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Discussion Starter #1
Pretty sick composing a post on Christmas morning, guess you can see where my mind is. I was trained by CHP motor school many years ago to always use four fingers while braking. I still do so today. The instructors would yell out you if you were caught using anything less. The reason given is four fingers give better braking control and hard application pressure if needed. The training bikes were run-out Kawasaki 1000's. The instructors also did not want to see you "covering the lever", in other words resting your fingers on the lever in anticpation of braking. They did train me to always cover the clutch lever with your fingers. The reason given is if the chain snapped or the engine seized or someting, you could grab the clutch during the emergencey and prevent a crash.
 

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Road Captain
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...not trying to be a wise-a$$, but it OK to anticipate an engine failure but not an emergency braking situation?!?! I think the other way around you would 'grab the BRAKE during the emergency and prevent a crash'.
 

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The way my 'older' Brother learn't me to do stuff through the streets of .....

Depents on the premise of the circumstancance.

BANG!!!!!
 

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In heavy traffic there's always at least to fingers on my brake lever...approaching an intersection that brake lever will be covered! Having the brake lever covered will save you 1 to 2 secs response time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Glad I started a little discussion...as most of you know, the throttle and clutch are extremely importrant and sensitive controls that must be expertly coordinated to safely operate a motorcycle, especially at low speeds. With four fingers covering the brake at all times, I will not be able to operate the the throttle with the fine precision necessary to control the motorcycle at low speeds. The clutch covering on the other hand (pun intended) makes sense because a motorcycle requires constant clutch application, especially in the "gray area" necessary once again for safe low speed operation. Most law enforcment motorcycle training is conducted at very low speeds at full steering lock with the boards dragging the ground while negotiating tight cone patterns.
Normal perception and reaction time to apply braking is about 3/4 of a second provided the rider is not imparied.
 

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Infidel
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upflying said:
Most law enforcment motorcycle training is conducted at very low speeds at full steering lock with the boards dragging the ground while negotiating tight cone patterns.
Great thread.

Does this mean that 100% of Police motorcycles have been dropped as a consequence of this exercise?:D

At least ALL the training bikes have :eek:

wyo
 

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upflying,
I guess this is a good way to start a discussion or debate. I re-read your first post and the responses. They are IMHO correct. At normal traveling speed, I think the Instructor is wacked for preferring to cover the clutch vice the brake.

Your second post deals with a different scenario, and of course is correct because now we've gone from "covering the brake" to "slow/low speed manuvering". Which one (or do you prefer both) do we discuss.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
hogg831, I was just giving some other examples of why the clutch is always covered, low speed manuevering and high speed emergencies. Unless you are cruising along and have a throttle lock or have cruise control, I think it would be difficult and uncomforatble to try to accurately hold the throttle open with your thumb "clench" while the rest of your fingers rest on the brake lever, anticipating the unexpected emergency to occur.
My original intent for the post was to find out if some ride by applying less than four finger braking. The discussion about the clutch is a related topic about the use of your hands while riding. My second post was giving another example as to why you should not cover the brake.
Another circumstance of improperly "covering the brake" might be what some left foot brakers do while driving a car. Because they rest their left foot on the brake pedal, are they better at emergency stopping than drivers who lift their right foot off the accelerator and apply the brake?
 

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upflying said:
hogg831, I was just giving some other examples of why the clutch is always covered, low speed manuevering and high speed emergencies.

....ok makes sense for low speed.....

My original intent for the post was to find out if some ride by applying less than four finger braking.

normal stop sometimes, more often not....emergencies=every thing is so tight I hardly remember, some have referred to this as "pucker factor":D

 

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MSF taught us to alway cover the clutch and only cover the brake in "higher risk areas"(intersection, car poised to pullout). The instructors also said that throttle control was that important. But in the city i generally have a finger or 2 covering the brake, and almost never 4 finger bake.
 

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This is a very interesting thread. Folks here tell me to stay off of that front brake, however. Front braking is an easy habit to fall into, but I'm told that grabbing the front brake in a panic can often times put a bike down, especially if it's leaning or on sand or gravel etc. I've had to lock them both down, however, but I"ve been lucky that I was straight up. I'll use the front brake sparingly at intersections etc. on occasion, but I try not to get into a "mindless" use of the front brakes. (I hope I'm not leading this into a different direction).
 

