Take The Easy Route
Found this post on Another Blog, while in general the advice is good, there are a few key points that needed highlighting to take it out of the danger zone … (admin comments attached)
Of all the skills used when riding your motorcycle, emergency braking is the most important. You can take curves at lower speeds, you can park a motorcycle anyway you want, you can even split lanes while riding carefully – all items you need to learn, but that requires a lesser skill level than emergency braking. If your cornering skills requires improvement, all you do is take a corner with less speed.
But when you suddenly need to hit the brakes hard, for whatever the reason, you need skills and experience. In other words, a skill you will need to practice regularly to gain and retain the muscle memories. So practice, practice and more practice. Go to some remote parking lot, place a visual mark on the lot, and pretend that it’s an object you are riding towards and you need to brake hard. Start slow and build up speed after each attempt. This way your reflexes will be automatic when you are faced with such a situation.
So here are a few tips for emergency braking: (and this is where this article falls apart (admin))
1. Don’t grab the handle and pull with all your strength. That is the “normal” reaction of an untrained biker. If some car driver suddenly opens a car door in your path, your normal reaction is to pull the brake lever as hard and as fast as you can. Big mistake, even if your motorcycle is equipped with ABS. Pull hard, but not fully, and then continue pulling harder progressively. If you pull hard all the way, your tires will lock up and you will no longer be in control of your bike. (pull hard enough to get a weight transfer onto the front wheel and the forks compressed, takes about a second, then pull harder and keep pulling harder, do not release your grip or the forks will un-compress, and you will lose front traction. While the forks are compressed you are maximising the braking efficiency and traction of the front tyre. (admin)
2. Use both brakes, front and rear. The front should be used at about 80%, the rear at 20%. But both are important. If you use the front more, the rear will lift and be useless. If you use the rear too much, you will stop far less faster. (Do not use the rear brake. The rear brake has its uses and braking hard is not one of them. If you are braking hard, as in point 1, above, the rear wheel will have little traction and it will be easy to lock it up with the ‘clumsy’ rear brake. An important aspect to realise too, is that the wheels are acting as Gyro’s, a gyro will help you stay upright. if you are braking the front wheel and you lock the back wheel, you have no gyro’s and have increased the chance of the bike going over, let the back wheel spin, just pull the clutch in. (Admin))
3. Squealing tires mean you are braking too hard. This means you have lost control. Loosen up a tad. (Sound advice (Admin))
4. Weight distribution. The weight, in fact your weight, is going to be distributed since the bike is going to lower in the front and your body will want to get off the bike at the front. To counter the front ejection, keep your arms straight and locked. (As you brake, weight transfer to the front of the bike happens, and this will help you by applying more pressure to the front tyre, increasing the contact patch, and becoming more efficient. Do not lock your arms – can’t steer with locked arms and this is why most crashes happen. You should be locked onto your bike with your legs, grip the bike and the tank, and use your core to support your upper body. Keep your arms bent and do not lean on the bars. (Admin))
5. If you can, and this is where ABS comes in very handy, try to avoid the object. Counter-steer as hard as you can. You can do this while still hitting the brakes. (See point 4, you cannot counter steer with arms locked straight. If you grip the bike with your legs and keep your weight off the bars, you can still steer, even while braking hard. (Admin))
Practice, practice and practice, until you got it perfect and then practice some more. And remember to do it often enough.