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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

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Interesting, but I disagree with a number of the questions in the GA test. The one that bugs me the most is "What brake should you use to maintain control of the bike when starting off on an uphill grade?"

I will admit that I'm no genius, but the correct answer should be the rear brake, as it allows you to work the throttle and brake at the same time. They say it's front, but have you ever tried to ease off of the front brake while working the throttle? I have, and immediately stalled the bike out. :blackeye:

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I just had a go at the Massachusetts one and failed....

Apparently you

- Shouldn't decelerate whilst turning...
- Should pull in the clutch if your crossing a slippery area...WTF!
- Increase your speed if your being tailgaited on the highway.....on what planet.....!!!!!
- You must start the engine before a passenger can get on...Why????
- If your rear wheel locks you should not release the brake.....ABS is screwed then...

Took it a second time, this time an answer I got wrong is now right.

Safe travelling distance 1st time 2 seconds was wrong, second attempt 2 seconds was correct????
 

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I tried a Massachusetts one, and got a couple wrong but I found it amusing that I really had to THINK about what comes naturally on the road. Like the color of the lines. I NEVER think about the color of the lines when I'm driving. I only care about if they are solid or spaced. There were a few pretty picky answers that I didn't agree with either.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Interesting, but I disagree with a number of the questions in the GA test. The one that bugs me the most is "What brake should you use to maintain control of the bike when starting off on an uphill grade?"

I will admit that I'm no genius, but the correct answer should be the rear brake, as it allows you to work the throttle and brake at the same time. They say it's front, but have you ever tried to ease off of the front brake while working the throttle? I have, and immediately stalled the bike out. :blackeye:

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Your way no doubt can be done too; but to pass the test you need to answer the question with the way they like.

One or Two fingers on the front brake and two or three fingers on the throttle rock your hand down, easy engagement of clutch as you add gas and ease off the brake. Allows you to balance the bike with both feet useful on a hillside that not only is uphill but also not level. It works well but requires some practice. Too prevent stalling more gas than normal (you are starting uphill) before easing out the clutch.

Same kind of thing I do with the hand brake, clutch and gas in my manual shift car as Washington is quite hilly. Those car drivers who don't know how to do it tend to roll back before going forward we've all seen them roll backwards. Some drivers with automatics also roll backwards as they apparently don't know how to use their brake with the left foot or heel and toe the brake and gas.
:biglaugh:
 

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Your way no doubt can be done too; but to pass the test you need to answer the question with the way they like.

One or Two fingers on the front brake and two or three fingers on the throttle rock your hand down, easy engagement of clutch as you add gas and ease off the brake. Allows you to balance the bike with both feet useful on a hillside that not only is uphill but also not level. It works well but requires some practice. Too prevent stalling more gas than normal (you are starting uphill) before easing out the clutch.

Same kind of thing I do with the hand brake, clutch and gas in my manual shift car as Washington is quite hilly. Those car drivers who don't know how to do it tend to roll back before going forward we've all seen them roll backwards. Some drivers with automatics also roll backwards as they apparently don't know how to use their brake with the left foot or heel and toe the brake and gas.
:biglaugh:
If I can find a hill where I don't have traffic behind me, maybe I'll give the front brake a go, but in my experience the front brake is for stopping, the rear brake is for control. Any time you want better control on the bike, use the rear brake as it is fairly weak and the engine can easily overcome it, resulting in a tug of war between the two that makes the bike quite stable.

As for manual cars, I use my toe on the brake and my heel on the gas as you suggested for an automatic. It's an odd ballet of sorts, but works quite well once you figure it out.

I guess we all figure out our own way of doing stuff eventually and do what works for us. You are correct though, if you want to pass you have to answer it their way, but I don't think these are real questions. The only question I saw from my written test on this site was the one about using the rear brake if you blow the front tire.

On top of that, some questions contradicted themselves. At one point they asked you how to cross a slippery surface and the answer was to drag your feet, but at another they asked a similar question and it was to pull the clutch and coast. In my training class I recall that we were told to keep our feet on the pegs at any time the bike is moving... Period.

None the less, it was a good refresher test to make you think a bit.

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I "FAILED" and I drive a big rig................be careful out there folks.
 

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Interesting, but I disagree with a number of the questions in the GA test. The one that bugs me the most is "What brake should you use to maintain control of the bike when starting off on an uphill grade?"

I will admit that I'm no genius, but the correct answer should be the rear brake, as it allows you to work the throttle and brake at the same time. They say it's front, but have you ever tried to ease off of the front brake while working the throttle? I have, and immediately stalled the bike out. :blackeye:

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I just took the Michigan test and it says the right answer is the rear brake, I said front because I read your post first! Go figure.
 

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I just had a go at the Massachusetts one and failed....

