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 How many fingers do you use to cover your levers?
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Sox Fan
Male Senior Member
419 Posts
[Mentor]


Kerhonkson, NY
USA

Suzuki

DL 650
Peer Review: Blocked

Posted - 07/07/2006 :  11:00 AM   DetailDetail                        Like
Poll Question:
Just curious about this; I was thinking about it last night as I rode through a village with my levers covered last night. When you cover your brake lever, how many fingers do you use? I've seen pictures of people using one, two and four fingers. I often use two because I feel I maintain better throttle control, but it occurs to me that I might not get maximum braking power with two fingers as opposed to using all four.

Results:
One finger   [2%] 1 votes 
Two fingers   [67%] 37 votes 
Three fingers   [9%] 5 votes 
Four fingers   [18%] 10 votes 
Cover my levers? What's that for?   [4%] 2 votes 
= Guests (15 votes)


Poll Status: Closed  »»   Total Votes: 55 counted  »»   Last Vote: 07/20/2006 12:11 AM 

Edited by - Sox Fan on 07/07/2006 2:19 PM
Niebor
Ex-Member

Posted - 07/07/2006 :  11:42 AM
Usually two. I can easily lock the wheel with two, and also like a couple fingers left for the gas.

Unlike some, I do not keep clutch and brake covered at all times. Tried it once, my hand went to sleep. So, I do so when I perceive the need.
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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17381 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 07/07/2006 :  11:48 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
No choice matches my usage practice.

I cover the front brake lever with two fingers at virtually all times I am moving faster than I can run and cover my clutch lever with four fingers at slower speeds. I do not cover both levers at the same time.
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Sox Fan
Male Senior Member
419 Posts
[Mentor]


Kerhonkson, NY
USA

Suzuki

DL 650

Posted - 07/07/2006 :  2:19 PM
quote:
Originally posted by James R. Davis

No choice matches my usage practice.

I cover the front brake lever with two fingers at virtually all times I am moving faster than I can run and cover my clutch lever with four fingers at slower speeds. I do not cover both levers at the same time.



Hmmmmm...I hadn't thought of that (obviously), but now that you mention it, it really makes more sense to use all four fingers on the clutch lever, since keeping the other two on the grip might keep you from completely disengaging the clutch. I've edited the question to reflect just the brake lever.
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Mikeydude
Male Advanced Member
755 Posts
[Mentor]


Ft. Worth, Texas
USA

Harley-Davidson

03 FXD Super Glide

Posted - 07/07/2006 :  2:36 PM
I subscribe to James' philosophy... I only cover the front brake with 2 fingers and don't cover the clutch unless I'm going slow. And when I'm going slow I cover the rear brake and not the front, and cover the clutch with all 4 fingers.
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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17381 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 07/07/2006 :  2:51 PM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Thanks for the change. I have now cast my vote using the new question.
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Mydlyfkryzis
Senior Member
274 Posts
[Mentor]


West Milford, NJ
USA

Honda

1991 Nighthawk 750

Posted - 07/07/2006 :  3:03 PM
What about three fingers?

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Indiana Randy
Moderator
2118 Posts
[Mentor]


Fort Wayne, Indiana
USA

Honda

2000 Magna V4 750

Posted - 07/07/2006 :  3:52 PM
Haha!~ I use a 3 finger cover as well.

When cruising on the highway I cover both clutch and front brake with all fingers resting my wrists on a throttle rocker on each handgrip. It keeps my fingers and thumb extended and the hands never get tired from gripping.
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Sox Fan
Male Senior Member
419 Posts
[Mentor]


Kerhonkson, NY
USA

Suzuki

DL 650

Posted - 07/07/2006 :  4:08 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Mydlyfkryzis
What about three fingers?


quote:
Originally posted by Indiana Randy

Haha!~ I use a 3 finger cover as well.


Why, you ratzenfratzen outlyers! Unfortunately, it won't let me change the poll options, just my initial message. I honestly thought about three, but as everybody knows, your ring finger and pinky finger are actuated by the same tendon, as opposed to the index and middle fingers, which are actuated by separate tendons. This of course makes it more diffucult to use the ring and pinky fingers separately from each other. I guess you two mutants have an extra tendon.
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Nicolas27
Male Senior Member
364 Posts
[Mentor]


Atlanta, Georgia
USA

Honda

'06 Aero

Posted - 07/07/2006 :  4:14 PM
I chose 2 fingers.

However;

I cover the brake lever with 2 fingers at all times on any city/rural street and on busy freeways, and *everywhere* during nighttime. I use 1 finger when I'm on a freeway in *very* light traffic in optimal conditions (clear day). And sometimes, if I am vitually alone on the freeway and it's a long strait stretch where I can see every possible danger within like 15 seconds of myself (again in optimal conditions), I don't cover it at all (if I see cars closing in on me from behind, or I'm approaching cars in front of me I replace my fingers (2) to cover brake).

I cover the clutch (4 fingers) during slow speed riding, and when I'm decelerating, so I can downshift.
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sixsigma
Male Advanced Member
801 Posts


Toronto, Ontario
Canada

Suzuki

Marauder vz 805

Posted - 07/07/2006 :  7:12 PM
You know? I was going to vote for 2 and then a safety instructor said "you do not cover any as you need all 8 of the none thumb digits to manuever first and brake second (I think I saw that from James as well)hard for me to do but I remember my first car decades ago and people kept cautioning against "riding the brake" same philosophy?
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6954 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 790 Adv R

Peer Review: -1

Posted - 07/07/2006 :  10:04 PM
This poll is bogus. Change the question and answers and my vote has now disappeared. The category I voted for now shows zero votes. Did it get put in a different category that I didn't vote for or did it just disappear completely?
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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17381 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 07/07/2006 :  10:33 PM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
There are no 'bogus' polls here, scott.

