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high speed stopping with heavy bike (DRZ400)

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I have this fear of cruising at 80mph on these wet mass interstates and then suddenly having to stop for a car up ahead. this is because a drunk driver ahead of me one time did a full on 80mph spin out once. YIKES!!!!!!! this is also scary when hauling down a dirt road I have never ridden before...."gee I hope theres not a hairpin up ahead". So whats the best way to stop fast on a fire road and a wet highway? with 50/50 tires? should I pulse both levers so I dont lock up?

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Relax... you should have practiced these emergency stops way before you were given a full license. If not, seat time lad, seat time... You should know that in most situations on the road, it's an evasive maneuver that will save you. On the dirt, you should know better than to go faster on a road you do not know.

BTW, on the road, a heavy bike is a Hayabusa, or a Honda Shadow, or a Goldwing :moon:

Sorry to be a downer, just seems like a pretty straight-forward question.

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Please note I didn't want to sound like an ass, your front brake will still do 90% of the work in the wet, so long as you're not in the middle of the lane, in the oil...

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Get out there and practice. There's no reason to be riding on the road and not know how to do an emergency stop. You'll find almost all the braking will be handled with the front in most situations.

Go find an open parking lot, back road, side street, etc and practice practice practice. Emergency stops need to be 2nd nature. Because when you are in that situation you aren't going to be thinking "Ok, now I need to apply 78% front brake and 22% rear while shifting my weight rearward and then .....". It will only go "Holy crap!", and you have to rely on your experiece to get you through safely.

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Get out there and practice. There's no reason to be riding on the road and not know how to do an emergency stop. You'll find almost all the braking will be handled with the front in most situations.

Go find an open parking lot, back road, side street, etc and practice practice practice. Emergency stops need to be 2nd nature. Because when you are in that situation you aren't going to be thinking "Ok, now I need to apply 78% front brake and 22% rear while shifting my weight rearward and then .....". It will only go "Holy crap!", and you have to rely on your experiece to get you through safely.

I know that the front brake provides the majority of the braking power. I have ridding 15,000 street miles in the last year. I was inquiring about how to stop quick on wet pavement going 80mph with 50/50 tires.

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It doesnt make any difference what the road conditions are. You apply as much front and rear brake pressure as you can without sliding the tires.

Meaning on dry pavement you would be applying a lot of pressure while on wet pavement, very little.

As others have said, take the bike out and practice stopping it in bad conditions.

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I know that the front brake provides the majority of the braking power. I have ridding 15,000 street miles in the last year. I was inquiring about how to stop quick on wet pavement going 80mph with 50/50 tires.

You stop as quickly as the available traction, which is still faster than most cars. Your bigger concern should be about the bozo behind you that is not able to stop as fast. So instead of stopping, you should be planning exit strategy. "Where can I go that affords me the highest degree of safety."

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It doesnt make any difference what the road conditions are. You apply as much front and rear brake pressure as you can without sliding the tires.

Meaning on dry pavement you would be applying a lot of pressure while on wet pavement, very little.

As others have said, take the bike out and practice stopping it in bad conditions.

What he said.

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Practice practice practice - same as riding a bicycle. We have to do emergency stops as part of our bike training over here. anyway, I thought the speed limit was 55!

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Practice practice practice - same as riding a bicycle. We have to do emergency stops as part of our bike training over here. anyway, I thought the speed limit was 55!

75mph is the speed LIMIT baby... 75- I think CLINTON did that.

Don't pulsate the brakes! I'd imagine that would make it easier to lock them up.

:moon:

Don't pulsate the brakes. Every surface needs smoothly progressive squeeze until just before locking. Period. Emergencys cause brake stabbing (momentary wheel lock, front or rear) , which commonly doubles your brake distance. Don't STAB or Pulse.

So instead of stopping, you should be planning exit strategy. "Where can I go that affords me the highest degree of safety."

This is solid advice. When I'm on the road i'm constantly looking for my exit. Every second you should have somewhere to dive. I think about it like this. A car is 6 feet wide. the lanes are 10-12 feet wide. four lanes full of cars leaves 40% of the highway free for escape. Practice Practice Practice.

