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Compression Braking When Slowing & Stopping

6832 Views 28 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  Gman901
My Wife rides a Burgman 650. I noticed when following her that she would be almost stopped before the brake lights would come on. The 650 has such strong compression braking that you don’t have to use the brakes early on when preparing to stop.

This seems dangerous to me because it doesn’t give people following adequate warning that she is slowing and will be stopping. I have been encouraging her use some light breaking or at least tap the brakes a few times to activate the brake lights when she rolls off the throttle so folks will know that she is slowing
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The retarder braking that our Burgmans do is not entirely compression.
The transmission is sent into low ranges to force the engine into helping out.

As for the brake lights, I'm considering adding to the BurgyModule line with a "Retarder Braking" detection system that will light the stop lights for us.
A cheap method to do this would be to take advantage of the fact that our Burgmans have a switch that detects if the throttle is at idle.
A 1 second delay after idle detection, coupled to a brake light relay would give ample warning to cars behind.

A further variation of idle detection is being designed into the BurgModule line that will allow the rider to push a button so that the Burgman would not Retarder Brake at all and would just coast by moving the range motor into high gear until Speed pulses are at 9mph.
AJ, I like the idea of BurgyModule line with a "Retarder Braking. I couldn't find any info on it doing a Google search. Is it somehting avaiable now or what? Additional info would be appreciated. :p

I would like that feature too - sometimes the engine braking causes head-snap, if you roll off the throttle too quick at low speeds (10-15 or so)....

It's especially interesting when you've got someone on the back - they might think you don't know how to ride. :? :lol:

You always have to keep in mind that it takes a lot of throttle control when going slow - if you forget, you'll know...

Having the ability to coast would be great!

Funny you should metion that. I just discovered this myself on the way home earlier tonight! :)

The braking effect is still there, though greatly reduced....

Retarder Braking is common among heavy road machines like large buses and semi-tractor rigs. Suzuki used General Motors software to design their automobile transmissions on the same principle. This way brake shoes aren't doing all of the work and the computer controlled tranny slows a vehicle more smoothly with less G-Force sensations to occupants.

When the BurgyModule is set to ClutchOutSense ( [Coast] push button), it pulls in the clutch while tracking gear ratio to ranges that respond if you change your mind and want to go again.
This feature gives jerky response if throttle grip is spun up and down, but practice makes perfect. The sought after effect is coasting down to single digit speeds (to automatically re-engage ECM). The Power button is off/dead and Mode is set to 'D' when initiated so the Denso/Suzuki ECM can't get off track. You'll have to practice the Enhanced Coast mode On and Off under different loads and grades to familiarize yourselves with two different kinds of safety procedures.

The stock Burgman tends to be slow to get up to speed again while in 'D' at slow speed "changed my mind" throttle increases so I'm considering Coupling the Power mode into gross operator throttle inputs (at slow speeds) until ratio/torque is back on top but this feature is just in a flow-chart right now and not in any test hardware.

If simulation of communicating with stock ECM mode gets too complex, I may talk to Denso in Michigan about rewriting ECM memory to give us all of these features included.

I'm guessing but my crystal ball say's that Denso's OEM Suzuki ECM module is proprietary with Suzuki and revealing Controller core Code to me for a rewrite conflicts with original Denso contractual agreement with Suzuki. Also, product liability becomes a conundrum when Suzuki could be legally entangled for Rider injuries when Burgman is in an Enhanced mode (BurgyModule) that had not been originally engineered by Suzuki for this model (AN650Kx) even if Enhanced mode response is intended to be more safe and docile to our liking.
This means that We are on our own when we essentially rewire the Burgman for Neat Stuff we want Enhanced.
The BurgyBrake for example, is now redesigned to Interlock (ShutDown) if throttle is higher than idle. This makes the BurgyBrake an Enhanced two stage interlock by requiring both strong parking brake linkage pressure plus "idle only" engine speed in order to leave side-stand deployed.

A couple of you guys had mentioned that the BurgyModule would give Retarder braking to the tranny. This is already provided in the stock AN650 when you experience the braking effect (clutch coupled) especially at low speeds. The BurgyModule would temporarily defeat this feature and let you coast instead.
I'm toying with the idea of allowing some degree of retarder braking effects at cruising speed only, just to provide added safety measures. When the stock Burgman is two-upped with luggage, a down grade road would require excessive lever pressure just to get slowed. At high gross weight, the Burgman could be unpredictable to stop on a down slope without any retarder coupling. On the other hand, a stock AN650 tends to work against rider braking control inputs at moderate speeds. Often we approach an intersection with moderate braking inputs only to find fast approaching cars. Additional braking goes bad when the brakes don't mean business to get stopped all the way because the clutch & tranny are still engaged down to 10mph.
The BurgyModule PC Comm-link/Software will be very important to give each of us performance choices to change and download to the AN650 in order to get the safest along with the ergonomically best feel.
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hello @ all,
ajwood - i have read and re-read your posting several times but I still don't understand the real problem.

