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Old 12-11-2012, 09:41 AM   #1
ParaMud OP
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Rear Brake Usage during Braking

I am not talking about going around in a parking lot and using the back brake, I am talking about on the freeway and coming to a stop.

I have been telling my girlfriend not to use the rear brake on the street. Her front brake is more than enough to stop and she just needs to smoothly keep applying more pressure on it to stop, and even harder to stop faster.

The point of telling her not to use it during normal stops is because during an emergency brake, it is very hard to feather the rear brake and not lock it up and by not using it everyday, she won't slam down on it during an emergency brake out of habit.

So what is your opinion on this matter on teaching beginners about braking?

Personally, I very rarely use the rear brake.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:54 AM   #2
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Learn to use it

In general riding, the harder I brake, the less rear brake I use. Sometimes I use no rear brake at all. If the road is wet, I use more rear. Only when filtering through traffic at low speed or if I suspect the road is slippery from ice or diesel do I use rear only. That said, I occasionally drag the back brake when accelerating on a greasy surface. FWIW I haven't locked the back brake unintentionally since as long as I can remember. Nor the front.

Seems to me it is important to teach learners to learn to use the rear brake in regular riding since it can be very useful. Without practice at using it, the rider is denied the ability to use it correctly when needed. Learn to use it and then use it or not as you see fit.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParaMud View Post
I am not talking about going around in a parking lot and using the back brake, I am talking about on the freeway and coming to a stop.

I have been telling my girlfriend not to use the rear brake on the street. Her front brake is more than enough to stop and she just needs to smoothly keep applying more pressure on it to stop, and even harder to stop faster.

The point of telling her not to use it during normal stops is because during an emergency brake, it is very hard to feather the rear brake and not lock it up and by not using it everyday, she won't slam down on it during an emergency brake out of habit.

So what is your opinion on this matter on teaching beginners about braking?

Personally, I very rarely use the rear brake.
that's absolutely incorrect to never use rear brakes on the road. true most of braking comes from front. but in some situations like slick roads, rear brakes are mandatory.

your mileage may veri ... but I've always used rear brakes in correct proportion to what's needed to stop. it may only a tiny dab at end of stop or what ever.

one stops fastest when tires are at edge of adhesion. two tires will bite harder than one, four better than two, etc. it's learning your bike on what to apply, when. personal preference rules, that's why I don't like ABS on cars or motorcycles.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:19 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ParaMud View Post
So what is your opinion on this matter on teaching beginners about braking?

Personally, I very rarely use the rear brake.
Then you personally probably do not ride when traction is reduced much.....ala offroad.

You should become adept at using all braking power that our weee little contact patches provide. I believe that braking force is something of a 70/30 split front to rear.

There are going to be certain circumstances that proper use of the rear brake may just save your bacon.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:25 AM   #5
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There are going to be certain circumstances that proper use of the rear brake may just save your bacon.
If you ride the track and go off into the gravel you only use the rear break. At least that is what I learned and it seems to work (I don't go down).
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:34 AM   #6
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The front brake supplies 70% of the stopping power. The rear takes up the slack. Why only use 70%(probably less if your not using bot brakes) of your stopping power? Learn/teach to use both brakes...and use BOTH of them. Practice your "emergency" braking technique often, BEFORE you need to use it.

What if your girl friend has an actual emergency braking situation, left hand turner, deer runs across road, etc? With out ever using the rear brake or practicing any kind of emergency braking the scenario will most likely not turn out well.

If you are worried about her locking up the rear tire...practice,, practice, practice, makes perfect, or close to it.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:41 AM   #7
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Yes I use the rear brake off road, I use it in parking lots, and I use it in the rain.

I do not use it when slowing down as fast as possible.

As a beginner a person does not know how to feather the rear brake. The front all of the stopping power when emergency braking.

I am talking life and death, there is a car stopped in front of you. You need to stop ASAP, do you think you can modulate the rear brake to not lock up?

Is it better to lock up the rear brake or do nothing to it?
Unless you are on a cruiser or some back heavy bike, I don't think many people can not lock up the rear tire in an emergency stop.

People under estimate the amount of front tire brake that you can do.

