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Discussion Starter #1
I was out riding with one of my usual riding buddies and his gf. He's very experienced, rides a ZX10R, and he and I ride about the same pace.

She is a very inexperienced rider, she's put maybe 1000-1500 miles on her Ninja 250 in the last two years she's owned it.

We were riding with him in front, her behind him, and me at the rear in a staggered formation. We were riding along in pretty heavy traffic and paying attention in front of us as well as to the car trying to merge into us from the right. The cars in front of us braked suddenly and all 3 of us hit the brakes pretty hard. Here's where the issue comes in.

You need to use the front brake!

I've noticed with a lot of Ninja 250 riders that they use their rear brake the most. I understand why, seeing as both are equally effective on that bike, not to mention that the front causes the weak forks to dive. That said, it's a bad, horrible, terrible habit. She locked up her rear brake and the rear end kicked out to the right. The bike went down and she tumbled off into the lane to the left. She is a little torn up, some fatty tissue missing from her knee, a decent bruise on her hip, and a scraped up hand (wear sturdy gear people, those thin gloves are next to useless). Her helmet is scraped all to hell, and her TourMaster jacket held up just fine. She'll be ok, but the bike is probably totaled. We had probably 10 people stop and make sure she was alright, and blocking traffic for us, so that was absolutely terrific.

Another side note is that I've always wondered if staggered formation was really the way you should be riding, and after seeing what I saw today, I can tell you that it's exactly how you should ride. The bike in front was to the right, her bike to the left, and my bike to the left. When she went down, the bike went forward and slightly to the right, missing my buddy/her bf's front wheel by about 3 feet. I was able to stop before I hit any part of her bike or her solely because I was off to the side.
 

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everyone stopped probably because she was a female.

and idk who taught her how to ride, that person should quit their job. why is front brakes not taught to be used, that just makes no sense.
 

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Whenever I do a state inspection on a Harley and ask them to pull the front brake lever to light up the brake lights, they always fumble around trying to find it.
 

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The only other more obvious things that could have been added to this thread in bold would be: drink water, breathe air, eat food.
 

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I don't even have a rear brake
 

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It is best if a beginner uses only the rear brake when going less than 10 mph, and when on sand or gravel on top of pavement.

An experienced rider can slide the back tire and then let up on the brake pedal without lowsiding or highsiding.

On a race track, many riders only use the back brake after they go off the pavement, and some not even then, including Kevin Shwantz:
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how much do you use the rear brake on the track? : Yamaha R1 Forum
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Discussion Starter #7
She took the MSF course, but doesn't apply it, and refuses to try drills when we offer to help improve her riding.

The reason I bolded that and made a point of it is that every Ninja 250 I have ridden is the same in the fact that the front and rear brakes stop you equally well, and seeing as the front causes the forks to collapse faster, a lot of beginner riders use just the rear on that specific bike.

Anyway I hope someone else can learn from the mistake and use the damn front brake.
 

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I use a 70/30 mix of both if i am at speed as i get slower i dont use the front nearly as much..under 25-35 i dont ise it at all..thats just me tho
 

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For the record, only using one set of brakes all the time makes you retarded, I dont care where your riding. You should know when and where to use both brakes and how to balance them, if you dont, you either shouldn't be riding or need to learn.

On my bobber I don't use the front brake unless I have to stop REALLY fast since the rear is as effective as the front but I can lock up the tire at will without crashing but if the front brake is needed I will use it. Sport bikes almost require a a fine balance between the to to be really smooth and effective. Under normal slowing down on the street 50/50 breaking on one is harder for most people to get down for some reason.

As for the woman on the 250, I doubt she'll ever ride again after this anyway so you probably wont have to teach her dumb ass how to ride anymore. But if she's ones of those people that get back on the horse, good for her, but hopefully she'll listen after this.

At least she's OK and no one got ran over, that the biggest part.
 

