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Don't let yourself get lazy

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by GoTeam, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. I thought I'd share the following.

    I did a bit of riding yesterday (took the bike instead of the cage) and found myself being lazy with braking on one occasion. I partially got up myself for that because I know from when I taught myself to play the guitar it can be hard to unlearn bad habits. Here's what happened. A car started slowing in front of me for no apparent reason. I rolled off the throttle and only needed to brake very lightly for a short time to maintain a 2-3 second gap. I used two fingers! I realised why that was bad as I would have been screwed if I needed to emergency brake at that time. Before that and afterwards, it was four fingers on the brake lever regardless of how hard I had to brake. I obviously had a brain fade when I did the wrong thing.

    The moral of the story: keep thinking about what you're doing (I wasn't quite doing that) and try not to pick up bad habits because they're more difficult to unlearn than to pick up.

  2. i've always ever used two fingers... i really don't think 4 is going to help much as the brakes have so much bite.
  3. With very few exceptions, any modern bike can be braked to the limit of traction with two fingers if you need to, although you probably wouldn't want to do it repeatedly.

    Or maybe I've just got hands like a gorilla :shock: .
  4. I should have made it clear. I would have jammed my other two fingers between the brake lever and grip if I had to e-brake.
  5. I'd consider it 'best practice' to keep your fingers outta the way, but if the lever comes that close to the bar is your brake not a little out of adjustment?
  6. Roh, with an e-brake your lever would get that close but not for normal riding/braking. It has with every bike I've been on so far (3 times on HART's bikes and two of my own).
  7. Interesting. I've never encountered any issues in my practice e-brakes and have up to now always been breaking with a couple of fingers. - I have however, never had reason to perform a *real* e-brake so perhaps with the addition of a bunch of adrenaline I woudl squeeze all the way down to the grips?

    I'm sure I read somewhere (TOTW perhaps?) that 2 finger breaking was better as your less likely to 'snatch' and cause bad things to happen with just 2 fingers rather than a full hand.

    ..More research required me thinks!
  8. On our advanced riding course several weeks ago they covered this. They said a big no-no to 2 finger braking. Should always use 4 fingers, you can get fingers caught, roll on the throttle whilst braking, and normally 2 finger braking you use the 2 fingers near the thumb - not good as all the braking power is in the 2 outer fingers (leverage!). You simply can't brake as hard with 2 fingers as you can with all 4 due to leverage on the lever.
  9. Guys, I am no so convinced that any one braking method over another is necessarily right or wrong...Just as long as you are able to stop or maintain good control of your bike while braking at any given force.

    Personally...and I think it can be bike and circumstance dependent, I usually use a two finger brake style. I have powerful brakes, and two fingers is enough (plenty). It also allows me the finer braking adjustments I might like to use during brisk cornering etc, and gives me a better grip on the clip on for fast directional changes for pushing on the bars etc.In fact...were I to use my whole hand, my thumb behind the grip would not be enough for me to turn hard in some cases.

    Rather than be caught using the same method no matter the circumstances, try to become proficient with the different methods/hand positions, so that you have choices for the prevailing situations.

    Of course...to facilitate that, I have my levers adjusted accordingly, so that I can chose what I want. Some bikes are not adjustable or have less that ideal levers to allow you the correct positioning...it important to address those issues as well, by lever replacement or by adjusting to the style of braking forced upon you by the inherent design etc. (Be wary of that - I don't like adjusting fundimental rtechniques to less than ideal standards thrust upon me by the mfrs - they are trying to hit a "general audience", which may not include me.)

    One, two, three, or four fingers, is'nt too much of an issue in the end...but you must have an initial solid and fundimental technique to start with, and IMHO...that's 4 fingers in most cases...from there, you should be open to varying away from your standard method as desired and befitting the circumstances, as you judge them to be from your growing experience.
    blah blah..I'll shut up now... :LOL:


  10. Funny that this has come up because the guy from MAW was telling me the exact same thing last night when I went to get my Sidi's.
  11. I only ever used two fingers to brake on my pushie and never got in trouble. On my bike, I could get into trouble.

    My brakes aren't as good as the brakes on the supersports and superbikes so I have to rely on the method recommended at training (use all fingers to brake).

    Here's what I did last night on the way home to test it (making sure I had plenty of gap behind me when I did). I slowed down normally and had a look at the gap between the lever and hand grip. There was plenty to fit my fingers + a gap. The next time I stopped, I braked hard using the technique we all know for e-braking (gradually squeeze more and more). The gap between the brake lever and hand grip was definitely less than the thickness of my fingers. In fact, the lever ended up almost touching the grip. That was the point I was trying to raise with me using two fingers that time. I would have jammed my other two fingers if I had to unexpectedly e-brake at that time.

    For all of you with easily adjustable levers and kick ar$e brakes, I'm sure two fingers will be fine for you all the time and you're right with what you're saying. I don't fall into that category right now so can't do that.
  12. Before I put braided lines on the ol CBR I had to use four fingers. Now I could probably use 2 fingers to get full braking, however I find 4 fingers offers better feel without loosing much control of the throttle.
  13. Just think of the 2 finger methord as a primitive form of ABS :p

    I'm still new to riding, but with good old Q-ride they said use all 4, but more importantly they said use the finger tips to get the feel.
  14. I had that on my MZ TS250. You could get the lever all the way back to the bars with no appreciable effect on your speed. Then, just as you thought you'd found some friction, the linings would instantly overheat and fade away to nothing :shock: or, better still, the nipple would pull off the cable :shock: :shock: .

    Brakes are overrated :LOL: .