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 Have you ever ridden out a rear wheel skid?
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6890 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 04/23/2010 :  3:24 PM   DetailDetail                        Like
Poll Question:
While riding my bicycle back to work at lunchtime today I was thinking about rear wheel skids and the advice the MSF gives to keep the wheel locked until you've stopped. It got me to wondering if anybody on this forum has actually needed to use that skill. I never have.

If you don't find an answer you like, please explain. (I was going to add "other", but hit the wrong key and it was already posted before I could stop it.)

So, have you ever ridden out a rear wheel skid on the street?


Results:
Yes, I've locked up the rear tire and kept it locked until the bike stopped   [27%] 16 votes 
No, I've never locked the rear tire on the street   [24%] 14 votes 
No, I've skidded temporarily but released it before the bike went sideways   [46%] 27 votes 
No, I've locked up the rear wheel, released it, and crashed.   [3%] 2 votes 
= Guests (22 votes)


Poll Status: Closed  »»   Total Votes: 59 counted  »»   Last Vote: 05/30/2010 1:04 AM 

scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6890 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 04/24/2010 :  7:50 AM
With ten votes in, two have skidded to a stop.

I guess at some point I need to ask the question if anyone on this forum has ever crashed, or knows of someone else who has crashed, due to releasing the rear brake while in a skid.

I guess there is an example somewhere in the Safety Tips, right?
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greywolf
Male Moderator
1495 Posts
[Mentor]


Evanston, IL
USA

Suzuki

DL650AL2

Posted - 04/24/2010 :  10:39 AM
I've done more than one of the choices in my formative years. Keeping the rear locked may work at lower speeds or if the front brake application is lighter than would be applicable to the best stop, but it's asking for trouble at higher speeds or with proper front brake application. A rider should practice braking enough to automatically avoid mashing the rear brake. Failing that, it would be better to not use the rear brake in an emergency stop at all rather than locking up the rear. Not using the rear brake is a small detriment to maximum braking but locking up the rear even in a less than maximum effort is a huge detriment to a safe stop.
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WSMeders
Male Standard Member
118 Posts


Columbus, OH
USA

Yamaha

FZR600

Posted - 04/24/2010 :  1:54 PM
Since it came to your mind while riding a bicycle, I'll tell you I have crashed with the rear locked up on a bicycle.
My thought is that it's the sudden jerk of the wheel when you let go that does it.
I remember having the bike sideways, and fairly low, and the moment I released the rear brake, the bike sat right up (still slightly sideways) and "bucked" me off.
I've had a few close calls of that type on dirt bikes too.
I believe a similar effect can be generated with the throttle, with the bike sideways and the rear wheel loose (spinning). Close the throttle, and the bike will sit up and buck you right off.
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Mikeydude
Male Advanced Member
742 Posts
[Mentor]


Ft. Worth, Texas
USA

Harley-Davidson

03 FXD Super Glide

Posted - 04/24/2010 :  7:35 PM
Hey Scott... back in the day in the 70s I had 3 occasions to lock up the rear. Remember that back in those days the front brake was dangerous...

1. I was coming around a left corner and up to a parking spot at about 15 MPH... I hit the rear and skidded up to the curb (brodie). The curb almost caused a high-side, but I was able to hold it up (barely).

2. I was showing off and tried to duplicate the above maneuver. I low-sided at about 10 MPH. It hurt... but no real damage.

3. I was cruising on a thoroughfare at about 45 MPH when the truck in front of me locked up to avoid a squirrel. I locked up the rear in a straight line and narrowly missed hitting the trucks rear bumper.

None of this was practiced (except for the "brodie", and then only done on a bicycle) and is nothing I wish to try again. I did not release the brake during these moves.

Edited by - Mikeydude on 04/24/2010 9:11 PM
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2082 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 04/24/2010 :  9:28 PM
Tail end of last season I was on a 4 lane city street (2 going, 2 coming). I was in the left lane about a half block from a stale red light. Three oncoming cars stopped at the light signaling a left, one car in my lane stopped at the light. I was at the speed limit on that very early Sunday morning and the road was still wet from an overnight rain.

The light turned green. Brake lights went off on the car at the light in my lane. I accelerated and moved into the right lane to use him as a blocker as we went through the intersection. Brake lights came back on. I came off the throttle and applied both brakes nowhere near threshold. I had not gone into stop mode I had gone into slow down mode since I still wanted to use him as a blocker. I expected him to go and was just trying to get back in sync.

I heard the rear tire skid and felt the bike fish tail. I came down hard on the rear brake and released the front. As I slowed and the bike wiggled to a stop, just short of the crosswalk, I realized he was letting them make the left in front of him.

