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Riding Quiz


Nelson

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My friend a long time rider related the following, I am going to post it like a quiz question just to see what most would do and then I will post his "answer." You see something ahead that warrants you to panic stop. You are laying the breaks on hard the rear tire is skidding and you are maintaining control and avoiding the threat. The situation resolves and you are still in stopping mode, you should:

a. let off the breaks and clutch and give enough throttle that you do not stall.

b. complete the stop and then proceed.

c. down shift to a stop

d. something else.

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Dances_With_Wiener_Dogs

Let me make this easier for the gang. smile.gif Oh, I added a choice there at the end. grin.gif

 

My friend a long time rider related the following, I am going to post it like a quiz question just to see what most would do and then I will post his answer.
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I chose 'Something else' because I am already in the right gear so I just ride on, accelerating back up through the box PROVIDED that the situation which got me braking has gone away. I would also be asking myself what I did wrong to be put into the situation where I needed to panic brake.

 

Andy thumbsup.gif

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ShovelStrokeEd

I went with something else as well. The First thing I would have done is modulate the brakes to stop that rear wheel slide. Second, assuming the need for panic braking has passed, would be to downshift to the appropriate gear and ride around the obstacle/continue on my path. I would then cuss myself for poor attention/positioning and allowing the situation to reach the point where I had the need for panic braking to begin with.

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John Ferris

"You are laying the breaks on hard the rear tire is skidding"

Thats the first problem, why is you rear tire skidding?

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You did not say what kind of bike he was riding but since we are on the BMWST site he should pull over to the side of the road and call a tow truck since the final drive just froze up. grin.gif

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It would also make a difference if the rear wheel were skidding AND out of alignment with the front wheel in which case it would likely be safer to keep the rear brake engaged and complete the stop. Otherwise you could ease off on the rear brake, and not have to stop.

 

Also, not every "panic stop" is the fault of the rider (example -a deer at full gallop out of the brush), though I don't really like that term. It implies an out-of-control situation, which usually IS the riders fault. "Emergency stop" sounds better.

 

Jay

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Not to be anal but every situation is different. I might pull over if I was the only one on the road, but on I-80 during rush hour might cause some problems. If your panic stop was caused by a deer running out in the road, would slow and proceed with caution as his brother might be bouncing along behind him. I would need a better read on the situation.

 

If your looking for a mechanical response, when I first purchased my RT, I was whipping around traffic having a good time, when I whipped around the right side of a big rig in the #3 out 4 lanes at about 85 only to find the truck was in #3 because some Blue Hair was going 40 in the #4 lane. When I came around on here she was maybe 50 feet in front of me, and romped on those bad boys hard, down shifted whipped back around and was on my way. The whole bike (not just the front end) dipped into a low halt, but I maintained control with the ABS. At first I didn’t want that system, now I swear by it.

 

So where are we going with this?

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John Ferris

Well it started with "My friend a long time rider related the following"

 

I remember the old long time riders saying "Don't use the front brake it will lock up the front wheel" and "I had to lay it down to avoid an accident"

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ShovelStrokeEd

Further on that, the premise is all wrong.

 

A panic stop, or more to the point, panic braking, to me, implies a lack of training. Teaching yourself to quickly apply the brakes and bring the bike to the threshold of traction is something from which all of us would benefit, ABS or not.

 

Learning how to modulate back from a locked or locking wheel is another thing that needs exploring. The time to learn is not in an emergency situation but long before that so that the need for extreme braking does not generate a panic reaction.

 

I have had two events in the last couple of years that have called for extreme braking, both being left turning vehicles and the most recent a couple of weeks ago. Both were actually my own fault for two reasons. The first being I was going faster than I really should and the second being a misread of the other driver in that I thought he saw me and wouldn't dream of turning left. Actually, on the most recent, my attention was distracted as I was looking for a specific store and not paying attention to the uncoming traffic. Looked back up just in time to see and Explorer turning in front of me at a distance and closing speed that would have planted me in his passenger door.

 

In both cases, training and practice saved the day for me, as, in both cases, I did lock the front wheel briefly but was able to recover and continue braking to the point where there was no more danger. It was only after the incident was over that a panic reaction set in. Elevated blood pressure, the shakes, a huge desire to beat he%% out of somebody, you know the stuff.

 

Get thee to a parking lot and perform thee some training. It just may save thy a$$.

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I won't answer the question, & I haven't read the other responses yet, so my decision isn't skewed.

There's not enough information in your hypothetical to make a qualified judgement.

