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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As a 750 Monster owner who hates the incessant squeaking coming from the rear wheel, I am used to using the engine to decelerate on my bike as well as in my 4-wheeled vehicle as well. I know that the Duck's are always needing valve attention, and I was wondering if this engine braking is bad for anything or if its a good practice. I'd rather spend $60 on new brake pads if it will save me hundreds in valve adjustments, but if it isn't a problem them I'll contine to cluitch it.

Can anyone help??
 

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It's natural for the motor in our ducks. I will say though, it takes some getting used to if you are comming from a I-4. And if you get any chatter in the back from it..do NOT hit your rear brake.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
nothing wrong with engine braking....you're just employing the cylinders' inherent compression resistance,

the reversed stresses on the drive train are nothing to worry about unless you're on the track and your rear wheel is hopping,

valve collet wear will happen irrespective and needs to be dealt with per factory specs.....

you are not really changing anything or stressing anything valve-wise other than adding a few nominal non-loaded rpms to the engine's overall activity level during its overall aggregated running hours
 

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Shouldn't be a problem on the street for the average rider. Tire hop can be an issue under extreem street conditions or on the track. Thats why "blipping" the throttle while braking is a good technique to learn, expecially on a Duc or other V Twin. V Twins are known for extreem engine braking issues and technologies such as "slipper" clutches have been designed to compensate. Several Aprilia models (Futura, etc) come equipped with a slipper clutch to lessen the affect of engine breaking. There are no concerns with regard to the motor, or valve train maintenance--rear wheel traction seems to be the big issue here. ;D
 

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And if you get any chatter in the back from it..do NOT hit your rear brake.

Why is this?

Kevin
 

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What? I fell? Oh yeah, I grabbed my rear brake when I was already slowing down too fast from engine braking... ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think the chatter he was refering to is wheel hop. Wheel hop + brake = OOPS followed by OUCH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It doesn't have to last more than one second, to put you on the pavement if it happens at the wrong time. How about entering a VERY tight turn and have the back tire tap dance on you. Of course, more experience will make this senario a non issue.
 

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I've had the rear wheel chatter more than a few times on me. The scariest one was downshifting at the end of a curve for a stop sign. I downshifted just before I was completely upright, I guess a bit early, beacuse the rear wheel started going everywhere. My only saving grace was that my right foot came down and stopped me from losing it. Definitely something you have to watch out for if your ride at all sportily...
 

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I think it depends on what you mean by "engine braking".

I'm not sure that it's bad for the engine, but I'm not sure that it's a good practice for the rider. Personally, I think that the engine/throttle is for going faster and the brakes are for slowing down. The compression braking inherent in rolling off the throttle on a twin is a normal manner of speed control, but I see far too many people rolling into a corner and knocking down a gear or two to adjust their speed without even using their brakes.

The brakes have a large range of speed control and offer feel and feedback to the rider. Shifting for braking effect and not to match the speed of the engine to the speed of the bike seems kinda sloppy. If you downshift for braking effect, how much control do you really have? How do you get out of an over-braking situation (wheel hop/slide)? Hit the throttle? Clutch and upshift?

I've done my best to reduce engine braking effect on my bikes through lighter flywheels/clutches and a slipper clutch on my 888 and I think that it's made me a better rider.

--Fillmore
 

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I think it depends on what you mean by "engine braking".

I'm not sure that it's bad for the engine, but I'm not sure that it's a good practice for the rider. Personally, I think that the engine/throttle is for going faster and the brakes are for slowing down. The compression braking inherent in rolling off the throttle on a twin is a normal manner of speed control, but I see far too many people rolling into a corner and knocking down a gear or two to adjust their speed without even using their brakes.

The brakes have a large range of speed control and offer feel and feedback to the rider. Shifting for braking effect and not to match the speed of the engine to the speed of the bike seems kinda sloppy. If you downshift for braking effect, how much control do you really have? How do you get out of an over-braking situation (wheel hop/slide)? Hit the throttle? Clutch and upshift?

I've done my best to reduce engine braking effect on my bikes through lighter flywheels/clutches and a slipper clutch on my 888 and I think that it's made me a better rider.

--Fillmore

Fillmore, sounds like that's the way to go! They put brakes on the bike for reasons other than keeping you from rolling back on those San Francisco hills!
 

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Hmmm, I dunno if I agree with that. Using actual brakes over engine speed goes against everything tought in advanced driving classes (at least in a car). I guess a bike could be different, but it just doesn't make sense to me. Even the manual that came with my Monster states that you should downshift before breaking...
 

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At the track school I went to they teach you to brake; then clutch, downshift, and blip the throttle to bring up the engine RPMs to prevent excessive engine braking and wheel hop and then release the clutch -- all while still on the brakes. Then ease off the brakes when your corner speed is set, tip it in and then get back on the gas.

--Fillmore
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have been guilty of engine braking, but I would agree with Fillmore that throttle and brakes are the proper way to control the bike's speed, balance, and traction.
 

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I would say that Filmore's track technique above applies equally to driving a car (on the track), except for the tipping in part.

When you approach the end of the main straight in a car, you apply the brakes, double-clutch downshift when the revs have dropped sufficiently, then turn in, apply a little throttle to balance the car as you apex and punch it on the way out.

But that's TRACK driving; where you're always either on the throttle or on the brake. You can't downshift before braking because you should be high enough in the rev range that you'd over rev if you down shifted. So you get off the gas and brake hard. Note that you're still engine braking (no gas), but not as much as if you'd downshifted first. Then the downshift is primarily to get you back in the correct rev range for your next acceleration.

The street is different (for most of us). We're not going to go as fast as the bike will go in the straights. We power out of a turn, bring the speed up to where we're comfortable and pretty much hold it to the next turn. That will often have me turning 4-5k as I'm cruising, maybe 6 if I'm riding a little more aggressively. So what do I do as I approach the next turn? If it requires a lot of slowing, I may ease off the throttle and engine brake some. THEN, as my revs drop near 3k, I'll often downshift and make a lot of noise with the engine braking. Now I'm in a good rev range for accelerating through the turn and at a good entry speed. Quite often, I haven't touched the brakes at all!

Of course as the pace heats up, I'll slow later and later for the approaching turn resulting in less engine braking and more brake braking. When I'm going really hard, I do just what Filmore said; grab a big handful of brake and haul it down. Downshifting while still on the brakes before turning in.

Long winded, but I want to make the point that pure track technique isn't often necessary on the road. It's good to have the skills to ride either way.
 

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Another way to look at it as the ratio 80/20 front brake/rear brake stopping ability. Large twin engines can supply over the 20% rear wheel braking alone. If it is more than the friction available, your wheel will turn slower than the pavement going by, and could result in a rear wheel wash out. Also, going downhill puts even less weight & available friction on the rear wheel and the stopping ratio is even less.

mitt
 

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mitt-Good point. This happened to me about a month ago rolling in to a stop light. I had no reason to think anything of my downshift and slowing process (low key downshift, no rear brake application, steady front brake, clutch was let out slowly...), but realized as I came closer to the light that the rear wheel had lost nearly all traction (oil and grease at stop lights will have a nasty habit of doing this). I was going straight and this had no ill effect, other than shocking me. I pulled over after the light to look at the rear tire to see whe the heck the loss of traction was all about and sure enough, the tire showed long scuff marks where it had skided (because the surface was slick the tire didn't bounce-it skidded instead).
I tend to use engine braking a lot. I like how it balances the chasis. Going in to your next (lower) gear at the right speed like Don said is vital though. Downshifting and sending your twin to 11000 rpm is not good riding technique.
 
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