Edited to add:
When this incident happened I was going to post it on lessons learned. When teaching the pups in the family to drive I emphasize that they can only drive one car at a time. The one that they are in. I relearned that lesson. I should not have been also driving the car that was stopped at the light. I also learned that I needed some more PLP braking practice.

Edited by - rayg50 on 04/25/2010 5:49 AM
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bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2266 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 04/25/2010 :  12:33 AM
quote:
Originally posted by greywolf

A rider should practice braking enough to automatically avoid mashing the rear brake. Failing that, it would be better to not use the rear brake in an emergency stop at all rather than locking up the rear. Not using the rear brake is a small detriment to maximum braking but locking up the rear even in a less than maximum effort is a huge detriment to a safe stop.



+1
A good and concise description in my opinion.

Since I don't have enough experience with this set of choices to give a meaningful vote, I'll just admit to being thankful for that and investing some time working through PLP exercises related to limited g force braking.
I suspect those lucky enough to have had a bike near perfectly aligned at the time of successfully skidding to a stop do not go out and practice that drill. It's my opinion that this maneuver is not a part of the 'bag of tricks' to be reinforced.

~brian
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6890 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 04/25/2010 :  12:04 PM
I was just watching the Superpole World Superbike qualifying and Noriyuki Haga, Ducati's top rider, locked up the rear for nearly a second at the end of the straight to keep from bumping into Ruben Xaus on the BMW. I guess even the best riders in the world occasionally have issues with their rear brakes.

Not a great screen capture, but this is right as he was letting off of the rear brake. The rear had slid to the side maybe two or three inches when he released it.
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burhop.j
Male Junior Member
47 Posts


Metuchen, NJ
USA

Kawasaki

KLR 650

Posted - 05/01/2010 :  5:01 PM
I've locked up the rear wheel during PLP in a straight line and came to a stop with the bike still on 2 wheels.
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Life on 2 wheels
Male Starting Member
7 Posts


Hanover Park, IL
USA

Harley-Davidson

FXWG, FXSTS, FLSTC

Posted - 05/11/2010 :  7:22 PM
A few years ago, I was riding on a 4 lane road (divided only by a double yellow). The posted limit was 35 mph and since there were so many Sheriff's Police in the area, I was easily at that limit, not over ~ but (just for the record), NOT the only reason I would have been obeying the speed limit. I was in the left lane with a Silverado to my right. We were southbound in front of the county courthouse when a lady on a cell phone, driving a bright red Explorer (northbound) made a left in front of us so she could enter the courthouse parking lot. I panicked (which, in retrospect, I shouldn't have done, but it was reactionary at the time) and I hit both the front and rear brakes hard. The rear locked, and I recall sensing the front lever "stiffen up", almost fighting itself to a "released" position (heat expansion of the pads/rotor/fluid???). I know for a fact that the Silverado locked 'em up too, as there was smoke pouring from his tires. The offending lady in the Explorer locked eyes with me (or perhaps the driver of the Silverado, but it seemed like she was staring into my eyes) as she continued a very slow, seemingly "idling" turn into the courthouse lot. I was one of the scarier moments I've experienced, mostly because she was stopped for a bit in her northbound lanes as the Silverado & I approached (which caused me to believe she had clearly seen us approaching... lesson learned!) prior to her actually making the turn. For the record, it was a hot summer day, early afternoon, and I was aboard my Black FX Springer with a fairly narrow front end and a small headlamp. I was wearing "none of the gear" (...sorry) and to this day, I dont know how long the rear skidded, how I managed to stop the skid (and/or whether or not I released the rear brake, as well as how fast my machine was travelling at the time it released), or what prevented me from crashing the bike other than luck perhaps. I do remember that everything seemed to be moving in "slow motion" (so maybe she was making her turn faster than I recall??) and have absolutely NO recollection of the rear being in a slide ("skid", YES, "slide", NO). It's possible that I had come to a near stop, but I'm honestly unsure if I actually did. The Silverado, having been in the right lane (the last lane she crossed) came MUCH closer to clobbering her though... Okay ~ I understand ya dont see my Springer, But HOW do you NOT see a Full-size Silverado???? ~A.

Edited by - Life on 2 wheels on 05/11/2010 9:29 PM
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Axeman1958
Male Senior Member
276 Posts


Hempstead, NY
USA

Harley-Davidson

Electra Glide U.C.

Posted - 05/16/2010 :  3:56 PM
Not on my bike but, a bike I was training on when I first started riding. Locked up during an emergency stop. Rear went sideways but kept the front straight. My stop was about 5' to 6' longer than normal but still stopped in time.

Luckily, I've never locked the rear on my Ultra.
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