Stop, stop, stop…Holy crap!!!
Learning to use your brakes , and I mean REALLY LEARN takes practice. In our coaching sessions we work on braking skills a lot. For some of our clients they are boring and overly repetitive but you have to be truly skilled at understanding your brakes in order to be comfortable when you’re riding. We test the limits of your braking..we go to what we call ‘Threshold Braking’…right to the point of losing traction but not.
Those that we work with have gotten used to hearing “it’s all about feel” and it is so true. Good braking skills are all about “squeeze” the brake don’t grab it. We work with the power of the front brake and also the value using your rear brake, even though some think the rear brake is as valuable as putting a used CD on the rear wheel. We start with exercises that use the front brake only and we measure your stopping distance from about 20 MPH, then we measure the distance using your rear brake only. I love the looks on riders faces when they see how much farther they go until stopping. Then, we practice using both brakes and the looks on their faces and shortness of braking space needed is amazing.
Next is pushing you harder on the brakes until you start to feel (just start) the feel of the tire losing traction. This is all done in a straight line at around 20 mph. Again, front tire then back tire. It’s good practice and a skill and feel you should practice regularly. The key again is to keep your head up and your eyes out, look where you’re going!
Now comes braking in a curve. Most motorcycle accidents happen due to going into a corner too fast or…what a rider thinks is too fast and panic sets in. So the key here is get your braking done before the curve or know how to use your brakes through the curve to manage your speed.
We all know that you’re not supposed to use your front brake in a curve. In a slow speed event absolutely, that is when your rear brake is a good friend but..in a higher speed corner having the feel of your front brake you can use both and things work out just fine provided you do one thing. Keep looking at where you are going follow the exit point through the corner, and have a soft feel.This is called ‘Trail Braking’. Being in the proper gear and managing your throttle allows you to manipulate your front brake and your rear brake. As you accelerate through the corner the front brake is off and the rear brake helps you mange your speed.
That’s it for today, if you have any other questions about braking feel free to call or email
ride safe, ride far and I’ll see you on the road
Motorcycle Coaching 101.net