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Foot positon and the rear brake

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by dazza139, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. Can someone give me advice regarding the best foot position to adopt for using the rear brake.

    As a newbie I have spent my first few weeks with the heel of my foot on the peg and the ball of my foot "covering" the rear brake lever. Unfortunately I can't do this without depressing the brake slightly which in turns activates the rear brake light. I don't think this light touch is actually engaging the rear brake.

    So now I have changed my foot position to one where the ball of my foot rests on the peg most of the time and I move it to the brake leaver when I need to brake.

    I wonder how safe this is? What do other people do?
  2. adjust the amount of 'play' on the rear break, so you can rest the ball of your foot on it without actually engaging it - first thing the instructor did at my course was adjust it to suit each rider...
    good luck with it
  3. Ok, you need to change both the pedal AND where you position your foot.

    The pedal is adjustable, downwards, and you should drop it till your foot rests naturally on it without having to move your ankle. The 'arch' of your sole should be on the peg, your heel behind it.

    And then you must adjust the little plunger that actuates the brake light so that it isn't on all the time, but comes on AS SOON as you touch the pedal with the ball of your foot.
  4. Thanks for this. I have a VTR250. I have adjusted the lever down as much as possible. I got Honda to do it for me. The problem seems to be that although the brake doesn't engage the brake light will come on with only slight touch. I'm not sure how to adjust this. So I take it you recommend "covering" the brake while riding?
  5. Thanks Hornet.

    I think what I need to do is adjust this "plunger" that you mention. I'm not sure how to do that. I have the workshop manual. I guess I will have to do a little research. It's definitely a question of stopping the light coming on as I don't think that the brake is actually engaging.
  6. Yes I do.

    The brake light switch has a thread in its plastic casing, and a large nut locks it to the carrier in the chassis. Loosen off the nut and wind the whole switch downwards (towards the ground). This will have the effect of allowing the switch actuating device to slide further INTO the switch body, turning off the brake light. You will need to experiment with how much it needs to be turned 'out' to switch in when you touch the pedal once you get it to turn off.

    Manufacturers spend millions on R&D and as a result put rear brakes on bikes. They're not there for decoration......
  7. good one Paul
  8. Hi Hornet

    Inspired by your advice I went and lay under bike in the dark with a torch. The mechanism you spoke of was on the inside of the chassis. Not quite as you described it on my bike. It was a spring attached to a bolt. The bolt passes through a nut which you could rotate clockwise or anticlockwise to change the tension on the spring. Anyway I managed to rotate it to give me a little more play in the spring before the brake light engages. Problem fixed!!!

    Thanks for your advice. I did feel nervous about not covering the rear brake!

    Having said that I am a little afraid of the rear brake especially in the rain. My rear tyre is pretty new and it seems very easy to lock up. I have had a few small slides. Nothing serious. :) Got any advice on this one?
  9. Well, I started riding on bikes that had one disc at the front and a drum at the rear, but the chassis dynamics of today's bikes is not much different. Of course you will do most of your braking with the front brakes, physics demands that. But the rear brake, used gradually and in balance with the front, is a most important component in stopping on wet roads.

    Robsalvv initiated a very good debate on the use (and abuse) of the rear brake; it's worth a careful read...