Note: This is aimed at newer less experienced riders in the hope to build their confidence cornering. One myth I have heard repeated many times is you shouldn't use your brakes while riding with the bike leaned over as you have less contact with the road. The truth is with modern bikes/tyres you actually have more contact with the road while leaned over and even more with the tyres loaded correctly. While riding in a straight line your contact with the road is very small but this is all you need as you actually want less rolling friction for the bike to be more efficient. When turning though you need more contact with the road as you are battling many forces as you attempt to change the bikes direction. Hearing nonsense such as you have "Less" contact with the road while leaned over doesn't inspire much confidence with new riders as they try to overcome their own basic instincts so I thought I might share some photos showing exactly what your tyres are doing in real world situations. The Quality of the photo's are grainy as they have been enlarged and corrected to remove shadows and give the best detail In the picture below the bike is accelerating out of the corner there is not much load on the tyre other than that caused by the bike attempting to turn rather than travel in a straight line (centrifugal force) as the bike travels in an arc around the corner. A much larger contact patch with the road is created when compared with just traveling in a straight line. In this next photo the bike is braking hard in the corner with the bike leaned over there is much more load on the tyre as is evident in the amount of suspension left. The tyre is now almost completely pressed into the road and is supplying a massive amount of grip, this is simply achieved through good braking technique i.e. Set up and squeeze, more and more brake force can be applied as the tyre is pushed harder and harder into the road. Of course the tyre has a finite amount of grip and if that grip is exceeded the tyre will break traction with the road, BUT as is shown in the photo's the contact with road is NOT lessened as the bike is leaned over but actually increased and as the tyres are pushed harder into the road more grip is generated. The same is true of the rear tyre. As the bike is leaned over the contact patch becomes larger again. In the next picture the bike is decelerating the load on the rear tyre is minimal but the tyre is still being pushed into the road as it again battles the forces put on it as it travels in an arc. The really interesting thing is what happens when we really start to put a lot of load on the rear tyre and just how large this contact with the road can become. In the next photo many forces are being applied to the rear wheel, as more and more load is applied the bike can accelerate harder without breaking traction, the harder the bike accelerate the more load is applied to the tyre. You may have heard this being described as "Rolling on the throttle" as you exit the corner. I hope this gives some newer riders the knowledge to feel more confident the next time you are tipping your bike into a corner, as well as no longer fearing the brake lever with the bike tipped over. For newer riders please keep in mind that some of what I have described here are some of the more advanced techniques of cornering and braking, these are skills you must build up to. It is also extremely important you maintain your bike, closely monitoring tyre pressures and making sure your bike is in top condition every time you ride.