I changed the answers in order to accomodate the need expressed and then I took a nap (sorry, I'm an old man.)

Each vote cast was recorded and logged in the database and the totals shown reflected the original votes cast. I have now made the totals shown reflect the actual votes cast.

Thanks for your 'contribution'.
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Sox Fan
Male Senior Member
419 Posts
[Mentor]


Kerhonkson, NY
USA

Suzuki

DL 650

Posted - 07/08/2006 :  3:08 PM
quote:
Originally posted by sixsigma
I remember my first car decades ago and people kept cautioning against "riding the brake" same philosophy?


I would contend that covering your brake lever is not the same as riding your brake. The phrase "riding your brake" as I understand it involves not only covering the brake but applying steady pressure, which is not advisable. I think riding the brake is more common in cars, because people don't hold their foot in the air above the pedal; they rest their foot on the pedal, and inadvertently apply brake pressure to the wheels. You should be able to lightly rest your fingers on the brake lever of a motorcycle without applying brake pressure.
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SteveS
Male Advanced Member
1208 Posts
[Mentor]


Toronto, Ontario
Canada

Harley-Davidson

2018 Tri-Gliide

Posted - 07/09/2006 :  5:48 PM
I usually cover my brake with two fingers in the city. I live in the heart of an urban area. I cover the clutch with four fingers in the same situation.

When moving faster though I will cover with all eight fingers. Like Randy suggested, easier on my hands resting on rockers than wrapped around the grips all day when I'm touring or riding outside the city.

Today I had some practical experience that has changed my mind though and I am going to put some effort into changing my two finger habit on the front brake. Here's why ....

I did some parking lot practice (not unusual for me) today and REALLY FOCUSED on emergency braking. Had a friend BRC instructor with me and we set up some cones for various exercises. I kept having trouble stopping before the LINE in the exercise and realized I was actually (muscle memory) using two fingers only on the front brake. When I focused on using all four fingers I could stop much faster! For the first time in the few years that I have been riding I got more of a sense of just how fast I can stop if I use the pressure correctly on the front brake. I was surprised and pleased to see the improvement. For me it seems I need the extra two fingers to get the leverage in my old hands to approach what the bike is capable of doing.

My friend would remind me each time I didn't stop in time (crossing the line) that I had just t-boned a Greyhound Bus. That seemed to make me dig in my heels on the pegs, pull my knees into the tank and squeeze much harder (not faster) on the lever. I also got to see how easy it was for me to lock up the rear brake. Fortunately the pavement was dry and it wasn't a problem, only a lesson in how rubber smells and how my 50 years of using a foot brake is very much in my memory.

The poll is timely!

I have found that each time I think I'm progressing I'm also opening the door to another level of controling my bike.
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Bugman37
Junior Member
56 Posts


Virginia Beach, VA
USA

Honda

Shadow VLX 600

Posted - 07/10/2006 :  10:48 PM
OK, my .02 cents worth for what it's worth. After grabbing the brake too hard using all fingers, I have opted to use 2 fingers. Using 2 fingers I'm less likely to overbrake and cause myself a fall. I also now "cover" my rear brake with my foot all the time and if I see a hazard ahead I cover my front brake also. Will it help me in a panic stop? I'm not sure because I have yet to have to try. Other more experienced riders will see if my technique is a good one or not.

Charles
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broo
Male Standard Member
112 Posts


Belleville, Ontario
Canada

Kawasaki

2006 Vulcan 900 LT

Posted - 07/11/2006 :  7:42 AM
I use four fingers on the clutch almost all the time. 3 fingers on the front brake...leaves me the thumb-forefinger "circle" on the throttle. When I'm cruising on the highway I may not have any fingers covering anything. TOTALLY dependent on traffic situation obviously.
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Sox Fan
Male Senior Member
419 Posts
[Mentor]


Kerhonkson, NY
USA

Suzuki

DL 650

Posted - 07/11/2006 :  9:00 AM
quote:
Originally posted by broo

3 fingers on the front brake...leaves me the thumb-forefinger "circle" on the throttle.


Well now that's an interesting method. I've tried two, thre and four fingers at various times, but when I tried three it was index, middle and ring fingers covering the lever. I'll have to try your method, because it sounds like it offers pretty good throttle control.
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broo
Male Standard Member
112 Posts


Belleville, Ontario
Canada

Kawasaki

2006 Vulcan 900 LT

Posted - 07/11/2006 :  9:42 AM
It works for me Sox. Don't know how I got there...it just feels natural for me although none of the guys I ride with do it the same as I do. Most of my buddies are the 2 finger guys. Whatever works I guess.
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Redbeard
Male Standard Member
107 Posts


South Ogden, UT
USA

Triumph

Sprint ST 955i

Posted - 07/11/2006 :  10:06 AM
quote:
Originally posted by broo

3 fingers on the front brake...leaves me the thumb-forefinger "circle" on the throttle.


I cover my front brakes like that too.

And maybe this is odd, but I cover the clutch with three fingers, leaving my pinky on the handgrip. I usually only cover the clutch at low speed though.
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g1djh10
Male Starting Member
6 Posts


Grayslake, Illinois
USA

Suzuki

C50 Black

Posted - 07/25/2006 :  3:13 PM
I use 4 fingers to cover the brake. I get more leverage for the quick stops. Plus... when I tried the 3 fingers, leaving the index finger on the throttle, I was having trouble getting it out of the way without snagging it. I dunno if it was coordination or sticky gloves or what. But it turned out down right scary a few times.
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