Yea I'm a young pup to some of you old timers. But I'm old enough to respect and learn from your mistakes/experiences.
I also just realized I missed a great pun opportunity for this threads title: "Braking Bad" !! Would have been perfect. oh well.
Downshifted to far, not enough throttle to get the engine up the the same speed as the tire before I let off the clutch... the back end got all squirrely, and it didn't help that I was on a rarely used right turn lane (read shoulder) that had a fair amount of small gravel pellets kicked over from the main road onto it.
I kept her upright and then made it around the turn... counted my blessings and realized a half mile later in the excitement my turn signal never got turned off (why can't it be automatic)
My advice, don't downshift during a fast stop or a panic situation on the bike... to many variable when you should be paying attention other things, use the brakes only They should be plenty to stop you and keep things from getting squirrelly.
I find this particularly hard because in my car in MN during the winter the best way to stop fast is to down shift, keeps the tires from breaking loose and sending you out of control, and provides additional friction to the tires that the brakes can't manage on their own. (some people will say downshifting won't stop you faster on snow, because the friction of the snow against the rubber is the limiting factor, I used to be one of them and argued with a buddy of mine during nice weather until we were able to test it in the snow, and it seems to work, I don't know how or why but it does.)
Professional on-bike training is the best money you can spend on a motorcycle after proper protective equipment.
Last edited by Beemerphile; 24th September 2013 at 14:01.
I'm late to the party, but I didn't see this mentioned and it might help somebody else with the same issues (hopefully OP you've sorted it in a year and a bit!) - my CBR is a nightmare for locking up the back under quick downchanges - the biggest thing that tamed it was learning to blip the throttle on the downchange. It's kinda hard to explain but it'll just click when you get it, just roll the throttle open after you clutch in. There's loads of YouTube vidoes from people who are better teachers than I. It matches the engine speed to the road speed for the gear you're shifting into (the DCT will do it itself).
Of course my CBR is so ill at the moment I can't actually blip the throttle on the down as it takes a couple of seconds for the revs to drop off... So every sharp turn is a lottery! Can't wait for the NC to be ready :\
A point missed here is that isn't really necessary to use the engine as a "brake" via downshifting when coming to a stop. When I downshift as I'm approaching a stop, I never let the clutch out. Why should I since my NC has good brakes.
Locking the rear is easy if you stomp on the pedal. Any braking action causes the nose of the bike to dip so you're unloading weight off the rear wheel which makes it too easy to lock-up. And the front brake should be applied gently - no grabbing! - in a progressive manner. You want the weight transfer (forks compressed) to occur before you pull hard on the brake lever.
Have never done either on the NC. Did so enough times on the Ducati and the Aprilia to learn not to do so, or at least manage the rear slide. All bikes should have slipper clutches.
Clutches are expensive, brake pads are cheap in comparison. Use the brakes for braking, not the engine.
Watch the twist of the wrist video on UTube; kind of cheesy, but good thoughts and good review.
Get a book like "Sport Riding Techniques" by Nick Ientasch. He correctly (of course) discusses use of the brakes in terms of pressure, and quickly loading the front tire to maximum braking versus grabbing at it and locking the front. Discusses blipping for downshifts, and traction management (although I don't think he calls it that).
Back the rear brake pedal off so you have more ankle travel to lock up; my NC was way too tight. You need to set it so you have to work at locking the rear.
Like ticktocker recommended I'm a fan of blipping the throttle or rev matching while downshifting. It was easier and more necessary on the CBR but I practice it on the NC as well. Also because I'm more inclined to blip I have learned to use 2 fingers for braking. I recommend adjusting the brake lever to a closer setting if your instincts won't adjust to the bike, same for the rear.
Thread is old but I thought i would add my 2 cents.
When they say blip, it is matching revs.
on my NC there is 1000 revs between each gear.
So to change down from 4th to 3rd at the same speed you need to add 1000 revs when you pull the clutch in to match your road speed as a constant.
it becomes second nature as you ride.
not doing this locks the back wheel, until road speed and gearbox match again. Dont panic, know why it is doing it, go with the slide, dont brake, ease off throttle.
if it is braking slide, as others said, ease off the brake, apply again in a controlled motion.
In OZ they are all sold with ABS, so I dont have this problem, (until the ABS fails).
As others said, practice emergency stops...it may save your life. learn how to react before you have to, you will stay upright and get home safe and have a good story about silly cagers.
I rarely look at my speedo, just the tacho, and know what speed i am at. on the NC they are one in the same so you can see both in the same glance.
I must be the only one who thinks the NC brakes are woeful. (or at least not great) (I dont have an X we only get S but I am assuming they are similar).
I HAVE to use my back brake in conjunction with the front.
I have never done this before on any of my other 10 machines.
That said, the bike is heavy, it is not a sport bike, and engine braking is not so great because of the linear power delivery so I just leave more distance between myself and the other traffic than I used to.
It is great at doing what it is designed to do...get you to work and back with no nonsense.
There is no substitute for experience, so do what you are doing, put miles under your belt. ask yourself why it happened and try not to do again.
you have another 50 years riding ahead of you.
Last edited by Nebo; 16th January 2016 at 16:13.
Practice, we have preconceived ideas of how a new bike should feel. You need to take some time a learn the personality of the bike. Especially if the bike you are coming from has a much different personality. I took me a little while to become really comfortable with the characteristics of the NC compared to my XR650L or even my FJR. Not because there was anything wrong. I just had to learn what it would do in certain circumstances. Obviously they have similar components but each reacts a bit differently with the same inputs. Once I became familiar with the NC's traits. I am very comfortable knowing what it's capabilities are.
I guess what I am saying is. You need to learn how to ride this bike. Not ride it like the other bike.