GL1800Riders Forums banner

1 - 20 of 56 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I need to work on my stops with the GW and am looking for advice on a general technique. The problem seems to be two-fold. First, many times I seem to pull up quickly and then need to shoot down my left foot to keep the bike up. Problem with that is on occasion the bike isn’t quite stopped. The other thing I’m doing is, when I do come to a full stop the front wheel isn’t always pointing where I want it. In those last few 100 milliseconds I end up turning the handlebars just a little off from straight, often to the left.

My own observations are that I think I’ve gotten lazy with the GW linked brakes, and over rely on just the front brake. But it also seems that the back brake tends to be less forgiving and at times has made my stops even more abrupt. IDK, maybe that’s why I over use the front. I’ve been back into riding now about 11 years and never had this issue with the H-D Ultra Glide, 650 Shadow, dirt bike or Yamaha XP500. Seems like smooth stops should not be this hard for me. Maybe I’m just mentally lazy and not paying enough attention?

Suggestions and advice appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,005 Posts
My first year with the 'Wing I had horrible results coming to a smooth stop, and one time I stopped and fell over.

What I didn't realize was that the front brake lever was extremely "notchy", and it would catch in a position that slowed me down, but that I had to overcome at the last second by squeezing even harder on the lever, and then it would "jump" past the notch and stop me abruptly, with the nose dipping a bit and that one time even tipping me over.

A generous application of lithium grease on the lever bushing and my problem was solved. My stops are now as smooth as I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,011 Posts
It's too easy to become lazy. Riding is my therapy and relaxation. Laziness likes to tag along with relaxation, but it's essential to maintain alertness. I always try to anticipate the need to stop. Releasing the throttle and downshifting usually come before application of the brakes. I also always try to apply both the front and rear brakes simultaneously, but I often find myself just applying the brake pedal. I also play a game before a complete stop by seeing how well I can do in balancing the bike at extremely slow speed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,286 Posts
I need to work on my stops with the GW and am looking for advice on a general technique. The problem seems to be two-fold. First, many times I seem to pull up quickly and then need to shoot down my left foot to keep the bike up. Problem with that is on occasion the bike isn’t quite stopped. The other thing I’m doing is, when I do come to a full stop the front wheel isn’t always pointing where I want it. In those last few 100 milliseconds I end up turning the handlebars just a little off from straight, often to the left.

My own observations are that I think I’ve gotten lazy with the GW linked brakes, and over rely on just the front brake. But it also seems that the back brake tends to be less forgiving and at times has made my stops even more abrupt. IDK, maybe that’s why I over use the front. I’ve been back into riding now about 11 years and never had this issue with the H-D Ultra Glide, 650 Shadow, dirt bike or Yamaha XP500. Seems like smooth stops should not be this hard for me. Maybe I’m just mentally lazy and not paying enough attention?

Suggestions and advice appreciated.

Not knowing your physical characteristics, I'll throw this out anyway. I have found that for me, it's important to ensure bike is as perfectly vertical as possible when I am near a stop. I also find it helpful to "hitch" my butt forward on the seat to allow my legs better - more vertical line to the ground. I use both brakes until the final few seconds before coming to a stop - then just the front brake. Finally - extend both feet with the intent of touching down equally at the same time (assuming a level surface; if sloped, adjustments must be made to accommodate). I've never attended a riding course so this technique may not be how experienced instructors teach it but it has served me well for many, many years now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
I had the same issue. Went to a parking lot and practiced coming to a smooth, controlled stop.
Use front and rear brakes down to about 5mph, then use rear brake from 5mph to zero. Look where you are planning to stop, and choose where you will put your foot down.
When slowing through 5mph, shift to first with clutch in, and then start extending your left foot, just slightly forward.
Set your foot down as the bike slows through 1mph, coming to a stop with your foot on the ground.

Did that at every stop for a few months.

That 'reset' my brain. Now my stops (on both bikes) is infinitely better.
At every stop, I extend my foot as the bike is slowing to a halt, and I find my balance at stops has also improved.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
636 Posts
For me, the most important lesson I have learned is that the front wheel must be pointed straight when stopping. If not, the braking (front hand brake alone especially) will pull the front crooked or if hard braking, even pull the bike down at an angle which can be very embarrassing, don't ask how I know this! If your front wheel is straight when stopping you can safely use either brake at very low speeds but you should be using both brakes together for normal or hard stopping. I like the linked brakes but they do work differently than non-linked front and rear brakes and do take some getting used to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,286 Posts
For me, the most important lesson I have learned is that the front wheel must be pointed straight when stopping. If not, the braking (front hand brake alone especially) will pull the front crooked or if hard braking, even pull the bike down at an angle which can be very embarrassing, don't ask how I know this! If your front wheel is straight when stopping you can safely use either brake at very low speeds but you should be using both brakes together for normal or hard stopping. I like the linked brakes but they do work differently than non-linked front and rear brakes and do take some getting used to.

