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 Motorcycle Safety
 Sharing of Lessons Learned
 Braking while driving downhilll
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Male Starting Member
1 Posts

Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai



Posted - 02/19/2016 :  10:28 PM                       Like
After 30+ years of riding a motorcycle over here in Asia, I just wanted to share a hard lesson learned for others like me. On my very first day of riding, 30+ years ago, I was forced onto gravel - at a fortunately slow speed - and to brake when a biker pulled out in front of me. I instinctively grabbed the front brake lever, and immediately went down, causing a bad scrape on my arm. After that I became quite leery of using the front brake, and have used the rear pedal brake almost exclusively. Unfortunately, two weeks ago I was riding downhill on a long, narrow mountain road in rural Thailand, all the while unconsciously riding the rear brake. When a very steep section suddenly appeared, with a sharp curve ahead, I suddenly realised that my rear brake was totally "gone".

Male Moderator
1484 Posts

Evanston, IL



Posted - 02/20/2016 :  8:12 AM
Practice braking. It may be your most important developed skill. http://www.lazymotorbike.eu/tips/braking/#grip
You've already experienced to folly of riding the brake.

The front brake is vital on pavement as it provides anywhere from 70% to 100% of braking power depending on conditions. Your gravel experience might have been unsavable once you were on it. Both situations needed to be avoided earlier in the process. Good braking technique to get out of the position where you could be forced off the road in the first case was one possibility. The second situation was all rider error.
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Male Junior Member
33 Posts

perry, ga


shadow aero

Posted - 02/21/2016 :  7:20 PM
In that article where it talks about braking in a turn or corner it says to push the bike into the corner with your outside knee. I don't think that's good advice.
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Male Moderator
1484 Posts

Evanston, IL



Posted - 02/22/2016 :  8:21 AM
I have a couple of issues with the article. Using the rear brake first is another. By and large though, it will improve the average rider's chances.
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Advanced Member
1716 Posts

Stratford, CT



Posted - 02/22/2016 :  3:34 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Practice braking for sure, and using both brakes. That "instinctively" grabbing the front brake, will be replaced with "instinctively" applying the brakes in a manner consistent with available traction.

On a long downhill, use lower gears to maintain speed. The engine braking helps a lot, with short braking periods if engine braking is not sufficient.

I'd suggest the Safety Tips here (the pink button), especially braking tips.

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Senior Member
258 Posts

Newbury, Berkshire
United Kingdom



Posted - 02/23/2016 :  1:21 AM
Train yourself that if you grab the front brake - possible as a panic action however skilled you are - then your next action is to release the lever and reapply, this time as a squeeze.

Use the 'firm handshake' as a guide!
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