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post #1 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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Let's Talk about Trail Braking

Jrock has a great thread going on decreasing corners....
https://www.chicagolandsportbikes.com...t=71928&page=6


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.



RACTRACK TACTICS

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.




STREET TACTICS

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......


Discuss.




Tom

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post #2 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 11:32 AM
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This is definitely and advanced riding technique. Braking too much will cause your front end to tuck and that is not fun. I'm a big fan of trail braking and I think it help tremendously when don't correctly.

The key factor, its all about being SMOOTH!

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post #3 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 01:36 PM
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Thanks Tom!

Even though this is more of an advanced technique, we have a good many advanced riders on here.

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post #4 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 01:39 PM
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Good write up! Doesn't downshifting come into play here too? Blipping while braking is a skill some of us still need to develop/improve. Is that applicable to this thread? If not, lets start a new one ?
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post #5 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GPz1100 View Post
Good write up! Doesn't downshifting come into play here too? Blipping while braking is a skill some of us still need to develop/improve. Is that applicable to this thread? If not, lets start a new one ?
I think before you start trail braking, you should have throttle blipping and downshifting down pat. IMO.
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post #6 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 01:56 PM
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NESBA Control rider taught me to trail brake last season, been using it ever since with great results

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post #7 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 02:00 PM
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moving this to the track forum since this is advanced discussion and not general conversion.



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post #8 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odysseys View Post
moving this to the track forum since this is advanced discussion and not general conversion.
That's a good idea. I don't want to read a thread "I was at SOW yesterday, and tried trailbraking while getting onto I-355 and...."

One thing to add to the conversation, when I'm trailbraking, which I've done like 3x at the track, my finger is barely pulling on the lever. FINGER barely resting, not fingers, doesn't take much to get the pads to bite.
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post #9 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 02:14 PM
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Love this topic, well set up Tom.

The main thing that folks don't realize is that this has the ability to SIGNIFICANTLY increase the safety factor on the road if used properly. The KEY however is to learn it in a parking lot, on a track, or in some place where experimentation (and failure) has less ramifications. For that matter, this can be easily learned on a pit bike, like a Honda 50.

It would be cool to have a parking lot type of seminar when the weather turns, in order to help give people a primer. The definition of 1-5% is something that most people don't really understand without direct training. I'd hate to have folks to go out and lowside on the street due to lack of understanding of how SOFTLY and SMOOTHLY we are talking about going to the brakes, and maintaining the brakes, and releasing the remaining brake drag.

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post #10 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Blipping and Downshifting should ALL be completed and the clutch out
and settled before you turn in ( rotate ) to the corner.


First downshift happens as you settle the bike on the brakes..... then
bing....bing......bing noce ever cadence as far as you need to go down
the box for the next corner exit.


And before someone asks.....


The BRAKES are for SLOWING, the ENGINE is for GOING.



It's OK at a leisurely pace on the street to use a little engine braking to set
you speed for the next corner.... but the brakes are WAY more efficent.



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post #11 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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To many points made here..... this is not a technique you use to get through an
intersection on a Sunday ride. But if you sport-ride on the street and are
rocking through the Kettle Morraine on that perfect twisty road....


It is a SAFE practice to follow.....

Load Tire
Slow Bike
Reduce Brakes to Load again
Turn-In (ROTATE) with a tiny bit of brake on

Fade off when happy.



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post #12 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 02:26 PM
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(my humble suggestion)
is keep trail breaking on the track.

pushing it hard enough to trail break on the streets means your riding excessive and reckless.

there is no need to trail break when your doing the speed limits in a turn.

learning it on the track, and then IF NEEDED in an emergency situation on the street to avoid something can be another bag of skills to keeping you safer.



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post #13 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odysseys View Post
(my humble suggestion)
is keep trail breaking on the track.

pushing it hard enough to trail break on the streets means your riding excessive and reckless.

there is no need to trail break when your doing the speed limits in a turn.

learning it on the track, and then IF NEEDED in an emergency situation on the street to avoid something can be another bag of skills to keeping you safer.

