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2/3 finger braking

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Nug-Nugget, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. I know people usually use their index and middle finger to brake but I tend to use my middle, ring finger and pinky to brake and my index and thumb to blip the throttle - does anyone else do this? I'm wondering if it's a habit I should try to break, I know I'd be in trouble if I bought a bike with shorty levers.

  2. Really? I was under the impression that most people (myself included) use all their fingers (minus thumb) to brake.

    If you brake with all 4 fingers, you can still blip the throttle with your thumb/palm. It takes a bit of practice and dexterity to not pull on the front brake when blipping like that, but some practice and it will become second nature. You need to let your fingers slide over the brake lever, while still keeping it at constant pull, as you blip.

    I've been told that braking with anything less than 4 fingers is a bad habit. If the s**t hits the fan and you jump on the brakes, you'll squash any remaining fingers wrapped around the throttle. But that's just what I've been told...
  3. I thought it was bad practice to use only a few fingers rather than all, due to the possibility of your fingers being squashed between the brake lever and the grip. Also, isnt the index finger usually the strongest in terms of pulling the lever?

    I assume shorter levers allow you to use index and middle only for thr brake without the risk of squashing your un-used fingers?

    I'd try breaking the habit :)

    EDIT: you beat me to it mike!
  4. When I first started riding I needed 4 fingers to brake. Soon I was uber coo sol I just rode around with 1 finger covering the brakes. Now I'm a level 90 epic rider of awesomeness and I don't need any fingers to brake.
  5. I'm only using 2-3 fingers at the moment...

    But that's b/c I dropped the bike the other day and bent the lever so now not all my fingers fit on it LOL.

    Yes, I have a new lever - just awaiting a chance to change it over.

    I was taught 4 fingers is the go.
  6. Yeah you probably should use 4 fingers, that's what they teach you at pre learners and provisional. But I've been watching a few videos on braking and cornering techniques and they usually tell you to use index and middle finger to brake and blip the throttle with the remaining.

    So I take it no one else uses my technique.
  7. nah, thumb/index is for fine movement, middle, ring and pinkie is TEH POWAH

    as for the OP, i was originally taught to do whatever was comfortable (i was 5 on a dirt bike) which was middle and ring for braking, and that's carried through to now without ever having had an issue
  8. the main reason why four fingers are encouraged, is that you can create more pressure with four fingers over the lever, whereas if you had your third & pinky finger "resting" on the handgripe, they alone can reduce the pressure that can be applied to the brake lever therefore reducing braking pressure, therefore being not being able to stop in a shorter distance. This is is mostly applied when referring to emergency braking, ie stopping in the shortest time/distance.
  9. I always use this technique and always have. I don't know if there is any technique better than any other either. Personally, I find my index and middle finger work best though and I'm able to roll those fingers over the brake lever when blipping the throttle. Most people I know use this technique.

    At the end of the day I think it's what ever feels comfortable for you, providing it doesn't put your control of the bike in jeopardy.

    My $0.02. (y)
  10. There are lots of reasons to use all four.
    For someone going for their license. You will be required to use four. If they see you using three two or one finger to brake they will pull you up on it. So it will be easier on you if you start on all fours. Crawl before you can walk and you will be riding for longer.

    There's the emergency braking one. Where you will need all the room to compress the lever in.

    The one about crashing and severing your fingers under the lever,

    For me it's about feel. The tighter you grip the bars the less feel of what the front tyre is doing relays through them. And when you use one or two fingers ot takes more effort and this will cause the other fingers to tighten. And this will give you less feel. There is no locko meter so it's all about feel.
    So if I am just doddling along I will use my index and bird finger. If I am on it and going hard and braking hard I use all four. It take less effort and I will not be gripping so hard. That allows me to feel the front wheel and when it's close to locking up point.

    Same as when you are riding you should try and wobble your elbows. If you cant you are gripping the bars to hard. And that makes a bike stiff and hard to turn. If you loosen up the bike will.
  11. Yeah I feel most comfortable using middle, ring and pinky for braking ever since I started blipping the throttle so I guess that's what I'll keep doing.

    I think I use all 4 fingers for emergency braking instinctively.
  12. I use the palm of my hand to blip the throttle, and 3 fingers to brake, but only because my pinky isn't quite long enough to go around the brake lever, especially with thick gloves. It rests on the brake lever instead. Same with clutch.
  13. HAHA bretto61 you sound exactly like my instructor..

    I asked about blipping and he said that for road riding smoothly he couldnt see the real point of needing to blip the throttle as we should never be riding at that level on the road anyway. Another guy in the class was blipping and in the emergency stop test he was always stopping 2 or 3 mtes longer than I was. When he stopped the blipping he stopped better and when he used all 4 fingers on the brake he actually stopped better than I did.
    It was explained to us that if you ride around leaving everything so late as to need to blip entering a cornerr that it wouldnt be too long before entering speed into the corner would be way too fast and that would cause issues..lol So to use 4 fingers, getting the brakes working well and doing a late gear change letting the clutch out slowly stops the bike from getting that jolt whn you sometimes change gears. it also meant that we get the entry to the corner done with enough time to get off the brake, bike settled and then be able to ride the bike through the corner nailing the exit every time.

    I think I got it right. did I?
  14. Ha ha I might just have been your instructor ha ha.
    For the road yes you got it right.
    To finish first. First you have to finish.
    ps Do as I say not as I do lol
  15. I started two-finger braking last year. For 10 years before that, I always used four.

    Then this one time I had to nurse my bike home without touching the brake pedal (long story). I found hill starts were easier and more controlled with only two fingers on the lever, but it took a bit of concentration.

    Since then, the habit's sorta stuck. I still use the other fingers when I really need a fistful of brakes, but most of the time it's two to brake and two to blip.
  16. I used 2 fingers as i'd always done it riding dirt bikes but when i did it during my probationary test my instructors comments were that i don't have the same brakes as Valentino Rossi so when im braking, use all my fingers so i can hit the anchors properly if necessary. Pending on what im slowing down/stopping for ill still only use the 2 but i try to rememeber to use all 4.
  17. I blip on the road even though I don't "need" to, it just makes it smoother. Also I do it using all 4 fingers on the lever. You just squeeze a bit more as you rotate your hand and in doing that the pressure on the lever remains about the same.
  18. This is rather the trick and the art of blipping while braking. You must be able to maintain constant pressure and full control of the braking while you're doing it, otherwise it's counter productive.

    We did discuss this in some detail quite recently. Anyway, I tend to use as many fingers as seems right at the time. My current bike is new and the brakes are hugely powerful, and two fingers is enough to lock the front pretty easily. Other bikes I've ridden need all four and the whole strength of your hand to stop in any decent amount of room. Some levers come back near the bar, and you get limited in your braking by the fingers trapped under the bar.

    For a real E-stop use all 4.
    For tests and evaluation, use all 4.
    On a single disk front end - use all 4.
    When riding hard and having fun - generally - use all 4.
  19. haha the old how many fingers debate. i use one or two. depending on the bike and amount of brakes i want. coming from motards with massive front anchors, most of my bikes dont need much to stop. even though its a single disc, it stops like you wouldnt believe.

    i dont have an issue with hand strength and the feel is just fine with 1 or 2. fyi, on the weekend i would use 2 fingers on the road sections and 1 on the dirt sections when racing supermoto. 2 fingers when riding mx, but only 1 finger when trail riding.

    i have never had a lever come into the bar, as i make sure my brakes are top notch. but if the bike is a shitbox i will have to run 4 fingers as i will squash my fingers.
  20. I use middle and ringer fingers for brake while blipping using index, thumb and palm.