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As a track day rider I always use the front brake. I sort of joke to friends that the rear brake is my emergency brake.

 

So yesterday I had a track day and this was the first time I was on my bike in 6 months. It's much faster now since I've put track plastic on it :rolleyes: So I was coming out of the last turn (right hander) on to the long straight at Putnam and some guy passes me on my right and hits me. His tail bumps the front of my bike and something shiny flies off. My bike is OK and he just keeps on going, so I resume accelerating down the track, thinking the part was something off the back of his bike. At the end of the straight it's time to slow down for turn 1 and I suddenly realize that shiny thing was my front brake lever- it's completely gone! So I'm thinking I need to carry more speed trough the turn anyhow but I'm 50mph faster than normal, so I just use my rear brake, rear wheel skipping, but I get slowed down enough to make the turn OK and just continue around the track in 3rd gear with my hand up so I can get off.

 

I never did figure out who did it although another guy came up to me afterwards and was behind both of us and verified the story; he had been run wide by the same guy a few turns earlier.

 

So don't forget about that rear brake, sometimes it comes in handy!

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As a track day rider I always use the front brake. I sort of joke to friends that the rear brake is my emergency brake.

...So don't forget about that rear brake, sometimes it comes in handy!

Stevo;

My second time racing at Loudon I failed tech inspection over my rear brake (or lack thereof). When the CCS Offical said: "you have no rear brake" I laughed and said "I haven't used it in years". he said "what if you crash and break off your front lever, how will a corner worker control your bike?" Fast forward a couple of race weekends and sure enough I crash entering the bowl and break off the brake lever...

 

As you said Stevo they do come in handy on occassions; especially in your case when you no longer had one at speed. Good save BTW!

 

Rainman

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A couple of things strike me:

- you had the presence to think under such stress and use a brake you rarely use

- you didn't get full effect from the brake since you skidded

- and you still made the corner!

 

In other words, you now know that you can brake MUCH deeper than you do and carry mucho more cornering speed. This is a particularly good thing :lol:

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A couple of things strike me:

- you had the presence to think under such stress and use a brake you rarely use

- you didn't get full effect from the brake since you skidded

- and you still made the corner!

 

In other words, you now know that you can brake MUCH deeper than you do and carry mucho more cornering speed. This is a particularly good thing :lol:

 

Just to add up to Eirik, I remember when i was teaching my daughter karting in one session she was way faster that other times and when i asked her, how come you are so fast and i cant overtake you, she replied....."the karting brakes are not working properly.....".

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Rear brake? What the heck is that and where is it? Ha Ha! Sometimes a moment like that can teach us a lot, if we have the presence of mind to pay attention to what is happening, Sounds you both learned something from that,

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A couple of things strike me:

- you had the presence to think under such stress and use a brake you rarely use

- you didn't get full effect from the brake since you skidded

- and you still made the corner!

 

In other words, you now know that you can brake MUCH deeper than you do and carry mucho more cornering speed. This is a particularly good thing :lol:

The thing that was odd for me was I found myself using the rear brake automatically, like I looked down and almost thought "hey, look at me, I'm using the rear brake... who did that!?". I was (pleasntly) surprised that I didn't have to think about it, it was an instinct. Afterwards other guys talked about downshifting which I did not think of at all. Strange. But it was unnerving as the only time I've crashed at this track was running wide, but I was a new rider and going down the straight I looked down and my tach was at aero and the red light was on- my engine wasn't running and my mind was sort of going "ummm... umm..." and went wide into the wet grass. (My only working theory on that one was that I had bumped the engine kill switch when shifting somehow.)

 

But yes I took the corner probably the best of the day. I've been struggling in general because last year I crashed twice (the only two times other than the one mentioned above) by having the rear slide out and I'm not sure why, so I'm dealing with the strong tendency to not want to lean the bike over.

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Wow, this is a good reminder to not forget all the tools at our disposal. I just finished the CSS 2-day camp at NOLA, and honestly I never thought of the rear brake even one time over the two days. The rear brake may not be our most preferred braking option but that's no good reason to discard it altogether.

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This got me thinking about an article I read about Honda's ABS, I think the front and rear brake actuation is interlocking, so just using the front only applied some rear and vice versa. Does anyone know more about this, if that is true? I suppose that would come in handy in the extremely rare chance one of your levers is broken.

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Honda's LBS, linked brake system. They featured a linked system back on the 1100 Gold Wing in 1983, but that was more akin to Guzzi's system. LBS came IIRC in 1989 on the CBR1000F, but I could be wrong on this account. Anyway, what it does on most bikes is interlink two rear brake pistons and one on each of the front discs/calipers operated by the rear brake. The front brake will operate the remaining 2 pistons omn each disc up front plus the remaining piston on the rear. If you have double-acting calipers multiply all by two.

 

The good thing is, like you say, that you will always be able to stop with about 80% power. But there are instances where they are not so good. You cannot get maximum performance from the front discs without also getting full effect from the rear. You cannot use the rear brake to tighten your line a little or to reduce wheelspin because you will also apply the front binders, something most will be reluctant to do during hard cornering. And using the rear brake to modulate speed during U-turns and tight slalom also becomes nearly impossible since the front is activated every time as well.

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... some guy passes me on my right and hits me. His tail bumps the front of my bike and something shiny flies off.

 

Well that's not very good manners for a track day!

At least you'll know for next time - that's when you get all defensive and elbows come out! laugh.giftongue.gif

 

 

Anyway - that was not what I was expecting to find in this thread! If you liked riding without a front brake, I reckon you should give flat track a go!

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Anyway - that was not what I was expecting to find in this thread! If you liked riding without a front brake, I reckon you should give flat track a go!

Maybe doing that "no brakes" drill was useful after all :lol:

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  • 7 years later...

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