Trail Braking from the Classic, Vintage & Veteran forum - 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 #1 of 79 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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Trail Braking from the Classic, Vintage & Veteran forum

Have we mentioned this before?

Although no doubt many old riders of old Trumpy's go way too slow to consider this stuff I know for sure that there are those out there who ride those old bikes like they was modern bikes.
For those among you who enjoy the finer skills of faster styles of riding I would value your opinions on this concept of Trail Braking as proposed by Nick Ienatsch.
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post #2 of 79 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 10:59 AM
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Yes, mentioned, discussed several times be for. Take a minute and use the search function
And , who the hell are you calling an Older Rider bro!

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Last edited by pmorritt; 06-26-2019 at 11:02 AM.
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post #3 of 79 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 06:30 PM
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i'm trying to master this.

i would be delighted to listen to people on this subject.

i be kevin
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post #4 of 79 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pmorritt View Post
Yes, mentioned, discussed several times be for. Take a minute and use the search function
And , who the hell are you calling an Older Rider bro!
Well I never have much luck with those search functions pm, so sorry to be a bore. Regarding my description of old I'm thinking of myself bro, particularly relating to slow riding.
I can't even keep up with a good rider on a TR6 when I'm riding my Ducati mate, cause I just don't have that confidence I may once have had in the corners. Getting older has had experiences along the way, like hitting a Roo and breaking my arm, and many years on a Moto Guzzi that in my opinion didn't handle well, all of which lessened my confidence , but of late my Duke has been teaching me how to ride a bit better and I have applied this to my TR7 which seems to handle pretty darn well.
Thus the instructions to slightly load the front and the resulting increase of contact on the spread tyre seems to give more stability as long as you don't hit a patch of gravel. From what I gather even then you have an advantage from taking that corner in a more controlled way and I believe that if there were a sudden unexpected reason to stop you'd have a better chance. I take on board the criticism that there are many reasons where it can't help as for example when a Roo or a Deer decides to jump in your way and there is simply no way to avoid it.
I lived on a dirt road for a decade and talking with many riders about the wildlife . I discovered that the ones who had the most confidence didn't worry at all. They simply accelerated and rode over anything that presented itself. One morning I spoke with a guy who said he'd already hit 4 roos that morning and hadn't fallen once.
It's obviously not the same on a heavier road bike where hitting one of those animals will bend your forks and send you down the road sideways. In my case I bounced on the Walleroo[A heavy set animal like a stocky Roo on steroids] the bike hit the road, I hit the road and the Walleroo kept going on his merry way.
But anyway this has nothing to do with Trail Braking apart from the confidence aspect.
I'd love to hear from anyone who practises this on their old Trumpy and daily riding, their observations and thoughts on methods and so on. I believe smoothness in all functions is the key to good safer riding.
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post #5 of 79 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 08:53 PM
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Did you bring this up because of the thread on the Ducati forum ? I think if you ever rode motocross on tight tracks you would acquire the riding habits that , when used on the street, are called trail braking. I really only use this method when riding by myself, because riding curvy roads with friends of various skill levels throws my timing off unless I知 the one in front. If I知 in the middle or back of the group i end up having people slowing down far earlier going into a corner. By myself, I知 on the brakes until I reach the Apex, at which time dropping over and targeting my exit point on the other side. I知 back on the throttle as I drop over, but still fingers on the brake lever until past the Apex before rolling on throttle. So , depending on whether I知 going slow enough or not, and holding the line I chose or not, I may be simultaneously applying throttle to hold my line and braking to scrub speed and transfer weight. Is that trail braking ? There seems to be a difference of opinion . I do this on a Ducati or a T140, though the Triumph is easier to ride up to that point where a wiggle sets in when you hit a bump.
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post #6 of 79 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 03:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by duc96cr View Post
Did you bring this up because of the thread on the Ducati forum ?
Yeah I started that thread but was interested in the attitude of Triumph riders as opposed to Duke riders.
I think you are Trail Braking , that's as good a description as I've read.
It's strange to come to this at my stage of riding, like when I'm maybe nearly done, or at least in my last quarter. I was always under the impression that one shouldn't use the front brake in a corner under any circumstances, so basically if anything got in the way you either had to dodge it or throw the bike down the road. I am happy to learn and I fully expect a lot of riders to think as I used to, which is why I wanted to have this discussion as well.
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post #7 of 79 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 09:30 AM
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I am on the same page as duc96cr . its a lot easier with touchy feely modern discs, the self servo effect of a front TLS makes it different.
It goes without saying that road surface condition also has a lot to do with it, not something I do in wet or loose conditions. Losing the front end on a bend is never good. There are a lot of corners in scotland , plenty of practice opportunities.

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post #8 of 79 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 11:08 AM
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Hi Trumpkin
‘Not for us’ is the phrase that comes to mind, it’s a modern technique for modern bikes:

You will be braking/steering and leaning at the same time, you need the tyres to be sticky and preferably getting progressively stickier towards the outer edge, you also need pliable sidewalls to ‘increase the contact patch under load’. Unless you have upgraded to radial tyres then you are at much greater risk of the front tyre sliding away. The thin Cross ply tyres fitted to Classics just don’t cut it for trail braking.

You need good feedback to the lever and fingertip control, the standard wooden paddle ‘on or off’ disk brake fitted to T140’s does not give you enough control, it it will be so easy to approach the wheel locking point without noticing. Self servo drum brakes-no chance far too aggressive .
Unless you have made some serious upgrades to the front brakes, standard Classic Triumph brakes they just don’t cut it for trail braking.

One of the fundamental principles of trail braking is to use the downforce created by braking to increase the grip of the front tyre. The long rake of these old frames will tend to push the brake forces more froward, rather than downward like steep head angled modern bike will do. So instead of pushing the tyre into the ground, the tendency is to push the tyre forwards, making it skid. Classic bike frames just don’t cut it for trail braking.

Trail braking is for R6’s, etc. Modern sports bikes-even then many sports bike riders have been down the road on their arses trying it. You also need practice; perhaps if you can do 10 stoppies in a row, with the rear wheel at least 3 feet in the air, then you are ready to try trail braking to increase your corner speed. It can be done, but you might find ‘slow in fast out’ might be a safer and quicker riding technique for classics.

Good luck
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Last edited by Rancidpegwoman; 06-27-2019 at 11:10 AM.
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post #9 of 79 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 02:30 PM
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I disagree, I was taught to use the brake in a corner to tighten the turning radius. With the exception of a year long stint on a Sprint all my riding in the last 12 years has been on my 66 TR6. I routinely Trail brake with the back brake (I like the person behind me to see the brake lamp) and occasionally the front though I find this a little more difficult due to the long reach to the lever.

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post #10 of 79 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 02:51 PM
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I have a 96 900 Monster and the 79 Triumph.Both have suspenisons sorted out for my liking.The Ducati does have higher limits but both bikes respond to the same type inputs.. For street riding I try not to use the front brake when setting up for a corner.But it's not an absolute and varies with the situation..One time several years ago on a Moto guzzi, several of us were hustling along when I went into a corner too fast as I was starting to lean over..I hit the front brake and the bike tried to stand up causing me to run wide and cross the center line... Bad bad...And of course using the front brake hard generally reduces cornering clearance.

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