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As a motorcyclist, every few months I run through a few old routines and skills. Emergency braking is one of them. When I swap bikes, I need to rest mentally - one has ABS, one does not. Both have knobby tires, though one weighs 200 pounds more than the other.

So it makes sense to practice emergency stops on asphalt an din the dirt to remember the limits and build muscle memory for the off chance you'll need it - it could save your life, after all.

After hitting the anchors yesterday on my big bike (picture below to cover that eventuality), it got me thinking of the new truck and what it's braking performance is like. At almost 6,000 pounds, it's a lot of truck to haul to a stop.

Which brings me to your real world experiences.

Now I doubt anyone has gone to an empty parking lot on a Sunday morning, hit 60 and hauled on the brakes to record data. But I'll bet folks have tested the brakes, as you would test acceleration, in "more than usual" ways. We won't always accelerate from a stop with the pedal floored, but we'll certainly get on it to see how it performs when new. And I'm guessing folks have hit the stoppers aggressively a few times to get a feel for things...so spill the beans - what are your impressions?

Big Bike:



Little Bike:

 

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NICE 690 & Super Tenare! both great bikes for what they're designed for!

I have to agree, I do the same drills are you when i get on the bike at the beginning of the season (Kawi KLR 650 or Ducati 899) the truck has the best brakes I've felt in a fullsize truck, they grab, have good feel and seem to haul the heavy thing to a stop pretty damn quickly!
 

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Valentino Rossi and Mark Marquez practice because they are the top racers in the world. I practice at times on many of my bikes to ingrain myself with a reaction that works. After more than 1/2 a million miles on motorcycle on 5 continents over 50 some years of riding, I have used those skills.

Now my expectations for a pickup driver around town are not remotely high to expect emergency braking practice. I have jammed and feathered my brakes at times on other 4 wheel vehicles. Even got into the ABS once on my last truck. But practice for stomping on one of these ABS brakes never entered my mind.

You may find someone who did so this will help by bringing the topic up to the top.
 

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My primary hobby is visible, I think, in the signature pics below.. I'm not that fabulous racing it but the competition is so fierce that even the guy is 20th out of 20 that day is pretty darn good. Racers are pretty serious about brakes so we spend a lot of time wringing our hands about them.

There's lots of misconceptions re. brakes. For example, stopping distances. Magazines review cars all the time and one of the things that they rate cars on is stopping distances. That's BS. Brakes stop rotors, tires stop cars. Think about that for a moment. The sole mission of your brakes is to be able to stop your rotors. If you can lock up your rotors, you have enough brakes. But if you want to stop your car in a hurry, you need soft tires and a big tire footprint. Big tire footprints don't necessarily come from fatter tires, but lower pressures will normally give you bigger footprints.

The issue of height of the car's center-mass and suspension design don't play much. These allow a car's weight to shift forward under braking, but this doesn't change the car's ability to stop in a hurry enough to worry about.

Brake bias doesn't play much or a role either. All passenger car brakes are very heavily forward biased. That is to say that your rear brakes don't get as much pressure as your front, so your rear brakes don't do much. In my race car I use vastly higher bite brake pads in the rear then in the front to try to compensate for this.

Modern ABS is very sophisticated and effective. If a person needs to stop in a hurry, I'd just press on the brakes hard enough for ABS to kick in and let the technology work. ABS will keep you at threshold braking better than most any human could do. Even the crappy 1st gen ABS in my '87 BMW is pretty darn good.

A brake stomp isn't quite the way to do it tho. You want to hit the brakes at 50% or so for a hearbeat, then go to full brakes. This allows the weight of the car to shift forward just as you hit 100% brakes. Since it's your front brakes that get most of the braking force, they are going to do most of the slowing down, but they need as much weight on them as you can get so they'll bite as much as possible before losing grip. If a person goes to threshold braking too rapidly, the weight of the car never shifts forward and the front tires that could really use that weight don't get it.

IMO the best way a person can improve their braking is to see a problem earlier. Too many people focus on what they are seeing and doing. What you want to be doing is looking at what the guy's in front of you are seeing. You peripheral vision will handle the issues in your immediate vicinity. In order to be able to react to a problem quickly you have to spot the problem at the same time that the car or two in front of you spotted the problem. Read their minds, see what they see.

