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Road Rapist
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Discussion Starter #1
basically i have heard several people mention this technique but nobody, so far at least, has explained it.

i know that currently i dont practice this style of riding, and was wondering, firstly, what it is and how to do it, and secondly, is it of any benefit to road riding or is it more biased towards to the track.

my head is a sponge for information so if anyone can help fill it i would appreciate it, might stop it rattling as well... ;)
 

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Road Rapist
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Discussion Starter #3
eyespy

i have caried out a search but couldnt find it. i read all threads with it (trail braking) in the title and also all threads where you had either initiated the thread or posted last. ive only got a 56k modem and it takes ferkin ages so if anyone comes across the thread could you please post the adress so i can read up. cheers
 

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revvin said:
eyespy

i have caried out a search but couldnt find it. i read all threads with it (trail braking) in the title and also all threads where you had either initiated the thread or posted last. ive only got a 56k modem and it takes ferkin ages so if anyone comes across the thread could you please post the adress so i can read up. cheers
revvin, as soon as I have the chance, i'll look for it from my end, or else just put together another brief, basic explanation.
 

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The Yellow Peril
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308 Posts
Don't know if we're on the same wave length here but to me trail braking is using a little bit of back brake in a turn in order to try and tighten your line. Risky because theres not as much feedback coming from your foot as there is from your hand making it easy to lock the back up and low side. Trail braking can also mean applying the front brakes through the corner to scrub off speed whilst you're in the turn having overcooked the entry. Risky because of the reduced contact patch on the front wheel requiring less force to bring it to a dead stop. Low side city.

I may be wrong here but thats what trail braking means to me. Some refer to "backing it in" as trail braking, where the back end is slid under braking into the turn effectively squaring the entry to a corner off. To avoid the back end locking up you need either a slipper clutch or to feather your clutch. The risk is low siding again or worse panicking, letting the brakes off to avoid the low side and having a day trip to casualty courtesy of the following high side. Try it at your peril.

If this isn't what you mean my apologies.:iamwithst :eek:
 

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The Yellow Peril
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If you go to the sticky by kneedragger, which at the moment of posting this is directly above your thread, it's explained in more detail on one of of the links.

Good luck.
 

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I reckon the 2 things (amongst quite a few)that get under my skin the most are The extra "N" in damping(it ain't dampning,dampening) when refering to suspenders.And the other is Trail Braking.Without splitting too many hairs,most people attribute the late Mark Donahue(sp?)with bringing this technique to the forefront.Up till that time all(late 50s early 60s) the "experts" were very emphatic that braking was to be done before turn-in,rotation or whatever you want to call "getting into a turn".Its just like a Trailing throttle,in that you are smoothing out a transition of inputs.I trailed the throttle while starting to hit brakes cause I didn't want to upset chassis.I trailed the brakes off just before pickin up the gas.It,in its most basic form really dosn't have to be used in corners.Its an "easing off" of that control.Be it throttle,brakes.whathave you.But once MD started doin it past turn-in and theres no arguement,then or now that it reduces laptimes under certain conditions,it has become more associated with turns.Think of it this way,my bikes rr brake took a shit 2 days ago,but I can still "trail brake" past turn-in.
 

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Road Rapist
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Discussion Starter #10
Eyespy said:
which has now been fully read and absorbed by me. thanks, the sponge is that little bit fuller.

on a different subject, i read on the cs thread about arm leverage angles, how you (eyespy) stated that as close to 90 deg opposed to rake was ideal. i have since studied track day photos of myself in various turns and have noticed that my style is terrible. i have struggled in the past to get an efficient position on the bike, but for some reason i never thought of checking it in photos. good tip.

:thumbup
 

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I'm not sure about this...

Just wanted to make sure this is presented with the caveat that trail braking should ONLY be used at the track. It is not something you should be doing on the street. It's difficult to perform correctly consistently. It's also the number one reason we tuck the front ends of our bikes on the track. Even the pros screw this up every now and then. We only use it to gain a little more corner entry speed and pick up tenths of a second. Far too risky for street riding.

Just my .02
 

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It's all about Attitude
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revvin said:
basically i have heard several people mention this technique but nobody, so far at least, has explained it.

i know that currently i dont practice this style of riding, and was wondering, firstly, what it is and how to do it, and secondly, is it of any benefit to road riding or is it more biased towards to the track.


Hi revvin
So trail braking is letting off the brakes slowly as you turn the bike.
If you look at traction as how much weight there is against the friction the tire has, then I have a couple questions you should ask.
First is can you go into a turn fast enough to push the front tire ( not just you but a concept)?
second is if you have traction to use the brakes couldn't you have just gone faster and scrubed the speed plowing the front?

