trail braking v. "quick flick" - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-15-2002, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
 
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trail braking v. "quick flick"

While flagging at a couple TPM track days I noticed that the fast guys were trail braking more than other riders. While at a CA SBK school, one lesson we did was the "quick flick" in which turn-in is done very quickly rather than gradually feeding in countersteer. I noticed that for a given speed thru a given turn, lean angle was much less using quick flick.
My question is, assuming my understanding of this techniques is correct, should the two techniques be combined? If so, I'm worried about overwhelming the traction offered by my street tires (pilot sports). Should one even be trail braking on street tires?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-15-2002, 09:56 AM
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I personally think that the methods or style you use is what is most comfortable for you. Some styles work better for some and worse for others. That's why you have different rider schools/racer schools with different philosophies.

I personally negotiate each turn and do combinations of *quick-flick* and trail-braking. On my last trackday, I was testing my new racebike, which is a '00 ZX-6R, bone stock... from headlights to suspension, to tires (well, street tires: D207ZR). Trail-braking was not an issues, as much as the suspension and brakes. My brakes were overheating and faded really early on. The suspension was also stock and unworked... so it had a hard time staying with the track.

But the question is the tires, right? The tires shouldn't be a problem. You may do some sliding with street tires on the track (especially when you're loading up the tires: accelerating, leaning, and braking, all at once), but that would be expected, even with race tires.

To me, trail-braking is much safer ( <--- safe rider). The bike is leaned over for a longer period of time, but it is a nice constant motion, vs quick-flick, you have less hang time, but the lean angles are much greater and much more abrupt. There's a time and place for each method.

I hope that helps. I need to learn myself, so any other words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-16-2002, 04:19 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks much for the info.

Regarding your statement: "To me, trail-braking is much safer ( <--- safe rider). The bike is leaned over for a longer period of time, but it is a nice constant motion, vs quick-flick, you have less hang time, but the lean angles are much greater and much more abrupt."

I was under the impression that lean angle is less when using quick flick. Is this incorrect? But I definitely see your point about it being abrupt.

Thanks again

Jake
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-16-2002, 04:46 AM
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you think trail braking is safer? i never liked it. it always makes me feel like i'm gonna tuck the front. of course that is with a 110 street tire.

Tony

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-16-2002, 05:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by hegemon jake

I was under the impression that lean angle is less when using quick flick. Is this incorrect? But I definitely see your point about it being abrupt.
From what I remember of code (from 92 so may be a bit different or foggy) is he's trying to get you to get to FULL lean faster so you don't waste lap time slowly approaching the lean angle required to get through a turn. you are braking up to the point at which you turn in. So overall he's trying to sepparate the two actions so you can brake full on (and thus carry more average speed) and then lean in very fast allowing you to go deeper into the corner.

I don't believe however that you use less lean angle with this technique.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-16-2002, 06:51 AM
 
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I was curious about the exact same thing. Personally I never like touching my brakes in a corner, I'm a firm believer in getting set up ahead of time for the corner, braking hard and maybe late (but never trail braking), flicking it over and then rolling on the throttle thru the corner and accelerating descently out of the corner. I've been noticing in the races though that you often hear about some of the riders trail braking. I was curious so I asked a friend of mine who also happends to be one of the lead instructors at the CA Superbike School (Jason Padden) about it. He believes the same as me. Get all of your braking done before the corner. Trail braking suits a very specific type of rider usually (especially in racing), the guys who like to slip out the rear-end a little in corners. Most of the racers that ride that way are former dirt track racers and are completely comfortable riding sideways and slipping the rear out. It looks cool as hell on TV but it doens't neccesarily work any better. Want a great example, watch any of the AMA and especially SBK races and you'll notice that the guys who like to trail brake hard and often and slide around corners do awesome at the beginning of the races. But at around lap 15 or so their tires start paying the price and they usually start to slip back a bit. Some riders are known to be "sliders", the Bostrom brothers and Noriyuka Haga are some of the best examples of this. For street riding, I'd seperate braking and turning, there's no real need to make your riding any more complex....KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) is what I live by...lol
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-16-2002, 08:08 AM
 
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I don't think there's any one right way. Through the years no one style has proven to be the best. Although diffrent bikes and set-ups work better with specific styles.

A perfect example is with Doug Chandler, look how he has struggled with the ZX-7RR over the past couple years, now on the Duc he can ride to suit his style and run up near the front.

When I was racing I used to trail the front heavily(my fronts usually looked like hamburger while my rear showed little wear in comparison), I began experimenting with diffrent fork heights on my ZX-7 for quicker turn in and I couldn't get it to work for my style, I would tuck my front.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-16-2002, 08:22 AM
 
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I think the combination of the two is obviously the answer. You HAVE to be comfortable reaching full lean as fast as you can smoothly. At the same time if you can't trail brake you lose the ability to fine tune your entry speeds. And if you try to do the quick turn in with out some trail braking your going to lose the smoothness required to keep the front end planted as you go from hard brakes to no brakes.

I think of it this way. At the end of braking your front is really compressed. Under hard cornering the G's are gonna compress the front also although not as much. If you trail brake just right the front will extend to the position you're about to corner at and not have to 'over' extend and then recompress and thus you will be perfectly smooth in transition from braking to cornering.

EVERYONE agrees that smooth counts so......???????????
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-16-2002, 08:38 AM
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don't think there's any right way either. i think it depends on what you're comfortable with.

i think background has a lot to do with it too. dirt guys are usually moving around. i came from a little bike where scrubbing off speed by letting a bike move around hurts. then you have guys who start racing on a big bike.

moto, did you start racing on a big bike? my two friend both started racing on a gsxr750. they both would wear the crap out of the front. my fronts and rears usually look about the same.

the great riders are the ones like valentino rossi who can adapt his style to best suit the bike he's riding.

Tony

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-16-2002, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by apexismaximus
EVERYONE agrees that smooth counts so......???????????
If there was one thing all of these schools/racers have in common (regardless of philosophy), everyone preaches being smooth.

I agree with you, gents (just a formality ), it's all up to what you are comfortable with, and situation.

For years, I was not comfortable with trail braking... heck, I couldn't even grasp the concept until I sat in a class (called, The Art and Science of Road Racing), where they explained and compared the concepts of:
- Late Braking (the infamous, "I out-braked that other guy!")
- Early Braking (the infamous, "I smoked him, coming out of the corner!")
- Trail Braking (where "breaks on/gas off, breaks off/gas on" doesn't really exist)

Long story short, turns out, neither one of these techniques are any faster than the next. I like trail braking because it is the "smoothest" of the three techniques, hence that's why I feel it is safer.

I also find that you greatly reduce the "$HIT factor":
- "oh $hit! I'm coming in too hot"
- "oh $hit, too much brakes" or "oh $hit, not enough brakes!"
- "$hit! I could have gotten on the gas earlier"
- "<sniff sniff> "I $hit my pants" (related to #1)

I got finally got used to trail braking and started to understand why most of the fast racers and magazine test riders can praise or complain about brake fade on certain bikes, and started going through pads and rotors .

Quote:
Originally posted by dus10reed
... I'm a firm believer in getting set up ahead of time for the corner...
Definately, set up before the corner... even before you start braking.

Last edited by DaDuck748; 04-16-2002 at 09:28 AM.
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