And as far as braking distances are concerned.

- Common car 3200lbs.

-Common Heavy Dirtbike 320lbs

At the same speed the car has 10X momentum requiring 10X the braking power.

-Car tire 8-10" contact patch X 4 tires =40" contacting the ground.

-Motorcycle has maybe 1"(knobbie)-2"(street) contact patch X 2 tires = 4" contact patch

Now that 10X stopping force for the car!

SO, in my mind and in practice. If both the car driver and the motorcyclist do their very best at braking without locking any wheels, the distance is the same.

-BIG DAN:thumbsup:

Edited by SRAD97750

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Being from mass and cruising my Xr650r on the highways pretty often around here, I couldn't imagine doing just 70-75 with these maniacs we call drivers. I cruise at 80-85+ and i still get passed by a good majority of the cars. At 70 i'd be worried about getting granny slammed.

In the wet with knobs trying to stop quickly is balancing act of feathering the brakes like everyone else has said. Even in good conditions knobs skid very easily. I'd be looking to make an evasive swerve before I would make an emergency stop. You should practice both. I took a motorcycle safety course for that reason and it was worth it.

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75mph is the speed LIMIT baby... 75- I think CLINTON did that.

-BIG DAN:thumbsup:

My bad! Last American film I watched was Smokey and the Bandit :moon:

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My bad! Last American film I watched was Smokey and the Bandit :cheers:

that was the LAST american film you watched???sheesh....decades of blockbuster hits since then and you missed 'em all?:moon:

Joe

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that was the LAST american film you watched???sheesh....decades of blockbuster hits since then and you missed 'em all?:moon:

Joe

Tried to watch some blockbusters, but the overly dramatic music and over the top acting and the false teeth sort of sent me to sleep after the first 5 minutes:snore:

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Good advice about always considering an exit route. Something I dread on the bike is having to brake in a short distance and then being rear ended by a car or whatever!

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So instead of stopping, you should be planning exit strategy. "Where can I go that affords me the highest degree of safety."

If you're going to be doing 80mph on the highway in the rain, this is probably your best bet. Stopping power alone will not save you. Always be aware of your surroundings, ready to dart into the next (open) lane when you have to.

On the dirt, I wouldn't be doing 80mph on a DRZ on roads I didn't know like the back of my hand.

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75mph is the speed LIMIT baby... 75- I think CLINTON did that.

:moon:

Don't pulsate the brakes. Every surface needs smoothly progressive squeeze until just before locking. Period. Emergencys cause brake stabbing (momentary wheel lock, front or rear) , which commonly doubles your brake distance. Don't STAB or Pulse.

This is solid advice. When I'm on the road i'm constantly looking for my exit. Every second you should have somewhere to dive. I think about it like this. A car is 6 feet wide. the lanes are 10-12 feet wide. four lanes full of cars leaves 40% of the highway free for escape. Practice Practice Practice.

And as far as braking distances are concerned.

- Common car 3200lbs.

-Common Heavy Dirtbike 320lbs

At the same speed the car has 10X momentum requiring 10X the braking power.

-Car tire 8-10" contact patch X 4 tires =40" contacting the ground.

-Motorcycle has maybe 1"(knobbie)-2"(street) contact patch X 2 tires = 4" contact patch

Now that 10X stopping force for the car!

SO, in my mind and in practice. If both the car driver and the motorcyclist do their very best at braking without locking any wheels, the distance is the same.

-BIG DAN:thumbsup:

thanks for this writup, I never considered this. The only variable you didnt include is ABS which I dont have on my DRZ. I am giving you gas.

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thanks for this writup, I never considered this. The only variable you didnt include is ABS which I dont have on my DRZ. I am giving you gas.

well I cant give you gas. but thanks

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thanks for this writup, I never considered this. The only variable you didnt include is ABS which I dont have on my DRZ. I am giving you gas.

ABS isn't all good. It just means you can grab a too big handful of brake and it'll release the brake when a wheel locks up and then reapply it again. It will give a shorter stopping distance than a bike or car that is skidding with locked wheels. Stopping distance can be longer though than it is for someone who applies the brakes progressively and controls them properly so the wheels don't lock up in the first place.

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