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How would a hardwood stick compare with a softwood one, and what if the rubber was the same type used to make gaiters and footpeg rubbers these days, would the rubber just fall apart at the first test
 

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I brake so hard on front a rear sometimes the back wheel locks up and skids a little before tipping it in!!!!!!!! :laughhard
 

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Changing your riding style is not easy, especially for older riders. Many things about riding a motorcycle need to be automatic, done without thought, when the moment presents itself. This is especially true during that occasional thrilling moment when things are happening fast and your reaction time may not be what it once was. Though I ride several brands, I’ve always felt that Triumphs were the easiest to ride.
 

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Changing your riding style is not easy, especially for older riders. Many things about riding a motorcycle need to be automatic, done without thought, when the moment presents itself. This is especially true during that occasional thrilling moment when things are happening fast and your reaction time may not be what it once was. Though I ride several brands, I’ve always felt that Triumphs were the easiest to ride.
I agree, my Ducati performance far exceeds any vintage Triumph but once past the Triumph level, it's a place for fast reflexes ,time and space get compressed..But is is thrilling....
 

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interesting video & discussion and the trail braking technique makes a lot of sense to me. like to think that'ws the way i brake instinctively but won't know until i can get back on the bike.

one thing puzzles me - that the discussion is almost completely focused on front brake. i realize that's where most of the braking power is, but aren't 2 brakes better than one? i.m inclined to use both brakes and vary the pressure on each as a way to maintain stability under different road/riding conditions.
 

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interesting video & discussion and the trail braking technique makes a lot of sense to me. like to think that'ws the way i brake instinctively but won't know until i can get back on the bike.

one thing puzzles me - that the discussion is almost completely focused on front brake. i realize that's where most of the braking power is, but aren't 2 brakes better than one?
Trail braking is about applying the front brake lightly in a corner to shorten the wheelbase which makes going around corners easier. That's why the discussion is about the front brake. Applying the back brake counters what you are trying to do in the corner.

You are right about using both brakes in normal conditions like approaching a corner, but if you are trying to go fast in a corner or suddenly find you are too hot in a corner because it tightens on you then trail braking will hopefully help you get around.
 

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Braking question - when making a turn or u-turn, either from a stop or at low speed, do others keep a brake applied and slowly release it coming out of the turn? if so, which brake do you use?

Also, if one objective of trail braking is to compress the front forks doesn't that actually shorten the wheelbase slightly?
 

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Braking question - when making a turn or u-turn, either from a stop or at low speed, do others keep a brake applied and slowly release it coming out of the turn? if so, which brake do you use?
In slow turns on a heavy bike like my LT I lightly drag the back brake. On my 1970 TR6 I try not to touch the brakes in any turn! I find the old bikes with drums just don't allow smooth enough braking to use them when the bike is banked over.

Steve
 

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Braking question - when making a turn or u-turn, either from a stop or at low speed, do others keep a brake applied and slowly release it coming out of the turn? if so, which brake do you use?
For slow, tight turns, dragging the rear brake slightly can help you control speed better. US police, riding their limited-space gymkhana-type competitions, take this to extremes. They drag the rear brake hard and slip the clutch like crazy, keeping the revs up. This allows for quick acceleration between tight corners but also makes a lot of noise for the crowds. They burn through (literally) a lot of brake pads and clutches.

Also, if one objective of trail braking is to compress the front forks doesn't that actually shorten the wheelbase slightly?
Yes. More significant is that it steepens the steering head, making for lighter steering and tighter turning.
 

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It seems that even the main advocate posters of this technique disagree on how it actually works.
It is also clear that various other posters have different ideas on what "trail braking" means.
One of the videos seemed to explain it most clearly, but whether it's of major value to road situations I have my doubts.
According to that, one brakes maximally using the front brake approaching the corner.
The forks are then highly compressed with maximum down force on the front tyre. This increases the front tyre contact patch accordingly, but the main factor must be the increased force of tyre to road. (friction depends on force and friction coefficient, area of contact is not a factor).
Gradually "trailing" the front braking off as the bike leans into the corner maintains this downward force of the front tyre onto the road surface as much as possible, so maximizing the grip of the tyre. After all, the front tyre is responsible for "dragging" the bike round the corner. So I can imagine this giving a performance advantage in some types of corner.
Particularly I can see the value in the tight corners (more like sharp U-turns) on tracks, where the bikes must maximize their high speed for as long as possible into the corner, then get back onto full power asap. In this case they often use a V-shaped trajectory, and I can imagine trail braking being very valuable in this situation, getting them as efficiently as possible through the sharp apex between max braking and max acceleration.
I doubt that it is such a valuable factor in the longer curves, where it is all about maintaining a smooth line at the inside of the track, where I suspect it is more about choosing the speed earlier for most of the bend at maximum lean. I wouldn't be tempted to put much, if any, front brake on during this.
This is all well and good on a well-surfaced, known racetrack, without potholes, patches of deisel, gravel, hikers and vehicles coming in the other direction.
Even ABS is not a magical solution in a corner. It can only attempt to deal with locking the wheel under braking, it knows nothing of the grip of the tyre giving way sideways. Leave it on cars and cruisers I'd suggest.
Actually, I think that giving some of these basic controls to a processor is not the best idea. I see that driverless cars are a must be! I love the interaction I have with my old bike.
It has a (by modern standards) feeble front brake, half reasonable back brake, ancient suspension and maybe 45-50 hp, 3.60 front 4.10 rear, and deals with bumpy curves securely. Over the years I've had plenty of dodgy moments, but touch cyberspace, so far survived. Perhaps I will adopt a conscious trail braking technique, or is it truly necessary I wonder? For road use, it sounds to me rather like one of those things lke scientology or flat earth, as in interesting ideas but...
 