Apparently you

- Shouldn't decelerate whilst turning...
- Should pull in the clutch if your crossing a slippery area...WTF!
- Increase your speed if your being tailgaited on the highway.....on what planet.....!!!!!
- You must start the engine before a passenger can get on...Why????
- If your rear wheel locks you should not release the brake.....ABS is screwed then...

Took it a second time, this time an answer I got wrong is now right.

Safe travelling distance 1st time 2 seconds was wrong, second attempt 2 seconds was correct????
The MSF teaches that you shouldn't decelerate in a turn. Personally, I've found that dragging the rear brake will scrub some speed without effecting stability.

Just like a car, you should coast over slippery areas and avoid accelerating or decelerating while on them.

Increasing your speed is bad advice, usually a tailgater will continue to tailgate. They don't want you to speed up, they want you out of the way.

I assume the reason for starting before the passenger gets on is so you can quickly evacuate if something happens and a fire starts during ignition of the engine. Just an assumption though, never been told why.

You shouldn't get a lock up with ABS, that's why it's there. Perhaps you meant linked brakes, but I don't think I've ever seen a bike with linked brakes that didn't have ABS too. I could be wrong though.

I saw the follow time question, and they are slightly different. If it asks MINIMUM safe distance the answer is 2 seconds. If it asks what safe distance you should keep the answer was something else, 6, I think. Minimum is the key word there.

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I just took the one for NC. It has some wrong answers. How do I know? I checked the NC DMV motorcycle handbook when I finished. I passed, but four of the questions were wrong. The last one was what angle to park your bike against the curb if parking by the curb. The book gives three answers for three scenarios, none were right for the online quiz.

Fun fact: I rode for years without a license and went through multiple traffic checks without incident. Why? Class A CDL with loads of endorsements!
 

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The MSF teaches that you shouldn't decelerate in a turn. Personally, I've found that dragging the rear brake will scrub some speed without effecting stability.

Just like a car, you should coast over slippery areas and avoid accelerating or decelerating while on them.

You shouldn't get a lock up with ABS, that's why it's there. Perhaps you meant linked brakes, but I don't think I've ever seen a bike with linked brakes that didn't have ABS too. I could be wrong though.

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I don't think the practice tests are all that accurate...

On the above points though

1. there is nothing wrong with decelerating in a corner, everyone who rides does it every day, I certainly wouldn't brake heavily whilst cornering, that is very different.

2. I can see why they would suggest pulling in the clutch, but whilst your clutch is engaged and the rear wheel is driving there is very little chance of a rear lock up.

3. You wont get a lock up with ABS because as soon as the ABS system detects the wheel locking it momentarily releases the brakes to regain traction. In a non ABS system whether it is linked braking or not if your wheel locks up releasing the brakes will restore traction and therefore control.

If you're in a skid and the back wheel is now trying to pass the front wheel I'd keep the brakes on.....either way you're screwed..:biglaugh:

This is a great article on braking techniques and is basically what I've been taught over the years in advanced rider courses.

http://www.visordown.com/advanced-riding/advanced-riding-course-braking-techniques/11070.html
 

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My original cycle endorsement was in Pennsylvania in 1986, there were about 5 questions and a quick figure 8 and "voila". In 1992 I took a mandatory, in depth motorcycle training course to be allowed to operate on military installations. Of all the thing that were said there, I remember the traction pie the most. For instance, it takes 50% of your traction just to ride, that leaves 50% in reserve. The moment you touch the brakes or go into a corner, you start eating up your reserves. When you exceed 100%, well, you lose traction. I would never tell someone not to use their brakes in a corner if needed, but just be mindful of how much of the traction pie you are using.
 

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Yeah, braking in a corner could be bad since all of that traction needs to go to keeping you up. I have had to do it once because I mis-judged a turn. I used the rear brake lightly and leaned a tad more and went right through. Only happened once, and I do not plan on doing it again.
 

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I don't think the practice tests are all that accurate...

On the above points though

1. there is nothing wrong with decelerating in a corner, everyone who rides does it every day, I certainly wouldn't brake heavily whilst cornering, that is very different.

2. I can see why they would suggest pulling in the clutch, but whilst your clutch is engaged and the rear wheel is driving there is very little chance of a rear lock up.

3. You wont get a lock up with ABS because as soon as the ABS system detects the wheel locking it momentarily releases the brakes to regain traction. In a non ABS system whether it is linked braking or not if your wheel locks up releasing the brakes will restore traction and therefore control.

If you're in a skid and the back wheel is now trying to pass the front wheel I'd keep the brakes on.....either way you're screwed..:biglaugh:

This is a great article on braking techniques and is basically what I've been taught over the years in advanced rider courses.

Advanced Riding Course: Braking Techniques - Advanced Riding - Visordown
1) I don't disagree with you a bit, I said the MSF says you shouldn't brake in a corner. Like I said, I do it all the time! :D

2) The idea behind pulling the clutch is that you can't make any sudden acceleration motions. If the clutch is released and you hit a bump that causes your hand to move you could goose the throttle and loose traction. Either way, the secret is steady movement with little to no acceleration/deceleration.

