Motorcycle Forums banner

When to Use Rear Brake Only?

49207 Views 196 Replies 49 Participants Last post by  The_AirHawk
The heavier the bike and the lower teh center of gravity, the more rear brake can be used. Also, with a passenger, more rear brakes can be used for smoother stopping and less front end dive.

A good rule... the engineers aren't stupid, the size fo the brake is a good indicator of how hard it should be used. I beleive the rear brake surface area is less than 20% of the total braking surface.

When do I use only rear brake. At low speeds when trying to reduce the effects drivetrash lash at small throttle positions. I also mostly rear brake at low speed turns where the front brake can be grabby causing a loss of balance. Finally on loose surfaces I will favor the rear. For one reason, the rear tire is wider and therefore easier to control when sliding that the narrower front wheel.

For emergency stopping (I hate the term "panic stop". You never, ever panic on 2 wheels.) ... it's ALL front brake. Engine braking provides plenty of rear braking force... especailly on my BMW twin.
1 - 9 of 197 Posts
Re: Stainless lines and RD350's

The RD350 will be fun, as long as you don't compare it to any modern motorcycle. It will vibrate, handling will be acceptable, brakes will be average, power will be low, and the reliablity will be questionable. Old bikes are fun to tinker with, if you have the time, but can quickly get expensive in a big hurry. One other thing. Owners claims are about as reliable as the weather. You need to see it in person to make the call.
Re: Stainless lines and RD350's

The RD motor is pretty simple, but something as simple as a crankshaft seal leak can fry the motor pretty quick. Pistons are easy and no valves to deal with. Make sure the plugs look good throughout the RPM range and away you go. Clip-ons and the track would be the perfect place for it. A cheap bike to wail on, and if you crash and burn it, you can laugh it off!
Re: Stainless lines and RD350's

By the way, I saw the bike. I'll give you my advice. Go get it today, because it will be gone by tomorrow. It looks good. If it runs, it's worth at least twice what he is asking.
"MSF courses tell you to use both brakes equally, and rear-only is completely wrong."

That is because the MSF course is built around developing basic skills. Those that have ridden more than a few miles have developed their own use of the brakes, which would be inappropriate, or unsafe, to teach newer riders. Using the rear to test traction on a slippery surface, or doing u-turns is not wrong. It's smart. Experienced riders know how, when and where to use the rear brake. cherrypicker has it right.
Re: Wrong too

He's back at moderating too. I think the annoyance/entertainment ratio is getting near dividing by zero. Bout time for a change in my book.
"And use both brakes for emergency stops, no matter what: even if the back brake only adds ten percent, it's ten percent you could do with at that precise moment."

I disagree.

1. If I am using maximum braking on my Hayabusa I will not be getting even 10% from the rear, so the chance of getting the braking right without skidding the rear is near zero. Skdding the rear means I may fall even if I could have stopped, or I now can't make an avoidance swerve because I'm crossed up in a slide. Not worth it.

2. If I am using two brakes, I have to modulate two brakes correctly to avoid losing control. That's much harder when stopping in am emergency situation. I can react quicker and more accurately with a reflexive action to use the front brake only, and not even have to think about reaching or modulating a rear brake that, in reality, is doing almost nothing anyway.

3. Spending time worrying about skidding the rear takes concentration away from what I should be doing, which is modulating the front brake for maximum braking, and scanning for a way out in case I can't stop fast enough.

Lets face it, there isn't any time to 'think' in an emergency situation, and the less I have to do, the better I will be at what I NEED to do. I NEED to get on the front brake hard, and find a way out if I can't stop.

If all else fails, I'll 'lay er down' and call it a day.
See less See more
Gee, I said as much and I was told I was an idiot. I'm not as good or as smart as Schwantz or Lawson, but I know that in any emergency situation the less you have to do, the better off you are. Front brake only and look for a way out. It served me well for 30+ years for road riding, so I guess my stupidity has somehow kept me alive for all these years. I guess since you think the same way, that makes you an idiot too. Too bad we all can't be as smart as the link posters on the site.
KPukes BS never stops. So is he violating the laws of physics?
Re: RD350's

Told ya that thing would sell fast.
1 - 9 of 197 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.