Stopping –what works for me. - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 9 Old Nov 24th, 2006, 3:58 pm Thread Starter
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Stopping –what works for me.

Before I begin this, I just want to say I know the generally accepted method for stopping is-
• Come to a halt using mostly the rear brake
• Tip the bike slightly to the left at the finish and, at the same moment, put down my lift foot

Simple – right?

Well - for me, the LT is a different animal. Under certain circumstances, the generally prescribed method just isn’t the complete answer. Those of you who have made a hundred of picture perfect stops only to discover a surprise on the hundred and first, know the issue.

Some time ago I started putting both feet down in the last few feet when stopping and was surprised to find how much more stable the whole stopping procedure seemed to feel. Stopping the last few feet using only the front brake isn’t a problem on the LT. With other bikes I’ve had, diving would be a problem – especially with my previously owned GWs.

The leg position on an LT is quite high with both feet on the pegs. It seems that with both legs down (only in the last 3 to 6 feet) the center of gravity is lowered substantially.

Since I’ve adopted this “two leg” stopping practice, my stops have been more sure and controlled – even with a passenger and luggage.

Smith
Greensboro, NC
’05 Dark Graphite
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post #2 of 9 Old Nov 24th, 2006, 4:29 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smith
Before I begin this, I just want to say I know the generally accepted method for stopping is-
• Come to a halt using mostly the rear brake
• Tip the bike slightly to the left at the finish and, at the same moment, put down my lift foot

Simple – right?

Well - for me, the LT is a different animal. Under certain circumstances, the generally prescribed method just isn’t the complete answer. Those of you who have made a hundred of picture perfect stops only to discover a surprise on the hundred and first, know the issue.

Some time ago I started putting both feet down in the last few feet when stopping and was surprised to find how much more stable the whole stopping procedure seemed to feel. Stopping the last few feet using only the front brake isn’t a problem on the LT. With other bikes I’ve had, diving would be a problem – especially with my previously owned GWs.

The leg position on an LT is quite high with both feet on the pegs. It seems that with both legs down (only in the last 3 to 6 feet) the center of gravity is lowered substantially.

Since I’ve adopted this “two leg” stopping practice, my stops have been more sure and controlled – even with a passenger and luggage.

Smith
Greensboro, NC
’05 Dark Graphite
Do whatever works and is comfortable! I never subscribed to the "left foot down" only method, as I seemed to stop with right foot down more than the left. I always stopped in the mode that fit the circumstances, and was not going to get caught up in a "proper" procedure with the top heavy LT. A forced habit like that can get you in trouble when the big lady does not quite agree. Usually, no matter which foot went down first, the other usually followed as soon as the bike stopped.

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David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
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post #3 of 9 Old Nov 24th, 2006, 4:46 pm
 
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My hard rule is simple: When the bike is in motion, no matter the speed, both feet are on the pegs. But that's what works for me. If you want to lower you feet, have at it. Just be extra careful when approaching intersections that have that wide painted crosswalk, and there's water or oil on it. Even though the LT has ABS, if you're only using the front brake, and it slides just a little bit, you may not be able to keep the LT from falling over. This wouldn't happen if the braking was happening at the rear tire. Food for thought.
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post #4 of 9 Old Nov 24th, 2006, 4:48 pm
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Actually, I've always depended on the front brake to do most of the stopping, but taper off the front and stop the last couple of feet with mostly the rear. Unless it's what is sometimes called a "panic" stop, then it's full application of whatever is available until the beast stops rolling!
But I've never leaned the bike one way or the other at the end. When stopped, I clamp down on the front brake and put both feet down. I know this isn't the MSF-approved procedure, but the bike stays stable and I'm more comfortable.
In short, whatever works best for you is usually best for you.
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post #5 of 9 Old Nov 24th, 2006, 6:22 pm
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Do yourself a favor and take that ERC. I did and its great.
You want to work toward that proper breaking process where you end up with your left foot down, your right foot on the break, your clutch in, you right hand on the throttle and in gear. That way every limb is on the job and you are prepared. Ya, sure you may not be able to do it every time especially at first, but the more you practice the easier it will be.

