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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Re:Riding In The Rain.

I have a quick question about riding in the rain. I've always avoided riding in the rain like the plague and for as much as anything because I hate cleaning my bike up after being out in it, (it's much easier to give the "once over" to a dry bike rather then a grungy wet one.) but living here in Florida you can't really plan around it as it will rain with out any warning, and the other day I got caught out in a very big down pore while coming home from work and as I was coming down the down hill side of a bridge a car decided to jump on there brakes and make a quick right hand turn, I had LOT's of fallowing distance but as I hit my front brake my real tire locked up for a split second, and that was a little surprising to me as I thought our K bikes have ABS? As it turned out I didn't have to find out what would have happened as the car did manage to get out of my way and so I just let off the brake and rode on through but my question is. What would the ABS have started doing if I had to keep on the brakes? Would I have felt any pulsing or would the tire just started turning again? I've never had to depend on the ABS before so I don't know how it would work in a real emergency. Anybody out there with any real world experience? Thanks for any feed back.
 

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Hi 007007, getting plenty of abs 'moments' due for freezing conditions here in 'sunny' Scotland, I find the abs does not stop the tyre locking up, it only stops it continuing to be locked up. The brakes release and then re-apply, feels a bit wierd but it works. You remain in control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re:Riding In The Rain

Thanks for the info. and GOOD TO KNOW! I must say I was squeezing the hell out of my bike with my legs for a sec. or two and had about every kind of option going on in my head! Ultimately I was hoping I could steer around the car, glad I didn't have to find out. :)
 

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You may want to test in the dry to be sure yor ABS is working right (or have it checked). It is a good thing to practice anyway to know what to expect when you need it.
 

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HI,

I'll second testing your ABS,not only do you want to feel what it's like when it's working,but you "exercise" the system components so that you know it will work well in the future.

A lot of people(cage drivers) freak when the ABS kicks in and let off on the brakes thinking something is wrong,this probably leads to more than a few crashes that could have been avoided or minimized if the had just let the system do it's job.

Strongly recommend that anyone with ABS on bike or car test your system on a nice straight empty road.



JR356
 

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Practicing is a good idea so you know how the system feels. When the ABS is applied it feels weird because the bike seems to surge forward, i.e., the stopping action decreases and the bike seems to be freewheeling. The bike will stop in the shortest distance possible, but this is further than it would on "clean" pavement (dry or free of gravel, etc.) Again, practice in controlled situations so you are not taken by surprise.

Ken
 

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Practicing

007007 said:
I've never had to depend on the ABS before so I don't know how it would work in a real emergency. QUOTE]

I join the fellow riders who advise you to practice using it. It won't hurt your bike, and ABS has an advantage, that comes into play, before ABS ever intervenes with your braking; let me explain.
I have always ridden rain or shine, but was always a bit scared of a wet road, both when braking and turning. Then I went to a riding course where emergency braking was also practiced. As it happened, it rained all day, so the surface we were riding on was wet. When I tried to brake hard and make my ABS work, the first three times I braked (a bit harder each time) the ABS didn't intervene! It appeared that I had a lot more braking available, then I imagined - or dared to find out.
In the end ABS did intervene, when I really slammed on the brakes (or so it felt).

So my advice to you would be: practice braking hard: it helps to get a good feel of your braking power, in the happy knowledge that ABS will be your backup.

Also, when you get as far as letting the ABS intervene, it will fast become clear, that in some circumstances it doesn't necessarely shorten your braking distancë, on the contrary! It will just keep you from falling.
Good example: find - or create - a spot of road and throw sand or small pebbles on it. Then come riding at it (first at modest speeds) and start braking hard just before it. You will notice that when you hit the sandy patch, your braking will almost stop for a second or so.

Enjoy!

Peter
 

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also on steep grades

There is a steep grade coming out of my parking structure at my work. With all the oil/sleek cement I notice my ABS real fast. Kinda wierd the first couple times, but now it's almost second nature and doesn't bother me much. I did have the dealer double check the system, since I thought it was odd that the ABS was kicking when I really wasn't steppin on the brakes hard. Computers, they have a mind of their own these days.

ONON-
Mark
 

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On my R11RS, an older version, I probably get ABS actuation 4 or 5 times a week. I don't like it because you lose so much braking force. every time the front wheel hits a bump or a gravel during braking (most of my braking is hard braking, Jesus is my braking marker) you get ABS for a second. Not a real big deal unless you push it just a little too much and the ABS puts you out into the intersection.

Having raced bicycles for years I've learned how to brake to the limit and let off just a little bit if necessary (bicycle tires will pop if you lock them up too much). Tests have shown that a rider that has practiced this can out perform ABS on dry pavement. (saw the study somewhere recently, I think it was on www.bmwst.com). Anyway, I wish I had a switch to turn it off. I would like it back during the rain.

On my K-bike, the ABS was inop when i bought it (disclosed by the seller) and I'm not too eager to fix it but will eventually.

I recommend everyone practice braking hard. Practice emergency braking in a turn (straigntening up and then turning again). These skills may save you someday.

