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Braking discussion

Old 03-04-2010, 05:57 PM
Kuroshio's Avatar
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Default Braking discussion

When braking with both brakes, what order do you go in and why? ie: Front brake then rear brake, rear brake then front brake or both at the same time.

Interested in everyone's thinking on how and WHY they brake how they do. When they covered emergency braking during the MSF someone in the class asked which and never really got an answer.

Myself, tho I engine brake before thinking of using the rear, usually slow the rear first and then use the front brake as necessary. I do it for several reasons. I figure that a locked front tire is bad, really bad. Likely to dump me and if it is locked, it has less braking power. So its easier to manage the front brake. If by chance I do lock the front I can immediately let go and still be slowing by the rear, giving me a chance to reapply the front brake correctly.

Oh yeah, this is street riding which is all I do at the moment. I understand on the track people may brake an entirely different way for entirely different reasons. So post up where you're doing what
Old 03-04-2010, 10:52 PM
Sprocket Hauler and Savior
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Olympia
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This should be a great ?. I myself front brake then rear. When i went through msf i was told that the front brake is 2/3 of your braking power. Just like a car the force is directed at the front because of the shift in momentum. I try to apply more front brake then rear when normal stopping i also use a lot of engine braking in normal traffic conditions.
When emergency stopping practice i try to remember to use a lot more front then rear and try and not lock up the rear. Its not hard to lock the rear but way hard to lock the front. Anyone wiser then me know what the threshold is? Not necassary numbers but from personal xp?
Old 03-05-2010, 08:32 AM
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Depends on the type of braking Kuro.

If I'm just approaching a red light, I'll mix engine braking with some tapping on the rear brake (I'm all about not getting rear-ended by a retiree -- they're rampant in FL) and use both brakes to stop. On the highway I mostly use engine braking. Unless it's rush hour I don't really have any need to brake and I usually run in the 6-9k rpm range, which gives me plenty of slowing power to adjust while moving through traffic.

In the twisties -- i.e. setting my speed for a turn -- I'll typically hit the front pretty solid and just use my rear for minor adjustments. I'm very wary of stomping my rear and getting the rear loose when I'm really getting on it. If I ever feel too fast in a turn I'm light on the rear brake... though it's often just better to lean in a bit harder.

For general braking, I tend to use the front and rear together a lot... trying not to rely on one any more than the other.
Old 03-05-2010, 08:45 AM
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front mainly n a lil rear if needed!! Never rear only unless I am on grass, gravel, etc.
Old 03-05-2010, 08:59 PM
Sprocket Hauler and Savior
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Originally Posted by PlayfulGod View Post
front mainly n a lil rear if needed!! Never rear only unless I am on grass, gravel, etc.
Man what kind of riding you do to get to grass or gravel on a street bike??
Old 03-05-2010, 10:02 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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For stopping I use the front. I only use the rear to shave off some speed, the rear brake can be your worst enemy.
Old 03-06-2010, 12:11 AM
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i always use the front brake..I'm always worried of lockin up the rear casue its pretty easy to
Old 03-08-2010, 05:23 AM
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I use the front initially, to get the weight transfer to the front, then begin using the rear, which stabilizes the bike. But honestly, the rear is used almost at the same time, I couldn't put a time on it as its right after the front. It doesn't matter if Im coming up to a stop light or hitting a corner, I use the same method regardless. I always use both. My bike feels so much more stabil using both instead of just one.

As for the rear brake being your worst ememy. I would have to disagree. if you don't use it properly, then maybe, but the rear brake used properly is the best way to stablize the bike during braking. I couldn't imagine only using the front brake while tipped into a corner. Thats the best way to have the front wash out.

Last edited by justasquid; 03-08-2010 at 05:25 AM.
Old 03-08-2010, 05:51 AM
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I tend to use the rear brake a lot, but usually after I've applied the front brake. When I'm going over anything that looks like it could be slippery and have to come to a stop, I feather both brakes. I use a rear brake bias when I'm going downhill or around a corner or both, but otherwise it's pretty much like 75-25% front to rear braking effort and the rear usually only comes on once the suspension first settles from the front brakes.

I don't generally use the rear brake at all when the bike's not in gear, like most of the others who've posted above me, it's more just for making minor adjustments, whether it's my line or giving a bit of added friction to engine braking... afaik, the rear brake won't lock on you so long as you've got some power going through the drivetrain.
Old 03-08-2010, 08:58 AM
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80-90% of braking is done upfront on sport bikes like 60-80 on cruisers...I have had 2 bad rear tire slides from rear braking. But it takes practice and to ride your bike to its fullest you should be using both brakes. a good reminder is the rear brake will always straighten you bike out so doing it in a corner could really mess with your lines. most of all do what feels right and practice practice practice to make your bike perform better.

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