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Engine braking?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by Fuzzism, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. I'm still a bit new at riding and have been stopping the usual way with my front and rear breaks. But then I heard about engine breaking (shifting down to slow down) and was wondering if I should be doing it or how viable it is? Is it bad for my bike?


     
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  2. How new are you if less than 1-2 months just focus on staying upright and not hitting stuff. Small steps or you really will end up breaking your bike.
     
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  3. There is the argument that it is better to slow down with your brakes - that's what they are there for. Brakes are easier and cheaper to replace than an engine. Occasionally there are times when it might be okay to engine brake, but I keep it to a minimum. People will also tell you to use your rear brake in engine braking just enough so that the brake light on the back lights up to alert drivers behind you that you are slowing.
     
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  4. Technically you're engine braking as soon as you back off the throttle, in some conditions it's all you need to slow down, you probably do this anyway without thinking about it.
    For any serious cornering or stopping, use your brakes, your bike has them for a reason.
     
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  5. Engine braking is fine, just don't shift too abruptly(aka badly) or the back wheel will become exciting. Manufacturers even recommend it to avoid cooking the brakes on big hills. Four stroke engines are not fragile, they can take it. Using engine braking is a valuable and important tool in the quest for smoothness. I use it a lot more than the red herring rear brake.
    I for one think it a foolish argument, it is better to slow by the method best aligned with riding goals and risk management, be that the friction brakes or the engine.
     
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  6. There is absolutely nothing wrong with engine braking. It won't adversely affect your engine in any way if done properly.

    Your engine is simply working as it should.

    However if you're riding the clutch shifting down gears you will wear out your clutch.

    Just remember, engine braking doesn't activate your brake lights. So pick your moments.
     
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  7. Agree with above. Engine braking is what happens as soon as release the throttle. It depends on what situation it is.
    I hate it when people say brakes are cheaper to replace so don't rely on the engine alone. How often do you hear people say "I have to replace my transmission because of too much engine braking"? Brakes will wear a lot quicker and IMO id rather use them in times of need. Plus it sounds way cooler to engine brake rather hear the squeal of the brakes.
     
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  8. I would say that engine braking is essential, especially on long downhill runs. In order to use it effectively it is usually necessary to change to a lower gear. The problem comes when it is done badly. It is far too easy to slide the rear wheel with a rough downshift, especially if done in conjunction with rear brake use.

    The first skill to learn is "matching revs" on every downshift. It is essential that you are able to make downshifts (and upshifts) which remain smooth when the clutch is engaged. Practice this at every opportunity. Eventually engine braking will be a natural part of your riding as you select a lower gear going in to a corner to give you the needed acceleration as you exit.
     
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  9. I only use my brakes to come to a stop or in an emergency, engine braking feels much better
     
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  10. Use your brakes to put your brake lights on. That bit is important. To slow you down unless its an emergency - <shrug>... And if you're using your brake lights you're ready to brake if it becomes an emergency
     
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  11. Oh yea I forgot, I set my brakes to activate the brake lights. Point is I mainly use engine braking
     
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  12. FuzzismFuzzism I learned to rev match while engine braking to slow down if I don't need to come to a complete stop. It's gentler on the engine. And sounds way cool. I learned that for coming to a complete stop in lower speed traffic (ie, sudden traffic lights change), I use my brakes, pull the clutch in and then tap it down into first. You don't need to release the clutch and engage for every down shift, just clutch in and tap, tap, tap down to the appropriate gear.

    In my early newbie days, I found that engine braking alone without rev matching was jerky and I spent a lot of time worrying about the engine and over using the clutch, so I watched a lot of videos. As NihililNihilil said, four stroke engines are built to take it, but rev matching just makes it so much smoother. And it still brings a smile to my face.
     
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  13. Use your brakes for slowing down and stopping, that's their primary job. Shift gears so that you're in the right gear to move off at any time.

    When you're still learning, focus on the brakes. Only start revmatching and letting the clutch out on downshifts when you've got the spare mental space for it.

    As for engine wear & tear, I don't think there's much in it. You might burn more clutch if you're a bit careless with the rev-matching or clutch release, and engine braking acts through your rear tyre so you're definitely use a bit more rubber on the centre strip.
     
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  14. UanBR.png.
     
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  15. Engine braking is not necessary at all for slowing down, but it's nice to be in the right gear when you want to exit the corner
     
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  16. Welcome to Netrider. Here you have the benefit that you can learn about Gramma Grammer Gramer Gram.... spelling almost as much as you can bikes. ;)
     
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  17. them's the brakes......
     
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  18. Use the same gear going downhill as you use going uphill.
     
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  19. I broke my engine when I stacked. Slid into the kerb and the farking oggy knob bent and went straight through it. Suggest you don't do it.
     
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  20. Engine breaking is fine as long as you can fix it or swap it.
     
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