ABS vs. rear brake - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 43 Old Mar 4th, 2017, 5:22 pm Thread Starter
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ABS vs. rear brake

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I've been reading through my manual for my r1200rt and found the ABS part. I have a question: if, when you use the hand brake it brakes the front and back wheel, then is there any need to use the back brake at all?


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post #2 of 43 Old Mar 4th, 2017, 6:30 pm
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

I have a 2008 with the second ABS version.
I find a finger alone on front brakes works fine except for emergency conditions or sandy, wet surfaces, I know cause I can feel the anti release on the rear but rarely on the front.
Mark
PS I love the way they work!

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Attachment 123282

I've been reading through my manual for my r1200rt and found the ABS part. I have a question: if, when you use the hand brake it brakes the front and back wheel, then is there any need to use the back brake at all?


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post #3 of 43 Old Mar 5th, 2017, 7:21 am
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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Originally Posted by Dorfnarr View Post
Attachment 123282

I've been reading through my manual for my r1200rt and found the ABS part. I have a question: if, when you use the hand brake it brakes the front and back wheel, then is there any need to use the back brake at all?


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I use the rear brake exclusively while doing slow speed maneuvers. Using the rear brake you can keep the rpms up to drive the rear wheel and increase the bikes stability.
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post #4 of 43 Old Mar 5th, 2017, 8:54 am
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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Originally Posted by Dorfnarr View Post
Attachment 123282

I've been reading through my manual for my r1200rt and found the ABS part. I have a question: if, when you use the hand brake it brakes the front and back wheel, then is there any need to use the back brake at all?


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Absolutely!

Most of the times you can get away with using the front brake lever only, since that will activate both front and rear brakes in a fixed proportion. HOWEVER, IMHO it is important for us riders to stay with the habits from the "old school" riding of using both brakes (front lever as well as foot pedal) all the time. Why? In emergencies, one's reflex tends to be the same as what one normally do, and if one usually use just the front lever, then that is what would likely be used in sudden emergency situation!

So, what's wrong with that, if both brakes are applied with just the front lever? I had posted my close-call story in another thread a while back, and I won't repeat it now, but the gist of it was that I had to brake really hard, from about 50 mph, or hit the side of a minivan that had turned in front of me. The braking was so hard and sudden that the rear of my RT got very light, as the weight got transferred forward, and the back end started into a fish-tailing. That would have been fatal, unless it was brought under control, and to get it under control I actually decreased the pressure on the front brake lever and increase the pressure on the foot pedal, and the combination got some weight back onto the rear wheel. This is the reaction that I would have done on "un-linked" brakes, but it does work on the linked brakes of the RT. I got out of that incident without hitting anything, but I could have been tossed right off the bike if the fish-tailing was allowed to progressed!

This is why I recommend using both brakes as a habit, and if you have never made an "emergency" stops, go and find an empty parking lot and practice! It might save your neck one day!
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post #5 of 43 Old Mar 5th, 2017, 9:14 am
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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I use the rear brake exclusively while doing slow speed maneuvers. Using the rear brake you can keep the rpms up to drive the rear wheel and increase the bikes stability.
Ahhhh.......let me set you straight, Ed! That doesn't work on the RT, or Goldwing, or ST1300, or Moto Guzzi, and other bikes with similar characteristics!

The technique is taught in "Ride Like a Pro" classes, and it uses the "gyroscopic" effect (flywheel effect, to us mechanical engineers) of the rotating parts of the engine to help to stabilize the bike. Works like a charm on the typical V-twins, or the straight 4 or 6 of our "K" bikes, BUT the RT and the other bikes that I mentioned above (plus more that I had not mentioned) is different, and that technique doesn't work, and actually works against stabilizing the bike to some degree! What is different? The boxer engine (and those other bikes) have the crankshaft running fore-and-aft of the bike rather than in the transverse direction of a typical V-twins! The gyroscopic effect acts on the axis of rotation, and that is why that technique will not work on our RTs! It can actually make the stability a little worse than keeping the rpm very low (as low as possible) if you take into account Newton's 3rd law - to very action there is an equal and opposite reaction - the act of turning the rotating mass over causes a reactional force to try to turn the bike over in the opposite direction! Prove it for yourself by simply putting your transmission in neutral, with foot (feet, if you like) on the ground, and rev up the engine. You will feel the bike trying to heel over in the direction that opposes the engine's rotation!

