One Finger On the Front Brake? Wait: all the time?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by CaliKarl, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. CaliKarl

    CaliKarl Been here awhile

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    I've been told to keep one finger on the front brake at all times while riding off pavement. Well, easier said than done. My hands just cannot make that happen. I'll look into getting different levers and/or bars, but is it sufficient to keep that finger close and ready instead of resting on the lever? Thanks for your input.
    #1
  2. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    Depends on how much too fast you ride ?.

    Ride like me and the same amount of coverage I use on road is enough, possibly covering the brake if I hit something unexpected.

    Riding in trees or similar I can certainly recommend it. You lose about a second and a half moving that finger ?. The point of riding with the brake covered is that you get a reflex 'clench' when 'oh shit!' happens, you'll have the front brake starting to work before you are aware of the hazard - by the time brain takes over and it can decide whether you need more brake or less you may have already saved yourself from a crash.

    Pete
    #2
  3. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

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    Many of us old school riders also cover the clutch lever with two fingers, we grew up riding two strokes singles which had a nasty habit of seizing up at the wrong moment.

    Sent from my SM-T211 using Tapatalk
    #3
  4. Anonawesome

    Anonawesome Scenic Rider

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    One finger won't do much for my brake. Mountain biking has taught me to use 2. It's just something you have to force into your head until you don't think about it. But like he said, it isn't really necessary unless you're riding hard.
    #4
  5. fast1075

    fast1075 Fasterizer

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    +1 on the clutch bush pilot. Not only old dirt riders, but old drag racers.
    #5
  6. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    I need 2. They have the side-benefit of helping isolate throttle input from elbow motion -- with 2 fingers on the brake I can stand and sit and move forward and back and the fingers help steady the throttle no matter where my shoulder/elbow/wrist are.
    I had trouble at first too. Try it for 5 minutes at a time, then 10, then more . . . .
    #6
  7. dondesmo

    dondesmo Senior Squid

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    One finger on the front brake lever all the time, pavement or dirt.
    #7
  8. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    Not "on the ...Brake" But over the brake lever YES, ALL the time. (on road OR off) :D
    #8
  9. Idle

    Idle Been here awhile

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    One resting on the brake and two resting on the clutch in the dirt (straight fingers.) Two on the brake for tarmac.

    In cold weather I try not to touch the levers, I just hover above them.
    #9
  10. enduro Dan

    enduro Dan Sticks and Stones™..

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    I prefer the middle one. :deal
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  11. DC2wheels

    DC2wheels Castle Anthrax troll

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    Exactly.

    I have always done it- on the road or on dirt- to have better throttle isolation. It gives the rider very fine control of the throttle.

    Anatomically you have finer movement control with your index finger than with your wrist.
    #11
  12. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

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    Meh, Seems silly to me. Never had trouble modulating a throttle, never had trouble getting the brake on. I have had handlebars ripped out of my hands.

    Some folks will complicate the Hell out of everything and tell everyone else that's the correct way to do it.
    #12
  13. Wingfixer

    Wingfixer Watch this...

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    I don't know about this covering the front brake lever. I do cover the rear brake pedal, and the clutch lever if I'm in tight stuff. I have had some nasty offs from that "reflex clench", its a habit I broke after the second time I locked the front at an inopportune time. YMMV
    #13
  14. henshao

    henshao Bained

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    One finger on the cell phone ready to dial 911 all the time.
    #14
  15. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    One finger on the brake and three on the gas, hey
    Well, there's too much traffic, I can't pass, no
    So I tried my best illegal move
    A big black and white come and crushed my groove again

    Go on and write me up for 125
    Post my face, wanted dead or alive
    Take my license, all that jive
    I can't drive 55
    #15
  16. Wingfixer

    Wingfixer Watch this...

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    Great! Now I have that song stuck in my head!
    #16
  17. farqhuar

    farqhuar Human guinea pig

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    Same, but TWO, not one, fingers covering brake and clutch ALL the time.
    #17
  18. henshao

    henshao Bained

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    How do you cover the clutch on a burgman??????
    #18
  19. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    I have ABS that works on my current bikes. But yeah, I know where you are coming from, when it mattered to me my bikes had drum brakes - the ABS you have when you don't have brakes :lol3

    Pete
    #19
  20. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Yup MM does vary and quite significantly from yours I'd say.
    #20