3. Quick Stops – higher speed braking
The goal is to stop as quickly and safely as you can without skidding either tire. However, when doing quick stops off street and you are on varied, loose surfaces, you will skid. Because you will skid when preforming quick stops off street, know that your total stopping distance is going to be greater than it would be if you were on the street with better traction. This is one of the reasons riders should manage their speeds more when riding off the street.
HOW TO PRACTICE
✦ First start with speeds at around 15 mph and once you’re proficient at 15 mph, then slowly build speeds up in small increments
✦ Pick a predetermined stopping point ahead and apply front and rear brake simultaneously along with squeezing the clutch lever. Stop as quickly and safely as possible without skidding either tire
✦ Squeeze the front brake smoothly and firmly, with increasing pressure
✦ As you start to slow, squeeze the front brake MORE, MORE, MORE (that’s what will stop you faster, keep increasing pressure on the front brake)
✦ Use light to lighter pressure on the rear brake, because as the weight transfers to the front, the rear-end gets lighter
✦ Get to first gear and come to a complete stop, if you don’t come to a complete stop, you won’t do it in the event of an emergency. We do what we practice
✦ Bars must be square, head level with the horizon and your eyes looking forward, knees tight to the tank
✦ Once stopped, left foot goes to the ground while keeping the right foot on the brake. When off street, there might be times you need to put your right foot down after coming to a complete stop as the terrain might be sloping away and make you drop the bike if you were to put your left foot down.
When it comes to off road quick stops, different curriculums teach different methods and over the years, I have found that practicing quick stops, whether I’m on the street or off the street, using the same method makes sense to me. It’s about muscle memory, and in the event, you must stop quickly, you want to be able to go right into the skill and not have to also be remembering what surface you are on. If you have ABS and other traction controls, play around with the different modes while on different types of surfaces and find out what works best for you. If the technology is there, use it. I find having ABS on is better for certain surfaces and ABS off for other surfaces. If you are riding more aggressive and want to be doing power slide turns, then of course, you’d want your ABS off. But for normal riding, whether it’s on or off the street, for me, having ABS on makes a lot of sense. Now, when it comes to rougher terrain and hills, turning the ABS off will help manage those kinds of conditions better. The bottom line is to play with your modes (if you have them) and find out what works for you. Understanding your bike and how it works is extremely important for you managing your bike.
Colleen, Professional Traffic Safety Instructor for Total Control