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Trail braking

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by dgmeister, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. Can someone that knows give me the dope on trail braking.
    (braking in corners - using rear brake softly to control turn)

    I believe this is a lazy technique that should be used only to correct mistakes. I set a basic lean angle and then focus on my throttle control to control my cornering.

    But, if i do touch the brakes in a corner i tend to use the front brakes to dig in the front tyre nicely for grip, the bike then responds by tipping the weight back onto the rear for a nice take off out of the corner.

    just funny coz my mate on his cbr parked up and i felt the front discs, cold as stone, but the rear brakes were scorching. I told him 'you're meant to use the front brakes' Then he says 'no, they're only emergency brakes, i'm scared to use them!'

    turns out hes riding the rear brake in turns, this doesn't sound right to me
  2. Nah - It's a very common technique used by racers and track day riders. I trail the front brake in a few corners at the creek.

    A lot of racers squeeze the rear brake as they exit to help tighten the line, but that's not trail braking as such, and other racers don't touch the rear at all.

  3. I find that if I feel I'm coming in a bit hot, a little squeeze of the rear brake will help me tip in the bike a bit quicker.
  4. yes using the rear brake softly is remedial in that situation to 'tighten' cornering

    just read the wikipedia article; trail braking is actually from the front brake. I thought it was the rear.
  5. FFS! Don't any of you guys search these forums or even try to find out this stuff, so you understand it for your own sakes!!??
    None of you appear to properly understand what it does, when it is used, and why!
    And a few are actually doing dangerous things as a result. Bloody hell!
    • Like Like x 2
  6. a miracle some of you are still alive to post.
    get of the internets, go do an advanced rider course.
  7. Braking in corners /= trail braking.

    Trail braking is a particular technique where the front brake is in the entry to a corner to finely tune speed, line and compress the front forks and give extra traction. It is a technique that requires a fair bit of precision and fine touch and the margin for error isn't huge. Lots of resources on this explaining what it is. They key is that it requires fine touch - certainly not a learner's skill IMO.

    This is quite different from "trailing the rear" which many do in corners and is taught on entry level courses which is using the rear brake as a stability tool - often with the result being to tighten the line of a bike through the corner. Personally, I prefer to use it sparingly. There are often better options mid corner - like simply leaning a little more and countersteering harder. Occasionally I use it though. It is not a bad technique at all, provided it is not abused...

    Then there is mid corner braking. This is different to trail braking in that the purpose here is to actually slow down - not for control or to tighten a line when slightly too hot into a corner. Using the front brake to slow down - as has been discussed before - you have x amount of grip. When cornering, you are using a certain proportion of that grip, so you have to make sure that when braking, you don't exceed the level of grip available. It is a tradeoff. Braking and cornering both use grip... So using both, you need to be careful to to exceed the limits to achieve your goal. i.e. the more traction used for cornering, the less available for braking and vice versa.

    That is a rough version I think (anyone with more comprehensive knowledge feel free to correct).
    • Like Like x 1
  8. You can say that again!
  9. DGmeister, the pogo-ing weight transfer in your method concerns me a bit - especially the theory of getting the tyre to bite a bit more - do you want a tyre dealing with cornering traction and using up even more of the available traction managing some uneeded trail braking, all for some kind of weight transfer pogo effect out of the corner?

    You mentioned throttle control. Focus on that mate. You'll get adequate transfer from that alone.

    Good cornering techinque shouldn't require trailing of the rear brake into corners as a base technique... but it used to be recommended technique on old clunker bikes with crap suspension. Not as needed now especially if throttle control is good.

    You're mate should have a good long think about what he thinks he's trying to achieve and maybe have a read of the copious threads here on rear brake abuse/use. I wouldn't want to give away any traction to trailing of the rear brake - unless I had to.
  10. Ken'oath Rob.
    Sorry DG but that is so bad ha ha. Seriously one of the worst things I have heard.
    That's just asking way to much of the front tyre and how's your private health cover?
    @ the track the rear brake is mostly my traction control. And to have fun with on very tight corners...aka back it in.
    I can use my throttle there ( At the track ) and don't need the rear brake for stability. I may use it if I have gone in too hot to sharpen my radius in the turn and hopefully make it. But more often than not in those circumstances I am at the limit of traction anyway, so braking is out of the question and I have to suck it up and try to make it by just grinding the farker as far over as I can and hopefully make it through. This is the joy of the track as if you get it wrong it's not a far fall to the ground and nothing to make me come to that deadly sudden stop.
    On the road I am all over the rear brake like a fat kid on a chocolate muffin. I can't just open the throttle as much as I may need. I am not going at the rate to make the whole shabangabang as stable as I want it to be. So I ad rear brake when I need that extra stability...or think I will need that extra stability.
    Riding the thing all day long is as bad as not using it at all though. Just learn it and where to use it and all good.
    ps I drag both front and back brake up to the apex. I may drag the back right through and out. But I drop the front just as I approach the apex (usually the way)
    Really hard to get the feel of the front wheel while you have the front brake applied
  11. No i'm not really much into braking in corners myself

    what i mean is, you use the front brakes to stop before a corner right.
    you brake as late as possible, keep on the brakes as hard as possible.

