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stew12st
01-24-2009, 10:07 PM
Quick question and I'm not sure if this is a Hexhead posting or not (so feel free to move it);

I have an '05 R1200ST and have taken a few "skills" courses over the last few years. During these courses and in the couple of riding skills books I have read they talk and demonstrate dragging the rear brake and feathering the clutch for better control during slow maneuvers.

Problem is, and I believe it is from the dry clutch, that I get a burning smell if I do this for any length of time. And the burning smell does not go away for quite a while. This has happened when practicing on my own, taking courses or in stop and go traffic. Basically I don't drag the rear brake and feather the clutch any more unless I really need to. Unfortunately this is a skill that has a lot of benefit and I would like to get better at it. Any thoughts??

texanrt
01-24-2009, 10:47 PM
Quick question and I'm not sure if this is a Hexhead posting or not (so feel free to move it);

I have an '05 R1200ST and have taken a few "skills" courses over the last few years. During these courses and in the couple of riding skills books I have read they talk and demonstrate dragging the rear brake and feathering the clutch for better control during slow maneuvers.

Problem is, and I believe it is from the dry clutch, that I get a burning smell if I do this for any length of time. And the burning smell does not go away for quite a while. This has happened when practicing on my own, taking courses or in stop and go traffic. Basically I don't drag the rear brake and feather the clutch any more unless I really need to. Unfortunately this is a skill that has a lot of benefit and I would like to get better at it. Any thoughts??

I had to alter my slow speed riding to avoid the dry clutch burning -- I only use a minimal amount of clutch feathering but I still do drag the rear brake. It's taken some practice to handle u-turns and parking lot maneuvers on the RT but its lighter weight and handling compensates for any lack of slow speed control but I'm missing not having a wet clutch.

greenwald
01-25-2009, 02:03 PM
I had to alter my slow speed riding to avoid the dry clutch burning -- I only use a minimal amount of clutch feathering but I still do drag the rear brake. It's taken some practice to handle u-turns and parking lot maneuvers on the RT but its lighter weight and handling compensates for any lack of slow speed control I'm missing not having a wet clutch.

As Motor Officers, we're taught extensive 'dragging the rear brake' maneuvers to control our half-ton H-D's. And by the way, you don't 'learn' this from watching a video. Too bad our National Rally doesn't offer "Ride Like A Cop" clinics, where this could be demonstrated on a mass scale.

Trade-off is scorched clutch plates (frequently replaced) and squealing brakes (also frequently replaced).

I use this method (locking in a set amount of throttle & clutch) and simply modulate my speed by using the rear brake as my 'gas pedal,' but on a BMW (dry clutch), it takes a beating, so I do so sparingly.

texanrt
01-25-2009, 02:43 PM
As Motor Officers, we're taught extensive 'dragging the rear brake' (or 'trail-braking') maneuvers to control our half-ton H-D's. And by the way, you don't 'learn' this from watching a video. Too bad our National Rally doesn't offer "Ride Like A Cop" clinics, where this could be demonstrated on a mass scale.

It took me lots of parking lot practice to get the hang of turning my nearly-half-ton Softail around in the width of two parking spaces feathering the clutch and dragging the rear brake. Once I got used to scraping my foot boards, it got easier. After riding the heavier bike, the RT feels like a middleweight.

I've noticed that the RT-P is getting more popular among our Motorcycle Officers here in Houston -- for the longest time it was only Harleys and Gold Wings, but I'm seeing the BMWs more and more. Just recently, I saw a formation of 6 or 8 Officers traveling down the interstate on their brand new RT-Ps.

bikerfish1100
01-25-2009, 03:37 PM
single-plate dry clutch bikes (most BMWs & Guzzis) do not like to have their clutches "feathered" (with or without the tar). what you were smelling was your clutch eating itself. given the labor cost for replacement, i would recommend avoiding that. dragging the rear brake is unrelated to clutch issues, but does have its own complications- as Greenwald indicated.
you can learn to ride these bikes at very slow speeds with plenty of smooooth throttle control, lots of counterweighting, and a quality head-turn (think "The Exorcist") to do the slow speed manuevers you've learned. I've seen the new series R12s to be quite agile at very slow speeds- even with relatively weak slow-speed riders aboard them.

