Welcome to VFRDiscussion

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more! This message will be removed once you have signed in.

GP Paul

Rear brake use

Howdy, all!  Quite a while since I've checked in.

 

I took my CBR for fork seal replacement today.  In conversation, tech said that she teaches motorcycle safety and they recommend using rear brake almost exclusively.  Anybody heard of this advice?

I use FRONT almost exclusively - am I wrong?

 

(Shop services hogs mostly...)

Probably discussed before, but I searched.  Honest.

DSC00095 crop.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just take a look at the pic of your bike.

 Huge brakes at the front, tiny brake at the back. 

 

Whaddaya you reckon?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She said sumptin' about stopping too fast(???) and lack of control.  I disagree, just wondering if there's any instructors out there with edjumicated opinions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeepers! Hope she was a good motorcycle tech, and not relying on her skills as an instructor. That advice could not be more wrong.

 

Watch a GP race and check the weight transfer during hard stopping, the rear wheel is usually either skipping or completely off the ground, and all the bike's weight is on the front. At that point, applying the back brake will slow the back wheel but not the bike i.e. it is useless. Lots of racers don't use the back brake at all except for wheelie control. 

 

I'd suggest you take a course (with someone else) or at least check out The Twist of the Wrist book/videos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm no newbie, mate.  30 years riding (so far); no course in my future. 

The thing is, what's the latest INSTRUCTIONAL advice these days.  I know what I like, but what she said seems counterintuitive.  I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt on what the latest professional advice is.  I've heard car instructors are advising some crazy chit these days too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Teaching classes and instructors since the 80's.... Nothing has changed, still about 70% front and 30% rear.... Obviously varies between bikes, sport bikes 90/10, cruisers 70/30, and others in between. Stopping too fast, really ? and which has better control (feel), a hand and fingers or a foot in a boot...... More schools are actually teaching trail braking as well, which has no back brake involved once lean is initiated...

 

This is why Cruisers are over 1/2 of the fatalities in the last 5-6 years. Most do not know how to stop. "Had to lockem up", "Locked er up and slid it out", so much stupid shit....

 

She should be retrained or fired... probably teaches for Harley-Davidson Riders Academy, not an MSF school..... Either way she is doing her students a huge and dangerous disservice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She needs a whack on the side of the head!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, GP Paul said:

I'm no newbie, mate.  30 years riding (so far); no course in my future. 

The thing is, what's the latest INSTRUCTIONAL advice these days.  I know what I like, but what she said seems counterintuitive.  I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt on what the latest professional advice is.  I've heard car instructors are advising some crazy chit these days too.

I'm no newbie either (I have 5 more years on you!). But as Scotty, says " ye cannae change the laws of physics, captain". 

 

I was quite serious about reading or watching A Twist of The Wrist. Now that is a well thought-through and well-reasoned bit of instructional advice. Even an old(er) dog like myself found some new stuff to think about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, GP Paul said:

Howdy, all!  Quite a while since I've checked in.

 

I took my CBR for fork seal replacement today.  In conversation, tech said that she teaches motorcycle safety and they recommend using rear brake almost exclusively.  Anybody heard of this advice?

I use FRONT almost exclusively - am I wrong?

 

(Shop services hogs mostly...)

Probably discussed before, but I searched.  Honest.

DSC00095 crop.jpg

Firstly that's a Great shot of the CBR. BUT that advice on rear brake use will surely KILL you in an emergency situation. Extremely poor advice. By all means get what you can out of the rear, but the front is vitally important. Just two weeks ago I had a Harley rider behind me come off on a 90deg bend, he only applied the rear brake locked up the wheel on the bend and graciously low sided the bike and himself into a ditch. Proper use of front and rear brake just prior to the bend would have easily sorted things out. Good brake proportioning takes practice, ABS is also a great help.

The only time you would exclusively use the rear brake is sharp turning at walking pace.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I kind of use both most of the time in traffic, usually very lightly on the rear. Under hard braking, the rear is easy to lock up when you unload the rear tire. The only time I use more rear than front is idle speed in first or slower and maybe ~12 MPH or slower when in dirt or other slick surfaces (ferry deck, usually, especially when wet).

You WILL NOT be able to brake hard on rear brake alone. I don't know how cruisers are or why they seems to think front brake is evil, but those are the only people I've ever heard that from. Maybe it's the different weight balance, maybe they just can't do anything that isn't ham-fisted. I did lock the front on one before and it seemed like it happened way too easily, but that could have easily been because I wasn't used to the bike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got linked brakes on my bike but from what i understand, its set up to distribute 70% front and 30% rear.  I also downshift letting the clutch help slow the bike as well.  But on linked brake bikes why would the factory set it up this way if it would be wrong.  That instructor needs some instruction.......:goofy: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would question where she teaches motorcycle safety, and then speak with her boss to make sure she quits spewing garbage.

Currently the MSF still teaches both brakes all the time, but MSF is aimed at brand new riders.

Advanced riding schools will teach both brakes while vertical, and racing schools will concentrate more on trail braking to the apex of turns.

 

When the bike is leaned over and the front forks are loaded from using front brake, caution must be used with the rear brake because so much weight has been transferred to the front tire.  A lot of racers are weary of rear brake use because of this, or even mill the rear disc to lessen it's braking efficiency preventing it from locking up and low siding.

