Braking by Nick Ienatsch - Yamaha R6 Forum: YZF-R6 Forums
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
Outlaws Justice was Here
 
Outlaws Justice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Watertown, New York
Posts: 36
Bike: Yamaha FZ1, Yamaha Vmax.
Braking by Nick Ienatsch

Braking by Nick Ienatsch

Nick is one of our forum members on another forum I am a member of, he shared the following and I tought the members here might benefit from it.



"If you have to stop in a corner, one of two things will happen. One, you will stand the bike up and ride it off the shoulder and into whatever is over there. Or two, you will lay the bike down and slide off the shoulder of the road. Braking is done before, or after a corner. The best thing to do before taking a corner is to grind the thought "I'm going to turn this corner" into your mind."

Hiya FZ1 lovers.
I’ve stewed for two days about the above quote taken from another FZ1OA thread...and finally decided to launch this thread. In past years I would have just rolled my eyes and muttered, “Whatever”…but not anymore. I want to tell you that there are measureable, explainable, repeatable, do-able reasons that make great riders great. And brake usage is at the very tippity-top of these reasons. It’ll save your life, it’ll make you a champion. It will save and grow our sport.
I’ll ask this one favor: Would you open your mind to what I’m about to write, then go out and mess around with it?
To begin: Realize that great motorcycle riding is more subtle in its inputs than most of us imagine. I bet you are moving your hand too quickly with initial throttle and brakes. Moving your right foot too quickly with initial rear brake. The difference between a lap record and a highside is minute, almost-immeasureable differences in throttle and lean angle. The difference between hitting the Camaro in your lane and missing it by a foot is the little things a rider can do with speed control at lean angle. Brakes at lean angle. Brakes in a corner.
Yes, a rider can brake in a corner. Yes. For sure. Guaranteed. I promise. Happens all the time. I do it on every ride, track or street. Yes, a rider can stop in a corner. In fact, any student who rides with the Yamaha Champions Riding School will tell you it’s possible. Complete stop, mid-corner…no drama. Newbies and experts alike.
There are some interesting processes to this sport, mostly revolving around racing. But as I thought about this thread, putting numbers on each thought made more sense because explaining these concepts relies on busting some myths and refining your inputs. Some things must be ingrained…like #1 below.

1)You never, ever, never stab at the brakes. Understand a tire’s grip this way: Front grip is divided between lean angle points and brake points, rear grip is lean angle points and acceleration points, lean angle points and brake points. Realize that the tire will take a great load, but it won’t take a sudden load…and so you practice this smooth loading at every moment in/on every vehicle. If you stab the brakes (um...or throttle...) in your pickup, you berate yourself because you know that the stab, at lean angle on your motorcycle (and bicycle, btw), will be a crash.

2)Let’s examine tire grip. If you’re leaned over at 95% (95 points in my book Sport Riding Techniques and fastersafer.com) of the tires’ available grip, you still have 5% of that grip available for braking (or accelerating). But maybe you only have 3%!!! You find out because you always add braking “points” in a smooth, linear manner. As the front tire reaches its limit, it will squirm and warn you…if that limit is reached in a linear manner.
It’s the grabbing of 30 points that hurts anyone leaned over more than 70 points. If you ride slowly with no lean angle, you will begin to believe that aggressiveness and grabbing the front brake lever is okay…and it is…until you carry more lean angle (or it’s raining, or you’re on a dirt road or your tire’s cold…pick your excuse). Do you have a new rider in your life? Get them thinking of never, ever, never grabbing the brakes. Throttle too…

3)If you STAB the front brake at lean angle, one of two things will happen. If the grip is good, the fork will collapse and the bike will stand up and run wide. If the grip is not-so-good, the front tire will lock and slide. The italicized advice at the beginning was written by a rider who aggressively goes after the front brake lever. His bike always stands up or lowsides. He’s inputting brake force too aggressively, too quickly...he isn't smoothly loading the fork springs or loading the tire. He may not believe this, but the tire will handle the load he wants, but the load must be fed-in more smoothly…and his experience leads to written advice that will hurt/kill other riders. “Never touch the brakes at lean angle?” Wrong. “Never grab the brakes at lean angle?” Right!
But what about the racers on TV who lose the front in the braking zone? Pay attention to when they lose grip. If it’s immediately, it’s because they stabbed the brake at lean angle. If it’s late in the braking zone, it’s because they finally exceeded 100 points of grip deep in the braking zone…if you’re adding lean angle, you’ve got to be “trailing off” the brakes as the tire nears its limit.

