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Thread: New BMW guy, old rider, and BMW brakes

  1. #31
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by sickticket View Post
    Reading this thread is jaw dropping. I opened the thread because I am also getting back into bike riding after several decades. I plan on picking up my new R1200RT in the spring after spending years in Japan and here on Yamaha's and Honda's. I have learned so very much on this website but now I am learning that, just like me, there are many SCUBA divers who are bike riders. I have my AOW, rescue and nitrox. Living within 45 min of Dutch Springs is a wonderful plus of this sport.

    I too plan on taking courses on safe bike riding as soon as possible. I am also a retired volunteer fireman (35 years) and am very safety oriented.

    Can't wait to ride in the spring.
    You may be picking up a brand new R1200RT, but you already possess the most important accessory for your motorcycling endeavors - a "safety first mindset."

    Enjoy your travels!
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Motorcycle/Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  2. #32
    Nickname: Droid
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    The big thing with cycle riding is the complacent/comfort zone of "I'm doing ok". Like you said, "I ride a lot", but don't practice my riding skills and emergency skills. THAT is where most riders fall short. We all get easily comfortable and glib in our false security of "I'm a good rider." When actually, ALL of us need a refresh, an update, a kick in the shorts, to revive and remind us it can all end in a matter of seconds of inattention, inability, insecurity of knowing 1st how to AVOID most situations, and then also to really KNOW what to do and HOW to do it when we have to in those seconds of choice.

    I feel that is why the MSF is adamant about instructors maintaining bi-yearly skills updates at the very least. Otherwise we fall into the same "I've had the training" attitude.

    Yes, kids do listen especially when you involve them AND yourself in their learning. Ladies, for the most part are easier to train. But those a bit later in life, that have never done anything that could hurt them, are the big challenge to train. Funny thing is when a husband/rider and wife/newbie are in the same class. More than once I have seen the wife/newbie do much better than the "experienced" husband/rider. Again, the complacent attitude of "I'm a good rider". THAT only applies within the realm of their actual experience.

  3. #33
    Registered User lbarbee's Avatar
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    New BMW guy, old rider, and BMW brakes

    Quote Originally Posted by sickticket View Post
    I plan on picking up my new R1200RT in the spring
    Enjoy! I hated mine for the first 10 days. Be patient. The tall first gear and klunky drive train take some adjustment.
    After 10 days, it transformed into the best bike I have ever owned.

    Plan on a new seat immediately, same as other bikes.

    Careful on the brakes at first, using hand brake or both brakes, you will try to throw yourself over the bars the first couple of times.

    Happy riding!
    Lynn
    2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have)
    2002 BMW R1150RT
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

  4. #34
    Registered User lbarbee's Avatar
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    New BMW guy, old rider, and BMW brakes

    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    ALL of us need a refresh, an update, a kick in the shorts, to revive and remind us it can all end in a matter of seconds of inattention
    This is going to happen either way, organized training or not. The question is WHERE would you like to have this experience and would you like the opportunity for a do over when you screw it up.

    Truth is you can't become a good rider on the range, just as you can't become a good football player in the weight room.

    However you guys have reminded me that balance is required. Thanks.
    Lynn
    2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have)
    2002 BMW R1150RT
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

  5. #35
    Registered User lbarbee's Avatar
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    New BMW guy, old rider, and BMW brakes

    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    I feel that is why the MSF is adamant about instructors maintaining bi-yearly skills updates at the very least. Otherwise we fall into the same "I've had the training" attitude.
    My question was how often do MSF instructors recommend retraining to their students?
    Lynn
    2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have)
    2002 BMW R1150RT
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

  6. #36
    Nickname: Droid
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    "Truth is you can't become a good rider on the range, just as you can't become a good football player in the weight room."

    That comment is true, because the range only provides the opportunity to learn the techniques and procedures. It means nothing if the student/rider never applies it, practices it, becomes proficient with it, and continues to work with the skills to apply it to real world riding. In the realm of rider training in the US, its what we have to work from.

    "My question was how often do MSF instructors recommend retraining to their students?"

