Traction Control - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 09-17-2010, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Traction Control

Anyone who rides on the road has probably experienced this... The moment the light turns yellow and the car in front of immediately brakes in a panic. Even when they had plenty of time to go through the light safely, but it causes you to lock up or suddenly move to another lane.

Well in South FL, it happens often especially since there has been hype of adding "red light cameras."

The skidding tail wag could be a little nerve wrecking while wondering if you’re going to avoid a crash and I was wondering what experiences people have had with this traction control device. Plus would it work on an 08+??

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post #2 of 19 Old 09-17-2010, 10:19 AM
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Interesting, although just the thought of reducing brake application on a KLR 650 [any bike, for that matter] would result in me subconsciously ripping off my seat cover.

Here's some info from the creators of this system:

I have been on the fence on the issue of ABS type systems on motorcycles. I have traded bikes to upgrade to the latest and greatest ABS. When I spend any time back on a bike without ABS, I begin to question if I really like or appreciate the ABS. On a dedicated luxury liner used for two up cross country use, I might lean towards the ABS. Anything else where I have a variety of riding and travel patterns, I believe I like the standard braking.
In my case I never have lost sight of the fact that a few of my bikes didn't have front brakes, and nothing stellar about the rear one. A couple bikes I cobbled together had brakes that were one step up or down from a rope and a cement block tossed out as an anchor. Anything that stops on demand within a few yards of the targeted stop spot to me is a thumbs up winner.

With the amount of dirt / gravel road I run on, I think I'll stick to the old fashioned set up....but this may be something useful to the commuters.

Please don't take this as criticism.....I understand getting out of sync with a traffic light....but I would look into why your rear brake predictably locks up and what relationship the rider's skill level plays in is possible that this is an indication that the money may be better spent on one of the advanced rider courses available. I have spent my money on some dumb stuff in my day, but I have never regretted the price of the skills gained from riding courses. They truly open doors to a whole new world of riding. Looking back, having some of the bikes I've had without the skills to really use the bike to its fullest was like having a real good rifle without any ammo.

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post #3 of 19 Old 09-17-2010, 11:03 AM
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I have another dual-sport bike (KTM) that has ABS and find it useful on the street in that it will keep the rear from locking up as happened to Justin. No good offroad however, scary actually and I turn it off when leaving the asphalt.

I practice panic stopping on both the KLR and KTM with ABS off/on. The hardest thing to master is not locking the rear in a panic situation. get the book "proficient motorcycling" by Hough and practice practice practice until it becomes second nature.

P.S. Just looked up the link. What is that? Looks like a pressure sensitive bleed valve, not for me especially if they cant even spell braking right (breaking?).

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Last edited by flash; 09-17-2010 at 11:12 AM. Reason: PS
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post #4 of 19 Old 09-17-2010, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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I agree with both of you when you mention that experience plays a role in it. I have taken the basic riders course in FL which is actually a requirement to get a motorcycle endorsement. I have interest in continuing to an advanced course as well. I have practiced emergency braking, but these moments do come up in heavy traffic. If I am riding at a safe distance and speed, there are several drivers who have no disregard and will just pull into your lane, or suddenly stop...

I know that there are several discussions on crappy brakes for the KLR, so I am wondering if anyone has experienced ABS as an improvement.

In all fairness to the topic, I don't think the rear brake should have locked as easy as it did and it might be an adjustment issue or beneficial to have ABS when commuting.

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post #5 of 19 Old 09-17-2010, 01:46 PM
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A quote from Hough "The best antiskid system is still mounted between a rider's ears".

The thing to remember is that in a quick stop the weight of the bike is transferred to the your front tire more traction and making your rear brake nearly useless and more prone to a skid that could cause you to lose control / highside. When practicing stops I will pull in the clutch, get some rear and front brake first and once the weight transfers back off the rear and give the front all it's got. Somewhere in all this if you're not crapping you're pants shift down to first gear ;-0

I wouldn't spend any money on the TCB thing, instead I'd put that cash toward a larger front disc plus decent brake pads and improving my braking skills. One of my first farkles on the KLR was putting the braided stainless steel brake lines on it. The OEM's were to "squishy". If I had to do it again I'd only have replaced the front, cant tell any difference to the rear.
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post #6 of 19 Old 09-20-2010, 10:26 PM
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I have adjusted the brake lever a little lower on some bikes to help with the tendancy to brake to strong with the rear.
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post #7 of 19 Old 10-04-2010, 12:33 PM
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I spent a bit of time using my back brake to the point where I can feel it just on the cusp of locking up and am able to hold it there under heavy braking.
I also spent a fair amount of time in an old empty housing project that never got built practicing "emergency braking".
I ended up finally having to use it in practice the other day and I have to say, I stopped fast and felt confident all the way until I stopped, even with the back tires moaning that it was on the cusp of locking. Though, the screeching truck behind me quickly ended that calm. /sigh
Now if I could just find that braking confidence in the sand here in AZ.
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post #8 of 19 Old 04-13-2011, 01:47 AM
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I hardly ever use my rear brake in an emergency situation, I squeeze hard one on the front and shift down a gear at the same time. This transfers weight to the front. I then apply as much force to the front as needed downshifting at the same time. If you downshift to 1st as quick as possible you tire will lock up even without hitting the rear brake. use the engine to slow down.
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post #9 of 19 Old 04-13-2011, 08:51 AM
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After reading this I've decided the rope and anchor sounds good.

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post #10 of 19 Old 04-13-2011, 10:36 AM
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Everybody is giving good advice especially about practicing panic stops (BTW you stop faster using both brakes with the clutch in). Practice from the speed you ride at, if you ride at 65 mph stop from 65. Work up to it!

When in traffic you have to always give yourself an escape route. A bike can't out brake a car (especially a KLR!) but you can be in postion to avoid the collision.

Don't ride in the center of the road, be in position to see what's going on ahead. Don't stay in blind spots, move through quickly. Don't be stopped directly behind a car, stop to the side and leave enough room that you can move up between cars if while watching you mirrors (always) you see something coming up fast.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9

Last edited by Spec; 04-13-2011 at 01:35 PM.
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