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Had no idea coasting was illegal in BC. I do it all the time in any vehicle with a manual transmission, even dump trucks. Generally I don't shift out of gear when I do this, I just disengage the clutch momentarily then feather it back on when the time comes. If I am anticipating some engine braking or a bit of acceleration, I may downshift one gear while the clutch is out. As you say, going right back to neutral is not a good idea because you never know if you may need some power. Does ICBC still sell insurance to people with learner's permits? I bought my first car and learned to drive in Vancouver in 1995. Blew my mind that they sold me full insurance with just a learner's permit, but damn it was expensive, $1600/yr.!
No idea about ICBC insuring people with Learner's Permits.....but yes, illegal :). Thanks for making me do some research! Hahaha. But I'm curious about why you find the use of the front brakes unpredictable and why you would choose to try and use the clutch instead. Can you tell me how you use the brakes? How many fingers, type of pressure (jabbing, stabbing, smooth, aggressive, strong at the start, soft later, soft at the start strong later)?

You will get different feel and response from the front brakes depending on how you apply them but they really are the best and safest way to slow your machine, set entry speed and line you up for proper throttle control while cornering......
 

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One additional benefit, besides the above mentioned, is that trail braking compresses the front suspension. This momentarily decreases the trail and makes the motorcycle less stable, which helps to tip into the turns more easily. Then as you taper off the brakes and roll on the throttle, the suspension extends and increases the trail, making the motorcycle feel super stable through the turn and reducing the risk of bottoming out.

It's by far one of my favorite skills :D
 

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Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
One additional benefit, besides the above mentioned, is that trail braking compresses the front suspension. This momentarily decreases the trail and makes the motorcycle less stable, which helps to tip into the turns more easily. Then as you taper off the brakes and roll on the throttle, the suspension extends and increases the trail, making the motorcycle feel super stable through the turn and reducing the risk of bottoming out.

It's by far one of my favorite skills :D
That's explained very nicely with diagrams in the video I posted. It starts at 2:29
 

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This is a good thread. I have pretty much always got my breaking done ahead of the curve, and relying on engine braking and throttle-on to control speed in the corner. I tend to use a lot of rear brake (I know, gasp) for this purpose as I find it affects the geometry of the bike less and keeps it more stable. It has served me well. But reading through this I am understanding why the fork dive from the front brakes can be a good thing.

I was out on a nice long ride on some nice curvy roads yesterday and played with this. I don't know, it seems useful. Basically I feel like I have permission now to keep some front brake on into the curve, to give me more time to assess the curve. I'm quick but not fast, just on a Bonnie on back roads. I can't go fast, doesn't matter my skills, you just never know where the next patch of gravel is going to be on the curve around here. Too many tractors and deer and potholes and all that. So I don't need to optimize my ride for speed, but trail braking does seem useful for control in the curve.

A couple of times I felt the urge to trail brake with the throttle on a bit. Is that ever a good thing, to use throttle and brake simultaneously? Honestly not sure why I was doing that, I may have been in too low a gear and wanted to slow but didn't want to give up my rpm? Didn't feel dangerous, just possibly silly, and transitioning off the brake wasn't as smooth.

I tend to keep my thumb and index finger around the throttle and use my other three fingers for light braking, is that normal? A MSF coach told me not to do that once, but I got the impression maybe he did the same thing himself but had to give the company line on the issue :) I tend to use all four fingers for heavier braking for coming to a stop or something.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
A couple of times I felt the urge to trail brake with the throttle on a bit. Is that ever a good thing, to use throttle and brake simultaneously? Honestly not sure why I was doing that, I may have been in too low a gear and wanted to slow but didn't want to give up my rpm? Didn't feel dangerous, just possibly silly, and transitioning off the brake wasn't as smooth.
When I first started learning to trail brake, I did this too, and I wondered the same thing. I do NOT think, however, that braking and throttle should be applied together as they both eat up traction, especially because as you trail off the brakes you are adding lean angle. So adding throttle to the equation is, IMO, not good. To me, it is trail off while leaning and then on to the Throttle Control Rule once the apex is identified.

This process has allowed for me to never feel as though I've entered a corner too fast. It really has been one of the most confidence boosting techniques I have learned. Combined with throttle control and good body positioning, I don't ever have that "ut oh" moment in corners anymore.

Thanks for commenting.
 

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Misti, so where do you land on this subject overall?

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Discussion Starter #30

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Discussion Starter #31
So, the person who posted the video that I shared in the first comment on this thread has added yet another video on the subject. I think it is an interesting and informative video. So, I am adding it to this thread.

 

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A couple of times I felt the urge to trail brake with the throttle on a bit. Is that ever a good thing, to use throttle and brake simultaneously? Honestly not sure why I was doing that, I may have been in too low a gear and wanted to slow but didn't want to give up my rpm? Didn't feel dangerous, just possibly silly, and transitioning off the brake wasn't as smooth.
When I first started learning to trail brake, I did this too, and I wondered the same thing. I do NOT think, however, that braking and throttle should be applied together as they both eat up traction, especially because as you trail off the brakes you are adding lean angle. So adding throttle to the equation is, IMO, not good. To me, it is trail off while leaning and then on to the Throttle Control Rule once the apex is identified.
Yeah, I was being stupid. I was experimenting with dragging the brake a bit going into the curve ... on curves I really wasn't braking at all for in advance. Being easy ones I was familiar with. Brake and gas simultaneously doesn't really make sense.
 

