MOTORCYCLE BRAKING TECHNIQUES
If you are looking to master riding your motorcycle, one of the main things you need to know is how to stop your motorcycle safely without losing control of your motorcycle.
When we were young, most of us used to ride bicycles by either borrowing from a friend or owning one. We used to know that the best way to brake is to use the rear brake as the front brake would send you skidding out of control or get you thrown out of the bicycle over the handlebars. Out of this came great fear of using the front brake which could be carried forward even in motorcycle riding.
It is important to know that as a motorcycle rider, you should use your brakes as minimally as possible. It is best to plan ahead when you are on the road by checking whether there are potential incoming hazards like a cow crossing or even a ‘bumps ahead’ sign. Anticipation is the key to mastering braking as this will allow you to release the throttle earlier in case of an emergency thus reducing the need to step hard on the brakes and locking the wheels.
WHICH BRAKES SHOULD I USE, FRONT OR REAR?
When riding your motorcycle, your motorcycle is well balanced. But if you apply emergency brakes, then your motorcycle starts loosing balance and the well distributed weight now shifts to the front wheel. As the weight becomes more, the traction between the front wheel and the tarmac increases therefore, the most efficient and effective way to brake is to use the front brakes more than the rear brakes progressively.
USING MOTORCYCLE BRAKES EFFECTIVELY
In order to use your brakes effectively, you should always avoid squeezing hard on the brakes as this could result to skidding and crashing. When in motion, you and the motorcycle are travelling in the same speed therefore, if you squeezing hard on the brakes, you might stop the wheels but you and your bike’s momentum will still be greater making it very impossible to stop immediately.
This is where progressive braking comes in.
Progressive braking is a form of braking where a rider squeezes the brake levers slowly in increments and not in only one single squeeze. Using this method helps prevent the wheels from locking which would result to the bike losing control and skidding. In case the wheels’ lock, it is easier to regain control of your motorcycle when using the progressive braking technique.
Being a rider, one should spend time practicing and developing acute braking techniques which is very important when you want to be a skilled defensive rider.
When approaching a junction or round about, you should always be alert by looking around the environment, checking your mirrors to ensure that vehicles are in a safe distance before you can make any decisions.
When stopping a motorcycle under normal circumstances, the front brake should supply around 70% while the rear brake should supply 30% of the braking force.
In an emergency situation, the front brake should supply around 90% of the braking force and the rear should supply only around 10%.
In conclusion, it is important to always watch your guard when on the road. Enrol yourself in a motorcycle training program to sharpen your skills on defensive riding and braking techniques so that you make better decisions once you are in an emergency situation. As they say ‘practice makes perfect.’