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Rear Brake


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I use the rear brake mainly when I'm posing in the pits (writing tank notes), as the pit exit isn't aways level. Same for when stopped at traffic lights.

 

Other than that, the only other regular time I use the rear brake is on the back straight of Broadford. As it drops over a crest the front wheel lifts, I then use the rear brake to bring the front wheel down.

 

Cheers!

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My rear brake is used for scrutineering and wheelies only.

Although yesterday some moron in a Mazda shot out in front of me and stopped. Had a pillion on the back and therefore could get away with a little light rear brake along with howling the front, but this may not even be possible on something more modern than my RD350LC. I suspect the new sportbikes which carry the pillion very high would still transfer just about all the weight onto the front in this situation.

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I use the back brake in three instance:

1. If I ever go off the track into the dirt it's rear brake time. I don't touch the front brake. The back brake won't highside in the grass like it will on the asphalt and the slides are much easier to control either for slowing down/turning or laying the bike down in a somewhat controlled manner.

 

2. I also use it for balance at sub walking speeds - like trials riders do.

 

3. When I'm on my street bike and have a passenger and need to do emergency braking. The interesting thing I found about true emergency braking was that my passenger came out of the seat about 8 inches and started coming around to my front right due to the sudden weight transfer (I started turning to the left too.) That takes a little bit of your concentration away.

 

Other than those specific instances, I don't use the rear brake on street bikes - assuming the front brakes are working. :)

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I just got done reading that racers use more rear brake than people think they do. I also read that Mick Doohan rigged up a thumb operated rear brake when he hurt his right leg. Why would he have done that if he didn't use the rear brake ? I also read that MOST racers set there rear brake level to a setting where no matter how much pressure they apply it will not lock up for the sole purpose of just allowing them to slow.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Yeah I remember one fast guy at a national meeting who was putting grease on his rear disc to stop the thing from locking up

It is true that many pro's use the rear brake. It is also true that most crew chiefs make the rear brake all but inoperable. It's more of crutch than a tool. There are exceptions to that but most of them would be using it off the turn not into or through it.

Will

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I'm curious to hear from an instructor on this one; using the rear brake to settle the front end on acceleration out of a corner. Have I translated the situation correctly? Any RACE instructors care to give away a secret? :rolleyes:

This is one of two ways to control wheel spin. You could let off or stall on the gas and get the rear traction back. Or with the rear brake leave the throttle setting the same and use rear brake to slow the wheel down and get the traction back. All of the current traction control on cars is based on using the brake to slow the spinning tire. Audi took it one step further and uses the inside wheel brakes to help turn the car. For me I just use the throttle. For the most part this tech for bikes came from dirt track Harley's that didn’t' carburate too well so to keep the motor running good the rear brake was a better tool. I haven't to a national dirt track in a few years but the last on I went to was under the lights and several of the guys were running the rear brake hard enough to make it glow red leaving the turns.

Will

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  • 2 weeks later...
I'm curious to hear from an instructor on this one; using the rear brake to settle the front end on acceleration out of a corner. Have I translated the situation correctly? Any RACE instructors care to give away a secret? :rolleyes:

I only use the rear brake if I'm in the dirt.

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  • 5 weeks later...
This group did a very comprehensive study of emergency braking. Good stuff because, unlike many reports I've seen previously, this was done with multiple riders and almost 300 runs.

 

http://www.fmq.qc.ca/pdf/amorce-freinage_eng.pdf

Just browsing through the report they say first that the rear brake helps you stop quicker and then a few pages down that disengaging the clutch and removing all engine braking helps you stop quicker.

Im not sure if I will read more after that contradiction.

Will

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Yes, I noticed that too. Why it exists, I cannot say but it appears the data is there to back it up. I know that when I coached the braking drill that many riders were not closing the throttle at any time while braking and ended up stalling the bike. Maybe that has something to do with it. Allthough they surely would have mentioned that as they seemed to be wanting to test a very specific braking procedure.

 

Another thing I can think of that might explain it is that $10 of attention is being used up by the braking forces and not leaving any for downshifting or worrying about the engine. Hence, as less is being done while braking, braking distance get shorter as shown by their chart.

 

And finally, the chart just may be bogus. As there were 31 runs with downshifting, 35 runs without but clutch engaged, and only 11 runs with the clutch disengaged. The one third less runs could definately skew the numbers in favor of a disengaged clutch.

 

The report is solely focused on panic stops and not brake usage for fast riding. In that light I think it holds up just fine.

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But now your right back to the starting point of it's the skill of the rider using the front brake. If you have to calculate distractions into the equation you surly don't have a skilled enough rider to do the study.

Will

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