have fun!

greenwald
01-25-2009, 08:15 PM
It took me lots of parking lot practice to get the hang of turning my nearly-half-ton Softail around in the width of two parking spaces feathering the clutch and dragging the rear brake. Once I got used to scraping my foot boards, it got easier. After riding the heavier bike, the RT feels like a middleweight.

I've noticed that the RT-P is getting more popular among our Motorcycle Officers here in Houston -- for the longest time it was only Harleys and Gold Wings, but I'm seeing the BMWs more and more. Just recently, I saw a formation of 6 or 8 Officers traveling down the interstate on their brand new RT-Ps.

I've seen some videos of the RT-P performing as well as the H-D RoadKings I rode for seven years. I wonder if the rear brake is seperate (not linked or integrated) on these models?

I loved bikerfish1100's comment about a quality head turn being compared to "The Exorcist." That's hitting the nail on the head. I tell my students to become 'owls,' when I emphasize headturns, but I just might switch to the 'Exorcist' reference!

What has occurred here in my neck of the woods, and could occur at any National Rally, is for the local chairpersons to contact one of the nearby LEO agencies that employ Motor Officers trained in the techniques mentioned. Often, such agencies are looking for ways to 'fly the flag' and put on demonstrations. A clinic (or two) with a secondary officer talking to the crowd could educate a lot of MOA members on how to try and perfect these techniques, with a 'Q & A' session to follow.

Just a suggestion.

bikerfish1100
01-25-2009, 08:29 PM
of course, for many of our class participants, when i say "show me your best Linda Blair imitation".. i just get a bunch of blank looks. a few chuckle, but i suspect that they're just being polite.

texanrt
01-25-2009, 09:17 PM
What has occurred here in my neck of the woods, and could occur at any National Rally, is for the local chairpersons to contact one of the nearby LEO agencies that employ Motor Officers trained in the techniques mentioned. Often, such agencies are looking for ways to 'fly the flag' and put on demonstrations. A clinic (or two) with a secondary officer talking to the crowd could educate a lot of MOA members on how to try and perfect these techniques, with a 'Q & A' session to follow. Just a suggestion.

An LEO Motor Officer training seminar at the rally would send me packing for the trip to TN....:thumb

texanrt
01-25-2009, 09:19 PM
of course, for many of our class participants, when i say "show me your best Linda Blair imitation".. i just get a bunch of blank looks. a few chuckle, but i suspect that they're just being polite.

I knew just what you were saying....:)

bikerfish1100
01-25-2009, 09:25 PM
I knew just what you were saying....:)

yeah, but that just means that you're probably about as gray as i am!

stew12st
01-25-2009, 11:13 PM
Thanks for the input, I have almost stopped the "feathering" but still find it's quite hard to keep the bike from stalling if I am just using the rear brake as my "gas pedal" to control the speed. Getting the rev's right and steady without burning things up just isn't easy.

I know the proper answer is practice, and I do every year when the bike comes out of storage. But I still worry I am damaging the bike every time I stall it or worry that I will either let go of the brake at a bad time or drop the bike. It would be great to learn this stuff on a loaner from a school but that just isn't available.

To the LEO's that have answered, your riding blows me away. The skills are great to watch. Maybe I'll just go buy a Hog and learn how to do it right, then learn how to replace clutch and brake pads. :thumb

bikerfish1100
01-26-2009, 12:13 AM
i routinely teach the MSF ERC on my R11S. the 20' wide box is "almost easy"- i have to be correct with it, and do need to be good with a headturn, counterweighting and bike lean- but i can complete the box (and associated S curve) by riding at idle in 1st gear, with room to spare.
have you tried that- no brake at all, and just concentrate on body technique?

my R100GS is just stupid easy- i can be about as sloppy as i want, and could probably do it inside of 14' width.

texanrt
01-26-2009, 12:17 AM
i can complete the box (and associated S curve) by riding at idle in 1st gear, with room to spare. have you tried that- no brake at all, and just concentrate on body technique?

