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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 09:03 
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I have noticed in various magazies / forums the view that putting both feet down when stopped is a cardinal sin

Can someone explain whats the problem ?

I have long enough legs that I can put both feet flat on the floor and hold the bike still even on noticable slopes without using the brakes.

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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 09:19 
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I was taught to only put my left foot down so that traffic passing you on the offside won't run your foot over.

BUT I tend to put both feet down anyway, especially on taller bikes when I'm on tippietoes anyway! :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 10:03 
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Is that WITH a pillion, or WITHOUT?

I'd always put both down with a pillion, and keep the bike vertical.

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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 10:12 
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hampshireian wrote:
I have noticed in various magazies / forums the view that putting both feet down when stopped is a cardinal sin

Can someone explain whats the problem ?

I have long enough legs that I can put both feet flat on the floor and hold the bike still even on noticable slopes without using the brakes.


I think because when on one foot you are in a more stable position forming a tripod so the forces through your leg and contact with the bike give you good control over the bike. If both feet are on the ground and the bike is upright then at one extreme you are exerting very little pressure through your feet and the bike can easily shift to one side or the other suddenly increasing the support you have to provide and reaction times mean the bike can move through quite an angle before you correct at the other extreme you are virtually standing up and movement of the bike will exert a sudden side load on one leg.

The other reason for the left leg could be that it stops you from accidentally knocking the bike into gear, though I would say Sixy's point is stronger. I mainly held the bike with my right leg so that it was easier to get into gear.

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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 14:46 
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I was taught left foot down at stops. This allows you to control the clutch, throttle and rear brake at the same time. Right foot down only allows proper control of Front brake (or front and rear on linked system bikes) and clutch. You may need the throttle to get out of trouble. :shock:

I do still mostly use the left foot only (it has only been nine months since I passed my test), but I sometimes use the right or even both if stooped for a long time. iirc the police are taught to use the right foot to prevent the 3tap shuffle. :?


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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 15:33 
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theboxers wrote:
I was taught left foot down at stops. This allows you to control the clutch, throttle and rear brake at the same time. Right foot down only allows proper control of Front brake (or front and rear on linked system bikes) and clutch. You may need the throttle to get out of trouble. :shock:


First and second finger on the brake lever, ring and little finger around the grip, lets you hold the front brake on and control the throttle. If your brake lever will come far enough back to trap your fingers don't do it.

I am a bit old school when it comes to bikes though so please make sure you are happy this is OK before taking my word on it.

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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 22:03 
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there's all sorts of crap about this depending on who you listen too, there's views to justify to.

learners are taught the safety position. Left down, clutch in foot on the brake. in theory it allows you to get a quick getaway in the event that someone barrels up behind you unable to stop at traffic lights and punts you up the bum. There's also a view that the rear brake means you're less likely to flip up in the air in the event you are hit. but basically I tend to do the following..

If i'm only stopping for a second cos ive timed the lights i'll go with the safety position. this means max control when filtering and ready to go when the lights change.
If I stop on a fast road or a blind bend (e.g. level crossing in a country road). I'll go safety position until the car behind is stopped.
If the lights have just changed, I'll go out of gear, right down and relax.
but most important is where you put your foot. no point going left down if its an hole and you fall over.
lastly in gusty wind I tend to go both feet down. and also when carry pillions too


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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 12:36 
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I tend to have my right leg down with my foot hovering over the gear change so that when the lights change I don't dither.

If I have a pillion, or in high winds, I have both feet down. If I'm feeling clever I try no feet for as long as I can and fumble at the last second. :D (The driver behind must be thinking "does he know what he's doing?")

BTW my mate ict_guy asked me a good question the other day. (Hope you don't mind me posting a quickie here hampshireian, but it's not worth starting a different thread)

Do continental bikes have the side stand on the right? If they don't they would be dismounting in the road wouldn't they? It would certainly make it more difficult to put it down and get off the wrong side in effect. Also, small point, the bike would be leaning into the traffic more.

I should know the answer to this :oops:

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 15:04 
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Big Tone wrote:
Do continental bikes have the side stand on the right?

Only left hand drive ones. :)

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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 23:37 
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if it's absolutely flat and the bike won't be rolling, i'd put both feet down (same as when i there is strong wind). otherwise, i use my right foot to break and rest my hands or warm them when it's freezing cold.


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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 08:54 
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gh0$t wrote:
...or warm them when it's freezing cold.

Ahhh memories of sticking my hands on the engine at -15 (with chill factor, felt like -50!)

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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 20:02 
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The procedure I was told when I passed my test was as follows.

When stationary have the left foot down and the right foot on the brake. This is the same as having the hand brake on in a car (sort of)

When you are about to pull away put your right foot down, use your clutch to put the bike into first then swop back to having fight foot on the brake as you roll forward. If you rely on your front brake when you pull away you do not have the sme control as you are using your throttle as well.

It sounds messy but you do get used to it.

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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 22:33 
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WTF are they teaching today?!!!

My recent friend, (who has gone up through the ranks quickly and has an R1 after just one year of motorbikes), told me this too.

In his own words, "I don't use the front brake under about 5 mph because you could lock it up".

When I said I do, he looked at me like I'm some sort of nut!

It's what I have always done, without incident - ever!

I am in control! It also happens to be easy and convenient.

