Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 82

Thread: Braking - My Take

  1. #1
    Join Date
    13th July 2008 - 20:48
    Bike
    R1200RT LC
    Location
    Rangiora
    Posts
    4,424

    Braking - My Take

    Which brake is the most powerful on the bike? Which is the most stable?

    I don't have a favourite brake. I use both, in different proportions related to the circumstances in play at the time. Lean angle, momentum (speed), necessity, coefficient of surface friction, that sort of stuff.

    I learned a thing or two when I learned to ride, on a CT90 on a farm in Western Southland in the 70's. Wet grass, front brake, down ya go. Get up, brush off the wet grass, off you go again. Front brake, down ya go. What did I learn? Bloody front brake, won't be touching that again.

    I know many people who don't use the back brake at all, because the front brake is the most powerful. This is related to weight transfer arising from monentum.

    I know just as many people who never use the front brake. Perhaps they had an off because they locked the front brake on a low friction surface (like me), perhaps they used the front brake while leaning in a U-turn, and tipped over (also part of my learning journey).

    For example, on gravel at low speed, pulling the front brake on is likely to lock the front wheel due to a low coefficient of surface friction. Especially given the low speed, there's not much weight transfer anyway, and it's likely the back brake can remove the momentum perfectly well. Lock the back wheel on gravel, no biggie. Lock the front, down ya go.

    The other end of the scale is when a plonker pulls out of a side road ahead of you. Assuming there is no escape path, and that an emergency stop is necessary, the front brake is crucial. Applying it progressively will commence the weight of the bike coming off the back wheel, reducing the ability of the rear brake to reduce momentum. The good news is that the weight coming off the back wheel is going onto the front wheel, compressing the suspension, travelling down through the forks, hub and spokes and flexing the sidewallls of the front tyer. If you have the tyre pressues correct, the contact patch speads put as it shpould giving you far better contact with the world, making your stop so much quicker. The back, while it's not removing much momentum, adds to the stability of the stop.

    One thing that is clear is that those folk who only ever use one brake are compromising their riding, and probably their safety. And until the day it goes wrong, they won't even know it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    15th May 2008 - 19:13
    Bike
    Enough that the car lives outside now.
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    1,023
    When I was instructing with ART at Puke and then Hampton Downs in the the group one up from Novice, talking brakes was always fun....as much as trying to get the other instructors to not tell the punters things like "I don't use the rear brake"....we were all mid level racers, and on the track yeah, the rear brake could be a problem...but were weren't a race school and I was trying to get less focus on skilling the punters up to go as fast as possible at the track, as focussing on a lot of the skills that can transfer to assisting their road riding ....I didn't think we were probably equipped to teach road riding so much as focus on the component bike handling techniques they should know and would need. such as line selection, eye sight/head position, counter steer, look where you need to go, effect of body position, peg weight. Generic, make it turn, stop, be more stable.

    When I got to talking about the effect of each brake, it was as much a focus on getting the riders to think about when one may be preferable over the other. My favourite analogy was the front was where the power was, but the rear was like a "sea anchor", gave great stability and added control in awkward situations, wet, slippery, lean etc....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    14th June 2007 - 22:39
    Bike
    Obsolete ones.
    Location
    Pigs back.
    Posts
    5,019
    Sea anchor? I like it.

    I rode for years and never really thought about braking, only in combination with perceived grip. Which in Scotland was more just hope.

    Then one day I got some teaching and started practising. Bugger me! It's astonishing how hard you can brake with a bit of feel for it. Even in the wet.

    From that I started playing at motogymkhana to improve my handling skills and using the brakes to steer. Bugger me. Again.

    Anybody reading the above posts and thinking they got it, they ain't unless practising.

    I've yet to use ABS in anger but looking forward to how effective it is compared to my organic feel.
    Manopausal.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    25th October 2002 - 17:30
    Bike
    GSXR1000
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    8,629
    Blog Entries
    1
    I use both regularly, varying on conditions etc. One 'feeling' I've noticed is a reduced forward pitch due to the rear pulling the bike down slightly, in certain conditions this definitely gives a more stable handling impression.
    http://www.kiwibiker.co.nz/forums/signaturepics/sigpic31_1.gif

  5. #5
    Join Date
    31st March 2005 - 02:18
    Bike
    CB919, 1090R, R1200GSA
    Location
    East Aucks
    Posts
    10,303
    Blog Entries
    140
    But what if you have linked brakes, so when you use one, the bike uses both?

