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How do you stop your NC!?

FloridaBoy86

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I now have a couple hundred miles on the bike and have been playing a game when I get to a stop light. Its how smooth can I make a stop without putting excessive stress on the gears from engine breaking or stress on the pads from "breaking". So, my question is what type of breaking do you all perfer? I know it seems kind of like a novice question but I am new to asphault riding.
 

goodrick

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I prefer the feel/sound of engine braking. But for longevity of the bike, I use mostly front brake. Pads are cheap, compared to everything else you are wearing by braking with the engine.

I do notice that when coming almost to a stop with moderate to heavy braking, the front end chatters a bit. It's not like a warped rotor chatter. More like a fast paced flutter. Anybody else experience this? :confused:
 

FloridaBoy86

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hmmmm I have notice a huming noise when I down shift all the way to first. Even when the clutch is engaged. Kind of sounds like a turbo. But no chattering
 

nc700xbarcelona

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Hi Goodrick, so yes I've noticed occasionally the "fast paced flutter" (nice description). Which is why I try apply even braking between front and back, as well as engine braking, (i just like the whole changing gear thing anyway...call me weird if you like ;-)) I also notice that it has subsided over the last couple of weeks, now that I have over 1000 KMs on the clock.
 

calbigbird

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I am a front braker. I normally use only the front brake, unless I am throwing out the anchor to avoid an issue. I generally do not engine brake. I was taught and teach the engine makes the bike go, not stop. The engine is not a brake. Downshifting puts the bike in a lower gear as you slow with the brakes. Our transmissions downshift better when the transmission gears are rotating. Downshifting also puts the bike in a proper gear in case things change and you have to start forward progress again. Trying to start forward from 25 when you are in 6th gear is difficult at best.
 

goodrick

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I hear ya calbigbird. I downshift while I am braking. I try not to shift when at a stop. I was taught that isn't the nicest way to treat your transmission.

But engine braking, it's just too much fun at times. Cruising through the local canyons on my Katana, I love it. Flame away, but I love to hammer down the gears and get the back end drifting about as I come up on a corner. I guess it comes from growing up on a dirt bike. That being said, I don't foresee myself riding the NC the same way. Having the ability to engine brake on my Katana from 10,000+ RPMs down, is a lot different than on the NC. That, and the NC simply doesn't provoke me to ride as "spirited."
 

Spaceteach

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I use a combination of engine breaking and front brake normally. It really depends on speed and distance to stop. I'll sometimes use a little rear brake in combination with the front, and of course if the light changes at the last minute I'll typically just grab a handful of front brake lever.
Personally I don't see a problem with downshifting and engine braking as you come to the light. I do however blip the throttle to match engine speed to the lower gear. I've never had an engine transmission or clutch problem that was diagnosed as being caused by this, it's how I learned to do it, and over the years it's become a conditioned reflex. It also might have something to to with the fact that the brakes on today's bikes are way better than the ones I started riding on :).
Just out of curiosity, what braking technique are the MSF courses currently teaching? If I were a new rider today, I think I'd probably be inclined to follow their advice.

Bob
 

cyrano138

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I'm throwing in here because I'm interested in hearing thoughts from Cutter and some of the other guys who seem to know engines.

I let whatever gear I'm in do some of the work as long as I'm not in heavy traffic where my brake lights are the only thing between me and someone close behind, but I once I pull the clutch I just go to the gear I think I'm going to need when I get going again. It seems to go more smoothly into gear if I downshift slowly, though, so I try to time it so that I'm coming almost to a stop just as I'm finishing my downshifting.

I don't think the engine will be unduly strained by the effort of slowing the bike since it often has to withstand far more torque when accelerating forward (unless the direction somehow matters).

I feel like I'm saving engine components, particularly the clutch and possibly the gears as well. Even if the clutch is the only thing I'm saving by not doing so, the alternative seems a little misguided: saving the brakes at the expense of the clutch, which is far more expensive. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

So anyway, for example, in sixth gear at 55 or 60 miles per hour, when it's time to stop (again only when there's no traffic close behind) I let the throttle off and let the engine slow me down as far as it will go in 6th which is usually until about 30 mph. If I go much slower in 6th the engine starts to shudder. So when I hit that speed, I disengage the clutch and downshift as far as I think I'll need to go.

