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Learning to stop

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Shadow200, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. Hey, just started to learnto ride, and I seem to have trouble stopping smoothly!! Not too bad, but just doesn't seem to flow or something. Any tips, suggestions. It's the only thing stopping me (mind the pun!!) riding to work asap.
    Any help would be great!!

  2. Heya theresa. I've found that the smoothest way to stop for me is to use both front and rear brakes to slow down, and then as I crawl to a stop, gently release the front brake so that when the bike comes to a stop it's the back brake that's stopping it. This didn't really work on my Virago (the rear drum was practically useless), but works brilliantly with my SV650.

    I find that using both front and rear brakes to stop, the rebound on the front forks sometimes throws me a tiny bit off balance.
  3. Sounds like ya not setting up, when braking engage brakes lightly at first so that weight distribution and suspension will set up, then squeeze as hard as u need to. And being on a cruiser I would be using a 50/50 braking ratio between front & rear, so set them both up first then apply progressive pressure.
  4. I've found that it all goes down to practice and getting to know your equipment. I'm also a new rider and I too found it difficult to stop smoothly to begin with, but now, clocking up more time on the bike i've found that its become second nature to me to stop smoothly.

    I say just work on it and sooner or later it will come naturally.
  5. Practice practice practice! Get out by yourself on a straight road (or carpark at night or whatever), make sure the bike is perfectly straight, and practice emergency braking from different speeds. There's no trick involved other than not jamming them on too fast, be smooth and firm and if the front wheel locks up (reason for the bike being perfectly straight) let go of the brake!

  6. I know crap so that this with a grain of salt.

    But in my L's course ,the front brake was grabing and i was doing bunny hops ,no matter how hard i tryed ,it was never smoooth.
    The next day i was on a different bike ,but same model and smoooth as ,first go.
    It maybe the brakes need checking ?and not you.

    Remember read my first line.
  7. Thanks heaps, I'm back on the bike first thing after work, and I think it may be not setting up the brakes properly. I have an idea i'm using too much front and not enough back. Thanks,
  8. Properly adjusted brakes help a lot. It's all about feel. The brakes on my little GS will pull me up no problems but feel a bit wooden. I'm going to improve mine with braided hose, better compound pads etc. This should help a lot.

    It really just comes down to practice and trying not to grab a fistfull of front at slow speeds. This can be embarrassing. I find that at very slow speeds all I use is the back. Maybe it's the dirt riding showing through but I used to hate slow speed front wheel lock-ups in sandy soil etc.
  9. Remember though that the front brakes do at least 70% of your braking. In fact, someone once told me "the front brakes stop the bike, the rear brakes stabilise it". Don't be afraid to use your front brakes :)
  10. If your just braking normally (eg not panic braking) slight back brake than almost straight away front brake. The rear brake will squat the bike (stopping foward pitching). while the front will actually stop it. both together, and then release front when almost at a stop like demuire said. Also are you braking hard enough? as i found if i was braking really lightly, it was harder to control and became jerky?
  11. I usually go for front brake first, before rear. Like to make that a habit so that if I ever need to do an emergency stop I don't need to think about it. But yes, the rear brake does squat the bike, which makes it feel more stable.
  12. I agree, it is hard to brake effectively from speed when you have to squeeze the crap out of the lever to get it to do anything. Good tyres obviously help a lot too.
  13. I remember them saying "Set up. Then squeeze" at HART.
    I was just practising that last night on the way home from Tuesday coffee. I found it very effective. :grin:
  14. Set up and Squeeze the front brake.
    Set up = take the slack out of the brake system by LIGHTLY applying the front brake, this sets up the front brakes to then come on smoothly.

    Then SQUEEZE the front brakes smoothly, DO NOT GRAB at the brakes, although we all do at times, especially when we panic are get a fright.

    All the while pressing (not stomping) on the rear brake pedal.

    Practice on a quiet road for a while , if you still can't get it then get someone more experienced to ride your bike and se what they say, maybe your brakes do need adjustments or looking at.

    Remember at slow speeds, especially maneuvering in car parks etc only use the rear brakes. If you grab the front then the front wheel will stop and you may/will fall.

    Brakes actually dont stop the bike/car they really only stop the wheels from rotating, hence skids. The idea is to apply smoothly and thus stop the bike.car, all depends on the braks and road surfaces, tyres etc as well.

    cheers :grin:
  15. Just a thought, but is your front brake lever set up correctly? It should be at the correct height and distance. if you were to draw a line along your forearm, the front lever should be positioned at the height of that line. If the lever is too high then you may have a tendancy to roll the throttle on as you reach for the lever. When it is too low people tend to squeeze with their thumbs rather than pull with their fingers. The correct distance (if adjustable) should be at the second secment of your fingers, just before your last knuckle. getting the lever into the correct positions is the first step. All the other advice here is spot on. The "setting up" is important, as too is the squeeze that follows. Another important point is to look up. No matter what - look up. Of course the front has a tendqancy to dive under heavy braking - no matter what look up. This helps with balance. Hope this info helps.

  16. Just for interests sake but can I ask why the breaking on a cruiser is different?
  17. I should rephrase & expand on that 50/50 braking ratio comment.
    A cruiser typically has more weight at the rear than a sports bike.
    Braking hard from 100kmh is certainly different to braking normally from 60km.
    For hard braking i would be using a 70/30 braking ratio, however for everyday riding stopping at lights n stuff i use a 50/50 ratio and find it the smoothest way to bring my bike to a stop, and at very low speeds i use 100% rear only.
  18. scooters are similar in that they have more weight over the rear so they can handle more rear pressure than say a sports bike. however i still believe it is the front that has the stopping power and should be used more than the back. plus its a good habbit to get into to use more front and less rear. but def get used to using both.
  19. Slight diversion in topic but…

    It raises an interesting point about brake pressure and “smoothness”.

    When I was learning I had an old bike with drum brakes front and rear. As most people would be aware, drums are less effective but probably more forgiving for novices because it is harder to lock them up. By that I mean on mine I could pretty much just grab the front brake as hard as I wanted without it locking up, and I could still stop in the required distance.

    I believe this creates bad habits by teaching novices to grab at the brakes. When I made the move to a bike with front disk or even twin front disks I virtually had to re-train my braking technique, especially emergency braking.

    But anyway back to your initial post,
    Yeah I reckon its most likely just a matter of practice, practice, practice until you get the feel for your bike cause as my experience told me, every bike is different. The second possibility is that as has been said, the brake may need a little adjustment. Maybe take your bike into a shop and ask them if they could have a quick look at the brake and adjust if necessary.
  20. Hope I'm not confusing by adding more... there is wisdom in the above posts.
    Get an experienced (and objective, non cruiser-hating) rider to test your bike and see what they think of the brakes... don't go assuming something is wrong but don't take it for granted they're good.

    Check you tyre pressure- this is extremely important on bikes: about 34-36 psi is good, 40 is too high as the tyre won't 'squash' when you brake and transfer the weight forward... 30 is too low and the tyre will be too flaccid (great word, that) to give you good feel.

    Start braking gently ('setting up') to roll weight onto the front tyre and compress the forks slightly, then squ-ee-ze and feel the brakes do their work. This process is roughly similar to putting your shoulder against a heavy trolley when you push it, as opposed to just running up and slamming into it.

    Good luck, keep practising, and let us know how you go!