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Help! I am scared of my front brake

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Fa1c0n, May 23, 2014.

  1. Today's wet weather reminded me how much I don't like emergency breaking with my front.
    I am concerned about locking the front wheel and losing it.

    The only time I have had an accident was similar circumstance.

    What should I do - I am concerned that I will be in a situation that I won't be able to stop in time out of concern for locking my front wheel.

    Does anyone else have this problem?

    Bear in mind my bike is 250kg alone. Plus me, the break is trying to stop 330kgs.
  2. Sort of - a beginers perspective: I've dropped it a few times in the wet with hard braking. I really have to focus on keeping a good space in front of me when it's wet so I don't have to brake hard & try to line up an escape route so I have the choice of not trying to stop. Don't know if I'll have the reactions to choose the escape path rather than panic stop.

    The front only locks when I was almost stopped, so I practise hard braking in the dry and making sure I ease off the front as I slow. If I've got no one behind me and a traffic light is yellow I take the opportunity to do a hard stop.

    This morning in the rain I found I was turning tight left corners with the clutch in so still after riding for about a year rain still worries me.
  3. You need to practice, like your spelling, it will improve your confidence just fine.
    • Like Like x 5
  4. No - do you ride a cruiser?
  5. #5 Fa1c0n, May 23, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2014
  6. No disrespect intended @Al_Cam@Al_Cam , but going round corners with the clutch in , and therefore also the throttle closed , will transfer weight to the front tyre and in doing so , will increase the chance of a front end low side . Should be on a gently opening throttle .
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  7. I'd call that a cruiser for the purpose of this discussion - weight bias.

    In a cruiser, the weight bias is different to a sport bike, so I suspect you shouldn't be trying to do all your braking with the front - the rear is going to do a lot of stopping too.

    I'd practice with the rear until you hit the lockup point, I think you'll be supposed at the amount of braking you can get out of the rear.

    Admittedly, my cuiser experience is limited to an 883 Sportster, but I don't think it's dissimilar to the '48 :ROFLMAO:
  8. Disrespect deserved 'though. I mentioned it because it was wrong. Maybe I should've pointed that out. Halfway through the corner I'm thinking "What the hell are you doing?"
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Sure
    How about you use your BRAKES that way you won't BREAK anything.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Yeah - just a smaller engine. From memory they even have a similar weight? Anyway... Besides the point.

    Yup, I tend to use the back quite a lot. Sure it slows me down, but I wouldn't mind stopping a bit quicker. Haha.
    I tend to ride... How does one put this... Like a hoon?
    Sure I am good at going forwards at high velocity regardless of traffic, but I suspect one day I will need to E break and things are going to go poorly.

    I frequently lock the rear wheel in E stops, but I think that I can add more front break without it locking up, but I am not confident in my front wheel not locking so I don't.

    My next bike will for sure be a sports of some kind.
  11. Thanx Snee. Yousful az allwhayz.
  12. This, there is only one way to get better at something and that is practice it often.

    First Thing I did when I got my bike was to go to sat Practice in the rain and do emergency stops. Needed to see how the bike reacted and how it was different from the previous bike.

    Yes there was a risk that I might drop it, but I would rather that happen in an environment where no one else was going to run over me and plenty of people around to pick up the pieces if needed.

    I am lucky as well as the first road I turn into after leaving home is perfect for practicing E stops so I do dry and wet at least once a week. If it is raining I do it every time.

    What worked for me was starting by slowly pulling the lever in and seeing how it felt, what happened, and how the bike reacted - then I just kept at it; gradually increasing how quickly I did it. My bike does has ABS however so a bit different but I try to bring it to a complete stop without the ABS kicking in - so to the point where the wheel would lock up.

    I am still very much a beginner but hope the above gives you some idea.
  13. #13 Fa1c0n, May 23, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2014
    But Jusssstusssss........

    General gets the most foot traffic and I like the attention. :p

    These are some great tips.
    I will need to try this.

    My problem is.... E stops up in the 99km/h+ area.
    If you fcuk that up, regardless of if there are cars around or not, it will end poorly.
  14. There their they're its OK smee.
    • Funny Funny x 4
  15. If your practising braking and still locking up (deliberately or not), it sounds like the front brake is just a poor setup. Don't put up with it, get some expert advice and upgrade it.
  16. I have already upgraded my front break. From a 2 pot to a 4 pot.
  17. Doesn't sound like it's improved things all that much, does it?
    I don't know how much you're prepared to throw at the bike to sort it out but I'm no longer the kind to grin and bear these kinds of deficiencies.

    On the subject of brakes and turning... I once had a bike that had very jerky throttle response at low revs. It was bad enough that I got into the habit of either pulling the throttle and coasting around the turn, or applying brake to smooth it out. Neither is good riding practise and it took me years to sort out my issues with low speed riding.
    If the problem is in the machine, then find a way to fix the machine or change it over. IMO.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. I ride a 109. 320Kg dry. No ABS. I can make the rear slide out at 20Klm/h.

    tip 1 All corners are a reducing curve. You use the roadspace available to you to ensure your leading and exiting points follow the curve, not the white lines.
    tip 2 You're on a bike not a car so don't think like a driver.
    tip 3 Every bike is different. Even the same bike is different depending on your load, fuel level, etc. You must find what balance to make between the rear and front brakes for yourself as per the advice Jem has given you.
    tip 4 Practice.
    tip 5 Refer all other tips to tip 4.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. This is how I approach rain.

    And this is how I ride in the dry...... Practice is the key word
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. #20 Fa1c0n, May 23, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2014
    1. Course.
    2. I don't own a car. I only ride, I am not a driver. :p I use it rain hail or shine. I have years of daily experience.
    - But I would like to improve my front breaking. Hence asking for tips.
    3. Noted.
    4. This can be hard when we are talking the speeds I am talking about. (99km/h+)
    5. As above.

    Love it.

    I know exactly what you mean. The rain slows my commute down by about 15 minutes....