    BUT if you are using the rear brake, this is where you will lose the traction
    from braking, downshifting, turning because the rear wheel/suspension is unloaded.

    As you release the front brake, the rear end settles down and then you get some grip
    to accelerate/turn with stability

    for instance under hard braking, (even in a corner) the front end is more stable / has more grip than the back. the back wheel may even lift up off the ground, so you can only really rely on the front wheel grip until the back is on the ground again

    braking on the back only really helps settle the front a little bit, but braking on the back is more tenuous. i.e On dry, clean tarmac your front end is much less likely to lose traction than the back (unless you are monoing of course)
  12. When your dragging a rear...your still ON the throttle. So your kinda negating that lock up or extra pressure.
    It's getting kinda techy (and past my freeby input lol) but a rear used properly against the throttle will cause the bike to steer from the rear, without the loss of traction that steering it from the rear by throttle will cause.
    If I am in a two wheel drift my rear brake will be on. And my throttle pretty well WOT. I'm not using the rear to brake here...or ever really ha ha cause it's not real good at that. Cept for traffic light soft creep stops and such.
    And yes you are right the front brake is the stopping brake. It's very good at that. But has no real added features.
    The rear is a sucky brake. But has a mountain of features.
  13. Hard braking is for racing or emergencies rather than the road. Late braking isn't a good idea anywhere unless you are overtaking another racer. I like to be off the brakes before I tip in. But I do trail brake a little on downhill corners. Please go and do a course before you hurt yourself.
  14. Who are you learning this stuff from?
  15. I believe there are some things being taken out of context, and pedalled as knowledge, But without proper understanding.
  16. I have problems using the rear brake on the track. Not as experienced as Bretto.
    For one thing, on the real turns, I am hanging off with feet position for the corner, and that takes the rear brake out of play. So if I'm a little hot, it is judicious use of the front brake only. That means I have to manage my distribution of cornering grip and braking grip.
    Once the corner is over and ii am winding on the gas, I will sometimes drag the rear to keep the front settled on bumps I know can get the front light.
    On bends (as opposed to corners) I'm in a less aggressive riding position and therefore can apply drag on the rear if I need to. (not very often in my case)

    As for weight transfer...it never enters my head. I need front brake if I'm a little hot to help me hold my line by slowing me down a bit, and I use the rear to keep things stable if needed.
    In all other situations it is throttle control and lean angle, to get through a corner.

    I don't race, and appreciate that I am not hanging on the finer edge as a matter of course, but sometimes on a track day one finds a similarly experienced, or skilled rider, and a little play racing ensues. Earlier on the gas, later on the brakes by a smidge or two. Occasionally a mistake is forced and me or the other guy run it wide and have to give the corner away. ( the wisest choice)

    My style is to ride on the front wheel. Front end grip is my my goal and my limitation. Anything else is seldom considered apart from rear end grip and front end directional stability with increasing power.

    There is a lot more going on, but it's left to my instinct from my experience, and is not part of my conscious processing.
  17. I'm guilty of trail braking too much on the track. Thats due to my experience being mainly on the mountains (or canyons if we want to be yanks) I think it's the most useful tool for going fast on the mountains on roads you don't know etc. you can still brake late and deep into the corner but as you get more visual cues as to where the the road goes you can modulate your speed with the front brake. I've found myself dabbing the front brake at decent lean before, sports bikes will take that very well but not every bike will, all the sports tourers I've ridden just stand up and run wide so that's when I swap to using the rear brake on those bikes. You can still trail the front on an ST but you can't be as adventurous as on a supersport.

    But yeh on the track you know where the track goes you got decent vision and your braking alot harder so I'm starting to trail alot less. Of course some corners you'd always trail but I've noticed it was a bit of a safety blanket for me (one I'm happy to cuddle on the road though).
  18. Deleted - irrelavent.
  19. Sorry was talking front trail brake, I never touched the rear of the Daytona on the hills or track, only time I use rear is on a bike that handles bad and i cant use the front how i want like my firestorm. That thing handles so poorly it's hilarious.