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Should I cover the front brake lever when riding?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by normace, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. Hey fellow netriders,

    I've read some books that say you should cover the right break lever when you ride - just in case you have to make an emergency stop.

    I just read a magazine article saying you shouldn't cover it.

    I'm a newbie and I'm confused of what is best. So what's the go? There will be some conflicting opinions but that's good... :)

  2. Not really no. I think you would if you were racing or riding motox, but i am pretty sure it would be a bad habit to get into for normal road riding.

    You should be concentrating on riding along with all of your hand on the throttle until there comes a point where you need to 'set up' the brakes (applying just enough pressure on the brake levers to remove some of the slack - also compressing the suspension in a way that will assist further braking forces) from there you can squeeze on the brakes to an emergency stop without problem.
  3. In heavy traffic

    When heading into intersections

    When heading towards a car emerging from a driveway or side street...

    Basically, for certain possibly threatening circumstances, it's prudent to setup and cover the brakes... BUT make sure you have you ebraking down pat so that it's not a panic grab of the lever.
  4. There is a particular intersection on my way to work that I cover the lever for. Its a major T that only has a give way sign (I have right of way).
    I just know that if I tbone a car someday it will be there :eek:
    In bad weather I actually ride a longer way to avoid it.
  5. I always have both the clutch and brake covered all the time.
  6. sometimes, depends.
    i never cover either, but probably should when i'm riding in the shitty, err, city. touch wood etc. no probs yet*
    i guess i probably do though, as my style of riding leans to preparing and tackling corners, steep descents etc. with as much prior though as i can, to be honest, i just feckin ride how i have successfully for more than ten years :LOL: often with just a little hooliganism thrown in for good measure.
    best thing is to be comfortable and smooth in everything you do so it becomes second nature. i put no thought in to what my hands are doing, they just do stuff and it seems to work :)

    *yet being the keyword
  7. Around the city and stuff I cover my back brakes most the time (lots of silly little intersections) which I know will at least start to slow me down by the time i get my hand onto the front brakes, that and I'm typically not riding too fast there. When I'm out and about however, I cover the fronts whenever theres a corner coming up. Not neccesary to do it all the time however.
  8. I think in twist of the wrist book he recommends when street riding to always cover the brake so as you have your hand placed ready just in case something bad happens
  9. I dont think most people should.

    It leads to over breaking in an emergency (panic) situation.

    Loook well ahead of you and stay out of blind spots and you should have enough time to set up and squeeze.
  10. No need to cover the front brake ALL the time...but be ready to cover it when necessary. (close quarters with cars, apporacing interections or when you can see a car wanting to come out of a side road. (to mention a few examples)
  11. I did a stay upright course and the 3 steps to braking were: roll off, set up and squeeze. Always. Practice stopping at the lights, practice your emergency braking, up in the mountains... the same technique everywhere so it becomes second nature.

    So when people say cover the brakes do you roll off? If you don't and you use 4 fingers on the brake how do you roll off? This always confused me. Not that i don't cover my brakes, but the engine braking makes it annoying.
  12. Covering the brakes does not imply actual braking...you are leaving your fingers over the lever just in case you need to brake.
    SO...rolling off, or not will depend on the circumstances...and is independent of covering the brakes. You could roll off approaching an intersection, and then get back on the throttles again, while covering your brakes, without actually needing to brake.
    You should be able roll on and off the power even with 4 fingers over the levers, but I use two or three fingers, as required...leaving the other 1 or 2 fingers for the throttle.