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Thread: Braking

  1. #101
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    Default Re: Braking

    Tap the brake slightly and then brake fully will help reduce skidding. In a panic situation, it might be tougher to do it. As someone mentioned earlier, practicing it to make it a muscle memory, you can use it in panic situations too. But it will be difficult for majority of people. I ride an Activa as everyone knows how worse it can skid. I use 50% of the brake and release the brake to avoid wheel lock-up and then apply it fully.

  2. #102
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    Default Re: Braking

    Quote Originally Posted by s3thu View Post
    Tap the brake slightly and then brake fully will help reduce skidding. In a panic situation, it might be tougher to do it. As someone mentioned earlier, practicing it to make it a muscle memory, you can use it in panic situations too. But it will be difficult for majority of people. I ride an Activa as everyone knows how worse it can skid. I use 50% of the brake and release the brake to avoid wheel lock-up and then apply it fully.
    Indeed a good technique for the non-geared bike, else the best way is to drop gears to slow down and still have control over the bike.
    For a non-geared bike, I also believe having a proportional split in the rear and the front brake is also very important. (60-40)

    ----consecutive posts auto-merged-----

    I also believe having a proportional split in the rear and the front brake is very important too (60-40).
    But I recently had a discussing with a friend who is quite an avid motorcyclists and rides on the track and mentioned that they stress more on using the front brakes than the rear brakes (Basically do not follow the 60-40 braking ration). Is this true and if yes can anyone help me to understand this?

  3. #103
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    Default Re: Braking

    Quote Originally Posted by Pancham Hegishte View Post
    Indeed a good technique for the non-geared bike, else the best way is to drop gears to slow down and still have control over the bike.
    For a non-geared bike, I also believe having a proportional split in the rear and the front brake is also very important. (60-40)

    ----consecutive posts auto-merged-----

    I also believe having a proportional split in the rear and the front brake is very important too (60-40).
    But I recently had a discussing with a friend who is quite an avid motorcyclists and rides on the track and mentioned that they stress more on using the front brakes than the rear brakes (Basically do not follow the 60-40 braking ration). Is this true and if yes can anyone help me to understand this?
    Tapping the brake, then letting off and then re-braking is pretty much pointless. You aren't accomplishing anything, and are wasting time that could be used to slow you down. Rather than tapping once, then re-applying, learn to smoothly apply the brakes from the start. Use only two or three fingers on the brake lever, ease into the brake, squeeze harder once you start to slow, then ease off at the end. Brakes essentially convert your kinetic energy (forward motion) into heat, and they convert it at a constant rate. As you slow down, that rate becomes a larger percentage of the remaining energy, so if you don't ease off at the end there will come a point where the amount of energy the brake removes becomes 50% of what's left, then 100%, and you stop abruptly. So when applying pressure on the lever, think of a bell curve where the vertical axis is the amount of pressure on the lever, and the horizontal is time.


    Proportional brake systems are a come-and-go fad on bikes. They are helpful for less experienced riders, particularly those who have a habit of using only the pedal rather than the lever on the handlebars. They are also useful on large, heavy sport-touring and full touring bikes that weigh so much that the rear wheel never really unweights.

    However, your rider friend is correct that a split system where the front brake can be used exclusively is far more effective. On a motorcycle, the front brake provides at least 70% of the braking capacity of the bike, and that goes up depending on how hard you're braking. It can reach 100% in emergency stops, as the rear wheel lifts completely off the ground. Many riders are scared of the front brake, because they have heard false stories about how using the front brake can cause the bike to flip. It is important to point out that this is unlikely even for superbikes that have huge twin rotors on the front. Bikes with smaller brakes can still lift the rear wheel, and on the typical tiny Indian bike, with a good front brake you can probably pull off a respectable "Stoppie", but unless you freeze during the stoppie and forget to lean back it's unlikely your bike will fall over much less flip.

