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Discussion Starter #1
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+??

http://www.klr650.com/TractionControlBrakingUnit.htm
 

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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:

http://www.tcbbrakesystems.com/

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 that.....it 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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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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Discussion Starter #4
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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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 front....giving 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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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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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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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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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.
 

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Everybody is giving good advice especially about practicing panic stops (BTW you stop faster using both brakes and 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.
/nod
True true.
 

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Good advice from everybody, in my opinion. On pavement (and especially going in a straight line, like in the traffic light scenario) that front brake is your friend. Everybody knows it works very well and that's why some people are leery of it. Not saying you are...just saying.

It seems to me that ABS systems maybe make sense for slick conditions: rain/oil, ice/snow, etc., but don't really see that they would be a big plus on dry surfaces over regular brakes. I ain't no engineer, though, just my opinion.

I just don't see locking up the rear brake in a straight line on pavement no matter how badly you want to stop unless that's the only brake you're using. Can't say I've ever locked up my rear from braking on pavement. I pull in the clutch and can't really describe how I coordinate the front and rear brakes because I "just do it" because I practice regularly. It's not only a wise thing to do, it's fun.

Of course, my braking method varies depending on what kind of surface I'm riding on and whether I'm in a straight line or a turn, but on dry pavement in a straight line if I want to stop in a hurry, I progressively (and very quickly) squeeze that front brake lever to the point where I wonder if I'm going to have to straighten the lever out when I'm done or have the cable snap or need to get off afterwards and check for stress bulges in my stock rubber brake lines.

Bear in mind, this could get out of control on something like a Ninja, but with my 280 pounds on a KLR, I don't foresee an endo on dry pavement in a straight line no matter how hard I squeeze that front brake lever.

I definitely agree positioning yourself in relation to other vehicles/situations when riding in traffic is every important, but make that front brake your friend and practice using it to its maximum potential. It is your best friend if you need to stop in a hurry in such a situation.

I haven't done it because I've spent farkle money on other things, but I would also recommend the advice here to make your front brake more efficient with the braided stainless hoses and a better disc and pads. That mod is in my future.

Good luck to you and ride safe!
 

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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.
IMO, in an emergency situation, you don't have time to shift down at all, much less a gear at a time and even without using the clutch.

An emergency stop to me is pull in the clutch and mash the brakes. If you don't care what happens when you come to a stop (like stalling), guess you don't even need to bother with pulling in the clutch, but I still do. If I have to stop quickly, I take the engine out of the equation completely by pulling in the clutch and leaving it pulled in until I'm stopped. I like nothing but brakes when I'm trying to stop quickly. Emergency stops in dry pavement in a straight line only, here.
 

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Totally agree, as do most authorities on the subject. Both levers in and apply both brakes. Practice finding the threshold so it feels natural. I have had to do emergency stops enough times that I am glad I practiced. The muscle memory is there. Downshifting never enters my mind.
 

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In regards to down shifting during emergency stops:
I always downshift. I can click down 4 times very quickly. Basically, I mash the clutch, and as I quickly stop using both brakes...wondering if the front end is going to break loose, I quickly tap 5th to 1st. (or whatever gear I'm in to 1st). The reason being, is if once I'm stopped and look in my rear view to see a truck barreling down on me because he can't/didn't stop in time, I can scoot quickly out of the way instead of panicking to get it in the correct gear to go. I've seen too many bikes in Phoenix rear ended because of that and I refuse to be one of them. It takes practice, but I can't recommend it enough to everyone to make sure they're in first when they stop so they don't get pinched. (granted I don't do it in the dirt during panic stops. Far too busy keeping the bike under control, then again, I'm not worried about a cement truck behind me)
It never occurred to me to do that until I was taught it in my MC safety certification class.
 

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In regards to down shifting during emergency stops:
I always downshift. I can click down 4 times very quickly. Basically, I mash the clutch, and as I quickly stop using both brakes...wondering if the front end is going to break loose, I quickly tap 5th to 1st. (or whatever gear I'm in to 1st). The reason being, is if once I'm stopped and look in my rear view to see a truck barreling down on me because he can't/didn't stop in time, I can scoot quickly out of the way instead of panicking to get it in the correct gear to go. I've seen too many bikes in Phoenix rear ended because of that and I refuse to be one of them. It takes practice, but I can't recommend it enough to everyone to make sure they're in first when they stop so they don't get pinched. (granted I don't do it in the dirt during panic stops. Far too busy keeping the bike under control, then again, I'm not worried about a cement truck behind me)
It never occurred to me to do that until I was taught it in my MC safety certification class.
That's a very good point. It would definitely suck to just miss hitting something in front of you only to get hit from behind; a definite possibility in traffic.
 

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I agree, it is a good point, and I think it depends on the situation for me. There are times when I have to stop REAL hard and I'll click the gears down, usually near the end when I know I am not going to have an issue with stopping. In an absolute, slam on the breaks or you're going to hit something, I don't, but you're right, it would probably be a good idea since these situations usually occur in city traffic where the threat from behind is just as bad.

Good call. I would consider gearing down a means of escape and not try to use the engine to slow the bike (ie, still, clutch in).
 

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Good call. I would consider gearing down a means of escape and not try to use the engine to slow the bike (ie, still, clutch in).
Oh yes, definitely. There's no way I'm engine braking during something like that. Clutch in the whole time. It's only in case I need to GTFO in a hurry.
 
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