V-Twin Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
132 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have been riding road bikes for about a year and a cruiser for about 8 months. I have taken the MSF Safety Course and so far, so good!

Last night I was informed that my cousin had gotten into a relatively low-speed accident (~ 35mph) with his wife as a passenger. He rides a Softail Deuce. They were banged up pretty bad and the bike was totaled. They have some broken bones and lacerations but are expected to recover OK. This morning I spoke with him on the phone.

During our conversation it became apparant that one of the things I could practice on to avoid collisions is quick stops and avoidance maneuvers. With a small bike, quick stops are not a problem but with a bigger bike, there is some risk of screwing up and dumping the bike when I am practicing.

A major concern is stopping and maneuvering in a corner. That is the one area that the MSF Safety Course fell short in my opinion.

Does anyone here have any suggestions for practicing such maneuvers while minimizing risk? Also, how would you practice quick stops and avoidance maneuvers with passengers without subjecting them to a high risk situation?

Thanks for any input!
 

·
Ridin' & Glidin'
Joined
·
2,116 Posts
Sorry to hear about the family, hope they heal up soon.

Even with practice and skill accidents still happen.

About all the average rider could hope for is a fundamental level of skill and by staying alert will can hope those skills will keep us as safe as possible if needed.

Take a re-fresher MSF course. Find an empty parking lot and knock off some of the rust on what skills that you already have. In a nutshell, build confidence in your skills.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
958 Posts
Set up a traffic cone and practice panic stops.Learn to engage both brakes just short of lock up.Listen to Harris.Good luck.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,636 Posts
You need to build muscle memory.

Find a large long empty parking lot. Bring some cones, soccer cones, or red plastic drinking cups. Place one down in the middle. Take your bike up to 20 mph, right when you get to the cone, apply full combination braking till the bike stops and you place your left foot down. Not panic braking, but a deliberate and complete front and rear application. Use ALL fingers on the brake lever. Don't let your heel or foot off the peg or board. Don't back off the brakes as you slow down, keep on braking all the way. Push yourself back with your hands to keep your torso up as the bike dives forward. Keep your head UP and your eyes LEVEL. Don't worry about downshifting, just suck in the clutch, and apply front and rear brake together. Mark where you stop with a second cone.

Now repeat this again at 20mph, over and over again, challenging the stopping distance. Do it till it becomes second nature. When you feel comfortable, bump the speed up to 25, then 30, then 35. Repetition is what you are doing to build muscle memory. As you get better, and the speed increases, it will become an eye opening challenge.

The thing to remember is NOT to lock up the brakes, but to keep the wheel decellerating at all times with the brakes. Don't lock uo the brakes, and don't let up as you come closer to stopping. Properly applied, good threshold combination braking will beat ABS, except on slippery surfaces.

When you get bored of that, take six cones and set them up like this. Two side by side, about the width of your bike in the middle of the lot. About 25-30 feet beyond that set up two more sets of cones, side by side making 2 lanes if you will.

The object is to bring your bike up to about 15mph. When you pass through the first two cones, countersteer and try and make it through one of the two sets, either on the left or the right. With the bike at 15mph, push the handle bar IN THE DIRECTION you want the bike to go. If you decide to go through the set of cones on the right, push the right grip forward. Don't push down, and don't pull the left grip in. Just push the right grip forward, and the bike will dive to the right. Do the same thing to the left set of cones. Do this over and over until you get comfortable with countersteering. Remember DON'T LOOK AT THE CONES, or you will hit them, or fall over. Instead, look WHERE YOU WANT TO GO. Looking at the cones, or anything else for that matter leads to Target Fixation. On the street this leads to looking at the car, and hitting the car. Keep your head up, your eyes level and look where you want to go as you countersteer the bike by pushing the grips.

Do both of these drills over and over for about 500,000 times. You will build muscle memory that will serve you on the street. That way when you have to brake, or dodge something, you won't have to think about it.

Practice, practice, practice.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
132 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks a bunch for the help guys! I now need to buy some of the little orange cones and get to it!

I have known for a long time that I need to work on those skills but kept putting it off. When an accident strikes close to home it serves as a wakeup call.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Consider purchasing this book also.

Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough

I just finished reading the book and am about 1/3 of the way through his next More Proficient Motorcycling. I really enjoyed the first and found a ton of valuable information, even after a dozen or so years and 5 bikes, I discovered there are several things I do wrong!

My season is done here in Wisconsin so I am going to spend the winter months reading and rereading these books to commit as much as I can to memory, then come spring I intend to practice, practice, practice the principles I have learned...all in hopes of becoming the best rider I can be.

Good luck and good for you to seek out knowledge, stay safe!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
132 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
-PopRocks- said:
Consider purchasing this book also.

Proficient Motorcycling by David Hough

I just finished reading the book and am about 1/3 of the way through his next More Proficient Motorcycling. I really enjoyed the first and found a ton of valuable information, even after a dozen or so years and 5 bikes, I discovered there are several things I do wrong!

