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When to Use Rear Brake Only?

49411 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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Ok. Good tip.

I've been browsing this site. It's got a lot of interesting stuff. Thanks.

I'm surprised that in all this disucssion there's been no comment at all on ABS for bikes. It's becoming more prevalent. Reading Longride's post, which I happen to agree with, that there is a limit to what a rider can effectively process and react to when riding, does ABS add an effective technology to assist us? Or does it take away a level of control? Because I'm not a professional rider, I tend to look for technical or engineering solutions to assist me, even though I have over 30 years experience riding. I've never owned an ABS bike; probably won't for a while. I know when I took the Skip Barber Car Control class, we trained with and without ABS. Clearly ABS allowed all but one of the pros (Vic Elford) teaching the class to stop much faster, and in greater control. Anybody out there who has an ABS bike? What do you think of the system?

I think "in controlled conditions" is a key. Out there in the real world I suspect it's pretty hard for most mortals to threashold brake effectively when the semi doing 20 mph less than you suddenly cuts you off and there's no where to go. If I ever do get a new bike, ABS will be one of my criteria. We have to ride in the rain a LOT here in S. FL, especially in the summer.
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