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post #1 of 24 Old Oct 16th, 2012, 8:36 am Thread Starter
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The Front Brake

Have only owned the LT for a little over a month and thought I had gotten used to the front brake and the wheel needing to be straight/square. This past weekend was riding and came to a stop sign where the road is not perpendicular, so you need to angle in a little. Well as I do on all stops the last few feet of the stop are done with the front brake......bam, the bike is on it's side, with my foot underneath.

What is it with the front brakes that makes it drop like a rock? I mean all stops are not the same and you need to go one way or the other before the final stop. Can this be adjusted some? I love this bike but this front brake is too much.

As a result of the drop I mentioned above, I will be off the LT for at least a month with 3 broken bones in my foot.


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post #2 of 24 Old Oct 16th, 2012, 9:42 am
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Talking Re: The Front Brake

REAR brake ONLY while completing a stop. At least this is true on my '03 LT w/integrated brakes..

I think it's just a learning thing with this bike.

You're gonna LOVE that front brake when you really have to stop. They work!

I remember the first power brakes on cars. One just barely touched the brake pedal and the tires squalled.

Just my .02's


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Due to heart health, the Dr says not to ride under 40 degree air temp. Ugh! Now it is harder to get my 18000 miles a year in just in the summer. Guess that stopped my 20 degree rides now.
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post #3 of 24 Old Oct 16th, 2012, 9:58 am
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Re: The Front Brake

The technique I use is: Slow down until almost a full stop, keep the right foot on the peg and use the rear brake, slightly counter steer to the right so the bike will gently lean to the left, put my left foot down as I come to a complete stop, still in first gear with the clutch in.
Full stop with 3 points, both wheels and my left foot, on the ground, and my eyes peeled on the rear view mirrors.
I typically remain in first gear at red lights unless it is a really long one and there already a vehicle fully stopped behind me.
This technique can be reversed if the road is angled to the left: I put my right foot down and keep the left on the peg.

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post #4 of 24 Old Oct 16th, 2012, 10:31 am
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Re: The Front Brake

I do not use the rear brake - come to stop with both feet down - even stop her with wheel turned - really have to pay attention to road conditions and balance

only had the LT for a year dropped it once which is actually a lot less than all the other bikes I've had, at least the LT stops (like an R) before it ends up totally on it's side like a K100 or K1100 with the wheels 10 inches off the ground

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post #5 of 24 Old Oct 16th, 2012, 10:45 am
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Re: The Front Brake

Hmmm, I use BOTH (unlinked) brakes to slow down, and the front brake for literally the last couple of inches to stop completely. I always seem to end up with only my right leg down since it just seems to feel correct and is probably stronger than my left - and I can find an un-oiled dry spot easily for my boot. Stopping with both legs down feels very awkward to me. Kind of like having "training wheels", although when riding two up I do it all the time for the extra stability.

Never been an issue in 12 years of riding LT's.

I've never gotten around to finding out the recommended (as in MSF) way to stop, is there one?


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post #6 of 24 Old Oct 16th, 2012, 11:28 am Thread Starter
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Re: The Front Brake

I think you guys are missing my point or maybe I didn't put it the right way....actual point where you come to a stop is a matter of "what feels right to each".....mine is to gear down, then use rear and front, take both feet off and use the hand brake for the final stop. Even if I wanted to, not sure this is something that can be changed.....been doing it this way, as far as I know, all my life. it's just never been an issue before.

my point....if you come to a road where you will make a right(or left, doesn't matter), you naturally roll to the stop while at the same time roll the bike to the right...with the technique i use for the final stop, I'm in danger. Can the front brake be tweaked for not so much grab?


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2003 K1200LT-E
1993 HD Fatboy...Gone, But not Forgotten
2000 Honda Gold Wing/Motor Trike Conv.
MOA #186960

Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me; I want people to know 'why' I look this way.
I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.
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Last edited by FrankNitti; Oct 16th, 2012 at 11:44 am.
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post #7 of 24 Old Oct 16th, 2012, 11:30 am Thread Starter
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Re: The Front Brake

also...Ron, what do you mean when you say "unlinked" ?


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2003 K1200LT-E
1993 HD Fatboy...Gone, But not Forgotten
2000 Honda Gold Wing/Motor Trike Conv.
MOA #186960

Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me; I want people to know 'why' I look this way.
I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.
Will Rogers
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post #8 of 24 Old Oct 16th, 2012, 12:09 pm
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Re: The Front Brake




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post #9 of 24 Old Oct 16th, 2012, 12:47 pm
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Re: The Front Brake

Ron has the older version where the brakes are not linked and can be operated independantly.