    Or, if you have linked brakes and use the front only, it uses both, but use the rear only, and it only uses the rear?
    What about normal ABS settings with both ends on, vs offroad ABS where rear can be locked (ABS deactivated), but the front is still enabled?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jane Omorogbe from UK MSN on the KTM990SM
    It's barking mad and if it doesn't turn you into a complete loon within half an hour of cocking a leg over the lofty 875mm seat height, I'll eat my Arai.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    25th March 2004 - 17:22
    Bike
    RZ496/Street Triple R/GasGas/ etc etc
    Location
    Wellington. . ok the hutt
    Posts
    18,376
    I find I overuse the rear brake if I've been riding the dirtbike recently. Gave me a scare once on the track 'backing it into' an uphill corner when I wasn't supposed to.

    On the other hand I had a rear brake on old racebike that appeared to work when you checked it but one day I realised it was bottoming on a link so it wasn't actually effective much after walking pace. Could have been like that for ages. On a small light bike you just dont get any retardation from it on track.

    On the road and in the wet I use the rear as well as front. I'd love a thumb brake for the dirtbike rear.

    You only have to practice in a carpark to measure the effectiveness of each brake, and most roadriders make huge decreases in braking distance as they generally are uncalibrated near traction edge. I guess abs evens this out if they can overcome the fear.

    Ironically given my joke in the other thread, I'm sitting here (can't lie down) nursing broken ribs as I was dragging the front a little bit too much and should have used the rear more perhaps. Perhaps. Grass downhills are fickle mistresses when its started raining.
    I've been told. Dreaming`s free.
    Think I'll go, back to sleep.
    Everybody listen, voices in my head
    Everybody listen, do yours say, what mine says?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    13th July 2008 - 20:48
    Bike
    R1200RT LC
    Location
    Rangiora
    Posts
    4,424
    Quote Originally Posted by george formby View Post
    Bugger me! Bugger me. Again.
    Two kind offers, but no.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    14th June 2007 - 22:39
    Bike
    Obsolete ones.
    Location
    Pigs back.
    Posts
    5,019
    Quote Originally Posted by rastuscat View Post
    Two kind offers, but no.
    Bugger me sideways? Mainly rear brake.
    Manopausal.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    13th July 2008 - 20:48
    Bike
    R1200RT LC
    Location
    Rangiora
    Posts
    4,424
    Quote Originally Posted by Gremlin View Post
    But what if you have linked brakes, so when you use one, the bike uses both?

    Or, if you have linked brakes and use the front only, it uses both, but use the rear only, and it only uses the rear?
    What about normal ABS settings with both ends on, vs offroad ABS where rear can be locked (ABS deactivated), but the front is still enabled?
    You and I both know that I was talking about standard, pre ABS bikes, which are still the majority.

    I still apply the same principles to the linked ABS system on the RT. No cornering ABS, but it has traction control. I try to ride the bike so that skill prevents me from having to rely on the technology.

    But I'm still happy to have the technology in case I get it wrong.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    24th November 2015 - 11:20
    Bike
    Suzuki DR650
    Location
    Blenheim and Welly
    Posts
    512
    Quote Originally Posted by rastuscat View Post
    You and I both know that I was talking about standard, pre ABS bikes, which are still the majority.

    I still apply the same principles to the linked ABS system on the RT. No cornering ABS, but it has traction control. I try to ride the bike so that skill prevents me from having to rely on the technology.

    But I'm still happy to have the technology in case I get it wrong.
    A lot of this depends on your biking background too. Dirt bikers tend to use the rear brake a lot (Such as myself) as it has a number of uses on an off road bike. For instance it took me a while to realise that applying the back brake when in the air helped bring the front wheel down - Sounds obvious but it took a number of goes to get the feel for it.

    On the road I've always seen the back brake as a means of 'Sucking' the bike to the road. 'Sea anchor' also covers it pretty well too. Any time there's a twisty road and I want to scrub off a little excess speed going into bends I'll use the back brake. On a bumpy road I'll also use it on the way out of a tight/hairpin bend in order to allow the power to apply more smoothly. This has become even more important in recent years with fuel injected, emissions-friendly bikes' abrupt throttle response. In fact I'll still do this even on bikes with TC as I don't want to rely on the TC as a matter of course.

    The occasional practicing of emergency braking using both is a good idea and is something I'll remember to do more often having read this thread. Of course when riding something such as the m109 brakes assume less importance given the amount of engine braking on offer!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    13th July 2008 - 20:48
    Bike
    R1200RT LC
    Location
    Rangiora
    Posts
    4,424
    Quote Originally Posted by Navy Boy View Post
    A lot of this depends on your biking background too. Dirt bikers tend to use the rear brake a lot (Such as myself) as it has a number of uses on an off road bike. For instance it took me a while to realise that applying the back brake when in the air helped bring the front wheel down - Sounds obvious but it took a number of goes to get the feel for it.

