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When to Use Rear Brake Only?

49067 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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The only times I use just the rear brake are when I want to brake-slide the rear around a little (mostly a dirtbike move) or a parking lot speed. The reason I use just the rear at parking lot speed is that at low speed you use a lot of steering lock. If you use the front brake when the front wheel is turned it cause the bike to fall the direction the wheel is turned, whereas the rear brake doesn't affect the balance.
Re: More braking tips

Weight transfer depends only on the deceleration rate and the height of the CG relative to the wheelbase.

The rear brake will not help you slow down any more quickly when the rear wheel is in the air - which is where it will be if you're doing a max stop on any modern sport bike.
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