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Thread: Simple but brilliant tip

  1. #16
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    One reason I am almost always coming to a stop, left foot down first is because I am a MSF coach. But also, over the years I have found it works really well and consistently for me, because it allows me to fine control the last few feet of the stop with the rear brake. This is especially helpful when carrying a passenger. for me anyway.

    But I will use this tip with my MSF students when appropriate, to help them get more confident in those last few feet of a stop. I say, when appropriate, because for some newbies just getting the bike stopped and upright can be a challenge. Asking them to conciously think about a slight handlebar press during the stop is in some cases asking way too much.
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  2. #17
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    I think this is a great tip. As far as putting your left foot down and right foot on the brake, I would say that is the best practice where it is practical There will always be exceptions due to terrain etc, but yes it is taught for a reason.

    Once this rain quits I am definitely going to go out and see how this works in practice.

  3. #18
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    One reason I am almost always coming to a stop, left foot down first is because I am a MSF coach. But also, over the years I have found it works really well and consistently for me, because it allows me to fine control the last few feet of the stop with the rear brake. This is especially helpful when carrying a passenger. for me anyway.

    But I will use this tip with my MSF students when appropriate, to help them get more confident in those last few feet of a stop. I say, when appropriate, because for some newbies just getting the bike stopped and upright can be a challenge. Asking them to conciously think about a slight handlebar press during the stop is in some cases asking way too much.
    Your first paragraph brought to mind the time I stopped on a wet road at a stop sign, wife on the pillion seat, and DIDN'T get completely off the front brake. Yes, a tip over, nobody hurt, but damn embarrassing. Your point of using JUST the rear brake for the final feet of stop is very well taken - and I don't remember that being emphasized when I took the beginner course many years ago - but it should be. For me (and probably for beginners) modest use of the back brake, progressive use of the front brake, then easing off the front brake when nearly stopped with harder pressure on the back brake, is the way to go. (Of course, this is open to a lot of debate, especially if your bike has ABS, and I can see the teaching problems for even standard braking systems.)

    I DO think teaching that slight left handlebar press at the end of a stop should make both you and your students more comfortable as they now KNOW the bike will lean to their left, which is what you both wanted. (They can learn stopping with the right foot down on their own when it is rarely required - because they understand that it is handlebar position, not leaning of the body, which determines which way the bike leans.)
    Doug
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  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCKRider View Post
    Your point of using JUST the rear brake for the final feet of stop is very well taken - and I don't remember that being emphasized when I took the beginner course many years ago - but it should be.

    I DO think teaching that slight left handlebar press at the end of a stop should make both you and your students more comfortable as they now KNOW the bike will lean to their left, which is what you both wanted. (They can learn stopping with the right foot down on their own when it is rarely required - because they understand that it is handlebar position, not leaning of the body, which determines which way the bike leans.)
    read it again. Andy did not state "JUST the rear", I think that was your assumption. He only said that he continues to use the rear brake all the way to a full stop position.

    As to teaching a handlebar turn at end of stop in the BRC? No, we teach stop with your bars straight. Students are typically at a point of any bar turn at all leads to bike leaning, and sometimes falling, in the direction of bar turn. So between that concern, and the "10 lbs manure into a 5 lb bag" issue.. no, I am absolutely not endorsing teaching any bar turn at a stop in the BRC.
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  5. #20
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    +1 on that. Like I said, I'll use the tip when appropriate, and with limited students. In Wisconsin we get about half our BRC students with previous riding experience, and for them it may be a good tip. But not for newbies. We all know that most cycle control requires very minimal/subtle input to get accurate results. If you mention to a newbie to "slightly" turn the handlebar you're going to get a LOT more input than required.
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  6. #21
    Registered User sit's Avatar
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    Hmmm, the word always always scares me. I use both front and rear brakes to stop even though brakes are linked. As I stop, if I need to put down my right foot for some reason due to terrain, debris on road etc, its okay, I still have a front brake to hold the bike. Once settled, if I need to hold the bike, then I can apply the rear and release the front. Oh and when I went through our motor school, if you are the bike on the right when riding pairs, unit policy (for looks?), your right foot goes down. So good tip, I think a lot of people may do it without realizing, its just trying to balance the bike as you stop, but if you have it in your head that you always have to stop with left foot down and right on the brake (and no front brake) then you will roll back and fall over when you throw out your right foot when for some reason you tip that way. I think the more important thing is just to stop without falling over.
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    round here, this time of year, when I am going east I have left foot down, going west it is right foot down and brakes have nothing to do with this choice.