3) Dead on explanation of ABS.

As for locking the rear brake, I do it all the time, apparently the drum brake on the rear of my bike has two modes, mushy and lockdown, with no variation in between. :blackeye: It's actually kinda fun when you realize it isn't an issue as long as you're on a dry road. If you start to fishtail, just know that if you release the brake your rear is going to snap in line with a quickness, so don't freak out when it does. :biglaugh:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
With 50 states we can expect some differences in answers were their appear to be more than one good way to do something. I remember when I took drivers Ed the teacher explained how one of the questions had the answer changed back and forth and back again, During his years of teaching drivers Ed. :biglaugh:

But the neat thing about taking the tests is they do get you to thinking and learning.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
1) I don't disagree with you a bit, I said the MSF says you shouldn't brake in a corner. Like I said, I do it all the time! :D

2) The idea behind pulling the clutch is that you can't make any sudden acceleration motions. If the clutch is released and you hit a bump that causes your hand to move you could goose the throttle and loose traction. Either way, the secret is steady movement with little to no acceleration/deceleration.

3) Dead on explanation of ABS.

As for locking the rear brake, I do it all the time, apparently the drum brake on the rear of my bike has two modes, mushy and lockdown, with no variation in between. :blackeye: It's actually kinda fun when you realize it isn't an issue as long as you're on a dry road. If you start to fishtail, just know that if you release the brake your rear is going to snap in line with a quickness, so don't freak out when it does. :biglaugh:

It could be your rear tire doesn't have enough good grip resulting in easy lock up. Poor grip lock up, Similar to an easy lock up on loose gravel.
EBC Grooved Brake Shoes for the C50 - can eliminate some of the mushy feeling.
EBC Grooved Brake Shoes - Suzuki C50 Boulevard Rear/C50T/M50 2005-2009 / C50 Boulevard SE Rear 2009 / C50B 2005-2008 / C50C 2007-2008 / GV700GL 1985-1986 / M50 Boulevard Limited Rear 2007 /M50 Boulevard SE Rear 2009 / M50B 2005-2006 / VS700 1985-198
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I like the braking tips :shades: from
Advanced Riding Course: Braking Techniques - Advanced braking - 3 - Page 3 - Advanced Riding - Visordown

  • Be progressive transferring weight onto the front before applying hard braking. Avoid sudden grab-ups!
  • Only use one finger for trail braking. You don’t want lots of power when dragging the brake through the corner, just a gentle pressure
  • Use lots of engine braking in the wet, but remember to keep some temperature in the discs. Brakes only work best when they’re hot
  • A quick dab on the rear brake is always quicker and sometimes even safer than using the front brakes
  • Experiment with using the rear brake mid-corner to steady the bike down through a bumpy bend. You’ll be amazed at the effect

 

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I just had a go at the Massachusetts one and failed....



Apparently you



- Shouldn't decelerate whilst turning...

- Should pull in the clutch if your crossing a slippery area...WTF!

- Increase your speed if your being tailgaited on the highway.....on what planet.....!!!!!

- You must start the engine before a passenger can get on...Why????

- If your rear wheel locks you should not release the brake.....ABS is screwed then...



Took it a second time, this time an answer I got wrong is now right.



Safe travelling distance 1st time 2 seconds was wrong, second attempt 2 seconds was correct????

You should not ever decelerate in a turn. This greatly reduces stability and traction. When you enter a turn you need to have all the speed out of the bike. Slow, look, lean, roll is the oldest mantra in motorcycling and must be obeyed. This is the second largest killer of mootorcyclist. Over half of cycle fatalities are single vehicle and a great number of those are fail to negotiate because of a myth there is any other way to turn than slow, look, lean roll. Slow in, fast out.

Good gravy, never pull in your clutch, there is always a better way to control your bike than disengaging the drive.push on both grips, decelerate and let the bikes torque keep you up.

Motorcycles have absolutely no performance advantage over the modern car. Speed up on a tailgater and he will run you over, all speeding up does is create the same hazard at higher speed. Increase the distance between the car in front of you. This will give you the safety margin you need, screw the tailgater, hell go into the wall when the brakes come on.

Cuz i say so, get the bike up and running, its easier to get going

Tests are not written for ABS, release that back brake and you die... Or high side, then die.

Now, finally... Controversially... Use the force. Dont ever, never, ever ever use your brakes in a turn. Ever. The only thing that can happen is bad. Learn to corner, then speed up. Slow in, fast out. That bike will lean much further than anyone can imagine, ...

But, if you have to just scruff the rear brake. Dont do it, but if you must.

Now i have ABS and traction control. So I can if i want... But i dont. Usually, ever... Unless i do....


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