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When to Use Rear Brake Only?

49063 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 go rear brake only when the traction is almost gone, such as when it has just started raining, before all the oil has been washed off the road or if I'm on wet grass. When it's wet or I'm on a substandard road, such as old dry asphalt, the kind that has gone light grey, I'll apply the rear brake to lockup to get a feel for the traction that is there, and then use front accordingly.

I had a Suzuki GN 250 with a dual leading edge drum brake that, in the above situations, would put you on your a$$ if you hit the front brake, on the first application. The first time you hit it, it would always give enough braking force, no matter how lightly you applied it, to fully drop the fork, for an instant. I was quite happy when my next bike had a hydraulic front disk.
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