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post #6 of 43 Old Mar 5th, 2017, 9:35 am
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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Originally Posted by PadG View Post
Ahhhh.......let me set you straight, Ed! That doesn't work on the RT, or Goldwing, or ST1300, or Moto Guzzi, and other bikes with similar characteristics!

The technique is taught in "Ride Like a Pro" classes, and it uses the "gyroscopic" effect (flywheel effect, to us mechanical engineers) of the rotating parts of the engine to help to stabilize the bike. Works like a charm on the typical V-twins, or the straight 4 or 6 of our "K" bikes, BUT the RT and the other bikes that I mentioned above (plus more that I had not mentioned) is different, and that technique doesn't work, and actually works against stabilizing the bike to some degree! What is different? The boxer engine (and those other bikes) have the crankshaft running fore-and-aft of the bike rather than in the transverse direction of a typical V-twins! The gyroscopic effect acts on the axis of rotation, and that is why that technique will not work on our RTs! It can actually make the stability a little worse than keeping the rpm very low (as low as possible) if you take into account Newton's 3rd law - to very action there is an equal and opposite reaction - the act of turning the rotating mass over causes a reactional force to try to turn the bike over in the opposite direction! Prove it for yourself by simply putting your transmission in neutral, with foot (feet, if you like) on the ground, and rev up the engine. You will feel the bike trying to heel over in the direction that opposes the engine's rotation!
I've learned never to argue with an engineer, but aren't we talking about two different concepts here. I understand the gyroscopic effect of the engine in maintaining stability, but what I am referring to is using the rear brake, clutch, and throttle to maintain enough forward drive of the bike without lightening the load on the rear tire by using the front brake. While coming to a stop, I routinely use only the rear brake, and keep the rpms up while controlling speed with the clutch and throttle. If this is a wrong-headed concept, I will defer to the engineering concept you mentioned.
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post #7 of 43 Old Mar 5th, 2017, 10:29 am
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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I've learned never to argue with an engineer, but aren't we talking about two different concepts here. I understand the gyroscopic effect of the engine in maintaining stability, but what I am referring to is using the rear brake, clutch, and throttle to maintain enough forward drive of the bike without lightening the load on the rear tire by using the front brake. While coming to a stop, I routinely use only the rear brake, and keep the rpms up while controlling speed with the clutch and throttle. If this is a wrong-headed concept, I will defer to the engineering concept you mentioned.


The technique I was taught at several training sites, including LEO as well as the official BMW training, is to drag the rear brake and use clutch and throttle for smooth slow speed maneuvering. The drag of the rear brake allows a slightly higher RPM that is moderated by clutch and throttle.


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post #8 of 43 Old Mar 5th, 2017, 10:56 am
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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The technique I was taught at several training sites, including LEO as well as the official BMW training, is to drag the rear brake and use clutch and throttle for smooth slow speed maneuvering. The drag of the rear brake allows a slightly higher RPM that is moderated by clutch and throttle.


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Assuming you are riding a rt with a boxer engine, we are on the same page. Still waiting for Pad to tell me why I am wrong.


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post #9 of 43 Old Mar 5th, 2017, 1:28 pm
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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Originally Posted by Scubadoc View Post
I've learned never to argue with an engineer, but aren't we talking about two different concepts here. I understand the gyroscopic effect of the engine in maintaining stability, but what I am referring to is using the rear brake, clutch, and throttle to maintain enough forward drive of the bike without lightening the load on the rear tire by using the front brake. While coming to a stop, I routinely use only the rear brake, and keep the rpms up while controlling speed with the clutch and throttle. If this is a wrong-headed concept, I will defer to the engineering concept you mentioned.
No argument with that at all! Smooth is good, but you don't have to use high rpm to maintain speed. Personally, I don't slip the clutch very much, just quick touch into the friction zone and quickly off, just to maintain stable speed. Keeping the rpm as low as you can helps, and that is fairly easy with the wetheads with higher torque output, as compared to the camhead or hexhead. As I had mentioned before, I can bring the RT to a dead stop without putting my foot down, and then continue on.

