Street Skills Information to keep you from rashing your bike or yourself. Safe riding techniques only please.

If you have a mountain nearby....

  #1  
Old 04-25-2013, 11:07 AM
Gnarly 928's Avatar
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Default If you have a mountain nearby....

A really instructive/constructive thing to do is to start at the top and coast down, engine off. You can learn lots about the way your suspension works, your corner speeds, all kinds of bike handling skills.

If you have some steep corners and a long grade...your cornering and braking will improve as you repeat coasting descents, trying to maintain your best speeds.

( OK...don't tell me this is dangerous and stupid, everyone. You gotta use your brain, yes, to not make it so....and you must be on a good descent where traffic conditions premit this type of run....)
 
  #2  
Old 04-25-2013, 11:27 AM
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I think I remember seeing somewhere that it's illegal to do this, at least here it is.

I don't think it's good practice either. Coasting through turns without the gyroscopic effect of the engine and not using it to throttle steer through the turn teaches nothing. The bike was designed to rotate on a center axis by using the geometry and engine to get it to turn. Without the motor running, you're just along for a dangerous ride.

If anyone wants to learn how to turn better, practice by changing entrance and exits, rpms, throttle amounts and roll points, and body position. Use the same corner, making minor changes, and taking note of the effect.

Of course, a TRACK is the best place....

Just my 2 cents.
 

Last edited by 74demon; 04-25-2013 at 11:31 AM.
  #3  
Old 04-25-2013, 12:36 PM
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tour the smokey mountains!! woo hoo! mountain riding was and still is the way i continue to learn better riding skills for sure. learn something new every trip. we clocked 1500 miles in the smokeys this past weekend and monday. to add i dont even have to go over the speed limit up there to get a kneew down, and i meet a ton of other bikers at the same time. way cool
 
  #4  
Old 04-26-2013, 02:51 AM
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What Demon said!
 
  #5  
Old 04-26-2013, 09:04 AM
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[QUOTE=74demon;1229133]I think I remember seeing somewhere that it's illegal to do this, at least here it is.

I don't think it's good practice either. Coasting through turns without the gyroscopic effect of the engine and not using it to throttle steer through the turn teaches nothing. The bike was designed to rotate on a center axis by using the geometry and engine to get it to turn. Without the motor running, you're just along for a dangerous ride.

If anyone wants to learn how to turn better, practice by changing entrance and exits, rpms, throttle amounts and roll points, and body position. Use the same corner, making minor changes, and taking note of the effect.

Of course, a TRACK is the best place....
Just my 2 cents.[/QUOTe



Yeah, the track IS, by far, the best place to learn about your riding, no argument there.

The rest of it?

"without the motor running, you're just along for a dangerous ride"???? "....the bike was designed to use the engine to turn"...

Yes, the rotational forces of the engine are part of the normal controlling force of the bike...but you'll learn something by the feel of riding without the drive engaged...You may gain insight into what best to do WITH your motor, but first you must see what the motor is actually doing. Motorcycles turn just fine without the motor engaged.

You might want to try it before you accept such blanket statements as above...Go ahead, leave your motor running, if you feel more safe that way..Kick it into gear, if you decide you can't turn without it or you think you're into a "dangerous" situation that you decide your motor will get you turned out of better.....One short run will show you the bike is still pretty safe, without always being in gear.

Here's where I think you may gain some insight by doing some gravity runs....

You will learn to minimize over-braking for corners.

You will (probably) gain insight into how your body position and braking actually affects the suspension You can feel this a lot more clearly without the influence of the throttle.. You are eliminating the suspension input that is so often coming from "your right wrist" Simplifying the suspension inputs to what you can do with your body weight and your brakes, alone.
Conversely, you may pick up, more clearly, on what actually happens when you do get on and off the throttle as you ride...

If you have friends around you on other bikes as you do one of these coasting sessions, you will almost instantly see the results of over-braking or braking too early. You'll see them carry better speed the whole rest of the way down the grade..(until aerodynamic forces equalize) and you will not be able to just crank it and catch back, get back on their wheel, like 'normal'. You'll maybe learn about tucking in and sitting up...sliding forward and moving back...all this is easy to feel, to quantify when you don't have power under the right hand to make up for subtle 'mistakes'

Speaking of Aero, you might also learn one of the reasons to stick your knee out to the inside of turns...That actually does supply some aero turning force to the rider/bike...more than you might realize...

OK, disclaimer...suggesting anything on the Internet? Probably not a great idea because some dummy might say.. "___________ told me to do this and I hurt myself.....Waaaa!" So try this if you want...I found I learned a lot doing it...You may not.
 
  #6  
Old 04-26-2013, 10:29 AM
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I can for sure see how this can help you but still, go to the track... We don't race on the freeway and go 150+... We go to the track... Safer for you and everyone else and a track day is NOT that expensive
 
  #7  
Old 04-26-2013, 04:11 PM
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Keith Code, who has spent decades training riders, seems to think this can be a valuable exercise:

Keith Code: The Fine Art of Braking News Article :: MiniGPX.com
 
  #8  
Old 04-26-2013, 06:12 PM
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It's illegal to coast down a mountain in most states.

Ohio:
11-1108.Coasting prohibited
(a) The driver of any motor vehicle when traveling upon a down grade shall not coast with the gears or transmission of such vehicle in neutral.

California:
The driver of a motor vehicle when traveling on down grade upon any highway shall not coast with the gears of such vehicle in neutral.

CREDIT(S)

(Stats.1959, c. 3, p. 1683, 21710.)

Arizona:

28-895. Coasting prohibited
A. The driver of a motor vehicle traveling on a downgrade shall not coast with the gears of the vehicle in neutral.


Just to name a few...

Not to argue with Keith Code, (he did it 20 years ago and crashed), but I'm gonna say that a "heavy" turning bike with only tire grip to count on and altering all the force vectors that the bike was designed to turn with IS dangerous.

Besides, if you need to get it into gear at a high rate of speed, for whatever reason, the sequential gear transmission and rest of the bike won't be happy when you try to get it into 2nd.*

Do it if you want to, but I won't.
 

Last edited by 74demon; 04-26-2013 at 07:07 PM.
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