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Old 12-11-2012, 11:19 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jim Moore View Post
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.
I wish people would stop saying things like this...

brake...weight shifts forward..forks compress...front tyre profile changes to provide more contact with road so front brakes are more effective..

this simply doesn't happen with the rear brakes..

IMO a heavy cruiser has just as much reason to front wheel brake (in conjuction with the rear) than any other bike.....when the conditions allow it.

As for the newbie choice presented by Wraith...I'm going to go with "none of the above".

Instead I'd teach a newbie to brake properly...front and back, with no locking..and keep teaching until they can manage that before they get let loose on the road. Braking is a fundamental skill.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:26 AM   #17
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Seems silly to me to deny your ANY percentage of your brakes the chance to stop you in an emergency. I use both brakes often, and have found that good use of the rear has led to being quicker on the twisty roads. By splitting the braking between the front and rear, you minimize chassis de-stabalizing, and the bike is better settled and set up for the turn. Only using the front brakes has my bike feeling squirrelly and not at all confidence inspiring. Also I find I often over brake for a corner when only using the front. Using both it is easier to modulate my corner entry speed.

In an emergency braking I also use both brakes and if the rear locks up, it is still controllable.

I would tell the new rider to practice using both brakes so he or she understands and knows how they react. Telling someone to ignore any of their braking potential seems like a bad idea to me. Just my thoughts.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:35 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by pretbek View Post
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.
Pretty much this.

Without writing a full graduate paper on the subject (I'm sure you will have that before too long), both brakes have their uses so ultimately you want to learn to use all the features of the bike, not just some of them. I can understand telling a new rider to just use the front brake until they become competent with it, there is a lot to learn / co-ordinate when you are starting out but after a week I would expect the new rider to be using all the brakes.
In the same way you would introduce more advanced steering inputs as the riders competency grows, the end result you are aiming for is a rider fully capable of getting the best they can from the motorcycle.

In answer to your brake question, I use the rear all the time on every bike, dirt, road and track, it's a great tool, learn to get the best out of it.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:37 AM   #19
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Practice Practice PRACTICE.

Use both and make a habit of doing a few threshold braking maneuvers each and EVERY ride.
“Watch out for everything bigger than you, they have the "right of weight"
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:13 PM   #20
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Hell, I don't even like to use my rear brakes on my car. I use them occasionally though and for deliberate skids they are pretty handy.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:22 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Frostback View Post
Hell, I don't even like to use my rear brakes on my car. I use them occasionally though and for deliberate skids they are pretty handy.

what car have you got?
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:30 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by catweasel67 View Post
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 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.
I'm not going to split hairs with you. 70/30, 65/35,75/25, whatever...The front brake supplies the most stopping power in most any situation and without using any rear brake expect your stopping distance to be longer. Is that better?
But to avoid using the rear brake for fear of locking the rear wheel is just as dumb a reason as avoiding using the front brake for fear of going over the handlebars...

As we slow down it doesn't make a s#*t what you do. Remember, the OP was talking about freeway speeds, not residential road speeds.

Thanks for giving me credit for that "one" thing I got right.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:41 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Wraith Rider View Post
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.
This is the point that everyone else seems to have missed. If your bike will do a "stoppie," as most bikes will, then you can get 100% of your braking power out of your front tire. It's just a matter of learning where that threshold is and being able to stay just under it reliably.

Until your girlfriend becomes an expert at stoppies though, she should be advised to practice emergency stops using both brakes.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:43 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by the Pheasant View Post
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.
And while you're at it, teach her how to downshift while braking. It could save her life.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:09 PM   #25
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I'm really not following your logic that she shouldn't be learning how to use that rear brake in "NEED TO STOP NOW" situations because she may be panicking and over do it.

How do you think she's going to develop the conditioned response (uh oh, I just used a psychological term) required to not lock up that brake in an emergency situation? She has to practice using the rear brake in a firm, progressive manner.

I know other people have said this, but I figured it needed to be repeated one more time for good measure.

In emergency situations you want to stack the cards as heavily in your favor as you can.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:15 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by DAKEZ View Post
Practice Practice PRACTICE.

Use both and make a habit of doing a few threshold braking maneuvers each and EVERY ride.

Because when you really need it, it needs to be automatic.

It's very pleasing to execute a quick stop for a deer or somesuch, and look back on the event a few minutes later and realize you didn't even think about the brakes, you just did it.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:25 PM   #27
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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.
My advice is to stop trying to "Teach" your girlfriend or anyone else you know how to ride a motorcycle. She should seek professional instruction as your advice is totally WRONG, INACCURATE and DANGEROUS to instill in a new rider's head. Please refrain from offering your teachings to any other motorcyclists.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:25 PM   #28
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There is no such thing as a fixed front/rear ratio so in that sense 70/30 is bullshit. But they also put a rear disc on performance bikes for a reason. Until you are actually doing a stoppie, there is still rear braking power left. In normal street riding, people are not doing stoppies.

Personally I believe in approprite use of both brakes. My wife has a tendency to not use the rear brake and I have encouraged her to routinely use it. We ride a lot of dirt roads and contaminated hard surfaces and I don't want her to needlessly wash out the front trying to squeeze it harder to get the bike to stop in time, when she still has back brake capacity left unused.

The way to learn to not lock up the rear is to use the rear enough to get familiar with its characterisitcs, not to not touch it out of fear it will lock up. That's just as bad as the Hardly Dimwitson riders who supposedly are afraid to touch the front brake for fear they'll go over the bars.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:37 PM   #29
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I'm with the OP. The only time I use the rear brake is in dirt, and even then I try to use the front more. The front brake is your friend even off-road.

On the street I'll sometimes use the rear brake on slippery surfaces, but not much. In fact, If I used my rear brake on my old KTM 950 with any pressure, it would boil the brake fluid and be pretty much useless until it was serviced.

Take Daytona coming down from a buck seventy off the tri-oval and into the slow speed T1. You think anybody uses the rear brake?

How about Loudon in the rain into turn 3? Think anybody uses the rear brake?

I think the front brake is the one everybody needs practice with. The rear brake is a crutch.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:38 PM   #30
Isn't this that guy?
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Hmm, why's that there...

they must not use it. Those guys don't know how to ride anyway.
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