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When to Use Rear Brake Only?

49413 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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I own a small-displacement cruiser, but have had a lot of bikes over 25+ years of riding. I use rear-only when powering through a sweeping turn at about half-throttle. If you need to cut down on your pace or correct your line, but don't want to back off on the throttle which will will make the bike "stand up", then drag the rear a little, which also has the effect of dragging the front end into a turn. In more-or-less straight line stopping, use both brakes.

Different rules apply for dirt riding, but I'm not a dirt rider.
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