Sigh...back to the parking lot

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SCgurl
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Sigh...back to the parking lot

#1 Unread post by SCgurl » Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:21 pm

So, I practice quick stops a LOT, every time I go out, because I have a horrible propensity for locking up the rear brake. I know this, therefore, I practice.

I take the bike out yesterday for a breast cancer event. Met up with a friend of mine (she doesn't ride), had a lot of fun, did some shopping. Not a cloud in the sky when I left home. Well, the sky turned dark, so I decided to high tail it to her house and park it before going out to lunch.

So I'm following her, in the right lane on a 4-lane highway with a grass median. We got to one of those intersections where there's no light for our direction, but a light for the oncoming traffic. Dude in a pickup decided to U-turn into the right lane (instead of the left). I see this and swerve to the right onto the shoulder to miss the front bumper. As I swerve, I see that 2 cars ahead of the one I'm following has SLAMMED on their brakes-so I go to quick stop. Y'know, the thing I practice religiously. Lots of room between me and my friend (had 3 seconds between us prior to Mr. U-turn) -not so much room between her and the other cars. I'd rather quick stop and have room to maneuver.

Of course, I lock up the rear brake. D'oh! The bike starts to fishtail. I begin to dance with the bike-rear goes left, I let it get so far, then use my rear to push the bike right, and vice versa. Let up on the front brake to keep the front wheel moving and straight, but slowing down, and just ride it out. Eventually, the bike stops sliding, I stop, and all's good.

I'm sure, in real time, both the u-turner and the short stopper happened almost simultaneously, but it sure felt like slow motion to me. So, now that I'm all kinds of sore, I'm going to wait a day and then practice combinations of swerves and stops. I think that's what got me-2 maneuvers in, ahem, rapid succession. Either that, or I'm going to take up dirt bikes to get the whole sliding-the-bike thing out of my system.

Just felt like sharing my crazy donkey mistakes :laughing:
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#2 Unread post by redwing » Sun Oct 11, 2009 3:39 pm

SCgurl.... You did great. Bike not dropped ...rider in good condition... You did great. And your bike looks to weigh maybe 700 pounds and you had the bike in grass with the rear wheel locked. It's all good.
If all that happened to me ... I would be :D

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#3 Unread post by tymanthius » Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:12 pm

Heh. I fell over doing a simple u turn about 2 weeks ago. You've got me beat so far. Wanna come teach me? ;)
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#4 Unread post by SCgurl » Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:33 pm

tymanthius wrote:Heh. I fell over doing a simple u turn about 2 weeks ago. You've got me beat so far. Wanna come teach me? ;)
:laughing:

The first week I had the big bike, I dropped it twice-both times, I was just trying to get out of the garage. :oops: It took some-getting used to, to put it mildly.

And, for the record, I refuse to ride the BF's BMW-it scares me. I don't get how anyone can do a U-turn on those yet.
However, I can talk you through almost any panic-inducing situation. I don't freak out until after the fact. :wink:

BTW, thanks redwing. I'd still like to get my quickstops under control though. That lead foot of mine is coming back to bite me.

Hehehe, I just realized the curse filter changed "dumb@$$" to "crazy donkey" :laughing:
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#5 Unread post by tymanthius » Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:04 pm

The funny thing is the six-fiddy is WAY more maneuverable than most road bikes, it's rider isn't all that good. Plenty good enough for most road situations, as I demo'd last night with a couple of classic left-turners.

But tight maneuvers still elude me. I need more practice too.
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#6 Unread post by SCgurl » Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:32 pm

tymanthius wrote:The funny thing is the six-fiddy is WAY more maneuverable than most road bikes, it's rider isn't all that good. Plenty good enough for most road situations, as I demo'd last night with a couple of classic left-turners.

But tight maneuvers still elude me. I need more practice too.
It'll come. I still don't think I'm all that good, so I practice a LOT. And I still make mistakes-I just give myself room to make them. I haven't even tried to tackle rush hour traffic, although traffic was really heavy and really stupid last night (ya, I also had two people decide to change lanes into me-but that's common here, even in a cage).

I guess I need to play with the BF's bike to impart any more wisdom than that. He has a '93 R100RT. He did pretty well in the MSF-except he put his foot down in the figure-8. He still can't quite do the figure-8 in the box.