    On the road I've always seen the back brake as a means of 'Sucking' the bike to the road. 'Sea anchor' also covers it pretty well too. Any time there's a twisty road and I want to scrub off a little excess speed going into bends I'll use the back brake. On a bumpy road I'll also use it on the way out of a tight/hairpin bend in order to allow the power to apply more smoothly. This has become even more important in recent years with fuel injected, emissions-friendly bikes' abrupt throttle response. In fact I'll still do this even on bikes with TC as I don't want to rely on the TC as a matter of course.

    The occasional practicing of emergency braking using both is a good idea and is something I'll remember to do more often having read this thread. Of course when riding something such as the m109 brakes assume less importance given the amount of engine braking on offer!
    Yes to all of the above.

    I believe that trail braking is largely a track thing, but I use it myself in steep corners, trailng the rear brake as the sea anchor.

    I don't like to talk about trail braking much, as I'm no expert in it, and don't want to make a dick of myself. (Opportunity for quote supplied).

    Trail braking is a fine art, and most riders I've come across lack the finesse necessary to apply it usefully.

    The track guys are often those who have great skills on the track, which they then apply on the road. Including having not much use for the rear brake. I've seen guys do track days not touching their back brake, then ride home still not touching their back brake, because that is the habit they have formed.

    If I had a favourite I'd say the rear, as it helps my beloved slow speed cone work. Love that stuff, plenty of challenge. Triangle of control between the clutch, throttle and rear brake.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    3rd February 2004 - 08:11
    Bike
    1982 Suzuki GS1100GK, 2008 KLR650
    Location
    Wallaceville, Upper hutt
    Posts
    4,529
    Quote Originally Posted by rastuscat View Post
    The track guys are often those who have great skills on the track, which they then apply on the road. Including having not much use for the rear brake. I've seen guys do track days not touching their back brake, then ride home still not touching their back brake, because that is the habit they have formed.
    Early in Bruce Ansteys career, my brother-in-law made an aluminium rear disk for his (Bruces) TZ250, which was alright because the brake was only ever used in scruitineering, then not touched again
    it's not a bad thing till you throw a KLR into the mix.
    those cheap ass bitches can do anything with ductape.
    (PostalDave on ADVrider)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    13th July 2008 - 20:48
    Bike
    R1200RT LC
    Location
    Rangiora
    Posts
    4,424
    Quote Originally Posted by pete376403 View Post
    Early in Bruce Ansteys career, my brother-in-law made an aluminium rear disk for his (Bruces) TZ250, which was alright because the brake was only ever used in scruitineering, then not touched again
    Wow, who knew. It's the source of the issue.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    8th January 2005 - 15:05
    Bike
    Triumph Speed Triple
    Location
    New Plymouth
    Posts
    9,417
    Blog Entries
    1
    The linked brakes on the VFR worked well. The parking garage where I worked required some tight low speed manoeuvring, normally at that speed braking would be rear brake only. The way the linked brakes worked didn't create a problem.

    As OAB observed when braking at road speed with both brakes the bike doesn't pitch forward so much. The linked braking made the bike feel reassuringly 'planted' (?).

    When Pedrosa and Hayden were both riding for Repsol Honda, Hayden's bike had a larger rear disk. Hayden, probably due to his dirt track background, used his rear brake more than Pedrosa. Of course he had a thinking Kiwi crew chief too.
    There is a grey blur, and a green blur. I try to stay on the grey one. - Joey Dunlop

  15. #15
    Join Date
    13th July 2008 - 20:48
    Bike
    R1200RT LC
    Location
    Rangiora
    Posts
    4,424
    Quote Originally Posted by pritch View Post
    The linked brakes on the VFR worked well. The parking garage where I worked required some tight low speed manoeuvring, normally at that speed braking would be rear brake only. The way the linked brakes worked didn't create a problem.

    As OAB observed when braking at road speed with both brakes the bike doesn't pitch forward so much. The linked braking made the bike feel reassuringly 'planted' (?).

    When Pedrosa and Hayden were both riding for Repsol Honda, Hayden's bike had a larger rear disk. Hayden, probably due to his dirt track background, used his rear brake more than Pedrosa. Of course he had a thinking Kiwi crew chief too.
    The RT has linked brakes, and telelever suspension. Nil form dive, even under having braking. The bike "squats".

    Feeling spoiled.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •