What's your view on trail braking? | GTAMotorcycle.com

What's your view on trail braking?

Baggsy

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Learn it.
Practice it where you know the turn intimately and have passed through a short time ago.
Evaluate what went wrong, or what could have gone better, if you have to use it on the street.
 

crankcall

Well-known member
Site Supporter
its a very handy thing, especially when you find yourself carrying a bit too much into the corner
 

Mad Mike

Well-known member
It's a good skill to have. It's pretty easy to learn and you can practice at safe low speeds. I used to practice on long sweepers and on/off ramps at the recommended speed. You can really see how it tightens the corner when you bring the front down.

After a few hundred tries, it starts working automatically.

I pass through a couple of chicanes on my way to and from work, I practiced on these for about a year to get comfortable with trail braking. Before I adopted I felt comfortable at moving thru the chicane by my house at 75kmh, a few years after I started trail braking comfy is 90.

The hardest thing to master for me was managing the throttle and brake at the same time.
 

FLSTC

Well-known member
Not much ground clearance/lean angle on my Heritage Softail, easy to scrape the floor boards on tight turns or fast on/off-ramps.

I do all my braking early then go through the curve with throttle on - lifts the front end somewhat to give more clearance.

Not that I don’t ever use my brakes in a curve - sometimes the need arises. The Nick Ienatsch link wingboy posted above explains it best - squeeze vs grab.

I watched a little of the canyoncarver video but his tool wall looks to clean/neat, and what’s with the shock just sitting there on the bench. Staged...
 
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Onagoth

Well-known member
I watched a little of the canyoncarver video but his tool wall looks to clean/neat, and what’s with the shock just sitting there on the bench. Staged...
Don't watch Fortnine videos then....that set is completely staged.
 

Mad Mike

Well-known member
You mean blipping the throttle during braking?
No, I'm on both the throttle and brake, I don't want to dump speed, I just want to manage the bike geometry to tighten the radius of my turn -- the objective maintaining speed till I reach the turn apex.
 

Mad Mike

Well-known member
You mean blipping the throttle during braking?
I re-read your post, why would I blip the throttle?... ever? The only purpose I know of for blipping the throttle is to let the neighbours know you're rolling your straight-pipe cruiser past their house.
 

Roadghost

Well-known member
Interesting. Might be an argument for using a lighter weight fork oil too, depending on the type of riding you're doing. With it you might do tighter turns faster with forks that compress more quickly. To some extent I think most riders do this technique by instinct. I've never relied on the front or rear brake alone, preferring to use both proportionately to what I'm doing. I think you really need to know your bike if you're going to take trail braking to the limit. Lots of riding practice needed. But yeah, who hasn't overshot a curve? Some of them are pretty tricky.
 

Mad Mike

Well-known member
Interesting. Might be an argument for using a lighter weight fork oil too, depending on the type of riding you're doing. With it you might do tighter turns faster with forks that compress more quickly. To some extent I think most riders do this technique by instinct. I've never relied on the front or rear brake alone, preferring to use both proportionately to what I'm doing. I think you really need to know your bike if you're going to take trail braking to the limit. Lots of riding practice needed. But yeah, who hasn't overshot a curve? Some of them are pretty tricky.
It's not that difficult to learn -- it's one of those things that if nobody showed you, you would never know it existed.

I think most instructors tell you to break or slow before the curve, then roll on slowly till you hit the apex. I ride with in groups, often with really experienced riders, rarely do I see anyone who can trail brake. Most will break and or coast till they get to the apex then it's WOT. When you get the hang of trail braking, you can be on the throttle (vs coast) while holding the the front down with a tiny amount of braking. It's not that simple, you're coordinating speed, lean, push, brake and throttle -- just differently than the basic teachings at rider training.

If you're riding a big cruiser, you're bike has a bit of built in hurt with cornering and running wide, particularly if your're on the throttle. Try heading around an on ramp at the recommended speed on the throttle, part way the apply just enough front brake to compress your forks an inch or two, see how much the turn tightens for you at the same speed, then let go and feel the bike head wide again (you don't need to be going hard to see it work). Get the hang of it and you'll embarrass a lot of riders in the twisties -- even with a cruiser's challenged lean angle.
 
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Relax

Well-known member
I re-read your post, why would I blip the throttle?... ever? The only purpose I know of for blipping the throttle is to let the neighbours know you're rolling your straight-pipe cruiser past their house.
You don't rev match on your downshifts?
 

RacerX

Well-known member
When I mentioned blipping, I was referring to rev matching.

I still see no reason whatsoever to be on the brakes and the throttle simultaneously. Being on the brakes will tighten your line and maintain stability.
 

Mad Mike

Well-known member
When I mentioned blipping, I was referring to rev matching.

I still see no reason whatsoever to be on the brakes and the throttle simultaneously. Being on the brakes will tighten your line and maintain stability.
Yeah, but if you're off the throttle you're dumping speed by coasting. You can trail brake with out overlapping brake, or take it to the next level and overlapp brake and throttle through the turn. It's a little tougher, but why not learn both? Remember, your bike will tighten the turn radius under throttle, so why not use both?
 

BigEvilDoer

Well-known member
No, I don't. I'm good with the clutch and my big bikes all have slippers -- no need. I'm not riding track.
You realize slipper clutches are pretty much directly derived from race bikes, right?
Rev matching is a skill EVERYONE should learn at some point - makes it a whole lot safer just in case you need it in an emergency situation and cant rely on a slipper clutch.

My RC8's don't have slipper clutches, and if I'm hard on the brakes making a pass into a turn, I get the back end dancing around due to no slipper -- something I've learned to do and deal with appropriately, but for someone not experienced with it, egads, it'll be a disaster.
 

RacerX

Well-known member
Yeah, but if you're off the throttle you're dumping speed by coasting. You can trail brake with out overlapping brake, or take it to the next level and overlapp brake and throttle through the turn. It's a little tougher, but why not learn both? Remember, your bike will tighten the turn radius under throttle, so why not use both?
There is maintenance throttle which is applied right after you're done trail braking to maintain your line ( not tighten it) and keep the bike stable as well as prepare for acceleration out of the corner. If you're off the throttle, then you're on the brakes, and vice versa, so you're never coasting. I've never heard of overlapping brake and throttle into a turn and never seen it done in the pros nor at elite level instruction, ever. Sounds like a recipe for disaster IMHO.
 

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