Trail Braking... Do you? - Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 05-08-2019, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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I hear all the time if your on the brakes after you enter a corner your in trouble and in some cases for some riders that may be true.
When on roads I'm familiar with and having fun or pushing the limits of sanity on roads never seen before I've done this for as long as I can remember. I've mentioned before I always ride with a finger on the brake handle even though my original riding instructor back in 86 threatened to fail me for it. Even recently at a advanced MSF course they taught to brake early and roll on throttle at tip in, and yeah I know it's the safer way. BUT fun-er?
Not even a 100% sure where or when I started trail braking but more then likely read about it in some article from cycleworld before it became a sales brochure and wanted to ride like the big boys. You know back when the two wheel life was the most important thing in the world. Well that and getting the choirs done so I could go ride.

Anyway what are your thoughts and do you?

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post #2 of 20 Old 05-09-2019, 06:53 AM
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In racing, yes or I'm getting passed on corner entry. I never do it on the street though. Feels like riding too close to the edge.
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post #3 of 20 Old 05-09-2019, 08:30 AM
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I agree with the video. Especially when I'm in a corner I'm not familiar with or encounter obstacles. Ideally I would brake to the perfect speed before entering a corner, but I don't ride any roads enough to know them well enough to do that. In town the traffic is always so bad I can't even think about much lean in a corner.

BTW, I don't mean to be a grammar Nazi, it has always been my worst subject, the the proper use of your/you're always bothers me.

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post #4 of 20 Old 05-09-2019, 08:45 AM
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Yes. MSF tries to make safe riders not safe fast riders. Can't be confusing the masses with advanced performance riding concepts, even for their "advanced" course. It's not California Superbike School or Yamaha Champions Riding School, to name a couple examples.

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post #5 of 20 Old 05-09-2019, 08:58 AM
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Avintage, I do the same. Like you, I've been doing it this way before it had a name. On the street, I'm not going at a pace that would alarm or challenge most riders. Usually, this does not involve a ton of brake...just a small amount. If you forced me to say why, I would have to say it's for stability, and the bike feels stuck to the ground.

I also think a person learns things after they have been doing something for 30...40 or 50 years in some cases. Things that might not be ideal to teach a new rider, or old rider, but maybe we have perfected these odd techniques because we've done them for so long. An example might be my rear brake use, on the street. I'm getting by with it, and making it work because I've done it since president Nixon was in office. Not because it's an awesome skill I have.

If Zaph was watching me, I think might say, "That little bit of braking does not count you are just........." That's about how much brake pressure I'm using.
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post #6 of 20 Old 05-09-2019, 09:15 AM
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The generally inferred use of trail braking is the front brake.

I'm a guy who never uses the rear brake unless I'm in a condition where the front has limited traction like grass or gravel. (Or on a dirt bike and I want to point in a different direction fast)
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post #7 of 20 Old 05-09-2019, 12:09 PM
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I don't use the rear brake much since my weight (165 pounds) allows the rear wheel to lock up very easily. I don't push this bike down much so if I hit the rear brake too hard, depending on the situation, that rear wheel loses grip fast.

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post #8 of 20 Old 05-09-2019, 12:55 PM
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I use both brakes but the front much more. In town i ride conservatively so i slow the bike with the rear (under 15 mph) when coming to traffic lights. When riding in areas with curves and riding faster i try to brake before entering the curve, i guess i try to coast through and accelerate near the end of the curve, i know i can learn better techniques. I am paranoid about police tickets when should concentrate on mechanics.
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post #9 of 20 Old 05-09-2019, 05:31 PM
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I use the rear brake all the time, but for stability, and very light applications. Maybe 10-15% of what it has to offer. If you replace our stock pads, with vesrah, you can feel it enough to be able to use it. In stock form, forget it. It's an on/off switch.

Really, that's about it for the turns, too, and the front. Enough to be able to feel the fork compress, and enough to feel the road, through the tire. Not for some amazing speed advantage. I played with this, on Monday. First trip of the year up the local canyon. Without some front brake, the bike felt like the old 83 Honda v45 magna. The magna was an amazing engine, in this strange chopper frame.

I like reading about specifics, and how you guys do it because I'm going to remember and try every technique mentioned.
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post #10 of 20 Old 05-09-2019, 07:19 PM
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I use both front and rear and trail brake often. I was taught a long time ago that the rear brake can get you out of trouble if you are in a corner too hot, running wide and don't want the bike to stand up by using the front brake. The rear brake will pull the bike into the corner when in a lean. It takes good pads like mentioned and a careful foot to not over do it. I like Carbon Lorraine pads (called CL now), just my preference.

I frankly like brakes almost more than acceleration. It is just a great feeling to dive deep into a corner and trail in. I am lucky where I live with such great twisty roads with elevation changes and very few cars. I don't ride like this I'm areas with more people. I put CL pads immediately on my bike when I bought it new and it now has 10K miles. I can already see rotor wear from pushing on the brakes so hard and they have a subtle purple tint from me heating them up.
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