Years ago I had a buddy that always had his eyes on the road immed to his front. As a result he was constantly executing steering input micro-corrections. He just could not seem to get his eyes to orient instead well forward to what the guy in front of him was seeing. When your eyes are that far out, you don't have to make steering input corrections because your brain will get it right the first time.
 

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Never practiced stopping on any of the dozen or so bikes I've had. Even racing I just get a feel for the brakes on the warm up lap.

Captain: I'm surprised you know Rossi and Marquez. Do you watch the races?
 

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Ummm...maybe I didn't post my question clearly...

Just looking to hear what people think of the braking with their trucks...
Braking varies with tire choices. OEM 20" tires seem fine. Put something different on and braking distances will vary.

What a high end brake system brings you is a firm pedal and resistance to heat. I really good brake system will feel, once the pads have compressed into the rotors, like you're pushing your foot on a rock. That is to say there will be no mechanical "give" in the system that creates a feeling of softness. This is usually a result of caliper flex or movement of the brake master cylinder. I've never had heat be an issue in a passenger vehicle, but I supposed towing a trailer down a mountain it could be an issue. Nothing that couldn't be beat tho, if someone was sufficiently motivated, by ducting air to the rotors.

The problem with asking people about how well their brakes seem to do, is that the average person doesn't know anything about brakes. For example, the mention of car magazines writing as if "good" brakes shortened stopping distances. Most of the magazine writers know better, but they're writing for an audience that doesn't.
 

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From my limited experience so far the 1500 seems to stop with authority. Like all pickups the light rear end and high COG do not inspire confidence. I had the chance to run it on a big dry lake and do some emergency maneuvers during which it wallowed some but stopped okay all things considered. I also pulled a modest (1400 lb) trailer on the road and hardly noticed it was there.



There was a towing test (see below) on one of those entertainment truck sites where they pulled a 7200-lb load up and down the Ike Gauntlet with a 1500 Hemi. On the first run they messed up with the brake controller and had no trailer brakes. At the bottom of the steep grade (5:38 in video) the truck's front brake temperature was 670°F but they noted it braked okay. On another run (15:08 in video) with the brake controlled set at 5 the temperature was 594°F. So, at least the brakes appear to have good fade resistance at maximum load.

The braking system is integrated with stability control and other systems so I think it is fair to say that it is better than older trucks. Of course, that may just give the average driver a false sense of security so that they drive more aggressively. In the end the driver needs to realize it is a truck and give themselves more room than they think they will need even after personal test runs.

 

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Racing answer for LCR.

I flew one of my motorcycles to Europe twice to spend the Summer following the MOTO GP Circuit. Rode Europe for months doing it. Also did north Africa, parts of Russia and many other places.

Most Summers I head to flat track races around the country and AMA roadraces. Been everywhere and saw most everything for the past 5 decades. Seriously. When I lived in Pa. I did Daytona for the races all but two years from 1966, when I first started to work through today. My life eats, breaths and sleeps racing.

This Saturday I am heading to Land -o-Lakes for a flat track race. I'm not racing but am chief pit man for a friend, Tim Gundlich from Melbourne. He just got a Honda flattracker and will do his first race ever this Saturday night. Chris Carr is a friend and got him a deal on new Golden tires and more stuff.

I wear a Rossi #46 shirt often. Got it a Laguna Seca couple years ago and met him for the third time there. My parents took me to Heidelberg Raceway in Pa. to watch flat track in the 50's. One of the bikes I have and ride is a big BSA single. Used to race a Bultaco in Ohio poorly for years and worked communications for Erie at Mid_Ohio and Nelson Ledges.

Don't get me started. My DVD records most all Moto GP and AMA racing events, each event.
 

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Back on topic ...those guys testing that braking are super dumb. They never checked the trailer brakes at the start.

ALWAYS check your brake controller to see if it's connected. Then pull a little and hit ONLY the brake controller manually. That will tell you how much the trailer brakes are actually working. Then do it again with both truck and trailer brakes controlled by the controller. After that test, make setting changes and you are good to go.

One time coming down Elk Mountain in Wyoming on solid ice pulling 10K military trailer I "gassed" the truck in 4 wheel drive and manually worked the trailer brakes for 20 miles or so. Only way I could keep the whole rig from jackknifing on the steep, icy downhill. Literally I dragged the trailer downhill.

Those guys were not responsible with that tow.
 
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