rear braking

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by mangiacavallo, May 26, 2009.

  1. mangiacavallo

    mangiacavallo Member

    i'm not sure where to put this post/question.
    looking through this site (which is terrific!), i notice that many riders talk about how they use their rear brake.
    i am about to pull the trigger on a new HD, but right now ride a BMW ... which will be sold for the new ride.
    but i must say i never use my rear brake when i ride. okay, sometimes in rare emergencies & to keep the bike in place when stopped, etc., but almost never when i'm riding.
    i'm buying a RKC & i've noticed some posts here about dropping the bike inadvertently when doing a u-turn because they turned the front wheel & grabbed some front brake. should one use the rear brake in that situation?
    anyway, i'm just interested in this riding technique because, like i said, i almost never use the rear brake on my beemer.

    just curious ...
  2. walt5162

    walt5162 Active Member

    When turning such as a U-turn.. or turning a sharp turn... and you grap the front brake, at least on a touring bike... you're almost sure to be picking it up off the ground. :bigsmiley32:
  3. Davidw2415

    Davidw2415 Senior Member

    You should always use both brakes for optimum stopping and control. If you've been riding fro a long time and rarely use you rear brakes I'm surprised you're still around to talk about it.
  4. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    That holds true for almost every bike in a slow turn.
  5. alto

    alto Active Member

    I'm learning ( unlearning past stopping techniques when I had an 83 Roadster) to leave that front brake alone the last few feet of a stop...Concentrating on the total stop with the foot brake . At 5'7, with an 01 Ultra, it's the stops that have me with the jitters. Alone, I'm ok...with a passenger, my stops are half decent and half lousy. I haven't gone down yet, but, close. More parking lot practice with my wife riding back seat. With my boots ( River Road), I can flat-foot but not much 'spread'. I try to angle my feet outward to gain a few more inches of stability. Other than the stops, it's the sweetest bike I've ever owned.
  6. rhino

    rhino Banned

    in an emergency situation i lean heavier on the rear brake i find its easier to control if it locks up. i find in normal stop and go i use the back brake first and then finish more on the front. dont know if its right but works for me. be careful with that front brake while turning especially if theres gravel or anything slick.
  7. Bud White

    Bud White Well-Known Member Retired Moderators

    arent most bmw linked brakes ?

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    BMW and Honda Touring bikes typically had linked brakes or proportioning valve to help "equalize braking pressure" in conjunction with front end anti-dive...eventually anti-dive front suspension mods of the 80's started falling out of favor (most professional riders did not like the front end stiffening up) and unsettling the handling when doing sharp turns. This was actually what prompted ABS development...when they reached braking technology that started running into the limits of locked suspension and poor attitude control of the bike; and found traction control could offer more gains and improvements...

    While it is true that 70% of your braking is in the front, the rear brakes help to level the suspension/bike in a hard stop and also offer a degree of stability with shorter stopping distance. So use them along with the clutch friction point for low speed tight maneuvering in a parking lot as practice. A descent balance of front and rear braking will reward you with smooth, safer controlled stops...especially when riding two up, prevents "seesaw" effect or helmets clashing if you use too much front brake or have tendency to grabbing them rather then a firm steady squeeze, and not enough rear braking to level the bike. Practice your braking while riding two up and you will feel how proper use of the rear brake will make stopping a crisp and uneventful maneuver verses front brake only.
    Last edited: May 27, 2009
  9. bfmitch

    bfmitch Active Member

    If you're interested in riding technique and want to learn how to do tight U-turns with your new RKC, get the "Ride Like A Pro" DVD. They'll show you how to do it and show you how to use the rear brake while making low speed manuevers.

    That DVD changed the way I ride; for the better.
  10. DDogg

    DDogg Junior Member

    I ride about 8 miles to work on a highway which has a speed limit of 50mph. About every 3/4 to 1 mile, you have a stop light. Sometimes they are timed, most of the time, they are not. You'll be crusing at 55 and the light turns yellow. Ah man, I release the troddle and pull in the clutch, kick it down to 4th gear at the same time putting light pressure an BOTH front and rear breaks. If I'm doing 50 to 55 and have say approx. 100 to 200 feet to stop, I can't imagine just using the front brake. I'd be over my bars and on the pavement in front of my bike. I use both brakes in a straight stop. In a turn doing 20 or so, I"ll let the downshifting slow my bike enough to turn. Been there, done that, NEVER pull the front brake with the front wheel turned. The bike is going over on the side of your turn.