FRONT BRAKES?

Moto Mengy

Motovlogger from PA, USA
Mar 23, 2020
320
421
63
48
I ride a
2018 Honda Goldwing Tour DCT
Four fingers is not proper technique. Preference or not, off road or on road.
When I took the motorcycle safety course back in 1988 they absolutely taught us to use all four fingers on the brake lever. In emergencies you want to be able to provide a lot of quick progressive pressure, and four fingers are better than two for that. Plus it prevents the possibility of getting fingers pinched between the lever and grip which could hinder applying full pressure. There isn't always time to think things out in a panic stop, so minimizing the chances of an accidental pinch is good.
 
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L. Bilious

Huge member
Aug 2, 2019
164
243
43
North Cheshire/South Manchester
I ride a
CBR1100, GSXR750, XR250
Right, I'm gonna throw a spanner in the works now.....


I've looked back at old trackday photo's and I've braked (and clutched) with 3 fingers!


I've now got gloves with the little and ring fingers connected together and use 4 fingers on track.

On road I generally use 2 fingers and forward vision to not need to brake hard.
 

Pooley

Wannabe tractor enthusiast
Nov 19, 2019
312
367
63
Derbyshire
I ride a
2003 Honda Deauville 650
Already contributed my opinion, but it's clear many of us have different views on the topic so I wanted to show why I use the brakes this way with some practical examples :)
 

WEB

L Plate Member
Feb 14, 2020
257
372
63
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I ride a
Triumph Thruxton + Harley Lowrider
Four fingers stronger than two! Not all roads are perfectly flat and dry without some sort of dirt, oil, sand or cracks filled by tar. Four finger grip will apply more force and thus be more dangerous in emergency situations.
So why do people upgrade their bikes brakes then?

That's it, i'm replacing my brake pads with wood. There will be less force on the discs therefore it is safer
 

KapGranite

New Hampshire, USA
Jun 16, 2020
44
55
18
33
New Hampshire
I ride a
Victory Cross Country
Its really hard for me to say what % of either front or back brake I use. Its gotten to the point now that I just know what brake to apply during situations that I just don't normally think about it. It honestly would probably be a pretty even my between the two. I am normally in areas that are 40mph on average and go up to 55mph so probably use the back brake a little more. And if I had to stop a bit faster its more so a evenly applies front and back.
 
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TBRD

Throttle Back Rubber Down
Jul 9, 2020
70
60
18
40
I ride a
2020 BMW S1000XR
So. Front brakes pretty much terrify me. How necessary is it to use front brakes on a day to day basis for you guys? I've just started riding recently and as of now I really just make like a 5 minute ride back and forth to work, and I literally never touch them. I pretty much just always imagine myself going over the bars. lol Any advice or pointers would definitely be much appreciated. I've read to kinda start with the back brake then slightly use the front, like go 10% to 20% and so forth until you're at a full stop, but I still can't bring myself to decide when to use the front brake or if it's even necessary most of the time.
I would second what so many folks here have already said. I would really encourage any rider to take a training course like the one MSF provides. Front brake is your stopping power and it is nothing like riding a bicycle where you can easily apply too much and flip. I have been riding for nearly 2 decades and still practice braking drills regularly in parking lots. Your back brake on a motorcycle is going to lock up very easily due to weight distribution. When I am doing hard emergency braking it is common for my rear ABS to kick in but I have yet to induce the ABS system even when progressive and really hard on the front.
 

Dewey316

Wannabie Member
Oct 1, 2020
20
26
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39
I ride a
BWM F800gs / DR650 / Honda CM450E
The front brake is very very important. It is the thing that will save you. If you lock up the rear-brake the thing that controls how far the tail swings is the front brake. Like a lot of things on a motorcycle it is counter intuitive to what your brain says will happen. In off-road training I have worked on coming in really fast on loose surfaces and locking up the rear brake for hundreds of feet. The trick to controlling it is to actually apply front brake. The dynamics of the motorcycle work in a way that MORE front brake actually straightens the bike out.

That is just one example of how counter it is to our brains natural reaction. On the street I would go even higher and say really 90% of your braking should be with the front. If you are using the front properly so much weight gets transferred to it, it is actually hard to do any meaningful braking with the rear. Like other have said, smooth and progressively apply the fronts and get a feel for it. I would bet you money you could do whatever you damn want with the front and you won't go over the bars. Ask the stunters how easy doing a stoppie is. Most of them have adjust air pressure and such just to be able to get the bike to come up like that. Motorcycles are designed to stop, there is a reason the front brakes are much bigger than the rear, and often have multiple rotors instead of just the one small one in the back. They are built specifically to stop by using the front brakes.
 

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