4) Radius equals MPH. Realize that speed affects the bike’s radius at a given lean angle. If the corner is tighter than expected, continue to bring your speed down. What’s the best way to bring your speed down? Roll off the throttle and hope you slow down? Or roll off the throttle and squeeze on a little brake? Please don’t answer off the top of your head…answer after you’ve experimented in the real world.
Do this: Ride in a circle in a parking lot at a given lean angle. That’s your radius. Run a circle or two and then slowly sneak on more throttle at the same lean angle and watch what your radius does. Now ride in the circle again, and roll off the throttle…at the same lean angle. You are learning Radius equals MPH. You are learning what throttle and off-throttle does to your radius through steering geometry changes and speed changes. You are learning something on your own, rather than asking for advice on subjects that affect your health and life. (You will also learn why I get so upset when new riders are told to push on the inside bar and pick up the throttle if they get in the corner too fast. Exactly the opposite of what the best riders do. But don’t believe me…try it.)
Let me rant for a moment: Almost every bit of riding advice works when the pace is low and the grip is high. It’s when the corner tightens or the sleet falls or the lap record is within reach…then everything counts.
“Get all your braking done before the turn,” is good riding advice. But what if you don’t? What if the corner goes the other way and is tighter and there’s gravel? It’s then that you don’t need advice, you need riding technique. Theory goes out the window and if you don’t perform the exact action, you will be lying in the dirt, or worse. Know that these techniques are not only understandable, but do-able by you. Yes you! I’m motivated to motivate you due to what I’ve seen working at Freddie’s school and now the Champ school…
I’m telling you this: If you can smoothly, gently pick-up your front brake lever and load the tire, you can brake at any lean angle on and FZ1. Why? Because our footpegs drag before our tires lose grip when things are warm and dry. It might be only 3 points, but missing the bus bumper by a foot is still missing the bumper! If it’s raining, you simply take these same actions and reduce them…you can still mix lean angle and brake pressure, but with considerably less of each. Rainy and cold? Lower still, but still combine-able.

5)So you’re into a right-hand corner and you must stop your bike for whatever reason. You close the throttle and sneak on the brakes lightly, balancing lean angle points against brake points. As you slow down, your radius continues to tighten. You don’t want to run off the inside of the corner, so you take away lean angle. What can you do with the brakes when you take away lean angle? Yes! Squeeze more. Stay with it and you will stop your bike mid-corner completely upright. No drama. But don’t just believe me…go prove it to yourself.

6)Let’s examine the final sentence in the italicized quote. The best thing to do before taking a corner is to grind the thought "I'm going to turn this corner" into your mind.
No, that’s not the best thing. It’s not the worst thing and I’m all for positive thinking, but we all need to see the difference between riding advice and riding techniques. This advice works until you enter a corner truly beyond your mental, physical or mechanical limits. I would change this to: The best thing to do before taking a corner is to scan with your eyes, use your brakes until you’re happy with your speed and direction, sneak open your throttle to maintain your chosen speed and radius, don’t accelerate until you can see your exit and can take away lean angle.
7)Do you think I’m being over-dramatic by claiming this will save our sport? Are we crashing because we’re going too slowly in the corners or too fast? Yes, too fast. What component reduces speed? Brakes. What component calms your brain? Brakes. What component, when massaged skillfully, helps the bike turn? Brakes. If riders are being told that they can’t use the brakes at lean angle, you begin to see the reason for my drama level. When I have a new rider in my life, my third priority is to have them, “Turn into the corner with the brake-light on.”

I’ve said it before: This is the only bike forum I’m a member of. I like it, I like the peeps, I like the info, I love the bike. Could we begin to change the information we pass along regarding brakes and lean angle? Could we control our sport by actually controlling our motorcycles? If we don’t control our sport, someone else will try. Closed throttle, no brakes is “out of the controls”. Get out there and master the brakes.
Thanks, I feel better.

Nick Ienatsch
Yamaha Champions Riding School
Fastersafer.com

David
Total Control Instructor

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

MSF Rider Coach
MSF Dirt Bike Coach
SVIA ATV Instructor
Outlaws Justice is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 07:51 AM
pin it to win it
 
bryan j's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: forsyth GA
Posts: 8,081
Bike: 07 r6, 06 yz250f
Send a message via AIM to bryan j
Very well written

Go fast parts:
Pipercross race filter, Leo sbk slip on, 05 header mod, pcv, bauce racing ecu flash, agg smog block offs, quick turn throttle, 520 rk gxw chain -1-1 renthal sprockets, ebc hh pads
, Shorai battery.

