Author Topic: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.  (Read 4454 times)

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Offline n3nman

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Playing a little devils advocate and interested in the responses. So this bike seems to be less tolerant then others of things like using front brake with wheel is turned at all. And when going very slow you might want both feet out in case of slight loss of complete vertical. So below 5 mph I use just the rear brake (there is no linking at that speed): 2012 C14). But of course that does not allow me to have both feet off of the bike. Already came close to tipping to the right in a driveway. Of course I can keep both feet out but then I have to use the front brake. If I use that method then one day when I have to stop quickly while slow I will have the bad habit of front brake. Thoughts?? And what is your technique?

Offline Bob H

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2015, 01:27:50 am »
I notice this with my C10.  At low speeds, I use the front with only one, two fingers at the most, with a very light touch.  If I've been riding something else, I've got to make sure I re-calibrate myself before getting back on the Connie. 

I live on a gravel road and driveway, so once you get used to that, pavement is relatively easy. ;D ;D
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Offline n3nman

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2015, 01:33:06 am »
I have two other much lighter bikes and do not want to just change my habits for each bike because in a emergency my habits will rule the day. Just want to see how others approach this issue in the hopes of not dropping my C14. And yes I put some Canyon Cages on as well.

Offline ThrottleUp

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2015, 05:08:29 am »
1.  Find yourself a local school that teaches slow speed skills.     
2.  Find a local parking lot and practice practice practice slow speed skills
3.  Dont fear the brake,   learn to control your braking.   
4.  Learn to balance and counter balance the bike,  learn body position
5.  Rinse and repeat


I know this all sounds obvious and almost condescending,  its not meant to.   Honestly,  find a local slow speeds skills school.  Many of the law enforcement departments offer a civilian version of the motor officer training program.  Its well worth it   
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Offline Aussie

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2015, 12:08:27 pm »
+1

That's what I needed to do ... I made it through the low speed school ... All the way up to the iron cross ... But could not conquer it ... Just the same the school really helped a lot. and it was really scary for me  :o

Then for "icing", I have spent a couple of hours in parking lots over the period of a couple of months, cutting turns tighter and tighter. My main fear here is dropping the bike with no help ... But luckily that hasn't happened. It is better to do this exercise with a (strong) friend.

One thing that may reduce your fear some (it does for me) is installing Canyon Cages ... They protect th ebike well in slow speed drops ... So if it happens ... You don't spend a lot.

Good luck. :motonoises:
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Offline Bob H

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2015, 12:36:49 pm »
If you ride more than one bike you really must tailor your riding to each bike.  There's no way around this. 

Each will respond differently based on weight, brakes, engine, suspension, tires, and the list goes on.  It's like trying to drive a big truck like a compact.  If you try to ride them all using the same habits you won't do well on any of them.  Not trying to be critical, that's just the way it is.   
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Offline Zorlac

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2015, 02:04:56 pm »
If you ride more than one bike you really must tailor your riding to each bike.  There's no way around this. 
Each will respond differently based on weight, brakes, engine, suspension, tires, and the list goes on.  It's like trying to drive a big truck like a compact.  If you try to ride them all using the same habits you won't do well on any of them.  Not trying to be critical, that's just the way it is.
+1
I have 3 bikes & they're like cats, they all have individual personalities. Do a low speed hard right or left and grab a handful of front brake on the C10 and report back on your findings.  :o
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Offline Solomookie

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2015, 02:58:10 pm »
Like Bob H said.. Not trying to be critical; just trying to keep everyone in the vertical.  Here goes...

when going very slow you might want both feet out

NOOOOO!!!  Your foot pegs are your friends.  When your feet go off the pegs, you change the balance of the machine and you add instability that doesn't have to be there.  Think of it this way...  Trials riders, the ultimate in balance and control, are actually penalized if their feet come off the pegs.  Push comes to shove, you can get your feet off the pegs and to the ground in about half a second.  But keeping your feet on the pegs will give you the best chance of not being in the situation in the first place. 

one day when I have to stop quickly while slow I will have the bad habit of front brake.

Again... NO!!  There is no such thing as a bad habit of using the front brake.  There is only using the front brake badly.  Like the guys above have said... practice.  You need to get to the point where your reaction to a sudden situation is conditioned.  I started out on dirt bikes when I was 10, so I had those reactions ingrained long before I hit the pavement.  I'm not sure how you get to that point as a newbie (perhaps someone else can chime in), but the first thing to get right is your mind set.  You are in control of your bike; be not afraid.  Use it the way it is designed to be used.