    Rod

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    Time to set your sails, matey.
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  9. #24
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Thank you bikerfish1100 and ANDYVH (posts 19 and 20) for pointing out my mis-reading of Andy's previous post.

    I appreciate that this tip may well not work for beginners because, as stated, they have yet to learn nuance of bike controls. Might it be something to mention at classes beyond the beginner level?

    Am I correct that, even for beginner classes, you teach "easing off" the front brake and harder application of the rear brake as you almost stopped? While we have seen people do "stoppies" safely (at least on dry pavement,) I guess we could agree that is not the preferred method on the road for even very experienced riders. I try to be completely off the front brake at about 1 mph to avoid the possibility of a front wheel lock-up, though my fingers are still over the lever if I have to put my right foot down - which this tip should make a very rare occurrence.

    Those of you who are laughing at this "much ado about nothing" are probably "naturals" who never gave it a thought and can't remember it ever being a problem. Just remember, we all have different natural abilities. Those of us who have to really think about and practice something to learn it DO eventually turn that learning into a "natural" response; but we are probably better teachers because we remember how we learned a particular skill. True for me anyway, and I taught many things - but not how to ride a motorcycle.
    Doug
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  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCKRider View Post
    Might it be something to mention at classes beyond the beginner level? Possibly.
    Am I correct that, even for beginner classes, you teach "easing off" the front brake and harder application of the rear brake as you almost stopped? While we have seen people do "stoppies" safely (at least on dry pavement,) I guess we could agree that is not the preferred method on the road for even very experienced riders. I try to be completely off the front brake at about 1 mph to avoid the possibility of a front wheel lock-up, though my fingers are still over the lever if I have to put my right foot down - which this tip should make a very rare occurrence.

    Those of you who are laughing at this "much ado about nothing" are probably "naturals" who never gave it a thought and can't remember it ever being a problem. Just remember, we all have different natural abilities. Those of us who have to really think about and practice something to learn it DO eventually turn that learning into a "natural" response; but we are probably better teachers because we remember how we learned a particular skill. True for me anyway, and I taught many things - but not how to ride a motorcycle.
    Actually, I teach just the reverse, as the shortest stops will happen when you continue to get stronger with the front brake as one approaches the finish of the stop. Again, at the basic level, we are trying to teach students to use the most effective method for stopping. We don't worry nearly as much about finessing a 500-800 lb bike to a smooth easy stop as we do about getting a 300 lb trainer (and eventually their own bike) stopped in a distance that avoids having conversations with officer friendly , their insurance company, and the kind folks at the ER.
    You are less likely to get a front wheel lockup by braking strongly at the end of a stop than you are to get one by braking too hard at the beginning of one. Grabbing the front brake when it's time to stop is poor technique- load the front tire first, then get strong on the brakes. I teach it as "not a faster squeeze, just a longer one. If you are moving, you are continuing to squeeze more." Weight transfer needs to happen first, as this puts more effective weight loading on the front tire, increasing it's traction. More traction = more stopping friction available. More friction = shorter distances needed to stop without fear of lock up.
    Crash avoidance is the name of the game. I'll accept a tipover at the finish over stopping the bike in the back seat of the Buick.
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  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by garthw View Post
    I think this is a great tip. As far as putting your left foot down and right foot on the brake, I would say that is the best practice where it is practical There will always be exceptions due to terrain etc, but yes it is taught for a reason.

