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I managed to get out this weekend 1/13/07 with my son, me on the wing, he on the FJR. His first ride ever after getting his MC license last week, and ... he laid it down. I was leading, and he was being pushed a little by a clown in an SUV ... he hasn't learned to hold his ground. Sometimes I wish I had a rear facing flare gun that I could pump a round or two into a tailgating cage. I know that sentiment is only road rage but in this case tailgating contributed (along with his inexperience) to an accident with my son.

As we were being followed we came to a turn onto a smaller road and I slowed, to a comfortable pace, but he didn't. When we turned he locked up the back brake, hit some gravel and that's all she wrote.

He is fine, not even a scratch. The FJR on the other hand had about $800 in broken plastic. Hopefully, he has learned a little here. Tonight he said "I need some more practice in the parking lot!"

Now I also have to say that they are teaching them that once you have the back brake locked up, don't release it in the Basic Class. I understand that you don't want to high side, but I have found that if I react quick enough to breaking traction on the back tire, I can get off the back brake fast enough not to high side and get my traction back.

It a very sensitive thing to know when you have gone too far to let up off the back brake but I guess through experience you learn and they can't teach that in a two day class.

He is also trying to learn the difference in applying the front versus the back brake. I have seen some tests done that say about 95% of the braking in an emergency situation on a motorcycle comes from the front. If that is the case, why do they even teach the use of the back brake in emergency situations. Almost always, I would much rather lose that 5% then to lock it up and go down.

Just some musing tonight as I woke up last night watching in my minds eye as the bike went by in my rear view mirror yesterday.





P.S. he wasn't as happy as he looked in the pictures.
 

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In the old days, I had a Schwinn plain bicycle and used to lock the rear wheel on purpose as that was the only brake there was. It was not long before I could slide the rear wheel broadslide and do anything I wanted without going down.

Some dirt bike riding would probably help this aspect of your son'e riding.

Also, I thought the FJR could be had with ABS.

Glad there were no injuries, very glad.

The faster you go, the lest recoverable a slide is.

We can be more than one second disconnected in a day dream.

As we go faster, we have less and less time to allow the bike to slide and still be recoverable.

In my case, it took only 1/3 of a second to put the bike down at 75 mph indicated. The first thing I remember was seeing my hands in front of my face on the way to the tarmac. Probably was disconnected about 0.6 seconds.

I am sure your son was not disconnected at all and was turned on. ABS would likely have kept this from happening as would some practice in this manuever.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Tom Finch said:
In the old days, I had a Schwinn plain bicycle and used to lock the rear wheel on purpose as that was the only brake there was. It was not long before I could slide the rear wheel broadslide and do anything I wanted without going down.

Some dirt bike riding would probably help this aspect of your son'e riding.

Also, I thought the FJR could be had with ABS.

Glad there were no injuries, very glad.

The faster you go, the lest recoverable a slide is.

We can be more than one second disconnected in a day dream.

As we go faster, we have less and less time to allow the bike to slide and still be recoverable.

In my case, it took only 1/3 of a second to put the bike down at 75 mph indicated. The first thing I remember was seeing my hands in front of my face on the way to the tarmac. Probably was disconnected about 0.6 seconds.

I am sure your son was not disconnected at all and was turned on. ABS would likely have kept this from happening as would some practice in this manuever.
I agree 100% Tom, ABS would have probably kept this from happening. I have ordered a new Kawasaki Concours but will only accept it with ABS, they know that at the shop. But, I got a great deal on this 2003 FJR from a friend. In 2003 they did not offer ABS. Thought it would be good for my son to get a little practice and experience before we head out to California in the summer.

I did the same thing with my schwinn that you did, even with my mountain bike, a controlled slide. He was definitely pumped up, maybe over pumped which is why he locked up the rear brake. I am not sure with what they are teaching though, that you should not release the back brake if you lock it up ... period. You and I have both learned there are times when you can AND SHOULD release the back brake.
 

