Does anyone practice downshifting w/ emergency braking? - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #1 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-08-2020, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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Does anyone practice downshifting w/ emergency braking?

My question is for anyone that practices emergency braking (straight line for this scenario). Do any of you all incorporate downshifting/engine braking at the same time? I realize it is going to be hard to paint the scenario via text but say if something pops out where you need to stop in a straight line as quick as possible I myself get better stopping times kicking down 1-3 gears while stopping and releasing the clutch. All at the same time mind you, I see the problem and recognize I need to stop quick as possible, while I am aggressively braking w/both front and back brakes I also pull clutch and depending on speed and situation drop 1-3 gears and release clutch for engine braking as well. Mind you if I dropped more than 2 gears I'm not popping the clutch back out in case it's too much and I end up locking rear anyways. Keeping with flow of traffic speeds coupled with aggressive braking 2-3 down works for me. Maybe a slight rear lock up but that's kinda what I'm looking for.

Just wondering if anyone else does this or am I doing too much?

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post #2 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-08-2020, 01:07 AM
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I’ve taken the MSF Advanced Rider’s Course three times. One of the drills is emergency stopping. Once the rider is stopped he/she is expected to keep the bike running, in first gear and to ride on quickly. I suppose it is based on the possibility that there may be another danger approaching that requires an evasive maneuver. I try to do a bit of this drill every year when we can get on the road again, but I don’t do it often enough.
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post #3 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-08-2020, 03:28 AM
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In the old days, when bikes had poor brakes, I would have agreed with you. But now, the brakes are so powerful that trying to deploy engine braking is just an unnecessary distraction. I would use both front and back brakes, pull the clutch to keep the engine running, and click down a couple of gears if you are not too panicked.
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post #4 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-08-2020, 07:15 AM
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In the old days, when bikes had poor brakes, I would have agreed with you. But now, the brakes are so powerful that trying to deploy engine braking is just an unnecessary distraction. I would use both front and back brakes, pull the clutch to keep the engine running, and click down a couple of gears if you are not too panicked.
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post #5 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-08-2020, 08:24 AM
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Nunia, being that I believe your bike does not have abs I believe that practice is important, find yourself a large open parking lot and practice quickly applying your brakes to the point of where the tires are on the edge of lockup but still turning. Locked tires will take a longer distance to stop.

Bernie is spot on above in his analysis, focus should be on maximum braking w/o locking things up, locking things up besides increasing your braking distances is also dangerous as you loose directional control. I had a good friend that panicked stopped locking things up on his Royal Star Venture that high sided & crushed him.

The fjr has very powerful brakes on all years with excellent abs on the later years that helps prevent lockup. Practicing maximum braking in an open uncongested area is a good thing to allow you to focus stopping in a minimum distance. Imho worrying about downshifting is just an added distraction, just pull the clutch in and focus on the shortest stopping distance possible w/o lockup. Worry about the rest of it after you’re stopped. Of course it all depends on the individual circumstance. Again, Bernie is spot on.
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post #6 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-08-2020, 11:07 AM
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Also in a true panic stop you won't have time to downshift and you would be concentrating on the situation. However if time allows I would be down shifting. We just got back from a little trip where we had 2 coyotes(within 2miles of each other) run in front of us at 70 mph, and I had to brake pretty hard but never thought about downshifting. I also agree about the MFS course(also taken multiple times) about coming to a emergency stop. During those exercises I was downshifting to first while braking(but not letting out the clutch) but you were normally in 3rd gear and not at 70mph
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post #7 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-08-2020, 11:25 AM
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Also in a true panic stop you won't have time to downshift and you would be concentrating on the situation. However if time allows I would be down shifting. We just got back from a little trip where we had 2 coyotes(within 2miles of each other) run in front of us at 70 mph, and I had to brake pretty hard but never thought about downshifting. I also agree about the MFS course(also taken multiple times) about coming to a emergency stop. During those exercises I was downshifting to first while braking(but not letting out the clutch) but you were normally in 3rd gear and not at 70mph
I disagree. First, with the proper practice emergency stops need not be done in a panic. To me, the word panic implies acting without control over your actions. With practice downshifting becomes part of the routine. The intent is not to use engine braking, but rather to keep the bike in the proper gear so that it can be manuvered out of harm. Imagine executing a great emergency stop to avoid an accident in front of you, only to then see a Buick bearing down on you from the rear, and discovering you're in 5th gear. Panic is then appropriate. I cannot claim that I have mastered this technique, but I have done it well a few times. As with most skills, this skill deteriorates when not reinforced with practice.

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post #8 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-08-2020, 11:36 AM
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This.
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In the old days, when bikes had poor brakes, I would have agreed with you. But now, the brakes are so powerful that trying to deploy engine braking is just an unnecessary distraction. I would use both front and back brakes, pull the clutch to keep the engine running, and click down a couple of gears if you are not too panicked.
Agreed.

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post #9 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-08-2020, 11:46 AM
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we are talking two different scenarios here.

1) Impact is imminent, there is no avoiding it. The only function is to scrub as much speed as possible before impact. With ABS you grab as much front and rear brake as physically possible and hold until the end. No clutching no shifting. Nothing but full ABS deployment and brace for impact.

Many times coming to a stop is so violent the bike falls over even if you did not hit the object.

2) Impact is likely but avoidance is possible (even if slim) This is when you have time to evaluate the situation. Look for escape or avoidance avenues and modulate controls for other options besides 100% braking only.

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post #10 of 69 (permalink) Old 09-08-2020, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses everyone. I agree that in a true emergency it maybe too much to try and do at once. But coming off a Ninja 500 where safety actually is dependent on being in the right gear (any type of power depends on it) I am accustom to shifting A LOT! So when I do practice on the FJR I downshift as well. Or at least have clutch pulled and downshifted to the right gear even without releasing the clutch.

And I absolutely practice in a lot at least once a week, I try to get there on both bikes but the priority is the FJR obviously as it's a new machine to me. Even after the road trip. While I am 100% more comfortable and confident it is not the same level of confidence as on the Ninja. The Ninja and me are one! And I have had so much seat time and practice w/her muscle memory definitely comes into play where I instinctively just do the right things. Not the case with the FJR, but we are getting there!!! Case in point, a week of no riding anything and I can get on the Ninja and feel totally comfortable. The only thing that throws me is that it feels like a moped now both in size and power, lol! A week and no riding the FJR is like my first time riding her. That's not necessarily a bad thing because I spend a moment centering myself and reminding myself of the respect she needs at all points in time. Riding is a perishable skill for me at least.

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