Never slam the front brake while in a turn!

Being on the road, we learn something new all the time. Share the knowlege of your experiences.
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I ride: 1993 Vulcan EN500A4
Location: Union City, NJ

Never slam the front brake while in a turn!

Postby KPetric85 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:33 am

When I was just learning to ride, I was getting used to the friction zone. I've never ridden a bike or driven a manual car before this. It was, literally, the first day (perhaps within the first 2 hours of sitting on the bike). At the time I had no license and was still waiting to start the MSF course. I felt comfortable getting into first gear riding around a parking lot, so I decided it's a brilliant idea for me to take it down the street and back. I get out of the parking lot and drive down about 2 blocks without a problem. I still wasn't used to making tight turns (ie. a U-turn) so I stopped and began to do a K-turn. The street has a high crest so when I backed up I ended up stuck in the gutter. Not knowing I had to rev a little more to get started going up the hill, I kept stalling out. Then after about 5 or so stalls, I gun it and release the clutch, sending me head on toward a parked car across the street. Heres where I learn my first lesson. I was trying desperately to turn, but my eyes were fixed on the car so I continued on that trajectory, despite having the handle bars turned and in a slight lean. Second lesson. Right before I hit the car I slammed on the brakes, mostly the front brake, and just like that the bike dropped and I went with it. Third lesson, haha. The bike was on top of my left leg while my other leg got scorched by the exhaust because I was wearing shorts. I got the bike off of me and picked it up, I didn't hit the car. The only damage on the bike was a slight dent on the tank, I was probably going like 10-15 mph so it wasn't bad, but my pride was bruised lol. I got back on it and rode it to the parking lot and didn't take it back on the street till weeks later when I became more confident riding, turning, and all (and I had my endorsement and finished the MSF course). Haven't dropped the bike or had close calls since.

My lessons:
Don't get cocky the first few times you get on.

Look through your turn, keep your eyes on the point of exit.

Don't slam your front brake while leaning, you can apply a little on the rear, but generally you should slow down enough before the turn and accelerate through.

DON'T WEAR SHORTS WHEN RIDING! You can end up with a pretty bad burn scar across your leg or worse, you can get skin graphs from your butt to replace the missing pieces lol.

1993 Kawasaki Vulcan EN500A4

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Re: Never slam the front brake while in a turn!

Postby DaisyField » Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:00 am

I did something similar WHILE in the MSF class. Went down with everyone in the class watching. Somehow, I passed and got my endorsement anyway. I still remember just how scary and out of control I felt. Even without pulling the brake, just turning the front wheel while stopping can put you down likkity split. (That would be another lesson learned.)
I swear... I only ride to save gas. (If you believe that I have a deal on a bridge for you.)

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Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:06 pm
I ride: 2005 Vulcan 1989 Pacific Coast

Re: Never slam the front brake while in a turn!

Postby JWR » Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:20 am

KPetric85 wrote:
Look through your turn, keep your eyes on the point of exit.


You may need to remind yourself of this every time you ride.
This is the only way to miss something in the road, if you focus on it, you will hit it.

The clutch, brake, and gas all come natural.

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