Brake Sliding

Magellan

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#1
I watched Time To Ride last week (great video) and noticed that brake sliding around a tight turn seems like a good skill to have.

I went on an enduro this past weekend and decided to give it a try...Here are the results:

OK, coming into a left turn I initiate the turn and lock the rear wheel. Bike stalls and I'm blocking the trail in the middle of the turn...

Next turn. Another left. This time I remember to grab the clutch. I start the turn, hit the brake and clutch, and yeah, the bike end comes around. As I exit the turn, I let out the clutch and lag 2nd gear. Almost stalled it, but grabbed first in time...

This was pretty much the story for the left turns. I started droping the gears, but never got a good transition from brake sliding to accelerating. I figure more practice.

The rights were another story.

Coming into a right turn. Initiate the turn, grab the clutch, and Oh NO! My right foot is nowhere near the brake pedal. It is suspended in mid air near the front wheel. I go into panic mode as I'm going too fast to make the corner (after all, I had planned to brake) and I grab the front brake. Bad idea--front end washes out, I step over the bars for a short run into a tree. I knew I had a helmet for a reason.

Next time, same thing, except that I avoided the frnot brake, overran the turn, and this time the bike hit the tree.

I figure my foot needs to stay near the brake, but it doesn't feel natural. I want to bring my leg up to help balance...

Any tips or suggestions? I plan to study the video some more and practice this Friday.

Thanks,

Mag
 
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#2
Are you sure they are brake sliding the corners? I know on my WR it is easier to powerslide. I do most of my braking in a straight line, and then get on the gas to light the rear up, and power around it. As for the brakes. You know what a highside and a lowside are right? (bear in mind this is my personal observation, and not scientific knowledge) In order to slide the bike, there is a "balance point" between doing a highside and a lowside, when going sideways. If the bike is too straight up, you get pitched. If the bike is too leaned over, you skid out. Bear in mind this point changes with surface conditions. To brake slide effectively, you have to be at this point or a little below it (more leaned over). Lefties are easier than righties, since you can be on the rear with a foot off the peg. I would practice standing up, and keeping both feet on the pegs. Roll into the turns, sliding a bit if you like, and then lean it over and gas it out. You will notice that the same thing applies to getting on the gas. If you are above the "point" the bike will want to stand up. Below it, and spin out. Good luck
 

Magellan

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#3
The riders in the video may be sliding into the turn straight and then powering out. I'll hav to review the vid to see for sure.
 

RM_guy

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#4
I brake slide a lot in tight turns. I can come in hot and square off the turn quicker. Even on sweepers where I want to pass someone (doesn’t happen often ) and I need to change directions in a hurry.

Left turns are easier than right for the reasons that you already discovered. I like to keep both feet on the pegs so I can hit the brake. It takes some practice (doing it the right way;)) but when you lock up the rear wheel, lean the bike to keep from highsiding (as Button mentioned). Also keep your head up over the handle bars to help weight the front end. This is more critical with right hand turns since your foot is on the brakes and you can’t swing it forward.

Once the bike is pointed in the direction that you want to go, release the brake & clutch and gas it. Gear selection is important too. If I come into the turn in 3rd I may not down shift and just feather the clutch when coming out. It all depends on your speed and how tight the corner is.

Practice, practice, practice…

Good luck
 

WoodsRider

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#5
Back in the days of the Husky autos, brake sliding was the quickest way through the woods. However the automatic dirtbike transmission has gone the route of the do-do. There are still times when brake sliding is still the quickest method like semi-tight turns after a long straight. For really tight turns, power sliding seems to work better.

Watching the really smooth riders (as they pass me) I've got to believe that breaking traction should only be used as a last resort. For instance, I used to always lock up the rear tire on the entrance to a turn, fan the clutch and power out spinning the rear wheel. This is not a smooth method. Lately I've been using more front brake to scrub off excess speed. Then I pull the clutch in and downshift as I enter the turn. Upon reaching the apex, apply throttle and clutch evenly to prevent wheel spin and accelerate out of the turn. The real trick is body position. Due to various hazzards in the woods I try to keep my toes on the pegs as much as possible. Shifting forward and back and sitting on the corners of the seat has helped build my confidence... of course it could also be the bike and the MX-Tech forks too. ;)

As RM_guy stated, practice, practice, practice!
 
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#6
If you read any interviews etc. with Shane Watts, he claims "us Yanks" try to brake slide around the corners too much. He claims the fastest way around almost all corners is a smooth approach. I guess if anyone knows how to go fast in the woods, Watts does.
 