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Not relevant for this discussion, in MotoGP racing, some will apply front brake while they are lifting the bike up to exit a corner while using throttle. Of course, they also pull stoppies while braking hard entering a corner and pivot the bike into the entrance with the rear wheel still off the ground. A lot of electronics now in racing to allow all sorts of experimentation.
 

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Good thread! I posted this same video over in the Sprint forum a while back .... this is a better location for it. Does anyone know if there's a thread about riding skills generally?
 

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A couple of times I felt the urge to trail brake with the throttle on a bit. Is that ever a good thing, to use throttle and brake simultaneously? Honestly not sure why I was doing that, I may have been in too low a gear and wanted to slow but didn't want to give up my rpm? Didn't feel dangerous, just possibly silly, and transitioning off the brake wasn't as smooth.

I tend to keep my thumb and index finger around the throttle and use my other three fingers for light braking, is that normal? A MSF coach told me not to do that once, but I got the impression maybe he did the same thing himself but had to give the company line on the issue :) I tend to use all four fingers for heavier braking for coming to a stop or something.
It's a bad habit to get into to use the throttle and the brake at the same time. Roll OFF the gas first, then apply the brakes, this can be done very quickly. Then once you have the steering set and are at the lean angle you want and pointed in the direction you want to go, begin rolling on the gas. You want to be sure that you are trailing the brakes off, slowing coming off the brakes, as you begin rolling back on the gas.

I use two finger braking on most sport bikes and try and stay away from four finger braking. 2-3 fingers should be sufficient.

Misti, so where do you land on this subject overall?

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On the subject of trail braking? Excellent and useful skill in some corners in some situations where necessary. I don't really believe that it is something that is all or nothing kind of mentality, for the corners it is needed then use it and where it's not, don't. Pretty simple. If people get too concerned with using trailbraking everywhere in all corners, they tend to have a false sense of entry speed and can get into the habit of charging corners and being slow with getting back on the gas. As long as it is used correctly it is an awesome skill, but misunderstood in many ways.....hope that answers your question...
 

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by Nic ienatch of Cycle World. Maybe it's helpful? Maybe it's noise?
 
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Discussion Starter #37
Yeah, Ienatch is really great. I have his book, Sport Riding Techniques, which I think is a great compliment to Keith Code's Twist of the Wrist II.

Those two books together pretty much cover everything in great detail.

FYI -- In case you missed it, Misti is one of the riding coaches and trainers at Keith Code's CA Superbike School. We're lucky to have her commenting here.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Not relevant for this discussion, in MotoGP racing, some will apply front brake while they are lifting the bike up to exit a corner while using throttle. Of course, they also pull stoppies while braking hard entering a corner and pivot the bike into the entrance with the rear wheel still off the ground. A lot of electronics now in racing to allow all sorts of experimentation.
Yeah, that's pretty scary stuff for the regular Joe like me. I also watched a training video by Valentino Rossi (Ride Like Rossi), and he was demonstrating how to take a tight turn by intentionally skidding the bike a bit using the rear brake. I might try that at slow speeds on a dirt track with a dirt bike, but no friggin' way am I trying that at high speed on the road. MotoGP racer I am not.

This is the Rossi video

At 5:00 he starts talking about braking techniques. He starts by discussing trail braking, but then at about 6:20, it goes into this rear braking technique.
 

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I got to take an excellent couple hundred mile ride after work today and think about this. And more importantly, stop overthinking it.

I think I got an unintended benefit of not listening to my MSF trainer too closely. Sounds like the rider from post #31 really took it to heart. Brake, and then lean in and accelerate. Now I realize I've been lazy in following that rule. I engine brake fairly deep into the curve in many cases before rolling back on the throttle. I have even been braking fairly far into the corner.

And I realize that it's really not that many corners this applies to, for me. Lots and lots of corners I don't brake for at all. A little throttle off going in, and back on in the exit, is all it takes.

But I've learned a ton from this thread. Everyone counter-steers, just many people do it instinctively. Others do it thoughtfully. And when you do it thoughtfully you understand why you need to push on that inside grip when the pucker factor comes in (and look where you want to go, of course). And you practice and get it done.

This is the same thing. I've been trail braking in a form all along. But now that I'm thinking about it I can be more effective at it. And know when to use that front brake instead of the engine, and to more more intentional smooth transition from brakes to throttle.

Fun stuff.
 

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But I've learned a ton from this thread. Everyone counter-steers, just many people do it instinctively. Others do it thoughtfully. And when you do it thoughtfully you understand why you need to push on that inside grip when the pucker factor comes in (and look where you want to go, of course). And you practice and get it done.

This is the same thing. I've been trail braking in a form all along. But now that I'm thinking about it I can be more effective at it. And know when to use that front brake instead of the engine, and to more more intentional smooth transition from brakes to throttle.

Fun stuff.
I love how you explain this, really. That breaking a simple riding technique down into the fundamentals is important, so that you can learn it instinctively and stop thinking about it. I love when I'm coaching a rider and they begin by doing the technique mechanically and using a lot of mental energy, and then seeing the shift to a more relaxed and smooth riding style when they finally integrate it into their regular riding. So rewarding! :grin2:
 
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