Be safe everyone, and have a great Thanksgiving.   :great:
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Offline n3nman

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2015, 03:23:55 pm »
Only talking about SLOW SLOW speed less then 5 mph coming to a stop in particular on uneven or elevated surface type of situation, not anything else. At least in regards to this bike.

Offline Solomookie

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2015, 03:44:34 pm »
Only talking about SLOW SLOW speed less then 5 mph coming to a stop in particular on uneven or elevated surface type of situation, not anything else. At least in regards to this bike.

I highly recommend taking the MSF course.  Your foot (singular, and left, by the way) comes off the peg as you stop.  If you're moving, your best bet is to be pegging. 
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Offline Zorlac

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2015, 10:30:37 pm »
Only talking about SLOW SLOW speed less then 5 mph coming to a stop in particular on uneven or elevated surface type of situation, not anything else. At least in regards to this bike.
It takes time & occasional tip overs to figure out what NOT to do.
I was recently riding up an asphalt ramp between two parking lots that's almost a 45deg angle that I've done many times but this time I stalled it 1/2 way up... I thought I was toast. I grabbed the front brake & thought about backing down but that seemed like a bad idea. I was able to put my left foot down & hold the back brake while I restarted it. Started to slip the clutch until the back suspension squatted a bit let off the rear brake and made it up.
What I'm trying to say is just try & not panic, keep your balance & THINK.
The MSF course is certainly a good idea in the beginning but I've learned more from commuting to work especially on what not to do.
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Offline ron203

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2015, 11:29:46 pm »
Very carefully and with great anticipation and care is not a smart aleck answer. The one time I tipped over, I was in a hurry and didn't engage the brain before the starter.

This is related but not what the OP was thinking, but if/when you trailer going in/on is bad enough, but go straight and don't stop.
Slow but steady. BAcking down is different.

Backing down the ramp of my toy hauler was an ADVENTURE the first time. I must've backed down 6" at a time on a 10' ramp. Key here is to come off absolutely dead slow/start & stop and STRAIGHT back/down. The last couple  of feet is where the bike "bridges" the ramp and the ground and you better have long legs.
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Offline norm-9688

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2015, 11:39:03 pm »
Rear brake only below 15 mph. When stopping I only put down my left foot, can't flat foot my bike and I can hold the rear brake. It frees up my right hand to not hold the front brake and no rollback on hills.

Offline n3nman

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2015, 11:45:58 pm »
I have a 30 in inseam which is not helping. I try to stop very smoothly with rear brake only then only left foot down. Problem is on less then excellent surfaces or uneven ground and slightly tilting bike to left 100% of the time when using only left foot. Starting to overthink I think.

Offline Solomookie

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2015, 12:12:01 am »
Rear brake only below 15 mph.
 

Jeez, I hope you're joking.   :-[
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Offline mnbikeguy

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2015, 02:25:49 am »
While I ride a c10 rather than a c14 I do have a short inseam like you and it's still top heavy when fully loaded with fuel. I feel perfectly comfortable riding in all kinds of traffic, even heavy rush hour traffic, creeping at less than 5 mph. I also feel comfortable at low speeds in parking lots and other difficult roadways. To navigate these common road conditions I maintain my situational awareness and use the front and rear brakes, clutch, throttle, and weight transfer to maintain balance. Because of this I don't think twice about taking my bike virtually anywhere at anytime which allows me to enjoy the bike to its fullest because I'm not worried about getting into a situation that I'm not comfortable.
How did I get to this point?
I take classes that focus on slow speed skills and go back for refreshers occasionally. I also do track days now again, but that's the other end of the spectrum. I also practice just for the fun of it because nothing beats the look on the face of another biker when a short, skinny dude twists a big bike around a parking lot like its much lighter.
Oh - I also have a CDA # which means no matter how much you practice you can (and likely will) drop the bike. s*** happens. Pick up the bike and practice some more but don't let your fear of dropping it keep you from truly enjoying it. Also - don't forget to install tip over protection before you need it.
Take a class - master the bike - keep practicing.
If after all that you still don't feel comfortable - buy a different bike. Life's too short to ride a bike that doesn't work for you.


Offline concourscharlie

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2015, 02:54:24 am »
I read this whole thread and it made me think, and I'm thinking really seriously and to be honest, for me, I can't tell ya how I slow speed brake. I mean every stop. Is different, the surface, the grade hell even the wind can change what I would do. I guess what I'm saying is I've never given it much thought. I live in a small town in central oklahoma and if your not on the highway then your on a gravel or dirt or chip or any combination of surfaces and I started out with an IdleJet 50cc when I was 4. And I have had bikes since. I got my motorcycle license at 14, I'm 41.   And tonight is the first time I've ever thought, "how do I brake at really slow speeds?". I dunno.