Thoughts?

Oh yeah and I always use a combination of front and rear brakes.
 
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LA_NC700X

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NCX doesn't have very powerful front brake. I normally use only front brake but I now have to use both front and back brake.

I also use engine braking 6,5,4,3,2 to help slowing down the bike.
 

happy

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My life is much more valuable than a US$7000-8000 recreational vehicle.
Brake pads are cheap.
Engines can be written off.

I use the brakes, the front brakes mostly. Engine brake is not so prominent on this bike, IMHO.
Be safe. Don't play games at the lights. :p
 

FloridaBoy86

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I notice that when I down shift, even with the clutch engaged, first gear feels like its been engaged and a minor engine breaking feel occurs. I know its slightly off topic but does anyone else notice that?
 

FlaNC700X

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Who stops? Ha! Just kidding. I don't know what you talking about on the front brake but I can come pretty close to a stoppie on my NX, and I am over the 200 pounder range so that's saying something. Of course, a responsible Ridercoach would say " any bike will brake in a lot shorter distance when both brakes are applied simultaneously". Ok now that's out of the way, ride it like you friggin stole it!
 

wgwgoldwing

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Please use both brakes, all the time. What you do habitually, is exactly what you will do in an emergency. Muscle memory takes over when you have to make a quick stop. Make sure that muscle memory is programmed to use both brakes.


WGW
 

Cutter J. Duke

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Both brakes will stop you quicker, but the front brake does most of the work due to the weight shifting forward. Thats why your car has much more powerful fronts than rears. I use both most of the time but always default to the front it I don't.(unless I'm shooting for a really cool sideways slide to a stop with the rear locked) As for engine braking, it just depends on the situation, if I'm slowly rolling off speed from say 50 to a 35 mph zone then I just roll out of the throttle and let the engine slowly pull my speed down. Braking down quickly to stop at a fast yellow light, I just pull in the clutch as I'm braking and down shift through the gears to the approximate speed appropriate to the gear so I'm there if I need to let the clutch out and continue to go. The problem with engine braking is that if you over rev the engine you can cause things like valve float and bounce, which can cause a valve to contact the piston (valves and pistons don't like banging together). Also it causes a lean running situation which with a low compression engine isn't quite as likely as on a high compression one. Lean run leads to engine knock (pre-detonation) just as low octane does in a high compression engine. Knock is bad M'kay(note if you don't get that reference you need to watch more South Park). It can really tear the hell out of an engine, but as long as you're not over revving the engine you're fine there. The other problem with engine braking is that it lessons the grip at the rear tire patch and you may need that grip if you need to suddenly maneuver to save yourself from and accident. I am not a good example to follow on this one, I was once told that I shouldn't pull in the clutch and back out of the throttle at any thing above 15 mph, this cracked me up because the person telling me this was riding home next to me from the track where he had just watched me coming into a turn too hot at about 110 mph so I grabbed the clutch, slapped down 2 gears, pinned the throttle and dumped the clutch, the shock of engine braking broke the rear wheel loose. This let me walk the rear out and steer with the back while braking the front and squaring the corner, I lost 2 places in the move and I over revved the engine to the tune of about 1100 to 1200 rpm, but I didn't end up in the gravel, I didn't high side and I rode the rest of the race. So here's a guy telling me that pulling in the clutch at 40 and braking without down shifting was a bad idea, I laughed until my eyes watered.
 
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Rocker66

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My life is much more valuable than a US$7000-8000 recreational vehicle.
Brake pads are cheap.
Engines can be written off.

I use the brakes, the front brakes mostly. Engine brake is not so prominent on this bike, IMHO.
Be safe. Don't play games at the lights. :p

The game I play is not dangerous as obviously I don't do it in traffic it is just a case of timeing the approach to the lights so you arrive just as they turn to green. I have been doing this on a regular basis for 49 years with not even a close miss related to it so it can hardly be that dangerous. In fact things like this can be a safety feature as they help keep up concentration on boring trips
 

motocommuter

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Exactly what wgwgoldwing said! Besides his statement, in a straight line using both brakes causes the hole bike to squat and you will get a better bite on the road. Low speed tight turns, front brake can cause you to dump the bike. If I only had one brake to use, it would not be the front. The only thing more scary than the back sliding out, is the front! All my opinion only of course.
 
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