicycles when they were a kid knows what its like to come screaming down the street and lock up the back wheel till the bike stops. I use to go through back tires once a month on my Stingray back in the '70s.

The general rule for riding is you need to be able to see what is going on 5 seconds in front of you, and you need to be 2 seconds behind the vehicle infront of you. And those are the minimum numbers. Intersections are the worse.

Another thing I will add, when I stop at a light I stay nearly a full car length back, and angle my bike towards the left of the car infront of me. I have experienced the car in front overshooting the stop line, the light turns red, and they start backing up! If you got no where to go you are screwed.

As soon as you see the backup lights come on get out from behind the car.
DONT wait to see if they actually move backwards.
DONT depend on your horn to save you.
 
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