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To say that 95% of the braking is done on the front tire is a bit misleading. What needs to be understood is when the rear brake is applied and the forward force is applied to the bike, the bike will lean forward. Thus putting more force on the front tire. By using the front brake in correlation with the rear brake, then are you getting maximum braking power of the bike.

If one was to only apply the front brakes alone then you would be asking for more trouble than you could ever imagine. Think of sliding the front tire and then having zero steering with a sliding front tire. Get the picture? Not a pretty sight!

I hope I have been able to clarify what can and will happen by only using the front brake. I am sure that the basic training class taught this but if NOT, then they have done your son a terrible injustice.

Hope this helps.

Ride on!
 

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As far as I know, they haven't been teaching the rear brake lock up for a couple of years ...... since the MSF went to the new BRC .....also, the high side would come if the rear wheel gained traction when the brake was released.......in this case you wouldn't have had much traction as the gravel would have prevented it....and I think it a wise young man who realizes that he needs more time in a parking lot........ joy
 

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I'm glad your son is OK and the bike wasn't destroyed.

I totally agree on the flare gun! I had an idiot following me too close one day. I tried to slow and let them pass. All that did was have them slow with me. For whatever reason, they woudn't pass. I finally came to a complete stop and they went by.

As for the brake thing, I agree with the MSF. While you are probably right about letting off soon enough to avoid a high side, it's a very difficult thing to do. The MSF is teaching to the 99% of us that don't have reflexes fast enough.

Also, the percentages of braking force are 75% front 25% rear. If it were 95% front then you wouldn't need a rear brake at all. However, that extra 25% can be the difference in stopping and going over the cliff.

The real trick is to practice with your bike and teach yourself how much brake you can apply without locking the rear. By doing this I've avoided locking the rear on all but one occasion. Even then, I was only going about 5MPH and slid about 2 feet.

In the end your son avoided a high side and certain injury by following sage advice. I wouldn't try to change it. Now the tail-gater....
 

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Very good that nobody got hurt!
Great looking kid there Joe.
Keep him that way by making him practice, practice and more practice.
I made the daughter practice the very basic stuff in the church lot many many times.
I did this so she would be able to concentrate on the important things the instructors
were teaching instead of "what's a clutch" and "where's the shifter" sort of things.
THEN she took the MSF course.
THEN I made her "show me" her control.
THEN I made her practice things like...
sliding the back tire on purpose to get used to the feel,
stopping in turns,
on hills,
on slants,
having to lean right and stop with the right foot down using the front brake only,
even knowing when to let up on the front brake momentarily, during a hard stop,
when you're going to hit something like a chuckhole.
Etc. Etc. Etc.
THEN I gave her the motorcycle.:lol:
As far as I'm concerned, braking control, under "whatever" conditions, is the most important ability to perfect.
DC
 

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Discussion Starter #8
wingman57 said:
To say that 95% of the braking is done on the front tire is a bit misleading. What needs to be understood is when the rear brake is applied and the forward force is applied to the bike, the bike will lean forward. Thus putting more force on the front tire. By using the front brake in correlation with the rear brake, then are you getting maximum braking power of the bike.

If one was to only apply the front brakes alone then you would be asking for more trouble than you could ever imagine. Think of sliding the front tire and then having zero steering with a sliding front tire. Get the picture? Not a pretty sight!

I hope I have been able to clarify what can and will happen by only using the front brake. I am sure that the basic training class taught this but if NOT, then they have done your son a terrible injustice.

Hope this helps.

Ride on!
I get the picture! The question isn't about the front brake at all, it's about the back brake. I understand what will happen if you only use the front brake all the time. But what is the benefit in an emergency stop where most the weight has transferred to the front of using the back brake. If on some of these very light bikes, where the rear is almost in the air, what is the benefit of using the back brake. As more weight transfers during braking to the front you will also have to be experienced enough to release pressure on the back brake to keep from losing traction.

http://www.webbikeworld.com/Motorcycle-Safety/braking-tips.htm

Read #7 in this article then go back and read your post.
 

