2023 Author: Katelyn Chandter | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 13:08
How to effectively stop your motorcycle in the shortest amount of time and in the shortest distance. We will learn to brake with only the front brake.
Earlier we touched upon the topic of braking. The topic was raised in the context of braking with rebounding and downshifting, but this is one of the difficult racing controls of a motorcycle, it can also be attributed not only to a sporty, but also to an advanced level of control. Ultimately, safety is all about braking. Therefore, we will pay special attention to this element. To begin with, we will touch on the physics of what is happening, and then gradually, from simple to complex, we will go through the very technique of execution, for motorcycles without a built-in anti-lock braking system (ABS) and for equipment equipped with this grace of engineering thought. This article will talk about the use of brakes on a road bike with a small fork, that is, we will talk about sports bikes, street bikes, sports tourists and everything that is close to this technique. That is, all motorcycles in which the main braking element is the front braking mechanism. We will talk about cruisers (chappers) a little later in another article. The fact is that on motorcycles with a large fork angle and a fork, slightly different braking technologies are used. In this article, we will learn how to brake with only the front brake.
The basis of braking is the maximum deceleration of the vehicle by using the friction force (between the pad and the brake disc, between the rubber and the road surface). Our task is to increase the friction force enough to effectively stop the motorcycle in the shortest period of time and for the minimum distance. That is, ideal braking is a stop, but not to any object from a certain distance, but simply the most effective braking, regardless of external factors. That is, if we have already learned how to brake as efficiently as possible, then approaching the collision object should not affect the pressure on the handle in any way; in this case, fear will only lead to blocking the wheel. If the situation has already gone in such a way that a collision is inevitable, our task is to reduce the speed as much as possible in order to collide at the minimum speed, because, as you know, it is not the speed that kills, but the overload during a sudden stop, that is, at the moment of impact. Therefore, the deceleration should be maximum, in itself and not be influenced by external factors, such as fear, for example. Therefore, we will consider all aspects affecting effective braking in more detail:
The first and foremost is the weight of the motorcycle, more precisely, how it is distributed on the motorcycle (weight distribution). The physics is simple, the more mass of the motorcycle and the pilot is distributed on the front wheel, the correspondingly higher is the contact of rubber with asphalt. Therefore, the higher the contact, the harder you can press on the brakes without worrying about the wheel blocking. You can watch closely how the MOTOGP pilots brake, sometimes you can see how the wheel is almost completely flattened on the asphalt when decelerating.
The second is the correct fit, we do not hang on the handlebars, but we squeeze the motorcycle with our knees. We try to remove the load from the steering wheel as much as possible, thereby placing the pilot's weight on the motorcycle correctly and loading the front wheel, but not overloading it with side loads. The problem is that it is not possible to accurately distribute the pressure between the right and left hands, which can lead to the wheel slipping to one side or the other.
The third is the correct operation of the braking mechanisms (there is no need to talk much about this, this is understandable)
Fourth - Progressive throttle and brake operation. We will dwell on this position in great detail, and in fact, we will talk about it.
Now let's pay more attention to how progressive braking differs from conventional braking. In normal braking, we move at a certain speed and we need to stop, we just put on the brake and stop the motorcycle, what happens in the case of progressive braking? We transfer the weight of the body and the motorcycle to the front wheel, and then we begin to press on the brake foot with maximum force. In the first case, on a conditionally unloaded front axle, we have a lack of mass, because the gas loaded the rear wheel, unloaded the front axle, and when we press the brake, we increase the load and block the front wheel, because the motorcycle pushes its mass forward and hence the friction between the wheel and the asphalt insufficient to brake this mass. We get a front wheel lock with all the bad consequences. That is, with progressive braking, the braking distance can be much shorter.
We will divide progressive braking into several phases:
The first is throttle release, with the throttle handle open, we unload the front fork and on such a suspension we move comfortably in space, but when braking, we turn off the throttle in the first phase, the motorcycle bites in front, that is, the mass is transferred to the front axle and our task is not to give this mass out of there, that is, we need to continue loading the front wheel in order to avoid the return of mass, that is, reverse peck or straightening of the fork. In other words, we closed the throttle abruptly, the motorcycle pecked forward and at this moment we move on to the second phase …
Gas release, hold the brake.
The fork is in an extended position.
The fork folds a little.
The second phase is progressive (that is, smoothly pressing the brake lever) at the very moment when the motorcycle pecked forward in the first phase, we need to continue the peck (loading the front wheel), but this is not braking yet, and therefore we cannot press the brake lever very much strongly. We haven't shifted the weight of the bike forward yet, we are just working on it. I repeat that at the moment of throttle release, that is, the first forward dive, we smoothly press on the brake lever and thereby increase the fork contraction. With this action, we shift the weight of the motorcycle forward even more, and at this stage we can already help with the body to reload the wheel, that is, we squeeze the tank with our knees more than when we release the gas and with our legs and back we try to keep our weight. And now the second phase is over, we pass to the third.
Slightly pressing the brake.
The fork folds in tighter.
The third phase is actually inhibition. The fork is reduced as much as possible, the weight is transferred to the front as much as possible. At this moment, you can increase the maximum effort on the brake lever up to the squeak of rubber, but most likely this will not happen, and the motorcycle will simply stop very quickly.
Strong brake pressure.
At a different angle, also firmly applying the brake:
Strong brake pressure.
The fork goes down even more, reaching the maximum point.
The maximum point of the fork feather.
This is how it looks together:
Pressing on the brake.
We will now focus a little on motorcycles with anti-lock braking systems (ABS). My opinion is that this technique is ideal for working out this element, because, as it shows, the line after which there is a blocking, that is, in our case, ABS is triggered. You can very well learn how to progressively load the wheels and postpone the moment of operation of this system. And ideally, the mass is moved forward so much that, despite the full pressing of the brake lever, the ABS does not have time to work due to the large contact of rubber with asphalt. There is not enough friction between the pads and the brake disc to block the wheel. As a result, we get the most effective braking, plus a reserve parachute in the form of electronic brains.
NB. Braking should always be carried out progressively, that is, if at some point the fork straightens or the pitch goes back, you have lost mass on the front wheel, that is, we are not talking about the most effective braking, but about how to only cope with the current situation. Again, we begin to slow down smoothly, and then increase the pressure on the lever. The rule is simple: the fork is straightened - all from the beginning!
P. S. I also want to make a reservation that this article is of an exclusively recommendatory nature and we are not responsible for the incorrect actions of people outside our control, that is, if these elements are worked out, errors and falls are possible, for which we are not responsible. Don't fall!