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When do you use the back brake?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by pringa8, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. I'll admit, i'm never quite sure. I use it to correct speed in a corner but sometimes i'll do it straightline braking too. Is it one of those subjective times or are there distinct times you should only use the back brake, relying solely on the fronts every other time?

    Yes, i need to do an advanced course...
  2. I use the back brake for hill starts, taking off (left foot down, right foot up), when riding slowly and need to correct my speed, or coming in slowly to a stop an intersection so that others know I'm slowing down.
  3. when doing an Emergency stop, oh a couple of times doing u turns (but mostly just learnt to use the front, trick is to be very gentle , tired it a couple times mid corner bit imo if i need to use the rear i have screwed something up/haven't allowed myself enough safety margin :)

    oh guess if i ever learn to wheelie then i would use it then too :grin:
  4. i use front and back brakes all the time, unless it is manouvering at a very low speed, like in traffic or doing a u turn then i only use the back brake, i also have the back brake only when set up in the ready position at lights etc and for hill starts
  5. When I want to stop?

    No really........ All the time. Sometimes I trail the rear brake through a corner. When going slow or turning I use all rear and no front. Usually about 80% front and 20% rear.

    In an emergency stop it helps keep the rear down......
  6. I would normally aply it with the front brake in most situations.
    I have it on when travelling at a snails pace in traffic.

    I also use the rear if I'm on gravel so the front doesn't slide out.

    But I'm a nooby at all of this as well so feel free to correct me :)
  7. Proper technique (if I understand correctly, which I may not!) would dictate that you use the rear EVERY TIME you want to use the brakes. Yes the front is where the POWER is, but it takes time to transfer the weight onto the front tire to fully exploit that power. Where is that weight before it transfers? :?:

    Wait for it...

    On the BACK wheel! The back brake can be gotten to very quickly (for most people quicker than the front) so being in the habit of going for both cuts valuable centimeters from a stop and could be a skin saver in a close shave.

    Some people seem paranoid about locking the rear. And when doing full power stops it is easy to lock the rear because there is almost no weight pressing it down and keeping it turning. My answer? Get over it. Practicing your e-stops will teach you how to back off your rear brake as the front gains more grip.

    Also, there are times when the front brake is dangerous! If you are heavily committed to a corner the front is out of the question, however the rear can be carefully! applied. Low speed menouvering? Front brake is a 'go to the gravel, go directly to the gravel' trick.

    Grabbing the front brake whilst filtering usually leads to embarrasing conversations with irate cagers who want you to pay for the new dents and scratches in their car to be fixed. :oops:

    So in summary although the rear brake is (MUCH) less powerful than your front, you should probably be using it MORE OFTEN.

  8. I use mine quite a bit actually. I generally cover it through bends just in case i need to correct myself, I use it when I have to brake hard (emergency stop etc.) and i think it's very helpful with the slow speed stuff. Ã'm not sure whether I'm right or wrong, I just go off what i've read. I'll be hitting an advanced course early next year (about bloody time) so maybe I'll be able to have more clarity then :LOL:
  9. have fun replacing rear brake pads every week.

    i only touch the rear when doing e-braking, and slow speed manouvering(sp?): u-turn, in traffic, just before stopping, hill starts.
    never touch the front during a u-turn, i cant believe u do, stewy :shock:
    asking for trouble i reckon.

  10. at what speed do you filter :shock: if you can't control the bike with front only while filtering you need to practice more,tight u turns sure i can understand as for using it more then the front, also disagree with that, not sure what type of riding you do but rear is the minor for me and front is my life.

    Learn to use your front brake
  11. it's all about how it's applied, same with braking mid turn, grab a fist full and you will end up on your ass, it's a balancing game, get it right and you have no problems get it wrong and you won't have a shiny bike for long :LOL:
  12. When do I use my rear brake ?
    (1) As an indicator to vehicles behind me ( when I'm downshifting coming to a stop or slowling down approaching vehicles that have their brake lights on )
    (2) When I'm travelling at a snail's pace in traffic ( helps to stabilise the bike )
    (3) Emergency Stops

    In summary .. I rarely use it for braking.
  13. VFR750 IRYDE - your summary of proper technique sounds right to me.

    I'll add that as well as the weight over the rear before braking, applying the rear brake also means you're applying a force to directly to the driving wheel, taking away the force propelling the bike forward. If you're using the front brake only then in the initial part of braking the rear wheel is trying to travel faster than the front wheel, unsettling the bike.

    Basically, use both brakes for all normal and emergency stopping. Sure you can stop fine doing normal stops with just the front but you're training your brain that that's how you stop. In a real emergency you won't have time to think use both, you're natural reaction will be grab the front. By the time you can think to use the rear you've already missed most of it's benifit and you're far more likely to lock it than someone who uses it all the time. You will take longer to stop than if you where in the habit of using both brakes every stop

    For slow speed work use the rear only, it acts to stabalise the bike. Applying the front at low speed with any turn on the bars makes the bike want to fall and travelling at low speed requires constant input to the bars to keep the bike balanced.

    edit: forgot to add that the rear brake can be handy to tap on lightly to get a tailgaters attention without actually slowing down at all. Doesn't always work but sometimes it does.
  14. I.... must.... resist... :-#
  15. When I come flying into a blind corner that suddenly tightens up, I like to jam on the rear BREAKS so I don't highside. :)

  16. [​IMG]
  17. I've been using my rear brake a fair bit of late. I'm practising for my P's test. :wink:

    On my daily commute, I touch the rear to set of the light so the cager who so desperately wants to become my bike backs off. Apart from that, anything low speed and hill starts or stops etc.

    I usually just engine brake and then give a slight squeeze to the front brake, using rear when I'm stopped.
  18. I use my rears every time I slow down, under brakes.
  19. I'm not as experienced as most of you here, and at the risk of looking like an idiot, I'm gonna put my neck out and disagree.
    The weight may be on the back wheel when moving along, but isn't a 'throttle off' condition happening BEFORE you even apply the brakes?
    This alone transfers most of the weight to the front wheel, compresses the front forks, leaving little weight on the rear wheel.
    I'd be applying the front brake first and foremost in most conditions.
    As for the back brake being gotten to quicker than the front ... always riding with the front brake covered in anticipation ( condition dependent ) will ensure little time is lost applying the brakes.
    Sure, the rear brake serves many purposes, but I believe the front brake is your best friend in 90% of cases.

    ( putting my flame suit on ) :wink:
  20. With out a doubt the front brake will pull you up about 3 times faster than just the rear brake.

    But I beleive you should be using both most of the time.
    Actually I don't know of a situation where you shouldn't use the rear brake in a braking situation (Happy for some one to point out one though)

    Usually I'll have my rear on lightly first as I'm going down a gear or two.