I know mine has a really low center of gravity, so those slow maneuvers are pretty easy (well, except for exiting the garage onto gravel). His has a really high CoG; that's probably what's giving you grief.
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#7 Unread post by zeligman » Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:00 pm

I'm humbled just by reading your description SCgurl. I WAS feeling fairly confident - not much past n00b, but i'm not worried about basic bike operation anymore - concentrating mostly on smoothness - in shifting, braking, accelerating, lane changing, cornering.

But, I know that if what you describe happened to me, I'd have been on the ground. I probably wouldn't have been TOO banged up (ATGATT) - but still would be minimally attempting the pick up bike method i studied on youtube (since MSF won't teach it).

Even tho my vl800 has a low center of gravity, i don't have much skidding experience at all - I've locked the rear brake a few times in quickstops, but on purpose - kind of - wanting to see how far i could go before lockup.

The more I read about braking - the more complex it seems - even with something as straightforward as quickstops.

I feel like I just had my learning curve increase exponentially (and simultaneously smacked with a n00b bat).

Thank you for sharing what happened, and what you did! Well done, and glad you're safe!

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#8 Unread post by jstark47 » Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:12 pm

Y'know maybe it's a "cruiser thing". I read these stories folks post about locking up rear brakes. I've even seen it happen in real life. But I couldn't lock the rear brake on my Bonneville if I jumped on it with both feet with all my weight, and my V-Strom's not much better. I don't know how y'all do it. Now locking the front brake on the other hand, that's idiotically simple - just grab a big handful with all four fingers.
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#9 Unread post by tymanthius » Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:56 pm

I'm lucky - I have to hold a switch for several seconds before my brakes will ever lock. I have ABS. And it SO saved my arse last night.

Guy turned left from on coming traffic across me. I saw him and was slowing down. Laid on my horn and started adding brakes. Felt the anti-lock pulsing in the rear brake as I was cussing this idiot who SLOWED DOWN so I could have a better chance of hitting him.
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#10 Unread post by SCgurl » Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:01 pm

jstark47 wrote:Y'know maybe it's a "cruiser thing". I read these stories folks post about locking up rear brakes. I've even seen it happen in real life. But I couldn't lock the rear brake on my Bonneville if I jumped on it with both feet with all my weight, and my V-Strom's not much better. I don't know how y'all do it. Now locking the front brake on the other hand, that's idiotically simple - just grab a big handful with all four fingers.
Same principle on the rear brake-I tap it too quickly. It's not force as much as it is the speed at which it's depressed. I don't tap it hard-I tap it fast.

I've locked the rear on every single bike I've ridden-the 125's in the MSF, the GZ250, the BF's BMW, a Ninja 250, a Nighthawk, Sportsters, Softails, everything. I just happen to be aware of it and stay in a parking lot if it's an unfamiliar bike. Pretty sure I could lock it on a Bonnie-just never got to test ride one :wink: And man, can I slide out the rear on the S40. My friends have started referring to it as my "dirt bike". (Disclaimer: I was goofing off in my gravel driveway).

It's a talent I'd like to get rid of before it happens and I can't control it. It's one thing in my front yard or in a parking lot; totally another in traffic.
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#11 Unread post by koji52 » Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:54 pm

jstark47 wrote:Y'know maybe it's a "cruiser thing". I read these stories folks post about locking up rear brakes. I've even seen it happen in real life. But I couldn't lock the rear brake on my Bonneville if I jumped on it with both feet with all my weight, and my V-Strom's not much better. I don't know how y'all do it. Now locking the front brake on the other hand, that's idiotically simple - just grab a big handful with all four fingers.
I think it may be partially an HD thing. The rear brakes on both my sporty and vrod are terrible and it's easy to lock them up. After some fish-tailing situations at pretty good speed, I've gotten away from using the rears except in slow manuevering situations where there's no quick-stop necessity.

SCGurl, my advice is to try to use the rears less and the fronts more. I've never locked up the fronts on either of my bikes and have grabbed them more than i probably should have on a number of occasions.
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#12 Unread post by redwing » Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:56 am

SCgurl ... I hear grass is worse than wet pavement. Grass is really slick (i think).
I read somewheres (David Hough i think) that a rider uses a three second squeeze ... really. When one sees a problem in the making one covers the clutch and brakes and slows waiting for the problem to happen. If the problem happens then one takes three seconds or less to apply full preasure to one's brakes. Point is (David Hough's) ...don't slam, jab, hit, the brakes ... if one can help it.
But three seconds probably won't be much help on grass ...??? .. like a lawn I mean. ;)
All the posts say you did good... very good... humbley I agree.