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There is plenty of information to answer this question. Also, there is no mention that the bike is a BMW or that it has ABS, so don't assume that it is. The situatation states that you have already locked your rear brakes and are skidding. There is only one correct answer and that is you come to a compete stop before releasing the rear brake, otherwise risk the possibility of a high side. MSF 101.

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I disagree with your apparently obvious conclusion. I have locked my rear wheel on my V-Max perhaps dozens of times (it is actually quite prone to this). In many cases to continue with it locked might have sent me off the road, or in any case into more danger than just letting off the brake, allowing the bike to right itself, and than continuing on. I believe there can be more than one proper conclusion to this scenario. Absolutes can impede the thought process.

 

And forgive my lack of experience (36 years of riding, 16 street bikes, and 7 dirt), but what “high side” are you referring to? My lack if intelligence must be preventing my understanding of your definition.

confused.gif

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recyclearoad

I agree with Rusell. If the rear tire is skidding, releasing the brake may cause a high side when traction is regained if the wheel is out of align with the front.

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ShovelStrokeEd

One major point on the "if the rear tire is skidding" thing.

 

Learning how to recognize a locked wheel and modulating braking force before the wheel gets so far out of line as to in any way generate a high side should be part of even basic rider training.

 

Further, most bikes, if they do get into a rear wheel skid while braking in a straight line, will not deviate much from said straight line until long after the fact that the wheel is sliding should have registered on the rider.

 

Now, locking your rear wheel in the middle of a sharp evasive manuever is a pretty good way to test your ATGATT thing but I don't think that is within the scope of the question.

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russell_bynum
I agree with Rusell. If the rear tire is skidding, releasing the brake may cause a high side when traction is regained if the wheel is out of align with the front.

 

Nonsense.

 

That's only the case if the rear is out of alignment with the front AND you just "let go" of the brake so you suddenly regain traction.

 

It's no big deal to steer the rear end back under the bike and gradually release rear brake pressure so that it hooks back up gently.

 

Remember...the MSF is aimed at a very low "least common denominator". A rank newbie out on their first time on a bike ever probably should just leave it locked, but with a bit of practice, it's really not a big deal to learn to control that sort of slide.

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Dances_With_Wiener_Dogs
Ibut what “high side” are you referring to? confused.gif
A high side is when the rear tire regains traction after sliding and propels the rider off of the bike in the direction of travel, usually violently.

 

Someone else describes it here:

Highside - The highside is the older and much more painful brother of the Lowside. When the bike's tail slides sideways past a certain point (by using the rear brake like crazy, or opening the throttle like mad) it could decide to grab the asphalt all of a sudden. The result - the bike jumps on the suspension and throws the rider up to the sky. To those of us who are into pain, it looks nice, but to the majority of mankind it hurts... both man and machine. In supermoto riding, speeds are usually lower than in sportbikes, so the result could be a little less painful. Do not try at home, anyway.

 

highside.jpg

 

HighSide.jpg

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Shawnee Bill
There is only one correct answer and that is you come to a compete stop before releasing the rear brake, otherwise risk the possibility of a high side. MSF 101.

Having never taken MSF 101 please tell me they don't teach this. That is why (well a major factor anyway) this guy went off the road

 

BTW, I have taken the advanced course and don't recall anything like this being discussed.

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bakerzdosen
Having never taken MSF 101 please tell me they don't teach this. That is why (well a major factor anyway) this guy went off the road

 

BTW, I have taken the advanced course and don't recall anything like this being discussed.

Yep, that's what they teach. You lock it, you leave it locked. It's more dangerous to unlock it. (According to the class).

 

I'll leave the analysis of whether or not this is a good thing to others who are more experienced than I.

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Thank you Steve, this has never been a common point in my typical bike discussions. In addition it seems like although this could possibly happen to anyone, I have only been in a situation twice in my life where my bike was “skidding” sideways in avoidance, both ended with me taking the bike all the way to the ground 20+ years ago. It seems to me there would only be a narrow circumstance that would allow me to come to a safe and complete stop if I were in a sideways skid (as demonstrated by your illustrations). However I have never “high sided”.

 

When the VMX gets in situation like this the wheels are generally tracking one another, or very close to it. I think its insane for someone to state there is only one absolute way to handle something that has an infinite number of variables. I can think of at least 3 events that I would be dead following their advice, I guess I would flunk MSF 101 eh?

 

Over 250,000 (street) bike miles, and only two accidents, last one over 20 years ago, I must not be a complete rube… I guess I should learn more buzzwords. I won’t even tell you the embarrassing predicament I got myself in when someone yelled “nice oilhead” the day after I bought my RT.

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ShovelStrokeEd

AHA! The bait worked.

