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Can anyone explain to me "technically" with as many details as possible why everyone swears up and down to NEVER use the rear brake ?? In my ever evolving quest to become a better rider, I have been teaching myself countersteering techniques, reading every article I can. I had a buddy of mine that is a rocket scientist (literally) try to explain it to me today, but it ended up sounding like "You just do it because".
When I am going slow (under 40) and come to a stop, I lightly apply the rear brake and then the front as needed. On a fast turn or sudden stop it is pretty much the same, just harder pressure on each. If the rear brake is so worthless and it only provides 30% of your braking power (which I understand), why is there one at all? My buddy was saying "the rear applied at the wrong time can actually cause more problems that it helps.
Thanks guys,
 

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My experience has been, when riding normally around town, it's OK to use the rear brake to come to leisurely stops. When riding with a passenger, it provides for a smoother stop, not as much pitching forward.

But I've found the more agressive I ride, the more using the back brake cause the rear tire to lock up. As I see it, if you are coming to a stop using the max front brake available, your back tire is going to be barelly touching the ground, if not let's say, a half inch off of it. Since sportbike's brakes are so good, you can lift the back tire without even using 100% of the front brake calipers/rotors stopping force. So, in this case, your back brake does no good whatsover, since the rear tire is just barelly skimming across the surface of the road.

I quit using my back brake at the track because my back tire kept locking up, no matter how gingerly I tried to be with it. If someone is riding like Nickey, and "backing it in", then they can use the back brake to swing the back tire out a little and get a better line on a curve, but I don't like the feel of my back tire sliding around behind me coming into a turn. The only thing I want to be sliding is my knee.

So let's say, you do trail brake, come sliding into a turn, but then get off the brake in a hurry, and this could lead to a highside, most undersirable.

So what I do is to just stay off the rear brake, use all the front brake's force to slow down while the bike is straight up and down, and then smoothly roll on the throttle through the turn.

Not sure this helps, just my two cents.
 

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Being that I use to race TT, and dirt track..I got use to using the rear brake..not on the dirt tracker, cause it had no brakes...The saying...don't use the rear is mostly because, riders tend to lock it up, causing more problems than not..and being that the majority of the stopping power is in the front brake, and which can be applied more w/o the consequenses of having the rear end slid around, causing most riders to lose control, so using the front "only" is a good idea for "slowing" as in racing, doing track days, or if a panic stopping situation comes up..Now..if you know how to use the rear brake properly, you can use it in combination with the front to stop in less time than if you just used the front brake...For those not knowing how to work the rear brake, it's a accident waiting to happen...try gettin up to about 65 mph, then slam on the rear brake only...You'll be headin down the road sideways, and believe it or not..you can control it...takes alot of practice...


[ 12-18-2002, 07:44 PM: Message edited by: Hammer 4 ]
 

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"Don't use the rear brake" is sorta the modern version of "Don't use the front brake". Both are black and white versions of the same mentality. The more you practise something, the better you become with it. The same applies to the rear brake.

If you ignore it then use it in a panic situation - watch out. Same with the fronts. Trailing brake into a corner, or using the back brake while moving fast is an exercise in finesse. If you start to lock up...back off. Get to know the feel in a straight line in an empty area with runoff. Same with the fronts.

If shit is happening so fast that you can't deal with the back brake...then you're over your head to some degree. Work on it. Shit, it can be fun.

If the back wheel's in the air...doesn't matter if the brake is on
...just don't stand on it, or the 'reentry' could be a bit squiggly.

Principle is the same whether on a new fly weight or an old tank like mine, just the finesse is different.
 

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Here you go made simple:

Front brake; Two discs(thus two brake pads)
Rear brake; only one little tiny disc (not as much friction or stopping power) Designed this way on purpose because.......

Your bike is front wheel bias. The weight is distributed more over the front wheel. So when you apply the rear brake, there is not enough weight pushing down on the tire to keep it from skidding. (another reason it works better with a passender on the bike)

Lastly people are not as coordinated with their foot, so attempting to modulate the rear is not as easy and people tend to over apply (another reason for a little single disc.)
 

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Well GSXR750 if you really want to get into, the front has 4 pads..


Anyhow.. The rear brakes is not used much to "back it in". i have talked to a lot of racers and ex-racers... They use the motor to back it in more then the brake cause of what was said above. When you let off the brake it will make the bike want to highside...

So what they do is downshift a bit early and run the bike up into the red and use the rev limiter to slow the rear tire. At this point all they have to do is hammer the gas and the tire will keep on spinning if they want.

Now, when you learn how to use the rear brake, it can be used to smooth out the turns at a good lean... Slow you down in mid turn... And it helps a lot when you have a 2nd person on the bike.

The stock rear break is really hard to work.. it seems the tire is rolling or locked with them... I changed over to SBS street Excell (I think) and they are so much more nice.. I have a lot more control of the rear brake now.

Should you use the rear brake? If you know how, Yes, If you do not, then NO! In a panic stop the rear brake is bad, as said above, there is no wieght left on the rear of the bike to keep the tire from locking up... Just down shift and let the motor do the work..


John
 

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you should always come to a stop using only the front brake and front wheel, rear wheels should always be at least 2-3 ft off the ground! haha
 

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Can anyone explain to me "technically" with as many details as possible why everyone swears up and down to NEVER use the rear brake ??
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I would say thats because they are idiots....

Do this....

Find a deserted road - preferably NOT public


Make a mark on the road - chalk or whatever

Ride up the mark at 80mph

Hit the front brake, and stop in as short a distance as you can.