My season is done here in Wisconsin so I am going to spend the winter months reading and rereading these books to commit as much as I can to memory, then come spring I intend to practice, practice, practice the principles I have learned...all in hopes of becoming the best rider I can be.

Good luck and good for you to seek out knowledge, stay safe!
Thanks for the suggested reading! I have both books and they are great in my opinion. There is one more in that series that I find insightful as well. It is called STREET STRATEGIES, A Survival Guide For Motorcyclists by David Hough. It lists about 70 scenerios along with graphics and explains how best to deal with the situations. It damn sure makes you think!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
74 Posts
I second the parking lot and the Proficient Motorcycling book (and the More Proficient Motorcylcing book too).

Staying mentally alert is key too. Everytime you ride take it seriously. Don't drift off into space when on the bike. Too many people I know are too busy doing other stuff and not paying attention to their ride.

Learn how to corner. Learn about line of sight, apex, etc. Stopping in a corner is something that you want to avoid if at all possible. There are some techniques like righting yourself, using your brakes, then getting into the turn again. You can also lean more to help you through it. A lot of people get into a corner really hot then get scared and hit their brakes. I see that a lot. Learn about your bike, learn the physics behind why your bike turns, and paractice, practice, practice.

Whew...that was heavy...lol.

Glad your cousin is OK. It sucks getting into an accident!

p.s. Wear your gear!

james

'04 BMW R1150RT
'99 Ducati 900 Supersport
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Paniolo said:
You need to build muscle memory.

Find a large long empty parking lot. Bring some cones, soccer cones, or red plastic drinking cups. Place one down in the middle. Take your bike up to 20 mph, right when you get to the cone, apply full combination braking till the bike stops and you place your left foot down. Not panic braking, but a deliberate and complete front and rear application. Use ALL fingers on the brake lever. Don't let your heel or foot off the peg or board. Don't back off the brakes as you slow down, keep on braking all the way. Push yourself back with your hands to keep your torso up as the bike dives forward. Keep your head UP and your eyes LEVEL. Don't worry about downshifting, just suck in the clutch, and apply front and rear brake together. Mark where you stop with a second cone.

Now repeat this again at 20mph, over and over again, challenging the stopping distance. Do it till it becomes second nature. When you feel comfortable, bump the speed up to 25, then 30, then 35. Repetition is what you are doing to build muscle memory. As you get better, and the speed increases, it will become an eye opening challenge.

The thing to remember is NOT to lock up the brakes, but to keep the wheel decellerating at all times with the brakes. Don't lock uo the brakes, and don't let up as you come closer to stopping. Properly applied, good threshold combination braking will beat ABS, except on slippery surfaces.

When you get bored of that, take six cones and set them up like this. Two side by side, about the width of your bike in the middle of the lot. About 25-30 feet beyond that set up two more sets of cones, side by side making 2 lanes if you will.

The object is to bring your bike up to about 15mph. When you pass through the first two cones, countersteer and try and make it through one of the two sets, either on the left or the right. With the bike at 15mph, push the handle bar IN THE DIRECTION you want the bike to go. If you decide to go through the set of cones on the right, push the right grip forward. Don't push down, and don't pull the left grip in. Just push the right grip forward, and the bike will dive to the right. Do the same thing to the left set of cones. Do this over and over until you get comfortable with countersteering. Remember DON'T LOOK AT THE CONES, or you will hit them, or fall over. Instead, look WHERE YOU WANT TO GO. Looking at the cones, or anything else for that matter leads to Target Fixation. On the street this leads to looking at the car, and hitting the car. Keep your head up, your eyes level and look where you want to go as you countersteer the bike by pushing the grips.

Do both of these drills over and over for about 500,000 times. You will build muscle memory that will serve you on the street. That way when you have to brake, or dodge something, you won't have to think about it.

Practice, practice, practice.

I like your advice. I like the red cups idea too. I guess filling the cups with gravel would keep them from flying away in the wind.

John G
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
47 Posts
heliman said:
IA major concern is stopping and maneuvering in a corner. That is the one area that the MSF Safety Course fell short in my opinion.

You have received some good advice here but let me add this. When cornering you want to try to staighten the bike up as quickly as possible.

See this quote from the MSF Handbook....

MSF-HANDBOOK said:
It’s important to remember when stopping in a curve that the amount of traction available for braking is reduced. This is because a portion of the total available
traction is being used for turning, leaving less traction for braking.
The key to stopping quickly in a curve is to get the motorcycle straight up as soon
as possible so that the maximum amount of traction is available for braking. If road
and traffic conditions permit, straighten the motorcycle first and “square” the
handlebar (center the steering) before the brakes are applied for a maximumbraking,
straight-line stop.

There may be conditions that do not allow straightening first, such as running off
the road in a left-hand curve or dealing with oncoming traffic in a right-hand curve.
In such situations, apply the brakes smoothly and gradually. As the lean angle is
reduced, more brake pressure can be applied.

It is best at the end of a stop to have the motorcycle straight up. This is the reason
to “square” the handlebars near the end of the stop.
Or as my instructor said for emergency braking "if you can mash it mash it, if you can squeeze it squeeze it".
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top