 

First off, I was quoting someone else who was (supposedly) quoting you. I knew in my heart as I was typing that you would respond with the BS flag. I cannot imagine a situation where I would allow a brake induced rear wheel slide to progress to the point where releasing the brake would cause a high side. Especially in an extreme braking situation. Hell, during my practice drills, I regularly slide the front wheel for 30 or 40 feet, a sure recipe for death according to some.

 

BTW, when I took Florida's test for a motorcycle endorsement a good number of years ago, one of the requirements was to bring the bike to a full stop using rear brake only and locking the wheel. When the inspector asked me to do this, it was near the end of the test and I knew I had passed by then, I asked him why anyone would do anything so stupid. His reply was "You need to do this to pass the test".

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Voted something else.

 

What happened to the choice “safely repair the rear wheel slide condition properly (which the rider shouldn't have been sleepy enough to start in the first place), choose appropriate gear, move on.”

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The post is not meant to create anger but present a situation and see how differently we all think and respond.

 

First off, thank you to all who ventured an answer. I apologize for any inaccuracies in the phrasing of the question. However, that is how the question was posed to me. There are several truths revealed in the discussions and depending on the exact situation and experience of the rider I am sure any one answer could be the best. However, the question was meant to see if the average rider would recognize the potential of a high side and the options to manage it would depend on the exact situation perhaps due to the road surface regaining traction is not an option. Perhaps, in the skid you kept it balanced and the contact patch (CP) of the front aligned with rear (CP), perhaps not. I share your frustrations at the lack of specifics; however, just in the real thing you have to assimilate as much as you can and do something- now. So, you did; you applied your brakes ABS or not and now the bike rear wheel is skidding, sliding out from under you- you have avoided the threat and now must regain control. As mentioned, if the wheels are aligned and the road surface allows traction it is fairly easy to restore control with delivering the right amount throttle and easing off or modulating the rear brake. Out of alignment, faster rate of speed is a different story as the photos in Steve’s post illustrate and the following link demonstrates.

For most of us given a choice of braking to a stop even if the end involves “dropping the bike” i.e. a low side fall is far better then a “high side” catastrophe.

 

http://www.msgroup.org/TIP001.html

 

My answer was to modulate the throttle and rear brake trying to regain traction gradually. My friends answer was to complete the stop. After, hearing the posts and reading the following link I suspect he is right.

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russell_bynum

For most of us given a choice of braking to a stop even if the end involves “dropping the bike” i.e. a low side fall is far better then a “high side” catastrophe.

 

Well sure...but that ignores the third choice: don't crash. smile.gif

 

If my rear wheel is sliding, my first goal is to stop the skid. To do that, I need to get the rear end more or less in alignment with the front (it doesn't have to be perfect). You can do that with steering and body weight inputs. Then I simply start removing rear brake pressure a bit at a time until it regains traction. And before anyone says that this is some sort of Valentino Rossi Godlike skill that mere mortals can't obtain, I'll point out that, at Dick's braking seminar a while back, we had all of the non-abs bikes (inlcuding my CBR600RR and Bob's non-servo non-abs R1150RT) sliding the rear wheel, controling the skid, and eventually we got to the point where we were recovering from the skid quite easily. This was in the span of a single weekend morning.

 

I particularly had loads of fun because I hadn't really done much braking work on the CBR at that point, and to be honest, I was somewhat affraid of it. I'd heard all the horror stories about sportbike brakes (the rear locks with the slightest pressure, the front will easily stand the bike on it's nose) and was affraid of it. I quickly found out that the stories were BS and it was, in fact, easy and fun to modulate the brakes. I had several really long rear wheel slides at the braking seminar where I left the tire sliding and steered the bike with the bars and my body weight to make the rear end go to one side, then the other, then back to the middle where I'd start releasing brake pressure to recover from the skid. It was fun, and very educational.

 

Obviously, you don't just let go of the rear brake while the bike's sideways, and if you're unable to get it back under you then you are better off to just ride the thing into the ground rather than risk a highside. But MSF's "once it is locked, leave it locked" advice is not the end-all-be-all. It's good advice for rank newbies who've never been on a bike before and are still trying to master the very basics. But for an average rider, the skills necessary to recover from a rear wheel slide are quite easy to build.

 

Oh...and those of you who are happily patting yourselves on the back and thinking "I have a bike with ABS, so I don't have to worry about that."...think again. As Spike can attest, it is quite possible to get an ABS bike sideways under braking. And if you release the rear brake when you're sideways, you'll still highside...ABS or not.

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My answer was to modulate the throttle and rear brake trying to regain traction gradually. My friends answer was to complete the stop. After, hearing the posts and reading the following link I suspect he is right.

