Motorcycle Emergency Stop Look to Horizon for Success
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Good motorcycle braking technique is not a strong point for many riders. Simple use of the brakes are generally operated well, but when a motorcycle emergency stop needs to happen – far too many motorcyclists get into trouble.
Half of Motorcycle Collisions Report Rider Fell Before Collision Took Place
Studies done in Europe of motorcycle collisions showed that more than half of the cases revealed the rider had fallen before the collision took place. That means that the rider had not controlled themselves during the motorcycle emergency braking activity. The main reason was because of not looking up while braking, but instead the rider was focused on the ground or the object they were trying to avoid. With that, the consequences are easy to predict just as your rider coach explained “look where you want to go and not where you’re going”. This is ever so relevant in an emergency situation.
In the occurrence of a true motorcycle emergency stop, you’ve got to focus on one thing – the horizon. As difficult as it is, it’s very important not to focus on the danger but look at the spot on the road where you can drive to and avoid the danger. This is your focus during the point in such a situation where we have not yet fully applied the brakes but the point of brake application. Your chin is held and pointed high, your head upright and forward to the horizon so that after the emergency stop you’ve got the best chance to ride straight on through (if possible) Stopping with the bike in a straight upright position, aimed at the horizon ready to ride straight through provides stability and reduces the chance of falling. Besides, you’ll be ensuring the bike is using the tires full contact patch, equally maximum grip.
In the occurrence of a true emergency stop you’ve got to focus on one thing – the horizon.
Here’s another situation which further describes the importance of not looking at the ground. Often a rider must quickly pull off the highway and on to a gravel shoulder of the road. They pull on to the gravel but, focusing on the unstable road surface, looking down they lose control and drop the bike. The rider should have focused ahead at the horizon while keeping the bike straight up while slowing and braking.
The Motorcycle Emergency Stop Needs Frequent Practice
The motorcycle emergency stop is something which needs frequent practice to ensure your skills remain honed. This is easily done during any part of your regular ride. Take a portion of your ride and practice a few emergency stops. Try it when you’re approaching a stop sign or when a traffic light turns red. Just ensure you’ll not surprise any unsuspecting vehicle behind you. By practicing this often you’ll increase your chances that when the real occurrence happens your reflexes will respond in the correct way; you’ll be riding as a much safer motorcyclist!
By Vicki Gray
Editor, founder MOTORESS; motorcycle basic, advanced and race instructor certified for over 28 years. Motorcycle On-road and race licensing examiner. Coached, taught, examined riders for European, Caribbean and North American training institutes.