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Has she ever taken an MSF course? They drilled the useyourfrontbrakeonlysohelpyougod mantra into us after every exercise. Though at some point, people ought to figure out that the rear brake is helpful in low-speed turns or for additional stopping power. Maybe she just needs to practice some basic maneuvers in a parking lot for a while.

She took the MSF course, but doesn't apply it, and refuses to try drills when we offer to help improve her riding.

The reason I bolded that and made a point of it is that every Ninja 250 I have ridden is the same in the fact that the front and rear brakes stop you equally well, and seeing as the front causes the forks to collapse faster, a lot of beginner riders use just the rear on that specific bike.

Anyway I hope someone else can learn from the mistake and use the damn front brake.
EDIT: Well nevermind then. Get her a big wheels.
 

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She took the MSF course, but doesn't apply it, and refuses to try drills when we offer to help improve her riding.

The reason I bolded that and made a point of it is that every Ninja 250 I have ridden is the same in the fact that the front and rear brakes stop you equally well, and seeing as the front causes the forks to collapse faster, a lot of beginner riders use just the rear on that specific bike.

Anyway I hope someone else can learn from the mistake and use the damn front brake.
I disagree with that part. I started on a 2008 Ninja 250R (10,000 miles), and the rear was no where near as effective as the front (just like any other sportbike), and the rear would lock up very easily and cause it to slide around.

People need to learn how to use both brakes properly together and separately when necessary (e.g. slow maneuvers or going into the grass off the track you would use the rear brake).
 

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I was out riding with one of my usual riding buddies and his gf. He's very experienced, rides a ZX10R, and he and I ride about the same pace.

She is a very inexperienced rider, she's put maybe 1000-1500 miles on her Ninja 250 in the last two years she's owned it.

We were riding with him in front, her behind him, and me at the rear in a staggered formation. We were riding along in pretty heavy traffic and paying attention in front of us as well as to the car trying to merge into us from the right. The cars in front of us braked suddenly and all 3 of us hit the brakes pretty hard. Here's where the issue comes in.

You need to use the front brake!

I've noticed with a lot of Ninja 250 riders that they use their rear brake the most. I understand why, seeing as both are equally effective on that bike, not to mention that the front causes the weak forks to dive. That said, it's a bad, horrible, terrible habit. She locked up her rear brake and the rear end kicked out to the right. The bike went down and she tumbled off into the lane to the left. She is a little torn up, some fatty tissue missing from her knee, a decent bruise on her hip, and a scraped up hand (wear sturdy gear people, those thin gloves are next to useless). Her helmet is scraped all to hell, and her TourMaster jacket held up just fine. She'll be ok, but the bike is probably totaled. We had probably 10 people stop and make sure she was alright, and blocking traffic for us, so that was absolutely terrific.

Another side note is that I've always wondered if staggered formation was really the way you should be riding, and after seeing what I saw today, I can tell you that it's exactly how you should ride. The bike in front was to the right, her bike to the left, and my bike to the left. When she went down, the bike went forward and slightly to the right, missing my buddy/her bf's front wheel by about 3 feet. I was able to stop before I hit any part of her bike or her solely because I was off to the side.
Oh boy, would I like to hear her side of the story....

If he's one of your usual riding buddies, than I wonder why she didn't get a chance to get more seat time on her bike...
There are (IMHO) several things wrong with this picture , and the front brake is not even no. 1 on the list....
First, she shouldn't even be in heavy traffic. An experienced rider needs to get his a$$ out of bed early on a Sunday morning, check his ego in the garage, and take her for a ride on empty roads, slowly easing into more traffic over time.
Second, it's a bitch and very stressful for a new rider on a 250 to keep up with a lite bike. The beginner has to take the lead and set the speed. It will get faster over time as the level of comfort rises...no worries...
Third, the last rider of a group is called 'sweeper' for a reason... The job is, to block traffic/sweep cars out of the way to allow lane changes for the group in front of him, or prevent traffic from the sides from cutting into the group.... How did the sweeper in your group do? Not worth a damn, I dare to guess...

