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Hello (and Braking)

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by quasimofo, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. hi, just passed my l's and picked up a vtr250 last week... having the time of my life! the ride home across the city was interesting though!! i wonder if just last week i was one of those oblivious drivers cutting up bikes and drifting in and out of their lanes... riding certainly makes you much more aware & sensitive to whats going on around you!~

    first of all i would like to say, what a great forum... i have already come across a lot of answers to the questions i have about riding technique and safety, so thankyou to everyone who is involved with helping the newer riders out

    one question i have is about braking... i can understand the dynamics of why the front brake is far more effective, but i find myself hardly ever using it... i think in in retrospect in this first week i could count the number of times i have touched the front on my two hands

    especially when setting up and downshifting for a corner, i can't seem to get comfortable using the front and tend to ride on the back

    likewise with approaching a stop/lights etc

    is this a problem or a bad habit to get into? im still sort of cruising around a a pretty leisurely pace at the moment... is the rear brake going to be insufficient when i up the pace?

    your thoughts & experience would be appreciated

  2. The back will be useless at speed. You say you understand the dynamics of it, so I won't go into why. Get into the habit of using 70/30 (front/back) and use just the back at low speeds.
  3. Hi quasi, and welcome :grin:

    Let me be the first to jump in and say yes, exclusively relying on your back brake is a bad (and dangerous) habit to get into.

    I was the same when I first started out, and relied heavily on the back brake, but it only takes one rear wheel lock up for you to realise just how dangerous excessive rear braking can be, even on dry roads without anything slippery on them. Get out of the habit now, so that when that first unexpected situation (i.e. stupid cager :roll: ) comes along you'll be e-braking with your front, not your rear. It will probably mean the difference between an impact with damage (or worse) and no impact with just a bad fright instead :eek: .

    But don't be afraid to use your back brake. It is there for a reason, after all, otherwise your bike wouldn't be fitted with one. Think of the front brake as a tool for slowing down the bike, while your back brake is simply a tool for stabilising the bike (e.g. at slow speeds).


    EDIT: Damn you Cookee :LOL: , I wanted to be first!
  4. Your homework for the next week is to go out and practice emergency braking, and get real comfortable using the front -lots- in the process.
  5. i can understand why you feel this way but you just HAVE to get used to it

    i got a vtr250 a few weeks ago and found the best way is to downshift really early into the stop so the bike is controlled and just squeeze the front brake ever so slightly so the front of the bike drops forward..

    in my first few rides i had to apply the front pretty hard to stop the bike and you don't need to use that much pressure, the tips of your fingers will have enough power to clamp down the front wheel pretty well

    just be really progressive when squeezing it

    dunno if its just my bike or what but i can also hear it when the front brake is applied which is a good way of guageing how hard you've pulled it on
  6. Most people avoid the front brake because the suspension is diving too much on the brakes and it feels weird. If you're a biggish bloke, you might want to put some heavier fork oil in to stop it from lurching forward so much when you use the brakes.
  7. dude. go out to an EMPY street (maaybe industrial?) and mark a line across the road with a bit of chalk. do 60km/h or so, and pretend when u cross this line a lil kiddy runs in front of ya. do your thing, use basically just the rear brake, and stop before you hit the kid.

    ok so now look behind you when you stop, 30m back there is a flat kid. mark the point you stop with chalk again. now do the run gain, 60km/h etc, brake when u cross the first line, but use the front too. hmm that flat kid is still 5m behind you.

    do it again, brake progressively, but brake hard. use the rear a lil, but dont lock it up (u need to practice this, coz it will lock much easier than the front. get used to knowing how mcuh to use, and what it feels like when it locks). u should stop before the kid now.

    baaad habit.
    a leisurely pace will still kill the kid.
  8. Stuff the kid. Imagine it's a b-double pulling out in front of you that you're trying to stop for ;). Even at low speeds hitting a solid object on a bike is going to hurt.
  9. there is a bit of an art to braking. you start gently so you don't lock up the front then as the weight transfers forward the contact patch gets larger and you can brake harder. it can feel almost violent at the end. but you need to practice if you want to stop fast.
  10. Use the front brake in 3 stages, firmly at first but not hard, brake harder as the weight transfers to the front then start to reduce pressure as you come to a stop. Do not snatch at the front brake and you do have to let off a bit as you come to a stop if you were at or near max braking. Start slowly and work up from there practice with front only and with front and rear and be carefull
  11. when I did training at HART they grumped at me for easing off at the end!
  12. Well it depends on what you are braking for. If it's for an emergency stop because you are about to hit something, then pull on the brakes even harder right at the end to get that extra bit of braking power (and less travel). If you are just braking because you are coming to a red light or something expected, then you can ease off at the end so you don't lurch forward when you come to a stop.
  13. From higher speed the tyre will lock if you don't ease off a bit as you slow. In an emergency you have to stay at the edge of traction not applying the same pressure to the leaver, and if you hit a small imperfection in the road surface the front will lock, so be careful. Under normal conditions set up , brake and ease off a little at the end. Practice with your bike and your tyres as the level of grip and the tendency to stopie can vary considerably.
  14. If you dont use the front brake, the only problem is going to be how to pay for the funeral. You must get competent at hard braking fast, very fast, or you will likely die. Any fool can jump on a bike and ride, but it is the emergency stop that you should really work on. I first apply the front brake, then a split second later the rear, this helps to keep the bike nice and stable, then you can increase the braking. I practice emergency braking everyday. You need to get so good that you dont have to think about it, it becomes natural, fluid, effortless. Thinking takes time, time you will not have :cry:
  15. i come from a background of dirtbikes and now i am just getting into roadbikes and i can honestly tell you that it is a very bad habit of getting into using the rear brake only

    the only time i would use the rear brake only is if i wanted to put the bike down and slide but on thing you have to remember about bikes.......we can stop a hell of allot quicker than a cager.

    dont be afraid of accidently locking up the front brake.....it wont send you flying over the handlebars if you do...simply release and re-apply...the trick is not to stab but to squeeze

    i have am loaning a freinds bike at the moment while i wait for my new bike and the only time i use the rear brake is in slow riding spots and on uneven surfaces when taking off

    you should always practice dual braking.....70/30 is your freind
  16. Yes...seriously bad. Force yourself to get used to using your front brake as the primary weapon for all your stopping while riding at any reasonable speed.
    Rear brake is best for slow carpark speeds and slow manouvering ONLY...
    Although once you get good at your riding with a bit of experience, it will help to use it lightly WITH the front brake.

    The habit you are getting into vastly increases your stopping distances, is likely to pitch you off your bike, and in a panic stop, is next to useless compared to your front brake.
  17. Question:

    What happens under straight line hard braking if you ONLY apply the front brake?
  18. Nothing...you stop very quickly! (assuming you are correctly balanced etc.)
  19. grats on getting your l's.

    im not sure how it work in qld, am i allowed to ride on a 250 with my ls? i wont find out the hard way haha :)

    nice vtr, im not that rich! im settleing for a vt250 :') i like it, i find the only real difference is the shape of the naked body 'protecting' the engine
  20. front brakes

    I have only recently got my licence and can tell you from ugly experience that before I had learned to use my front brake I had attempted stopping quickly from 80km just using rears. Must have slid 30 metres - don't know how I managed not to slide it out. My shadow said the only thing that saved me was keeping it upright.

    Didn't you have to show you could do an emergency stop when you got your licence?