I'll pleasantly disagree with you....

The safest course on the street is to maximize traction.

Irrespective of speed ( I am NOT advocating riding 10/10th's on the street )
using a little trail-brake as you enter a corner to manage weight / traction
is a solid way to insure the front has maximum grip before you turn-in ( rotate ).




What I believe Ken is referring to, is using trail braking to additionally slow the bike
between turn-in and the apex to eke every last MPH out of a corner.

And that kiddies......is exactly what the racetrack is for.




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post #14 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLARNEY View Post
I'll pleasantly disagree with you....

The safest course on the street is to maximize traction.

Irrespective of speed ( I am NOT advocating riding 10/10th's on the street )
using a little trail-brake as you enter a corner to manage weight / traction
is a solid way to insure the front has maximum grip before you turn-in ( rotate ).





Tom
this is already done (if you properly applied the front break already) IE: softly applied front break with minimal pressure to load the front, shift the weight onto the front tire and progressively apply the break till the desired decrease in speed is enough to enter your turn OFF the breaks to MAXIMIZE full traction for the turn. (basic breaking 101)

any grip you take away, is less grip IE: breaking while turning.

(but you full well know this already) i am pointing this out to the people that dont have a clue or much of 1.


what it seems you guys are talking about are carrying that speed further, deeper, harder into the corner to justify the speed you went into it at (race pace/track days speeds/a higher rate of speed versus whats is needed to maintain safe breaking, and turning on the streets.

and thats what i am disagreeing with here.

i dont advocate this type of advanced breaking unless its on the track.



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post #15 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 03:15 PM
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To maximize traction you will need to put equal force on each contact patch of your tires. Your rear is larger than your front therefore you would need more weight on the rear therefore a small acceleration to achieve that is needed. Trail braking IMO is only to be practiced on a racetrack for certain situations that warrant that. Trail braking throws your weight forward even more when you don't want it there and compresses an already compressed suspension yielding less grip. Dangerous combo if you don't know the consequences. Sometimes on the track it's worth it to try for a win if needed, netting a low-side if it goes wrong. On the street I don't think there would be a situation that would ever call for it in practice assuming proper riding techniques, though having said that it is never a bad idea to improve your arsenal of skills.

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post #16 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Hope this helps....

[img][/img]

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post #17 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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AGAIN I will STATE.......


What I am discussing is using a small amount of brake during TURN IN to provide grip
to the front tire.


I am NOT talking about using the brake heavily to reduce speed for that last lap
stuff-pass or to eke every last MPH out of a corner.



These Are Two Different Discussions.



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post #18 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 03:28 PM
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I approve of trailbraking I like it.

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post #19 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heath View Post
I approve of trailbraking I like it.
Aw, what do you know

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post #20 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLARNEY View Post
Hope this helps....

[img][/img]
How about adding in shift points so people understand when to shift, when to brake, when to lean in, ect.

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post #21 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLARNEY View Post
AGAIN I will STATE.......


What I am discussing is using a small amount of brake during TURN IN to provide grip
to the front tire.





Tom
My understanding was we were adjusting the geometry of the bike. Saying "more grip" can be deceptive for those that don't understand it or haven't been coached on this issue before.
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post #22 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLARNEY View Post
Hope this helps....

[img][/img]
this makes WAY more sense to support your info stated that you have gathered.

but once again, its mildly advanced. (everyone take from it what you will) but there is just to many variables.

is there benefits? Hell yes!
can there be a down side? Hell yes!


there for learn it and master it on the track days and like noted many times add it to your bag of skills when you need it for the streets.