And when I bought my first bike and had ridden it for a while I got advice to practice riding in the rain. What the guy said was that every mile in the rain is worth 5 miles on dry pavement...for some reason that stuck with me.

Ride safely,

--Jerry
 

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when i took the MSC they made us try and lock up the back wheel so you would know how to handle a skid. the bmw MC ABS system feels totally different than any car ABS. the bike ABS kind of feels like you shifted from 1st gear to 4th gear. the feeling is odd but by forcing us to try and lock the back wheel up gave us confidence the ABS was working. by the way i hate riding in the rain but the k1200rs cruises along on wet pavement almost as good as dry pavement. ride safe
 

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007007 said:
I was coming down the down hill side of a bridge a car decided to jump on there brakes and make a quick right hand turn, I had LOT's of fallowing distance but as I hit my front brake my real tire locked up for a split second, and that was a little surprising to me as I thought our K bikes have ABS? .

You and I must have been in the same rain- today, coming down a bridge, just as the rain started, I had a truck jump in my lane and slam on brakes. I hit the rear brake first on my '04 KRS, and started applying front (combined). Damn rear wheel locked up and skidded, released for a split second, and locked up again. What the *^$#@*!!! I went off the road- luckily it was a nice, gravely, bumpy as hell shoulder- around some cars and back on. My confidence is shot. Had I stayed with the brakes I would have dumped the bike or hit the truck. I understand that the beginning of a rain is worst, but this is a 35mph zone- and I had about 150' of reaction time while I was decelerating. Totally unhappy with the ABS braking. At least I found out the easy way not to rely upon it, next time I will just hit the shoulder and not even think of braking.
 

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your avatar is on the money

Your coyote avatar is on the money. Just remember that the road runner always wins!!

ONON-
Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re:Riding In The Rain

I think the part that "weireded" me out the most was the fact that I grabbed my front brakes and the back tire locked up! I know about the linked braking but I still brake "old school" use front brake and then add a lite amount of trail braking, and the other thing that made me kind of mad was that even though I had a TON of room in front of me ( at least 300 feet at aprox. 40 mph ) I felt so utterly helpless, I hate, hate, HATE riding in the rain!!! And it just all added up to a big "FU" from the random gods of chance and fate for me, I was prepared to ride it out and go around the car if it didn't get stopped in time but it did show me that even after nearly 30 years of riding and never been in an accident that I still had a thing or two to learn. :)
 

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007007 said:
And it just all added up to a big "FU" from the random gods of chance and fate for me, I was prepared to ride it out and go around the car if it didn't get stopped in time but it did show me that even after nearly 30 years of riding and never been in an accident that I still had a thing or two to learn. :)
30 years? Shoot...just need to practice more in the rain on a wet parking lot to get a feel for the ABS...soon you'll be doing stoppies in the wet. :teeth.



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again- you and I must have been in the same rain! i brake differently, I've had disk front/drum rear bikes, so I start with the rear brake first then gradually apply the front- I find this keeps me from locking up the rear in panic mode. But when an ABS bike that weighs nearly 750 pounds with me on it locks up the rear on wet road and begins the sideways slide, I am reluctant to leave my fate in its hands...
 

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bostewart said:
again- you and I must have been in the same rain! i brake differently, I've had disk front/drum rear bikes, so I start with the rear brake first then gradually apply the front- I find this keeps me from locking up the rear in panic mode. But when an ABS bike that weighs nearly 750 pounds with me on it locks up the rear on wet road and begins the sideways slide, I am reluctant to leave my fate in its hands...
Interesting technique. Everything I have ever read says that applying the rear brake first is dangerous and can cause problems (such as rear sliding/loss of control). Most recommend front brake first. Your front brake is your main stopping power. When you brake, whether with front or back, the weight is moved forward and LIFTED from the rear, causing it to have less stopping power and more chance of sliding. When that weight moves to the front wheel it increases it's stopping ability. Just saying. I of course don't know everything. Something to check out.
 

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The thing you have to remember is that at slow speeds, you have very little gyroscopic stabiltiy, so hitting the front brake can easily result in the front end sliding out. At normal speeds this cannot happen. Best is to make liberal use of the rear brake when you are slowing to a halt, and ease off the front one as you get slower (especially in the rain). If the rear one locks, then simply release and reapply. Locking up the rear is easy to fix... almost instinctive, but locking the front can dump you REALLY fast.

Bob.
 

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I too have been using the rear-first technique. The key is to use controlled pressure on the rear followed almost immediately with the front brakes which then catch the initial weight shift created by that initial use of the rear pedal, then simultaneously adding pressure to both. I learned this on non-ABS bikes and have continued with my GT, except with the GT it's not necessary to continue adding pressure to the rear due to the linked system. This works for me rain or shine. I have experienced ABS activation only in emergency situations.
The rear-first habit also allows smoother, more controlled downshifts on deceleration / compression-braking, using the front brakes only when needed for a quick slowdown / full stop. :ricky
 

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i ride every day sun and rain and had to use the abs alot....there is nothing like it...but!...and its hard to get used to keeping your foot off the rear brake... after a while you will be able to stop on a dime....but its that foot that will get you in trouble....like they say take it out on a rainy day in a lot and play with it....its the balls!!!
 
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