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Old 05-02-2013, 03:51 PM   #1
Andyvh1959 OP
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Keep your heel on the floorboard!!

When braking I mean. This pertains to any cruiser style bike with floorboards and the big ol' brake pedal like a car. I have seen many a cruiser rider apply the rear brake by lifting their foot and applying the brake just like they would in a car. This causes the following:
1. WAY too much rear brake application.
2. DIFFICULT rear brake modulation, if at all
3. LOTS of rear wheel skidding, with under braking the front because the rear of the bike is slewwing around
4. Ineffective use of the front brake, and no practice to get used to using the front brake to it's potential.
5. BIG leg muscles and leg weight applied to the rear brake pedal simply over-power the rear brake.

I teach MSF-ERC, and I have had cruiser riders over-apply the rear brake often because they lift their entire boot off the floorboard and apply the rear brake like in a car. I had a 30 year HD rider sliding the ass end of his FLHTC Classic all over the place during the quick stop exercise. He thought he was doing ok! I coached him to keep his boot heel on the floorboard and only use the ball/toe of his boot to apply the rear brake. Next stop he stopped better with no slewing/sliding. Then, because he had better stability, I got him to REALLY use the front brake. In no time, he was hauling it down in quick stops as well as other bikes with ABS even though his bike didn't have ABS. BOY did his eyes get big when he REALLY hauled it down in complete control.
So for bikes with floorboards:
1. Always keep your boot heel on the floorboard during braking.
2. Apply the rear brake with ONLY the ball/toe area of your boot.
3. Modulate the rear brake and apply more front brake.

You'll have MUCH better overall control, much shorter stopping distance, better application of the front brake, more confidence you can really stop that 800+ pound bike, and you'll quit sliding the ass end of your bike all over the place wearing out the rear tire. IF you can't get your boot heel on the floorboard during braking, then get the floorboard position/angle adjusted to fit you, get the brake pedal position adjusted to fit you. Don't just accept your bike the way it came from the factory or previous owner, cause it might been set up for a size 15 engineer's boot, compared to your size 8 boot (ladies especially).

I feel the floorboard/car-style brake pedal is a real contributor to crashes where riders claim "I hadda lay er down!" Biggest piece of BS in motorcycling! I feel misuse of the rear brake is a major cause of the "hadda lay er down" statement, caused by riders who really dont have the right skills or know what they are doing, wrong.
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Andyvh1959 screwed with this post 05-02-2013 at 03:59 PM
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:43 PM   #2
El Pescador
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Footboard
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:11 PM   #3
Andyvh1959 OP
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Footboard, floorboard, whatever. In my 42 years of riding I have never heard of them being called footboards.

Either way, what counts for brake control is keeping your heel of your boot in contact with the floorboard/footboard.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:16 PM   #4
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what?
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:57 AM   #5
Andyvh1959 OP
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What? What? Canoodian?

Anyway, here is a classic example of lack of braking control on a HD with floorboards:

http://youtu.be/7Fzb6oVF5m0

The rear wheel lockup is obvious, and because he gave up rear wheel control due to improper braking technique, along with the slope of the road, the bike had no where to go but down. Aside from his dumb ass pass, for his speed he easily could have straight into the turn, braked hard (properly), the pressed hard on the left grip to make the turn.

How much you wanna bet both him and his also dumb-ass buddy claimed "there was nothing I could do, the bike just ran off the road!" I'd bet his only admission to a screw up was the pass itself, with no admission that he didn't know effective braking techniques.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:31 AM   #6
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Meh.
My stopping and turning is usually lock the rear up, modulate the front while the back tire is in the air or sliding. More fun.



Oh, this isn't for when flogging dirt bikes?
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:56 PM   #7
k-moe
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I believe that keeping your heel fully supported makes sense for all vehicles. You have much more control of how much pressure is applied when using your calf muscles (which have evolved in order to vary applied pressure in small increments), instead of your thigh muscles (which are better at large, higher force, motions). There is also the benefit of time. Lifting a leg takes more time than tilting a foot. Now.......if you're driving a heavy truck, with mechanical drum brakes......you had better be stomping the hell out of the pedal, with your whole foot on it
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:02 PM   #8
k-moe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andyvh1959 View Post
What? What? Canoodian?

Anyway, here is a classic example of lack of braking control on a HD with floorboards:

http://youtu.be/7Fzb6oVF5m0
It's also an example of how pervasive "biker" stereotypes are amongst non-riders. Someone in the camera vehicle says, "Oh hell, they're gonna beat our asses." Well, since y'all didn't stop to render aid I hope that they did.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:36 AM   #9
Andyvh1959 OP
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I agree! Rather than stop to help, run! I have met many a "biker" type, and we're just people. Let's get over the crap and help each other. The few "One-percenters" or outlaws are thankfully so few that a genuine helping hand is rarely met with bad results.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:47 AM   #10
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What if your brake pedal is 5 inches above the floorboards? I just saw a bike like this yesterday. You have to lift your foot to get to the brake. Of course, I don't ride bikes with floorboards, so it's all academic anyway.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pescador View Post
Footboard
Sock Monkey!
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:20 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by corndog67 View Post
What if your brake pedal is 5 inches above the floorboards? SNIP

Then you are an idiot riding around on a form-trumps-function piece of ass-jewelry turd that probably doesn't even have a front brake so it can show off the custom "billet" 21" front wheel with flames for spokes.
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:44 AM   #13
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Then you are an idiot riding around on a form-trumps-function piece of ass-jewelry turd that probably doesn't even have a front brake so it can show off the custom "billet" 21" front wheel with flames for spokes.


Well, yeah. And I think those wheels are 23 inches, maybe bigger. I know they are bigger than a standard 21.

I never got the floorboard thing, or heel and toe shifters. I actually had some old dude ask me how to shift without a heel and toe shifter.

And speaking of idiots and their sleds, there is a group of guys around here, might be a club or something, that all have fringe hanging from their handlebars, all the way to the ground, that also has this "trait" where they drag their feet up to stopsigns and lights, maybe 50 feet before, and drag their feet the same distance away from the stop too. Pretty damn cool if you ask me. But, they've never asked me.
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:28 PM   #14
El Pescador
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Sock Monkey!
Huh?
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:02 PM   #15
bwringer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andyvh1959 View Post
I feel the floorboard/car-style brake pedal is a real contributor to crashes...

Agreed.

A trip through any "famous" twisty road during the season shows plenty of straight black lines on the pavement pointing at freshly damaged vegetation.
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