Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Using the brakes...

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by mon_4u2c, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. When riding in traffic or anywhere really where you need to slow down, but not stop should you just use the back brake or back and front brake?

    I know coming to a complete stop you use both but slowing down should you just use the back brake???
  2. nah just use both.
  3. i'm more biased to using the front for slowing down partially but its a case of each to their own in you feel more comfortable using one over the other or both then do it, wont really matter all that much, just remember the back is more likely 2 lock under brakes then the front
  4. Get into the habit of using both, if any emergency happens then your brain won't need to think about which brake. And remember both brakes stop you in a shorter distance.
  5. Use both. When the shit hits the fan you'll want you emergency braking technique up to scratch so practice doing it right all the time. :)
  6. i only use front in emergency/quick stop
  7. I use front only for routine slowing at commuting speeds, rear only for tightening my line in a corner (if required) and automatically reach for both brakes if out on the twisties.

    Front brake gives much more feel than the rear. If you lock the front by mistake, instinct tells you to release it and reapply. That same instinct on a rear brake lockup might end with you rubbing your head in confusion whilst sitting in the gutter.

    I cannot think of any situation where you'd use only the rear for slowing down. It's just too lacking in stopping power.

    See http://www.sportrider.com/ride/146_9510_motorcycle_braking_tips/ for a much better explanation
  8. Which is why you should develop better instincts. :) Even if it means practicing recovery from rear wheel slides. A nice piece of gravel is good for this without putting flat spots all over your tire. :)

    I'll stick with using both. Just as your link says, both brakes is the most effective way to stop or slow down a bike. The reason for doing it all the time is it becomes instinctive, thus cutting reaction time when you need to stop quick and minimises the chance of getting it wrong and locking either wheel. :)
  9. Both. Front is definitely necessary for situations where you are preparing to slow down, especially in situations where you're preparing to slow down because you're foreseeing something happen - shifting weight to front in preparation for hard braking.
  10. vanman37 - How about at walking pace ad maybe pulling into a park? You don't want to load the front as it will make the steering too heavy, possibly causing a loss of balance.

    or, if you are on a loose surface at a lower speed (eg sand or gravel), using the front could easily break traction and cause it to tuck in.

    Yes, for general braking both brakes are generally best, but there are no black and whites in motorcycling, every situation has so many variables - IMO.
  11. i was taught to use front brakes and/or rear brakes on the straight, and not to use front brake when turning... or turning sharply to ride the back brake at the same time accelerating a bit. or slip the clutch heh.... which is what they would teach ya at motorcycle course.
  12. I use both, but for slow speed back only :)
  13. It's easy to forget the things we learn and why we do them.

    In the dry, try to use around 75 to 85% front brake. The rear, though it adds little, does settle the bike and certainly aids stopping. As Doit mentioned, if you use it normally it will become 2nd nature for when you need 100% braking force.

    When approaching a junction, as the bike approaches walking pace I release the front and perform most of my stopping with the rear. The reduces front end dive and allows me to graduate my stop.

    In the wet, reduce the front brake load considerably. Aim for a 50/50 balance, this will reduce the tendency for the front to lock and tip you off. This is a guide and practice makes perfect. Remember, wet weather grip is limited and a front end slide is difficult to recover from.

    In traffic, or when splitting, cover the front and rear brakes, but use the rear predominantly. Over use or a panic grab of the front brake will see the bike likely stop and tip. I will split with the rear brake just about ready to use. I rarely use the front in these situations

    Whatever anyone else tells you in these forums, the quickest way to stop a bike is with both wheels on the ground and both tyres at the point of slip. Just using one brake will not stop you as quickly* as correct use of both.

    From your L's and P's they would have taught you to perform an emergency stop with a progressively increasing pressure on the front brake. This requires practice, practice and more practice.

    * We're talking about us here, not Rossi or Stoner!
  14. Those situations are using rear brake for stability and control, rather than slowing down. My reference to not ever just using the rear was in reference to riding at speeds above a crawl.
  15. I always setup with both front and back but will release front under 20-25kph and just use the rear from there.
  16. Commuting I rarely use front brakes! I anticipate traffic and use engine braking and rear brake MOST of the time.
    Of course for those fun corners I'll use both brakes coming in hot.
    Generally in day to day riding teh rear brake is quite effective and probably the easier/safer brake to use. The front is always only a quick squeeze of teh fingers away.
    I find if I need some frotn brake when I already have some rear brake on, I get the advantage of already having some load transfer to teh front tyre, and on my bike (shaft drive) rear brake helps teh rear suspension squat a little, which adds stability.
    I should also add the GTR has a fair bit of weight on teh rear, a much larger rear tyre than the front, and a massive rear brake.
    250 's will be different, sports bikes different. It's something you have to play with on your particular bike.

    Regards, Andrew.
  17. Front brake when i'm out riding seriously... in traffic its mainly engine braking down to the last bit, with just a bit of front and the rear comes in when i'm doing around 20km/h