From what I understand, the gyroscopic effect is what they teaches you at the "Ride Like a Pro" classes. That is where you keep the rpm up, and using the rear brake and slipping the clutch to lower the bike's speed down. With the gyroscopic effect, the higher the rpm, the more stable the bike is.....except that it doesn't work for our RTs!

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post #10 of 43 Old Mar 5th, 2017, 1:31 pm
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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The technique I was taught at several training sites, including LEO as well as the official BMW training, is to drag the rear brake and use clutch and throttle for smooth slow speed maneuvering. The drag of the rear brake allows a slightly higher RPM that is moderated by clutch and throttle.


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Were they using a boxer powered bikes? The gyroscopic technique works real well with the "K" bikes, conventional V-twins, and parallel twins, because they all have transverse crankshaft. The RT doesn't! Maintaining high rpm is the clue to tell you that they are trying to benefit from the gyroscopic effect.

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post #11 of 43 Old Mar 5th, 2017, 1:35 pm
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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Were they using a boxer powered bikes? The gyroscopic technique works real well with the "K" bikes, conventional V-twins, and parallel twins, because they all have transverse crankshaft. The RT doesn't! Maintaining high rpm is the clue to tell you that they are trying to benefit from the gyroscopic effect.
I know for a fact that the BMW training center uses the RT 1200 GS. I was there two years ago, and thats all they use in their course.


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post #12 of 43 Old Mar 5th, 2017, 1:40 pm
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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I know for a fact that the BMW training center uses the RT 1200 GS. I was there two years ago, and thats all they use in their course.
Interesting! What else did they teach, with respect to stability at low speed? I am honestly interested, because even though I think that I am fairly good at low speed, I still am a bit paranoid about low speed riding. It might be because of the weight, but quite frankly I was even more confident with my old parallel-twin bikes!

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post #13 of 43 Old Mar 5th, 2017, 1:52 pm
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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Interesting! What else did they teach, with respect to stability at low speed? I am honestly interested, because even though I think that I am fairly good at low speed, I still am a bit paranoid about low speed riding. It might be because of the weight, but quite frankly I was even more confident with my old parallel-twin bikes!
If I remember correctly, and I'm not sure I do after having endured multiple low speed falls, besides all of the usual skills taught in the advanced MSF courses, they stressed increasingly tight 360 degree turns in both directions. For me, this was the hardest, as all turns had to be performed at less than 5mph. They did try to get us to do a 3 second stop without putting our feet down, just using brake, clutch and throttle, but not too many of us were successful. It was a great course. I think I was the least skilled, as most of the other students were there for a refresher course after the winter and had been riding for years. I was a novice, having ridden for 1 year.


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post #14 of 43 Old Mar 5th, 2017, 2:16 pm
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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Were they using a boxer powered bikes? The gyroscopic technique works real well with the "K" bikes, conventional V-twins, and parallel twins, because they all have transverse crankshaft. The RT doesn't! Maintaining high rpm is the clue to tell you that they are trying to benefit from the gyroscopic effect.


1200GS. Didn't say high rpm, or at least I didn't mean that. Higher than idle, usually around 1000-1200.


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post #15 of 43 Old Mar 6th, 2017, 12:12 pm
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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If I remember correctly, and I'm not sure I do after having endured multiple low speed falls, besides all of the usual skills taught in the advanced MSF courses, they stressed increasingly tight 360 degree turns in both directions. For me, this was the hardest, as all turns had to be performed at less than 5mph. They did try to get us to do a 3 second stop without putting our feet down, just using brake, clutch and throttle, but not too many of us were successful. It was a great course. I think I was the least skilled, as most of the other students were there for a refresher course after the winter and had been riding for years. I was a novice, having ridden for 1 year.
My first ride of the season, which should be around the end of this month, always include a visit to my favorite state park parking lot. It's large, and on weekdays it is always empty. This is where I do my low-speed exercise to be ready for the season. Lots of tight figure eights, and all at less than 5 mph. This is how I retrain my reflexes and get back to getting used to the bike's balance again, after the long winter months.

Did the instructor demo that 3 seconds stop on his GS? I can bring the RT to a dead stop, perhaps for a second or two, but had never timed it. The only thing that you have for the boxer powered bikes for situation like this is just brute-force balancing act. Unlike the more popular engine configuration, you cannot use the gyroscopic effect to help you at all.

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1932 Triumph 500
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post #16 of 43 Old Mar 6th, 2017, 12:17 pm
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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1200GS. Didn't say high rpm, or at least I didn't mean that. Higher than idle, usually around 1000-1200.


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Well, perhaps the technique is to assist you with smoothness, as Ed thought.

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2007 R1200RT (Sold!)


Once Upon a Time........
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1932 Triumph 500
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post #17 of 43 Old Mar 6th, 2017, 12:32 pm
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

Ed, pkpilot - I had read this article in Rider Magazine a few weeks ago - Ride Like a Pro. It describe a class that teaches low speed riding. You should look it over. What had caught my attention was that very early on in the write-up, the writer wrote that:

"Developed by former police motor officer Jerry “The Motorman” Palladino, Ride Like A Pro teaches a focused skill set for using a motorcycle’s gyroscopic motion to keep the bike upright and in control at slow speeds. Skill building focuses on just three areas: head and eyes, the clutch friction zone and the rear brake."


The second thing that really caught my attention was the fact that the writer attended the class with his wethead RT! He didn't mention how he did in that class, and I was very tempted to write in and ask, but I wasn't in the mood to write at the time, and so left it alone.

What I said about the boxer and other similar longitudinal engines cannot use the gyroscopic effect is real, and if you are in doubt, you should Google the subject and try to understand how that works, and then you will understand what I have been saying. It is very interesting also to note that all of the bikes shown riding this course are the traditional V-twins!

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Once Upon a Time........
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1932 Triumph 500
1952 BSA Goldstar
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post #18 of 43 Old Mar 6th, 2017, 1:19 pm
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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Ed, pkpilot - I had read this article in Rider Magazine a few weeks ago - Ride Like a Pro. It describe a class that teaches low speed riding. You should look it over. What had caught my attention was that very early on in the write-up, the writer wrote that:

"Developed by former police motor officer Jerry “The Motorman” Palladino, Ride Like A Pro teaches a focused skill set for using a motorcycle’s gyroscopic motion to keep the bike upright and in control at slow speeds. Skill building focuses on just three areas: head and eyes, the clutch friction zone and the rear brake."


The second thing that really caught my attention was the fact that the writer attended the class with his wethead RT! He didn't mention how he did in that class, and I was very tempted to write in and ask, but I wasn't in the mood to write at the time, and so left it alone.

What I said about the boxer and other similar longitudinal engines cannot use the gyroscopic effect is real, and if you are in doubt, you should Google the subject and try to understand how that works, and then you will understand what I have been saying. It is very interesting also to note that all of the bikes shown riding this course are the traditional V-twins!


I know better than to argue the physics, and the engineering classes I took 40 years ago have faded from my small brain (if only I could get a memory upgrade!).

The BMW training had "trial stops". That consisted of getting the bike to a complete stop and then continuing. The analogy is at a stop sign. The goal was to have the wheel stop and then go. Not for 3 seconds, not for 2 seconds, not even for a full second... Just get the wheels to stop turning. Just about everyone could do it with practice, some not consistently, but they could do it. We we all on their 1200GS bikes that had road tires (it was the one day road course). We did lots of slow speed maneuvering. Typical cone course stuff with minimum radius turns and reversals leading to figure 8's. The technique was a slight dragging of the rear brake and controlling the friction zone for speed control.

There is a lot more going on than just gyroscopic factors. Momentum, adjusting CG by moving your body, accelerations from adding power, even where your eyes are looking. No one factor is controlling; it is a dynamic event. As you apply and play with what they are showing you, you learn how to better control the bike at slow speed.

The instructor for my class was a fellow law enforcement officer who was assigned as a motor officer for his department. He rides a Beemer at work and competes occasionally in the cone course drills that are always so impressive. I hope to some day get to that level of skill.


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post #19 of 43 Old Mar 6th, 2017, 5:11 pm
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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Did the instructor demo that 3 seconds stop on his GS? I can bring the RT to a dead stop, perhaps for a second or two, but had never timed it. The only thing that you have for the boxer powered bikes for situation like this is just brute-force balancing act. Unlike the more popular engine configuration, you cannot use the gyroscopic effect to help you at all.
Did it on his GS, maybe he moved about 6 inches, but he was using back brake and had rpm at about 1200. He was a former MC rodeo guy, so he may have also been using other talents.


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post #20 of 43 Old Mar 7th, 2017, 9:05 am
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

My point was that if they are teaching the rpm/clutch/foot-brake technique for the gyroscopic effect reason, then it wouldn't work, but if it is just for smooth low-speed, and it works for you, then great! It is very important to be smooth and steady at low speed, which also mean that with the boxer, you have to keep the throttle steady. Any increase or decrease in the rpm level will be felt as a twist to the bike. Personally, I like to hold the throttle at idle for those maneuver. That is what works for me, especially with the higher torque available for the wethead. All of the other techniques, especially weight shifting and where you look is also very important.

BTW, on an aside, I took a 7 days riding tour, on my own, around Scotland back in 2015, on a '13 RT. The kind of roads that I was riding demands that one is very good at low speed maneuvers! Those back-roads are very narrow, and what they call single-track roads are quite common. This video shows the narrowest road that I was on, and keep in mind that this road is intended for 2-ways traffic!


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post #21 of 43 Old Mar 7th, 2017, 9:19 am
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

We once came across a similar road in Ireland, except that it had hedgerows on both sides.

The signpost said it was named Passifyoucan...
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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My point was that if they are teaching the rpm/clutch/foot-brake technique for the gyroscopic effect reason, then it wouldn't work, but if it is just for smooth low-speed, and it works for you, then great! It is very important to be smooth and steady at low speed, which also mean that with the boxer, you have to keep the throttle steady. Any increase or decrease in the rpm level will be felt as a twist to the bike. Personally, I like to hold the throttle at idle for those maneuver. That is what works for me, especially with the higher torque available for the wethead. All of the other techniques, especially weight shifting and where you look is also very important.
Pad, just to clarify, how do you maneuver the bike with an idle throttle? Are you just using the friction zone to maintain momentum? Not worried about stalling?
BTW, when I rented a 2013 RT before buying my RTW, I was very aware of the bike torquing to the right when accelerating from a stop. I've not really noticed this with the RTW, and if it is there, it is very subtle.


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post #23 of 43 Old Mar 7th, 2017, 11:30 am
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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Pad, just to clarify, how do you maneuver the bike with an idle throttle? Are you just using the friction zone to maintain momentum? Not worried about stalling?
BTW, when I rented a 2013 RT before buying my RTW, I was very aware of the bike torquing to the right when accelerating from a stop. I've not really noticed this with the RTW, and if it is there, it is very subtle.
I am one who hates to slip clutches. Old riding habit that may not be very applicable these days! In any case, to maintain low speed, I just ease the clutch into the friction zone and quickly back out again rather than dragging the clutch. The effect is something like keeping a hoop rolling by running after it and occasionally hitting it from behind with a stick - remember how kids amuse themselves in our younger days? I emphasize that I am not tell you that it is the right way to do it, but only how I do it!
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post #24 of 43 Old Mar 7th, 2017, 11:36 am
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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We once came across a similar road in Ireland, except that it had hedgerows on both sides.

The signpost said it was named Passifyoucan...
Wasn't that fun?? One of my video would show a couple of instances, while riding on the single-track roads, when I came around a corner and there was a couple of big, full size campers heading in the opposite direction, and just a few feet away, and the "passing places" were far behind. Tricky riding to get past those guys.

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post #25 of 43 Old Mar 7th, 2017, 11:38 am
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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I am one who hates to slip clutches. Old riding habit that may not be very applicable these days! In any case, to maintain low speed, I just ease the clutch into the friction zone and quickly back out again rather than dragging the clutch. The effect is something like keeping a hoop rolling by running after it and occasionally hitting it from behind with a stick - remember how kids amuse themselves in our younger days? I emphasize that I am not tell you that it is the right way to do it, but only how I do it!
Thanks, I'm always looking for new ways of controlling my bike. I never grew up on bikes and never developed that feeling of immortality.
BTW, been flying much these days?


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post #26 of 43 Old Mar 7th, 2017, 11:39 am
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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Wasn't that fun?? One of my video would show a couple of instances, while riding on the single-track roads, when I came around a corner and there was a couple of big, full size campers heading in the opposite direction, and just a few feet away, and the "passing places" were far behind. Tricky riding to get past those guys.
I looked at those videos when you originally posted them. I decided that I would set my Nav to avoid single track roads.


