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Old 05-11-2012, 08:56 AM   #16
LittleRedToyota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markk53 View Post
Due to my off road experience I am a 2-3 finger front brake operator. It allows me to keep a grip on the throttle/handlebar on the right side. It mainly came from my trials riding when starting out, then helped a bunch when harescrambling or trail riding. Nothing worse than having the front end start to wash out when you have a full 4 finger grip on the brakes - you tend to squeeze harder to have control of the bars. With two fingers you have a good grip with your thumb and other two. MSF doesn't like the two-three finger grip, but nearly every racer, pro or amateur, does this type of grip. It works.
+1.

i understand why MSF teaches what they do to brand new riders. i don't understand why they don't teach 2 finger braking in the ERC, though.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:11 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
If your mc has ABS, use it once in awhile as it is good for the system to be cycled and you will get used to the feel of its operation.
The relevant point is that, should you be having an event, your brain will go "ABS just kicked in", not "HOLY CRAP WHY IS MY BIKE DOING THAT? LET GO OF THE BRAKES!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by RottVet View Post
I would suggest waiting until you take the course. The instructors will evaluate andcoach you correctly, and you will not have formed any more bad habits before then. However, one suggestion- as in any motorcycle function- being smooth equals being fast and efficent. Enjoy the course.
Agree to both. See what they have for you, then practice. My guess from a distance is smooth application, and head and eyes up and forward. Most people look down, which makes it harder to stay balanced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markk53 View Post
When it comes to hard braking, I find that to be part of my fun on a bike. Due to my off road experience I am a 2-3 finger front brake operator. It allows me to keep a grip on the throttle/handlebar on the right side. It mainly came from my trials riding when starting out, then helped a bunch when harescrambling or trail riding. Nothing worse than having the front end start to wash out when you have a full 4 finger grip on the brakes - you tend to squeeze harder to have control of the bars. With two fingers you have a good grip with your thumb and other two. MSF doesn't like the two-three finger grip, but nearly every racer, pro or amateur, does this type of grip. It works.
I can think of four reasons to support the MSF's position. These are probably not THE reasons, and there may be OTHER reasons, but I can think of off the top of my head, pre-coffee:

1) Their primary focus is n00bs. It takes less coordination to keep all four fingers together, and that also helps them close the throttle for braking- because when I forget and the engine starts revving, I close the throttle, but a new rider is more likely let go of the handlebar. They will always blame the bike for having a sticky throttle.

2) Not every rider can generate maximum braking with only one or two fingers on the lever, especially not a new rider- the combination of finger strength and fine muscle control doesn't exist for them (yet... for many, it never will, because they don't care enough to try).

3) Not every bike can generate maximum braking with only one or two fingers on the lever. Some bikes need all the strength you can get; some bikes, fingers on the throttle will interfere with lever travel. A KLR fits both examples.

4) The ring finger (I'm told) has a better sense of feel than the index and middle fingers.

dwoodward screwed with this post 05-14-2012 at 07:06 PM Reason: De-Klaying. Wow I was tired.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:25 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by markk53 View Post
You can practice all the time on the street. When there aren't cars around I will slalom the dotted line anywhere from 40-60 mph, trying to go between each. Definitely develops reactions and gets you to look ahead. I also practice riding between the lines on double yellow or dot/yellow lines whenever I can. It is simply training to keep a bike on line. I rode rollers on a bicycle and found it rather easy to stay within a foot range, 6" gets a bit tougher.

When riding familiar roads or roads with clear line of sight, start moving around, braking, and accelerating in corners. That teaches you how to maneuver in spite of being mid corner. This skill is definitely handy when something appears in a blind corner or something happens mid turn. I can move out or in quite easily in any corner along with braking relatively quickly because of this sort of practice. You also gain confidence in tires as you do this, because as you lean further in your practice you find the limits are beyond your skill for the most part.

When it comes to hard braking, I find that to be part of my fun on a bike. Due to my off road experience I am a 2-3 finger front brake operator. It allows me to keep a grip on the throttle/handlebar on the right side. It mainly came from my trials riding when starting out, then helped a bunch when harescrambling or trail riding. Nothing worse than having the front end start to wash out when you have a full 4 finger grip on the brakes - you tend to squeeze harder to have control of the bars. With two fingers you have a good grip with your thumb and other two. MSF doesn't like the two-three finger grip, but nearly every racer, pro or amateur, does this type of grip. It works.

Again, when no cars around I will anchor the bike down heavily when coming to stops just to do it. Practice to make perfect. I can bring the front tire to a howling stop on both the streetbike and the dual sport. With the 2 finger grip I have had the front tire lock, then with a slight lightening of my grip, bring it back without releasing completely.

Everything I've mentioned happens regularly when I ride. It has for the past 25 years or more, no matter what motorcycle I've owned. For me it is simply part of the experience, as is an occasional hard run through some gears or lifting the front wheel a bit from a stop. Virtually every ride is practice to me, because it is fun to do and keeps the skills up.

Have at it. Take the classes, visit the parking lots, but most of all, practice every day every ride. Intentionally do the stuff in the places where you actually would use it.
+1, he said it right. Braking hard in a parking lot from 40 won't help you much when the deer jumps out in front of you on a rainy curve.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:34 AM   #19
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Practice almost everyday, usually on yellow lights. I don't run the yellow/red anymore.

A trick for your hard braking...squeeze your tank hard.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:47 AM   #20
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I practice a lot too, generally wen I space out and almost blow past a turn I wanted to take.

