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Discussion Starter #1
How about a braking discussion.

For instance, is it better to use the front brake most of the time, because the weight of slowing down is on the front wheel?

Or is it safer to use the rear brake the most?

Or both?
What do you do?
 

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Hi Rick. I don't profess to be an expert rider (especially on a burgman!), but with the 650, with separate braking systems (front is front and back is back) it's simple. The front does all the heavy lifting (braking). My suggestion would be to get real used to using it as a primary speed-scrubber.

At speed (over 30) you should really use both when going relatively straight forward. Once I was put straight as to the fact that the braking system on the 650 was front and back per handle, I became much more relaxed knowing that there wasn't two ends working per one lever. I found that out yesterday. The 400, apparently, has both front and back disks slowing you when you pull the left lever. I thought the same was true for the 650. It isn't. With that being the case, all I can say is if its a 650 you're dealing with, work the binders like any other motorcycle you've dealt with (more front than back, in most straight line cases) and if its a 400, well.....I'm not sure. On my other bikes I got to the point where I could do "nosies" and now I will be testing the limits of the twin front disks on my maxiburg. I know they are robust, I just need to figure out what the rest of that big fat Chalupa will want to do!

Front most power. Rear - good for "checking up" or slow speed manuvering. Both - best for stopping from speed, letting off of your choice when slow enough.

Others - please expound. I think this is a very salient topic.

vr,
pete
 

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Use both brakes to stop all the time. While in most situations either brake will probably be sufficient to stop the bike, in an emergency both brakes are needed to provide maximum stopping power.
Using both all the time will get you in the habit of using both brake levers to stop - and in an emergency we instinctively revert to habit. (If you have to take the time to think about which brake to use or to use both, it's no longer an emergency - it's now an accident)
Don
 

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Both brakes equally whenever I'm stopping. The only time I use just one is I very lightly use the left brake handle to flash the brake lights a few times when slowing down to warn traffic behind me.
 

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Hey Rick - I agree with both, but I also know that its good to know what each will do by themselves. Testing the limits of each and both would be very good practice whenever you can in safe circumstances. Just make sure its dry. You don't wanna screw up the tupperware surrounds!

The weird thing about the maxiburg is the incredible amount of engine braking. This thing slows fast for such a porker.

I've found that when I let off of the front brake separately from the rear, around 5 mph, it provides you with this little "unloaded front end" thing that feels wierd. And I've also found that when I've used the rear as the main braking source, it comes to a stop doing this sort of "car independant rear suspension squat thing just at rest"... go figure....

- pedz
 

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lilleyen said:
How about a braking discussion.

For instance, is it better to use the front brake most of the time, because the weight of slowing down is on the front wheel?

Or is it safer to use the rear brake the most?

Or both?
What do you do?
Rick, wait till you've taken your safety course (if I remember correctly you are enrolled) and they will teach you proper technique, and yes the front brake is favored. But there are interesting little twists to it. The best bet is to go to the course without any pre-concieved notions on how to do it, then you don't have to un-learn bad habits.
 

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Brakes

Always rember the front brake is your friend. But also rember to respect it and get comfortable with it's use. When using it try using just 2 fingers and not your whole hand it will give you a better feel and in a panic you will be less likley to over brake. You have to get pretty agresive with the front brake to lock it up the weight of the bike and the brake size is very forgiving. Find a vacant parking lot and pratice starting out slow and working up don't forget your helmet and other protective gear.
 

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As you brake, the weight of the bike (scooter or motorcycle) transitions to the front wheel. As weight unloads from the rear wheel, you can skid the tire by overbraking - which can ruin your day very quickly. With the rear tire sliding sideways, releasing the brake suddenly can result in a high side crash as the tire suddenly regains it's grip. Proper technique is to use both brakes, but increase pressure on the front brake lever as weight shifts to the front tire, slightly reducing pressure on the rear brake lever.

Look at all the high performance bikes. Two big front brake disks - one rear brake disk. That should tell you something. :wink:

In special situations, mostly low speed manuvers such as a u-turn, light application of rear brake alone is useful.
 

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pauljo said:
As weight unloads from the rear wheel, you can skid the tire by overbraking - which can ruin your day very quickly.
I like to kind of go 'supermoto' when I turn. It's a little tough on plastic, though. :D

Steve
 

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In addition to the comments above, it's also good to keep in mind that your braking technique should change depending on the surface that you are riding on, weather conditions, and also the lean angle of the bike.