My R took some getting used to. For riding slow I lean right when turning left and/or feathering the clutch, throttle, and rear brake to control speed. I choose not to discuss the topic of u-turn.

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#13 Unread post by SCgurl » Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:42 am

@ koji - I think you might be right about the rears on HDs. I was chalking it up to the weight of the bike. I thought mine was supposed to have Brembos though? I need to check and make sure of that, I thought mine was the year they had them stock on the tourers.

@ redwing - I was on the pavement, grass shoulder to the right of me. Sorry for any confusion about that. I swerved from the left side of the right lane to the right side of the right lane and then (tried to) stop. However, they had just repaved this stretch of road-I wonder if that contributed. In grass, I actually would have been tempted to lay it down. Nice, soft landing in the hay that lines the roads here.

When I practice quickstops, I do the 3 count. I just didn't have either the time or presence of mind to do both maneuvers and actually do the 3 count.

Another note: I checked the air pressure in my suspension this morning. It was in the low end for my weight range. I'm going to add a few PSIs to it later-I have another hypothesis.
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#14 Unread post by koji52 » Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:06 pm

SCgurl wrote:@ koji - I think you might be right about the rears on HDs. I was chalking it up to the weight of the bike. I thought mine was supposed to have Brembos though? I need to check and make sure of that, I thought mine was the year they had them stock on the tourers.

@ redwing - I was on the pavement, grass shoulder to the right of me. Sorry for any confusion about that. I swerved from the left side of the right lane to the right side of the right lane and then (tried to) stop. However, they had just repaved this stretch of road-I wonder if that contributed. In grass, I actually would have been tempted to lay it down. Nice, soft landing in the hay that lines the roads here.

When I practice quickstops, I do the 3 count. I just didn't have either the time or presence of mind to do both maneuvers and actually do the 3 count.

Another note: I checked the air pressure in my suspension this morning. It was in the low end for my weight range. I'm going to add a few PSIs to it later-I have another hypothesis.
I have brembos on the vrod. Still terrible. I agree with everyone else on here...you did good not going down. I know how you feel though with fishtailing. I've done it a few times and at over 60 mph...it's scary as hell. I've even skipped the rear at over 60 using the "cruise control" (throttle lock) when i didn't know what i was doing. It's probably more luck than skill that kept the rubber to the ground.

Try to use the front brake more for quick stops and the rear as "help" AKA very lightly.
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#15 Unread post by blues2cruise » Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:30 pm

SCgurl wrote:
Hehehe, I just realized the curse filter changed "dumb@$$" to "crazy donkey" :laughing:
I never heard that one before......In your original post I thought you meant to say crazy donkey....

Your post made me laugh.....

:laugh5:
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#16 Unread post by Velocity » Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:04 pm

Crazy donkey. It has a certain ring to it. It could catch on.
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#17 Unread post by BuzZz » Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:16 pm

Crazy Donkey sounds like what happens right after a Dirty Sanchez.... :humm:
No Witnesses.... :shifty:

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#18 Unread post by RhadamYgg » Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:52 pm

jstark47 wrote:Y'know maybe it's a "cruiser thing". I read these stories folks post about locking up rear brakes. I've even seen it happen in real life. But I couldn't lock the rear brake on my Bonneville if I jumped on it with both feet with all my weight, and my V-Strom's not much better. I don't know how y'all do it. Now locking the front brake on the other hand, that's idiotically simple - just grab a big handful with all four fingers.
I do a lot of riding, but the only time I locked the rear brake was during the MSF course on a cruiser. And I know I'm not the best rider out there.

Maybe it is related to the strength of the brakes and weight ratio front/back that causes to be more common on cruisers?

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#19 Unread post by RhadamYgg » Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:52 pm

BuzZz wrote:Crazy Donkey sounds like what happens right after a Dirty Sanchez.... :humm:
Ewwww.... And I'm not entirely sure what a Dirty Sanchez is... oh wait no I do know.

Yuck!
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#20 Unread post by blues2cruise » Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:59 pm

RhadamYgg wrote:
BuzZz wrote:Crazy Donkey sounds like what happens right after a Dirty Sanchez.... :humm:
Ewwww.... And I'm not entirely sure what a Dirty Sanchez is... oh wait no I do know.

Yuck!
I had to go look it up. (What can I say...I have been sheltered)

After reading what it meant..... :shock: eeewww...ick.ick....
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