It is not the brakes that cause the fall but the front suspension design. The telelever does not allow the front to dive under braking as the conventional fork based suspension does. Since it does not dive that energy must go somewhere and if the front wheel is not straight that is where it goes - off to the side.

I only plop one foot down and use the rear brake for the final stop and the foot is on the ground as I stop. Thats not to say there are not some intersections and stops where I don't look so confident and poised but rather flail a bit trying to keep the old gal upright.

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post #10 of 24 Old Oct 16th, 2012, 12:52 pm
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Re: The Front Brake

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankNitti
my point....if you come to a road where you will make a right(or left, doesn't matter), you naturally roll to the stop while at the same time roll the bike to the right...with the technique i use for the final stop, I'm in danger. Can the front brake be tweaked for not so much grab?
defensive driving in a 4 wheeled vehicle calls for stopping front wheels straight center of lane - that way if you are rear ended less likely to also be involved in a head on since you should go straight and not turn into oncoming traffic - out of habit I have always stopped the bike that way and when safe to go turned the wheel to make my turn
the power brakes are more sensitive to control than the non power brakes on the early LT's, I test drove one before I bought my 2K and they seemed quite sensitive at low speed

Gary
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post #11 of 24 Old Oct 16th, 2012, 1:11 pm
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Re: The Front Brake

Benny, I hear ya, I see you. I was a trainer for many years. Your model, though great for hard braking is very sensitive for the light braking and tight manuvering due to the power assist. You will become more accustom to them with more saddle time on your bike. What Jon said about the geometry of the front suspension is right but nothing you can do about that. What you are doing, from your description, from years of riding other type of bikes is preparing your up coming turn prior to stopping. In my experience the LT needs to stop upright and straight, she becomes difficult when in any other position. Also, I suppose technically your stop should be done without pre-turn setup. The turn can and should be done after the stop and during "take off, roll out". She is so capable once rolling that a set up for your turn is not needed. Other bikes are half the wieght of the LT and coming to a stop with the front wheel slightly turned setting up your turn is possible. Not so on the LT, unless you are capable of adjusting and holding her up.

Heal up, be patient, more saddle time. The LT is not as forgiving as your HD.

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post #12 of 24 Old Oct 16th, 2012, 1:19 pm
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Re: The Front Brake

Sorry Benny, I got carried away, The "Tweek", only done with your right hand. No mechanical adjustment available that I know of.

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post #13 of 24 Old Oct 16th, 2012, 3:42 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The Front Brake

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebear695
Benny, I hear ya, I see you. I was a trainer for many years. Your model, though great for hard braking is very sensitive for the light braking and tight manuvering due to the power assist. You will become more accustom to them with more saddle time on your bike. What Jon said about the geometry of the front suspension is right but nothing you can do about that. What you are doing, from your description, from years of riding other type of bikes is preparing your up coming turn prior to stopping. In my experience the LT needs to stop upright and straight, she becomes difficult when in any other position. Also, I suppose technically your stop should be done without pre-turn setup. The turn can and should be done after the stop and during "take off, roll out". She is so capable once rolling that a set up for your turn is not needed. Other bikes are half the wieght of the LT and coming to a stop with the front wheel slightly turned setting up your turn is possible. Not so on the LT, unless you are capable of adjusting and holding her up.

Heal up, be patient, more saddle time. The LT is not as forgiving as your HD.
It just seems so awkward to me, but if all I have to do is keep it straight...to keep it upright.......That Was Easy

......more embarrassing than anything, yep, there was a long line of traffic behind me......picked it and rode it home


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2000 Honda Gold Wing/Motor Trike Conv.
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Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me; I want people to know 'why' I look this way.
I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.
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post #14 of 24 Old Oct 16th, 2012, 5:39 pm
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Re: The Front Brake

For what it's worth (if anything) I believe the falls usually occur in the same direction the wheel is turned, suggesting that the foot is just coming down too late. Anyway, that's how it felt the last time I did it. Also it is useful to remember that any slope in the roadbed which is not parallel to your direction of travel always calls for the foot to be placed on the high side of the bike. The LT sets high, and placing the foot down on the low side is an invitation to immediate negative reinforcement.


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post #15 of 24 Old Oct 16th, 2012, 5:42 pm
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Re: The Front Brake

The other tip that should be mentioned is that with a bike this heavy, when it starts
To go over, realize that you cannot stop it, so just step out of it's
Way so you don't get squished. Then pick it up after.

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post #16 of 24 Old Oct 16th, 2012, 10:58 pm
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Re: The Front Brake

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankNitti
What is it with the front brakes that makes it drop like a rock? I mean all stops are not the same and you need to go one way or the other before the final stop. Can this be adjusted some? I love this bike but this front brake is too much.
First, sorry about your mishap. Hope you get healed up quickly and can get back in the saddle as soon as possible.