 

I would have to respectfully disagree.

In the UK you would fail your driving test if you did that. We are expected to brake to a controlled stop. Rear skids should be avoided but if you get one they must be controlled before the rear steps out of line. Modulating rear braking still allows full front braking; the slide should not be allowed to develop, to do so is to fail to control the motorcycle.

 

Get thee to a parking lot and practice rear skid recovery. Once you have managed that, move to the front.

 

Andy

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I don’t wanna play anymore… give me my ball, I’m going home. frown.gif

 

I stick to my original answer, been there done that, works for me. Training in many cases can be trumped by experience. After all, the experts used to think the world was flat…

 

Off to Hawaii, see ya in a week.

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If my rear wheel is sliding, my first goal is to stop the skid. To do that, I need to get the rear end more or less in alignment with the front (it doesn't have to be perfect). You can do that with steering and body weight inputs. Then I simply start removing rear brake pressure a bit at a time until it regains traction. etc. etc. etc.

Amen to Russel’s post, Boffin's point also.

 

If you are locking it to a stop and actually succeed in doing that under some semblance of control, you likely would have gotten the bike eventually straight enough, to properly recover, before you managed to do a complete stop anyway.

 

If however, you failed to steer and use body english to keep the bike under you while you had it locked, you're likely down anyway.

 

SO, if you succeeded in stopping safely, you simply bypassed the proper windows of opportunity to modulate off the brake, back onto the gas, and move off down the road.

 

UNLESS, you end up being so poor at it, that you just kept a strong cyclic pendulum like weaving motion up just short of crashing all the way to a stop (you’d have to suck pretty bad to keep that up to a dead stop). In that case, with that poor a level of control, you would be best off keeping it locked to a stop and praising the fact your poor riding skills didn't eat you THAT time. It would be time for parking lot drills then for certain, to learn better bike control so they don’t eat you next time.

 

As has been said, it is within everyone's ability to learn exactly WHEN and HOW to get off of a locked rear, after having adequate riding/braking experience to be very familiar with their equipment.

 

I can understand why a very basic first time newbie MSF course would teach this, though I believe they should go over the steps of proper recovery and tag it as an advanced skill to learn next season in the ERC. It can only be to the good, for a rider to know there is a better way to aspire to when more experience with machine operation has been had. One can describe the correct way, and still warn that immediate release while actually sideways can lead to a very bad highside.

 

I do believe they should teach proper rear lock up recovery in the ERC, and drop the strange keep it locked up to a stop under all conditions advice.

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Hi -

Thought I'd share some insight into the difference between MSF 101 in 1993 and MSF 101 in 2004. When I first took the MSF course in 1993, putting the motorcycle into a rear wheel skid WAS part of the on course exam and you had to be going, if I recollect correctly, maybe 25-30 mph at the time. I recall that because I was told by the instructor to do it again, a second pass, because I did not go fast enough. In the exercise, you had to come to a complete stop and downshift to 1st at the same time. I did pass the class. Within the next year, on my Sportster, we were coming downhill in a decreasing radius turn. We saw a CHP with lights flashing in the middle of the road, helping with an accident that had just occurred. Well ... I grabbed too much brake and put myself into a rear wheel skid. Stopped successfully - my friend said I went sideways before pulling up to him. The CHP, I'm sure, as he looked up said some expletive, thinking here was another accident about to happen. I still remember that event so clearly! Transition to 2004, I took the course again. No rear wheel lock. It had since been removed from the course exam due to accidents that occurred in MSF classes elsewhere in the US, per our instructor. I'm sure high-sides with newbies in the class. Even though I have an ST with partial-integrated ABS, I still routinely practice hard stopping exercises.

Ginger

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AdventurePoser

Why would the rear tire be skidding? Proper brake application would have you hard on the front binders....all that being said, I'd also go with "something else..."

 

Neat topic, BTW!

 

Steve

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Last suggestion, that I may have missed in replies above -- quick mirror check and get ready to do an escape to avoid the much slower stopping SUV behind you about to convert you to a hood ornament

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russell_bynum
Last suggestion, that I may have missed in replies above -- quick mirror check and get ready to do an escape to avoid the much slower stopping SUV behind you about to convert you to a hood ornament

 

Even better: Lane split.

 

Any time I have to make a hard stop in traffic, I automatically move into the gap between lanes. If the yutz behind me screws up, I'm already out of harms way without the need to waste time looking in my mirrors while already in a max braking situation that's eating my attention. The the driver behind me gets stopped in time, then I can just move back over into my normal lane position.

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