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hand on brake lever...

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by russ, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. this recently came up in a different thread but I figured I wouldn't hijack that one.

    Something that I do when city driving (in traffic) is to leave my fingers poised over the brake lever at all times.
    I don't do that, however, when getting to more open areas. I only do it in close traffic.
    Everyone in the previous thread advised to not leave hands/fingers resting on the levers. certainly for the clutch I never do it. But I would contend that braking 'paranoia' would be a good thing coz you could brake quicker (and also are less likley to do the panic grab - try to grab a handful of brake, and miss - I did it when learning (damn fire trucks, nearly ran into 3 of them while learning :shock: they kept jumping out at me).

    this I suppose wouldn't be good as a habit to develop, but as a conscious choice whilst driving in close traffic (and only then) would be a good thing.

    any thoughts?
  2. what i find is that you are more likely to grab at them if you are poised over them. try relaxing a bit more, it only takes a split second to put your fingers around a brake lever. i havn't entirely kicked the habit, i actually ride around most of the time with my index finder on the lever, but its become more of a comfort thing than a paranoia thing now.

    the more realxed you are, the better the riding will be, and the better your chances of survival are.
  3. The people at HART were telling us that it's usually better to keep your hand on the throttle as normal, that way if you have to break the motion of turning your hand forward to reach the lever will also close the throttle.

    In my first week on the road I was kind of half-covering the break (if that's possible) and when I went to grab it in some stop-start traffic on Punt road my hand was positioned so the throttle was still on a little, I had to let go and grab the break again nearly causing me to run up the a$$ of a volvo.
  4. I cover my brakes when I'm coming up to tight obstacles, lane splitting , some preacious intersections or when there is something unpreditable ahead.

    In those situations I'm also usually slowing down by rolling off the throttle as well. Otherwise, I'm all about the throttle and the brakes are saved for when they are needed.
  5. Hands over the brakes is old thinking. Its generally accepted this leads to a brake first attitude - the first thing you should do is think!
    Same as driving. You don't go near the brakes until a threat presents itself.
  6. Yep I normally cover the front brake when riding slow and it dangerous situations.
  7. I ride with my hand fully wrapped around the throttle. I scan the road ahead to see what's happening. If for some reason I think that some clown may turn in front of me or I get a gut feeling that something may jump out in front of me, I'll then put my fingers over the brake lever in case I need to brake suddenly. But at the same time, I'll come off the throttle and let the bike coast. Once I'm happy all is fine, back goes my hand around the throttle and the brake lever can enjoy the wind flow again.
  8. For slow riding, ie lane splitting, city riding, it may be better to cover the rear brake rather than the front. It prevents diving and unsettling the bike at a time you need maximum control and balance.
  9. I'm with Deyago on this one - for lane splitting covering the rear brake is better. Leave the fingers on the throttle - in an emergency reflexs happend before thought, if you are covering the brake then reflex will kick in and you'll grab a handful. By leaving it on the throttle your reflex will grab the throttle in a tighter squeeze and then the brain will kick in and tell you to perform an emergency braking action (which you should have been practising at least once everytime you ride).

    The rear brake is not as easy to lock up and if you do not as detrimental to the handling of the bike as locking up the fronts.
  10. Some tosser pulled out in front of me from a junction and then just sat there blockling the road. I only just managed to stop in time, about 10cms away from his door.

    I'm sure that the extra time it would have taken to grab the front brake if I had not been ready would have resulted in tears.
  11. Have to say I like to cover the back brake when travelling at slow speeds in traffic and that, but I tend to cover the front brake when approaching intersections with cars sitting there waiting.
    Have had them pull out before without warning more than once.
  12. I'm a half and half kinda person,:LOL: I used to ride mountain bikes and a habit I formed there was to keep a couple of fingers on the brakes when moving through tight spaces so you can react a quick as possible....
    Granted that there is a few fundimental differences between pushies and motorbikes... but for the most part, this way I still remain in good control of the throttle and it has givin me a split seconds grace on more than one occation rolling through the city going to and from work...... and like it was mentioned earlier highway riding allows you a much greater view of the road so you can relax off the brakes a bit.... 8) :p
  13. I generally find that cos I'm looking at everything around me rather than focussing on events two cars in front, etc, that I don't need to cover the brakes.....I tend to prepare for something that is likely to happen given what is going on around me. Sometimes covering your brakes can get you in more difficulty. It may be more appropriate to accelerate out of a tight spot...or, as my favourite saying goes : "when in doubt, power out"!!

    Oh....also, buy a twin :p . The engine braking and torque helps enormously!!

    :D :D :D
  14. In dense traffic I ride with the front covered.

    There's been several occasions where I've needed to drop anchors quickly, and another second or half a second of reaction time would probably result in the babyblade having less plastic that it currently does.
  15. One less fairing, and it becomes a totally naked bike eh Dave? :LOL:
  16. If you are anticipating having to stop due to potential hazards, approaching lights, intersections etc, cover the brakes as all you are doing is completing the first stage of brake setup. If you dont use them then no drama. I personally dont cover my brakes unless I perceive there is a need.
  17. I concur.

    When driving a cage, i know that inapproptiate use of brakes can cause/worsen an accident.

    :?: Has anyone ever experienced inappropriate braking on a bike?
  18. I haven't experienced inappropriate braking on the bike yet but I have heard that braking (and locking up your rear wheel followed by releasing the brake to free the rear wheel) during cornering is the major cause of the dreaded "high-side"... I sincerely hope no one can confirm this through experience.