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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In my MSF course, we were taught to squeeze the front break with all 4 fingers. However, as I begin to become more aware of what other riders are doing, I notice that a lot of them only use a 2 finger approach to the front brakes. What are the benefits and drawbacks to this approach? I have found it to be comfortable to use a 2 fingered approach, however, I would hate to practice breaking that way, and then in a required quick stop, I would be afraid that I would only use 2 fingers, and not get the kind of breaking required for the quickest possible stop. Also, could your other 2 fingers get caught between the break lever and the grip? If so, would that potentially limit the distance you could squeeze the break lever, thus limiting your full breaking potential? Mine doesnt go down that far under normal breaking, but I wonder if it could under more extreem requirements.

How do you more experienced riders manage the front break lever (2 or 4 fingers) and why?
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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Some use 2 fingers because you can keep them over the lever at all times. If your brakes are bled correctly and the lever is adjusted, you will not trap the other fingers. How many fingers you will need in a emergency is dependent on finger strength and brake caliper strength. I have ridden bikes with Brembo brakes that only required one finger for as hard a stop you would ever want to make. Other brakes setups require a good pull, like my Bandit, for maximum power. You will need parking lot practice to see what works for you and your current machine. I personally use two fingers over the lever in heavy to moderate traffic, and can get plenty of stopping power without having to reach for the lever, as it would require me to do with a 4 finger pull. Practice, Practice, Practice.
 

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The Toad
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Depends on the type of brakes you have. Some sportbike brakes are so sensitive that only two fingers are required to lock up the wheel. Some cruisers require a strong effort of all 4 fingers for good braking. On some bikes the handle gets pretty closer to the grip.. like my GL1100.

Just practice a lot and find out what works best for you. I use 4 fingers but I've been riding 40+ years and the brakes when I started riding were all pretty poor requiring a strong grip. So I'm just used to doing it that way.
 

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Aging Cafe` Racer
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Well most people would start talking after you broke two fingers I would think. Maybe some SAS, Mossad, Ranger types might hold out but breaking two fingers on each hand should get the most hardened talking. If that don't work I'd try bolt cutters and take off a knuckle at a time, the thought of going through life with stumps instead of fingers should get anyone singing.

With bikes it depends on how good the brakes are and what you're most comfortable with, the most important thing is that you are using the front brake instinctivly instead of the ol' rear brake stomp-n-slide. Once that's down work on reaction time and modulating the brakes for control.
 

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It's not my fault I'm the biggest and the strongest...
I can vouch for that. When Kirk rides, he looks like a Shriner on a minibike. Or a monkey with a match pack stuck up it's ass, depending on the angle. And that's on a big-ass BMW.

He's handy to have around in biker bars if you decide to make fun of HD's puny 64hp motors though.
 

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Some use 2 fingers because you can keep them over the lever at all times.
Liar! :D

Everybody knows that Knuck - riders don't use the Front Brake! It'll throw you over the bars, dude! ;-)
 

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Well most people would start talking after you broke two fingers I would think. Maybe some SAS, Mossad, Ranger types might hold out but breaking two fingers on each hand should get the most hardened talking. If that don't work I'd try bolt cutters and take off a knuckle at a time, the thought of going through life with stumps instead of fingers should get anyone singing.
"I'm going to ask you some questions. Every time I don't get an answer, or if I feel you have lied to me - I cut off a Finger!"

"Yours, or Mine?"
 

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The Toad
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Correction

I can vouch for that. When Kirk rides, he looks like a Shriner on a minibike. Or a monkey with a match pack stuck up it's ass, depending on the angle. And that's on a big-ass BMW.

He's handy to have around in biker bars if you decide to make fun of HD's puny 64hp motors though.
61 rwhp. Don't summon the Finnish demon, please.
 

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MODERATOR X
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I disconnected mine, and I feel a lot better.
 

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The type of bike (mentioned above) will have some different answers. I've always used 4 on a planned stop, two to scrub off a little speed or in traffic and for some reason only my middle finger on the track to set up turn entry speed. The latter has never been practiced but just showed up when I was riding much harder than I ever would on the street.
 

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When deciding between 2 and 4 fingers, I always ask myself this...Would I look good wearing this bike as a hat today? If the answer's no, I go with 2. 'Spose it's that way with most any modern braking system though.

(FWIW, I NEVER think I look good in a hat)
 
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