Here is from personal experience: I learned to ride on a Harley in a city with some of the most dangerous traffic conditions on the planet.... My riding partner was sweating blood, riding behind me on a 6 lane interstate in rush hour, with me put-putting at only 55mph on the right lane, fighting strong winds for the first time, while everybody else was passing with 100mph.... NO group rides of any kind before 3000 miles.. But he kept it together, and we survived.
Will she ever get back on the bike? Maybe.... BUT she will be better off riding for a while with somebody NOT involved in her accident.....IMHO....
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Oh boy, would I like to hear her side of the story....

If he's one of your usual riding buddies, than I wonder why she didn't get a chance to get more seat time on her bike...
There are (IMHO) several things wrong with this picture , and the front brake is not even no. 1 on the list....
First, she shouldn't even be in heavy traffic. An experienced rider needs to get his a$$ out of bed early on a Sunday morning, check his ego in the garage, and take her for a ride on empty roads, slowly easing into more traffic over time.
Second, it's a bitch and very stressful for a new rider on a 250 to keep up with a lite bike. The beginner has to take the lead and set the speed. It will get faster over time as the level of comfort rises...no worries...
Third, the last rider of a group is called 'sweeper' for a reason... The job is, to block traffic/sweep cars out of the way to allow lane changes for the group in front of him, or prevent traffic from the sides from cutting into the group.... How did the sweeper in your group do? Not worth a damn, I dare to guess...

Here is from personal experience: I learned to ride on a Harley in a city with some of the most dangerous traffic conditions on the planet.... My riding partner was sweating blood, riding behind me on a 6 lane interstate in rush hour, with me put-putting at only 55mph on the right lane, fighting strong winds for the first time, while everybody else was passing with 100mph.... NO group rides of any kind before 3000 miles.. But he kept it together, and we survived.
Will she ever get back on the bike? Maybe.... BUT she will be better off riding for a while with somebody NOT involved in her accident.....IMHO....

You're a jackass and a dumbass. You make all kinds of assumptions that aren't even remotely close to true.

1. Heavy traffic on the way out to the more deserted roads. The beginner rider had literally just woken up when I got there.

2. We drill it into people's heads when we ride that they go their pace. We stop regularly and wait for the slowest rider to catch up. We don't give them crap about being slow, we just enjoy the ride at our pace. We were planning on a ride at completely legal speeds, which she is ok with.

3. I was the sweeper jackass, and I'm a damned good one. The car that was merging was ahead of us, so I came up next to them so they wouldn't merge into her. That said, you're still going to pay attention to the car next to you in a merge lane that ends.

4. You're giving advice after being the idiot doing 55 in an area where people are doubling that speed?

5. It wasn't a group ride. It was 3 of us, and she hates going out by herself.

6. She had plenty of opportunities to get seat time, she just never did. She's had her own bike (not borrowed one of his) in the garage with her own gear for two years. He's encouraged her to get out at least once a week. Don't put this on him unless you know the story behind it.

Now that you've made plenty of incorrect assumptions, you may want to reevaluate your statement. :Twofinger:
 

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Wow...some strong name calling here.... FYI, I'm a woman, and I've been in her riding boots... I now average about 10 000 miles/year. Mostly by myself, so I don't have to depend on somebody else to clear the way for me.
Ride safe.
 

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Hopefully this doesn't get taken the wrong way, but why do you feel you shouldn't do group rides as a beginner? My first ride, basically ever, was with a group. The 2 experienced riders took the front and back and the new guys were in the middle. As long as everyone is on the same page about pace, formation, route, etc I don't see how its a bad thing. Riding with experienced people allows them to provide you with pointers if they see you doing something wrong before you learn thw hard way. Its more about who you're with then the actual act and if the people you're riding with are pushing the pace then let them go ahead or find new people to ride with. I just don't see how group rides are a bad thing.