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#7
Originally posted by Magellan
Next turn. Another left. This time I remember to grab the clutch. I start the turn, hit the brake and clutch, and yeah, the bike end comes around. As I exit the turn, I let out the clutch and lag 2nd gear. Almost stalled it, but grabbed first in time...
To keep it from lagging feather the clutch when you start moving forward. And to help for power sliding I suggest going out on a bicycle and practce power sliding, I used to power slide my bicycle all the time and when I got a dirtbike is was like second nature to me
 

bud

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#8
It is a good skill to have, imo, but from the fast guys I have talked to it's the fastest way thru only about 1% of corners on an average enduro track. On the plus side, it's fun, looks impressive on video, and is liable to kick up a lot more dust to blind/choke the guy following you :).

I gave up trying to get them spot on ages ago, but as my corner speed has increased (ever so gradually), I find brake slide to power slide, where necessary, is sort of coming naturally.

I read that a common mistake is to start the slide way too early. The way to go is to use the front brake to kill most of your speed, then only lock up the rear just before you square the corner, sliding for a second or less before hitting the gas.
 
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#9
Hey Mag,

Regarding brake sliding, or "squaring the corners",
Heres how I do it and I have been doin since I was racin" years ago.

Lets say you are coming into a left sweeper, crank on the gas hard, and just as you are coming into the entry of the corner, downshift into 2nd or 1st gear. push on the brake pedal and lean the bike to the inside of the corner,

as you are doing this,turn your handle bars lightly to the right, this will keep you from highsiding over the bike.
What will happen is the rear tire will completely lock up,and start to slide around the corner, in a sense your back tire is trying to "pass you"

As soon as your bike is almost going the opposite direction,crank on the throttle! Your back tire actually "bounces off of the berm" then when you crank the throttle, your bike actually shoots around the corner.

This is a cool technique that looks great on video. "Wow did I do that?!
It does some practice, but what you can break it down in to "parts" at a time.

1st part, come into the corner really fast, and just lock up the rear tire, while
leaning to the inside. Do this several times until you get the hang of it.

2nd part, now come into the corner, lock up the tire, and try to actually make your rear tire "hit the berm" and see what it feels like.
try this several times, get comfortable with it

3rd part, now come into the corner, hit the brakes, lean the bike over to the inside ( stick your left foot out by the front fork, for balance) as you feel the bike sliding, as soon as the rear of the bike is pointing the other direction, crank on the throttle!

IF done correctly, you will impressed at how fast you can come out of the corners! Also watch Pastrana and Carmichael, in Supercross, they practically square every corner. Why because its much faster than riding the berm.

And a very good way to pass other slower riders, waiting their turn to get in the best (they think) line thru the corner.
Any way this is a cool technique to learn, but it does take some time and a lot
of practice! But Hey! If it was EASY, you would see monkeys doin' it!

Have Fun and give it a try, let me know when you get the hang of it.

berm buster
 
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#10
Hey Mag,

Regarding brake sliding, or "squaring the corners",
Heres how I do it and I have been doin since I was racin" years ago.

Lets say you are coming into a left sweeper, crank on the gas hard, and just as you are coming into the entry of the corner, downshift into 2nd or 1st gear. push on the brake pedal and lean the bike to the inside of the corner,

as you are doing this,turn your handle bars lightly to the right, this will keep you from highsiding over the bike. ( dont forget t pull in the clutch)
What will happen is the rear tire will completely lock up,and start to slide around the corner, in a sense your back tire is trying to "pass you"

As soon as your bike is almost going the opposite direction,crank on the throttle! Your back tire actually "bounces off of the berm" then when you crank the throttle, your bike actually shoots around the corner.

This is a cool technique that looks great on video. "Wow did I do that?!
It does some practice, but, you can break it down in to "parts"

1st part, come into the corner really fast, and just lock up the rear tire, while
leaning to the inside. Do this several times until you get the hang of it.

2nd part, now come into the corner, lock up the rear tire, and try to actually make your tire "hit the berm" and see what it feels like.
try this several times, get comfortable with it

3rd part, now come into the corner, hit the brakes, lean the bike over to the inside ( stick your left foot out by the front fork, for balance) as you feel the bike sliding, as soon as the rear of the bike is pointing the other direction, crank on the throttle! and lean forward over the tank, when the tire does grab traction, the front wheel will try to "head for the sky"

IF done correctly, you will impressed at how fast you can come out of the corners! Also watch Pastrana and Carmichael, in Supercross, they practically square every corner. Why, because its much faster than riding the berm.