Agree - straight front wheel while stopping is very important - but sometimes not an option. Also agree that use of front brake in that situation can result in extreme embarrassment. A late friend of mine (Roadrunner1800) once made that mistake knowing beforehand it was potential trouble while doing a turn-around - but having a brain cramp - ended up on his ample belly on a sloped Burger King parking lot with his Gold Wing muffler guard on top of his foot trapping him until a good Samaritan helped get him released. Three of his toes were purple for a long time after that and and since it was his right foot - shifting was excruciating. I met him in that lot soon after his "release" for a ride that we did go on to complete. He was very embarrassed but good natured about his "rookie" mistake.. Allen was a good riding partner and I miss those times.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,171 Posts
It is a bit of a puzzle. It's been talked about on numerous occasions. I mostly don't have a problem on my other bikes either but the sometimes little chink to the side by the steering on the Wing is a mystery.

Certainly keeping my head high and not looking down is immensely helpful, look at the traffic light or the high brake light of the vehicle in front if you need a target but don't look down. Suss the road surface way in advance and don't look down.

Weirdly, I stop better on the Wing after I've been riding my Spyder for a while...dunno!

Did I say don't look down?!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,757 Posts
everything is important but keeping you eyes up and not focussing On the ground is way more important than many folks realize, just make it a point to do some test stopping with eyes up and down and you will very quickly recognize a very significant difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
888 Posts
I know this isn't the way the MSF teaches it, but I put both feet down when I stop. I want to have the use of both feet, just in case one ft slips. If only one ft slips, I can still balance with the other foot.

So here's the sequence for coming to a stop:
1. Slow up, for crying out loud. Gradually reduce your speed coming to a stop light/sign.
2. Using your front brake is fine, as long as you GRADUALLY apply pressure to it. Use both brakes if you want to.
3. You should be barely moving at this stage, with your bike ABSOLUTELY straight up with handlebars level and head facing forward, looking just over your windshield.
4. take your feet off the pegs/floorboards, holding them out from the bikes past the pegs( to the side of pegs)
5. Choose rear brake or front brake to complete the stop and PLANT your feet down firmly on the pavement.

Personally, I use both feet to balance because the bike I ride weighs about 930 lbs, and the front end DIVE will throw your forward a little. If you aren't PERFECTLY balanced with head up and facing forward, and the handlebars level with the horizon, you will drop the bike, because that DIVE will NOT be straight down towards the front. It will be at an ANGLE, and at an angle from which you CAN'T recover. The bike WILL fall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
874 Posts
Make sure you're looking up. It helps keeping the front wheel straight if you're looking up. It's easy to get lazy!!

Rayjoe
As JW also mentions this is very important. As many years as I have been riding, I still find myself getting lazy, I guess, and not keeping my head up. I then force myself to concentrate and am soon in good shape again. A 900 lb bike does not allow as many mistakes.:cry:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,435 Posts
I use both brakes until the final few seconds before coming to a stop - then just the front brake. Finally - extend both feet with the intent of touching down equally at the same time (assuming a level surface; if sloped, adjustments must be made to accommodate).
I use the both brakes method also until the last couple of feet and then use front brake only to complete the stop. That way the right foot is ready to catch a bike pitch to the right at the last second for an unseen road imperfection. I don't want my right foot "late to the game" if the bike pitches right! Head up is important also as has been said.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,286 Posts
I use the both brakes method also until the last couple of feet and then use front brake only to complete the stop. That way the right foot is ready to catch a bike pitch to the right at the last second for an unseen road imperfection. I don't want my right foot "late to the game" if the bike pitches right! Head up is important also as has been said.

Yes - avoiding "right foot late to the game" is exactly why I like you - do what I do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
The easy solution is to get a 2018 or newer wing. With my 2012 it seemed like I was always fighting a tip over at a stop unless the front wheel was perfectly straight. I was becoming concerned that I was going to take out a hip from the pressure of holding up the bike. With the 2018, I almost never take my right foot off of the peg and it does not seem to care if the front wheel is straight or not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
The easy solution is to get a 2018 or newer wing. With my 2012 it seemed like I was always fighting a tip over at a stop unless the front wheel was perfectly straight. I was becoming concerned that I was going to take out a hip from the pressure of holding up the bike. With the 2018, I almost never take my right foot off of the peg and it does not seem to care if the front wheel is straight or not.
Well there is some validity to this, as I never had this problem with my scooter, either. And that’s pretty much the 2018s onward, right? LOL.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I use the both brakes method also until the last couple of feet and then use front brake only to complete the stop. That way the right foot is ready to catch a bike pitch to the right at the last second for an unseen road imperfection. I don't want my right foot "late to the game" if the bike pitches right! Head up is important also as has been said.
I’ve been practicing the last 2 days. I have no probs keeping my head up but have found that I need to slow down logarithmically—quite a lot at first then a real slow final few feet to the end. When I’ve been doing the stop this way it seems controllable/safe to use just the hand brake at the end. I like the 2 feet down thinking. Even a little gravel can give me a pucker moment (goes without saying “when least expected”).
 
1 - 20 of 56 Posts
Top