I'm still practicing -- but the boxes are getting smaller and the brake dragging is decreasing.


my R100GS is just stupid easy- i can be about as sloppy as i want, and could probably do it inside of 14' width.

You've got to love a bike that makes you look smart -- or talented.:)

greenwald
01-26-2009, 12:31 AM
An LEO Motor Officer training seminar at the rally would send me packing for the trip to TN....:thumb


Just so we're clear on this, what has occurred up here is a DEMONSTRATION style seminar, where a single LEO and his motor go thru all the paces, while an audience watches and learns thru Q & A and repeat demos.

"What has occurred here in my neck of the woods, and could occur at any National Rally, is for the local chairpersons to contact one of the nearby LEO agencies that employ Motor Officers trained in the techniques mentioned. Often, such agencies are looking for ways to 'fly the flag' and put on demonstrations. A clinic (or two) with a secondary officer talking to the crowd could educate a lot of MOA members on how to try and perfect these techniques, with a 'Q & A' session to follow."

Liability and logistics would make this impossible to instruct one-on-one on a practical level, since each participant would ideally need a RoadKing - a bike that loves to be dropped, scraped and slid, and just gets picked up and comes back asking for more.

When I acquired my advanced riding skills as an LEO, I think I dumped the H-D 25 or more times........the first day! It can take a beating and keep performing. Also learned how even someone of small stature can pick up an 800+ lb. bike without injury. It's all technique, since we had to upend our own 800 lb. Harleys each and every time they went down, and without assistance.

Without a 'drop bike' to practice with, most MOA members would shy away from such a clinic out of self-preservation for their well-maintained BMW's.

But a demo officer, along with naration for the crowd, could prove quite informative, but needs to be organized locally.

sundaeman
01-26-2009, 01:25 AM
I wonder if the rear brake is seperate (not linked or integrated) on these models?

The R12RTP has semi linked brakes. The front links to the rear, but the foot brake only applies the rear.

scqtt
01-26-2009, 02:51 AM
The R12RTP has semi linked brakes. The front links to the rear, but the foot brake only applies the rear.

Not arguing or saying it is not true, but.............


I have to say I see no logic in that set up.

marchyman
01-26-2009, 03:16 AM
Not arguing or saying it is not true, but.............


I have to say I see no logic in that set up.

It was linking the rear to the front that caused no end of anguish when the first linked brake RT came out. People used to using their brakes for low speed maneuvers would drop their bikes because they didn't expect the front to stop with the rear.

I've partially integrated brakes on my '05 GS. It is a much better setup than the full integration I had with my '02 RT.

// marc

bikerfish1100
01-26-2009, 03:20 AM
if you start with the assumption that a linked system is the way to go, having the rear brakes seperated from the front is a very good option. if you're on the fronts, you will have lost nothing in terms of control to have the rears also applied. but there could easily be times when you want some brake action, but not from up front- the bars are turned, you're slow and leaned, low traction conditions, etc.

scqtt
01-26-2009, 03:28 AM
I understand that part, but I thought the whole idea behind linked brakes was to keep ham fisted (footed) riders from just stomping on the rears locking them up and going down.

For a new rider a locked rear is the easiest way to a highside as soon as you panic release the rear with the back of the bike stepped out.

Even a little pressure on the front keeps the bikes tracking straight even if the rear is locked.

Is there any noobs that use the front only? What would be the purpose of linking the rear to the front.

Seriously.........I'm curious.

marchyman
01-26-2009, 06:06 AM
Is there any noobs that use the front only? What would be the purpose of linking the rear to the front.

Seriously.........I'm curious.

