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Trail Braking, Safety Benefits Of (and I'm A Believer)

Discussion in 'Trackdays & Rider Skills' started by Zhed46, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. Today I was riding my usual route into town when I had a road to Damascus (well, road to Muswell Hill) style conversion.

    I was pressing on enthusiastically towards a lovely right hand sweeper which has a side road off it, on the outside, more or less opposite the apex, the bike (M796) was on its ear when some bellend in an Audi (naturally) suddenly decided to turn right, into the side road, in front of me.....:eek:

    I learned to trail brake on a track day a few years back and had carried it over to the road, not so much because it made me faster or safer, but simply because it suited the way I ride and also seemed to avoid what had been a problem for me in the past, namely running wide mid-corner and getting target fixated onto the outside of bends (which come to think of it, is a safety issue). Despite this, I had always been a bit skeptical of the safety claims for trail braking, probably because it went against the "no front brake in corners" orthodoxy.

    Well, today, it saved my skin because already having the brakes on, I was able to apply more pressure which slowed my closing speed but more importantly allowed me to tighten my line which enabled me to miss the rear of the car as it passed in front of me. To his credit, the driver didn't panic and slam on the anchors or I probably would have T-boned him (either that or he just didn't see me at all).

    I'm also convinced that had I been using conventional road technique I would have lost the front if I had then touched the front brake again mid turn as that is what has happened in the past in similar situations, but not this time. The front did feel a little "floaty", in a way similar to but not as extreme as I had felt it go twice before - once when I binned a mate's track bike at Paddock Hill and another time when I went down on a cold, wet and diesely road and trashed a new (to me) full Öhlins 748R.

    Anyway, thanks to an unknown and until a few hours ago long-forgotten track day instructor, I am posting this from my sofa and not from intensive care :)
    #1 Zhed46, Jul 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
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  2. All the internet videos I have seen show trail braking being done with the front brakes. ALL the people I have spoken to about it in real life (4 so far) have said it's rear brakes not front. What were you taught?
  3. I was taught to trail the front brake to the apex.

    However in really slow corners eg: mini-roundabouts etc, I find a little back brake helps tighten the radius.
    #3 Zhed46, Jul 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
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  4. Self-taught trail braking here.

    Discovered it by accident (avoided accident, rather) on a trip to the Lake District when I found out how much front brake the 999 will tolerate whilst cranked over. After that, I experimented a little and became comfortable with leaving the front brake on after commencing the turn.

    I am uncomfortable trail-braking the rear brake. It's a personal feeling.
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  5. All new Ducati’s have cornering ABS :upyeah:
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  6. This is pretty good
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  7. Weirdly, they didn’t put it on the Monster R despite the fact that the Monster S has it.
  8. That video was fantastic. Any idea where you can do some brake training with one of those rigs?
  9. My M796 has ABS, but it is bog standard. I actually think the front started to wash as I released the brake just as I passed the rear of the car, probably because the forks rebounded a bit and that unloaded the tyre. However, rather than panicking and grabbing the lever or holding onto the bars like an orphaned baby monkey, I let my hands go soft and it all sorted itself out.
  10. Good video :upyeah: Smoothly does it all the time. Trouble is in remembering that at the crucial, emergency, moment:confused:.

    I’m glad you avoided trouble Zhed.
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  11. I would pay to play on a bike with outriggers , I think it would bring on your riding no end.
    #11 simmytt, Jul 13, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
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  12. Abs will have helped. The Cornering abs simply registers the lean angel and allows more or less lock. So upright quite a lot whereas on its side none at all
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  13. Great video!

    Would have been even better of they then turned back on the abs for comparison

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  14. If you want a good, well explained video on track riding generally, check out Motovudu channel with Simon crafar . It’s very, very good.
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  15. The ABS didn’t kick in at all so I was clearly nowhere near the limit this time. I regularly do set off the ABS when braking hard in a straight line or when braking over bumps though. I’m not sure whether that’s me approaching the limit or the ABS just has a low trigger threshold.

    The only time the front started to feel a bit light was as I released the brake but obviously as I was no longer on the brakes the ABS didn’t trigger.
  16. I'm defo all for it, both front and rear. The only thing to be careful of is gravel on the road.. I went down at slow speed instantaneously because I was trailing the brakes...and didn't spot a fine covering of dust/gravel.
  17. This is what happens without abs and an emergency pull on the brake at 60 to not run a rider over who’s just fallen off

    C02FAEE9-C789-48C3-A2CB-3F728ABF6167.jpeg 281C8774-AA4C-44E7-84EF-6A44FE4656E4.jpeg 9360C82F-5CB2-40AA-8E0F-53D15B0449BE.jpeg
  18. Ah, you laid the bike down too early. You could have easily saved that :yum

    (Just noticed the "Resus" sign behind your head :astonished: - were you ok?)
  19. 12 seconds into the video and he says..." 'All of a sudden' that bend before you was tighter than you think"...

    'All of a sudden' it appears without fail in just about every story about crashes, especially on here.

    Not one mention about tyre grip trade off...been around for years even before ABS...Yes tyres are like blokes, one thing at a time at 100% ... the majority of time has to be a trade off between the things you are asking it to do.
    Not one mention of actually improving you Observation Anticipation and Planning ..if we are into learning new skills, why not learn some skills to actually stop the situation before it even starts...
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