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Thread: New BMW guy, old rider, and BMW brakes

  1. #16
    Registered User lbarbee's Avatar
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    New BMW guy, old rider, and BMW brakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    Asking for 'anecdotal information' on how to brake is like opening Pandora's Box - a myriad of advice, testimonials and techniques - many of which could get you into trouble. The fact that you yourself hint at having sub-divided thoughts of braking into "routine vs. aggressive" is already a passive 'cry for help.'

    You mention a lapse of 3 decades since last riding, and the desire to reacquaint yourself with the basic skills set for safe motorcycle operation - principles of physics (i.e. traction patches, weight transfer, etc.) that never change as long as what you straddle is a single-tracked vehicle with two wheels and a handlebar.

    Good for you!!

    I could review proper braking here and now, but will gladly defer to the professionals that will soon teach you.

    Take the course, challenge your instructors to defend the logic of what they propose, and go out and get some real time on your new RT in 2013.
    Dang I typed all that before I read this.
    +1 on what he said.
    Only thing I would add would be to understand how your braking system works so that you can challenge appropriately.
    Lynn
    2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have)
    2002 BMW R1150RT
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

  2. #17
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by lbarbee View Post
    One quick add from my SCUBA instruction life. We also teach, do the same thing, the same way, every time, emergency or not. There is certainly value in keeping the right foot muscles trained.
    There are excellent parallels between the reactionary skills we use in scuba diving instruction and the muscle memory advantages of "same way, every time, emergency or not" that you mention.

    Very good advice - thanks for posting it. I have some experience in this field as well.

    PADI Divemaster (Ret.)
    PADI Master Scuba Diver (Active)
    30-yr. Veteran/Team Leader of LEO Dive Rescue Team (Ret.)
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    Motorcycle & High Performance Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  3. #18
    Registered User lbarbee's Avatar
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    New BMW guy, old rider, and BMW brakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    There are excellent parallels between the reactionary skills we use in scuba diving instruction and the muscle memory advantages of "same way, every time, emergency or not" that you mention.

    Very good advice - thanks for posting it. I have some experience in this field as well.

    PADI Divemaster (Ret.)
    PADI Master Scuba Diver (Active)
    30-yr. Veteran/Team Leader of LEO Dive Rescue Team (Ret.)
    My entire riding group are all either current or former advanced instructors. A couple of pilots. You would fit right in.

    My SCUBA experience helps me so much in life. Combined with my motorcycle experience I have learned a lot.

    Keep it simple.
    Be prepared.
    Know you equipment.
    Expect the unexpected.

    The parallels are there: check you gear before you get in the water vs. put on all the gear you plan to crash in.

    Of course I could have just put in the effort and been a Boy Scout. Would have been much cheaper.

    Many excellent adventures to you in 2013.
    Lynn
    2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have)
    2002 BMW R1150RT
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

  4. #19
    Registered User lbarbee's Avatar
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    New BMW guy, old rider, and BMW brakes

    I see ka5ysy is a diver too. What is it with BMW riders and scuba and pilots.
    No wonder we all get along so well.

    Okay I am way off topic. Back to brakes.....
    Lynn
    2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have)
    2002 BMW R1150RT
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

  5. #20
    Registered User argent brick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 188233 View Post
    My first post so pls bear with me, this may sound kind of basic to seasoned BMW riders...This past August I bought a 2012 R1200RT after almost 30 years since selling my last bike, a Honda 750 Sabre. I love the RT and feel pretty comfortable with it to this point but recognize the need to go back thru a riding class to renew some lost skills (had a class scheduled but had to cancel due to business travel. Rescheduled for mid-January). This question is about the best practice for the bike's brake system. They are impressive to say the least, but the technical and anecdotal stuff I've read about the partially integrated ABS system seems contradictory at times. I have always been a proponent of lots of front brake and judicious use of rear brake during both routine and "aggressive" braking. But if I read the technical info correctly, on the RT you get maximized front and rear braking using only the front brake lever. In fact I've noticed at times that when I initiate braking with the front lever and then get on the rear pedal, the pedal seems to pulse as though the ABS is kicking in. I'm curious what techniques you all use.
    So, are you going to use the bike supplied by the school or your own bike in the upcoming class?
    Lynn
    MOA #57883
    Current Ride: 1995 K75 Standard
    Past: 1978 Yamaha XS 750, 1976 BMW R60/6

