Yamaha Thundercats
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Locking up

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Post  Guest Fri Jul 15 2011, 21:31

After reading about several members accidents over recent weeks, I feel a little ashamed to be posting this, but it was a significant moment for me and one I've (hopefully) learned a little lesson from.
And I'm sure there are plenty of you on here who have done this already, but in nearly two years of getting back in the saddle, a few days ago I locked both wheels for the first time, during a sudden (emergency?) stop.
Coming out of a 30 zone into an NSL, I was accelerating gently, prob doing 40mph. I knew the car in front was a doddery old f.....r because I'd been following him through winding narrow N Yorks country lanes for a bit. And it had been showering with rain for about ten mins making everything slippy.
So why was I following him so closely? Old driver, difficult roads, wet surface? All these things are warnings to back off.
The road narrowed abruptly and there was a car coming the other way. Still enough room for two vehicles but I should have recognised that DOF wouldn't chance it and anticipated him doing a sudden stop.
I didn't anticipate it and grabbing the brakes sent me into a two-wheel skid which seemed to last an eternity, during which time I convinced myself I was into the back of him while trying to keep the Cat upright.
I did keep her upright, I stopped, I had about a foot to spare and I breathed a huge shaky sigh of relief.

I can't be the only one to follow too close on occasion. This time I got away with it and was given a sharp reminder - not a harsh one, thankfully - why it's a bad idea in any conditions, let alone the wet.

Now I think I need to go and practise some emergency stops. When I get my nerve back.
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Post  robertcains Fri Jul 15 2011, 22:23

Sounds like you did well Shocked
Its not very often a locked front wheel ends in a good story great
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Post  sir digby Fri Jul 15 2011, 22:45

well held that man could of been the fifth cat down this summer hope you gave your self a courtesy wipe when you got home
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Post  Rosco Fri Jul 15 2011, 23:42

Good result...thanks for sharing a good news story.

Always worth practicing emergency stops, swerves etc as long as you know the road is clean and no-one behind you and nothing hard to hit just in case.

It is something that we might NEED to get right one day and if we don't practise it we might not get the best outcome we want.

I like to practice tightening corners left handers (pretending a vehicle is coming the other way over on my side of the road).

You can do it the other way as well - just make sure you can see nothing is coming the other way first.

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Post  yamahamad Sat Jul 16 2011, 09:01

Well done for keeping it upright, not an easy thing to do when the front locks up.
Paul.
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Post  Guest Sun Jul 17 2011, 23:19

It looks like there's nothing wrong with your emergency stops , especially as you kept it upright - and it was wet , just need to keep away from the car infront wall
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Post  YZFJohn Mon Jul 18 2011, 10:44

This month's Ride magazine has a big feature on braking. It also talks about pro's and cons of braking in corners - very informative.

I guess if I scanned the pages I would incurr the wrath of the Ride publishers!
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Post  SteveCat Mon Jul 18 2011, 11:17

A good outcome, although I would imagine your heart was pounding at the time. I'm not proud to say I've reduced speed rapidly with the wheels stationary more than once :(


Manor69 wrote:This month's Ride magazine

Sounds like a stroll down to WH Smith would be worthwhile, thanks.
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Post  bignige Mon Jul 18 2011, 17:04

Last year I learned using the brakes effectively in an emergency (especialy if wet) is completely different to braking Hard.
It's something that is Covered in the Performance Plus at Cadwell & was an eye opener for me.
"C" braking & "loading" the front were new concepts to me that are essetial if you are to stop under control in the shortest possible distance.
Quite full of confidence I locked up the front at 80mph on the start finish straight & realised at that point I had lots to learn.

Lincolnshire Road Saftey Partership included braking because in accidents the average braking effort used is only 55% of that available because riders don't know where the limit is OR by panic grabbing the front locks & they loose it.

Well done for keeping it upright mate & don't feel bad - we learn by our mistakes - if we're lucky ponder
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Post  Guest Mon Jul 18 2011, 18:44

Thanks for the positive messages.
I've locked the back wheel up more than once and that's not a pleasant feeling, but both wheels is something I hope I won't repeat.
Yes the heart was pounding (the leathers stayed clean though) but I'm thinking I stayed upright through more luck than skill, and the fact I was thankfully going in a straight line when I started braking.
And yes, I guess the wet surface didn't help.
Anyhow, we learn from mistakes...in theory Neutral

(I too will be having a stroll to WH Smith at some point)
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Post  Radar Mon Jul 18 2011, 20:07

I locked up everything on my RD350 in the dry once many moons ago....nice lass, turn around...great legs...turn back....SHIITTTT traffic stops. I JUST missed...she did have GREAT legs though...

Gad you stayed upright, great work!
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Post  SteveCat Tue Jul 19 2011, 18:01

Manor69 wrote:This month's Ride magazine has a big feature on braking.

Took a stroll and notice it isn't in the Mag, has an article on cornering. I notice that the one I have is on display till today (August 2011), so maybe you have a later one?
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Post  Rosco Tue Jul 19 2011, 23:20

BigNige wrote: we learn by our mistakes - if we're lucky ponder

..... Even better to learn from everyone else's.
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Post  robertcains Tue Jul 19 2011, 23:34

It's quite an eye opener what a difference practice can make to effective braking, I always thought of myself as fairly competent until I did a track day last year on the 'cat. It was only under repetitive very hard braking that I realised I was never near exploring the limits on the road.
Unfortunately unless it is practised regularly it is also a skill that is not easy to remember in the emergency situation when required.
The current bike has ABS but as a £600 optional extra I certainly wouldn't have purchased it if it hadn't already been thrown into the deal. Fingers crossed I won't need to test it any time soon.
I'm not sure what others opinions are on ABS but I'm not totally convinced its necessary as its easy to assume it will automatically get you out of trouble which most definitely isn't always the case.
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Post  Wooster Wed Jul 20 2011, 00:38

I had a run on a Honda Varadero that had linked ABS, it felt a bit strange at first but really planted braking into corners.
-edit- It occurs to me now that it felt like riding an armchair. green smile

I've been lucky and never locked up the front yet (Apart from years ago (if it counts) on an old Bonneville bought as a park bike. But that had a knacked back brake and it was on gravel. Sore lesson though. Embarassed ), and not for a lack of trying.

I've had a few people turn 'right' across the front of me at junctions a few times, and a few taxi drivers doing U turns without looking in their bloody mirrors first. grumpy
Not long after I passed my test I scraped past one of these balloons on my front wheel. It was so close I'd even picked my spot where the bike was going to hit and was ready to attempt to jump (it's amazing how much crap can go through your head in a few seconds). Luckily they rolled forward just enough for me to clear them.
30 seconds later the adrenaline had worn off and I was a quivering mess. Laughing
It was my own fault, I was going way too fast.

I'm torn over the idea of a track day.
On the one hand it'll improve my riding skills, but on the other I'm worried that I'll get over confident and plaster myself over the back of a tractor. ponder
(I have a few mates who have 'downgraded' from sports bikes to sports tourers because they figured they were getting too cocky on them for their own good.)
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