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post #23 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort82 View Post
My understanding was we were adjusting the geometry of the bike. Saying "more grip" can be deceptive for those that don't understand it or haven't been coached on this issue before.
its all relative but so many factors come into play, but once you do it enough, it becomes instinct.

we all are trying to relate safe riding, so regardless its a benefit if it works for you, and for when and where your using it.



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post #24 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odysseys View Post
can there be a down side? Hell yes!
you mean lowside?
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post #25 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 03:40 PM
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Heres the problem I am having:

As I began to use it more often at the track, I have also found that I do it ALL THE TIME on the street now......I have developed a muscle memory, and people I have ridden with tell me how wrong I am with my brake light on into the turn, even though I am in that 1-5%. I have become quite comfortable with it, use it all the time, whether I "need" it or not.

Now, imagine this - I have to do demos for students in MSF, and its like going to a foreign land. Its hard for me to turn it on and off.

Any suggestions.

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post #26 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odysseys View Post
this makes WAY more sense to support your info stated that you have gathered.

but once again, its mildly advanced. (everyone take from it what you will) but there is just to many variables.

is there benefits? Hell yes!
can there be a down side? Hell yes!


there for learn it and master it on the track days and like noted many times add it to your bag of skills when you need it for the streets.
Exactly. Depending on the situation, if you are already at max traction in the front and add trail braking you low-side. It is easier to go in to the corner at max speed and let friction and engine braking work in a perfect world.

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post #27 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 03:44 PM
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Alright Tom,

I do have a question. I've noticed on the track when turning hard, I have to release the brake to get the bike to carve tighter (decreasing radius) and a roll-on will make the bike go wide. Braking seems to make the bike stand up.

Am I braking too hard for trail-braking? Or am I trying too late to scrub speed? (wrong entry speed)

Bruce

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post #28 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort82 View Post
My understanding was we were adjusting the geometry of the bike. Saying "more grip" can be deceptive for those that don't understand it or haven't been coached on this issue before.


Think of it this way....


In sports.... before you start to run.... you plant your foot by putting
a little weight on it ...... why ?

Weight = Traction

At full throttle nearly 100% of the WEIGHT ( and therefore traction ) is on
the rear wheel. If you apply the brake immediately, the front slides.



Back to our example....


When you turn in, you are asking the front tire to ROTATE ( lean ) the
motorcycle over by counter-steering. Before you do this.... you want
to be sure you "plant your foot".



Once your speed reduction is done, you could release the front brake
to 0% .... this UNLOADS the front tire and reduces available traction
and is not the proper technique.... worse ( Code ) says to open the throttle
this is inconsistent with the physics at work.


By mainaining a small amount of brake when you are done slowing, weight
remains transferred to the front tire providing the grip that it needs to
help turn the motorcycle.... and yes ( Mort ) it also helps the geometry
by keeping the forks slightly compressed.



It's good stuff.



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post #29 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 03:48 PM
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Location: Northlake, IL 60164
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Location: Northlake, IL 60164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLARNEY View Post
Think of it this way....


In sports.... before you start to run.... you plant your foot by putting
a little weight on it ...... why ?

Weight = Traction





Tom
What if you're on ice?

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post #30 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Bartlett
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Sportbike: The Bird is the *word* - XX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce317 View Post
Alright Tom,

I do have a question. I've noticed on the track when turning hard, I have to release the brake to get the bike to carve tighter and a roll-on will make the bike go wide. Braking seems to make the bike stand up.

Am I braking too hard for trail-braking? Or am I trying too late to scrub speed? (wrong entry speed)

Bruce


Tire profile or chassis geometry issue. Some bikes stand up on the brakes...
you can dial it out by fiddling with things.


Running wide on power on exits is natural, you release the brake and the fork
extends giving you a chopper while simultaneously you remove load from
the front tire and reduce it's grip. Much throttle and now the rear
suspension starts to compress and further complicate the geometry issue.

I say add 3mm rear ride height and 2 clicks of HS Compression in the rear
and call me in the morning.





Tom

T2
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