Author Topic: Trail Braking and Linked Brakes (pot stiring potential = MAX)  (Read 9334 times)

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Offline JimBob

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Re: Trail Braking and Linked Brakes (pot stiring potential = MAX)
« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2014, 09:15:25 pm »
Well now I'm even more confused than I was before. What's all this "settling the rear end" talk, is your rear end hopping around before the turns? Mine doesn't. It kind of reminds me of strange mojo talk like "Luke, you must become one with the force"....so please include specifics if you would be so kind to explain what "settling" the rear end means. If it means lowering (like coffee grounds settle in boiled coffee) then I need to hear how that happens as it seems that the application of throttle would lower the rear end and application of rear brake would raise the rear. Obviously I'm missing something here.


LOL...

When talking about "settling" or "preloading" the suspension we're referring to compressing the suspension some before entering a curve. It's all about momentum -  what happens (especially under hard acceleration-like racers shooting out of a curve and heading for the next), the rear suspension compresses from the engine torque through the rear wheel (picture them pulling a wheelie out of the corner - this happens when the rear suspension can't compress any farther, either from bottoming out or from high-rate springs), which moves the center of mass rearward (picture the frame of the bike as a teeter-totter with the rider's feet at the pivot point). When accelerating, (i.e. leaving a corner and running down a straight) the teeter-totter is tilted "backwards" (front is up more, forks extended, rear suspension compressed), and when entering the next corner they need the teeter to totter forward in a smooth transition (front suspension to compress smoothly as they decelerate into the corner) so as to not overload the front tire with a sudden deceleration.

With the rear suspension compressed and the front expanded, the center of mass of rider/bike has moved rearward slightly...if you chop throttle/grab front brake, the momentum of the bike/rider will move the center of mass forward quickly, compressing the forks and expanding the rear suspension. Which reducs force on the rear tire and increases it on the front (potentially overloading it if done too aggressively).

The goal is to make this momentum transition as smooth as possible so there isn't a sudden change for the tires. For a car, simply getting on the brakes while the throttle is open/accelerating will make the suspension start to compress before the turn, rather than in the turn.

I suspect on a motorcycle it's all about compressing the rear suspension (or keeping it from uncompressing too fast) so that there's a smoother transition to compressed forks as you decelerate into the turn.

This isn't much different than dragging the rear brake for slow parking lot maneuvers rather than using the front. The front will cause a much faster transition forward (compress forks, unload rear suspension), and force the front wheel to turn inward, while the rear brake will cause a much slower transition while compressing the rear suspension (which will produce a more neutral effect on the forks, rather than a sudden loading/compressing).

Of course, I may have all this wrong, but I've 'sperimented lots with cars and bikes. Preloading with a car makes a world of difference, I've gone so far as to increase the rear brake bias in cars so the rear end would tuck down more when entering corners, to reduce the dive from the front brakes. Some pickup trucks used to have a biasing valve on the rear axle that would open more as more weight was put in the bed (essentially a lever was moved by the sag of the bed) - this would allow the rear brakes to engage more. I've seen this same setup on some sportier sedans with rear disc.

HTH...maybe someone else can 'splain better, or has a link to a good page.

Offline fartymarty

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Re: Trail Braking and Linked Brakes (pot stiring potential = MAX)
« Reply #26 on: May 23, 2014, 05:36:15 am »
HTH...maybe someone else can 'splain better, or has a link to a good page.
I certainly hope so.......

..jes funnin ya JimBob, I appreciate all the typing you did, and a lot of what you said early on about the transition between acceleration
an braking being smoother is a good thing made sense. It is also what (I think) the course was trying to say with the simultaneous throttle
and front brake work was supposed to accomplish (that and make my right hand cramp). I suppose one could read into your post that you
made a good case for linked brakes?   ;D  (You brought cars into the mix and they got linked brakes. ;) )

Adding a little (key word here- little) rear brake when in a turn will often noticeably stabilize the bike. It is especially noticeable on my C-14 when the bike is loaded and 2-up. Applying the rear brake adds drag to the back of the bike and tends to stabilize it in the identical but opposite way front brakes de- stabilize any vehicle. Think of it as the opposite of what causes a truck to jackknife: trying to stop a mass by applying braking to the front of the vehicle is an inherently de-stabilizing act; the back part of the vehicle resists stopping and will happily swing around the front of the vehicle to keep its velocity. Now think of the identical situation with rear brakes only applied; the front of the vehicle is effectively dragged down in velocity and all of physics wants to keep it in a straight line.

