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Motorcycle Message Board - Motorcycle USA > MotorcycleUSA.com! > Custom/Cruiser > WOMEN riders, HD & Metric cruisers braking control  Forum Quick Jump
 
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Andy VH
Where is the earth shattering kaboom!?



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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 11/2/2007 7:46 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Yes, I am focusing on WOMEN riders with this post. It relates to my other post about proper braking control for bikes with floorboards and raised rear brake pedals, and the resultant high likelyhood for rear tire lockup.
 
In my other post I detail a technique that greatly helps brake control during high effort braking and quick stops. The challenge with floorboards and raised rear brake pedals; is that if you use the ball of your boot on the pedal with your heel off the floorboard, your brake application uses all the large leg muscles along with near full leg weight on the pedal. This makes it VERY difficult to modulate that rear brake with any finesse. I think given the HUGE popularity of Harley's, and the wrong braking techniques I see, it accounts for MANY of the results of bike crashes where the rider looses control.
 
Many new cruiser riders are women, and many of them favor the cruisers for the low seat height. But with that comes that raised rear foot pedal. Now unless they were well-trained car drivers with very good feel for the brake pedal during high effort stops, the more common braking reaction is to TROMP on the ol' brake pedal. When those drivers now become cycle riders (especially of limited riding experience) that same braking action on the rear brake pedal is highly likely. The rear tire locks, the bike's stability is compromised, and the rider has her hands so full of trying to control this 800 lb cycle that proper front brake use is near impossible. It makes for very long poorly controlled stops, and quite likely a lot of dumped bikes.
 
My other post details the technique to avoid over-braking the rear brake. But the challenge for women riders is they generally have smaller feet. Which means they might not be able to keep their boot heel on the floorboard while applying the rear brake for good control. And even a small woman will have plenty sufficient leg strength to over-power the rear brake in a panic stop. So here are some other factors for the small footed rider of HD and metric cruisers:
1. Get rider training. Now here, women almost always out-shine the guys because they are more willing and receptive to the idea of rider training to ride a cycle (none of that macho "I know what I'm doin' crap").
2. REALLY IMPORTANT! Get your cycle's rear brake adjusted to get the pedal down lower to the floorboard, or at least as low as it can be.
3. Adjust the floorboard to angle more up at the front, which will also get the pedal closer to the floorboard.
4. Practice your high-effort quick stops to really develop the muscle memory and reaction moves. Get used to REALLY USING THE FRONT BRAKE! On a cruiser it can be used much more than most riders apply.
 
Now, making the adjustments to the rear brake pedal and floorboard will reduce the effectiveness of your leg muscles, but that is the whole intent. So that means you HAVE to get used to using the front brake a lot more. Its my assumption, and I may be wrong, but I'd bet that high dependance on the rear brake for most stops is more common on cruisers with floorboards.


Training, the best safety and performance "equipment" you can get!
Get MSF trained, check out: http://www.msf-usa.org

Post Edited (Andy VH) : 11/2/2007 2:55:32 PM GMT

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Brighteagle
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   Posted 9/16/2011 7:52 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
This is my Honda VTX 1300R

I am a female that has been riding for only 2 yrs. This was my first bike.  It was a bit much for me to handle at first, but I am really enjoying it now. 

I took the MSF course before ever even trying to ride.  The best thing about the course was the safety instruction.  There was much emphasis placed on proper braking.  For high speed braking, first apply the rear brake and SQUEEEEZE (gradually) the front brake.  Never grab it.  If you lock the rear tire, don't let go of the rear brake or you will likely wreck, as your tires are out of line with each other.  If you lock the front tire, release the front brake immediately and re-apply gradually.  Practice is a good idea.

I went on a ride in the mountains of Tennessee and locked my rear tire twice.  Thanks to the safety I learned in the MSF course, I didn't panic and I remembered what to do.  Good thing, because I was in the middle of traffic on a hill around gravel.

My VTX 1300R was previously owned by a woman, and it was adjusted just right for me when I got it.  Floor boards are good, no problem with rear braking. 


Brighteagle

-----------------------> Comfort For The Journey!


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Andy VH
Where is the earth shattering kaboom!?



Email Address Not AvailablePersonal Homepage Not AvailablePrivate Messaging Not AvailableAIM Not AvailableICQ Not AvailableY! Not AvailableMSN Not Available
Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 4952
 
   Posted 9/22/2011 12:03 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Thanks for the response. As a MSF instructor I read your comment about braking technique with a bit of curiousity. I don't recall anywhere in the MSF cirriculum where we teach applying the rear brake first and then the front brake, for high speed braking. I have always taught and practiced both brake applied at the same time. Now, the application of each brake is gradual, but both can be applied at the same time. There really is no reason to apply the rear brake first.

I always tell my students, that what you do in practice becomes habit, and habit can become intuitive. So using both brakes at the same time develops the habit of brakes applied with no time lost in application. For riders who claim to apply the rear brake first, there is time and distance lost to not using the front brake sooner. In the case of a high effort stop, or when a quick stop is needed, that "slight" delay may be the difference in not hitting an obstacle versus bumping/hitting it which is better avoided when possible.


Training, the best safety and performance "equipment" you can get!
Get MSF trained, check out: http://www.msf-usa.org
 

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Brighteagle
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Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 8
 
   Posted 9/23/2011 3:38 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Of course, you would know much more than I would about proper braking. I just remember the instruction to never grab the brakes. In practice, I automatically apply both brakes together for high speed braking, but I am always aware of how powerful that front brake is. And I respect it.

Chalk one up for being new.


Brighteagle

-----------------------> Comfort For The Journey!

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