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Old 04-21-2013, 02:13 PM   #1
390beretta OP
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Wife has dropped bike 3 times!

I'll probably get cut off for posting this, but can't help it LOL! All three times at two or three miles per hour. First one was in BMW parking lot, she was turning to park and touched the front brake which pitched everything out of whack and she "high sided so to speak".

Second time, about 3 months ago, she was sitting at a stop light, sheriff's cruiser just behind her in next lane. She's sitting there with the bike in first, clutch in, just as I've taught her with plenty of room to maneuver in case someone fails to stop behind her. Everything's fine until a rider going the other direction waves at her. Yep, she let go of the clutch to return the wave and that was it. At the next light the sheriff's cruiser with two deputies inside stopped, rolled down the window and asked what happened. She had to explain which cracked them both up.

Third time was this afternoon. Three of us got caught in a two mile backup on I-17 N. of Phoenix due to a serious accident, (lots of witnesses all around us) so we're crawling along with everyone else. Wife's behind me and suddenly in my mirror I see her just "fall over". Of course, I hurried back to help, but by that time she had the bike already picked up using great technique. Made sure she was OK and we continued home. Asked her what happened (of course she'd had about 30 minutes to make up a story) Said she put her left foot down to stop and "felt a pebble roll under her foot", was afraid she was going to fall so reflexively grabbed the front brake (again); you know the rest.

When I attempted to explain that when going really slow, it's probably best to not even touch the front brake, for some reason, she gave me a really dirty look!
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:16 PM   #2
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If she is OK with it and learning, carry on. Nothing wrong. Nothing to see here. FWIW, 0-3 mph are some of the best speeds to be involved in a get-off.
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:22 PM   #3
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No biggie, she'll get a hang of it sooner or later.

I dropped my first big bike, a KLR 650 3 times in the garage before I learned my lesson, haven't dropped a bike since and that was 9 years ago
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:23 PM   #4
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learning

For your sake and HERS ,be supportive and helpful . I am a re entry rider with a fair amount of experience and every one drops bikes eventually .
Regards,Ed
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:27 PM   #5
txwanderer
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Function check of engine guards coupled with impromptu practice in righting the fallen bike.

What could possibly be wrong with that?

If you never dropped it, you are either lucky or just don't ride much.

CHeers
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:35 PM   #6
AzItLies
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Tell ya what OP, just this minute walked in from teaching a BRC... we see this a lot.

One thing, main things, we have to repeat, over and over and over and over and...

DON'T GRAB THE FRONT BRAKE WHEN THE WHEEL IS TURNED!!!

I mean, we're seriously yelling... and yet... people continue to do it. It really takes 2 days of range training, 5 hrs ea, to drive the point home. Even then a few still have trouble.

you have my sympathy.

Cheers
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:40 PM   #7
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Motorcycling is not for everyone....
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Old 04-21-2013, 03:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzItLies View Post
Tell ya what OP, just this minute walked in from teaching a BRC... we see this a lot.

One thing, main things, we have to repeat, over and over and over and over and...

DON'T GRAB THE FRONT BRAKE WHEN THE WHEEL IS TURNED!!!

I mean, we're seriously yelling... and yet... people continue to do it. It really takes 2 days of range training, 5 hrs ea, to drive the point home. Even then a few still have trouble.

you have my sympathy.

Cheers
Are you sure you have the proper frame of mind to be teaching new riders? I've had many hours of instruction, ranging from the portly guy at the Jr. College ERC to a Moto GP champion. Nary a one of them ever raised their voice. Something to think about if your team is actually engaged in escalating tensions.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzItLies View Post
Tell ya what OP, just this minute walked in from teaching a BRC... we see this a lot.

One thing, main things, we have to repeat, over and over and over and over and...

DON'T GRAB THE FRONT BRAKE WHEN THE WHEEL IS TURNED!!!

I mean, we're seriously yelling... and yet... people continue to do it. It really takes 2 days of range training, 5 hrs ea, to drive the point home. Even then a few still have trouble.

you have my sympathy.

Cheers
This ^

...probably would have helped avoid at least one of the instances you describe.
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:47 PM   #10
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I did not understand the first sentence. Why would a mod cut you off. Then I realized who would do the cutting.

But in all seriousness I was much like you when I rode with my ex and she kept doing inexperienced stuff.

Emphasis on the EX.
Is it all that big of a deal? Nobody hurt and she has learned to pick it up very well. but you couldn't tell me that at the time.
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Old 04-21-2013, 03:30 PM   #11
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390, it is about the learning process and how far your wife is along the process of learning to ride.

Very roughly speaking, let's say that the brain has three levels. The lowest level is the part that controls our automatic functions--pulse, breathing, etc. The high level is the part we think with. The mid level is where we store actions we've learned.

Thinking about something new is relatively slow and tiring. When we try something new it takes several hundred repetitions to "learn" it. This creates new neural connections in the mid level of our brains where things are "in memory" or "learned" or "automatic." And, changing something we've learned (like leaning away from a turn) takes several thousand repetitions of the new movement. Your wife is still in the thinking part of this process. And, there is no such thing as multi-tasking. We can only think of one thing at a time, but we can cut the tasks into thin slices of attention. Releasing the clutch to wave is an example of thinking of one thing at a time. She still has to think of using the clutch. It isn't yet automatic.

