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When to Use Rear Brake Only?

49824 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.
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Stainless lines and RD350's

I use the rear a lot, and I think it comes from the fact that my first two bikes were older and heavier.

You know, when I had an fz-1 a couple of years ago, I locked up the back brake a couple times in tense situations. I never intended to turn them into panic stops, but they becuase panicky skids (at least out back).

Then I installed stainless steel lines, what I consider the most important accessory for a bike and the first modification I make. I did the back brake just to match the looks, and because there was a deal on the 3 line set.

What a difference, not in power, but useability on the rear! It became dramatically easier to use the rear brake, where before it was an off-on switch that was pretty much useless. I told this story to a fellow friend of mine who decided to replace his rear line as well as his fronts on his CBR600RR, and he reported the same expierence. Now he uses the rear more too, without fear of locking up.

So I found an RD350 on craigslist that the owner claims runs and drives. Looks like it's in good, non-original shape, with nice chrome and a respray, no badges. I want a runner, so that's fine with me. They want $750 bucks. Someone convince me to buy it. What should I be looking for that goes wrong? My girlfriend's dad knows how to rebuild and the 3 of us could work on it, so I'm thinking this could be fun.

--The Fox
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Re: Stainless lines and RD350's

Yeah, I hear you on "owner's stories", I'm not buying anyhting sight unseen. I've bought more than a few used old bikes, but never a two stroke. 72 CB500/Four; a 76 Goldwing. RD's are simple right? Isn't it stupid cheap to replace pistons? Aside from rebuilding brakes and the basic fluids, what else is there that's har to do or expensive on this thing?

Would I be insane to put clip-ons on it and go to the track?

--The Fox
Re: Stainless lines and RD350's

That's what I was thinking last night.


I would, but it was sold already. I keep missing out on the good RD's. Maybe next time.

I yearn for a white open face helmet, clear motocross goggles and black leather jacket in the Loop at lunchtime, just to show off. The funny part is that I'm sure no one other than myself will be impressed. Ha!

Gyroscopic forces...DUH!

FINALLY someone breaks it down for me. Thank you so much for the concise explanation. This is something I've struggled with for 7 years. I think I'll go practice u-turns Sunday.

--The Fox - (not being sarcastic)
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