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Best way to brake in a corner?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Josheos, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. Saw some poor fellow on a ninja300 axe himself the other day on a small roundabout, cranked his front brake presuming going too wide, ended up low sliding, sending his bike flying, no gear on, whole fairing practically off the bike. Luckily walked away with scratches and rode home but still!
    The best approach would be to slowly add rear brake correct? Braking and downshifting etc on corners is a touchy subject as everyone has their own opinions and experiences, what would be the best thing to do in that situation?

  2. countersteer more, get more angle, get around without braking :)

    if you're going into a small roundabout so hot that the above doesn't work, you're screwed anyway :D
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  3. Preferably not at all.

    Roundabouts have so many variable attached. Camber, number of lanes, size, road surface condition and contamination, wet/dry. This is indeed a can of worms. Yep, preferably not at all.

    Ride in, in a low enough gear so there is significant engine braking available, and slow enough so you shouldn't have to slow at all. If you have to, go gently, your rear wheel will already be braking so you won't need to do much to it. Even then you can over do it with engine braking alone on a dirty wet example.

    Panic stops or slow down manoeuvres in roundabouts often end badly.
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  4. Corner braking with the front is OK if you are gentle. They teach it at some advanced riding courses and there are a few ways to do it. Its grabbing the brakes that get people in trouble.
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  5. No, you're more likely going to lock up the rear and crash anyway because there is very little feel through the boot on the rear brake lever.

    Rear brake can be best used in the corner as a stabiliser, but not for slowing down. For example, a downhill corner where you need to keep the rpms but don't want to speed up (good example is the last long left hander from Lake Mountain to Marysville).

    It's easy to say not to go too hot into the corner. But if you're already there then you basically can do 3 things (all, some or just one):

    1. Turn more (the best you can do if you're not crancked over much yet).

    2. Roll off (don't chop, smooth but very positive roll off) to tighten your line.

    3. Brake using front (this is the last option because your need to develop extremely good feel of your bike, brakes and the grip levels).

    The front braking is best done when you trail brake into the corner. When you panic brake you have to roll off smoothly and apply brakes very very smoothly to progressively load the front.

    But realistically, people are most likely to grab the brakes and just lose the front due to panic and lack of experience in such situation (needs to be unconscious to be executed effectively).
    So it's better to be left as a last resort option for newer riders.

    On the roundabout, there's simply no time to deal with the front brake so roll off+turning are the main options.

    Every rider needs to develop subconscious reactions for those situations and that can't be done by just reading. It's practice, repetition and experience that will help with it.

    It's good to practice braking at sight lean angles to get the understanding and feeling of the brake. Also feeling the bike's attitude when rolling off gently as well as swerving around an imaginary obstacle mid corner.

    All that comes with practice.

    Hope that helps.
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  6. Yep, you wont go far wrong with Dima's advice. Although i'd disregard #3 if you're not experienced - that's something you need to take time to perfect.

    Personally on a hard ride i'll trail brake (front brake) into virtually every corner - my choice. I can't brake, set up, steady, tip in - i kind of do it all in one motion and ease off the front and roll on the gas in/during the turn. EASE is the word there, smooth is the action.

    But, on my daily commute i do several smaller, tighter roundabouts - almost right turns really. I'm off the front completely before entry, in second and feathering the rear to the point i can slow down down if needed - i.e some dick enters the roundabout from the next entry uninvited - or can release to accelerate swiftly. Revs are always in 'that spot' i.e up a little, and controlling the bike, the rear brake is just 'settling', holding it back a little in the zone. Second guessing what may happen - and what I may have to do. Numbers game - and better stacked in your favour.

    Practice mate - see what your comfortable with, but don't get too cocky with the front!
  7. I braked in a corner yesterday when I wasn't really expecting to. The traffic in front of me slowed, but being halfway through the corner, I had a little room to straighten up a bit and apply both brakes, quickly wipe off enough speed and resume cornering. I had kind of allowed for it, but I'd sort of reacted before I had a chance to consciously choose what to do.

    It was probably a bit like this but without coming to a full stop:

    However, that doesn't apply very well if you've overcooked the corner and have run out of room. I reckon much of the advice above is sound, but would add that as a novice, your bike can corner much better than you can and if you commit to taking the corner instead of freaking out (don't chop the throttle/tense up/target fixate/etc.) you'll probably make it through.