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post #27 of 43 Old Mar 7th, 2017, 11:45 am
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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Thanks, I'm always looking for new ways of controlling my bike. I never grew up on bikes and never developed that feeling of immortality.
BTW, been flying much these days?
I had learned to ride in my very early teen years. Loved to ride from those days on.

I have been flying that Mavic a lot. It is a blast to fly, and no incidents after that first brush with the tree. Technology is great, but now I have to learn to fly and frame the video at the same time, and that is a lot harder to do. I need to practice the intelligent flight features, like fixed course, and way-points, so that I can concentrate on the video.

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post #28 of 43 Old Mar 7th, 2017, 11:49 am
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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I looked at those videos when you originally posted them. I decided that I would set my Nav to avoid single track roads.
Impossible to do in Scotland! You will run into single-track roads sooner or later. I was on what I thought was a major highway, when the road just closes down and turned into single-track road for scores of miles! It is fun to ride, and you soon get used to the the etiquette that is used on those roads. The drivers there are so nice and courteous as well.

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post #29 of 43 Old Mar 7th, 2017, 11:56 am
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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I had learned to ride in my very early teen years. Loved to ride from those days on.

I have been flying that Mavic a lot. It is a blast to fly, and no incidents after that first brush with the tree. Technology is great, but now I have to learn to fly and frame the video at the same time, and that is a lot harder to do. I need to practice the intelligent flight features, like fixed course, and way-points, so that I can concentrate on the video.
Framing and flying at the same time takes everything to a new level. Thats why the Inspire has dual controllers, one for the pilot and one for the videographer. The videographer tells the pilot where and how to go, and then is able to control the camera for that perfect shot. Litchie and the other add-ons make solo flying/photography easier, but it is still not for the faint of heart. There is always a bear in the woods trying to take away your toy.
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post #30 of 43 Old Sep 2nd, 2017, 12:19 pm
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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Pad, just to clarify, how do you maneuver the bike with an idle throttle? Are you just using the friction zone to maintain momentum? Not worried about stalling?
BTW, when I rented a 2013 RT before buying my RTW, I was very aware of the bike torquing to the right when accelerating from a stop. I've not really noticed this with the RTW, and if it is there, it is very subtle.
I'm late to this party but for me the majority of value coming from maintaining higher revs, always, is to avert a stall. During slow turns the steering is turned in the direction of the turn and if a stall happens with the steering turned a tip over is almost assured. I stalled the F800GT I owed 3 times. The first two were at a stop light when the light turned green (I had recently resumed riding after a 28y hiatus so was still green enough to do faux pas). The third was when I had coasted into the garage and effectively stalled the bike with the steering turn maybe 35 degrees. Instant drop. The gyroscopic effect issue IMO is virtually irrelevant with regard to low speed handling recommended practices including rear brake drag, fine throttle control and clutch slip, counter-weighting, etc. I have not stalled my RT and that is from staying fully aware of not getting too close to too low revs especially when the steering is turned.

I agree, the torquing is very mild and I can't recall when I last noticed it.

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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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I'm late to this party but for me the majority of value coming from maintaining higher revs, always, is to avert a stall. During slow turns the steering is turned in the direction of the turn and if a stall happens with the steering turned a tip over is almost assured. I stalled the F800GT I owed 3 times. The first two were at a stop light when the light turned green (I had recently resumed riding after a 28y hiatus so was still green enough to do faux pas). The third was when I had coasted into the garage and effectively stalled the bike with the steering turn maybe 35 degrees. Instant drop. The gyroscopic effect issue IMO is virtually irrelevant with regard to low speed handling recommended practices including rear brake drag, fine throttle control and clutch slip, counter-weighting, etc. I have not stalled my RT and that is from staying fully aware of not getting too close to too low revs especially when the steering is turned.

I agree, the torquing is very mild and I can't recall when I last noticed it.
The only time my 2014 RT decided to take a nap was in a similar situation. I was coasting into my garage, the setting sun in my eyes, when at the last minute I noticed a garbage bag in my usual parking spot. I turned the wheel with foot on brake, and down she went. First time I had to lift tne bike by putting my back into the frame and using my legs to push it back up. That technique works, even for a 74 yo with a not so good back.