 

In general street braking maneuvers, both brakes smoothly, with progressive pressure is still the best way to keep safe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MotoGP posted a couple of videos of different riders with cameras on their right hand and right foot, showing differing braking techniques. One was barely using it, the other was on it a lot. Neither came close to relying on rear only. I realize that I'm talking about racing, but the same rules apply for effective braking and you can throw the anchor just as hard in an emergency.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use the rear brake probably more than the norm by the sounds of it..  I use it to dampen the slow down not loading up the front when it's not necessary, then I use it for most stops under say 15mph in stop and go traffic.  I don't see the need to use the front then.  Then yes in the lose stuff,  I use the rear coming into a parking lot or a blind corner and there's gravel or some sort of road debris, yea rear brake. Then on the fast mountain roads I use the rear in unison with the front, being the rear is used ever so slightly keeps the rear end in place too,  if you know what you're doing it works great.  but to use it as your main braking SMH  shame on her for that  NOT!! you use both as necessary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks very much for input and responses, gang.  I knew I could count on the Vifferati to give sane info.  It all confirms what I thought I knew about braking. 

I'm not losin' my mind!

 

Situation in this town is that the Honda dealer WILL NOT schedule service; they expect you to drop off bike and they will get to it in order.  Last time I asked, it would have been two weeks or more of the bike sitting in the wind, sun, rain, whatever just to get an oil change!  (It was actually 32k service.)  So I've started taking the bike to the only place I've found so far that does schedule.  They do what they say.  So I want to stay on their good side..

 

Again, thanks for responses!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, RVFR said:

I use the rear brake probably more than the norm by the sounds of it..  I use it to dampen the slow down not loading up the front when it's not necessary, then I use it for most stops under say 15mph in stop and go traffic.  I don't see the need to use the front then.  Then yes in the lose stuff,  I use the rear coming into a parking lot or a blind corner and there's gravel or some sort of road debris, yea rear brake. Then on the fast mountain roads I use the rear in unison with the front, being the rear is used ever so slightly keeps the rear end in place too,  if you know what you're doing it works great.  but to use it as your main braking SMH  shame on her for that  NOT!! you use both as necessary.

I'm with you. Pretty much do it your way.  At slow speeds the rear brake is the way to go.  Still allows you to steer the front in tight spots.  I trail brake a lot into tight turns, no rear use.  At the track very rarely use the back brake.  Takes too much concentration and not necessary if you have good front brakes. I think I met her brother years ago.  He was riding a Harley and not only was he not using the front brake, he had completely removed it.  Told me if you use the front brake you will go over the handlebars.  I think he's dead now.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It does seem at this day and age, any safety instructor would have learned the value of front and rear brake and the reason they are usually stated first 'front' then 'rear' as in that sequence more front than rear, for most street riding.  However, the venue this instructor is most likely teaching is a parking lot closed course where everything is controlled and rear brakes can then get a student through the course.  It's no excuse for her misguided advice, but I can understand how she may have become confused.  When I attended an MSF course about 15 years ago, the instructors were leaning toward too heavy of a use of the rear brake than I use, but I was there to spy on them and it didn't make any difference to my attendance objective.

 

Now if she was to clarify under what conditions she prefers rear brakes, such as slow speed maneuvering in wet grass, she may have had a valuable pointer.  On the other hand, depending on the bike and rider even on slick surfaces, there are those who only use front brake and are always under control.  For most of us, I think, the use of more rear brake than front in tight parking lot maneuvers on a slick or gravel surface is preferred.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to teach motorcycle training at a local safety council (similar to MSF course in the USA). We instructed that "it depends". 

 

Cruiser with lots of weight - start with rear and apply front - too much front too soon equals danger but most of the braking is done by the front brakes

Other bikes – start with front brakes and apply equal pressure evenly and continuously (not grab the brake but apply the brakes), rear brakes keep the bike hunkered down on the ground

With ABS – emergency avoidance, use brakes as above, or without avoidance grab and pull them as firmly and fully as possible.

Dirt bikes – more rear until controlled braking happens, then front

 

We also stressed the importance of body position and bracing yourself for braking (especially in emergency situations).

 

Hope that helps.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cant believe this discussion has gone this far without a mention of skill. In normal street riding, you need to develop your braking skill! Be able to use both brakes simultaneously!  Then in a braking situation, be able to judge that you need/want more/less front or more/less rear or neither. Understand what braking of each feels like and how each biases the dynamics of the bike. To teach for the street one first then other is a dis-service. You will be teaching a bad habit. Teach to learn skill!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok and then there's this.... SMH for all you with linked brakes,   LOL you're using the rear too, weather you want to or not.  Just saying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am currently an MSF instructor.  In the basic rider course we teach the students to use both brakes all the time unless you are doing some slow tight turns, then use the back. 

 

i spend a lot of time telling people to squeeze the from brake firmly with increasing pressure as the bikes weight transfers forward.  

 

The rider handbook states that the best way to stop quickly is to use maximum pressure on both brakes WITHOUT locking either wheel.  Definitely takes some practice  to develop that skill.  

 

I have also also heard quite a few stories from people about how they heard that the from brake will make you fly over the handlebars or about how they 'had to lay it down'.  That always makes me shake my head. Crashing to avoid a crash....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's just their excuse because they don't want to admit they couldn't control it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surprisingly, I use my rear brake almost all the time, well any time the front wheel is rotating when I squeeze the front brake lever!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now