Body:
Robby moto sbk rearsets, woodcraft clip ons & sliders, armor bodies sbk fairings, db screen, vortex v3 gas cap, keyless ignition mod, agg sbk res kit,


Support the forum Vendors
bryan j is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 08:07 AM
Make good choices.
 
thedub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Gardnerville, NV
Posts: 2,808
Bike: R6, SV, KTM300, Tiger 800
Re: Braking by Nick Ienatsch

Here's another one that was just posted the other day.

Quote:
Nick posted this on FS.com and I can't emphasis how important this topic is. The example below came directly from a forum on riding..

--
Imperfect Practice: The Wrong Control at the Wrong Time…Crash.

The forum entry below appeared on a riding school’s forum page (not YCRS) and was sent to me by a friend. Please read it through and then continue down the page for my comments and our lessons. *An important note: We never laugh at or make fun of another’s crash, but we certainly can learn from them. Secondly, this rider had good gear on and that's fantastic.
__________________________________________________ _________

The forum entry:

“Rode dirt bikes for 10 years and went down about 7 or 8 times in those 10 years. But this was my first time [crash] on a street bike in the one year I been riding and it's definitely much different.

I have analyzed what I might have done [wrong] over and over again. I narrowed it down to early entry, too much speed and target fixation in that exact order. Everything I learned at the school on what not to do, I did. One thing I did not do, which I been training myself not to do after reading XXXX [Not Sport Riding Techniques or fastersafer.com] and watching the video is to not chop the throttle in the turn. I stayed on the throttle until about 2 seconds of running wide and into the ditch where I crashed. Here is a few pics of the turn. I crashed riding up the hill not down. My bike is facing the opposite way because I came back down the hill to take pics. I took a panorama pic and a couple of regular ones. I thought I have been doing much better, I started teaching myself body position in the turns and decided to run a little hotter than usual yesterday. I am very humbled right now.”
__________________________________________________ _________

Let's examine:

1- "I narrowed it down to early entry, too much speed and target fixation in that exact order."

For members who have soaked in the articles and videos of fs.com, you realize that radius=MPH, so if you have an early or low entry, you’ve got to bring your mph down, all things being equal (like lean angle). The best way to bring your mph down is with the brakes, so you use them earlier, harder and further into the corner when you notice your entry is early/low. You might trail the brakes all the way into the corner or ‘until you’re happy with your speed and direction’. And think of one more lesson from this site: An 'early' entry might actually be traced back to turning your bike 'too quickly', adding lean angle too quickly, too suddenly...flicking, throwing, tossing.

Target fixation is certainly a tough one, especially when you’re rushing into a corner beyond your comfort level. One thing you’ll read on this site is: 'Target fixation is good when you pick the right target!' The ‘right target’ is the apex of the corner when entering, so constantly train yourself to look into the corner.

2- "One thing I did not do, which I been training myself not to do after reading XXXX and watching the video is to not chop the throttle in the turn. I stayed on the throttle until about 2 seconds of running wide and into the ditch where I crashed."

Now we are at the heart of the matter, the place where bad practice in low-pressure situations completely falls apart as ‘the pace is up or the grip is down’. The rider had been training himself to never close the throttle in a corner...but fs.com members have been asked to get in a parking lot and run circles to experiment with Radius=MPH and how on- and off-throttle effects steering geometry. Um…you’ve done that, right? Had this rider experimented in the parking lot, he would know that opening the throttle extends the forks, increases speed, and the bike will run wider. Increasing throttle opens the radius. Closed throttle tightens the radius. Steady throttle holds the radius. This rider had taken-for-gospel what he had heard at a school and on a video and read in a book, and it hurt him when he entered too low and too fast. There’s some real crap being taught out there and that’s what prompted Ken and me to start this site and lead the Yamaha Champions Riding School.

3- "...and decided to run a little hotter than usual yesterday." Yes, that’s what we A-personality motorcycle lovers are going to do! We’re going to push occasionally. And as we push, we’ve got to scan our eyes back and forth sooner and more frequently. We’ve got to mumble in our helmets, 'More speed, more brakes.' We’ve got to go hyper on our focus levels, ‘focusing relentlessly’. We’ve got to know that rushing the entry of a corner is one of the five reasons we crash, and that ‘corner entries serve to get the bike ready to exit’.

