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Old 01-20-2014, 01:55 PM   #46
Griffin44
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Originally Posted by ibafran View Post
....
BTW, many emergency stops for experienced riders do not end in a complete standstill. Some riders are looking for 'outs' and 'safety holes' while braking hard. Commiting, or having to commite, to nothing but a full-on braking is a pretty good sign that one is still a noob in the situational awareness area of riding. And that does not excuse the experienced rider from further regular braking practice.
Good points.

I was taught, and have always, pulled the clutch in when braking hard. Engine braking on a motorcycle is negligible. On my bike its less than useless. My bike is on its nose under hard braking, the rear wheel isn't in contact with the ground.

Downshifting allows you options you wouldn't otherwise have. Why throw out half your options when you don't have to. Brake hard, but be ready to get on the gas to get out of the disaster about to happen around you - and to do that you need to have downshifted.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:57 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Griffin44 View Post
Good points.

I was taught, and have always, pulled the clutch in when braking hard. Engine braking on a motorcycle is negligible. On my bike its less than useless. My bike is on its nose under hard braking, the rear wheel isn't in contact with the ground.

Downshifting allows you options you wouldn't otherwise have. Why throw out half your options when you don't have to. Brake hard, but be ready to get on the gas to get out of the disaster about to happen around you - and to do that you need to have downshifted.
Downshifted to the right gear. MOST people can't judge gear to speed well. You may not want to be down to first when you let the clutch out. Most bikes are capable of skipping the back wheel on abrupt downshifts or over downshifts if they don't have a back torque limiting clutch. Not a problem on dirt , asphalt's another story. Dirt you can instantly drop several gears and dump the clutch , the wheel just hops. On asphalt I downshift one gear at a time and release/dump the clutch , downshifting as quickly as possible. Sometimes you DO have to get out of the way after quickly stopping for a pullout or the guy behind you'll run you down.
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:10 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Griffin44 View Post
Good points.

I was taught, and have always, pulled the clutch in when braking hard. Engine braking on a motorcycle is negligible. On my bike its less than useless. My bike is on its nose under hard braking, the rear wheel isn't in contact with the ground.

Downshifting allows you options you wouldn't otherwise have. Why throw out half your options when you don't have to. Brake hard, but be ready to get on the gas to get out of the disaster about to happen around you - and to do that you need to have downshifted.
All good advice I'm thinking. This thread has helped me clear up the lack of understanding I've had for years. Thanks to everyone who contributed! You know, I had an incident just this morning: Here in Phx, people often use the left turn lane as a "safe place" to pull into when there's a lot of traffic and they want to turn left; they'll wait until traffic is somewhat clear coming from their left, quickly dart into the left turn lane, then wait until traffic coming from their right is clear to move into one of the right hand lanes. (This practice is I think illegal, but not enforced), however it does drive me crazy! When riding a bike, one never knows whether they've seen you and of course they seldom use their turn signal to indicate that they're ready to merge into the lanes to their right. Today, a 3/4 to lifted Ford, shot from a strip mall into the left turn lane very aggressively. I was in the left lane, traveling the direction he wanted to go. I braked rather aggressively, downshifted and checked my right hand mirror and did a quick shoulder check to be sure I could swap lanes if needed, also moved to the right edge of the lane I was in. Luckily, no issue, he had seen me and made no move to usurp my space, but this sort of maneuver is commonplace and always makes my hair stand up.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:22 AM   #49
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Interesting.... Back when I was instructing in the uk, if you pulled the clutch or attempted to change gear, you automatically failed the test... The powers that be reconed that the only important thing is to stop....engine braking helps.....concentrate on that...
I wonder if ten years later that's changed..have to say that I still practise regularly, and never clutch in..

They must be used to old British drum brakes!

FACT: trying to downshift and use the engine to help to stop CANNOT be done quickly enough to actually help in threshold braking (aka stopping in an emergency).

Go out, get rolling and in 5th, then try to downshift as fast as possible. You will quickly find out you cannot pull in the clutch, downshift, engage the clutch, then do it again and again through however many gears and stop efficiently. The way to make as quick a stop as possible involves only braking.

That is not to say do not downshift with the shifter, rather it means do not bother trying to actually let the clutch out to help slowing down. I personally will be "tap dancing" on the shifter as I am coming to a stop, to be hopefully in 1st, but that has nothing to do with my actual stopping.

You might also notice in roadracing when a racer is coming into a tight turn from a fast straight, most often at some point you will see them tapping down two, three, even four gears without engaging the clutch. They will blip the throttle, which does help engage gears and also has them at the proper rpm to engage the clutch and make the corner. There isn't enough time to engage each gear on the way in along with hard braking to make the quickest turn.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:30 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by joexr View Post
Downshifted to the right gear. MOST people can't judge gear to speed well. You may not want to be down to first when you let the clutch out. Most bikes are capable of skipping the back wheel on abrupt downshifts or over downshifts if they don't have a back torque limiting clutch. Not a problem on dirt , asphalt's another story. Dirt you can instantly drop several gears and dump the clutch , the wheel just hops. On asphalt I downshift one gear at a time and release/dump the clutch , downshifting as quickly as possible. Sometimes you DO have to get out of the way after quickly stopping for a pullout or the guy behind you'll run you down.