On dry surfaces
If you are braking in a stright line you shoujld apply both brakes - many favour applying the rear break a split second before the front as it acts as an anti-dive assistance, and reduces the chance of front end lock-up in an emergency. In this situation, the majority of your braking force should be applied to your front brakes.
Wet or loose surfaces, and very cold days
Apply more brake force to your rear tyre than you would do on dry surfaces, to avoid locking the front brake. Brake more smoothly and progressively than normal.
When turning (leaning)
Try not to brake, as you will have a high chance of skidding and crashing horribly. Simply put, if you have enough grip to brake whilst leant over, you have enough grip to get round the bend. Only light "feathering" of the rear brake is advised in this circumstance - use of the front brake is only advised for experienced riders.
In an emergency brake situation
Without ABS we need to focus on not locking either brakes as well as avoiding obstacles. Our brains are not very good at that, so you should ensure that you don't lock the front brake. A rear end slide in a straight line will not pitch you off - a front end slide will.
When riding with a passenger
You have more weight over the rear tyre so you can apply more brake force to that tyre than normal before locking up. It is still advised to follow the general guidelines for braking in the dry/wet/etc even when riding with a passenger, however.

Best thing to do is to go through this with an instructor - going through it in practical terms when sat on the bike is far more an efficient way to learn this than reading theory alone. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow!
Thanks everyone for your input.
Mostly common sense I see, but also many things I never thought of!

I will take the course (with no preconceived notions), and let the instuctor guide me.
Armed with what I have learned here of course :wink:

How about your experiences braking?
Things you learned suddenly, or places where luck (good or bad) played a part?

This could be very educational for us all.
 

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Braking is common sense. I use both brakes. I put pressure on the rear first to squat the rear then to the front. On gravel roads when going slow, I almost always use the rear. When using engine braking I too tap the rear to warn those behind me.
 

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Agree with most of the above.

Leaving aside the use of the rear brake during low speed manoeuvres.

When you need to stop from higher speeds lets just say 30mph + and assuming you are upright and on a sound road surface then you need to set the bike up first - achieve the weight transfer onto the front wheel by moderate application of the front brake (experience) once the weight transfer is complete then you apply a piggin good handful of front brake AND moderate rear as you come to a stop pull in the clutch - AHHHH got yer! :D :D :lol: :lol: :lol:

On gravel you need to much more sensitive about braking - only in a straight line, only upright and then NEVER enough to lock the front wheel (lots of experience or ABS). :wink:
 

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The safety courses recommend using BOTH brakes for all stoping. If your are in a turn, always straighten up as you approach zero speed (or the bike will fall over)
 

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Discussion Starter #17

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well you all have good suggestions but for my two cents i'm afraid i disagree with all of you. in my experienc of riding i learned along time ago to start with the rear brake and then progress to the front if needed. yep i know that the fron has the largest protion of braking but just try that stunt on gravel and you will change your tune. applying the rear brake will allow the bike to remain in a straight forward going position and also help in case the front wheel does start to slide because of a loss of traction. another thing i learned along time ago was to alternate the pressure on the brakes going from the rear to the front and back. repeating this during the stop. keeps you from over appling the brake by realeasing it often.
well i now expect to hear form a bunch of the fellow riders but keep in mind if you have ever driven on the ice this is the only way to insure you keep the bike up. i use to go out on the lake and practice riding on the ice on weekends and even drove my bikes in the winter. and in michigan you know we get our fair share of ice and snow.
 

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The last time I rode on a frozen lake I had drum brakes. I didn't dare use the front then. I think today, with the new technology, I'd have to try it with the front brake.

I ride a LOT of gravel on the DR. It's become my favorite type of riding. I always use the front in conjunction with the rear. I'm not sure which one I apply first, don't pay that much attention, but I know that if I didn't use the brakes on both ends, I'd go off of a lot of sharp turns.

I generally apply both brakes until I get to the turn proper, then skid the rear to the outside of the turn. I then apply power as I release the brake, which holds the slide in the direction of travel.

I've made similar turns on the Burger King on pavement. Get HARD on the front to lighten the rear, then grab enough rear to set up a little skid. It's not that pretty, but it might allow you to keep the bike on the road when you've miscalculated your approach.

Actually, the ideal place to practice this kind of stuff is on loose gravel and at very low speeds. And not on your Burger!

Steve
 

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lycheed said:
Simply put, if you have enough grip to brake whilst leant over, you have enough grip to get round the bend.
Thank you Lycheed. I want that thought to become part of my subconscious. I don't brake while leaned over...but sometimes I am tempted.
 
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