Trail Braking - Page 2 - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
Riding and Survival Skills Tips for improving your riding skills and your survival on the road.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 05:46 PM
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I use trail braking but instead of controlling speed with the front brake, I use the clutch, pulling the lever all the way in heading into the turn so accelerative force is removed but the bike continues to coast at speed, then controlling speed with light clutch feathering while clearing the apex, then I open the throttle and re-engage the clutch to blast out the other side. I find this much smoother than using the front brake. One guy I knew used to always give the brakes on his car a tiny tap just before entering a turn at speed in order to "level out the suspension" he said.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mike K. View Post
I use trail braking but instead of controlling speed with the front brake, I use the clutch, pulling the lever all the way in heading into the turn so accelerative force is removed but the bike continues to coast at speed, then controlling speed with light clutch feathering while clearing the apex, then I open the throttle and re-engage the clutch to blast out the other side. I find this much smoother than using the front brake. One guy I knew used to always give the brakes on his car a tiny tap just before entering a turn at speed in order to "level out the suspension" he said.

I used to do it that way, but found when I am going downhill that I actually accelerated into the turn. Trail braking works better for me going downhill into corners. I almost always trail brake going downhill.

Going uphill, I usually only trail brake in very steep or blind turns.

As I mentioned above, these are all different techniques, there is not necessarily a right or wrong way to do it, as long as traction rules are not violated in the process. Thanks for contributing to the discussion. I appreciate it.

As I understand it, track driving courses also teach trail braking for cars when cornering. Not a tap, but a fade before accelerating.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ranger995 View Post
Please correct me if I am wrong here, but the way that trail braking helps is in the moment when I am approaching the turn in point and looking for the apex. I trail until I identify the apex, and then I turn/lean more aggressively, and then I apply the throttle in exactly the way you quote until I have identified the exit point, and that is when I can start to accelerate out of the turn.

I also do not use trail braking in all turns. For example, if I identify the apex quickly, I am turning/leaning and practicing the throttle control rule. No need to trail brake.

In general the amount of time I spend trail braking relates to the steepness of the curve, the blindness of the curve, and my ability to quickly identify an apex (which is something always in need of improvement).

At my ability level, trail braking has added a lot of confidence to my cornering and I am finding that the better I get, the less I trail brake. That being said, I am never riding at track speeds, and I very carefully avoid charging turns or having early turn in points. So this works for me, as I have never trailed all the way to apex. I don't think I have ever been going fast enough to do that. I am usually on the throttle control rule the second I find my line.

I look at Keith Code's and Nick Ienatsch's books as very complimentary and meaningful approaches. Both basically give the same fundamentals, but focus on different aspects or explain the same fundamental differently. I have learned much from both. After reading them very carefully, I don't think there is nearly as much disagreement as has been suggested.

Going to CSS was super fun. I went to the Streets of Willow Springs a little over a year ago. I still need to do more, and probably will in the near future. I'd like to go to a different track, however, perhaps thunder hill or even laguna seca. We'll see.

Lastly, thanks again for your thoughtful responses, it's always great to get input from someone like you.
Not wrong at all! I think it's spot on what you've written and especially about how Code's and Ienatsch's approach to trail braking aren't as fundamentally different as everyone thinks. It's interesting to me when we have students that say, CSS doesn't trail brake at all! Not true, just a different method and approach to teaching and building on certain skills.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike K. View Post
I use trail braking but instead of controlling speed with the front brake, I use the clutch, pulling the lever all the way in heading into the turn so accelerative force is removed but the bike continues to coast at speed, then controlling speed with light clutch feathering while clearing the apex, then I open the throttle and re-engage the clutch to blast out the other side. I find this much smoother than using the front brake. One guy I knew used to always give the brakes on his car a tiny tap just before entering a turn at speed in order to "level out the suspension" he said.
So you're trail-clutching

Can you explain how this could possibly be smoother then using the front brake? And how you could have good control of the motorcycle when it's essentially costing into a corner?
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike K. View Post
I use trail braking but instead of controlling speed with the front brake, I use the clutch, pulling the lever all the way in heading into the turn so accelerative force is removed but the bike continues to coast at speed, then controlling speed with light clutch feathering while clearing the apex, then I open the throttle and re-engage the clutch to blast out the other side. I find this much smoother than using the front brake. One guy I knew used to always give the brakes on his car a tiny tap just before entering a turn at speed in order to "level out the suspension" he said.
This is hardly trail braking. You've turned your 4 stroke engine into a 2 stroke with no engine braking. Can't say I would recommend coasting into a turn like a bicycle. I sometimes will feather the clutch out into a turn after downshifting for a tight, let's say with a decreasing radius, corner mostly to remove any off/on throttle jerk for a smooth transition from maintenance to on throttle. You lose connection with the rear wheel and float the suspension.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 08:18 PM
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I like pulling the clutch and coasting because using the front brake gives unpredictable performance depending on weather, built-up heat from heavy use, cheap Triumph parts, brake dive etc. I don't understand why people believe there is less control with the engine disengaged from the back wheel. It actually adds control because it puts you in a state of slight deceleration. I have found that most of the times I have lost control on my motorbike is because I was applying too much power at the wrong moment, or I was carrying too much momentum going into a manouever. De-clutching does not work in all situations. Of course it is not a useful techinique when going into an uphill turn. The decreasing radius turn would be an unlikely place too. If I saw that the turn was decreasing radius from before I initated the turn, I would likely slow down a bit and take it at a steady speed, and if I didn't find out it was decreasing radius until I was well into the turn, there would be some panic braking lol. I was thinking mainly of a long open curve near my house with a mild swoopy downhill at the start then a quick climb coming out of it.
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