Yes the retarder braking on the Burgman 650 is completely different to any other bike or scooter that we have driven in the past. Yes it takes a while to adjust to this but is that a problem? By the time you have driven the Burgman for a few thousand miles in all sorts of conditions you will know how to handle it. And the awareness of the braking system will wear off - it just becomes a routine feature.

When I think about going down long downhills with a conventional scooter which after a while shifts up into a sort of neutral and you coast down hill controlled only by continually having to apply the brakes. When you then have to accelerate again it takes a while before the engine catches up with the forward speed (time delay). Then the 650 is a step forward in the direction we are used to from our cars and motor bikes even though somewhat harsher.

I use my Burgman in heavy town traffic and in the country side - I have never yet had someone screech to a halt behind me because of the Burgmans retarder braking. If I have someone tailgating me too close for comfort and safety I turn around and signal the driver to back off with a hand wave. The response is that the driver becomes aware of the situation that he is too close and backs off.

But apart from these issues - I think that you get used to the amount of braking the 650 produces and you adjust your braking point accordingly.

To put extra lights etc., on the Burgman may be technically challenging but not all that practical. Habitual tail gaters will always be a problem no matter how many lights etc., you use and this applies to the day dreamers behind you as well.

Every day has a significant portion of plain luck attached to it. You can take a lot of circumstances into account but not all of them. Keeping your own eyes open, observe the types of traffic around you and concentrate on what you are doing plus adding plain good road sense will all go a long way to keeping you alive.

I always take a motorbike safety course at the start of the season - it's fun and you always learn something new.

Enjoy each trip - you will learn something from each trip about the Burgman and about yourself. :D
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Hello Covert,

your point about "stomping on the centerstand" is a new one to me and is a real screamer.
However I would be hesitant to try it here - the guy behind me who just had his wits scared out of him, is likely to lay a charge against me. They've got laws over here that are not even printed - hehe.

Well "you pays your money and you takes your pick" as the saying goes.
Have a great day over there.
That's funny Covert :D I wouldn't try it though, as it looks like a formula for a spectaculr highside! :lol:
I drive professionally for 40 hours a week and have done so since '2000.
With 18 tons under my feet and up to 100 passengers behind me, I've had to re-think (for the better) the way I do things.

Comparing my previous life as a 'civilian' driver is like night and day. What others around me are now doing takes precedent over what I want to do.
I've taken that philosophy onto the AN650 and that has saved my skin a few times.

Maybe the riding in Germany, with enough police and enforceable laws to deter the reckless and careless ones, you may feel like luck can be on your side but here in Tucson USA I've had to put on another hat. This town crowds cars, trucks and cycles too closely at too high of speeds.
A growing number of mavericks now dominate our roads with an "every man for himself" attitude. Sometimes they're looking both ways for cops but most of the time they're looking out only for themselves. This kind of maverick profiling that I've had to deal with is the basis in which I maneuver and set speeds everywhere.

The worst of the worst drivers on these Tucson streets become 'little angels" when a police car is in nearby moving traffic. This means that most drivers have the ability to respect other drivers, but needed leverage and advantage is required. Second to a policeman himself, I see some pretty dangerous things happen outside of my front window when I'm driving my bus. Many times, I see the preventable accidents as they happen and as they're avoided. It only takes one second of time for things to go wrong But it only takes one second to notice the periphery of action and adjust accordingly. Turn signals and brake lights mean something about changing trends. When a drivers attention is divided among trends that are occurring at multiple angles, the one time out of a hundred that things aren't right should be perceivable in advance. It doesn't take superhuman strength to deal with it but I'm saying that in a world of unprofessional drivers, distancing oneself from danger requires advanced reaction time.

Unprofessional discourteous drivers need all the help they can get so our hand signals and lighting systems are for their behalf, then ours. The result of signaling plus acted upon reaction time is safety in both time and space. When we activate our signals well in advance of maneuvering, other drivers are Given the opportunity to react. When we give both time and distance spacing to other drivers, this courteous act is appreciated. Drivers notice other sharp and courteous drivers along with the vehicle. My Burgman becomes an extension of my abilities and courtesy becomes contagious. Drivers then begin to realize that there Is time and there Is reason to participate in a choreography of driving. It is a group effort out there, no matter how many payments we make in our own name to drive and ride.

Assembling the circuitry required to give the Burgman advanced brake lights will be appreciated by other drivers and ourselves. Even if I am as aware as you say I could be, I still want to know that my Brake lights are for Braking - Always.
Between 20 down to 10mph the Burgman makes the same braking action as a conventional motorcycle. Other drivers want to know what our intentions are at all times so then the Brake lights are necessary at all times.
I refuse to sit and wait for a driver to misjudge my distance plus their remaining time to deal with it. By making the BurgyBrake circuit hold the brake light on (throttle at idle below 5 mph) approaching vehicles will see the Burgman sooner. If approaching drivers happen to have one too many drinks in them, they'll need all the milliseconds of time we can give them.

