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How Do You Use Your Rear Brake ?


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I cover it and apply very light pressure; in most cases, I probably don't need it. However, I've had those 1 or 2 "oh sh!t" moments where I was extremely glad to have had the additional stopping power AND that I was prepared to use it.

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I generally do not use it, but my foot seems to find it whenever it's needed anyway, like having to stop a bit harder or to tighten the line or whatever. Riding on snow and ice the rear brake is never used, though; I much prefer the front brake when the road is slick.

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It also takes more brain power to focus on using 2 brakes. Riders like Eirik and BLSJDS, who start doing it will get used to it and can incorporate it without taking up as much attention after a while. I haven't used my rear brake on a track, unless I'm testing something like application of rear brakes, so I'd be retarded if I tried to start now.

Some riders (yes even the newer ones) think they shouldn't use it because of the rear lifting off the ground under heavy braking. But really: how many of us are going to get the rear tire off the ground when braking? Most local expert racers could still get some effect from using the rear brake, but it all goes back to that attention thing.

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I ride a Gold Wing and don't race. I use my rear brake ALL the time. Starting slow. Slow u-turns. Scooting around trucks in the parking lot. Riding on gravel (both ends of my commute). I use it FIRST to settle the suspension. With that 66" wheelbase, linked ABS, rear bags and trunk, and a passenger, I can and MUST use my rear brake to get maximum stopping power. I've only locked the rear brake once on a big touring bike, that was during an emergency stop on my Voyager.

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  • 1 month later...

Only use the back brake when negotiating heavy traffic, filtering etc then I have a hand on the throttle, hand on the clutch, foot on brake and foot on gear shift - no one gets left out!

My track bike still has the original pads in after 4 years of track days and my main roadbike has the same rear pads it came with 50,000 miles ago.

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Could someone go over the physics of how the rear brake would help "settle" the bike under braking?

 

I am kinda pulling this out of my a**, (there seems to be a number if physicists on here that could maybe clarify) but, does it have something to do with better connecting the bike with the rotating mass of the rear wheel. Maybe something with the direction the wheel is moving in relation to the sprung mass? Yeah? Even close? I'm def interested in learning this if someone has an answer.

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I don't use my rear brake on the track at all. I use it in the city at low speeds, stopping for red lights, and on gravel.

 

Kai

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Many world class racers wear out rear brakes for each meeting as they use the rear brake to also modulate power. A bit beyond my capacity.

 

 

 

 

Ben Spies has his rear brake rigged up on the handlebars as a thumb pusher , I had seen it somewhere , will try to dig it out

 

 

 

 

Could someone go over the physics of how the rear brake would help "settle" the bike under braking?

 

I am kinda pulling this out of my a**, (there seems to be a number if physicists on here that could maybe clarify) but, does it have something to do with better connecting the bike with the rotating mass of the rear wheel. Maybe something with the direction the wheel is moving in relation to the sprung mass? Yeah? Even close? I'm def interested in learning this if someone has an answer.

 

 

 

 

Im just a student but here you go (its in chinese but i think the pictures are pretty universal)

 

http://tw.myblog.yah...rticle?mid=6877

 

 

the picture i attached also tries to explain why timing and using of the back brake before the front brake gives a geometry advantage VS front and back in tandem, imho YMMV thou

 

 

:)

post-17461-0-78369100-1335468115_thumb.jpg

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Yes. Applying the rear brake moments before the front brake will lower the bike, making it harder to do a stoppie. This again will allow you to stop harder.

 

Doohan introduced the thumb operated rear brake to GP racing, a feature that was soon copied by others. While Doohan had to use his thumb due to restricted movement of his right foot, he never understood why healthy people would want a thumb operated rear brake - he said he'd use a regular, foot operated brake if he could.

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Yes. Applying the rear brake moments before the front brake will lower the bike, making it harder to do a stoppie. This again will allow you to stop harder.

 

Doohan introduced the thumb operated rear brake to GP racing, a feature that was soon copied by others. While Doohan had to use his thumb due to restricted movement of his right foot, he never understood why healthy people would want a thumb operated rear brake - he said he'd use a regular, foot operated brake if he could.

 

IMHO Im guessing feedback and modulation is better from the hands.

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I still surprise myself by how often I apply the rear brake without thinking - after 32 years of riding I find myself finding the rear brake automatically if I need to stop unexpectedly in a hurry, if I feel like tightening my line a bit, if it's awkward to use the front brake for whatever reason (at low speeds). This just happens automatically as I generally don't use the rear brake. I even manage to find it on bikes where it's in an uncomfortable position without the action entering my mind.

 

As to the thumb brake being easier to modulate, I think that must be an individual thing. The brake will have to be fitted either to the throttle/brake side or the clutch side, meaning those hands are already busy modulating other things. Adding a thumb brake doesn't sound ideal to me. And a well sorted normal rear brake allow a lot of stopping power while being easy to modulate. The rear drum on the VT500 is superb (although hardly up for racing use); strong power yet difficult to lock up. The disc on the CB400 has virtually no power, although it will go from barely slowing to locking the wheel without much notice.

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Yes. Applying the rear brake moments before the front brake will lower the bike, making it harder to do a stoppie. This again will allow you to stop harder.

 

Doohan introduced the thumb operated rear brake to GP racing, a feature that was soon copied by others. While Doohan had to use his thumb due to restricted movement of his right foot, he never understood why healthy people would want a thumb operated rear brake - he said he'd use a regular, foot operated brake if he could.

 

IMHO Im guessing feedback and modulation is better from the hands.

 

Bingo. wink.gif

 

If you need a high level of fine, accurate control - how would you get a better feeling? Hands up who has better feeling in the bottom of their foot than in their fingers?

 

But as far as using the rear brake to reduce wheelies exiting turns... Hhmmm... seems kinda daft to me? I have always thought why not just use the same control that caused the wheelie in the first place - throttle? It makes sense to me that it would be ideal to leave the brakes to do what they're designed for (to reduce speed). Especially after watching this:

(Starting at around 6:55.)

 

(Great series if you haven't seen it, first part is here:

I think part 14 here is the final one, some more great stuff at the end of this one about using the clutch to control wheelies and stop the bike from sliding out of a turn:
)

 

 

As far as the recommendation in Twist to leave the rear brake alone, if memory serves it also goes on to say that on the track you don't stop until you're back in the pits. wink.gif Which sets the context. What's the point in using $3 of your attention for a 5% braking increase? (To use some numbers to illustrate the point.) Better to use more attention on the front brake, and use it effectively to maximum. Because I will bet that if you're thinking about using the rear brake, you're not using the front brake to the max.

 

For street riding, especially riding at slow speed it's a completely different story. I will always use the rear brake alone for things like u-turns, starting on hills, etc. Reason being that if you need to make a quick reaction and stop suddenly, the tendency would be to slam on the brake. If you're using the front brake it will be easy to lock it and drop the bike. But if you lock the rear it will slide, but would take something fairly major to make you drop the bike (compared to how easy you can drop the bike by locking the front).

 

Eirik, your mention about using rear brake to tighten a line is interesting... how do you think that works? Have you ever come across any supporting explanation for that?

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