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Braking question - when making a turn or u-turn, either from a stop or at low speed, do others keep a brake applied and slowly release it coming out of the turn? if so, which brake do you use?
Slight pressure on the rear brake and feather the clutch. Look at where you are going not at your front wheel. Keep the power up. Applying rear brake tends to keep the bike upright whereas the front brake will want to pull the bike down. Keeping the power up and feathering the clutch keeps momentum going. You don't want to lose momentum on a tight turn as you will tend to fall over!


Also, if one objective of trail braking is to compress the front forks doesn't that actually shorten the wheelbase slightly?
That is correct and why it works. You don't have to apply much brake to get the effect you want. Clearly a handful will send you into oh-**** land pretty quickly. Note that trail braking is useful in two scenarios. 1. You want to go fast in tight corners esp in race conditions. 2. You enter a corner a bit hot for whatever reason for example it tightens up on you unexpectedly.


Some respondents here clearly don't agree with trail braking. Good for them. It's not compulsory. The fact is though is that it works and it could get you out of a sticky situation so it's worth practicing.

I'll just leave these here which looks at it from different perspectives - race

https://motodna.net/trail-braking/


...and street.

 

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Are you claiming that compressing the forks doesn't affect the steering geometry? Doesn't affect trail? Do you know why some people raise their forks in the triple tree a cm or so, and not much more?
 

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Trail braking cannot steepen the steering head, the steering head is a fixed member of the frame !
That is correct the steering head is a fixed member of the frame. The measurements are taken in a static position, (that is; the bike is neutral, there are no forces acting on it).
The reference plane is the ground which is horizontal/level. The steering head angle is measured using that reference plane, the ground.
A change in static position;
Raise the forks in the triple trees, what else has changed, the steering head of the bike is now lower to the ground (pivoted about the rear axle). measure the steering head angle in relation to the ground it is steeper. Raise the rear of the bike with longer shocks you get the same thing.

A dynamic situation, hard on the brakes, the rear of bike raises ( the angle of the frame and steering head change in relation to the ground - head steepens because the rear of the frame is further from the ground, the forks collapse under braking, the steering head moves even closer to the ground, the angle is steeper yet.

So even though the steering head is in a fixed position on the frame, all the measurements are taken in relation to the ground. And there are multitude of ways to change that measurement without a saw and welder
 

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I skipped to the end of the thread so my description doesn't get mixed up with anyone else's. There are 2 categories of trail braking - one of which takes a much higher degree of skill and the other which is easy and safe but still allows for cornering faster than the vast majority of riders. I practice the latter of the two.

Let's describe the harder and more dangerous type. It's somewhat akin to point and shoot track riding. Speeds are high and threshhold braking is going on. As you begin to turn into the corner you must smoothly moderate off intense braking until you're turned or mostly turned and are ready to get back on the gas. The transition from braking to gassing is immediate. The danger and trick is learning to smoothly transition from thresshold to lighter braking, while leaned over with the forks highly compressed all without upsetting the chassis.

For fast street riding you don't brake as hard, you might even coast a second or two as you approach the corner. You're carrying too much speed to make the corner so you brake smoothly but not heavily as you lean and turn. You brake just long enough to drop down to a speed that allows you to make the corner without taking on a dangerous extreme lean angle. With practice you'll know when to get back on the gas. That might be anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 way into the corner depending on several factors. You can take the same corner in many different ways. Speed way high - just brake longer and allow your momentum to take you further to the outside. Speed moderate - get on the gas early and have the motor push you hard to the outside line. Once you're comfortable braking smoothly while leaned over you have many more options. You're not going to be upsetting the chassis with ham fisted braking.

If I could sum up trail braking: It's for faster riding. When you're doing it you're either braking or gassing but not doing much steady state unless it's a longer curve.
 
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