Suzuki GSX-R Motorcycle Forums Gixxer.com banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Uses squid tentacles as a butt-plug
Joined
·
262 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
When I first started riding on the street I was told to drag the rear brake a little through corners I believe at low speeds. After riding for a while and listening to you guys on many posts I feel its unnatural and unsafe to build that muscle memory. I dont want to be knee down on the track and hit the rear brake and lose my traction. What are your expert opinions.
 

·
Chubby Chaser
Joined
·
57,806 Posts
You were told.....by whom? :shifty

The only reason to drag the rear brake coming off a corner is to prevent wheelie'ing and/or use as a poor man's traction control. Needless to say this high end technique employed by very fast riders on very fast bikes on very fast tracks. No reason at all to be using it tooling around low speed turns on the street

Nicky Hayden used to use this approach before traction control made its way into MotoGP. Hence why he used to have a rather beefy rear brake setup on his bikes back then because he was modulating the rear brake as he fed power into the rear wheel.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,111 Posts
When I first started riding on the street I was told to drag the rear brake a little through corners I believe at low speeds. After riding for a while and listening to you guys on many posts I feel its unnatural and unsafe to build that muscle memory. I dont want to be knee down on the track and hit the rear brake and lose my traction. What are your expert opinions.
I don't see why you would want to drag the rear at low speeds, seems very odd and it's going to wear our your brakes for no reason. If your a car driver you are best to keep your foot away from the rear brake altogether to prevent you from standing on it and locking the rear if something unexpected happens - instead cover the front brake.

On the few track training sessions I've done the instructor has never suggested using the rear at all, he did say it's best to start your turn in while coming off the front brake so the front is loaded and the bike turns in easier, but that's at high speeds not low.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
When I first started riding on the street I was told to drag the rear brake a little through corners I believe at low speeds. After riding for a while and listening to you guys on many posts I feel its unnatural and unsafe to build that muscle memory. I dont want to be knee down on the track and hit the rear brake and lose my traction. What are your expert opinions.
They taught us to drag rear brake during slow speed maneuvers when I took the MSF. Helps keep the bike "steady" and the chain tight so you don't get any drivetrain slap at low speed along with "smoothing" your clutch control. Basically just helps keep everything loaded. You only do it at super low speed such as parking lots or really tight U turns. I occasionally use it at low speed along with proper clutch control. I've yet to have an urge to use the rear brake in high speed corners lol. It's strictly a crawl speed trick that helps a tiny bit.

Kind of related, we use a similar technique in racecars on the start/restarts. Drag the brake to load the suspension and engine and it actually plants the rear tires a bit making you less likely to have wheel spin and gives you a better launch.
 

·
Chubby Chaser
Joined
·
57,806 Posts
They taught us to drag rear brake during slow speed maneuvers when I took the MSF. Helps keep the bike "steady" and the chain tight so you don't get any drivetrain slap at low speed along with "smoothing" your clutch control. Basically just helps keep everything loaded. You only do it at super low speed such as parking lots or really tight U turns. I occasionally use it at low speed along with proper clutch control. I've yet to have an urge to use the rear brake in high speed corners lol. It's strictly a crawl speed trick that helps a tiny bit.

Kind of related, we use a similar technique in racecars on the start/restarts. Drag the brake to load the suspension and engine and it actually plants the rear tires a bit making you less likely to have wheel spin and gives you a better launch.

Pointless...how much time do you spend tooling around in parking lots at 5mph? Wouldn't be the first time I've heard the MSF course teaching people some useless techniques. Sounds like something they would tell a very novice person that has no semblance of throttle control, although I guess to be fair that's what most of the people taking the MSF course are. However, with experience and skill, that practice will prove to be a useless venture. Even on a 1000 with a VERY responsive throttle I've never had a need to drag the rear brake around pulling out of a parking lot.

As for race starts.....you won't find anyone from drag racers to MotoGP elite dragging the rear brake prior to the start. Maybe modulating it a bit after takeoff to keep for wheelie'ing, but even that not so much, its usually more about feathering the clutch.....not to mention most race bikes have launch control these days to facilitate the takeoff.
 

·
Hand-Eye Coordinator
Joined
·
6,527 Posts
I teach the MSF (Canadian Equivalent), I race, and I ride street.

Dragging the rear brake is done in the "friction zone." It allows power to be sent to the rear wheel, making your bike steady, yet not go too fast. The friction zone is done at SLOW speeds (under 8mph, basically). Dragging your brake in a corner with the clutch all the way out is stupid. You will just spend more money on brakes and fuel.

