Jrock has a great thread going on decreasing corners....
The Trail Braking thread is a good idea.
This is an ADVANCED riding Technique conversation, let’s keep it at that level please.
Defining Trail Braking
Is commonly defined as using the brakes while turning ( leaned over ).
To really discuss this we need to break our controls into their component parts.
Throttle - 0% Engine Braking at high RPM transfers a SMALL amount of weight forward.
Throttle – 1% - 5% Transfers Weight (grip) to REAR Tire - Relaxes Geometry.
Throttle – 5% - 100% Transfers more weight to rear tire - Accelerates Motorcycle
Brakes – 1%-5% Transfers weight ( grip ) to front tire – Steepens Geometry.
Brakes – 5% - 99% Transfers more weight to front tire – Decelerates Motorcycle.
Let’s approach a simple 90 degree corner after a straight… Like T1 at Blackhawk.
Feel the Freddie.....
100% throttle to the braking marker
3-5% Brakes for a second or two till front end settles
90% HARD braking to set entry speed
Reduce to 3-5% Brakes for TURN IN ( Rotation )
Maintain light brake pressure 1-5% until direction change is complete and
you are happy with the direction the motorcycle is pointed.
Fade brake to 0%
Fade throttle to 3-5% to plant rear to prepare for drive out.
Remove lean angle THEN begin to wind the throttle on to 100%
REALLY ADVANCED TRACK TECHNIQUE
It came up later in the thread, we better address it here too.....
You can use the brake to significantly reduce the speed of the motorcycle
while leaned over during the first 1/2 of a corner. I have seen Freddie Spencer
do this in his school.... decelerating from FULL RACE PACE to a FULL STOP
AT THE APEX..... smoothly and safely.
Braking significantly ( anything beyond simple weight transfer ) while leaning the bike
is a *VERY* advanced skill that takes years to learn.... you should NOT attmpt it on
the street at all as you simply have no safety margin to flirt with the last, smallest
percentages of traction. If you ride that hard... please, get to the racetrack.
Most things are identical to the racetrack…. the numbers are all less.
Important to go to the brakes in stages – NEVER snap the front brake on.
Before weight transfer happens you don’t have much grip….always go
to the front brake on a cadence…. one thousand one…squeeeze.
Important the REDUCE ( not eliminate ) brake pressure to minimal BEFORE
you turn-in ( rotate) the motorcycle. The combination of hard braking and
truning force can overwhelm the front tire and cause you to crash.
Important to maintain a little front weight bias to keep the geometry steep
and enable the motorcycle to turn during the first portion of the turn.
When you are happy it’s important to transition off the break Smooooothly.
When it’s time it’s important to go to the throttle in steps.
Add no significant throttle until you begin to REDUCE lean angle.
That Dam Decreasing Radius Corner
You approach a corner with limited sightlines….. transitioning smoothly to
the brakes you reduce speed. Easing back to light braking keeping the bike
“on the balls of its feet” you rotate into the corner.
As you are arcing into the corner you see that it is tighter than anticipated
so you maintain that 5% on the front brake…. off throttle… leading with your
eyes you point your forehead at the desired exit and increase pressure on the
inside bar a bit….. trusting your bike and it’s tires.….. the bike slows and carves
a tighter and tighter concentric arc towards the exit.
When the bike is back on a safe trajectory you fade off the brake and fade on
the throttle to settle the bike and prepare for the next straight….. smarter.
I think I am done spouting for the moment......