Do this a fair few times - and make a mark each time - you will find that the marks get closer together.

When you are comfortable that you are stopping in as short a distance as you can, try it with both brakes.

Now if it will take a bit of practice to NOT lock the rear if you are heavy footed, but after just a few stops you will find that you are stoppping shorter than your best front brake only.

Tell me again why I should not use the rear please ????

Of yes, in case I lock it - well if you lock it, simply stay on it - leave it locked until you stop, else Mr. Highside will be comeing to tea if you are not carefull.

People are paranoid that the back brake will cause a highside - but it won't letting off the back brake after locking up will cause a high-side.....

Oh - a rough estimate on my '98 750 is that stopping distances are reduced about 40feet at 80mph, thats what 3 car lengths ?

[ 12-20-2002, 07:25 PM: Message edited by: fraggle ]
 

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Hey frag I bet I can out stop you without using my rear brake..


Once you learn how to stop fast with just the front you can stop faster without the rear and using just the motor...

John
 

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hey John,

many years ago I did my Uk instructor training, and the subject of braking came up, there was a guy training with me who rode a Fireblade (900RR) and was convinced that the rear was useless, he said something similar.

So an exercise was given as I deecribed, on the course bikes - CB250's I think.

Well the answer at 50mph was about 30ft, regardless of clutching, or not - even slamming it down a couple of gears and using big engine braking.

We Matey goes out, on his blade and withing four stops proved himself wrong too


Give it a go, you may surprise yourself....
 

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Ahhh, the rear brake. I use it for many reasons. I tend to drag the rear brake if I got a little to hot into a bend, because I can scrub off a little speed without upsetting the bike, plus if you use it a little harder it has the added bonus of pulling the bike down, thus tightening yer line. Let's face it, when fully cranked over the last thing you wanna do it's use the front brake, unless your bike is very well setup, then you can get away with it to a degree. I also find that using a little rear brake preloads the rear suspension so that when you grab a loada front brake the rear tyre doesn't leave the tarmac, which is nice. But it's down to personal preference really, either you are comfortable using it or you're not, depends how much feel you have from it.
Oh, and you can use it to control those wheelies too!
 

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Well in the older days you could use your rear brake more cause of the way the wieght was centered on the bikes... With the newer bikes it is really easy to pick up the rear cause they moves the wieght into the front more.

I have done both front and rear brakes, and just front, and I can stop a lot faster with just the front brake when with both.

John
 

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Originally posted by eSeMeS1K2:
I STAY OFF THE REAR FOR SEVERAL REASONS; MOSTLY SO AS TO NOT DIRTY THE REAR WHEEL!!
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Crack head!!!


John
 

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Originally posted by eSeMeS1K2:
I STAY OFF THE REAR FOR SEVERAL REASONS; MOSTLY SO AS TO NOT DIRTY THE REAR WHEEL!!
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Oh, don't you lube ya chain then????
 

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Never say never... Yes, under 100% braking it's useless, and regardless of some of the posts on this thread there is no way you can come to a panic stop quicker with both brakes then just the front. How can you stop quicker while using the rear brake when as previously stated the rear will only be skating the surface. LOONEY's point about pre-loading the rear suspension to get more rear wheel bite is a great one, but under 100% braking the rear will still lift, it's simple physics. You COULD come to a stop quicker while using both brakes as opposed to just the front IF the test pilot wasn't getting a max stop on the front only run! Look at LOONEY's & FREAK's avatars! Those stoppies should tell you a bit or two about maximum braking. The rear brake's usage is explained succinctly as always by LOONEYONAWT & GSXRFREAK. Listen to those pros.

As for me, I use the rear brake around town for "leisurely stops" mostly really to extend the front pads' lives as well as for mid-turn scrubbing. I used to road-race mustangs, and if you pushed the front you would grab a little e-brake to pull it back in. I had intended on using that knowledge if I ever pushed the front on my bike, but after reading LOONEY's post about it tightening your line; I guess it would effectively provoke a low-side. In retrospect while using it mid-turn to scrub speed, I think it was actually the tightening of my line that kept me in it. I'll tell you one thing, I'm not going to test the theory. I have pushed the front twice in 11 years of riding, and recovered from only one of them. On that occassion I held the throttle static to slightly backed off, and used the engine braking to pull it back in. The other time was in the wet.

[ 01-04-2003, 06:17 AM: Message edited by: Melampus... ]
 

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well with the many times I have pushed the front end the best way i have found to recover it is to role on the gas... I have pushed many many times and have yet to lowside (knocking on wood), and I really think it has a lot to do with the fact that I knew to give it a bit more gas to take the wieght off the front and make the biek turn better... I dont mind rear wheel drift, but not the front.. lol

John
 

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I hear you. I don't mind sliding the rear, but when the front pushes
. From the looks of your avatar we differ in opinion on stoppies though. I dig wheelies, but stoppies scare the shit out of me. I'll pull a low speed endo to a stop, but stoppies... damn that's amazing.
 

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Originally posted by Melampus...:
I hear you. I don't mind sliding the rear, but when the front pushes
. From the looks of your avatar we differ in opinion on stoppies though. I dig wheelies, but stoppies scare the shit out of me. I'll pull a low speed endo to a stop, but stoppies... damn that's amazing.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">That was when I was learning them... I am working on putting a video together of all kinds of stuff... Stoppies, Wheelie, track, canyons.... All the good stuff..
I will post a link when it is done (but that is going to take some time)

Anyhow.. Stoppies take a long time to learn, but I am really glad I can do them cause they have saved my ass a few times knowing how to handle the bike under really hard braking...


John
 
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