    The best way to understand your bike's braking capabilities is to go out and do some practice. Find a long empty stretch of road, or a clean, well-paved parking lot with no obstructions, and experiment. Start with normal stops from moderate speeds. As you get comfortable, try doing harder braking. Once you get a better feel for how the bike brakes, step up the speed a little, and try for shortened braking distances. As an example, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation beginner course requires that you be able to stop from about 50km/h in less than 30 feet in order to pass the course. Also remember that your bike's tires do not have the amount of road contact that a car's tires do. You cannot safely turn and brake at the same time, so it might be useful to throw in some swerves, where you pretend that something has suddenly obstructed your path, and you need to both avoid the obstacle and come to a stop.
    Pancham Hegishte likes this.
    ATGATT: All The Gear, All The Time!

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    Put the phone away, put your helmet on, and ride!

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  4. #104
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    Default Re: Braking

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mountain View Post
    Tapping the brake, then letting off and then re-braking is pretty much pointless. You aren't accomplishing anything, and are wasting time that could be used to slow you down. Rather than tapping once, then re-applying, learn to smoothly apply the brakes from the start. Use only two or three fingers on the brake lever, ease into the brake, squeeze harder once you start to slow, then ease off at the end. Brakes essentially convert your kinetic energy (forward motion) into heat, and they convert it at a constant rate. As you slow down, that rate becomes a larger percentage of the remaining energy, so if you don't ease off at the end there will come a point where the amount of energy the brake removes becomes 50% of what's left, then 100%, and you stop abruptly. So when applying pressure on the lever, think of a bell curve where the vertical axis is the amount of pressure on the lever, and the horizontal is time.


    Proportional brake systems are a come-and-go fad on bikes. They are helpful for less experienced riders, particularly those who have a habit of using only the pedal rather than the lever on the handlebars. They are also useful on large, heavy sport-touring and full touring bikes that weigh so much that the rear wheel never really unweights.

    However, your rider friend is correct that a split system where the front brake can be used exclusively is far more effective. On a motorcycle, the front brake provides at least 70% of the braking capacity of the bike, and that goes up depending on how hard you're braking. It can reach 100% in emergency stops, as the rear wheel lifts completely off the ground. Many riders are scared of the front brake, because they have heard false stories about how using the front brake can cause the bike to flip. It is important to point out that this is unlikely even for superbikes that have huge twin rotors on the front. Bikes with smaller brakes can still lift the rear wheel, and on the typical tiny Indian bike, with a good front brake you can probably pull off a respectable "Stoppie", but unless you freeze during the stoppie and forget to lean back it's unlikely your bike will fall over much less flip.

    The best way to understand your bike's braking capabilities is to go out and do some practice. Find a long empty stretch of road, or a clean, well-paved parking lot with no obstructions, and experiment. Start with normal stops from moderate speeds. As you get comfortable, try doing harder braking. Once you get a better feel for how the bike brakes, step up the speed a little, and try for shortened braking distances. As an example, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation beginner course requires that you be able to stop from about 50km/h in less than 30 feet in order to pass the course. Also remember that your bike's tires do not have the amount of road contact that a car's tires do. You cannot safely turn and brake at the same time, so it might be useful to throw in some swerves, where you pretend that something has suddenly obstructed your path, and you need to both avoid the obstacle and come to a stop.
    This was an amazing explanation. Thank you so much for your time and effort for this. I have in fact forwarded this message of your in my group too. It's true that most of us are just scared to use the front brakes as we have heard these stories of how the bikes can flip. I have been trying this often, especially during short rides in the Ghats. While I am much able to control the bike with the brake (front), I also use the gears to control the bike.

    So typically before I enter the corner I slow down, while on a straight patch and the lean for the corner, to avoid over-shooting at the corner, however at times I am unable to judge the depth of the corner which requires me to brake while I have already in it, which is when I need brakes to correct myself.
    The only thing that makes my confidence go down is feeling that the bike might slip if I apply the brakes inappropriately during the turn. But I understand that only practise will help me better my cornering skills. Thank you once again for the detailed explanation.

  5. #105
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    Default Re: Braking

    Quote Originally Posted by Pancham Hegishte View Post
    This was an amazing explanation. Thank you so much for your time and effort for this. I have in fact forwarded this message of your in my group too. It's true that most of us are just scared to use the front brakes as we have heard these stories of how the bikes can flip. I have been trying this often, especially during short rides in the Ghats. While I am much able to control the bike with the brake (front), I also use the gears to control the bike.