Try several sessions of slow speed parking lot practice. She'll have no distractions of route and traffic. Find an empty parking lot where the lines are painted at 90. Both of you do these. Do something nice for her after each session, and make the sessions fun. If she improves over the last session, make a big deal out of it. If she does some task better than you, do something really nice for her.
---Ride down a long painted line using just the clutch and rear brake to go slow, really slow, slow, really slow, slow, really really slow, etc. Eyes up always.
---Where there are parking lines across the long line, make circles in one direction that are, say, four spaces wide. Smoothness and eyes looking through the turn are the goal. Then 3-1/2 spaces. Then 3 spaces. Then 2-1/2. Then 2. If you don't make 3, OK, reverse direction.
---Make figure-eights in the same area, reducing the size as you progress.
---Set up a swerve and stop with sidewalk chalk. Three lanes, she comes down the middle, you're at the end in a safe spot, you suddenly put up a left hand, or right, signalling a swerve to that side then stop. Or both hands signalling a sudden stop. Then switch spots and she gets to signal to you. The goal is smooth movements, eyes up, prompt responses.

If you see her getting mentally fatigued (which certainly is real fatigue), stop and continue another day.

Have fun. Give her several hundred repetitions over several sessions of the braking and clutch and steering and balancing and eyes up to create those new neural connections in her brain, and she'll learn these actions. And she'll end up being a good bike handler if that's what she wants to do.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:29 PM   #12
390beretta OP
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You guys are right! I did the original post just to "mess" with her because I know she'll read it. I should add that she had two years of off-road riding experience on a Kawi Super Sherpa before getting her current Versys. We spent a Summer in the Big Horn Mts. WY and the next Summer in Moab. We both did a lot of off-roading there. We both fell a few times there as well It's where we both learned to hate sand. She's actually a very good rider and I'm very lucky to have a honey that rides. She's a keeper for sure!!
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:11 AM   #13
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I use my front brake with the wheel turned at parking lot speeds all the time. I think new riders should be taught how to do this as it will help break them of the tendency to grab the brake rather than smoothly applying it.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaddix View Post
I use my front brake with the wheel turned at parking lot speeds all the time. I think new riders should be taught how to do this as it will help break them of the tendency to grab the brake rather than smoothly applying it.
Exactly! - Although for a new rider, especially one who is short-of-leg and/or light weight relative to the height/mass of their motorcycle, emphasizing the need to have the handlebars square when coming to a stop is probably more important. The reasons for not doing so may have to do with other aspects of machine control, rider posture, etc. If you're not sure what is causing the problem, it may be difficult to fix. Smoothly applying the front brake rather than grabbing it is an important skill irrespective of whether someone has the bars turned. The OP's wife may be ready for an MSF experienced rider course or some other form of additional training.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:14 AM   #15
AzItLies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaddix View Post
I use my front brake with the wheel turned at parking lot speeds all the time. I think new riders should be taught how to do this as it will help break them of the tendency to grab the brake rather than smoothly applying it.
Well, that's not what the MSF teaches, and they've done decades of research and studying data, and taught what has to be in the millions of new riders across the Country.

YOU may realize, and it sounds like you do, that while the front brake (and or rear) can be used when cornering, it takes a lot of experience and awareness that you can only use if very little (aka trail braking).

But teaching that to new riders? never been on a bike before? Absolutely NOT!! Be aware, more than half of these people are scared shitless. They are feeling so much anxiety it's palpable.

As much as we suggest deep breaths etc etc, it's very difficult to get them to relax. Even mentioning simple things become difficult if we can't relax. It's a monumental thing for many of them to be on a motorcycle.

The MSF doesn't teach trail braking until you get to their most advanced class, The Military Sport Bike class. Even in the Experienced Rider Course, it's not mentioned.

Basically, what they're trying to accomplish, is to not have to have newish riders learn the hard way that you can't use that front brake that hard with the bike leaned over. So they recommend riders do all their braking with the bike straight up, then get off the brakes and lean it over and power around the corner.

In slow tight turns, and you have to slow a little before the turn, rear brake only. Then get off the brake before the turn and use the friction zone and power around the turn. This changes for scooters as they have to simulate a clutch by using the rear brake throughout the turn and keep the revs up.

And to someone else... no, you don't modulate the front brake, you either have ABS or you don't. Our full stopping power is both brakes to their fullest extent without locking up either tire.

The technique for using the front brake on a motorcycle is called "a delayed firm squeeze". We delay the firmness of the squeeze until the weight of the bike gets on the front wheel and flattens out the contact patch, NOW at this point we can be firm, not before. Never modulate the brake, yer increasing your stopping distance.

Newish riders don't understand these things, and tend to grab that brake hard even if the wheel is turned or they're leaned over etc. And when they do that, that's called "learning the hard way". Learning the easy way is when you take a class and have competent instructors.

Cheers
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