Only works if you have time to downshift and release. In an emergency situation there may not be time. If there is you aren't using the brakes effectively. Think about it.

Can you downshift three or four gears engaging the clutch - all within 60 feet? That's what threshold braking level would be at 30 mph. Oh, by the way the bike is going 44 ft/sec at 30 mph, you have to stop within less than 2 seconds. So even if you did 90 feet it would still be less than 2.5 seconds time.

How are you going to downshift to aid braking to a stop from 30 mph in less than 2.5 seconds?

Downshift yes, engage clutch for braking - no time to do so.
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:20 PM   #51
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30 MPH I'm only in first or second anyway. Depending which bike. Tell me , can you brake and blip the throttle while downshifting without changing pressure on the front brake? I can also downshift and modulate the rear.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:34 AM   #52
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Coming from an ex MSF instructor. In emergency breaking you always should be taught to pull the clutch in and keep down shifting until you get into first. As others have noted it is so that you are still in control of the bike ( even though you are in emergency breaking mode ) and if the circumstances change you are still in a position to get out of the emergency breaking and go into evasion mode.

A lot of what is taught may seem odd, but what they are trying to teach you is basic muscle memory so that you do the same thing over and over. In an emergency situation you will always revert back to what you were taught.

Another good example. Is that every time you come up to a stop and the bike is upright and straight, always use both brakes. It is a valuable exercise to practice this in a safe location. Gradually apply more and more brakes ( keep your speed down, no more than second gear when doing this). You need to learn how the bike handles under different types of braking and if you have ABS how it works. If you are one of these that only uses either the front or rear brake all the time, when you are faced with an emergency situation you will still only use the one brake or you'll clamp on both brakes too hard and loose control of the bike. On a MSF course I've seem riders apply too much front brake and go right over the handlebars.

To be a competent rider you always have to practice your skills so that they are going to be there when you need them.
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Old 01-26-2014, 11:00 AM   #53
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MSF instructors are parking lot experts. Ever heard the saying those who can't do teach? There comes a time when good students surpass their teachers or should.
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Old 01-26-2014, 11:54 AM   #54
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MSF instructors are parking lot experts. Ever heard the saying those who can't do teach? There comes a time when good students surpass their teachers or should.
Wow. I'm a parking lot expert. I can't do, so I teach. Hmmm, I guess those 42 years of riding all over the world don't count for anything. I'd better park my 2013 Hypermotard SP since my lap times are still just a bit short of the track record. While I'm at it I'll submit my resignation and stop writing as the safety editor for a national monthly riding publication. Damn, now I'll also have to give up my job as the manager of a major OEM's on and off-road national riding demonstration teams.

Oh, and obviously by your analysis I'm not qualified to teach sport bike classes either, so I'll hand in my coaching certification while I'm at it.

Here is another idea. Maybe you should actually consider your thoughts before you commit them to an enthusiast forum. Instead of loudly and ignorantly lumping all MSF RiderCoaches together in one broad insult, please recognize that there are varying degrees of ability in and dedication to this profession, just like any other. One more thought: Until you try it, don't even begin to think that (properly) teaching someone to ride a motorcycle is easy.

BTW, the correct syntax is "Those who can't do, teach." At least get that part right next time.

I apologize for the slight thread hijack. We now return you to your originally scheduled program. Have a nice day.
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:04 PM   #55
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I guess you'd better get writing. By the way , I live in Dunedin , we should ride.
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:50 AM   #56
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I had a dude at an msf course show me the difference. I took the course with a friend just to do it and keep him company and maybe learn something. I had always thought that you pull the clutch just before stalling, and told him this. He had me get up to 30 then emergency stop my way. Then he had me do it while clutching and downshifting and, damn, wouldn't you know the distance was probably 2/3 of what it took the other way?

Clutch. It works better. And do it every time you stop at a light or whatever so you start just doing it without thinking.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:12 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by joexr View Post
30 MPH I'm only in first or second anyway. Depending which bike. Tell me , can you brake and blip the throttle while downshifting without changing pressure on the front brake? I can also downshift and modulate the rear.

Again, 2.5 seconds, stopping far faster with brakes than the motor can decelerate... are you going to waste the time to engage the clutch?

We're talking emergency "a car just turned left in front of me and stopped" braking, not going into some corner where time is there to do the job.

No matter how good you are, your engine braking through even a one gear downshift will not help braking with in a 2.5 second time frame that threshold braking from 30 mph gives you. No matter how much you brag about your skills, just won't help.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:22 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by dwestly View Post

BTW, the correct syntax is "Those who can't do, teach." At least get that part right next time.

The actual saying is "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."

I will also say there are numerous teachers out there "who can", like Freddie Spencer, and others.

I won't say for bikes, but as an industrial technology teacher who came to teaching from mechanical eingineering in industry, I "can", but due to a bad economy and a layoff I "teach", which I find to be enjoyable. Oh, I guess I also "do" making cam chain tensioners.

So we both know that saying is 99% BS.
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