  6. #21
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lbarbee View Post
    I have no problem switching to my other bikes, my brain just flips into non integrated mode.
    I have three different braking systems on my bikes. I have fully integrated ABS, traditional brakes and a maxi-scooter with the rear brake on the left hand lever. Going from one to the other is automatic and I brake without even thinking.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARGENT BRICK View Post
    So, are you going to use the bike supplied by the school or your own bike in the upcoming class?
    I'll be using my bike.

    It is interesting to read that there are so many divers and aviators answering up. I too flew In the Navy as an ASW weapons system operator, not a pilot. And about the same time I sold my Sabre was about the last time I was diving. Maybe that will need to be next on my resume.

  8. #23
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    From my MSF instructor viewpoint, and based on your background, experience and training, I'd suggest the MSF ERC at the least as a re-introduction to motorcycle training. But my bet is you'd do well in the MSF ARC. Both classes are done on your bike. If you feel a bit hesitant about taking a training class on your own bike, the take the ERC first. If you are confident on your bike then the ARC would do the most for you.

    Kudos to you though to realize the training and learning never stop. Same for me after 41 years of riding.

  9. #24
    Registered User lbarbee's Avatar
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    New BMW guy, old rider, and BMW brakes

    Quote Originally Posted by ANDYVH View Post
    From my MSF instructor viewpoint, and based on your background, experience and training, I'd suggest the MSF ERC at the least as a re-introduction to motorcycle training. But my bet is you'd do well in the MSF ARC. Both classes are done on your bike. If you feel a bit hesitant about taking a training class on your own bike, the take the ERC first. If you are confident on your bike then the ARC would do the most for you.

    Kudos to you though to realize the training and learning never stop. Same for me after 41 years of riding.
    What is the average retrain rate? I have stood in front of many divers and told them that even if they have a hundreds of dives, but if they haven't dove in a year, do a scuba skills update. So now I am sitting here asking myself if I shouldn't refresh.

    I mean I ride a lot, and I feel good on the bike.

    However, just as in diving you rarely practice your emergency skills, the same is true on the bike.

    I see even the most experienced divers thank me after an update. I didn't teach them much, but reminded them of what they knew and pointed out a few bad habits.

    Any thoughts? Might be a fun group activity too.
    Lynn
    2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have)
    2002 BMW R1150RT
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

  10. #25
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lbarbee View Post
    I see ka5ysy is a diver too. What is it with BMW riders and scuba and pilots.
    No wonder we all get along so well.

    Okay I am way off topic. Back to brakes.....

    Yep, Scuba Diver (2000 plus dives, DAN Board member, NAUI Instructor) , Commercial instrument Pilot - 3500 or so hours in Beech equipment, Ham geek, Public Safety diver (23 years worth, 44 recoveries, 1 rescue), police firearms instructor, MSF/Riders Edge instructor. Sometime I even manage to practice law despite rumors to the contrary


    Quote Originally Posted by 188233 View Post
    It is interesting to read that there are so many divers and aviators answering up.

    Mmmmm.... I think we all have very low boredom thresholds. Or maybe adult ADHD ?

    Anyway, 188233 you are way over-thinking the whole brake issue. Go take the class and ride the darn thing.


    Both Brakes Always
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

  11. #26
    Registered User lbarbee's Avatar
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    New BMW guy, old rider, and BMW brakes

    I actually hadn't thought about it in years, but the OP started the wheels turning.
    Based on the responses, clearly confusion with this bike.

    Bike designers say one thing, motorcycle safety folks the opposite.
    Both way more qualified than I.

    To each his own I guess, so choose your method.

    Either with or without the right foot, the best brakes.
    My only braking concerns are the non-Bmw's in my group running over me.
    We have changed our stagger, BMWs to one side, everyone else to the other side.
    Lynn
    2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have)
    2002 BMW R1150RT
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

  12. #27
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lbarbee View Post
    What is the average retrain rate? I have stood in front of many divers and told them that even if they have a hundreds of dives, but if they haven't dove in a year, do a scuba skills update. So now I am sitting here asking myself if I shouldn't refresh.