4- "I am very humbled right now." Humility in motorcyclists…always good. I penned a story back in the Sport Rider magazine days: Kick-Ass, Ass-Kicked Syndrome. It came from my experiences with fantastic highs leading to overconfidence and a severe bringing-down in this two-wheeled world. If you’re doing well and having a great time…celebrate that, but don’t let your focus and concentration drop. Ever. Kick ass and keep kicking ass.

5-The Corner…an uphill 180.

If you attended our IMS presentations, you heard Ken tell the audience, “Everything being taught in new-rider schools is for a 90-degree corner. Are all corners 90-degrees?” In a 90-degree corner, you can pick up the throttle early because the bike is in and out. This rider picked up the throttle early…the bike began to run wide (or at least hold its radius)…but that didn’t match the corner!

Ken will go on to say, “You want techniques that match the corner, not just hope the corner matches your techniques.” So…members…when do you accelerate? ‘When you can see the exit and take away lean angle.’

Ken and I hesitate to jump in during crash discussions at the risk of sounding like ‘know it alls’…but this site is different. You are here because of your desire to improve your riding…and we’re here to tell you that this sport is within your grasp, but certain non-negotiable aspects must be right. The faster you go, the more this site’s information counts.

Last thought: Remember the ‘Crusade’ button on the front page of fastersafer.com? Our Crusade to improve rider training is stronger than ever and is about to take a huge step as we announce YCRS at New Jersey Motorsports Park in 2014. Riders are being taught complete rubbish from people who are just ‘making a living teaching motorcycle riding’. Ken and I want to make a living, but more importantly: We want to save and grow our sport. Keeping riders alive and healthy does wonders for bike sales.

If this real-world example had happened in a right-hand corner with traffic coming, the rider would be dead. The rider didn’t need more miles or more laps or a better bike…he needed the Champions Habits you are learning here.

-Nick Ienatsch

AFM #77
Thanks for the support in 2017

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
thedub is offline  
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 08:09 AM
Make good choices.
 
thedub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Gardnerville, NV
Posts: 2,808
Bike: R6, SV, KTM300, Tiger 800
Re: Braking by Nick Ienatsch

If you think Nick writes well, you what he has to say and you are interested in learning how to ride your motorcycle better, consider subscribing to the website:
To view links or images in this forum your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

AFM #77
Thanks for the support in 2017

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
thedub is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 10:37 AM
Hey...watch this
 
FZ1guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Jersey, Ga - suburb of Loganville
Posts: 549
Bike: FZ1; R6; GL1800; SV650
Re: Braking by Nick Ienatsch

I have been a trail-braker all of my riding life. (That's a long-long time) Long before I ever heard the term or knew what trail braking is.

Here is a pic from TGPR (I'm on the FZ1 in front) showing that a great deal of front brake in a turn is possible. The guy behind me either already knew this, or he learned very quickly.


To view links or images in this forum your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
FZ1guy is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 12:44 PM
Just made this great wheelie.. did you see it?!
 
Luigi.AssassinRiders.MC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 87
Re: Braking by Nick Ienatsch

Great post Outlaws Justice. I'm looking at the fastersafer.com site now and will definitely add Nick's book to my library. Had a conversation with my buddy who is a Hwy Patrol motorcycle cop and they all use trail braking while in the canyons and when he is at the track. it is very useful when done right.
Luigi.AssassinRiders.MC is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
Outlaws Justice was Here
 
Outlaws Justice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Watertown, New York
Posts: 36
Bike: Yamaha FZ1, Yamaha Vmax.
Re: Braking by Nick Ienatsch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luigi.AssassinRiders.MC View Post
Great post Outlaws Justice. I'm looking at the fastersafer.com site now and will definitely add Nick's book to my library. Had a conversation with my buddy who is a Hwy Patrol motorcycle cop and they all use trail braking while in the canyons and when he is at the track. it is very useful when done right.
that is why we teach it in the Total Control Classes

David
Total Control Instructor

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

MSF Rider Coach
MSF Dirt Bike Coach
SVIA ATV Instructor
Outlaws Justice is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 02:21 PM
I eat my R6
 
llneverfollowll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,016
Great read. First TD coming up for me and this is really useful. Thanks OP!
llneverfollowll is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 10:42 AM
My R6 eats me.
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 6
Re: Braking by Nick Ienatsch