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front brakes

HHinNC said:
I'll use the front brake sparingly at intersections etc. on occasion, but I try not to get into a "mindless" use of the front brakes. (I hope I'm not leading this into a different direction).
I think most folks would suggest you get into the habit of using both brakes all the time. When you need to stop fast, it's one less thing to think about. Somebody speak up if you disagree.
 

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For what it’s worth . . .I will ride with two to three fingers on the front brake in heavy traffic situations and I ALWAYS use the front brake. I personally believe it’s one of the better habits you can get into. The front brake provides 70% of the total stopping power and when you need to stop, you’re better off using the front. Applying the rear brake is habitual for most people and because of this, many will over apply and skid. When this happens you’ve lost traction and stopping power. If you use the front all the time you learn touch and feel. You also learn your bike. All of this is very useful in emergency situations. Because of practice, even in curves and on wet roads, I can control the front brake and the rear together and stop without a slide. When I use the front, I have the confidence that the bike is going to stop and I can judge better the distance needed to come to a full stop. I’ve seen too many near high slides using rear and then out of dire need applying the front. I believe you should apply the front first and assist with the rear. Once you learn how, it safe and practical.
 

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Upflying is correct. And it sounds like most have never taken a course. Slow riding is the key to finding yer balance and control. You should be able to ride with yer handle bar pegged around in circles and figure 8's all day at 1 to 5 mph. You would find this out in the beginners course along with how, when, and why you use 4 fingers only on yer brakes. After you mastered the basics go take an advanced course. I ride with some guys who have been riding fer more years than I have been alive, and they still don't know what their doing. Putting their feet out 50 ft before a stop. No offence peeps but if you never took a course you should. It could save yer life. Everyone should know what SIPDE is. Scan Identify Predict Decide Execute. Just because you take yer ride out and make it home does not mean you can handle yer ride in the safest way possible. Then again I took a bunch of courses and still ride like a nut and do a buck + all the time so what the hell do I know. :cool:
 

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wyodude, about dropping Police training bikes. I went to the HD/Northwestern school. I dropped mine at least 100 times in 2 weeks. However, a guy a work with rode the whole two weeks without dropping his once.
 

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xxxflhrci said:
wyodude, about dropping Police training bikes. I went to the HD/Northwestern school. I dropped mine at least 100 times in 2 weeks. However, a guy a work with rode the whole two weeks without dropping his once.
100 times!:eek: Whoa!

Is this HD/Northwestern school the normal HD riders program or is it a special program for LEOs?

Is it not true that motorcycle cops get some significantly advanced rider training?

It would be cool if this were available to Joe Public. Hum, maybe we could start a business. Hire some ex-LEO motorcycle officers as instructors and..... I'm sure the insurance would be prohibitive.:rolleyes:


regards,
wyo
 

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wyo, It was for cops only. HD provides the bikes and the mechanic. Intructors are cops. It was very intense. I went into the course thinking with all the riding that I had done, it would be easy. I was humbled quickly. Most courses were at walking speed. But they say, how can you ride a bike fast if you can't ride it slow. Did a lot of wrecking. Bikes were on the ground all of the time (Road Kings and Dyna Defenders). An instructor broke his shoulder during a high speed braking exercise demo. We watched him hit the ground a 55 mph. All in all, I passed. I can say that I apply what I learned when I ride.
 

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The Jerry "Motorman" Palladino video is excellent (video quality is a little iffy, but the info and his skill is great). He subscribes to the theory that anyone can ride fast (the gyroscopic effect takes care of that) with no problems. However slow speed manuvering is another problem altogether ....reference the numerous threads on dropping bikes @ low speed. I found that after watching the video a couple of times & trying some of the exercises, my handling skill improved. I plan on working throught the rest of the exercises when I get time.

The short video sequences on his site are pretty good too!
http://www.ridelikeapro.com/
 

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Checked out the video. Just looking at the pictures on the sight. I can tell that he is passing along Motor patrol techniques. It will be hard to practice those skills on a bike w/o dropping it. But I can say HD crash bars will save the bike. It would suck dropping your own bike. However, it was great dropping somebody else's.
 
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