    I mean I ride a lot, and I feel good on the bike.

    However, just as in diving you rarely practice your emergency skills, the same is true on the bike.

    I see even the most experienced divers thank me after an update. I didn't teach them much, but reminded them of what they knew and pointed out a few bad habits.

    Any thoughts? Might be a fun group activity too.

    Interesting parallels you mention. At our dive shop, we quite a few occasional divers who come and play for a minimal tank fee at the large pool we have access to. Generally there are a couple of instructors available to do refreshers on regulator recovery, mask clearing, air sharing etc. to anyone who requests it. It really benefits our divers when they go off to remote dive sites. I also crew on a large dive boat from time to time, and it always amazes me that we will see divers who have not been diving in years come over a hundred miles offshore in advanced to master level diving conditions and jump off the boat without doing a quick pool refresher course. The outcomes are usually ok, but over the years we have had to perform rescues of panicky divers because of it, and no divemaster or instructor ever wants to have to do these. They are very dangerous to all concerned and it is very easy to get hurt or dead if not done correctly as trained and practiced.

    On the motorcycle courses, our classes see a reasonable number of riders who take refresher courses, and a growing number of seasoned riders will come and take the ERC every couple of years for the insurance discounts some companies offer. We always get comments that they are glad to have done the updater, and without exception everyone has a good time playing on the range. The ladies are always fun to work with. They actually listen to us instructors and admit that they don't know everything! Just like taking a check ride flying aircraft, a good instructor will see things that the participant is doing that they are unaware of, and suggest corrections. We all develop bad habits over time, so a check ride is a good thing.
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

  13. #28
    Registered User lbarbee's Avatar
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    New BMW guy, old rider, and BMW brakes

    Quote Originally Posted by ka5ysy View Post
    The ladies are always fun to work with. They actually listen to us instructors and admit that they don't know everything!
    That's why I love teaching SCUBA to 10-18 year olds. Contrary to popular belief, kids listen, do what you tell them, and don't have the social baggage. The worst is the alpha male hovering over his wife or SO. I separate them immediately.

    I have to believe it is he same in MSF courses. I have much more experience than my wife, she did her BRC with a group of girlfriends, left us guys at home.

    Thanks for the discussion. I'm planning my refresher now.
    No way to lose, if only practice and spend time on my bike, all is good.
    Lynn
    2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have)
    2002 BMW R1150RT
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

  14. #29
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lbarbee View Post
    That's why I love teaching SCUBA to 10-18 year olds. Contrary to popular belief, kids listen, do what you tell them, and don't have the social baggage. The worst is the alpha male hovering over his wife or SO. I separate them immediately.

    I have to believe it is the same in MSF courses. I have much more experience than my wife, she did her BRC with a group of girlfriends, left us guys at home.

    Thanks for the discussion. I'm planning my refresher now.
    No way to lose, if only practice and spend time on my bike, all is good.
    I agree; the kids also listen.

    I have had guys hovering over wives and "instructing" in scuba classes and in motorcycle classes. Recently, a guy was watching his wife (who was not doing well as she was scared of the bike and had no clutch control) give her a load of grief about what she was doing wrong every time we would take a break. We ran him off the range for a while, then he came back and had her so upset during a break that she dropped out of the class. Many times the ladies get uptight about having husbands or SO's watching classes, and I generally discourage them from attending. Besides, I hear stuff I never knew, and probably did not need or want to know. Ever !
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

  15. #30
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    Reading this thread is jaw dropping. I opened the thread because I am also getting back into bike riding after several decades. I plan on picking up my new R1200RT in the spring after spending years in Japan and here on Yamaha's and Honda's. I have learned so very much on this website but now I am learning that, just like me, there are many SCUBA divers who are bike riders. I have my AOW, rescue and nitrox. Living within 45 min of Dutch Springs is a wonderful plus of this sport.

    I too plan on taking courses on safe bike riding as soon as possible. I am also a retired volunteer fireman (35 years) and am very safety oriented.

    Can't wait to ride in the spring.

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