As for the percentage of rear brake, during an emergency brake I believe it is 95% front to 5% rear.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:53 AM   #8
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I do not use it when slowing down as fast as possible.
If you aren't, then you're not.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwalsh View Post
The front brake supplies 70% of the stopping power. The rear takes up the slack. Why only use 70%(probably less if your not using bot brakes) of your stopping power? Learn/teach to use both brakes...and use BOTH of them. Practice your "emergency" braking technique often, BEFORE you need to use it.

What if your girl friend has an actual emergency braking situation, left hand turner, deer runs across road, etc? With out ever using the rear brake or practicing any kind of emergency braking the scenario will most likely not turn out well.

If you are worried about her locking up the rear tire...practice,, practice, practice, makes perfect, or close to it.

the front brake doesn't provide 70% of the stopping power....that's just wrong...

Instructors generally advise a 70/30 split...front/rear..and maybe that's where you're getting your information from...and that's cos force/weight/momemtum thingie...is transferred to the front wheel (compressing the forks) and reducing the "weight" on the rear (can you tell I'm no scientist?) so it's easier to lock up the rear wheel as it has less weight on it, and it's harder to lock up the front as it has more...

and as we slow down that split (70/30) should change and you can use the rear more..

it is a feel thing, a practice thing (so at least bwalsh got that right). Obviously as road conditions change you're going to want to vary that split.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:55 AM   #10
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Im a newb and I practiced E stops alot when I first got my bike and still do when weather changes or I come across a new road surface . The other week I had a truck pull out in front of me I got on the front hard and hit the rear brake I stopped about 6 inches from the side of the truck . I think if I wouldnt have gave it the rear brake I would have made contact , not hard contact but contact none the less.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:03 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Hawk62cj5 View Post
Im a newb and I practiced E stops alot when I first got my bike and still do when weather changes or I come across a new road surface . The other week I had a truck pull out in front of me I got on the front hard and hit the rear brake I stopped about 6 inches from the side of the truck . I think if I wouldnt have gave it the rear brake I would have made contact , not hard contact but contact none the less.
Do you think you were using the front brake to its full potential? Think you could have used it more?

It does also depend on the bike you were on.

Ill brake (or is it break getting a bit confused now lol) It down for different bikes.

My KLR, front brake is not very good, so I have to use the rear brake to slow also.
SV650: I Don't use the rear brake at all
Monster 695: I Don't use the rear brake.

I am not saying I am 100% right, just saying how I see it and am looking for other opinions.

I do believe to stop the fastest you use both brakes, just don't believe it is possible in a emergency situation even with tons of practice.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParaMud View Post
Do you think you were using the front brake to its full potential? Think you could have used it more?

It does also depend on the bike you were on.

Ill brake (or is it break getting a bit confused now lol) It down for different bikes.

My KLR, front brake is not very good, so I have to use the rear brake to slow also.
SV650: I Don't use the rear brake at all
Monster 695: I Don't use the rear brake.

I am not saying I am 100% right, just saying how I see it and am looking for other opinions.
As good as your front brake is you're still going to have to use your rear from time to time.....or crash..or just never ride in slippy conditions.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:07 AM   #13
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I find that also using the rear brake stabilizes the bike when braking.

And like the others said: Learn to use the rear brake too, then practice, practice, practice your emergency braking...before you have an emergency.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:09 AM   #14
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I agree with you. She should be using only the front brake unless she's on a cruiser with a ton of weight on the rear wheel.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:13 AM   #15
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There will never be a right answer for that question.

Tell the beginner to concentrate on best braking with the front brake, ignore the rear brake?
Tell her to concentrate on the front an just lock up the rear, because it's controllable?
Tell her to brake as hard as she can with both brakes, because most beginners not even nearly use the full potential of their brakes?

Every one of these advices is reasonable or not, depending on whom you are talking to. You have to know the person.

On my bike the front brake only does about 85% of the job. I nearly allways use both brakes, no matter what, but then... I have C-ABS and don't have to worry about locking up anything. On a sports bike under good conditions you might ignore the rear brake because you will lift it, on the other hand if you don't (nearly) lift it, there WILL be some traction left on the rear you could use to brake.

I'd go with the advice to allways use both brakes and IF the rear locks up, leave it locked up for the beginners or release it if you have quick reactions and some training.
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