Of course none of this is a good idea if the bike is already using 95% of its tire adhesion due to lean. I am talking about reasonable street cornering here, especially on roads that are not perfectly flat.

OK that makes sense as well, but then to be honest I've never actually felt the destabilized feeling on a street bike (I certainly have in the dirt, I use the rear brake a lot more in the dirt) so thus I've never felt the stabilizing effect of the rear brake on the pavement. Just butt dead as well as brain dead I guess.

Unless I get a better understanding of what's going on, or what is supposed to be going on, I think I'm just going to continue with what I have been doing which is pretty much what Ranger Jim mentioned on page one post 3 of this thread. I still can't believe there are very many that do what the Total Control course said to do in regards to trail braking.

Offline JimBob

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Re: Trail Braking and Linked Brakes (pot stiring potential = MAX)
« Reply #27 on: May 23, 2014, 06:12:51 am »
HTH...maybe someone else can 'splain better, or has a link to a good page.
I certainly hope so.......

..jes funnin ya JimBob, I appreciate all the typing you did, and a lot of what you said early on about the transition between acceleration
an braking being smoother is a good thing made sense. It is also what (I think) the course was trying to say with the simultaneous throttle
and front brake work was supposed to accomplish (that and make my right hand cramp). I suppose one could read into your post that you
made a good case for linked brakes?   ;D  (You brought cars into the mix and they got linked brakes. ;) )

Adding a little (key word here- little) rear brake when in a turn will often noticeably stabilize the bike. It is especially noticeable on my C-14 when the bike is loaded and 2-up. Applying the rear brake adds drag to the back of the bike and tends to stabilize it in the identical but opposite way front brakes de- stabilize any vehicle. Think of it as the opposite of what causes a truck to jackknife: trying to stop a mass by applying braking to the front of the vehicle is an inherently de-stabilizing act; the back part of the vehicle resists stopping and will happily swing around the front of the vehicle to keep its velocity. Now think of the identical situation with rear brakes only applied; the front of the vehicle is effectively dragged down in velocity and all of physics wants to keep it in a straight line.

Of course none of this is a good idea if the bike is already using 95% of its tire adhesion due to lean. I am talking about reasonable street cornering here, especially on roads that are not perfectly flat.

OK that makes sense as well, but then to be honest I've never actually felt the destabilized feeling on a street bike (I certainly have in the dirt, I use the rear brake a lot more in the dirt) so thus I've never felt the stabilizing effect of the rear brake on the pavement. Just butt dead as well as brain dead I guess.

Unless I get a better understanding of what's going on, or what is supposed to be going on, I think I'm just going to continue with what I have been doing which is pretty much what Ranger Jim mentioned on page one post 3 of this thread. I still can't believe there are very many that do what the Total Control course said to do in regards to trail braking.

Haha, Mr. SmartyFartyPants!  :nananana:

Yea, I can't do trail braking on a bike- I'm just happy to be able to read the curve and ease off the throttle just right to initiate the lean and have a smooth acceleration through the curve.

I will say my mountain biking (like your dirt biking) makes me more confident to grab a little rear brake in a corner if I feel I'm a little hot or not leaning enough, mostly to keep the rear suspension tight/compressed a little, which makes the bike more stable. On big downhills with the mountain bike I've hit 45mph on single-track dirt. At that speed there's a LOT of similarity with a motorcycle as far as handling and braking (and fear of injury!)

Offline lather

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Re: Trail Braking and Linked Brakes (pot stiring potential = MAX)
« Reply #28 on: May 23, 2014, 11:20:50 am »
I don't think about trail braking but I find myself using it all the time on the street. I picked it up doing track days (on a sport bike) because the track near my home had a few corners where it just seemed the best way to go fast. I've done about 35 track days over the last 10 years and my track habits, including hanging off, have worked their way into my street riding. I never use the rear brake except on my dual sport, never felt any need for it on my street or track bikes.

As for Lee Parks, as I said I don't really think about it when I ride but trying to analyse what I do sitting at the keyboard and reading this I THINK this is a good description:
Quote
According to the instructor of the course, and the book by Lee Parks, trail braking is the trailing off of throttle (not chopping it off) an ramping up of brake pressure followed by the reverse as the angle of bank increases.
However. I also use a lot of body english or weight shifting at the same time which I think is an important part of making it work.

Offline stevewfl

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Re: Trail Braking and Linked Brakes (pot stiring potential = MAX)
« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2014, 04:11:13 pm »
all that drag/stabalization on the rear we love accomplishing with the rear brake is also adding an additional 3,4-10% stopping force.  between being more stable and having more brake it allows us to brake a half second or second  later in each turn (or so depending on the turn).