As for the brakes, the servo-assist brakes may be what's eating your lunch. My 2000 model does not have the servo-assist and the brakes are simply good, strong and easy to modulate. I've heard other LT riders refer to the servo-assist brakes as the "automatic parking feature".

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post #17 of 24 Old Oct 17th, 2012, 11:16 am
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Re: The Front Brake

Would adjusting the "throw" on the brake lever help? I think there are four positions available and that could be just the ticket to more accurate/better modulation.


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post #18 of 24 Old Oct 17th, 2012, 3:45 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The Front Brake

Quote:
Originally Posted by casualemt
The other tip that should be mentioned is that with a bike this heavy, when it starts
To go over, realize that you cannot stop it, so just step out of it's
Way so you don't get squished. Then pick it up after.
that's exactly what happened, thought I'd be "macho man" and keepo it upright. If I had just got out of the way all that would be hurt is my pride.

I'm a noob to this bike so some of the terms that are thrown out, I don't get.....with that said, Ron the "throw" you are speaking of in the brake lever, is this the width the lever is from the grip when at rest? If so it's where just the first knuckle fits the lever, same as all others.

Thanks again for the well wishes........ain't no stinking broken bones stopping me

I will prevail.


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2000 Honda Gold Wing/Motor Trike Conv.
MOA #186960

Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me; I want people to know 'why' I look this way.
I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.
Will Rogers
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post #19 of 24 Old Oct 17th, 2012, 11:59 pm
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Re: The Front Brake

Throw may be a new jargon for me as well. It means the circular dial you have on the brake and clutch levers. When adjusted the location of the lever remains the same but the position it engages the fluids changes. So if you prefer the clutch to engage closer to the handle vs away from the handle. Similar for the brake lever.

I dropped mine 2 days after getting it but was lucky to not harm myself physically. it was outside my office when my friends had gathered to see the bike. The ego was hurt enough to ensure that after 18 months of owning it and adding about 30k miles i still am not confident of stopping it safely. I do not plan on gaining this comfort because i think the fear of dropping it again keeps me attentive to stop it the right way. The right way has become the natural way and it looks elegant too.

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post #20 of 24 Old Oct 18th, 2012, 2:53 pm
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Re: The Front Brake

The common terminology is 'adjustable reach'.

When changing the number on the adjustment dial, it should change the resting position of the lever with respect to the handgrip. Placing it further out can give better modulation since your are using your fingertips with better fine motor control than your entire finger. But the downside is a quick/panicked grab will give an overabundance of brake.

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post #21 of 24 Old Oct 18th, 2012, 4:19 pm
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Re: The Front Brake

Just out of curiosity (and if you remember), where were your eyes focused when you went down? I would be willing to wager that they were aligned with your path of 'parking'. It may just be me, but it seems that my LT follows my eyes much more so than my R1200C. I have trained myself to keep my eyes up and ahead as I roll to a stop, I check the slope of the land and road conditions on approach. Then, as mentioned before, I make my turn set up in the first few feet of rolling.

Glad to hear that this setback has not deterred your resolve, the LT is a rewarding ride.
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post #22 of 24 Old Oct 18th, 2012, 7:11 pm
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Re: The Front Brake

Quote:
Originally Posted by LTFan
Throw may be a new jargon for me as well. It means the circular dial you have on the brake and clutch levers. When adjusted the location of the lever remains the same but the position it engages the fluids changes. So if you prefer the clutch to engage closer to the handle vs away from the handle. Similar for the brake lever.
Now I will have to take a tape measure and check as I am pretty sure that changing the dial moves the lever farther away or closer to the grip, but I am not 100% sure.

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post #23 of 24 Old Oct 18th, 2012, 11:37 pm
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Re: The Front Brake

Yes, unless you are a stunt rider or have been to some advanced school such as police motorcycle certification, where you look is where you ride. Want to improve your turn radius? Go practice in a large parking lot and physically turn your head the direction of the U-turn, looking as far over your shoulder as possible.


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post #24 of 24 Old Oct 19th, 2012, 12:38 am
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Re: The Front Brake

I find that a combination of keeping it upright and pointing straight ahead and using only one (1) finger on the front brake lever, seems to work for me. OK, I usually have more than one finger on the brake lever, but at slow speeds I squeeze it like it was a soap bubble. No jerking, ever!

I move the lever back until the slack is out of it, then add and release pressure gently, and I find that I have developed a really good feel for slow speed braking over time.

I have tried using only foot pressure, but my size 13s do not have the necessary delicate touch and the linked brakes react by applying both too quickly...

If necessary, move the bars around to keep it upright, but don't apply the brake until you have it steadied up - unless you are about to run out of room too!

This is different, of course, from slowing to a complete stop.
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