Pretend you're an interested noob and do some googling. You'll find the the common "wisdom" is that the rear brakes does nothing but sets you up for a low side so don't bother using it. I can't count the number of times I've heard people complain about hexhead GS rear brake pad use because "I don't use my rear brakes much" or "I never use my rear brake". Here's a direct quote from an airhead GS rider: I use the rears on the GS when sliding the back end around dirt corners or when I need to stay still at a stop light. Otherwise any rear brake is of no use to me. [link (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8858984&postcount=15)] Talk about turnabout... 40 years ago the common "wisdom" was that the front brake would toss you over the handlebar so don't bother using it. :laugh

With the the linked brakes, as bikerfish1100 noted, you loose nothing in terms of control and may get a bit more needed braking power.

ricoshay
01-26-2009, 12:40 PM
At the BMWMOA rally in Trenton, Ontario a few years ago, BMWNA sponsored a trackday at a nearby racetrack (Shannonville?). While waiting for your group's slot on the track, you had the option of attending a slow speed riding school complete with instructors. The course was set up in a parking area using traffic cones and you rode your own bike.

Prior to that class, I had no idea how poor my slow speed riding skills were. The 100% improvement in my riding skills that day was also the incentive to practice at home. I use an abandoned parking lot near home but would be tickled to receive instruction again.

The entire day was open to everyone at the rally and free. :clap

GlobalRider
01-26-2009, 01:15 PM
During these courses and in the couple of riding skills books I have read they talk and demonstrate dragging the rear brake and feathering the clutch for better control during slow maneuvers.

You missed "carrying a few hundred extra RPM" which is why you slip the clutch to control speed along with application of the rear brake.

Slipping the clutch is all very nice on a wet clutch system; I avoid it on our dry clutch systems.

You also sit outside of the turn...sort of side saddle.

deilenberger
01-26-2009, 04:00 PM
I understand that part, but I thought the whole idea behind linked brakes was to keep ham fisted (footed) riders from just stomping on the rears locking them up and going down.
One word - ABS. If you have the linked brakes, you have ABS also. That prevents locking the rear.

For a new rider a locked rear is the easiest way to a highside as soon as you panic release the rear with the back of the bike stepped out.
ABS

Even a little pressure on the front keeps the bikes tracking straight even if the rear is locked.

Is there any noobs that use the front only? What would be the purpose of linking the rear to the front.

Seriously.........I'm curious.Actually - with linked brakes, especially the new non-servo ones started in 2007, lots of experienced riders ONLY use the front lever. The proportioning done by the linked brakes does a much better job than I could do by adding additional rear brake. The only time (and this sounds like a broken record) I use the rear brake is for a bit of trail-braking when setting up for a low speed corner; for parking lot maneuvers, or for holding the bike at a stop.

Other than those situations, I let the brake computer do it's thing. (And based on how fast the rear brake pads wear out - it's applying more rear brake then I ever would if left to my own devices..)

Wallowa
01-26-2009, 05:15 PM
One word - ABS. If you have the linked brakes, you have ABS also. That prevents locking the rear.ABSActually - with linked brakes, especially the new non-servo ones started in 2007, lots of experienced riders ONLY use the front lever. The proportioning done by the linked brakes does a much better job than I could do by adding additional rear brake. The only time (and this sounds like a broken record) I use the rear brake is for a bit of trail-braking when setting up for a low speed corner; for parking lot maneuvers, or for holding the bike at a stop.

Other than those situations, I let the brake computer do it's thing. (And based on how fast the rear brake pads wear out - it's applying more rear brake then I ever would if left to my own devices..)


I am one who almost exclusively uses only the front brake lever [I ride covering both clutch and front brake lever with two fingers]...the figure I heard was the linked system gives 70% front and 30% rear when front brake lever only is used [if rear brake lever is used it only activates the rear brake]...this makes a lot of sense since that is about the stopping power % when weight increases on front tire during heavy braking...