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post #32 of 43 Old Sep 2nd, 2017, 1:50 pm
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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I'm late to this party but for me the majority of value coming from maintaining higher revs, always, is to avert a stall. During slow turns the steering is turned in the direction of the turn and if a stall happens with the steering turned a tip over is almost assured. I stalled the F800GT I owed 3 times. The first two were at a stop light when the light turned green (I had recently resumed riding after a 28y hiatus so was still green enough to do faux pas). The third was when I had coasted into the garage and effectively stalled the bike with the steering turn maybe 35 degrees. Instant drop. The gyroscopic effect issue IMO is virtually irrelevant with regard to low speed handling recommended practices including rear brake drag, fine throttle control and clutch slip, counter-weighting, etc. I have not stalled my RT and that is from staying fully aware of not getting too close to too low revs especially when the steering is turned.

I agree, the torquing is very mild and I can't recall when I last noticed it.
Whatever works, BUT except for when riding the RT or bikes with similar engine configuration (axial oriented crankshaft), you want to keep the rpm up to take advantage of the gyroscopic effect of the engine's rotating parts - flywheel and other heavy rotating components, like the stator of the alternator. This is taught in professional low speed riding class. The technique doesn't work for our RT because the crankshaft of the RT is oriented 90 deg. from that of most bikes! I don't know the engine of your F800, but I strongly suspect that the technique would work for that engine. Therefore, gyroscopic effect is far from irrelevant, except for the RT, and the Goldwings (flat-6), or Moto Guzzi (transverse V-twin), etc.

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post #33 of 43 Old Sep 2nd, 2017, 4:24 pm
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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Whatever works, BUT except for when riding the RT or bikes with similar engine configuration (axial oriented crankshaft), you want to keep the rpm up to take advantage of the gyroscopic effect of the engine's rotating parts - flywheel and other heavy rotating components, like the stator of the alternator. This is taught in professional low speed riding class. The technique doesn't work for our RT because the crankshaft of the RT is oriented 90 deg. from that of most bikes! I don't know the engine of your F800, but I strongly suspect that the technique would work for that engine. Therefore, gyroscopic effect is far from irrelevant, except for the RT, and the Goldwings (flat-6), or Moto Guzzi (transverse V-twin), etc.
I understand the concept but fortunately lack of gyro effects from engine parts, flywheel etc, i.e., as a percentage of the total assets accessible to foster good low speed maneuvering, isn't killing low speed handling for me. And certainly wheels have a gyroscopic effect to contribute even to RT. I guess my own experience tells me it is not a big factor because I have less of a problem in low speed handling w/ my RT than with the 470lb F800GT. I do feel more confident on RT than FGT for low speed maneuvering, even with regard to staying balanced. Go figure! So for me, revs always stay above the stall zone regardless of other side effects of this practice. Helps when you slip the clutch as well, which I don't typically need to do but am prepared to as needed.

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post #34 of 43 Old Sep 2nd, 2017, 8:37 pm
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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Were they using a boxer powered bikes? The gyroscopic technique works real well with the "K" bikes, conventional V-twins, and parallel twins, because they all have transverse crankshaft. The RT doesn't! Maintaining high rpm is the clue to tell you that they are trying to benefit from the gyroscopic effect.


Gyroscopic effects are present on all bikes, including bicycles. The exact same technique of power while dragging a brake is used in slow speed maneuvering of a bicycle also. The type engine is not the factor. It doesn't matter if it is a K-bike, an RT, or a person on a mountain bike.


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post #35 of 43 Old Sep 3rd, 2017, 9:02 am
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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Gyroscopic effects are present on all bikes, including bicycles. The exact same technique of power while dragging a brake is used in slow speed maneuvering of a bicycle also. The type engine is not the factor. It doesn't matter if it is a K-bike, an RT, or a person on a mountain bike.


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I am afraid that you are very wrong! The only common factor that applies to all bikes is the gyroscopic effect of the wheels rotating, and that is only apparent at higher speed. Yes, they are present in all bikes with rotating mass, BUT the effect is NOT omni-directional.

