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2 fingers braking

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by bulby, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. #1 bulby, Aug 30, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    Quick recap: I'm a newbling. Had troubles stopping. Was forever grabbing the front brake and tensing up on top of looking down.

    So I've done a number of practice runs around the block, applying what I've learned from the tuition, amd I'm stopping more and more smoothly.

    HOWEVER, I find that I'm instinctively using 2 fingers for normal stops as it allows me to stop much smoother. And that's where the question popped up in my head. Is this a very bad habit to get into?
  2. Maybe.

    It may be easier to blip the throttle and brake at the same time (for rev matching downshifts) if you use all fingers on the brake lever.

    You may have your fingers caught between the handle and lever in an emergency or crash.

    You may find you have better brake control with 4 fingers, using the maximum leverage of the brake lever. After many corners of heavy braking, you want your hands to be as least fatigued as possible.

    Lots of maybes.
  3. #3 kma_jg, Aug 30, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    Under light braking and downshifting I find it easier to blip using two finger braking.
    Heavy/emergency breaking always all fingers.
  4. #4 bulby, Aug 30, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    I know my wrist / forearm is not strong enough to e-brake using 2 fingers. So I'm still using all 4 fingers instinctively for hard braking. Just a little worried that this might get "overwritten" by the 2-fingers soft braking habit.

    I don't think I have any problem controlling the throttle with all 4 fingers on the lever though. So maybe it's a good idea to stomp out the 2 fingers habit while it's still in its early stage?
  5. Use four all the time.

    What if a light slowing suddenly turns into an E-brake?????
  6. I also use 4 since it was pointed out to me that the outside fingers give more leverage.
  7. Are you guys saying that you can't e-brake using only 2 fingers?
    ( that's a genuine question)

    Remember that you should be looking or ideally already have your escape route to take, so your e-brake is more of a hard brake.
  8. Thanks, guys. Gunna have to get used to 4 fingers all the time then. I'll try to be a lot gentler with the squeeze :D

    Edit: Full front brake on my GS500F is about halfway towards the handlebar. And that's squeezing real hard with 4 fingers - Something I've only done in my garage, really... Just playing around with the controls, getting used to them and all.
    It could be my newbness, but I find it a bit tricky to be smooth and gentle with the brake using 4 fingers since the bike jerks with anything more than a touch. Apparently, years of twirling glowsticks didn't save me from ham-fisted-ness when it comes to riding :p
  9. #9 Kha-Khees, Aug 30, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    Not much to do with your wrist or forearm, your index and middle finger simply aren't as strong at gripping as your ring and little finger. The index/middle are for manipulating, and the ring/pinkie for grasping.

    Definitely stomp it out (that said, i still catch myself sometimes), you'll learn the fine motor control to get the same braking smoothness out of 4 fingers.
  10. Yes. Unless you have reallly strong wrists and fingers.
  11. Wouldn't that depend on the bike?

    I'm pretty sure I can apply as much force as I need with only three fingers, though I was told to use four at a learner practice by people who know better than me so that's what I do now and it works well. There's also no chance of getting a finger caught between the lever and the throttle that way.

    But wouldn't you be able to apply all the stopping force you need on say a modern sports bike with just two fingers?
  12. Personally I have no problem e-braking with 2 fingers, I dont get why you are all harping on about using 4.

    If you want to brake smoothly (which should be the real goal, smooth=better chance of maintaining grip) you should be blipping the throttle on downshifts, easiest way to do that is to 2 finger brake..

    If you need more leaverage move your hand wider on the grip so ur 2 fingers sit further out on the lever.. beyond that if you still cant brake hard, when was your fluid last changed? what condition are your lines in..etc...

    But staying on topic.. no problem to go with 2 fingers..
  13. not at 240km/h
  14. I brake from 240k with 2 fingers..(on the track) at that speed all inputs need to be smooth, esp. when you are pushing the bike to the limits of grip. You dont want to just grab a fistfull of brake and lock the front.. or comp lock the rear on downshift..
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Okay well, take it from somebody more knowledgeable than I am then. Never been at 240km/h nor do I ever plan to so my comment was unfounded.
  16. you wouldn't try pulling up your car with just your big toe on the brake.
  17. Can't speak for Doug, but I would say a lot of learner bikes won't emergency brake well on 2 fingers.

    Bulby if you aren't as smooth with four fingers as you are with two, then I would suggest you need to practice four finger braking more.

    I have my life a bit more in order now and have a bit more free time, so if you want some one on one practice around the block or any other form of mentoring, feel free to shoot me a PM.
  18. #18 SammyA, Aug 30, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
  19. And why not? ( why do you need to use all your fingers at high speeds? Nothing has changed except speed, brake pressure is still the same....
    I honestly don't envisage riders e-braking at those speeds, and on the track it is HARD braking....not e-braking.

    This bs about jamming your fingers...adjust the levers so they don't!, if you prefer to use less than four fingers.

    It differs from bike to bike. Cheap bikes with cheap brakes might require 4 fingers, but most modern, standard and sports, 2-3 is enough, so get proficient with all configurations, so you can mix it up, and not be caught out.
    I will use 1,2,3 or 4 depending on the circumstances.
    As a default, i would think 3 is a good choice.
  20. Well my thinking was that because at 240km/h if a car pulls out in front of you then you are going to need more than 2 fingers to wash off enough speed to avoid colliding with the car.
    depending on the situation, you could have an escape route, etc.
    Then again, you shouldn't be doing 240km/h on the road anyway.
    Personally I use 3 mainly because my pinky doesn't fit around the brake lever all the time.