Just finished modules 3 and 4

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  • This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 3 days ago by Nick Ienatsch.
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    David Deckert

    After taking a break from ChampU I just completed modules 3 and 4 last night.

    Prior to that (last weekend) I passed the MSF Basic Rider Course. Modules 3 and 4 were interesting in light of what happened to me at the MSF … or rather, what I DID.

    Last test, rider coach walks the track with us to provide suggestions. It begins with slow but sharper corner only about 25 ft from the start, and he suggests we already be in 2nd through the corner so that we can roll on to gain enough speed for the timing marks soon after, on a straightaway. The test is to see how we do on an aggressive brake right before entering a broad sweeper, and so we must first be at speed to do so. If we aren’t going fast enough, we fail the test regardless of how well we slow down and turn later.

    I zip past the coach on the straightaway, as needed. But my hand did not adequately roll off the throttle and my pea brain is hearing the engine still rev like crazy. I cut power to the rear with the clutch, and rode the clutch all the way around the sweeper, the throttle (and hand) still not cooperating.

    I do not know if I “trail braked” or if I even attempted it. I was determined not to touch the front brake at all. Pretty sure I stayed in the lane, scraping the pipe the whole way around.

    The instructor asked if I panicked or was scared. Nope, but nor was it my intention. It was a rookie mistake, but I didn’t drop the bike and made the corner in my lane. My classmates cheered at the spectacle, naturally.

    Anyway, modules 3 and 4 have relevance here.

    Alex Hatfield

    That sounds like a pretty (artificially) scary way to take a corner… Glad you made it through said corner upright.

    Nick Ienatsch

    Hello David…to answer your question specifically: No, coasting through the corner with the clutch lever in is not trail-braking, but at least your speed was slowing (slightly) and tightening your radius.

    Coasting through corners with the clutch lever in is a mistake, as you said, and it is a very poor way to attempt to slow your bike. Throttle shut and the clutch lever out would be a better way as you now have engine braking to help slow, but it’s still quite inefficient. In other words, we want to complete our downshifts prior to turning into the corner because we want the clutch lever out to give us engine braking.

    Best approach for corners that need braking: Throttle shut, brakes on, clutch lever out…tipping into the corner with some engine braking and some brakes engaged. That is trail-braking…trailing off brake pressure “points” as you add lean angle points.

    One more idea: Think “wrist up” every time you close the throttle. This simple thought will train you to get the throttle completely closed when you want to slow the bike. You can practice it right now wherever you are, and get on your bike and practice it with the engine off. Remember: #1 place riders are dying is running wide in corners, and leaving the throttle open while trying to brake is a main culprit in these accidents. “Wrist up.”

    Thanks for supporting ChampU…Nick I.

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