Critical for not only track lap times, but also when trying to keep up with our pesky hooligan crotch rocket friends on knee pucks in the mountains
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Offline fartymarty

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Re: Trail Braking and Linked Brakes (pot stiring potential = MAX)
« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2014, 04:34:38 am »
Well it turns out I was wrong.  :-[  Not a surprise to anyone but me probably, but true none the less. I was detained longer than usual earlier today in a seated position and required some reading material. I reached out and grabbed the Total Control book and reread the section on braking. It turns out I had it wrong.  ::)  Trail braking is (as others have said or pointed to here) the continuation of braking into the turn and the trailing off of brake pressure in a manner that results in brake pressure being in inverse proportion to lean angle. The simultaneous reduction of throttle and increase in brake pressure is in the Throttle control section, and is called the Spencer method of throttle control and is used in conjunction with brake control, specifically it is used with trail braking. However they are two separate methods that are combined to be used together. So I had the terminology and the concept wrong from the outset. Perhaps the instructor did mention the Spencer method being used in conjunction with trail braking and all I heard was trail braking. I'm sorry for the error but I hope all enjoyed the discussion anyway. Regardless of what it's called, I had considerable trouble with my right hand trying to do both. I may attempt it again after I have a throttle tamer installed. Maybe. Maybe not. Thanks to all for your input.

Offline BDF

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Re: Trail Braking and Linked Brakes (pot stiring potential = MAX)
« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2014, 12:59:05 pm »
Emile Latella would have just said "Nevermind".

 :rotflmao:

Brian

Well it turns out I was wrong.  :-[  Not a surprise to anyone but me probably, but true none the less. I was detained longer than usual earlier today in a seated position and required some reading material. I reached out and grabbed the Total Control book and reread the section on braking. It turns out I had it wrong.  ::)  Trail braking is (as others have said or pointed to here) the continuation of braking into the turn and the trailing off of brake pressure in a manner that results in brake pressure being in inverse proportion to lean angle. The simultaneous reduction of throttle and increase in brake pressure is in the Throttle control section, and is called the Spencer method of throttle control and is used in conjunction with brake control, specifically it is used with trail braking. However they are two separate methods that are combined to be used together. So I had the terminology and the concept wrong from the outset. Perhaps the instructor did mention the Spencer method being used in conjunction with trail braking and all I heard was trail braking. I'm sorry for the error but I hope all enjoyed the discussion anyway. Regardless of what it's called, I had considerable trouble with my right hand trying to do both. I may attempt it again after I have a throttle tamer installed. Maybe. Maybe not. Thanks to all for your input.
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Offline gPink

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Re: Trail Braking and Linked Brakes (pot stiring potential = MAX)
« Reply #32 on: June 04, 2014, 11:23:25 pm »
On a related note, I just read this article in the July issue of Cycle World....interesting...

http://www.cycleworld.com/2014/05/28/the-brake-light-initiative-treatise-on-motorcycle-control-using-your-braking-skills/

Offline Douglas

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Re: Trail Braking and Linked Brakes (pot stiring potential = MAX)
« Reply #33 on: August 10, 2014, 04:09:18 am »
Tail braking is done with the front brake. If you want to learn something new and are afraid to try it on the street then come to the track. We have lots of run off for those who enjoy offroading their track bikes. No trees no curbs or hrandmas. Learn alot and have fun.

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Offline mattchewn

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Re: Trail Braking and Linked Brakes (pot stiring potential = MAX)
« Reply #34 on: August 10, 2014, 11:04:38 am »
But, But, But...... :nananana:

Finally someone explains trail braking logically and thoroughly! So tired of hearing it is using the rear brake!
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Offline fartymarty

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Re: Trail Braking and Linked Brakes (pot stiring potential = MAX)
« Reply #35 on: August 10, 2014, 04:28:27 pm »
So tired of hearing it is using the rear brake!
Agreed. It does get old.

Finally someone explains trail braking logically and thoroughly!

Which someone? The Yamaha Champions presentation with Nick Ienatsch et al, or the article by Nick Ienatsch in Cycle world.

Quote from: Nick Ienatsch
Cornering momentum is the name of the game, stressing strong, forceful inputs at the handlebar to place the bike correctly at the entrance of the turn and get it flicked in with little wasted time and distance

Quote from: Nick Ienatsch
Grabbing, stabbing, hammering, throwing, flicking, flopping, tossing… Those verbs need to be eliminated from your motorcycle-riding vocabulary
So, have I got this right?...flicked is OK but....flicking needs to be eliminated from my vocabulary?