So.. Does this imply that for every corner, we should trail brake into, on the street included? It says his third priority is to have new riders turn with the brake light on. Does this mean even if we are comfortable with our speed into a corner that I should slightly load my front tire anyway, going into a corner?
Haunts is offline  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 11:00 AM
My R6 eats me.
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 6
Re: Braking by Nick Ienatsch

Trail Braking: On the track to win, on the street to survive

By
nienatsch
– July 25, 2010


Trail Braking Diagram

Many “riding experts” feel trail braking is an advanced technique that beginning riders shouldn’t worry about. I don’t agree. It’s the new, low-mileage riders that are crashing the most, and the main reason they crash is due to too much speed at the corner entrance. Or as I put it, a lack of control at the corner entrance; the brakes are a control, and riders that crash rush into the corner without this control on. So wherever you are in your riding career, study the following column. Keep it with you for the next few weeks and review it before and after rides. Riding improvement happens in your mind when the bike is sitting still and I encourage you to work hard at your riding because mistakes can be catastrophic. Riding well is difficult, riding poorly is easy and painful.

Trail braking will soon reveal itself as the secret to outright speed on the racetrack, but more importantly, the secret to consistent street riding at any pace, on any bike. A final point: an expert rider’s touch on the front-brake lever is much, much finer and lighter than you realize.

How can the fastest roadracers win races? If they’re going faster than everyone else, shouldn’t they crash more frequently? The Ben Spies of our sport set track records, yet collect championships by finishing races. Lesser riders try to match the champion’s pace, but crash trying. Amateur racers come to the same track and crash while pushing to get within six seconds of the champion’s lap time. How can this be?

The confused “safety experts” in this country would have everyone believe that speed and safety are mutually exclusive, but racing tells us a completely different story. In racing, we find the fastest riders are often the least likely to hit the ground. Much of this can be explained by unique natural abilities such as eyesight and balance, or put down to a superior machine. But there is one aspect of their riding that will help every street and track rider in the world:

The champions realize that every corner has a slow point.

It doesn’t matter how long they dirttracked, who their daddy is, how old they are, what they eat or how they train…the fast guys know that each corner has a point where the bike must be going a certain speed. Arrive at this particular point with too much speed and the bike runs wide or crashes. Arrive with too little speed and you’re gonna get beat. The best riders have the ability to arrive at a corner’s slowest point closer to the precise speed the chassis can handle. This ability makes them faster than the rider who over-slows his/her bike at the corner entrance, and more consistent than the rider who carries too much speed into the corner.

And this ability is called trail braking. You need to learn it…on the track to win, on the street to survive and fully enjoy this sport.

The term trail braking refers to the practice of trailing some front-brake pressure into the corner. Or you can think of trailing off the brakes as you apply lean angle. There are two extremely important reasons to trail your brakes into the corner, but before we get to that, understand that the majority of your braking should be done before you tip your bike into the corner. Don’t get confused and believe that you are going to add brake pressure as you add lean angle. Just the opposite: you want to give away brake pressure as you add lean angle because your front tire can only handle so much combined braking and lean angle. I explain it with a 100-point chart in my book Sport Riding Techniques, writing about a front tire that has 100 total points of traction divisible between braking and cornering. As we add lean-angle points, we give away braking points. I’ve heard of riders believing that trail braking means running into the corner and then going to the brakes. There are some corners with that type of layout, but most corners require brake application well before turn-in. I think the point will become clear as we delve into why we want to trail brake.

We want to trail brake to control our speed closer to the slowest point of the corner. The closer we get to that point, the easier it is to judge whether we’re going too fast or too slow. If your style is to let go of the brakes before turning into the corner, understand that you’re giving up on your best speed control (the front brake) and hoping that your pre-turn-in braking was sufficient to get your speed correct at the slowest point in the corner. If you get in too slow, this is no big deal. The problem comes when the rider’s upright braking doesn’t shed the required speed and suddenly the rider is relying on lean angle to make it through the surprisingly tight turn. Or to get under the gravel patch. Or to the right of the Chevy pickup halfway in his/her lane.