I was also told that even with my ABS "off" the brakes are still linked..Remember that after turning the ABS "off" the rear brake ABS is still on for one application...then it turns off.

I ride my '07 GSA about 90% dirt...with ABS off and I must use the front brake a lot going down step grades on dirt/rocks etc to control the bike speed...plus I feed in the rear brake [and transfer my body weight rearward...while standing]...both brakes are used just short of sliding and if they do break traction a quick release and re-application is used...As for slow speed turns in dirt or on pavement...after a few "stinking" attempts at feathering the clutch in and out...I try to never slip it....it is in or out....the clutch has a tough enough time with the weight of the bike and load....

I will add that for me the rear brake is hard to "feel"...perhaps with more miles I will develop a better sense of how much rear brake I am applying...

GlobalRider
01-26-2009, 08:02 PM
...lots of experienced riders ONLY use the front lever.

You are refering to that system and not regular everyday non ABS, non linked non servo brakes I hope.

ANDYVH
01-29-2009, 03:41 PM
I'm with Kevin on this, and since we have taught BRC and ERC classes together I know of which he speaks. The idea of running a Motorcop training program at a National is very tempting and I would love to participate in it as a rider/trainer. But!The likely prospect of dropping my good ol' 94 R1100RS is not a good learning prospect. If I had a beater oilhead to ride with crash guards I'd do it.

This month's issue of Motorcycle Consumer News features an article about Motorcop training classes for civilians, on HDs provided for the course, with the compelte crash bar setup. The class is not cheap.

texanrt
01-29-2009, 04:53 PM
I'm with Kevin on this, and since we have taught BRC and ERC classes together I know of which he speaks. The idea of running a Motorcop training program at a National is very tempting and I would love to participate in it as a rider/trainer. But!The likely prospect of dropping my good ol' 94 R1100RS is not a good learning prospect. If I had a beater oilhead to ride with crash guards I'd do it.

This month's issue of Motorcycle Consumer News features an article about Motorcop training classes for civilians, on HDs provided for the course, with the compelte crash bar setup. The class is not cheap.

Just seeing a demonstration of the training would be great -- maybe a company that offers Motor Officer training would be willing to put on a demonstration at the national rally -- I be they'd get some business out of it.

lawfuls
01-09-2010, 10:43 AM
I ride LE bikes for a living. Linked brakes are terrible if you know how to properly brake. Slow speed braking should be rear brake only. I have an 04 R1150RT and an 04 R1150RTP. The differences are like day and night, mostly in the brakes. The RTP has no linked brakes, it handles slow speed stuff just great, the RT on the other hand can put you on the ground if you are using the brake at slow speeds in a turn because of the application of the front brake. I like the RT but I wish I could change it's brakes to the non linked.

The other issue is the clutch. The way we are trained to ride "feathering the clutch" will wreak havoc on the dry clutch. The best bike I have ever ridden for slow speed manuevers is the Kawasaki KZ1000P. I've ridden them all. But I am spoiled on the BMW, with wind protection/deflection and adjustable windscreen, heated grips....just got to be carefull with the clutch.

amiles
01-09-2010, 01:12 PM
Remember that the Police motorcycle is a tool and it's use & maintenance costs reflect this. If you burn up your clutch with probably unnecessary (for you) low speed maneuvering You pay the freight not the "City".

The last time I took an ERC I was thinking about how much abuse I was doing to my machine while learning the ins & outs of "parade ground" maneuvering.

And for what it might be worth, the dragging of the rear brake to assist with turns used to be known as "Trailing Brake" if I am properly informed..

And finally is there any correlation between the low speed parking lot maneuvering of the ERC and maneuvering the machine at highway speeds on the public roads?

greenwald
01-09-2010, 01:36 PM
Remember that the Police motorcycle is a tool and it's use & maintenance costs reflect this. If you burn up your clutch with probably unnecessary (for you) low speed maneuvering You pay the freight not the "City".