I did enjoy the article, but that stage presentation was terrible. I've seen it live and thought it was just as bad as the video. If I thought that was the way they presented information in their school, no way would I even consider the $2500-$3500 it costs (but to be honest I'm not considering it anyway unless there is some windfall in my future). Keeping in mind that the stage presentation was also, and perhaps mostly, a carefully planned sales pitch, I'm inclined to believe that once they have your money they start presenting the information in a more structured forthright manner. They did give you some information that makes sense, but they do a whole lot of talking back and forth which doesn't relay much information, like the searching for one word that represents the feeling of laying on the ground next to a guard rail. A tire has 100 points of grip? WTF? Not 100% of available grip, a 100 points of grip. So yes, loading the tire increases the size of the contact patch to increase the amount of grip..but wait...does it still only have 100 points of grip..or is it 124.7 now?

I have it now, my tire has 100 points of grip, and I can use that to my advantage by using strong forceful inputs to get it flicked in with little wasted time as long as I don't do any of that terrible flicking.... which I just failed at because I just typed it here and I was supposed to eliminate it from my vocabulary.  >:(  Golly gosh darn. This is complicated stuff!

My current opinion is that despite the efforts of the MSF and all the schools, books, and DVDs competing for your dollars, there is no single one answer for all "This is how you should do it." Even the Holy Grail of a "track day" pretty much only makes you faster on that track by the end of that day (it is a lot of fun though). Keep practicing, take a course at least every other year, keep what works for you discard the rest, use situational awareness, look through the turns, avoid target fixation....and by all means avoid any of that terrible flicking, just eliminate it from your vocabulary..DOH! :-[ I did it again.

Offline Kawi Ken

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Re: Trail Braking and Linked Brakes (pot stiring potential = MAX)
« Reply #36 on: August 11, 2014, 12:00:45 am »
Might as well ad one more article to this -
Riding Series 7.5 - Make the pads touch the rotors

This installment focuses on a tip for corner entry that is both easy to implement and a big difference maker for many riders.  One of the most important contributors to rider confidence is to have a motorcycle that is completely predictable on corner entrance.  One simple way that riders can help this happen is to stabilize the front end using trail braking.  However, many riders are afriad to trail brake because they are unsure of if they have enough traction to brake during the turn in process.  We have found a simple solution for getting riders started on this path....please read on for more details.

It is often the case that the very same strategies used by top racers to maximize speed also can be applied by track day riders and Amateur racers to ride more safely.  Trail braking is a prime example of one of those principles.  Top riders brake right up to the moment of their major bar input, using the front brake to both set entrance speed and steer the motorcycle.  Riders who are developing their skills often feel safest doing all of their braking while straight up and down and then fully releasing the brake lever as the motorcycle begins to lean.  Unfortunately, this practice often causes several problems on corner entry.

The average motorcycle these days has about 120mm worth of front suspension travel.  When the brakes are fully released, the suspension extends and rides high in the travel.  The absence of brake lever input allows the front end to essentially "float" and react with a lot of amplitude to every input (bumps, rider weight shifts, etc...).  When riders trail brake, even with very light pressure, the forks not only ride lower in the travel (making turn in effort easier) but they also react less severly to every input.  The "preloading" of the front fork with lever input puts downward pressure on the front end, decreasing the unsettling motion of the forks at the top of the stroke.

The question that always follows after explaining the benefits of trail braking is "How much trail braking is OK?".  The answer in an ideal world is that riders should trail brake and set their entrance speed with every bit of traction available.  The challenge with this is that it takes excellent body position and perfectly soft arms and hands to feel the precise feedback needed to brake at this level.  However, all riders can benefit from a stabilizing effect in corner entrances by simply applying the lever enough to just cause "the pads to contact the rotors".

This concept is an ideal starting point for riders at all levels to develop the habit of trail braking.  Applying just enough pressure to make "the pads touch the rotors" will stabilize the front end, decrease the motion of the forks, lower the amount of bar effort needed to turn in, and greatly increase your sense of control.  As an added bonus, you will slow down an extra couple MPH at the end of the braking zone and eventually be able to safely move your brake marker forward.  All you have to to is keep those pads just touching the rotors when carving into a corner, and you'll find an immediate improvement in the handling of your bike on both the street and the track.