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I am also glad your son is ok, but, I think that 75% of the riders out their that are on the road for sometime have learned on a dirtbike. It gives you alot of training with wheel spins, traction issues and good old riding.
Get the lad a good 250cc and a good field with all the safety pads, and let him go. Then let him come to the wild, wild west of California.
I'LL say what most of the people that have read this are thinking....
ARE YOU NUTS, A NEW RIDER ON A FJR??????

Good luck and ride safe
ICEBRU
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ICEBRU said:
ARE YOU NUTS, A NEW RIDER ON A FJR?????
Whatever! A moped wouldn't have had any different result.
 

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Hey Joe, sure am glad your son wasn't hurt. Sorry about the bike but plastic is cheap. Must be really cool to be able to introduce him to riding. Hope y'all have lots of great times together.

I have never completely understood the teaching with the locked rear brake either. I came from the dirt world though, it is a different animal on the pavement. My guess is that it is, like Rastoff says, since they are teaching to the masses not taking skill or previous experience int account, which is probably the correct approach for the course.

Sure sorry the BBQ run didn't work out this weekend was looking forward to meeting up. We will have to do it again sometime, hopefully I won't have to put on too many more weddings. :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Fuzzy said:
Hey Joe, sure am glad your son wasn't hurt. Sorry about the bike but plastic is cheap. Must be really cool to be able to introduce him to riding. Hope y'all have lots of great times together.

I have never completely understood the teaching with the locked rear brake either. I came from the dirt world though, it is a different animal on the pavement. My guess is that it is, like Rastoff says, since they are teaching to the masses not taking skill or previous experience int account, which is probably the correct approach for the course.

Sure sorry the BBQ run didn't work out this weekend was looking forward to meeting up. We will have to do it again sometime, hopefully I won't have to put on too many more weddings. :roll:
Dale, I am looking forward to meeting up with you and the rest of the gang from the north, even many from the South who I have not met. Just wish the weather would cooperate a little. We will get this yet!
 

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Joe,

Really good news that he was not injured. Oh, I have both a Wing and an FJR, and I could not tell which pieces were actually damaged, but is only takes a couple of small things to total $800 -- can go higher very easily.

I can also relate to rear brake lock-up, and for me high-siding -- that was back in 1981. Not a good day. Total the 78 KZ-1000 and banged me up quite a bit also -- my bad back these days is a reminder of that day. When I had the accident I did not even know what a high-side was, but I learned very quickly. I did not ride for many years, but when I decided to get back in to it big time in 1999 I took the MSF basic course -- when we locked the wheel that high-side feeling from 1981 came back to me really quickly. Control is essential.

Glad you and your son are able to do things like riding together -- very nice. Keep it safe!!!
 

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jafi_fink-

Don't overlook the main lesson here for your son... and that is to slow down to the proper speed BEFORE the turn.

And, secondly, hard braking in a turn, front or rear, is always to be avoided. Many times the best thing to do is to simply ride it out.

The gravel he found on the road makes the main lesson above even more important.

Anyway, plastic is cheap compared to a trip to the hospital ER, and, who knows, this lesson might go much further than you think in making your son a very safe motorcyclist in the future.

Best Wishes to you both!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
wingnutzz said:
Joe,

Really good news that he was not injured. Oh, I have both a Wing and an FJR, and I could not tell which pieces were actually damaged, but is only takes a couple of small things to total $800 -- can go higher very easily.

I can also relate to rear brake lock-up, and for me high-siding -- that was back in 1981. Not a good day. Total the 78 KZ-1000 and banged me up quite a bit also -- my bad back these days is a reminder of that day. When I had the accident I did not even know what a high-side was, but I learned very quickly. I did not ride for many years, but when I decided to get back in to it big time in 1999 I took the MSF basic course -- when we locked the wheel that high-side feeling from 1981 came back to me really quickly. Control is essential.

