Proper emergency stop procedure. - Kawasaki Ninja 250R Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Proper emergency stop procedure.

I read a funny story in another forum about someone that 'found out' that he had crashed because he pulled the clutch lever during an emergency braking, causing the handle bars to shake. That's not the exact scenario, but for this discussion is acceptable enough.

It has been agreed on, that it's not the clutch lever what caused the shaking, but I noticed that some people don't disengage the clutch while braking, even in emergency situations, but this goes against the teachings I received at the MSF course a couple weeks ago, that say you:

Press front brake progressively and firmly until coming to a stop; press rear brake strongly, before the point of locking up the rear wheel; pull clutch lever in and downshift all the way to first gear, in case you need to move again quickly.

Do you guys do this? Is there some rationale as to why you shouldn't?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 03:35 PM
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In an emergency stopping situation, I do downshift but not until I'm confident I'm going to avoid the potential hazard. I'd rather come to a dead stop in 6th gear than spend time and BALANCE trying to move my foot to downshift to first. If I need to move again quickly, I'll jump off the bike and start up the Chevro-legs.


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 06:32 PM
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MSF taught that in if you need to stop in a hurry, you need to take care of the braking first then worry about other things after. So it means pulling in the clutch, down shifting, and the other stuff will take a back seat if you trying to slow down your bike. If I remember it correctly, they mentioned that 70% of your braking power comes from the front brakes alone, but using both brakes will help you slow down faster (that is if you can use it properly in an emergency). Under hard braking, it is so easy to lock the rear wheel because the weight will transfer to the front causing your rear wheel skip above the surface, with or without using the rear brake. The shaking was probably caused by the front tire skipping because he locked up the front brake(s). Remember, MSF teaches you the most practical method for street riding that everyone can use.

On the track however, I brake/downshift/rev match all at once for each gear and almost never use the rear brake. I use the engine to help me slow down, rev match to smooth out down shifting without letting go the brakes.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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I understand, but that's why they were making a point to practice it that way so that you would be used to doing it that way (meaning, clutch lever in, both brakes and downshift to first) whenever you needed.

They did say the front brake does 70% of the stopping job, that using the rear brake would help if used properly, and also that it's easy to lock up the rear brake (which I did at least once), but I think the secret is getting used to do that without thinking about doing it.

I was driving home yesterday and I thought about my procedure for emergency stops in the car. I brake hard (the car has ABS so I don't take care of the lock ups), hold the wheel (unless I need to get out of the way), and right before the car stops, I step on the clutch. I didn't do this when I started, mind you, but after some 14+ years of experience, I don't even think about it, and I can bring the car to a stop that way without stalling it.

I can only assume it would be the same way on the motorcycle, but that is why I wanted to ask you guys that have more experience riding.

I would also assume the track is a whole different beast, isn't it? I think you are in a different set of mind on the track, focusing on braking that way so you can take the turn better and shave some time off the lap, instead of trying to come to a stop so you don't end up as a sticker in another car... more like a survival mode.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edgary View Post

I would also assume the track is a whole different beast, isn't it? I think you are in a different set of mind on the track, focusing on braking that way so you can take the turn better and shave some time off the lap, instead of trying to come to a stop so you don't end up as a sticker in another car... more like a survival mode.
That's true. Vtec44 went off topic with the track thing, that's not what you were asking about. Were he to encounter a situation on the track where he had to brake for an emergency, he wouldn't be rev matching, he'd be using his brakes to their fullest extent.

And if he replies saying no he wouldn't, I call him a lier and a boob.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 08:37 AM
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I've had to make a few emergency stops on the street and two big ones were in my first three months of riding. At the time, as a new rider, my first thoughts and reactions was just to stop the bike not downshift - engine brake - brakes - stop and blah blah blah. It was just apply the breaks and stop. Trying to over think something can make matters a whole lot worse then if you just allow your brain to just react on instinct. (disclaimer: this is all in my own personal opinion and experiences)
The best way to learn emergency braking is simply to go out to a big EMPTY parking lot, either first thing in the morning or evening, and practice practice practice. You may want to take your fairings off as there is a good chance you could drop your bike. Also DO NOT do this alone. Have a friend go with you. But learn how to use just your front, just your rear and then the two combined. Increase your speed with each successful test completion.
Basically do what you were taught in the MSF but increase your speed to a level of what would be considered "real road speeds" and then brake. Practice it till you learn it and till you feel comfortable with your emergency braking.

It's cool that James is willing to talk track stuff but it just doesn't apply to your question. he he he

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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This is exactly the point of this thread, to have you guys come out and tell me what you have had to do in a moment where all you can think of is "Oh S$*%!" (if you even remember what you did, after the scare), because the theoretical part is all good and dandy, but I don't think it will become an instinctive maneuver unless you have practiced that long enough, as suggested above.

I didn't have much problems with the braking parts of the course, except maybe that the first times I was braking too little (the instructor kept telling me to press the lever all the way until stopped), and putting down the right foot first instead of the left one, but I was keeping the arms loose (not locking up the elbows), keeping my head up and maintaining good stability. However, one of the very few falls was during braking, and the guy told me he was losing stability and he looked down, so down he went.

The point of this is that even though I did good, I know I have to practice a lot because that is one of the basics (and one of the reasons for many accidents, I've heard) for novices.

Agh, I can't wait to get my bike to go out and practice!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 03:44 PM
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LOL, my bad for bringing up what I do on the track without clarifying.

THe reason why I brought up the track is that I can react much faster with only front brakes. You can stop much shorter with both brakes, but can you react fast enough in an emergency situation to do it properly? Locking the front brakes isn't a big deal, as long as your bike is straight. It's the same thing with locking the rear brake. However, locking both brakes at the same time can be a bad thing since I found that first hand in a controlled environment. Each emergency situation is completely different, so you just need to know when and how to use which. At times, braking too quick is a liability when you have big cars behind you that can't stop as well.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 04:03 PM
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An excellent point Sir James. But still. 20 Lashes for you and then you walk the plank.


I learned things ass backwards when it comes to riding. I was originally taught that that my rear brake doesn't exist and to only use my front. With practically learning to ride on the track before the street that was taught to me straight out the gate. But it has been a life /bike saver because of it. It taught me proper brake control and how to use just my front brake for all kinds of stopping and especially emergency breaking. Almost a year later and I am just now learning use my rear brake along with my front. Most of the time I don't use it though. I don't even know it's there and have to be mindful of it.

The way I told you up there is the proper way to learn emergency braking for the street. If you were track riding then learning to use mainly or only the front brake would be very important.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-28-2008, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, that's exactly the point. Using both brakes properly; i.e. without locking up either one, but like James said, other factors also contribute to brake use, such as cars following closely and/or really fast, swerve or not, water, gravel, etc.

And James, no worries about the track reference, I actually liked knowing the differences. And to your point, whenever you are in the track you have a faster reaction time because the focus is different and no cars, intersections or a lot of other distractions are just not there.
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