Until next time - ride fast, ride safe!   
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Offline Daytona_Mike

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Re: Trail Braking and Linked Brakes (pot stiring potential = MAX)
« Reply #37 on: August 15, 2014, 02:58:11 am »
Kawi Ken- Very good information.
 :great: Thanks.
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: Trail Braking and Linked Brakes (pot stiring potential = MAX)
« Reply #38 on: October 12, 2015, 07:42:40 pm »
Just saw this old note. Want to come back and look at it. Others might also be interested?

Ride safe, Ted
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Offline freebird6

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Re: Trail Braking and Linked Brakes (pot stiring potential = MAX)
« Reply #39 on: October 12, 2015, 09:14:29 pm »
great discussion and info here. Prpper definition of trail braking found it's way to the surface as well.

Coming off of racing criterium, road and triathlon bikes I learned a long time ago to grab a little rear brake as BDF and Boomer explained. Not trail braking but on a 23 or 25 MM tire and a small contact patch you kind of learn how to use practical skills to keep your bike upright (try over 50mph downhill on a left handed off camber sweeper and a less than 1" wide tire}

Since returning to a new Concours after an idiot pulled out in front of me last October I have logged 5k miles on the new 13 and am enjoying the linked brakes. I no longer have a right ankle available so the linked brakes have been a blessing. I can not use the right brake and have decided I will master the new braking scheme and get used to it rather than stop riding. I read the threads with great interest before and worked them out in my head. Now I am more focused on using the linked brakes and maximizing their potential. No judgement of how anyone else uses their brakes and what they prefer, just reading all I can including Parks and Code on the subject to figure out how I am going to treat the rest of my riding life.

GOod stuff. thanks for all the info thrown out there in this thread.

Offline connie_rider

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Re: Trail Braking and Linked Brakes (pot stiring potential = MAX)
« Reply #40 on: October 13, 2015, 01:32:10 pm »
I went back and read this discussion. Will do so again.
(I thought trail braking , meant using the rear brake as you approached a curve to increase control).   :-[
I learned differently from reading this discussion.
(Apparently a lot of others, {including the track guys} did too)

BUT,,, I'm a long time dirt biker. (In my day, Dirt bikers sometimes steered with the rear brake)
So, I "habitually" touch the rear brake as I approach a curve.
(Can't seem to break the habit)   :truce:
Because of this, the linked brakes have been a real problem.

Approaching a curve;
   I'll be lightly using the rear, and touch the front... OMG,,,, instant doubling in braking force.
   Or, I'll finally be using only the front and (without thinking) touch the rear.   
         Same result.  instant doubling in braking force.    arghhhh

NOTE: Anyone behind me,, watch out... that sudden braking increase messes me up BADLY..

Wish I could decrease (or disconnect) the &*^%%$ things!

Ride safe, Ted
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Offline DialedN_13

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Re: Trail Braking and Linked Brakes (pot stiring potential = MAX)
« Reply #41 on: October 13, 2015, 01:48:38 pm »

Because of this, the linked brakes have been a real problem.

Approaching a curve;
   I'll be lightly using the rear, and touch the front... OMG,,,, instant doubling in braking force.
   Or, I'll finally be using only the front and (without thinking) touch the rear.   
         Same result.  instant doubling in braking force.    arghhhh

NOTE: Anyone behind me,, watch out... that sudden braking increase messes me up BADLY..


Wish I could decrease (or disconnect) the &*^%%$ things!

Ride safe, Ted
I wouldn't say this is a huge concern if you apply the trail braking technique properly.  I'm not sure of the percentages, but for my previous track riding and my current street riding, I try to apply the *Get 90% of your braking done before you turn in to the corner* rule.  Once tipped in you're slowly easing OFF the brakes, and thus should not have any (additional) input on the brakes.  Yes you are still on the brakes, however in a decreasing amount as you lean in further.  That should eliminate the 'stab' that they discussed in the video.

I think the biggest point here for street riding purposes is not being 100% on the brakes, then 100% off the brakes and creating the pogo or bouncing effect that is caused by letting go of a fistful of front brake all at the same time.  Leaving that last 10% in your hands allows the bike to stay settled, and then as the G Forces of the turn itself compress the suspension, you are proportionately letting off the brake.  That way your bike stays basically the same 'height' throughout the corner.

Anyway, it's worked for me over the years. Even on the Connie.

PS.  FWIW I took the rear brake completely off of my trackbike.  I use my rear brake on the C14 now, however, when I get to the point of tip in, I'm 100% off the rear, and only leave that little bit on the front.
Russell
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