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1996 Honda Shadow 1100
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111 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here in the advanced riding part of the site, we haven't had a thread about braking techniques for a long time.
Rather than revive a thread that's been dormant for 7-10 years, I'll start this new one.

QUESTION: If you find yourself going too fast into a curve, and you're ALREADY in the curve, and there's no room or time to straighten up the bike and do heavy braking with both brakes while going mostly straight forward, what can you do to slow down in this curve?

PARAMETERS of the QUESTION: Assume the goal is to just slow down, not stop. The road is not blocked, nobody is pulling out in front of you. You're just too fast, either because you entered the turn with too much speed OR you didn't realize it was a decreasing radius turn that gets "tighter" as you move through it.

Let's assume also that even if AN EXPERT might be able to make it through the curve without any braking, just by leaning really hard and counting on the adhesion of the tires to the pavement, you can't or won't do that, and you are sure that some braking is necessary.


SO.... do you brake with both brakes? Equal pressure to both? A 60/40 or 70/30 split on the amount of force you apply, the degree to which you move each brake lever through its range of motion? What about the time component? Do you brake hard all at once, or start with light pressure and increase over time? Keep in mind that you are already in a turn, at a speed you perceive as too fast, and if you don't do something you'll be out of your lane (or maybe off the road) in seconds.
 

· Registered
1996 Honda Shadow 1100
Joined
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111 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This guy discusses several aspects of doing a curve on a motorcycle ractrack,
and one of his tips is to do the hard braking before you enter the curve, and then maintain light brake pressure until you get to the apex,
after which you'd accelerate out of the curve.
How to Reduce "In Too Fast" Panic: Causes & Fixes - YouTube

But.... he doesn't directly address how to brake if you realize you have to brake significantly (say, more than 40% of your braking power) in a curve.
 

· Registered
1996 Honda Shadow 1100
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111 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jerry Pallidino of the Youtube "Ride Like a Pro" channel says to cover 2 fingers on your brake going into a curve,
and give the front brake some light pressure maybe 2% only, if you need to. (and keep those 2 fingers on the brake even if you DON'T think you'll want to do any braking, just be ready in case something happens and you need to do it. Having your fingers up there ahead of time will tend to keep you from grabbing the lever with 4 fingers and snatching the lever too hard.)

He says many people feel a curve is "too fast" for them because they aren't comfortable with a lean angle their bike is easily capable of.
How to safely brake in a curve. - YouTube
 

· Registered
1996 Honda Shadow 1100
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111 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This quote below comes from a post in an old thread from 2009. Member longrider, who was a moderator here and posted over 10,000 comments over a ten-year period, said:

"My take on this is that anyone that rides on the street at posted speeds would never need to know how to trail brake and never use it. For spirited riding on the street, you better know trail braking, because you will get into a corner too hot one day, and knowing how to scrub speed without standing the bike up or panicking is essential."
 
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