Once the Burgman rider is freed from providing one handed signaling and also the constant pressure on brake handles in order to keep the brake light shining, they'll have Time to look at other things like cars, the Mode buttons, when the light changes and for listening, to name a few.
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Hello ajwood - I think it's Allan?

Firstly thank you for your detailed response. On the lighter side of things to start with, you have scared the daylights out me with you description of the "mad-Max" goings on in Tuscon, and I was just going to say I would like to look you up in tuscon oneday :D

But getting back to things like 6th sense and plain road sense - you are absolutely right, you can't be careful enough - there are enough people laying in hospital right now that would endorse this.

I hope I didn't protrait that everything is a-ok over here and we have stacks of super drivers (we don't) but one thing does come to mind however.
No matter how restrictive our laws are and how narrow the interpretation of these maybe, they do have the effect of moulding the population in to a sort of conformity. Granted this doesn't tie up to some modern views on "freedom and democracy" but it does allow one to anticipate the other reactions when they all operate under the same constraints and have the same training - they come to be to some extent "predictable" (sounds dull and boring but it isn't). Hence this "getting along with each other" takes on a different form as opposed to the situations where everyone is doing their own thing regardless.

Just to back up this point - I was reading up some laws and regulations about putting on some extra lights on a motor bike. Wow - this is a red tape jungle - the legislation went on for 83 pages just about lights.
One thing that stuck in my mind was a point about "people percieve things to be a car, bus, bike etc by it's shape" irrespective where they get these taught to them as children or adults - they expect these things to meet up with their perception of these things. Thus the regulation for the number and size and position and intesity of lights on a given vehicle has to meet up with this perception. Hence the designers of cars etc have certain problems when having to cope with the regulations that take these perceptions into consideration. The legal preamble goes on to say that is why it is illegal to have more than a given number of brake lights etc because this counteracts the publics perception of what eg. constitutes the awareness (appearance=form) of a cars profile and what it looks like when it brakes. And this lot goes on and on - you have to be a lawyer and a shrink to understand it. But it's there and all those involved have to stick to it and so it becomes a part of your expected street scene.

Sorry Alan I have been called away must go now.
Take care and have a super weekend
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Automatic brake lights.

Hi all,

I'm a transit supervisor, former bus driver, former chauffeur, former ambulance driver, and former police officer, so I have some familiarity with traffic safety. I agree with Bill Trammell that drivers following need to be notified of braking/deccelerating via the brake lights. Our busses have brake lights that come on when the retarder kicks in -- which is why you'll sometimes see a coach operator "riding his brakes" on the freeway (he's not really, he's just holding the accelerator pedal to the floor and letting the governor do all the work) -- and unless you want to lightly squeeze the brake lever every time you slow on the Burgman a system like ajwood is suggesting makes a lot of sense.

A simple solution might be a relay activated by a mercury switch. At positive or zero acceleration the contact would be broken, but when slowing it would activate. I'm no electical or automotive engineer so maybe it wouldn't be feasible, but I think something should be worked out. Saying that other drivers "should" see us slowing, or turning around to gesture at them, doesn't seem to be prudent to me.
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Brian, a deceleration switch like you suggested was available at one time. Does anyone know the name of the company who made them.

I think that a decel snsor might be better than hacking the ECM code. I see that you are a microcontroller man, As I was. I am currently doing research on solid state accelerometers, and there are some cheap ones that could flash the brake at > -1.5 G.

What think?
You maybe able to make this kit work ...

Quick Brake Light Trigger

Greg ...
Greg said:
You maybe able to make this kit work ...

Quick Brake Light Trigger

Greg ...
I was just thinking somegthing along these lines. When you get to idle, the switch triggers a module the flashes the brakelight a couple of times to alert people that something is going on..?

Boy, you "gadget guys" really can make things complicated. Just a light pressure on the rear brake lever (650) is enough to activate my brake light if someone is following me and I want to make sure they know I'm slowing down. It doesn't seem to affect the rate of slowing unless I squeeze the lever a little harder. Whatever wear there may be on pads/rotors using this method has to be minimal, if any, and worth it to me.
Also, when I'm sitting at a traffic light or stop sign on a level surface that really doesn't require holding the brakes (or even if it does require brakes), if I see a vehicle approaching from the rear, I squeeze the brake lever a number of times to "flash" the brake light and get their attention. :D
I just ordered this brakeflasher. It came in yesterday and we mounted it on the back of the passenger back rest. I will let you know how effective it is. We rode today, but I was riding drag. I will lead tomorrow and let Doug give you a review.
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