For me the answer to both is yes. If I use trail braking it's because I just scared myself.
One other thing trail braking does is take the speed out of you steering input. You simply can't turn as fast with the brake on, because you are using some of your traction for slowing.
If you use trail braking to load the front suspension into the turn as is said to be the purpose you will turn slow. However if you let off the brakes and do your steering smartly at the same time the front will stay loaded. This timing takes practice but the there is no possibility of locking the front wile leaned over. If it happens your first clue is usualy the thud of your helmet on the ground.
Will
 

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The Yellow Peril
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Re: Re: Trail Braking? can anyone enlighten me?

there is no possibility of locking the front wile leaned over. If it happens your first clue is usualy the thud of your helmet on the ground.
Will [/B]
:dunno

Ballistic,

You appear to know about the dynamics of a bikes behaviour given variables in speed, traction, footprint etc What I would like to know is; when the front brake is being applied through a turn and subsequently the front end washes out, is this due to the front drifting out because of the reduced traction, or because the front has been overloaded, or because the braking effort has locked the front wheel, or is it down to something else? Your quote says that there is no possibility of locking the front while leaned over. If the front doesn't lock up what causes the low side when trail braking?

This isn't a dig but a serious question.

The Menace
 

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R1,trailbraking is NOT applying brake effort,it is a trailing off of brakes.IOWs UNapplying.

Mario Andretti in his book says something to this effect.......
"Its amazing,how many drivers think that their brakes are only for slowing down".Imagine riding in a straight line and having a hump in the rd......you can brake into this hump(which is akin to braking into certain banked curves)...trail brake at the crest......
to allow you to get more gas on...on the downside.


"Sometimes you have to slowdown to go faster".Translation: not all braking manuevers are for slowing down.You can purposefully set the chassis up for ensuing inputs by bein on the binders.But you don't always have to just "cut'm loose"....
you can trail'm off so as to make transitions easier.
 

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Kermit
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Simple explanation - never mind about tightening the line (that could be a result of trail braking).
Trail braking is simply when you dragging the brake - not using full effort. e.g. when you're going into a turn, you're easing off the brakes and starting to turn, but there is still a little brake pressure on....trail braking. This would apply even if you're going in a straight line and you're letting the brakes drag a bit, you would be trailing the brakes.
Trail away mate. I do it on the street all the time - it doesn't mean that you have to be going hot to trail the brakes into a corner.
 

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The Yellow Peril
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BWS said:
R1,trailbraking is NOT applying brake effort,it is a trailing off of brakes.IOWs UNapplying.
I understand what trail braking is, thats not the question. Any application of the brakes is applying braking effort, its just reduced braking effort when you're letting them off. What I wanted to know is what causes the low side when you're trail braking? I assumed it was the front locking up because of the increased variables, (reduced contact patch, deceleration, cornering forces etc), but if its not I'd like to know what does cause it.
 

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Trailbraking:

Basically, you do NOT fully release the throttle through the corner, you hold it steady so it gives a mild acceleration pull. You then use the rear brake to control this acceleration (yes, it is applying braking effort, but only to control the acceleration of the rear wheel, in essance, controlling corner speed with the rear brake instead of the throttle). Coming into a corner, you use a tad more pressure to take the tight line into the apex, and then ease off as you pass the apex. Once the brake is fullly reased and not affecting the accelleration, you ease on the throttle to continue increasing acceleration.

This technique completely eliminates the on/off throttle slop and uncontrolled deceleration through the corners, making your corners much smoother and controlled. It is even more effective in tight, parking lot type sitiuations making your bike easier to control.

I use this all the time, on the street and on the track. It is one of the key components the Japanese teach for advanced street riding.

As far as trailbraking with the front goes, I never do this. I may use it to scrub speed coming into a corner, easing off as my lean becomes steeper, but never at full lean at high speed. Basically, the further over you are leaned into a corner and the higher the speed you are travelling reduces the available traction for braking. When you are using 100% of your available traction for the cornering load, there is none left to use for braking. If you were to brake, you would lowside due to overmaxing your available traction. Also, if you use the rear-brake technique I listed above, and were to chop the throttle while in the corner with the rear brake still applied, you could overload your available traction and lowside the rear.
 

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The term "trail braking" as it is generally used by motorcyclists has no relevance to rear brake application. and has absolutley nothing to do with "control the acceleration of the rear wheel".
 

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Eyespy,
So do you actually have any useful info that can enlighten us?

It is possible that I am on the wrong topic, but have never heard this term used for anything else.

I know many dont agree with using the rear brake through the corners, but for me it has been highly effective. Even the pros are divided on this subject...
 
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