Using rear brake [Archive] - Sportbike Forums : Sportbikes Motorcycle Racing Forum

: Using rear brake

10-15-2002, 05:42 AM
I've done a couple of track days this summer, and the instructors gave conflicting opinions on using the rear brake; Some advised using it, while others advised against it. I use the rear brake and feel pretty comfortable with it. What do you guys do - rear brake or not? Anyone have any suggestions on using the rear brake more effectively?



10-15-2002, 07:59 AM
I personally do not use the rear brake. I think it's just the making of a highside if done incorrectly. The really fast guys that race all the time...self-induce rear tire slide to get the bike pointed down the track in the right direction.

THe front brake has 90% of your braking power. The rear brake is pretty much usless by itself. In race school, I was taught NEVER to use the rear brake.

But if you feel comfortable using the rear brake, I won't tell you not to use it.

Just my opinion.

10-15-2002, 10:23 AM
if your bike is capable of doing a stoppie, how can the front brake not deliver 100% of your stopping power?

10-15-2002, 01:24 PM
I'm fully confident that the stock brake on the 954 can deliver 100% of the braking power necessary, especially after only 2 track days worth of experience. Way back in the day, however, I use to ride dirt bikes and have become accustomed to using the rear brake. On the road, and track, itís kind of a hard habit to break and I realize that rear braking into the turn-in point could result in a high side if the tire hooks up late. On the track I try and get the bike fully settled before turn-in. On the street, in the rare situation that the rear breaks loose, I ride it out until I feel confident that the rear will hook up without ejecting me.

I guess my question is if I go into a turn a little loose what can be done to prevent a high side? For example, can setting the steering damper firm help prevent a high side?

10-15-2002, 01:57 PM
The rear brake can help shed speed midcorner safer than with the front.

Although the only time I really use the rear is to do a brake slide/images/icons/cool.gif

<font color=red>Can't sleep...</font color=red><font color=blue>Motoracer</font color=blue>
<font color=red>will eat me...</font color=red>

10-17-2002, 05:45 PM
I feel that my bike turns in quicker when I usa the rear brake along with more front brake. I also feel that I have more control, but every one I know that rides doesnt use it at all.

Hey my Kawasaki is yellow, man it must of been on sale!

10-19-2002, 02:00 PM
I'm not sure I agree that using the rear brake is a safer way to shed speed mid-corner. You have much less feel and control with your foot and I'd be very reluctant to touch the rear brake after I'm already turned-in, your just begging for a highside. I think you're safer just doing nothing, maintain a constant throttle and look through your turn.
When I'm racing I trail brake into almost every corner, the key is to be smooth in applying and releasing the brakes. As soon as I'm off the brakes I get on the gas and start accelerating. The bike is much more stable if you're on the gas, if you try to coast or let off the throttle in a turn the bike feels like a dump truck.
I think 99% of the time guys feel the need to brake or close the throttle really don't need to, as Keith Code says its just a survival reaction. If you just relax and look through the turn while maintaining a constant throttle you can make it through just fine. The trick is just knowing the limits of yourself and your bike, most track day riders won't lean their bike nearly as far as they could.

"How fast have you had it up to?"...if I had a dime...../images/icons/tongue.gif

10-19-2002, 02:42 PM
I'd have to agree, any braking input, front or rear, mid corner is asking for trouble IMO. Close throttle-brake/downshift-open throttle-turn.

I see no harm in using the rear brake along with the front before your turn-in point, I just don't need to with the RCs brakes.

10-19-2002, 07:08 PM
Bare in mind I was not claiming to be an expert in anyway.
It's just what I do. I've had pretty good luck so far/images/icons/laugh.gif[knocking on wood]/images/icons/crazy.gif
And I was refering to trail braking rather than hiting the brake mid coner. Just to clearify

<font color=red>Can't sleep...</font color=red><font color=blue>Motoracer</font color=blue>
<font color=red>will eat me...</font color=red>

10-20-2002, 10:26 AM
Lordjim, do you open the throttle before you turn-in? I find it take a lot more force to turn the bike in with the throttle open. I start opening the throttle and accelerating after I'm done with my steering input, but thats just me. This is on the track mind you, on the street I think I almost always on the gas during my turn-in.

Notto, I wasn't saying you're wrong and i'm sorry if it sounded that way, everyone has their own style. I just wanted to clarify for some of the less experienced track riders that braking in a turn takes a very soft touch. I wouldn't recommend for anyone who is just learning to ride on the track to use any brakes past their turn-in point.
If you trail brake with the rear then you've got bigger balls than me, I trail with the front because I have more feel using my hand than with my foot on the rear brake. I've have some success racing as an amateur and I've even won a few races and I think the only time I touch the rear brake is when I go sight seeing off the track...not that it happens very often /images/icons/wink.gif

"How fast have you had it up to?"...if I had a dime...../images/icons/tongue.gif

10-20-2002, 12:47 PM
No Jag, you're quite right. I just reread my post and it is incorrect. I open the throttle between turn in point and apex. Can't really say exactly when because it varies I'm sure. So it should read: Close throttle - brake/downshift - turn - open throttle....Glad you caught that /images/icons/cool.gif

This is track riding of course, on the street everything changes since I don't brake hard or use track lines or bang up and down the gearbox or anything like that. Still don't use the rear though /images/icons/wink.gif

10-22-2002, 06:30 AM
After a dozen or so track days I still don't use it. Maybe someday/images/icons/wink.gif

<font color=red>Only the mediocre are always at their best.</font color=red>

10-22-2002, 07:04 AM
I use both brakes always.

