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Part 3 – Things not to do while braking on a Motorcycle

Part 3 – Things not to do while braking on a Motorcycle

In the earlier blogs, you got to know about the motorcycle and how to start riding it. Now, in this blog you will get to know about the things not to do while braking on a motorcycle.

Motorcycle riding is one of the greatest pleasure of motoring. The feeling of riding your motorcycle down at curvy and twisty road in a clear day is hard to beat. But, motorcycling is not without its dangers.

As riders, we often get advice on what to do when riding from the media or friends, but as useful as this is, it is equally significant for us to know about the things not to do. The following list, although not exhaustive, has few things we should not do when braking on a motorcycle.​


1) Avoid applying front brake when leaned over in a corner:

The tires on any motorcycle have a limited amount of grip, and when the limit is exceeded the tire will break traction with the road i.e. the tire will skid. In corner, when this happens with the front tire then the front end will tuck under quickly leading many rider to suffer the broken collarbones.



2) Avoid same braking force in wet condition:

Again, tires have a limited amount of traction available. In case of wet or slippery condition this traction will diminish. In dry conditions, the rider can apply approximately 75% front to 25% rear (there are many variables that will change this, including rider style and braking system in use). The difference reflects the weight transfer as the brakes are applied. However, due to the overall lack of grip in the rain, a rider will not be able to apply as much front brake pressure, with the result that very little weight transfer will occur. Therefore, in the wet road condition, a rider should typically apply even brake pressure to the front and rear of his machine.


3) Rider should not rely on only one brake:

Many riders have developed a riding style that deploys one brake only; some riders prefer the front only and others the back only. When this single break fails, which is distinctly possible due to overuse, the rider will face the situation when he/she should immediately learn how to control their braking with an unfamiliar brake and this might lead to some unpredictable casualties. In addition, using one brake only will greatly diminish the overall stopping power of the bike. This is particularly true where a rider depends on the rear brake only.



4) Riders Should Not Expect to Stop in the Same Distance in Slippery Conditions:

            The coefficient of friction between a tire and the road drops off dramatically when water is evident on the road surface. Needless to say, the problem is much worse in snowy or icy conditions thanks to the climate in the capital where we are not used to ride in snowy roads.

On long straight roads, riders should not expect their brakes to be 100% effective after a long ride.

In case of disk (rotor) brakes, riding for long periods of time in situations where the brakes are not needed can result in them having reduced performance when needed. This phenomenon can be caused by simple road grime building up on the rotor’s (disk’s) surface, or a condition known as pad knock off. In the latter case, slightly out of true rotors can knock the pads back into the caliper as the machine is being ridden.

Needless to say, in wet conditions the rotor’s surface, and that of the pads will become covered in water resulting in a poor coefficient of friction.To negate, or to reduce the effects of some of these conditions, the rider should gently apply the brakes periodically to check the effectiveness of brakes.

By Rupesh Dulal

Next Blog: How to Corner Your Motorcycle.

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