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When to Use Rear Brake Only?

49203 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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Re: Stainless lines and RD350's

Be there, done that. Trashed my old R5C into an unuseable lump in 82. Ah, the good old days.

Some organizations have an RD series. Go for it!
Re: Wrong too

Stick to the belittling.

GPTB say: Never get into battle of wits with unarmed man.
Re: Stainless lines and RD350's

Parts aren't too bad, unless you're looking for cosmetics.
Re: Stainless lines and RD350's

That's what I was thinking last night.

Re: Wrong too

He's back at moderating too. I think the annoyance/entertainment ratio is getting near dividing by zero. Bout time for a change in my book.
It REALLY depends on the bike...

On the SV, its "front brake only", the thing will stoppie on the drop of a hat (even moreso now that I'm bedding in a set of HH pads. :) )

On the VFR, its "front brake lever only", the linked brakes will put most of the force to the front but some still to the rear, giving well balanced braking.

On the WeeStrom, its "use both, but mostly front", the rear locks up easily but does add something to max braking.
Re: Wrong too

perhaps it is time to moderate 'him' out of existence
Re: Wrong too

Nah, he's like an embarrassing fungus in a private place, just when you think he's gone he crops up again
Re: Wrong too

Most systems are NOT linked. It is absolutely relevant to the discussion at hand.

The RC30 rear system was developed in an effort to overcome both the instantaneous weight-transfer (and resulting lightening of the rear-end) that comes with hard-braking a sport/race bike, AND the "jacking" effect on the swingarm resulting from closing the throttle (all this, merely by applying the rear brake).

Results were mixed. But it *DID* work, although it wasn't a "Magic Bullet", and rapidly-developing tire-technology quickly surpassed any advantages it had versus the weight-penalty and added complexity of that system (Traction was the Name of The Game).

Hence, the reason you don't see something like this on modern sportbikes: with even the cheapest tires of today, there's no real advantage to be had, and complexity costs money.

This demonstrates that, even in the late-'80s, Honda's Engineers had a fundamental grasp of the braking-characteristics of Motos.

It also demonstrates that socko doesn't. While socko-master might (especially if he's whom I believe to be), he's chosen to have socko portray a block-headed ignoramus with a "Big Mouth" and a poison pen.

(just to keep shyte "stirred up" on the MO forums)
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If I'm not mistaken MSF still teaches to use both brakes in a maximum stop. With the front brake, you squeeze the lever adding pressure as the forks dive down to just short of lock-up. If you do lock the front brake, release it immediately and reapply. With the rear brake, apply pressure on the pedal, again to just short of lock-up. If you do lock up the rear brake, keep it locked until you come to a complete stop. This is where I differ with the MSF and here's why: In forty-four years of riding, I have found saving my hide has been a combination of maximum braking then swerving around the offending object more often than coming to a complete stop. With your rear brake locked, you are either going in a straight line or your butt is lowsiding down the tarmac with virtually no choices in between. In this situation (maximum brake then swerve), if your rear wheel is locked, at the most critical time in your avoidance maneuver, you must remember to release the rear brake and allow it to rehook-up before making any swerving attempt. This takes time you may not have in this situation and if you swerve with the rear wheel locked, you're down down instantly. For this reason, if you are still travelling in a straight line and your rear wheel locks, I advocate releasing it and reapplying it in gentler fashion or, especially on a sportbike, not using it at all.

Of course, the absolute best way to handle this situation is by scanning ahead to anticipate problems so that maximum braking, or anything close to it won't be necessary. However, if you ride long enough, sooner or later, something will happen in front of you very quickly that you couldn't possibly anticipate and you will have to react instantly and intuitively to avoid going down. And sometimes, no matter what you do, it'll be too late and you will hit the pavement. There's nothing like practicing those avoidance skills because if they aren't instant and reactive, they won't be in your repertoire when you need them the most. Here endeth the sermon.....
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Re: Wrong

Not the technique they teach you in the MSF beginner's course which is 'ride over it.' They force you to practice it over and over with a 2x4.
MSF "coaches" to use rear brake for slow speed manuevers. You're misunderstanding the exercise for rear brake use and combining it with what you learned for the quick stop on the last exercise on the previous day. Quick stop is your last exercise Sat. and slow speed manuevers are the first exercise on Sun.
Ok. Good tip.

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

Why does he keep bringing it up though? The first time I saw him claim that cruisers stop worse than sportbikes and you sent the link of the breaking distances which showed that the differences were purely bike by bike and not by category I figured that would be that. It's unfathomable that anyone could be so dumb.
He can give us lessons on how to 'lay her down' though, since we know he has learned how.
Re: Wrong

I think they've dropped that from the course. Which is bad, I believe.
Re: Stainless lines and RD350's

Check the crank seals on the RD. And for all the parts you'll ever need, contact Cindy @ Speed and Sport Yamaha in PA, (570) 784-6831 website:

I had an R5 (piston-port). Scary fast for the size.
Re: It REALLY depends on the bike...

braking discussion aside, i must say you've made a very intelligent choice of rides. ;-).
Re: Wrong

I took the course after I already had been riding for a couple of years in order to take it with my wife; that was two years ago, and the stick-crossing exercise was still in it.
A large, heavy, high-coefficient of friction weight, a strong rope or chain, and a milkcrate to "store" it all in are all a man REALLY needs to stop a Moto.........
61 - 80 of 197 Posts
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