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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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this is nothing new, but i'll type it anyway before hitting the sack...

So when would anyone want to use the rear only and why?"

among other times, when navigating through obstacles at very slow speed (in a parking lot, or when lane-splitting, for example). my msf instructor - a 20-year veteran of the florida motorcycle highway patrol (h-d road kings) - made it very clear to us that the back brake helps keep your bike upright in tight, slow turns. YMMV.

"Does the type of bike matter?"

yes. i would take an advanced training course from the MSF to get instruction on correct braking techniques for your specific bike.
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