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2007 Honda Shadow Spirit VT750C2
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Discussion Starter #21
This video is a good education. Makes a lot of sense for any type riding.

Great video Swifty, it explains it well. @Kitulu I like the points system to describe available traction, brilliant.
I get the sense that people wonder "why?" do trailbraking at all. One simple reason: it enables the rider to safely brake at any point in a corner, in case something unexpected comes around the bend.
 

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2007 VT750DC Spirit “chopper”
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It's not taught or suggested to new riders because they don't know their bikes well enough to know how it will behave in certain situations. A gentle touch of the brake, and feathering the clutch to power the rear wheel while not accelerating in a curve is a great technique for folks with a few miles in the saddle.
The advanced rider MSF course near me teaches rear brake cornering techniques, they even teach recovery from too much rear brake, obviously it depends on the instructors and area but damn those MSF courses were great for me.
 

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1999 Shadow 750 ACE VT750CD3 Modified
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Trail braking, how old is that term? I remember it being used in the automotive context since the 1980's, but to motorcycling it seems fairly recent.
To some older folks who have been riding and doing variations of it for years it is kind of like picking a new name for sex if it didn't already have one.
It is all about traction and space margins and options really.

A requirement first is to get to know and be comfortable with your bike and know what it can do and what you feel comfortable doing and that all takes practice and gently pushing the borders a bit at a time. Jumping into riding too fast or too hard without knowing what the bike can do and what you can handle comfortably seems to cause a lot of accidents.

How many people with fast bikes point and squirt the power and brake and then teeter around the turns? It seems a lot.

Trail braking allows you to brake later and carry more speed into the corner, it's use in racing is obvious, but there the margins are far smaller and one tends to learn the limits by crossing them once in a while.

In street riding we don't want to cross the traction limits and our track is forever changing surfaces and obstacles, so other than the occasional nutty moment or unforeseen circumstances, we usually operate well within the limitations of traction. Trail braking in such a context shortens the amount of time our butt is hanging out decelerating in front of oncoming traffic behind us, makes the transition to the corner less abrupt on the suspension and if something unexpected comes up during the turn leaves us with more margin in which to pick our choice of options to handle the situation. What is not to like? It's not newfangled snake oil, although if you have had "Do all you braking before corner" hammered into you head it might seem so.

Gingerly check it out you don't need to be trying to ride at a high level to see the benefits, just push your personal envelope gently a little bit and add another ability.

I've been riding for a long time, I consider myself an average to good rider, but I'm still learning everyday, sometimes it is just a word.

Rear brake braking in a corner other than a slow or very tight one, terrifies me, even worse on my vt750 with the drum brake which is so difficult to modulate.
It seems like an invitation for a rear lock up and countersteer game with a potential lowside or the release the locked up brake too early and potentially going high.

Now I"m sounding like the brake upright in a straight line people, damn right!

And of course all this goes stuff goes to hell on dirt or marbles.
 

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The OP is pretty much on The money.
To me, the idea is to have the suspension compressed by applying the front brake very gradually in the curve. And once the suspension is compressed.....then you can brake harder if you find a need to. And you will be fine.....unlike if you were to do that without the suspension being compressed.
By the way, that is the exact method "motojitsu" teaches for cornering on track or road.
 

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The advanced rider MSF course near me teaches rear brake cornering techniques, they even teach recovery from too much rear brake, obviously it depends on the instructors and area but damn those MSF courses were great for me.
Same here. I took the advanced, but it was long enough ago that I don't remember much of it.....LOL.
 

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Rear brake braking in a corner other than a slow or very tight one, terrifies me, even worse on my vt750 with the drum brake which is so difficult to modulate.
It seems like an invitation for a rear lock up and countersteer game with a potential lowside or the release the locked up brake too early and potentially going high.

Great point about the specific bike and rear brake set up. I always felt a little unsettled doing any kind of rear braking on my 750 Spirit. I really started to trail brake much better when I got my VStar1300. About 120 lbs heavier, that seems to make a difference, along with having disk brakes.
 

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Hmmm, a cornering thesis on a Honda Shadow page? Why not post it on a scooter page? I didn't read it either, learning by doing hasn't killed me yet and I don't need a physics lesson to enjoy the ride.
 

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2007 Honda Shadow Spirit VT750C2
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Discussion Starter #28
It literally saved me from a wreck an hour ago, scout's honor.

I was on a 2 lane, curvy country road I ride regularly, and just leaned into a corner that is fully blinded by trees --- I was maybe 1/3 of the way until apex. A jackass in a farm truck was fully stopped in the corner just past the apex, with his hazard lights on comically enough. But because I was still half on the brake, I squeezed in a little more and stopped safely short of the a$$hat truck, pretty much on the apex. I noticed the traffic in the oncoming lane too...there was nowhere to go but onto a lot of brake. Cars oncoming left, ditch and trees to the right and no shoulder.

Had I been riding the good old SLPR method, I absolutely would have had an accident today. But to each his own, right?
 

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My 2 cents and I have brought up trail braking and rev matching on this forum before. With mixed results.

Comes down to this, the weighting of the motorcycle is important front to back and which brake you are using. Doing a slow speed U-turn you want to use the back brake and weight up the rear wheel. In a higher speed corner you want to do the opposite.

Do riders riding cruisers need to trail brake? I think everyone should know how to do it because it is useful along with cutting down your chances of being hit from the rear. My best example is pulling off of a high speed road, rural highway etc. Let's say you have to go from 55 MPH and turn 90 degrees on to another road. Safest way to me is going in hot, trail brake from 55 down to 15 and rev match while down shifting. What that does is slow you down faster and gets you out of the way of traffic coming up behind you. The longer you hang out in traffic slowing down, is also the longer someone behind you doesn't realize you have been slowing down for the last 1/2 mile. If you are unexpectedly slow on a fast road your chances of being hit go way up. Also when you have no idea what is coming up but you know it's a blind turn. If you are too fast going in with all your weight on the back wheel you are in trouble if you have to brake more. Hit the back brake hard in a corner and you will lose the bike unless you can handle a skid.

I just had an incident that involved trail braking. I was on a city 55 MPH, 4 lane road. What happened is this. I was in the right lane and noticed a traffic jam coming up so I saw a hole to the left. I hammered it went left passed two cars as fast as possible to hit the next hole to the right which let me turn right off the high speed road on to a road that ran parallel. Problem was that road was about a 90 degree turn but had a decel lane so I trail braked into that road and didn't rev match which locked my back wheel up for 10-20 feet as I tried to scrub off speed. Only way I could have done that was with trail braking. If you will never tried something like that then you probably will do fine never trail braking. The purpose is to go faster, same with rev matching. Many reasons for rev matching look that up if you don't know what I mean. Rain is the biggest thing with rev matching.
 
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