Turning a corner with no power to the rear wheel makes the bike unsteady. That doesn't matter where you do it. Track at 80mph or street at 10mph in an intersection. Never squeeze the clutch at higher speeds in a corner.

Ride your bike at idle with the clutch out and you are doing over 8mph. Wanna do 4 mph? Ride the clutch. Wanna control the speed? Use the rear brake. That puts power to the wheel, but controls speed.

Sportbikes, by their weight distribution are super hard to control at low speeds and that's why most people are clutch out or clutch in and never in the middle, but the middle is needed, sometimes.
Watch vids of Daytona bike week and Sturgis rally and you can see the complete lack of control people have because they don't know how to "slip" the clutch on their cruisers.

The point of the MSF techniques are not to teach one to ride at 60 mph. ANYONE can sit on a bike on the highway at 60 mph. The bike doesn't need you at that speed. You can be replaced with a rusty throttle cable.

The MAJORITY of motorcycle insurance claims are from parking lot and fuel station drops and that's why the insurance companies give a discount for having the MSF course to new licensees.

Whether it's in a parking lot, highway, or track, people biff it because they aren't smooth in their inputs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
Dragging the rear brake doing low speeds (under 20kms) is definitely helpful, keeps the bike way more stable, coupled with having the clutch at friction point, makes the low speed maneuvering much easier.

Dragging the rear brake around a circuit is different and can be useful, but is a lot more of an advance technique.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Pointless...how much time do you spend tooling around in parking lots at 5mph? Wouldn't be the first time I've heard the MSF course teaching people some useless techniques. Sounds like something they would tell a very novice person that has no semblance of throttle control, although I guess to be fair that's what most of the people taking the MSF course are. However, with experience and skill, that practice will prove to be a useless venture. Even on a 1000 with a VERY responsive throttle I've never had a need to drag the rear brake around pulling out of a parking lot.

As for race starts.....you won't find anyone from drag racers to MotoGP elite dragging the rear brake prior to the start. Maybe modulating it a bit after takeoff to keep for wheelie'ing, but even that not so much, its usually more about feathering the clutch.....not to mention most race bikes have launch control these days to facilitate the takeoff.
You're not often going slow enough to do it because parking lot speed for us (me included) is above 15mph but if you're practicing really low speed maneuvers it does help. I wasn't talking about motorcycle race starts. I was referring to super late model raceCARs. We have rolling starts from pace car speed, not from a stop like MotoGP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
When I first started riding on the street I was told to drag the rear brake a little through corners I believe at low speeds. After riding for a while and listening to you guys on many posts I feel its unnatural and unsafe to build that muscle memory. I dont want to be knee down on the track and hit the rear brake and lose my traction. What are your expert opinions.
I coach with the California Superbike School and have done plenty of high level racing and track riding and don't use the rear brake at all unless I accidentally end up off track. We see so many students tapping the rear brake mid corner because they have been told its good or proper technique when what it really does is indicate that they have failed to set the entry speed correctly or falsely believe that dragging the rear brake can help mid corner...it's a bad habit to get into and I agree with you wholeheartedly that you don't want to build that kind of muscle memory. Front brake to set entry speed and then once you have initiated turning into the corner, what do you use to stabilize the bike?
 

·
Uses squid tentacles as a butt-plug
Joined
·
262 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I coach with the California Superbike School and have done plenty of high level racing and track riding and don't use the rear brake at all unless I accidentally end up off track. We see so many students tapping the rear brake mid corner because they have been told its good or proper technique when what it really does is indicate that they have failed to set the entry speed correctly or falsely believe that dragging the rear brake can help mid corner...it's a bad habit to get into and I agree with you wholeheartedly that you don't want to build that kind of muscle memory. Front brake to set entry speed and then once you have initiated turning into the corner, what do you use to stabilize the bike?
The throttle ? Continual smooth opening of the throttle throughout the corner?
 

·
Uses squid tentacles as a butt-plug
Joined
·
262 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Correct. As Keith Code says, "once the throttle is cracked open it is rolled on smoothly, evenly and constantly throughout the remainder of the turn." How does this stabilize the motorcycle?
Keeps the load on the rear, suspension also loaded and a gyro effect on the tires from the lean?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
Keeps the load on the rear, suspension also loaded and a gyro effect on the tires from the lean?
Well, it transfers some of the load off the front and to the rear and when done correctly puts the suspension in the correct range. What you are going for is approx 60% load on the rear and 40% on the front. With the suspension in the correct range the bike is the most stable and a stable bike will hold a predictable line. Sometimes riders will complain about suspension issues when in fact it is actually poor throttle control that is making the bike feel unstable.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top