And a very good way to pass other slower riders, waiting their turn to get in the best (they think) line thru the corner.
Any way this is a cool technique to learn, but it does take some time and a lot
of practice! But Hey! If it was EASY, you would see monkeys doin' it!


Have Fun and give it a try, let me know when you get the hang of it.

berm buster
 
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#11
Mag, you want to get most of your braking done before the corner. and if the corner is tight enough that you want to slide it, then you should be in first gear. You want to be done with all deceleration before you enter the corner, then just coast until you are ready to get on the gas. that is a really smooth way to get through a corner. hey berm buster... have you ever ridden on a real supercross track? it is impossible to rail most of those berms. they are just a bank. the only really reasonable around one of those corners is to just square it, and then roll on the clutch and throttle hard, and at the same time. and its not how it looks but how fast it is.
 
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#12
IMO brake sliding is only effective when squaring off berms. I used to do it a lot on flat corners, but you just don't have the same control over the bike. I prefer to brake late (using mainly my front brake for stopping power), whilst standing with my weight towards the rear of the bike, I then pull myself forward and sit as far forward as possible, then looking at where I want the bike to go (exit point), I get on the gas. This technique has helped me heaps, especially with undertaking riders who brake early.

Like others have said - smooth riding is fast riding.
 
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#13
Hey Roost'
Um, I think you are incorrect in your way of brake sliding, squaring the corner
etc. Whatever term you want to use, they all mean the same thing.

As you say, you want to get most of your braking done before you enter the
corner, If you do it your way, Your bike is not going to have enough speed
or momentum to "slide the rear tire, thru the corner"
I have never seen anyone"coast" thru a corner, when they are trying to
"square it". I am not saying it can't be done, I am just saying I havent seen it.
Also,When I said they ride the berms in racing, I wasnt referring only to
SX or MX, I was speaking in generalities.

I gave Pastrana as an excellent example of someone who "squares" most
of the corners he rides, again, he does not do his braking before the corner,
he brake slides thru the corner.
What I did say about berms, is when some of the riders are riding in the berms, squaring the corner, would be one of the ways you could pass them.
as it is a faster way thru most corners.
I think you got the general idea of what I was saying.
 
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#14
Deleted double post.

Original remains below, just above "I won't follow so closly next time" LT. :eek:
 
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#15
Re: Brake Sliding - Here's a goon's perspective

Originally posted by Magellan
I watched Time To Ride last week (great video) and noticed that brake sliding around a tight turn seems like a good skill to have.
Musta' been Hawkins; he looks like the master of the technique. I have an old photocopy of him explaining how he does it, w/pix. Send me your snail-mail address & I'll send ya a copy. Reading it over & over help me a little.

Originally posted by Magellan I went on an enduro and decided to give it a try: into a left turn I initiate the turn and lock the rear wheel. Bike stalls and I'm blocking the trail in the middle of the turn...

Next turn...I remember to grab the clutch. I start the turn, hit the brake and clutch, and yeah, the bike end comes around. As I exit the turn, I let out the clutch and lag 2nd gear. Almost stalled it, but grabbed first in time...

This was pretty much the story for the left turns. I started droping the gears, but never got a good transition from brake sliding to accelerating. I figure more practice.
Certainly practice. I can relate to your struggle, having the same problem. Most of my difficulties stem from proper clutch release, lack brake feel (w/stiff Tech 8s), & the awkward body positions/contortions I do when riding (like a goon).

Then again, after 1-1/2 years, I'm still not used to the 2-stroke boost, coming off a 4 banger. On the latter, I found Shane Watts' method of an arc the quickest - brake-sliding a thumper did me no good, but then again, Randy doesn't seem to differentiate between the two: he brake-slides them all w/ease, but is known to be a clutch abuser - I can't see how anyone could go fast in tight trees w/Shane's method.

Originally posted by Magellan The rights were another story.

Coming into a right turn. Initiate the turn, grab the clutch, and Oh NO! My right foot is nowhere near the brake pedal. It is suspended in mid air near the front wheel. I go into panic mode as I'm going too fast to make the corner (after all, I had planned to brake) and I grab the front brake. Bad idea--front end washes out, I step over the bars for a short run into a tree. I knew I had a helmet for a reason.

Next time, same thing, except that I avoided the frnot brake, overran the turn, and this time the bike hit the tree.

Any tips or suggestions?
Lol. Gad, you have a way w/words, & describing the things I go thru to make this work..

I suggest U try the technique in an open area, around bushes & the like, where there is room for error.