(While checking my six, of course)
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:46 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkent02 View Post
+1, he said it right. Braking hard in a parking lot from 40 won't help you much when the deer jumps out in front of you on a rainy curve.
I think it will. Practicing in a controlled environment will strengthen your basic skills.
You should ALSO practice in less ideal environments which are more like the real-life situation where you will need to brake hard, but not ONLY there.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:10 AM   #22
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:21 AM   #23
LittleRedToyota
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Originally Posted by pretbek View Post
I think it will. Practicing in a controlled environment will strengthen your basic skills.
You should ALSO practice in less ideal environments which are more like the real-life situation where you will need to brake hard, but not ONLY there.
yep. you have to build the foundation first.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:13 PM   #24
Harvey Krumpet
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Originally Posted by pretbek View Post
I think it will. Practicing in a controlled environment will strengthen your basic skills.
You should ALSO practice in less ideal environments which are more like the real-life situation where you will need to brake hard, but not ONLY there.
Yup, you can practice in the rain too.... and leaned over in a corner.
It's about good technique & good reactions wherever & whenever you need it.
As somebody mentioned, practice will take you so far but good training will take you a lot further.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:29 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by DAKEZ View Post
Practice every day on your normal rides. Just make certain to check your 6 first.

I was about to tell you the same thing practice practice ....
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:23 PM   #26
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And, if you ride a bicycle with hand brakes...
Flip the levers so the front is on the right not the left.
Body memory and all that.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:41 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
If your mc has ABS, use it once in awhile as it is good for the system to be cycled and you will get used to the feel of its operation.
"One in a while"? Shit, on my ABS bike (1 out of 3 bikes) the rear at least, it gets "cycled" every ride. Maybe from riding dirt I'm used to "backing it in", LOL? The front not so much, mainly because it takes SO MUCH stopping to get it to go on. Not much call in daily riding for that rapid a stopping, even a good way to get a car bumper up my butt when I'm on the street.

Again maybe from dirt exp, even a front lock-up doesn't put you down unless you fail to ease it. On non-ABS bikes, it amazes me how much little of the available braking a lot of riders use. I can think of two instances where I was leading a small group ride on pavement, was a bit late spotting an upcoming turn but still had time to brake and make the turn (on a non-ABS bike with knobbies), while a rider further back blew right by it (despite seeing me turn in ahead of him/her) due to lack of braking confidence.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:54 PM   #28
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1) They're primary focus is n00bs. It takes less coordination to keep all four fingers together, and that also helps them close the throttle for braking- because when I forget and the engine starts revving, I close the throttle, but a new rider is more likely let go of the handlebar. They will always blame the bike for having a sticky throttle.

2) Not rider can generate maximum braking with only one or two fingers on the lever, especially not a new rider- the combination of finger strength and fine muscle control doesn't exist for them (yet... for many, it never will, because they don't care enough to try).

3) Not every bike can generate maximum braking with only one or two fingers on the lever. Some bikes need all the strength you can get; some bikes, fingers on the throttle will interfere with lever travel. A KLR fits both examples.

4) The ring finger (I'm told) has a better sense of feel than the index and middle fingers.[/QUOTE]


I highly recommend learning to use two or three fingers eventually. You develop the necessary hand strength. If your lever comes back far enough to pinch your fingers I'd be looking at why. If the lever comes back that far it is possible you aren't getting max braking capability.

As for the ring finger, with all four fingers on the lever that won't make any difference.

Again, watch experienced racers from about any motorcycle sport and you will seldom see them with all four fingers on the brake. I've seen some who use the ring finger on the clutch for quick slipping while having a good grip. On the off roaders the levers are short, making using all four fingers on either lever extremely difficult if not impossible.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:57 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by viverrid View Post
"One in a while"? Shit, on my ABS bike (1 out of 3 bikes) the rear at least, it gets "cycled" every ride. Maybe from riding dirt I'm used to "backing it in", LOL? The front not so much, mainly because it takes SO MUCH stopping to get it to go on. Not much call in daily riding for that rapid a stopping, even a good way to get a car bumper up my butt when I'm on the street.

Again maybe from dirt exp, even a front lock-up doesn't put you down unless you fail to ease it. On non-ABS bikes, it amazes me how much little of the available braking a lot of riders use. I can think of two instances where I was leading a small group ride on pavement, was a bit late spotting an upcoming turn but still had time to brake and make the turn (on a non-ABS bike with knobbies), while a rider further back blew right by it (despite seeing me turn in ahead of him/her) due to lack of braking confidence.
Yerp, prior to my training I did not practice braking but had enough nous to haul the bike up as & when required.
When we started practicing it was a revelation how quick we ended up stopping.
Something not mentioned so far is gear changing. The point our instructor made was your better off looking at the bumper of a car in 3rd gear than you are sitting on it in 1st. Fair call..
Being able to use maximum braking is the one thing that will save your bacon when the fan gets hit.
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:16 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by markk53 View Post
1)
Again, watch experienced racers from about any motorcycle sport and you will seldom see them with all four fingers on the brake. I've seen some who use the ring finger on the clutch for quick slipping while having a good grip. On the off roaders the levers are short, making using all four fingers on either lever extremely difficult if not impossible.
I think the transition from brake to throttle in racing & particularly riding off road is very fast & calculated for making rapid progress, not avoiding a hazard. I still use 2 fingers in the dirt because I need to get on the gas instantly to keep control, it's often brake, throttle, brake etc to keep the bike pointing the right way, maintain sufficient momentum, keep the revs where I want them but also to stop the bike from going too quick. You need brakes & throttle together to make head way & stay upright.
Day to day on the road having the skills & confidence to use your brakes to the max when required is a life saver not a race winner. Somewhere between old spongy brakes & state of the art brick wall stoppers is the happy medium of using the right number of digits required to do the job.
I think anybody willing to go out & practice has the right attitude to find out what works best for them & their bike. Their are quite a few variables so practice + training will give the best technique for a rider willing to learn.
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