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post #6 of 9 Old Nov 25th, 2006, 3:27 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwnahas
Do yourself a favor and take that ERC. I did and its great.
You want to work toward that proper breaking process where you end up with your left foot down, your right foot on the break, your clutch in, you right hand on the throttle and in gear. That way every limb is on the job and you are prepared. Ya, sure you may not be able to do it every time especially at first, but the more you practice the easier it will be.
This always sounds like a prescribed procedure, but it works! As Michael says, the more you use it the easier it becomes until it's like changing gears - you don't think about it. I use the stopping procedure after being taught it, and realise that the instructors must know a bit about bike riding or they wouldn't be doing it!

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post #7 of 9 Old Nov 25th, 2006, 6:26 am
 
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The 'left foot down' procedure is good if you ride on the right side of the road. If you ride on the left ( correct side ) you often have the road camber falling away from you.
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post #8 of 9 Old Nov 25th, 2006, 5:28 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smith
Before I begin this, I just want to say I know the generally accepted method for stopping is-
• Come to a halt using mostly the rear brake
• Tip the bike slightly to the left at the finish and, at the same moment, put down my lift foot

Simple – right?

Well - for me, the LT is a different animal. Under certain circumstances, the generally prescribed method just isn’t the complete answer. Those of you who have made a hundred of picture perfect stops only to discover a surprise on the hundred and first, know the issue.

Some time ago I started putting both feet down in the last few feet when stopping and was surprised to find how much more stable the whole stopping procedure seemed to feel. Stopping the last few feet using only the front brake isn’t a problem on the LT. With other bikes I’ve had, diving would be a problem – especially with my previously owned GWs.

The leg position on an LT is quite high with both feet on the pegs. It seems that with both legs down (only in the last 3 to 6 feet) the center of gravity is lowered substantially.

Since I’ve adopted this “two leg” stopping practice, my stops have been more sure and controlled – even with a passenger and luggage.

Smith
Greensboro, NC
’05 Dark Graphite
I have to disagree with your generally accepted method for stopping. If you're only using the rear brake you're only using 15-20% of the bike's available stopping power. This make s for very long stopping distances. The generally accepted stopping method for just about every rider I know is to use mostly front brake, and ultimately both brakes when coming to a stop.

Now, if you're saying this is the method for your 05 LT then you are using bith front and rear brakes since they are linked. But you should get in the habit of using the front brake lever mainly since most bikes don't have this feature. If not your method will transfer to very long and unsafe stops on other bikes since you will have a greater liklihood of locking the rear wheel and going down, not to mention the inability to atop in time in many situations.

As for which foot to put down, I'm an "either one" guy it depends on where I'm stopping and the conditions at that location. Ony thing I don't recommend is the "leg dangle" as you approach a stop. It actually rasies the center of gravity since you unload the weight on the pegs (low on the bike) and transfer 100% of your body weight to being suported by the seat (higher on the bike). All of this destabilizes you on the bike, remove the ability to use the rear brake to aid in the stop, and limits your ability to respond to a surprise or panic situation at the end of your stop (not to mention it makes you look like an amateur ). Keep both feet on the pegs as you make the stop, use both brakes, and when the bike is at the point of coming to a complete stop, put one or both feet down as it does.

And yes, take an ERC course as others have suggested. You will get a great deal of useful knowledge from it.

David Taylor
San Jose, CA
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post #9 of 9 Old Nov 26th, 2006, 6:52 pm
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I feel far more comfortable using both brakes most of the time when first starting the stopping procedure. Then when it comes closer to the time to stop, I pretty much transfer to the front brake only with little pressure. I will then shift to foot brake, left foot down in neutral until the light is about to turn. That way, I can release my hands since my right hand has a tendency to go a little numb after holding the throttle for a long time. It is that age thing again.

But, it works for me.
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