The Ergonomics of Braking (R6 / 600RR) - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-14-2004, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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The Ergonomics of Braking (R6 / 600RR)

(FYI: this has been posted to a few forums with the site. I wasn’t sure which would be the most appropriate. Sorry for any repeats)

So sometime in the next month or so I’m going to buy a 2004 R6 or a 600RR. I like the R6 much more than the RR, with one exception. This one exception could be a very minor detail, or it could be a serious safety factor. I need some feedback from more knowlegble / experienced people as which of the two issues I’m really dealing with. The issue is with the ergonomics of the right foot peg and brake pedal placement. I have very little upward flexibility with my right ankle (i.e. if I stand flatfoot, I can not raise my toes very high off the ground while keeping my heel flat). In order to apply the rear brakes on the R6, I literally have to lift my entire foot off the peg (1/2 – ¾ inch) and then place it back down on the peg and brake. On the Honda, I only have to do this about 1/16 of an inch. The idea of losing contact with pegs/brakes in an emergency situation is a little unnerving to me. Yamaha makes these “GYT-R™ Billet Adjustable Rear Sets” which allow you to alter the position of the pegs, however I don’t know if this would help or make things worse. They also don’t seem to make them for R6 models past 2002 (go figure).
So…does anyone know of people dealing with a similar situation? Anyone know of ways to modify peg / lever placement? Should I stay away from the R6 because of this, or is this going to be an insignificant problem?

Thanks in advance for your help,
-chr|s


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-22-2004, 10:24 AM
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REAR brake? They have those?

I have not used my rear brake since I learned how to ride properly...Maybe in the dirt if you have to take evasive action...Or with a passenger to equal it out a bit...

Then I found out that we are NOT supposed to use the rear brake...Unless you are Nicky Hayden and "backing it in" to a corner...

For real...The rear brake is not used on a sport bike...Any race school / high performance school will tell you this...If you are braking with any force, the rear tire is about off the ground. Bad habit to get into with the rear brake...In a panic situation, you're toast...

My .02...

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-22-2004, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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interesting, thats not what they taught me at the MSF course back when i took it...but thanks for the info.

-chr|s

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-22-2004, 12:04 PM
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The MSF course is VERY conservative...Maybe they say 75% front 25% rear...Maybe do-able for a cruiser...

BUT try to panic stop on a sport bike...Then apply the rear brake. INSTANT lock up. No weight on the rear if you are stopping with any force. Sport bikes have all front end weight bias...Cruisers more in the middle...

Also another example. Try hitting the rear brake by itself in a panic situation...INSTANT lock-up without much effort.

That's why there is a SMALL rotor with maybe two pistons (depends on the model) in back and two HUGE rotors up front with at least four piston calipers...

I have seen one too many beginners "think" they will go over the bars if they use the front only...NO WAY...They end up wearing out pad set after pad set in the rear...Hardly ever touch the front...

Those classes are for the masses (and good ones too)...But they teach you on 250 cc Rebels...Not PURE PERFORMANCE machines...

Just trying to help!

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-23-2004, 09:58 AM
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It's funny. I had the same reaction about the first reply to the post. I took the MSF class, and the instuctors were well there were several sports bike riders in the class, and one of the instructors is a sport bike rider himself. He pointed out several differences in riding styles and points of control on diffent bikes. I know what you are saying about the front brakes and the weight being shifted to the front, which is different than cruisers. Still, the way they teach the class, they try to keep you from focusing on just the front or rear. They actually drum that point into your head. I grant you these are small CC bikes used in the class, but some bikes in our class were cruiser style, some were enduro, and some sporty. Mostly using the front is well recognized, but they seemed to want people to NOT forget the rear brake. They do make a big point about rear lock-ups and high sides, so I see the concern there. Here a question though, if you have the rear wheel touching at all, won't it help in a critical situation? Even if it locks, you would try to ride it out. I'm a newbie without a doubt, but your suggesting not touching the rear brake goes against what many of us are taught in the MSF class. What you are saying is something MSF class suggests is wrong in some with some motorcycles, and they are not enlightening those who may well need that knowledge. Rarely would it be that they are teaching to a class of cruiser only riders. Do I need to get out and practice maximum stopping with only my front brakes? I've always done that with steady even pressure on the right hand followed by steady even pressure on the rear. When I say steady even pressure, I don't mean to suggest doing it slowly, just steady. Also, do they need to re-evaluate what they are teaching for safety sake?

I hope that doesn't come off hostile at all. I'm just confused about this thing I've spent a lot of time practicing. Also, I understand what you said about performace training, and it is what they suggest, I'm just questioning why they think new riders don't need to know this.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-23-2004, 10:06 AM
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From the MSF Rider's Handbook:

The best way to achieve maxumum braking is to apply both brakes fully without locking either wheel. Simultaneously squeeze the front brake lever and apply the rear brake pedal. Keep the body centered and look well ahead, not down; it helps you keep the motorcycle in a straight line.

And as a note, the handbook recognizes all body styles of bikes. Just to show you how clearly they pound the idea into your head as new rider.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-24-2004, 02:45 AM
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I think the MSF course is great for beginners. I sent my neighbor (a brand new rider) to it. First I gave him a copy of Keith Code's "A Twist of the Wrist", an awesome high performance riding / racing book. When he got to the class, he learned shifthing, clutch stuff, etc...VERY BASIC. When he told the instructor some of the stuff he learned, they had no clue. Just a bit advanced for street riders on Rebels...

The 75/25 (or whatever proportion they are teaching) is a good starting point. It will keep most out of trouble for average stops. But NOT for panic stops on a sportbike. This thread started because of a person who was deciding on which sportbike to buy because of rear brake action. In all of my racing years (since 1996, since 1998 as a Pro), I have never heard anyone complain about the rear brake. That's because MOST all don't use it. One can get SO MUCH out of the front, the rear if touched lightly will lock up. I know I would rather fully control / modulate the front since this does about ALL the work in a HARD stop. If you have time to modulate the rear while really working the front, you may be the next Nicky Hayden. He doesn't even use it to help slow down, just bring the rear around (locking it on purpose) to "back it in" to a corner. I say just focus on learning the full potential of the front.

There have been many times that I change tires on the morning of a race, go all day, then load the bike, use the rear to stop the bike in the trailer, and realize I never pumped it up after the tire change. The only time I use it is in the unfortunate "take to the grass evasive manuever"...The front brake does not like the grass / dirt! Rear brake here!

I may not be the fastest guy in the world, but I am pretty far over the average street guys skill. I put well over 100,000 miles on the street with never a tip-over (can't say the same on the track!). No MSF course for me! Just high performance / race schools for me...

Again, not saying the MSF practices are bad...Just VERY BASIC and for the masses out there...They don't take advantage of the true high-performnce sportbike in my opinion. They are conservative to keep the general population / average rider out of trouble. My neighbor was telling me of their experience...Not bad for a bunch of cruiser riders (in this case)...No racers or track riders in this group though. Not that we know all, but we know how to ride a SPORTBIKE to it's (almost all!) potential.

Good luck!

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