Really? Seriously? WTF are they trying to teach?

I say, if you don't know how your bike and tyres react to your input on the road, you are an accident waiting to happen.

I'm totally lost for words, like never before... :?

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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 23:47 
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That's an unfortunate extension of the DSA's need to specify, in ever-increasing detail, every last bit of the content of the CBT syllabus.

One of the exercises is walking with the bike and then applying the front brake. The instructor demonstrates what happens, at walking pace, if you use the front brake on a corner and then goes on to explain that, at very low speeds, the back brake is best. This demonstration is most impressive if you rapidly grab a handful of front brake while on full lock. Even at a walk it looks pretty scary.

Take this to its logical conclusion and you have the bollocks your mate came out with. "I don't use the front brake under about 5 mph because you could lock it up".

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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 00:24 
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I was "advised" to use only the rear brake when on the last 10ft or so coming up to a junction to aid control. You may be afforded an chance to pull into the new road without coming to a complete stop so would need full control of the throttle. I was not told not to use the front brake coming to a standstill in a straight line.

My own personal problem is approaching junctions too fast. Not so fast that I can not stop at or before the give way line. Just a little to quick to sometimes take the gaps that are available. I think it is a case of making my mind up too early that I will "have" to stop. I am slowly improving this but can make it a lot better.

Also like a lot of learners/newly licensed my slow speed stuff needs practice. :oops:


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 12:30 
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MrsMiggins wrote:
That's an unfortunate extension of the DSA's need to specify, in ever-increasing detail, every last bit of the content of the CBT syllabus.

One of the exercises is walking with the bike and then applying the front brake. The instructor demonstrates what happens, at walking pace, if you use the front brake on a corner and then goes on to explain that, at very low speeds, the back brake is best. This demonstration is most impressive if you rapidly grab a handful of front brake while on full lock. Even at a walk it looks pretty scary.

Take this to its logical conclusion and you have the bollocks your mate came out with. "I don't use the front brake under about 5 mph because you could lock it up".


Oddly I would take the line that at low speeds you may have to put your foot on the floor thus losing the rear brake and therefore you need to be able to use the front brake effectively at low speeds because you do not usually need to take your hand off the bars.

It appears what they are teaching are the default safest methods for low skill/experience riders in the most common situations. This does make sense, however it also seems they are teaching this to be the whole of the knowledge rather than explaining that more advanced techniques are possible and desirable in certain situations and as their abilities improve they should investigate these with the help of further training.

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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 19:22 
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Big Tone wrote:
WTF are they teaching today?!!!

In his own words, "I don't use the front brake under about 5 mph because you could lock it up".



I was always told to use the rear brake at low speeds because it alowes for much easier turning. I have always found this to be true. If I am riding at walking pace (through car parks etc) it is much easier to turn when you drag the rear brake. Its the same on the mandatory U-Turn during your test. Using the front brake at such slow speeds whilst turning makes the bike less stable.

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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 10:03 
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Gizmo wrote:
Big Tone wrote:
WTF are they teaching today?!!!

In his own words, "I don't use the front brake under about 5 mph because you could lock it up".



I was always told to use the rear brake at low speeds because it alowes for much easier turning. I have always found this to be true. If I am riding at walking pace (through car parks etc) it is much easier to turn when you drag the rear brake. Its the same on the mandatory U-Turn during your test. Using the front brake at such slow speeds whilst turning makes the bike less stable.


I do the same Gizmo, U-Turns and slow manouvers, but the impression I got from my friend was a blanket "don't use the front brake below 5mph".

Maybe I should take the CBT test. :idea: The last bike test I took, (and past), was in 1976 so maybe things have moved on a bit since then.. :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 18:42 
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Big Tone wrote:
I do the same Gizmo, U-Turns and slow manouvers, but the impression I got from my friend was a blanket "don't use the front brake below 5mph".


The only thing I can think of is that if you don't de-clutch you are less likely to lock up the rear wheel because if you do you would have to stall the engine.

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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 18:26 
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toltec wrote:
theboxers wrote:
I was taught left foot down at stops. This allows you to control the clutch, throttle and rear brake at the same time. Right foot down only allows proper control of Front brake (or front and rear on linked system bikes) and clutch. You may need the throttle to get out of trouble. :shock:


Quote:
First and second finger on the brake lever, ring and little finger around the grip, lets you hold the front brake on and control the throttle. If your brake lever will come far enough back to trap your fingers don't do it.

I am a bit old school when it comes to bikes though so please make sure you are happy this is OK before taking my word on it.


This is not of huge importance in the scheme of things but there must be a viable standard to teach by and it must be sensible. It is not good to teach people advanced techniques before they have basic skill. The left foot is always put down on modern bikes, As you stop and lean on this foot it stops you falling into traffic it leaves you with a full grip of throttle and clutch and your right foot in control of rear brake which prevents rolling or being nudged by accident into traffic, as you should always halt in 1st gear you can move off more readily.The brake and clutch are designed for all fingers not two (unless its a crosser) if you crash with a habbit of two finger holding there are circumstances where you may lose the other two.Though dont get into the habbit of excessive rear brake use, always remember when braking in a strait line...FRONT BRAKE first immediately followed by REAR BRAKE in good conditions a ratio of 75/25. I see a lot of old school bikers using the back brake wrongly just thought I would remind people.


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