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Been riding 35 years and always cover (two fingers) when riding in urban areas.



Personally, I think it is safer for newbies also, since it will help them to always be aware of the location and position of the lever, making them less likely to jam on the rear brake, or grab too much front brake in the ensuing panic.
 

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I agree completely. When I authored the article I should have stated that I've been covering for more than a decade, and had to concentrate very hard not to during the course 'cause I got tired of hearing about it from the instructor.



Thanks for posting,



Ride safe...veepster
 

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Re: Thank You

Hello Jack,

A very well written response, Thank You.

The posts I've read after authoring this article are in line with my expectations, especially regarding some instructors who wrote that they have a "party line" they need to tow.

I also got the 90/10 line during the course, and I'm with you on this one also. Repetition of any skill will define how you react when the $hit hits the fan. Just ask any police officer about their training.

Both of the books that you mentioned are great reads. They are part of my library among others. Track school is in the plans, too.

Personally, I've used a 2 finger cover for over a decade with obviously good results...I'm able to answer your post.

Some might think this ridiculous, but I take my riding as seriously as I would flying an airplane. I make every attempt to maintain a high level of "professionalism" when riding, not only for the level of satisfaction it provides, but also to do my part to enhance the image of our beloved pastime. (hopefully it will matter to someone besides me)

Ride safe...veepster
 

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Re: why I don't cover any more

If someone comes careening out of a driveway in front of you, or blows through a stop sign, or suddenly turns left after apparently staring right at you, it will be sudden, no matter how much attention you're paying.

And if you can't apply maximum pressure with two fingers then go to the gym or buy a new bike, because you're either a feeb or the brakes on your current bike suck.

PS. your spelling is egregious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
I do remember some tests in Car and Driver where they showed the stopping distances of some cars like the Porsche 911 ($170,000 variant) that had 100-0 stopping distances that were motorcycle distances. But generally the best sedans (some of the BMWs) have about the same stopping distance as the worst motorcycles for stopping, like the Goldwing.



But generally in a panic stop in traffic the worry is about some car running up yer @$$. That's why I stay in the far left or right lane on the freeway... so swing onto the shoulder if I have to. I haven't seen too many Lamborghinis lately.
 

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what you fail to realize in the rant over 90/10 is that while during the execution phase (search, evaluate, execute) there is a very large physical effort involved, the wholistic task of "riding a motorcycle" is still mostly mental. Search is probably 75%, evaluate is 15 and the rest is execution. People in accidents check out and don't properly or adequately do the first part.



as an instructor I would also expect you to have understood that we're in the business of teaching a skill to those who have little or no experience. Simple rules for simple people. This is the same no matter what life skill we're talking about. If a ex-student 10k miles down the line wants to bend some of those "rules" then by all means. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater though.



One could make the argument (since you said "many times") that these hypothetical people have poor braking distance judgement. Granted most of us probably fall into that category but locking up a wheel is prima facie evidence of improper execution. No matter what the rider's skill level if they spend most of their brain cycles on SEARCH, they won't need to depend so heavily on perfection with regard to Execute. That's why it's 90% mental.
 

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1. "If I'm scanning/percieving/reacting correctly, then I'll have enough reaction time."



That is just nonsense. It sounds good but it is not the real world. And, even if it WERE true, its implication is that if you should NOT need to cover the lever... but if you DO - then you DESERVE to crash.



2. "The viscosity of my brake fluid... blah, blah, blah..."



LOL! Man that's really reaching. My lever is also adjusted to leave room for my other two fingers underneath.



3. "My having to reach... with all 4 fingers will... provide me... a little extra time before braking to get an assessment of the situation."



This is like saying you should go into a gunfight with your hand off your pistol and the pistol snapped into the holster. That way - when the other guy draws - you'll have "... a little extra time... to get an assessment of the situation." EXCUSE ME! I have already assessed the situation and am doing solutions now! I need application time not more assessment time.



".... would I drive a car with my toes on the gas and heel on the brake..."



Sure, if I could so it as well as I could covering the brake lever on a bike. If cars had the same controls as bikes, I would for sure.



5. "Not covering will teach me better throttle control habits."



And hitting yourself with a hammer makes you tougher. That's immaterial if the throttle control habits you need include covering the brake. Training with the lever covered teaches me throttle control with my fingers on the lever.



 

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As a person who once had aspirations of being a professional athlete, I spent a great deal of time getting my mind out of the performance equation and getting to the point of just letting it happen. I used to stand 60' 6" from some serious power hitters and when that line drive came, my only chance of survival was to react NOW. All physical. It took a great deal of practice to get to that point of instantly reacting to a situation. Many hours were spent playing "racko-pepper". This involves a group of about 5 guys standing about 20 feet from a batter. A ball is thrown to the batter and he hits it increasingly hard as the game progresses. When you are used to line drives from 20' those coming from 60' seem to take forever getting to you. You don't think: you watch and react. Same goes for panic situations. If you haven't practiced, you might just freeze. I can't recommend strongly enough practicing in a controlled situation, either on the track or in the dirt. The more you hone your reactions, the better chance you have of making the right decision in a panic situation.
 

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Agreed

Joss,

My thoughts were similar to yours during the debate I had with the instructor. I've been riding "covered" for years and I'm not gonna change now.

I just thought the MSF guy's reasoning was just far enough off-base to be worthy of some discussion.

I will admit your post seems a little vague in terms of who it's pointed at.

just my last $.02

Ride safe...veepster
 

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Re: Agreed

I agree with you completely and it was an interesting topic. Sorry if my response came off as vague. What I had to say was pretty redundant to you and several others, but what the hell... part of it was just test firing my first post.

Aside, I get to where I see the MSF folks (HQ) as a little too rigid (and maybe dated) in some of their mantra. This can leave their troops having to "make sense" out of positions that don't really... make sense.

Stir in the "human-ness" of any large organization and your going to get a few free-thinking instructors that will just SAY it doesn't make sense, or maybe place it in the limited context it was intended for. But there will always be those that can't do that. This is where these "creative" explanations generally come from.
 
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