The last time I took an ERC, I was thinking about how much abuse I was doing to my machine while learning the ins & outs of "parade ground" maneuvering.

Good points. I have actually shy'd away from instructing the ERC in recent years, as we (the RiderCoaches) are required to use our personal bikes for all demos, and my poor R1200RT's dry clutch always took a beating in the process.

Fortunately, I often perform the 'Assist' role in the MSF BRC's that I teach, which allows me ample use of the Hondas, Kawasakis. Yamahas and Suzukis that the technical college owns.

That way, I keep my slow-speed maneuvering skills sharp, but not at the expense of personal clutch plates (wet clutches).

sit
01-09-2010, 03:54 PM
I tried a motors course but back problems prevented me from finishing. That being said, we trained on Kawasaki's. Rear brake was used, but not 'ridden' through any patterns. If they caught us doing this, we were spoken to about it on no uncertain terms. RPM's were kept high and the clutch was feathered to control the power. Worked very well and the Kawi's took the abuse. Once I was able to ride again after the course, tried some of what I learned on my GS and still regularly practice. I do not ride the rear brake through the patterns, but do use it to control speed entering the pattern as rear braking upsets the balance of the bike less. I dont feather the clutch, holding it in the friction zone, but you do end up working the clutch quite a bit. The trick is to counter balance the heck out of it.

andrewsi
01-09-2010, 06:28 PM
What year RT are you on? On the R1200RT, the rear brake can be applied independently without the front, but the front is linked to the rear and applies both. I think the 1150 might've been fully linked though - I'm sure someone here knows.

sit
01-10-2010, 06:50 AM
Don't know about the 1150RT, but my 04 1150 R was the same as the 1200, front link to rear, rear independent.

nelliott
01-11-2010, 05:37 AM
Last summer I took a two day course by two police instructors that ride R1200RTPs. They taught low speed manoeuvring by just slightly engaging the clutch in and out, no throttle, and no need to use the rear brake, or front brake. They claimed this would not hurt the clutch. Everyone used their own brakes. We did all the same police manoeuvres (box, keyhole, intersection, etc, not as tight as the police but a few feet larger - this enabled everyone to learn the technique but not drop their bikes as you would learning with a 12' keyhole).

I did not smell any clutch burning at all, at anytime on my R1200RT.

I am going back for the second phase - a one day course this coming summer. It is awesome, I can do a figure eight lock to lock and a circle either direction at full lock. This course greatly enhanced my riding ability.

Neil

ANDYVH
01-12-2010, 06:16 AM
Like Bikerfish1100 and Greenwald, I too am a MSF BRC and ERC instructor, riding the same R1100RS for over 14 years, I have used my own bike for many ERC classes and demonstrations. I have never had an issue with burning my clutch or feathering it to the point it stinks for anytime after the class.

I think part of that is learning to really use smooth throttle control along with rear brake such that I really do not feather the clutch much at all even for the 24' wide u-turn box.

But the keys are the strong head turn with conviction to learn and trust it does work, along wiht a lot a body counterwieght action. On my bike, with the very pronounced right side weighting of the fuel tank, I have to counterwieght my body even moreso for slow speed RH turns versus LH turns. Again, it comes with knowledge of how your bike works, and practice.

bikerfish1100
01-12-2010, 12:22 PM
I have never had an issue with burning my clutch or feathering it to the point it stinks for anytime after the class.

I think part of that is learning to really use smooth throttle control along with rear brake such that I really do not feather the clutch much at all even for the 24' wide u-turn box.



ditto.
i had to replace my trans input splines due to total failure at 71,000 miles. clutch splines were obviously toast as well, but the clutch disc surface was just fine, maybe 50% gone. no need to feather clutch, drag (un-linked) rear brake, or any other shenanigans- just very careful throttle control in the 20' box.
on a tighter course (i.e.; police-based) i might need to, i dunno. point being is that with some good instruction, practice and awareness of one's bikes, you can do quite a bit that is beyond what you might have previously considered possible.