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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.
161 - 180 of 197 Posts
KPukes BS never stops. So is he violating the laws of physics?
Re: RD350's

Told ya that thing would sell fast.

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?
Re: Stainless lines and RD350's

I have a '71 R5 350 Yamahopper. :)

I did a demo on a GS bimmer on a wet day once and did a deliberate ABS test on a wet road from about 30 MPH.

My testicles were NOT happy with me, as my crotch slammed into the tank. I did NOT think the braking would have been that severe on a wet road. It was.

On clean, dry pavement an expert rider can threshhold brake well and outbreak an ABS system by 2-3% in controlled conditions.

Under the SAME controlled conditions, same bike, same rider, add wet asphault and the ABS system will outbrake the expert by 25-50% or more! Add in a patch of sand/grease/whatever, and the expert might very well crash while the ABS just stops the bike.
Re: Wrong

It's cuz it's Rough, Tough, and don't take Shyte off No-one...........

And usually I'm in the sitting-position when utilizing it.

Re: More braking tips

They don't give degrees to Sock-Puppets.

I suspect this falls into the 99%-rule of kpaul you just cited above.
We use 220 over here as well - just in "high-demand" applications, though.
While I agree with some of the posters here that for maximum EFFECTIVE braking, use both brakes. I know the front can apply more force than gravity can handle, but the rear just seems to settle things down a bit, even if it's only 5% of the braking force. Off road it's 90% rear.

My real surprise is that no one mentioned dragging a tiny amount of rear brake as they enter an unfamiliar corner hot. You can easily overpower it with the throttle, or bring the speed down just a bit mid-corner. I had thought that was a relatively common technique?
450V 3phase! The only way to go, baby!
Well, he is in his own little universe.
I use the drag method sometimes. Don't know what you mean by "I know the front can apply more force than gravity can handle,"
Re: kcoder

When working in the lab both CS and EE kiddos would ask me why the compiler was 'broken'.

My degree is in history with a minor in philosophy. It wouldn't have taken much to be at the top of those classes.
Re: Stainless lines and RD350's

Did you buy the bike?
Re: Stainless lines and RD350's

Nevermind, hadn't gotten down to the follow-up yet. Too bad.
Perfect post on true emergency situation on a sportbike. If you aren't doing a full stoppie, meaning you might have enough space to stop the bike without putting the rear wheel in the air, you might think that you should start with both brakes. However, the only times I've done this in panic situations I have slid the rear tire unnecessarily.

You get 0% braking off the rear tire if you're in a true panic situation as Buz said, so why start adding possibilities of sliding the rear?
Re: Braking 101.

You mean yesterday?
Re: Farewell MO!

If you stop answering him I will.

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.
Re: Ok. Good tip.

Ya think so?

I dont think so. I am sure it was brought to him by the Oracle at Delphi, or the great Oz or 1-800-PSYCHIC or anyone but that GMP charlatan.

I suppose I should rephase...

How is it that you came upon this site? Are you affiliated with them? or did you just stumble on it when searching for riding tips yourself?
161 - 180 of 197 Posts
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