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Bad habit? Not using the rear brake in turns!!

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by Archaeon, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. This might be buried within a related post somewhere, but I thought I'd start a new thread to ask this specifically.

    When I first started out riding, my rear brake had a squeal, which if I had to compare it, sounded like nails to a chalkboard, only amplified. The brake, when applied, operated perfectly, it was just accompanied by a spine tingling squeal.. Anyway whatever was causing the squeal is irrelevant to what I want to ask here, so before i knew it, I wasn't using the rear brake all, and applied it when necessary such as when i wanted full braking power coupled with the front brakes.

    Subsequently, this has I believe, turned into a bad habit, and I've noticed I still rarely use the rear brake, even though I've changed bikes twice already, with the squeal clearly no longer an issue.

    Everyone I talk to uses the rear in turns for one reason or another, however I never use them during any turns as I have never felt the need to use it during turns, I am none the wiser about the advantages (or disadvantages) this actually has in my riding style. I've tried it a few times, and it felt awkward, the bike wanted to come back up, and instinctively I just let go (of the brake) and give it more throttle and lean harder.

    So the question is this.. and please, treat me like a newbie to riding entirely here, why use the rear brake during turns? What advantages does this provide, and what is the correct way of using them during turns? What is not the right way of using the rear in turns?

    A serious question. It might save my life one day! My turns consist entirely of counter steering, lean and throttle control (after shaving off appropriate speed before entering the turn).
  2. The only time I use the rear brake, is at the lights and only to pick my nose,
    The reason for this is the clutch is always in, It allows me to drop the clutch and scorch off
    If I am going to be rear ended,

    But I have been riding a long time, And only use roll on roll off, This takes years to learn properly,

    The squeeling brakes sounds like your pads are stuffed, Get them replaced immediately before they chew out your disks,

    There are plenty of posts on here about using your rear brake,

  3. Might want to ask "why do I need to use the back brake".
    The rear brake is a stability device on most bikes.
    So to answer that we need to know if you are taking nice clean consistent lines through a corner. Or do you find you have a few pushes on the bars? A few bites of the cherry.

    On a sports bike I will rarely use the rear brake. For sporties it is my traction control and attitude of the bike adjustment.
    On a cruiser I will rarely use the front brake. It's a cruiser and I am cruising. I keep my 3 seconds up and enjoy the view and the breeze. But for this bike the rear brake is it's righting power adjustment. It's attitude adjustment, it's stability control and it's slowing down brake.
    Cruisers always have such a soft fork set up and I hate that diving feeling. Hate soft suspension full stop. I would rather stand on the pegs for a sec than loose all communication with the tyres.
    And not always deadman with the pads. It's called glazing. When you lightly drag the rear brake it shines.... glazes up the pads. A simple scdrub with emery cloth and some brake clean and no noise...for a little while
  4. Rear brakes in a corner is generally not a good idea, however there are some exceptions. Doing what you are doing now is fine and working for you, don't complicate things.

    Some one more willing than I will write exactly where and when the rear should be used but views will vary.

    Carry on...
  5. I think you're just talking to the wrong people. What you're doing sounds fine to me.
  6. There's a rear brake?
  7. Is there a brake pad in your rear brake?

    As for using it, there's a world of discussion about it on NR. Don't ABUSE it and you wont end up in the trees.
  8. Everyone has different habits and styles, it's ok.

    Generally, on the road you should have all your braking done before the corner.

    On track, some racers use the rear brake every corner to help steer the bike, and some don't touch it at all.
  9. kinda on topic

    is it ok to use rear brake while changing down gears?
  10. If you're not stomping on it in order to lock the wheel, then why not? The bike won't explode.

    When I casually roll to a stop at lights under zero throttle, I drag the rear AND change down without the clutch... ZOMG!!!
  11. I have gone from rarely using the rear to allways using it.

    In a straight line the rear will give some weight transfer to the front and start to slowly compress your forks, as a result when the fronts are applied there is less fork dive.

    In a cornering scenario the same weight transfer applies and as a result it can help to tighten a line and gives stability. By dragging the rear you can maintain more throttle for the exit as the brake can control wheel spin.

    The key is feel and modulation, the rear is used lightly and gradually in the above examples. Jumping on the rear can ruin your day. It takes time till you get the feel but once you get it you will be surprissed.