    Me? To my students, ALWAYS, 100%. In the BRC when we complete the class I always say, "now that you've completed the BRC, your training and learning has just begun. You HAVE to continue to keep an open mind to leaning and training, and you have to consider additional training/updates if you really want to become a good lifetime rider."

    To the ERC and ARC stduents, same thing; "Take the skills, techniques, strategies, and practice, apply and master them. Then consider additional training to augment and expand that level, always learning more. If not, we are always only the rider we "think" we are in the realm of what we find comfortable."

    There are many riders who claim they are "experienced", riding 20 years at about 1500 miles a year only on bright sunny, dry days on familiar roads. Then I have met riders of five years total experience, riding 5,000 to 15,000 miles a year in all conditions, all roads. My bet is the five year rider is a much more capable rider. Takes at least 100,000 miles under your butt of active, varied rding, to count as "experienced". But it also takes training and updates to survive.

  7. #37
    Registered User lbarbee's Avatar
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    New BMW guy, old rider, and BMW brakes

    I do appreciate your input.

    This conversation has gone way past brakes and technique.

    The combination of you guys have made me ask why I don't practice what I preach as a SCUBA instructor. I think the logic is the same.

    Wake up accepted.

    So far no luck finding a scheduled ARC near me, but most get posted in the spring.
    Lynn
    2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have)
    2002 BMW R1150RT
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

  8. #38
    Nickname: Droid
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    Scuba diving and cycle riding can both kill you easily within 15 minutes of involvement in the activity. So the logic applies to both as to training and ability.

    I have all the scuba gear, bought used from a co-worker, but I have not yet gotten the training. NO WAY would I ever consider going under without the training.

  9. #39
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    Scuba diving and cycle riding can both kill you easily within 15 minutes of involvement in the activity. So the logic applies to both as to training and ability.

    I have all the scuba gear, bought used from a co-worker, but I have not yet gotten the training. NO WAY would I ever consider going under without the training.
    Good for you for not trying to use the equipment before getting trained and certified. Do not even play with the gear in a pool, as the depth between surface and 33 feet is where the most danger to blow a lung or have an embolism exists. People have died in 12 foot deep pools playing with scuba tanks. You will learn about this in your classes. Diving is a fun, relatively safe activity so long as you pay attention to what you are doing and plan your dive, but can be terribly unforgiving to carelessness. Just like riding a motorcycle.


    Isn't this a great, diversified group with a wide range of expertise ?
    Last edited by ka5ysy; 01-04-2013 at 12:09 AM.
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

  10. #40
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    Who woulda thought that my first post ever on this forum would result in 39+ responses in just three days! Gotta love it. Oh yeah, and I've learned a little too.

  11. #41
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 188233 View Post
    Who woulda thought that my first post ever on this forum would result in 39+ responses in just three days! Gotta love it. Oh yeah, and I've learned a little too.
    If you REALLY want a post-count, ask an OIL question...
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

  12. #42
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Stopping in curves

    Quote Originally Posted by ka5ysy View Post
    If you REALLY want a post-count, ask an OIL question...
    I believe you were the person who mentioned the importance of practicing straight line stops, swerving, and stopping in curves. Since there seem to be a number of MSF instructors on this thread, just wondered how you now teach this difficult skill - at least difficult in the real world of 2-lane curvy roads.

    BTW, I do regularly practice quick straight line stops (with non-functioning ABS, I get on the rear brake pretty hard, squeeze on the front brake to almost the point of lock-up, eeze off the back brake as I am doing so, then eeze off the front brake and get hard on the back brake when I am down to a few MPH.) Trust I am doing this right. ABS certainly simplifies things. And I also practice swerving. (Again if I have this right, that means hard counter-steering with NO braking or throttle change during the maneuver.)