    So typically before I enter the corner I slow down, while on a straight patch and the lean for the corner, to avoid over-shooting at the corner, however at times I am unable to judge the depth of the corner which requires me to brake while I have already in it, which is when I need brakes to correct myself.
    The only thing that makes my confidence go down is feeling that the bike might slip if I apply the brakes inappropriately during the turn. But I understand that only practise will help me better my cornering skills. Thank you once again for the detailed explanation.

    The braking and cornering sequence is one of the core skills in motorcycling. As noted, you really shouldn't brake while cornering. This is because the tire contact patch is so small on a motorcycle, and when cornering you're using virtually all of the available friction to corner. Additionally, braking while cornering can do funny things to the handling even if you are able to maintain traction; some bikes "stand up" while braking in a corner, while others "fall in". For all practical purposes, you should (as you observed) do all of your braking before you enter the corner; ideally you should actually accelerate gently through the corner, and you should endeavor to make the corner as sharp as possible. Unlike when driving a car, where it's better to round off the corner so you can maintain speed, on a bike you should try to sharpen the corner, so you can get turned and back upright as soon as possible and get back on the throttle. You want to spend as little time leaned over as possible.

    The sequence is:

    1. Brake as you approach the corner while downshifting to the gear you want to be in as you go through the corner, and scan the corner to make sure there's nothing like sand/gravel/oil that could cause you to go down; let off the brake just before initiating your turn
    2. At this point countersteer firmly (look this up to make sure you understand it; it will seem counterintuitive at first) to start the turn, and turn your head and eyes so you're looking at where you want to be once you're done cornering. You've already determined that the pavement is clean, so you don't need to be looking at the road now, and can focus on where you're going to be. Gently roll into the throttle just a bit, so you're very slightly accelerating. This will provide additional stability.
    3. The countersteer will push the bike over, and you will carve through the corner. Don't be afraid to lean the bike; unless your tires are really worn the bike will maintain traction even when the footpeg is dragging on the pavement (just be careful not to drag the peg too much, you can lift the rear wheel and that will just ruin your day).
    4. As you complete the corner and start to stand the bike up, roll on the throttle, increasing as the bike becomes more and more vertical until you're back at speed and traveling straight again.


    Turning your head and looking at your exit while cornering rather than fixating on the road right in front of you will help you to not feel like you overshot the corner. Your bike can actually corner at a higher speed than you think, but if you are only looking right in front of you, you'll feel like you're going too fast, and you'll freak out and not be able to force yourself to make the turn. By doing a quick scan of the corner before you hit it, you can ensure that the pavement is clean, and can focus your attention on your exit. It takes some practice, and you have to trust your bike; it's a weird feeling at first but you'll get used to it.
    srikany, rideon74 and WindPacer like this.
    ATGATT: All The Gear, All The Time!

    Current bike: Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere

    Put the phone away, put your helmet on, and ride!

    Scooters are like fat girls: fun to ride, but embarrassing if your friends see you with one.

  6. #106
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    Default Re: Braking

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mountain View Post
    The braking and cornering sequence is one of the core skills in motorcycling. As noted, you really shouldn't brake while cornering. This is because the tire contact patch is so small on a motorcycle, and when cornering you're using virtually all of the available friction to corner. Additionally, braking while cornering can do funny things to the handling even if you are able to maintain traction; some bikes "stand up" while braking in a corner, while others "fall in". For all practical purposes, you should (as you observed) do all of your braking before you enter the corner; ideally you should actually accelerate gently through the corner, and you should endeavor to make the corner as sharp as possible. Unlike when driving a car, where it's better to round off the corner so you can maintain speed, on a bike you should try to sharpen the corner, so you can get turned and back upright as soon as possible and get back on the throttle. You want to spend as little time leaned over as possible.