Instead of me giving you a very basic lesson in mechanics, I suggest that you Google gyroscopic effect and learn for yourself!

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post #36 of 43 Old Oct 19th, 2018, 9:36 pm
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Just a quick note that on the Goldwing the engine and transmission rotate opposite directions and this cancels out that torque effect. Gyroscopic effect may still be there but if you ride one it is just part of the bime’s ‘feel’.
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post #37 of 43 Old Oct 21st, 2018, 1:19 pm
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

Being old school, I learnt to ride before linked brakes were common place. I learnt that to effectively brake it should be 75% front, and 25% in the rear on dry roads. In the rain the split is 50/50.

Linked brakes, as far as I am aware give the 75/25 split, so technically only in the rain should the rear be used.

(I still use the rear brake! )

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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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I am afraid that you are very wrong! The only common factor that applies to all bikes is the gyroscopic effect of the wheels rotating, and that is only apparent at higher speed. Yes, they are present in all bikes with rotating mass, BUT the effect is NOT omni-directional.

Instead of me giving you a very basic lesson in mechanics, I suggest that you Google gyroscopic effect and learn for yourself!


Might want to check your Google source. Gyroscopic effect is present in bicycles and is demonstrated during police mountain bike training.


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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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Might want to check your Google source. Gyroscopic effect is present in bicycles and is demonstrated during police mountain bike training.


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Just to prove I'm not overly sensitive about my age, I recall somewhere between 1955/56 in elementary school, a teacher demonstrating to us kids the Gyroscopic Effect. The method of the demonstration was to hand a bicycle wheel to us with handles on both sides of the axle. While we gripped the handles the teacher would spin the wheel and have us try to turn it. That was my first lesson in the gyroscope. The teacher further drove the point home by connecting the principle to the toy spinning tops we had used as toddlers, and the yoyo's most of us boys had in our pockets. Yoyo's were all the rage back then.

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post #40 of 43 Old Oct 21st, 2018, 2:49 pm
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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Might want to check your Google source. Gyroscopic effect is present in bicycles and is demonstrated during police mountain bike training.


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Yes, and the effect is from the rotating wheel, just like on our motorcycles!

BTW, I don't need Google for this as most of you seem to do, and it's important to UNDERSTAND what you do read!

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post #41 of 43 Old Oct 21st, 2018, 2:51 pm
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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Just to prove I'm not overly sensitive about my age, I recall somewhere between 1955/56 in elementary school, a teacher demonstrating to us kids the Gyroscopic Effect. The method of the demonstration was to hand a bicycle wheel to us with handles on both sides of the axle. While we gripped the handles the teacher would spin the wheel and have us try to turn it. That was my first lesson in the gyroscope. The teacher further drove the point home by connecting the principle to the toy spinning tops we had used as toddlers, and the yoyo's most of us boys had in our pockets. Yoyo's were all the rage back then.
Unfortunately, the school system seems to have degraded over the years. It is truly amazing to me as to how little basic science that people knows nowadays!

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post #42 of 43 Old Oct 21st, 2018, 2:55 pm
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Re: ABS vs. rear brake

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Being old school, I learnt to ride before linked brakes were common place. I learnt that to effectively brake it should be 75% front, and 25% in the rear on dry roads. In the rain the split is 50/50.

Linked brakes, as far as I am aware give the 75/25 split, so technically only in the rain should the rear be used.

(I still use the rear brake! )

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Keep on using both brakes, and know what to do in emergencies my friend! That is the right way to ride, because the front-to-rear ratio of braking needs to be changed when you brake very hard, as in emergency braking. ABS won't help when all the weight of the vehicle+load (rider) shifts way forward in very hard braking. I am telling you this from personal experience!
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post #43 of 43 Old Nov 11th, 2018, 8:30 pm
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I took the Ride Like a Pro course (on my GL1800) last summer and the instructors were very clear that the gyroscope effect they were referring to was the result of the wheels turning. They explained that dragging the rear brake give stability since when applied to the rotating rear wheel the effect is to "straighten up" that wheel and then using the clutch friction zone and keeping the throttle open above idle keeps the bike pulling without just accelerating away. All I can say is it works with a boxer 6 GL1800 and quite nicely too. Works just fine with my R1200 RTW as well. Just my $.02.

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