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How to slow down and stop properly

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Robert Craggs, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. When stopping at traffic lights etc. I usually start gearing down as I approach, one gear at a time, right down to first gear, and if I feel the engine racing too hard to slow the bike, I apply my back break to help, and it's really a combination of the two. My question is: Should I be using my front break as well in this type of situation?

  2. Rear is a safer bet at lower speeds as hard application of the front break can make bad things happen when rolling slowly but it doesn't really matter (I tend to use both).
  3. Use your front, learn to control it. It's where the weight goes when you slow down. It should be your main brake to wash off the speed, then use the rear to make things smoother as you get near the full stop. Use too much rear and you'll lock it up.

    Gearing down isn't a bad idea so you're in the right gear to move off if you need to, but you shouldn't rely on it as your primary means of slowing down. That's what your brakes are for. Especially the front.

    I can't stress this enough: LEARN TO USE YOUR FRONT BRAKE.
    • Agree Agree x 7
  4. This is just me, but on my bike's speedo it indicates the gear for each speed range. So if I'm changing down through gears, I will slow down to the next gear's speed and then change the gear. I use the front brake and rear brake to slow it down because the rear brake doesn't do much. You don't have to apply a heap of front brake if you still have distance/time. Otherwise if I want to come to a complete stop quickly I just use both brakes and then gear down at the last second or two all at once, which is usually easier. In my opinion...I think it is better to use the brake for stopping and change gears if necessary rather than rely on engine only, and the most effective brake is front. Brakes are cheaper and easier to replace.
  5. I work down through the gears blipping as I go down through the gears. I use mostly the front brake, but tend to ride the rear when doing blips as I haven't mastered blipping while applying the front brake at the same time yet.
  6. The benefit of gearing down while slowing is that you are keeping your bike in the best rev range for immediate action (for e.g if you suddenly need to accelerate hard to move out of the way of a car that has not seen the red light and is about to plough into you). If you are doing 20km/h and at very low revs you won't go anywhere in a hurry and you'll be gearing down frantically, and sometimes that second of two of instant reaction can mean a completely different outcome.

    Enjoy your riding but remember to assume at all times that everybody else out there is an idiot and hasn't seen you.... ;)
    • Agree Agree x 4
  7. Brake pads are cheap, clutches are expensive.
    Use brakes to slow down.
    Unless you are on a big cruiser, your front brake will stop you sooner than rear brake.
    There's nothing wrong with block changing eg changing down a few gears at a time without releasing the clutch too.
    • Agree Agree x 7
  8. I do this more often than not. My brakes are more than sufficient to slow down in traffic without stressing the clutch, drivetrain and rear tyre with engine braking. I only ever engine brake when I'm in the hills, or when I'm bored and I want to practice it.
  9. Brakes??
  10. Your front brake is your most effective tool for a stop. Ease it on, ease off the throttle, bring in a bit of rear, and start modulating them to get the deceleration you want. Pull the clutch in as you slow and start shifting down to match your speed. Engine braking is more a tool for speed control than actual stopping, although there's some overlap between the disciplines!
    • Like Like x 1
  11. It depends on the situation, sometimes I'll slow almost to a stop just by lazily downshifting. Other times I'll pull the clutch hit the front brake and go from 4th to first. Sometimes a combination of both approaches is appropriate, it's based on the speeds, space and traffic involved. Just quietly I find it quite difficult to understand where this idiotic notion that the front brake is somehow dangerous comes from.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. I think you'll find it comes from going over the handlebars on the old pushbike as a kid, I know I did that more than once, in fact it was almost like a right of passage :blackeye:
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  13. Thanks Barter, but sorry, what is a 'blip'?
  14. LOL true. One of my biggest spills was aged around 9 or 10 and riding a friends bike which had "back pedal brakes" that I had not experiences before. Of course kids don't check equipment do they, so I joyfully took off down the hill (steep) at full tilt and then panicked when I got near the bottom and found no brakes on the handlebars. Yikes! Leaned hard into the right angle bend at the bottom but no luck - smashed straight into a concrete wall instead. Ouch for me and a somewhat bent bike.

    Moral of story - make sure you know how to stop before you get on.....
    • Funny Funny x 1
  15. I'm still learning but I change down gears whilst approaching the red lights or wherever. Sometimes the red light turns green before I need to stop, so if I'm in the right gear for the revs, I can accelerate as appropriate. When I actually need to stop, I like to already be in 1st gear, I use a combination of front and back brakes. I'm still getting used to it!
  16. And nothing worse than having a thong blow out on you while your in the middle of a giant down hill race........
    • Funny Funny x 2
  17. I appreciate all your comments everyone, thanks!! I had an exam last week (terminated in 5 mins as the rear light wasn't working on my instructor's bike) Anyway, it drew attention from the examiner and he noticed that I wasn't using my front brake. I find it easy to use the combo of back peddle, left hand on clutch and right hand resting on accelerator, but now adding in the right hand on the front brake takes a bit of getting used to. I will of course discuss this with my instructor next week, but I want to get a head-up before I see him, cheers!
  18. #18 Womble, Aug 3, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
    Rev matching to allow for a seamless gear change.
    1. Pull in clutch
    2. Select next gear
    3. Give the throttle a light twist
    4. Carefully and in a controlled manner, release clutch

    Edited to add - this will negate your engine braking but will feel smoother.
  19. Listen to your instructor - he will have a lot more experience than some in this thread whom are offering you advice (not having a pop at anyone per se, but bear in mind that some who have posted in this thread are new riders who have limited experience/kms under their belts).

    Also, check out the new riders tips threads and possibly the mentoring thread.
    • Agree Agree x 5
  20. Robert CraggsRobert Craggs + 1 ^^^^
    Go find a nice quiet park where there are not alot of folk or wild life to scare and practice practice practice getting to know your bike, changing gears and you MUST practice emergency stops.
    You so don't want to find yourself hitting the picks, then going to accelerate snipply out of a situation and finding that you are still in fifth gear :(
    You will shit yourself whilst you valiantly panic, foot madly tapping away trying to find first or a lower gear than fifth to get moving and if you have the road angels on your side, the other person might be able to a avoid cleanin you up...
    Practice your emergency braking
    nothing on NR can do that for you and words are just that...you have to get to know your bike!
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1