    Best explained by a good rider trainer.
  12. There are a lot of reasons brakes squeel, Worn out pads is only one of them. Glazing is another,
    Stuffed pistons,
    Keep it simple,
    On a cruiser, So it is the brake shoes, Maybe down to the rivets,
    You dont know till it is pulled apart.
  13. What bike are you riding? Rear brake usage is somewhat bike dependent.
  14. Well in summary of what others have said to me re the use of rear brakes, It tightens the lines, offers stability and especially useful when you know that you are going to run wide.

    Though for me, it feels like it destabilises my riding and lifts the bike up.

    Apparently, if I were to apply the rear whilst actively counter steering (ie pushing the bar left or right to dip the bike) this will result in an exaggerated lean (lean more, thus tightening the line)

    I suppose to some degree it makes sense; however I still do not find the need to use the rear brake.

    The squealing (if anyone's interested) was due to the fact it was a GS500. As awesome of a learner bike it was, it was notorious for having squeaking rear brakes. It wasn't the pads, or the discs - Suzuki dealership even said replacing both would be a complete waste of money, as there is absolutely nothing wrong with the performance or functionality of the rear brakes.. "They just squeak!"

    I did a great many skids on that bike, simply because slamming them hard was a sure way of having no squeal.. in a straight line of course :D

    So branching off a little based on the info you guys have provided so far, what is the correct way of using rear brakes in low speed turns? When i went for my MOST test, the instructor said and demonstarted cone weaves and u-turns with rear brakes; however I did them without touching the rear brake.

    Again, serious question, I feel I completely do not understand what the rear brakes purpose is, other than to support the braking power of the front in an emergency-type of scenario... Yet others swear by it and cannot imagine not being able to use them.
  15. Raven I ride an RC8R and an ST4S. I find the rear very usefull when on the throttle and very much corner dependant.

    The use of the rear brake varies with speed and the type of corner and the type of riding you do. With all due respect to all posters what you want to know needs good instruction. You can only understand when you feel it, then you will get it. We are not talking about hard applications here but rather gentle dragging in the right places. This also applie to the fronts but leave that one alone.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Rear brake is something that generally is just good to help stabalise the bike, i have no idea why, but applying a bit of rear brake when your riding slow will make it easier.

    Having said that, i almost never use the rear brake ever, front and clutch is all you really need on some bikes, i find that mine is smooth enough to do slow speed work with out the rear.

    also how could changing your brake pads not remove the squeeling, it would be a completly different object that is doing the braking, i very much doubt it would continue to squeek, maybe if you replaced it with the OEM pads yes, but if you got a different brand/design/compound, there is no way it would squeek.
  17. Well stated!. Op...let this sink in. ^^

    At slow speeds you use it as a bit of drag, for stability.
    At speed you use it as a light drag under specific circumstances. Perhaps you can actually use it as a 'brake', when coasting up to red lights etc. Any other time it is next to useless...AS A BRAKE. ( unless you are riding a cruiser - that's a different story.

    Do search cornering or rear brake threads. You'll pick up a lot of insightful comments and knowledge. NR, is chocas with these threads!
    • Like Like x 1
  18. What about when you're already running wide? I was up at the Old Pacific a few weeks ago and on the way back it was more uphill so when I took a turn it went too wide and I shifted from the left to the right (not oncoming) lane, didn't try to use the rear brake and just throttled off and steered back.
  19. Yeah this is what I am accustomed to doing as well.. when i run wide, I ease off throttle and push the handlebar down more, but not too much so that it (the bike) destabilizes.

    However according to other riding guys, 'dragging' the rear brake also achieves this with less steering correction, whilst still having a constant throttle.

    Just making a mental image of what is actually happening, wheel spinning, slightly leaned.. brakes applied gently.. pressure applied to wheel, wheel spins slower...

    It kinda acts as a counter to the centrifugal forces no? .. The faster the wheel is spinning, the more the wheel whats to straighten out (vertical or horizontally). By applying the brakes, the force acting on the wheel is reduced as the speed of rotation is reduced... so.. it will dip the bike into a lean?? :-k
  20. Yeah, not too sure about that aye.. I mean it'd make sense that it'll stop the squealing, but the mech said it's not worth replacing it