We don’t crash on perfect days with perfect pavement and perfect tires. We crash when something unexpected crops up. The gravel, the truck in your lane, the water across the road mid-corner. If you’ve entered the corner with no brakes, then you’ve basically reduced your options to attempting to reapply the brakes when you see the unexpected surprise, adding lean angle, or standing the bike up and running off the road. You need to make a habit of turning into corners with just a little brake pressure because the unexpected is much easier to deal with if your brake pads are already squeezing your discs. You will be in control of your speed and as your speed drops, your bike will be able to carve a tighter radius at the same lean angle.

If you’re sitting there thinking, “This guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about, my bike stands up when I grab the brakes mid-corner,” I’d have to say you’re right. Abrupt braking midcorner will collapse the fork and make the bike stand up. Remember, trail braking is a light touch on the brakes, not a grab. Think of trail braking as fine-tuning your entrance speed. The big chunks of speed are knocked off while straight-line braking.

Makes sense, doesn’t it? This sport should make sense to you. If someone tells you something that doesn’t make sense, ask questions. If it still doesn’t make sense, quit listening to them. In this case, I’m telling you it’s easier to judge your speed the closer you get to the slowest point in the corner. Your best speed-setting device is your front brake, so use it as you turn into the corner. All corners? No, don’t make this math. Corners differ and your techniques must differ to deal with them. But the majority of corners have their slowest point somewhere after the turn-in. Find that point and trail the brakes closer to it.

The second reason you need to trail brake is because you can actually improve your bike’s steering geometry, helping it turn better. A slightly collapsed front fork tightens the bike’s rake and trail numbers and allows it to turn in less time and distance. Tighter steering geometry is one reason a sport bike turns better than a cruiser. Rather than let go of the front brake before the turn-in, keep a bit of pressure on and you’ll immediately feel the difference.

Let’s again study the rider who gets all his/her braking done before the turn-in. As the front brake is released the fork springs rebound, putting the bike in the worst geometry to steer. As this rider works within this technique, he/she will attempt to turn the bike quicker and quicker, trying to make up for the extended steering geometry with more and more aggressive steering inputs. The faster they ride, the wider the bike wants to run through the corners, so the harder they’ll try to steer. This rider will be forced to use more and more lean angle in an effort to “scrub off” speed with the front tire. Aggressive steering inputs and lots of lean angle…a recipe for disaster.

If we could convince this rider to stay on the brake lever a little bit longer, that lengthened brake pressure would tighten the steering geometry and the bike would turn better. It would carve a tighter radius sooner in the corner. It would take less lean angle. It would reduce the need for aggressive steering inputs, and anyone who does this sport well realizes that aggression with the brakes, throttle and lean angle can get painful. Fast guys load the tires smoothly, whether accelerating, braking or turning. Forget the “flick”.

Time for a real-world example. I’ve worked at the Freddie Spencer High Performance Riding School and the Yamaha Champions School for fourteen years and in addition to sportbike training, we’ve had the chance to host groups of cruiser riders several times in those years. Over a period of ten days last year, almost 800 riders had a chance to ride a variety of motorcycles on the track and one of the two main points we stressed was the use of the brakes. Keep in mind that some of these riders had never even used the front brake, having heard from an uncle or neighbor that the rear brake was the one to use. On a long-wheelbase cruiser, the rear brake is quite effective, but mastering the front brake is still the secret to bike control. Some of these guys had ridden for over 30 years and were amazed at how much more bike control they had when they mastered the front brake. They were able to ride at a quicker pace than expected because they gained the confidence of slowing and turning their bikes at the next corner.

One more real-world example. MotoGP (or World Superbike or 250GP or AMA Superbike, pick your favorite). All those guys trail-brake and do you know why? It’s faster and safer. Get in front of your TV and watch how long they stay on the front brake. They’re champions because they carry as much speed as possible to the slowest point in the corner (and as much speed as possible from the slowest point, but that’s another subject). It’s not just about speed, it’s about finishing tire tests, practice, qualifying and the race. Crashing is disastrous for street riders and equally problematic for racers who want a contract next year. Trail braking is about safety on the street and consistency on the track. It makes sense. You need to do it.
Haunts is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Yamaha R6 Forum: YZF-R6 Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nick is the shit!!!! bluerebel Appearance and Exterior Mods 21 02-21-2012 10:18 AM
Ienatsch and Yamaha Champ School coming East slowmo Track Tech & Riding Techniques 1 01-10-2011 07:16 AM
Keith Code on braking... or rather, not braking imaking20 Track Tech & Riding Techniques 3 09-24-2009 10:29 AM
Nick Wey GAMBLER General Discussions 6 11-01-2007 02:43 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome