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Rear brake whilst hanging off

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by UDLOSE, May 20, 2010.

  1. Ok this is a question for the advanced guys. This is something I can't find any info on.

    When pushing hard and hanging off the side ive got the balls of my feet up on the pegs. Im pretty happy with my technique in that department. Before i learnt to hang off i was a big user of the rear brake but since ive been up on the pegs i find that im not using it at all. I feel like im missing out on 20% of my braking power. This is something I want to start using again.

    I know that people say do whatever feels good but I prefer to atleast start out trying it the prooven way.

    So what's the rule of thumb for using it on the track, lever position (I run both my levers down low), do you need to do it differently for right handers? The problem I see is that it goes againt some of the things I'm doing such as weighting the inside peg.

    I know this is only a small thing but any advice would be good.
  2. Good question...

    I weight the inside peg and hang off quite a bit too, probably more than necessary but I feel more comfortable getting down low... maybe it's because I'm tall I feel like having a low centre of gravity keeps me more stable and to achieve that I get my head down near the mirrors and more than a cheek off the side.

    Love to hear a pro's answer to rear braking when in this position.

    My guess would be in general, do your braking first as always... you should just be accelerating through and out of the corner.

    I'm not sure trail braking is really a good technique and if you do get on the rear brake in such an extreme riding position it's probably because somethings gone wrong and you may over do it resulting in a nasty off.

    Happy to be corrected and learn something though.
  3. not sure what you're question is mate?

    when you hang off, you shouldn't be worrying about the missing braking power, because you should not be braking hard when in this position.

    during a right hand bend taken at pace, hanging off, and at full lean, you can't get to the rear brake pedal. the only time the rear brake comes into play is into corners (braking), and out of corners to control wheel spin and/or mono's.

    then there's the question... you can't reach the brake lever when the balls of your feet are on the pegs (unless you have MASSIVE feet). so how are you going to use the rear brake whilst hanging off, and on the balls of your feet?

    lever position? you are talking about the rear brake lever/pedal? run what ever is easiest for you to reach from your usual riding position when it's required. for example, when in a full racing tuck down the straight, u dont need to get to the brake pedal. set it up to suit when you're under brakes, or riding in a casual, relaxed mode.

    personally i don't use the rear brake at the track, and only very little on the road. but that's personal preference.

    i'm still not sure if i helped, or if i've missed your question totally.
  4. did someone say California superbike school?? :)

    get the gaytona back today?
  5. Under instruction I was taught to get your body position set first, then do your braking, then tip in.
    So if you were to use the rear brake it would be in this position.
    I didn’t…
    The only time I used the rear brake everything went completely pear shaped.
    Once you get your braking sorted you really don’t have any weight over the rear. You are not missing 20% of your braking… in fact it would be lucky to have 5% of the braking power by the time you get the fronts hooked in.
  6. why would you need to brake if you are hanging of the bike? Normally if i am still braking when tipping in it's on the front, and then release and roll on throttle
  7. i was under the impression, "hanging off" is the body position when you're cornering, more mid corner so to speak.... not the position one is in when under brakes coming up to the turn point.
  8. The main question here, is commitment.

    If you are fully commited to the corner, and have a suitably correct body position it is not realistically possible to use the rear brake, and why would you want to at that point anyway??

    Once fully comitted with your body, you are beyond trail braking with the rear brake because you have your feet tucked back up on their toes or the balls of your feet. No further braking required (or possible) at that point!

    NOTE: in a LH corner you can drag the rear if needs be as it can be used to tighten up the turn etc...becuase your foot is somewhat more free to do so. (style dependent)

    Howeverrrrr....you can cheat a little bit and use your front brake for continued trail braking deeper into the corner (as I do, usually ).
    But a word of warning about that....you need the skill...and need to know your bikes limitations, since you will be swapping grip for braking force, and you might need the grip!

    So...you don't have a problem...forget trailing your rear brake once you are set up and in the corner. You can use the front if your skill level is up for it, and your bike is capable of handling it.

    ...IF...I trail brake, it is mostly with the front...If I AM using the rear as well, because circumstances require it, I will then come off it as I move to my aggressive cornering body position, while the front is still being applied judiciously if I still need braking deeper into the corner. (I have probably overcooked it at that point, and trying to get things slowed down a tad, or I am at the track, where I can push harder and deeper with complete commitment...)

    Techniques differ a little from one rider to the next - but effectively, I don't know anyone who goes near the rear once they are committed to the corner.

    Having said all that - If you are in a more cautious less commited mode, then you can from THAT position have your foot either covering or gently dragging the rear, because you still have the physical space for your foot, and are'nt "out of position" for rear braking - because you are less commited with the body position.

    Anyway..That's just what I do...

  9. Is this a track specific question?

    ...and are you using it to wash off speed before tipping into 'fast' corners,
    or are you using it to wash off speed in an effort to brake later and deeper into the turn?

    or if it's neither of those, what are you using the rear brake for?

    for e.g. I sometimes use the rear to stop throttle snatch when I'm transitioning to on the gas.
  10. :popcorn:

    Awesome discussion.

    I might just stay on the sidelines for this one.
  11. I'm not an advanced rider - Just stating that to begin with.
    Trail braking is a technique that some of my friends use and it's always done by them dragging the rear. I have never done it.
    They feel dragging the rear brake helps with tip in and smooths the corner. The main reason that one of my mates does it and the only time he does is when he cracks open the throttle when exiting to help keep the front down.

    I find though it seems to contradict the put balls on the pegs style, hence leading to an increases chance of the foot getting caught on the road.
  12. Body position plus inflexible boots means I cant have my foot on the peg and use the brake quite often. I actually take my foot off the right peg and use the rear brake with my toe and trail it till it meets the tarmac. Different bike, different body position though blah blah. But you've still gotta get around a track the same, and I think it's invaluable being able to trail the rear right into corners, and especially in certain situations: passing under brakes, decreasing radius turns, stop and go corners. In lots of situations you're tipping in a bit early, but still got a lot of speed to wash off, so there's a fuzzy line between committed to braking and committed to the corner. You might not reach full lean angle except for an instant at the apex.
  13. Me too.
  14. ok so there's alot of mixed opinions, this is sort of what I was expecting. I think I threw a bit of a spanner in the works by not being clear enough at the start too. I meant using the rear brake before the tip in, not during the corner.

    Cheif to answer your question, yes track specific and yes to this
    "or are you using it to wash off speed in an effort to brake later and deeper into the turn?"

    This is how I enter a corner now.

    1. Shift weight across to inside of bike, one cheek off and lock my self onto the bike with my outside leg, inside peg and outside elbow.

    2. Squeeze on front brake as hard as I feel safe to do so

    3. Gear down and blip while under front brakes

    3. Reduce front braking by 50-70% then tip it in.

    4. Slowly trail off brake and cross over onto throttle in one motion

    5. Smoothly wind on the throttle through the corner until I'm unright enough to pin it wide open.

    This method seems to be working well for me but I noticed at the track the area where I'm failing is under brakes. It just doesn't seem like I have enough stopping power.. Maybe I'm braking too late but thats how I prefer to ride or maybe I'm just not applying enough force to the front brake. With braided lines you have stuff all feel so you don't get that feeling that says 'any more and I'm screwed'.

    So what I was wondering is maybe I can pick up some extra braking power by adding some rear brake between steps 2 and 4. I probably couldn't trail the rear in because I'd want to be perched back on the peg by the tip in.

    If I'm already set up off the bike before I start braking is it worth reaching down and getting on the rear, then putting my foot up for the tip in? I've given it a try and it feels awkward but most things do when you first try it.

    I'm starting to think maybe this was a stupid question to ask but its just something that I don't hear any discussion on.
  15. Some of the GP guys have their whole leg hanging off even after tip in, and put it back on the peg mid way through tip in. I'm sure you can use the brake and then move your foot, you're right it might just feel weird.

    As for failing under brakes, do you mean you're out-braking yourself, or that others seem to be better under brakes?
  16. use more front, under heavy front braking you get bugger all at the rear, i find i lock the rear very easily and that isn't what i what when i am setting up for the corner

    to really understand how well the front works go learn to stoppie, i did and since then i use bugger all rear, only really for em stops and slow speed stuff
  17. Thats a good point. Learning to wheelie has really helped me to learn just how hard you can lean on the throttle (and how quickly) without it lifting. I guess the same thing would go for stopping. I feel that there probably is much more braking available to me but I'm just not sure where that limit is.

    *to the industrial zone!*
    (I think I'll try that on my gf's old 250 first, triumph parts are expensive 8-[)

    So it seems that the general rule here with the rear is that no one does it and there's no need.

    Do the GP guys ever touch the rear?
  18. "Do the GP guys ever touch the rear?"

    Yes, to initiate backing it in or to control power wheelies or wheel spin on the exit, but everything I've read says they're moving away from doing the backing in thing.

    Oh sorry... back to my box.

  19. #19 SHEPPO, May 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    the "backing it in" on a motogp bike has more to do with the engine braking and electronic engine braking & back torque limiting controls. they dont seem to use much rear brake from what i have seen. rossi doesn't, his leg is out in the breeze most the time under heavy braking!

    i adopted the no-rear-brake method at the track. it works for me. i found under hard braking, the rear is so light (sometimes off the ground a little) that any input from the rear brake will cause it to lock up, or chatter when the clutch is pulled in (during downshifting process). from my experimenting, the engine braking alone is enough at the rear, and it wont lock it up. again, this is what works for me.

    i also find there is better feel, and thus control, by modulating rear braking using the clutch lever.... compared to using the rear brake and my big, clumsy foot in a boot to control it. if you watch rossi, he actually uses the clutch lever into corners to control engine braking, ontop of the advanced slipper clutch. others simply slam it down thru the box and let the clutch and electronics sort it out.

    this video : [media=youtube]rOax2ftgbNU[/media] is kinda what i am talking about. the rider is using the clutch to control the rear end (engine braking). ignore the debate on blipping v's using clutch slipping... that can be a new thread/topic!

    maybe give not using the rear brake a shot, and see how that works for you. use the engine as a brake, controlled by the clutch, and thus it doesn't matter where you're right foot is.
  20. OK sweet. If it's ok I'd like to to pick up on different points in your post as the need arises but I have a few more questions first that spring to mind.

    Am i right in assuming that for the next six months you're going to be concentrating on track riding and you're looking to extract as much from the experience as possible?

    I'm also assuming that by extracting as much as possible you mean to get faster and more proficient at getting around the track in the shortest time possible?

    Perhaps for the purposes of showing your mates who call your bike ghey that it's quite capable of smoking their pride and joy in a head to head battle of bragging rights?

    Anyway I'd like to address this....
    ...as it reads to me, it's sounds very much like your bike isn't giving you the feedback or confidence to push any harder, although you feel like it has more to give.

    If that's the case then it's worth your while considering some other options open to you before you look at braking.

    Have you had a suspension expert go over your suspension and set the bike for you yet? And by expert I'm excluding mates with screwdrivers who are happy to have a tinker with it for you.
    Having an expert go over it could be as simple as refreshing the oil, to changing the spring weight to better suit you, to changing the shim stack or valves so the front works better and gives better feedback.
    The word around the traps is, it's worth your time and effort to chase FLUX for some customised dogbones for the rear which will be better than the OEM. The 675 forum will provide you with detail on that.

    Next I'd look at tyre choice and perhaps try running with some different brands and compounds to find which one suits you. Don't get suckered into thinking because someone with the same bike has a tyre working for them it will work for you, because it doesn't account for the different riding styles. But by the same token it's a good place to start.

    For me personally I've found that I enjoy the pirellis over the other manufacturers because they give consistent feedback no matter what lean angle I'm at. Other brands are comparable in grip, but the tyres have a tendency to squirm too much for me to be 100% confident.

    A shit tyre will give 'dead' feedback and a good tyre will compensate for shit suspension, but it can't overcompensate. So if you're looking to push past your current points, suspension first, tyres second.

    The next thing I'd have a close look at is corner entry speed. If you're convinced you can't enter the corners any faster then skip ahead, if not then bear with me.

    Being in position and tipping the bike fast is in my experience a better place to pick up speed than focusing solely on later braking. I am amazed at how hard you can turn a bike and get it onto it's side. In my mind what you are looking to achieve goes hand in hand with this concept.

    To be succinct, you're currently looking to wash off as much speed as possible before tipping in at maximum speed. But if you can shorten the transition between braking and turning you can achieve the same result, bearing in mind that the act of turning will wash off speed.

    So even though you may come to a corner and feel as though you've left your braking too late and you're carrying too much speed so you want to brake more, the answer may actually be to turn harder and quicker and let physics do the rest.

    Which brings us neatly back to braking, or more specifically transition. If the bike is unsettled it's a lot harder to confidently tip hard and fast. I usually find this happens when I've just gone through a change of direction and need to brake hard before the next corner. If I miscalculated the timing and the bikes unsettled i may dab the rear to bring the front under control before applying maximum braking. I use it to smooth out the transition of weight onto the front end.

    I also use the rear as maintenance braking if i'm searching for a tip in point. Rather than over brake and wash off too much speed, I'll use the rear to shed the last of my speed as need be. On the road it's because I haven't found a satisfactory apex, on the track it's because i'm following someone and I'm not sure where or when they are going to tip in.

    If i'm following someone and i'm looking for a pass then I'll sometimes drag the rear on the way in. The main purpose is to be on the gas before they are for the slingshot on the way out.
    Having the throttle cracked before they do, and being ready to release and launch before they do means I'm driving revs into the road long before they are. It's the only method I've discovered so far for dealing with a shortfall of horsepower, but if anybody has any others they can share you have my attention.

    To address your question specifically I'll say this, braking later and harder is always an exercise in exploration. At the end of the day your front is doing the bulk of the work, and relying on the rear comes under the heading of the tail wagging the dog. That doesn't mean the rear doesn't get used, but to see significant gains you need to focus on the front. Even replacing or changing to a decent set of brake pads can make a world of difference.
    Do the simple stuff first before tackling the harder stuff.

    Keep the questions coming and have fun now,