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For the record, only using one set of brakes all the time makes you retarded, I dont care where your riding. You should know when and where to use both brakes and how to balance them, if you dont, you either shouldn't be riding or need to learn.

On my bobber I don't use the front brake unless I have to stop REALLY fast since the rear is as effective as the front but I can lock up the tire at will without crashing but if the front brake is needed I will use it. Sport bikes almost require a a fine balance between the to to be really smooth and effective. Under normal slowing down on the street 50/50 breaking on one is harder for most people to get down for some reason.

As for the woman on the 250, I doubt she'll ever ride again after this anyway so you probably wont have to teach her dumb ass how to ride anymore. But if she's ones of those people that get back on the horse, good for her, but hopefully she'll listen after this.

At least she's OK and no one got ran over, that the biggest part.

I hope you never crash.


Hopefully this doesn't get taken the wrong way, but why do you feel you shouldn't do group rides as a beginner? My first ride, basically ever, was with a group. The 2 experienced riders took the front and back and the new guys were in the middle. As long as everyone is on the same page about pace, formation, route, etc I don't see how its a bad thing. Riding with experienced people allows them to provide you with pointers if they see you doing something wrong before you learn thw hard way. Its more about who you're with then the actual act and if the people you're riding with are pushing the pace then let them go ahead or find new people to ride with. I just don't see how group rides are a bad thing.

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Because people learn to ride by following what the person in front of them does... which means they can follow a leader right into the ditch.
 

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Hopefully this doesn't get taken the wrong way, but why do you feel you shouldn't do group rides as a beginner? My first ride, basically ever, was with a group. The 2 experienced riders took the front and back and the new guys were in the middle. As long as everyone is on the same page about pace, formation, route, etc I don't see how its a bad thing. Riding with experienced people allows them to provide you with pointers if they see you doing something wrong before you learn thw hard way. Its more about who you're with then the actual act and if the people you're riding with are pushing the pace then let them go ahead or find new people to ride with. I just don't see how group rides are a bad thing.

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You got extremely lucky on your first group ride. Congrats on this! The reality sadly looks different in most cases that I have experienced.
A beginner is still fighting to hardwire some muscle memory, and many moves that we don't even think twice about, do not come naturally. I have ridden with less experienced riders several times, and I made sure that they were safe, but it was hard work and patience for me, too.
Most of us don't get nearly enough fun time to ride, and a mixed group often has a few participants who consider it their right to go nuts, regardless.. This is no place for a beginner to be caught up in the middle.
Another thing to consider is, still IMHO, the different types of bikes in a group. It's hard work for a beginner to keep up with much stronger bikes, especially, when the stop-and-go is not quite as smooth yet. I remember that it made me a bit nervous when other bikes stopped next to me, and I got worried about running into them when I launched my bike...or maybe didn't, because I stalled it...and got almost hit from behind since the bigger bike behind me had to abort it's power launch while not paying attention to the beginner in front of him....
Quiet days on the road with lots of space around a new rider are so much more comfortable.
As I said, it will get better with patience on the experienced riding buddy's part. I also see no shame in admitting my personal struggles in the beginning. When other riders see this as a reason to talk down on beginners, or resort to some kind of name calling, it's not making them any safer, it's just setting them up to take dangerous risks well beyond their skill level.
 

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guess i will throw in my two cents... i ride a 636 and a harley softail.. many miles on the street and many hours in the dirt on kx250; my personal experience is use both brakes.(with the exception of dirt bikes and steering with the rear when needed). on the street 30 percent rear to keep slight drag and 70 percent front to stop. try stopping on a wet road or dirt road quickly with just front brakes on a street tire. good luck with that..... to each his or her own. riding in groups with experienced riders in front and back that know how to ride with a beginner is the best way for them to learn. hands down.
 
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