Glad you and your son are able to do things like riding together -- very nice. Keep it safe!!!
Basically all the parts in the bottom picture have to be replaced. Wish Hal had a Yamaha site! :-(
 

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Discussion Starter #16
All Boots No Saddle said:
jafi_fink-

Don't overlook the main lesson here for your son... and that is to slow down to the proper speed BEFORE the turn.

And, secondly, hard braking in a turn, front or rear, is always to be avoided. Many times the best thing to do is to simply ride it out.

The gravel he found on the road makes the main lesson above even more important.

Anyway, plastic is cheap compared to a trip to the hospital ER, and, who knows, this lesson might go much further than you think in making your son a very safe motorcyclist in the future.

Best Wishes to you both!
Agree! we will have plenty of book time on this one. He is not a very talkative type, but we have had a couple good conversations already. He is the one that told me he locked up the back brake. If he had said "I don't know" or "I don't remember" why it happened, I would have thought a lot longer about getting him ready to ride again.
 

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Also tought my wife to ride, but found with all the training in her first panic stop. The foot on the car brake mind thing took over. I was beside her and helpless. At the last minute she let off the rear some and got on the front. From then on on the brain was remapped. I think your son is a very lucky guy to not be hurt but will always remember from now on.
 

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Wow Joe glad your son's ok,
Seat time, thats all he'll need to get a feel for it. With enough seat time, it will just become second nature for him.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Teaser 1 said:
Wow Joe glad your son's ok,
Seat time, thats all he'll need to get a feel for it. With enough seat time, it will just become second nature for him.
I agree Terry. He is VERY coachable, he plays a lot of sports so he generally does what he is told. He learned a lot from this mistake. I look at it as paying for experience. He was only going 20 or 25 mph when this happened, not much different from having a crash on a road bicycle (which I have done).

The first time he and I went to the parking lot (done this a few times before we hit the road), he was coming in practicing a fast stop and locked up the back brake, going in a straight line. The back end never came around. I asked him what he was doing and why he didn't use the front brake. He said that in class they taught them that once the back brake is locked to not let it go. He was going in a straight line! He said he didn't get his hand over the front brake. :shock: If he had gotten on the front brake too, the back would have probably swung out.

What I am asking is that the way everyone else is learning? Once you lock up the back brake (non-ABS obviously) to keep it locked, that under no conditions to let it up? I am trying to find the right words to say to him that won't go against what he was taught in the Basic Riders Course. I think there are conditions where you would let up on the back brake to keep from going down. Otherwise, I will just have to get used to seeing him smoke that rear tire every time he comes in for a hot stop.

By the way if I had rigorously applied this rule, I would have gone down twice already on the FJR. Once pulling up to a light with a slick sandy road and once coming into my driveway also with a little sand. Both times, the back locked as the weight shifted forward and started to come around. I gently let up off the back, while keeping the front on, the back straightened out and everything was fine. Had I kept the back end locked it would have kept swinging out and I would have ended up on the ground.

Like you say Terry, it is experience but I also don't want to contradict what he has learned from the BRC.
 

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jafi_fink said:
What I am asking is that the way everyone else is learning? Once you lock up the back brake (non-ABS obviously) to keep it locked, that under no conditions to let it up?.......
Like you say Terry, it is experience but I also don't want to contradict what he has learned from the BRC.
The BRC teaches to keep the rear locked when on paved roads.. If your son will remember the video training aid, it describes that this rule is for paved roads and that on unpaved roads it is possible to release the rear brake without issue.. The training aid actually shows a dirtbike doing this on a trail!!

The reason to keep the rear locked is that IF the rear wheel gets out of alignment with the front, the sudden traction on the rear wheel WILL cause a violent reaction when the brake is released.. If the rear isn't out of alignment, there is no problem, but how would one know this as a new rider?? There's some good tips in this thread, slow BEFORE the turn, experiance is a great teacher!!
Enjoy and be safe!
 
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