But I do know that if my bike isn't leaning my feet are on the pegs! And if it's really leaning my feet are on the pegs and I ain't planning to brake!!!! Lol
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Offline Old Steve

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2015, 03:44:01 am »
Playing a little devils advocate and interested in the responses. So this bike seems to be less tolerant then others of things like using front brake with wheel is turned at all. And when going very slow you might want both feet out in case of slight loss of complete vertical. So below 5 mph I use just the rear brake (there is no linking at that speed): 2012 C14). But of course that does not allow me to have both feet off of the bike. Already came close to tipping to the right in a driveway. Of course I can keep both feet out but then I have to use the front brake. If I use that method then one day when I have to stop quickly while slow I will have the bad habit of front brake. Thoughts?? And what is your technique?


A few things to reinforce what others have said, and add what's missing:
1. I also use only rear brake at very low speed (<5 MPH)
2. Feet on the pegs ALL THE TIME until you make a controlled stop.
3. If you have canyon cages, don't fear a drop.  It's no fun, it's embarrassing, but the bike will be just fine.
4. Check this out for how to pick up a big heavy bike: http://www.pinkribbonrides.com/dropped.html
I've used this technique (OK, more than once) and it absolutely works.  Keep your legs stretched out and your feet together, and you'll be amazed at how easy it is.  Again, don't fear a drop.
5. Getting some more low speed training / practice is the best thing you can possibly do.  Parking lot time is time well spent.

Offline danodemotoman

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2015, 04:01:06 am »
 +1 on using only rear at slow speeds. I have seen others dump the bike using the front only at a stop if wheel turns sideways.

Rear brake only below 15 mph. When stopping I only put down my left foot, can't flat foot my bike and I can hold the rear brake. It frees up my right hand to not hold the front brake and no rollback on hills.

Offline Thud300

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2015, 08:32:08 pm »
I don't care which brake you use, if the handlebars aren't close to square when the forward momentum stops, you *will* have the weight pitch over to the inside.  You better be squared up whenever you stop, especially at the end of a sharp maneuver.

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Offline Bucky

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2015, 07:34:57 am »
For those of us in the woods where courses are few and far - Excellent low speed training DVD

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR_eEo9XpKw

The version i have (from 2005 maybe?) includes a complete motorcycle police training course as well. Engine guards pretty much a must for that part.


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Offline dave_h

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2015, 12:54:51 am »
If I'm in really bad gravel I use the rear brake. If it's not too bad I use the front brake lightly. I've found I have to keep the bars straight ahead when coming to a stop, otherwise there's going to be trouble. I haven't dropped it yet but I've come real close.

Offline Rain Dancer

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2015, 02:09:44 pm »
If I'm in really bad gravel I use the rear brake. If it's not too bad I use the front brake lightly. I've found I have to keep the bars straight ahead when coming to a stop, otherwise there's going to be trouble. I haven't dropped it yet but I've come real close.

 Couldn't agree more. :great:
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Offline rcannon409

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2015, 02:38:42 pm »
I agree with practicing slow speed riding. You'll figure out the brakes, at slow speeds, within about 15 minutes.  Forget looking at the speedometer, gear indicator and just feel the bike. I dont really use the front at such low speeds. Theres no need for it .

The rear brake is very important for stability. As your going at a walking pace, learn to drag the rear brake. After a few minutes, you should have no problem riding this big, top heavy bike at a speed lower than you can walk at.

As far as keeping your feet out, think about it for  a second. How do you use your rear brake with your feet out?  Do you think your leg is strong enough to stop a 900 lb machine (with rider on), in motion?

Let the engine do its thing, but regulate your speed with the rear brake.  Once you get good at this, you should be able to come to a complete stop without putting your feet down. 



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Offline LouSpag

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Re: So question about how you use your brakes on a top heavy bike like this.
« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2015, 10:54:30 pm »
I am having a tough time believing there is a discussion of when to use rear brake.  I use my rear brake all the time when going slow, when going fast, when turning, when going straight, HELL I even use it when I'm on an incline and rolling backwards a few feet.  Do I use it exclusively, NO.  I have become accustomed to using both brakes at any speed in any direction.  The trick is to know how much brake to apply as well as when to apply them.  Now get out there and start practicing

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