    "Stopping in a curve" seems most problematic, unless you are going slow enough that you can right the bike and stop in a straight line. Actually, that is what I try to do - ride the sharp curves very slowly. And I have never once had to stop. Don't think that is the plan of most BMW riders I know. So how do you teach (and encourage students to practice) stopping in curves?
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  13. #43
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCKRIDER View Post
    I believe you were the person who mentioned the importance of practicing straight line stops, swerving, and stopping in curves. Since there seem to be a number of MSF instructors on this thread, just wondered how you now teach this difficult skill - at least difficult in the real world of 2-lane curvy roads.

    Good morning Doug:

    The practice drill we do is this: The student, from the starting gate position usually across a short side of the range, accelerates to some speed, usually 12-15 mph or so. It is optional as to what gear, first or second, but it works better in second for most people. He/she enters a marked 90 degree turn left or right (depends on which end of the range the student is on) using proper look-press-roll technique. At some point in the turn, the student does a quick counter-steer on the opposite bar to get the bike quickly upright and handle bars square (front wheel straight), then applies both brakes fully. We demonstrate that the bike can go outside the marked lane position if necessary.

    I generally suggest the students lead slightly with the rear brake to get the weight transfer going forward (forks compress) so there is no danger of a front tire lockup and the almost guaranteed crash that might occur. I also brief the mantra: If you lock the rear brake, press harder and stay on it until the bike stops. If you lock the front tire, release it immediately.

    The key thing to practice is to quickly counter-steer (using a good strong push on the bars) to upright the bike quickly and the front tire squared up straight ahead so you have all traction available for brakes, and can be used at any speed.

    This is the same reason we teach separating the braking and swerving when you need to do those. If you are doing an emergency swerve, you will be using most all of the available traction to get around the obstacle, and if you touch the brakes the bike is probably going to crash.

    The swerve, braking in a turn, and quick stop maneuvers should be practiced regularly, because at some point in everyone's career, you absolutely will need them.

    I have had two "live" uses of these maneuvers in the past couple of years: Coming around a blind sharp left turn leaned over at about 15 mph, I came face to face with a combine sitting across both lanes with the cutter knives aimed my way. Did a perfect quick stop that worked as advertised

    About a month ago, the wife and I were riding in the country when a deer jumped out of a ditch to my right directly into our path of travel. She yelled "Deer" in the intercom, and I was instantly on the brakes straight ahead at which point the deer moved directly in front of us. Harder squeeze on the brakes kicked in the ABS and avoided the immediate contact, and then I had to perform a quick right swerve when the deer decided to put on the brakes and slow down to see where I was !

    Everything happened so quickly in both examples that conscious thought did not occur. It was automatic muscle memory reaction that was built up from constant practice.

    As for daily warm-up practice I have a little routine leaving my neighborhood;

    Out the driveway turn right, then do a quick figure 8 maneuver.

    Down the street, swerve left/right around the first fireplug marker reflector, the the opposite way around the second one.

    In the sweeper curve leaving the subdivision at about 25 mph, do a quick counter steer to upright the bike and perform the quick stop in the curve.

    Last thing is the quick stop straight ahead at the stop sign before getting into traffic.

    That routine gets the muscle memory primed for the combat zone ride in traffic and parking lots !

    Hope this answers your question.
    Last edited by ka5ysy; 01-05-2013 at 01:15 PM.
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

  14. #44
    Registered User lbarbee's Avatar
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    New BMW guy, old rider, and BMW brakes

    Quote Originally Posted by ka5ysy View Post

    As for daily warm-up practice I have a little routine leaving my neighborhood;
    Now that is a dang good idea.
    Also forces a mental shift from riding logistics (gear, routing, etc) to obstacle recognition and avoidance.

    Thanks for that one.
    Lynn
    2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have)
    2002 BMW R1150RT
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

  15. #45
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 188233 View Post
    I'm curious what techniques you all use.
    Most of the time, pretty well all front brake with a touch of the rear.

    Around here where the roads are hilly at best and with big sweepers, that works. In the Alps where hairpin turns can take you around a garbage can and are very steep, I use the rear brake on the downhill sections.

    Emergency braking which is ultra rare, both are used. As rear wheel loading decreases, rear brakes are decreased.

    BTW, no ABS on my BMWs.

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