Let’s face it:
The majority of people start riding bikes from a very young age. Hence, braking is not a natural ability rather it is learnt. This can be through the hard way since heavy use of the brakes can end up getting you hurt. It is important that motorcycle riders keep braking at a minimum if possible. This can be done by having strategies for all the problems that you may end up facing by being hyper-aware of your surroundings.
Motorcycles feature front and rear brakes. And each situation calls for specific and the two brakes are very effective when used correctly.
That said, in this article, we’re going to look at some of the essential motorcycle braking techniques to help you ride your motorcycle safely.
The Front Brake
Of the two brakes, the front brake is considered the better one since it has almost all the motorbike’s stopping power in cases of emergencies. The components of the brakes are equipped to provide full brake force. Regardless of the size of the motorbike, the front brake is always more robust than the rear brake. The right way to use this brake when slowing down or stopping is to gradually squeeze and put pressure until you can’t anymore.
Nearly every rider uses this brake differently. This may be why it is also the most misused. It is mostly commonly used in collaboration with the front rear. In high speeds, the front brakes are mostly used but it is important to use the rear first since it makes the bike more settled.
Situations and the Appropriate Brake to Use
When carrying a passenger, the rear is more suited for use. The rear is considered less effective due to the fact that there is less weight on the back tire. Having a passenger changes this.
U-turns are difficult even for the most experienced riders. The rear brake comes in handy when tightening the turning radius. This works best on left turns thanks to the position of the brake.
When riding on the racetrack, it makes more sense to use the front brake. The rear brake has many advantages that you may end up missing out on but it is preferred by amateur riders. Professional riders usually have to train before they can use it.
Not every surface you’ll be riding on is smooth. You may find yourself on gravel or on wet leaves. The rear brake is the right one to use in this scenario. This is because it is less likely to skid when compared to the front brake.
The Bottom Line
There are a lot risks that come with riding motorcycles. Some of these can be as a result of braking incorrectly. It is important for you to know these practices in order to avoid them in the future. One of these can be through grabbing and putting too much pressure on the front brake which can end in you crashing.
Hovering is one other common mistake made mostly by new riders. This can happen in a moment of panic where your hands can freeze while on the brakes. Avoid duck walking when stopping or parking your motorbike. This usually involves using your legs to “walk” the bike forward. Doing this makes you lose control of the bike since you can’t access the rear brake and the throttle.
Sam is Automole’s editor-in-chief and classic car enthusiast. Sam is studying mechanical engineering at Cockrell School of Engineering, Austin. He also writes for many top automotive publications and appears on the Collecting Cars Podcast.