    The sequence is:

    1. Brake as you approach the corner while downshifting to the gear you want to be in as you go through the corner, and scan the corner to make sure there's nothing like sand/gravel/oil that could cause you to go down; let off the brake just before initiating your turn
    2. At this point countersteer firmly (look this up to make sure you understand it; it will seem counterintuitive at first) to start the turn, and turn your head and eyes so you're looking at where you want to be once you're done cornering. You've already determined that the pavement is clean, so you don't need to be looking at the road now, and can focus on where you're going to be. Gently roll into the throttle just a bit, so you're very slightly accelerating. This will provide additional stability.
    3. The countersteer will push the bike over, and you will carve through the corner. Don't be afraid to lean the bike; unless your tires are really worn the bike will maintain traction even when the footpeg is dragging on the pavement (just be careful not to drag the peg too much, you can lift the rear wheel and that will just ruin your day).
    4. As you complete the corner and start to stand the bike up, roll on the throttle, increasing as the bike becomes more and more vertical until you're back at speed and traveling straight again.


    Turning your head and looking at your exit while cornering rather than fixating on the road right in front of you will help you to not feel like you overshot the corner. Your bike can actually corner at a higher speed than you think, but if you are only looking right in front of you, you'll feel like you're going too fast, and you'll freak out and not be able to force yourself to make the turn. By doing a quick scan of the corner before you hit it, you can ensure that the pavement is clean, and can focus your attention on your exit. It takes some practice, and you have to trust your bike; it's a weird feeling at first but you'll get used to it.
    Very Well Explained @The Mountain This is what i was Looking forward to. I have few more things that bother me. While braking and speed retardation are almost the same, I want to understand that in a situation that occurs almost everytime I ride in Indian roads, there are way too many obstacles on the road and especially on a single lane it becomes twice that. I first slow down for a pot hole and before I can recover from it there is an autowala or a cab crossing either with or without signal and just to escape them I brake again and swerve only to encounter another biker or passerby squeeze through the gap. Its almost like a pumping action for the brakes or tap and release here. To do just such an action almost multiple times is in itself a surplus task and to top it off by concentrating on the road gives an edge on my riding skills. Most of my ride now a days comes to one such panic situation in a days ride for me. My point being that, is there an efficient way to brake or slow down and I want to ask if my situation which demands to keep having to pull clutch for the constant upshifts and downshifts and keep braking in city peak hour traffic effect the brakes and clutch plate too much. I know i may be asking for a solution to a situation that is inevitable in day to day rides, but is there a proper way to ride sanely in such conditions. Plus another basic question is (I may be stupid for an obvious answer) how does tyre pressure affect your braking. lower tyre pressure higher contact patch= Good braking or optimum pressure = optimum braking. How often should i check my tyre pressure to stay in the ideal riding and optimum braking condition? Please ignore my stupidity and please do give a solution guys?

  7. #107
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    Default Re: Braking

    The only way to deal with the kind of obstacles you're talking about, is to learn to anticipate. You have to be able to look farther down the road, and to be able to extrapolate what things will do. This, again, is something taught in the US Motorcycle Safety Foundation beginner course. They show you pictures, and you have to identify the potential hazards so you can prepare yourself (the car waiting at a side street intersection, the child playing with a ball near the road, the pothole, the oncoming truck).

    The best analogy I can give is to the "Sherlock Holmes" movie with Robert Downey Jr. where you can hear his thoughts as he thinks through everything that's about to happen in the next few minutes of some action scene. So you have to become Sherlock Holmes in a way, and look at what you're about to come up to, and think "ok, that pothole ahead means I have to shift closer to the center of the road, but there's an autorickshaw about to make a U-turn there, so I need to either slow down, or move to pass behind him if he turns early; once I'm past him, I'll have to deal with that buda on the bicycle who is wobbling along in the middle of the lane, and avoid that idiot who is almost certainly going to pull onto the road from the shoulder without even looking to see if anyone's coming" etc etc.

    This is again why it's important to be mentally "riding" about 150 meters further down the road than where you are. Humans aren't evolved (yet) to make split-second decisions fast enough to pilot a motor vehicle reactively. You have to be proactive, like playing chess; plan your ride several moves ahead so you have time to make all the decisions necessary to get through a complicated maneuver. There will always be something you didn't anticipate, but if you've already figured out what to do with the things you *can* anticipate, you won't be overwhelmed by the one thing you couldn't.
    rideon74 and AbiRam like this.
    ATGATT: All The Gear, All The Time!

    Current bike: Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere

    Put the phone away, put your helmet on, and ride!

    Scooters are like fat girls: fun to ride, but embarrassing if your friends see you with one.

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