    Once this rain quits I am definitely going to go out and see how this works in practice.
    No, the rain will not quit & everything is rotting here in KY! Maybe build an ark?
    At a stop I like to get both feet on the ground(when logical & possible) and rise up so as to place body weight on my feet-it's good for my legs, back, circulation and general safety too-if you need to backpedal,etc..
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  12. #27
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    Well I doubt I'd be called a natural but I'm getting seriously bored with the nuances of this topic.
    But for the record, left foot down almost all the time, 2 feet if stopped too long or on some oddball terrain. Right only- rarely.
    Startup goofs on hills that I've seen appear mostly to be a matter of crappy clutch/throttle coordination - not made any easier by the R bike's dry clutch narrow engagement area. However, I'm so used to it I'm actually sloppier on stuff with wet clutches, as odd as that sounds, mostly because you can be.
    Time to move some of that parking lot slow speed stuff out to some real world slopes for newbies??

  13. #28
    Caribbean Druid dwestly's Avatar
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    First off, as MSF RiderCoaches we can't deviate from the standard MSF curriculum, so we can't as part of the Basic Rider Course (BRC) teach the technique. The BRC is taught as a BASIC (hence the course name) training curriculum. Its purpose it to familiarize NEW riders with handling a motorcycle. The reality is that as RiderCoaches we have enough difficulty with some students in just getting rudimentary processes like clutch control through to them. The left foot down principle is taught as a standardized process to ingrain muscle memory in stopping the motorcycle. It allows the use of both brakes (earlier posters are correct in inferring that not all riders ride bikes with linked braking systems) while stopping, again helping ingrain the use/availability of maximum braking potential. We also teach to always shift down to first gear during the stop, before the rider puts his/her left foot on the ground.

    All that being said, we all live and ride in the real world. There will always be circumstances where a rider will have to deviate from standard riding practices to address real world conditions. Whether that is a right foot down instead of a left foot because of road/surface conditions or other adjustments, it is incumbent upon the rider to recognize the riding requirements.

    Is it a good idea to teach the technique of stopping with the handlebars turned? Perhaps in an advanced motorcycle riding/handling class it might be appropriate to address the technique, but certainly not in a basic class, where we are just trying to get students to stay upright...
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  14. #29
    It's a way of life! oldnslow's Avatar
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    I must be one of the lucky 'natural talent' riders. I can honestly say I never consciously think about any actions I take when riding my motorcycle, I just ride it. I don't think 'apply pressure on the left bar to go left', or 'apply brakes with even pressure', or 'put left foot down at this stop'...I guess it comes from dirt bike woods riding/racing. Wheelies, stoppies, skid steering, power sliding, off camber turns, logs, gravel, sand, boulders, traffic, crazy riders, spectators on the course, crashed riders in your path, rain, mud, fatigue, thirsty, dehydrated, flat tires, weak brakes, no brakes, front brakes only, dead engine, fall off, crash into fixed objects, weight shift for turns, throttle control, clutch control, no clutch, seat fell off, stand up, sit down....etc.

    Some, all, or most of these things can happen to you evey time you race a dirt bike for 2 hours through the woods with 150 other guys! There's no time to think, you just have to react and initiate your actions.

    That said, I do have empathy for those who don't have the luxury of being able to ride dirt bikes and have to learn about motorcycles on the road!. Heck, I even had to sell mine due to finances
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  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsuited View Post
    I guess you missed the part of me watching 3 bikes fall over on my last ride. In all cases, it was in a driveway. In the first, it was a turn into a driveway with a steep pitch. Because the rider did not stop with his foot on the rear brake, the bike rolled backwards and over it went. On the second two, it was again a driveway where there there were bikes trying to exit from a gravel drive and trying to merge with other bikes on the road. Two of them tipped over due to a lack of bike handling skill, which again was caused by not having right foot on rear brake. They were trying to turn right, there was a steep pitch to the driveway and there was gravel.
    You have got to be kidding me. What a great reminder as to why I ride solo. Sounds like you should also consider it, or at least find some new riding partners.

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