I like to brake late, and before the entrance to my turn let off the rear, with front still on *lightly* I'll drop in and ease the front off as i go.

Gotta watch out in hard braking though. When your using alot of front it makes the rear end light. Which makes it easier to lock up the rear. This added with downshifting, can easily unsettle your bike and give you "the rear end hop". If that starts, I usuall stop all braking, get on the gas *smoothly* and ride it out. *at least the bike will be settled down before turn entrance this way. /images/icons/crazy.gif

10-22-2002, 07:39 AM
good sh!|im going to try all of this stills of riding and ill have my wife write about how i died . no im just kidding, since coming to this site ive learned alot about the different ways of riding and i try to implement them daily. And god knows that the way these people with 4 wheels drive it has saved my life

Hey my Kawasaki is yellow, man it must of been on sale!

10-24-2002, 04:41 PM
if you know how to use it then use it , if you dont LEARN.. Using the rear brake will always make your bike stop faster . The proper sequence for the corner should be brake/downshift, keep braking during the turnin and let off brakes and roll on throttle at the apex.

Im ganna feel this in the morning

10-24-2002, 07:52 PM
Actually you shouldn't say roll on throttle at the apex because there are different types or corners. You should be on the gas as soon as possible and always be accelerating, you bike is most stable and has the most traction under acceleration.

"How fast have you had it up to?"...if I had a dime...../images/icons/tongue.gif

10-31-2002, 12:17 PM
I have a question about the acceleration in corners while riding on the street. I usually keep the bike in fairly low RPM's while riding on the street like 4-7k Is there anyreason to keep the RPM's up besides being able to accelrate harder out of and in the turn?

11-01-2002, 01:19 AM
I do exactly as Motoracer does.

He also pointed out what I think is the real reason people get into trouble with the rear brake. You need to be concious of the fact that as the bike dives forward, you need to lessen your foot pressure.

12-10-2002, 01:55 AM
Just dont fall

12-10-2002, 10:17 AM
I use them both.

12-11-2002, 03:03 AM
Well I guess I take my turns just like motto &amp; WFO, although to be honest I always thought it was wrong but it's how I feel most comfortable in a turn. Use both before the turn and front brake untill I'm on the gas again.

12-12-2002, 09:53 PM
I use them both, street and track, but Im pretty slow, lol.


12-14-2002, 04:22 PM
Same here

12-14-2002, 04:22 PM
Same here.

12-16-2002, 06:54 AM
I use both about 90% of the time and only the front the other 10%, its how I feel the most comfortable.

12-17-2002, 06:02 AM
I use both as well depending on how Quickly I need to stop and how hot "I think" i have come into a turn. But the new tires have helped out tremendously. Swapped from Dunlop 208's to MEtz M1's, and all a brutha can say is DAYUMMM... I do trail brake on two of the turns out at the lake, and they both happen to be right hand decreasing radius turns. I do need to work on them and give smooth consistent steering input. When it warms up.


12-19-2002, 02:26 PM
fwiw... I don't think I get much braking force from the rear brake, but there are turns at some tracks where I'll use the rear brake a bit to compress the rear suspension to keep from doing an endo into the turn. Maybe not something you guys on four strokes need to worry about, 'cause you get a bit of engine braking. I don't think I get much stopping power from the rear, since I go from wot to virtually 100% weight on the front wheel in a few tenths of a second. Also trailing the front into the corner, there are a few places which seem to work better if I do, but I think it has more to do with compressing the suspension making the bike turn in faster. But I'm no expert... all I know is the more I learn, the more there is to learn. -- Rob

12-22-2002, 08:12 PM
Most of the fast riders don't use their rear brake at all, or only in certain circumstances. That is on the track. Most guys who are new to the track are braking WAY harder then they need to be anyways, so there is absolutely no need for the rear brake. But while you still have your rear tire on the ground, it does add a slight bit of stopping power. (Your front suspension settings help to keep the rear tire on the track longer.) But as like was mentioned earlier, there are potential pitfalls with using your rear brake. If you are going to use them, make sure you learn what the hell you are doing. And remember, rules that apply on the dirt don't apply on a road track. Have fun man.

12-31-2002, 06:27 AM
if your bike is capable of doing a stoppie, how can the front brake not deliver 100% of your stopping power?&lt;br&gt;&lt;br&gt;

[/ QUOTE ]

You stop alot faster with both wheels on the ground, dude. :crazy: I can do rolling stoppies for a few hundred feet and I gaurantee I can stop faster with both wheels down...

01-05-2003, 12:40 PM
rolling stoppies have nothing to do with stopping. Just like long wheelies have nothing to do with acceleration.

01-06-2003, 10:54 AM
The impression I get is that the rear brake is useful for rubbing off some speed and loading the front in the first second or two of braking. After the initial two seconds the rear becomes light &amp; loose, and thus needs to be settled down before the turn-in point. (Unless you're an expert and can "back it in.") So, if you can get the rear brake to contribute even 10% stopping power it would be quite significant when hauling the bike down from 150mph for a 70mph turn-in as you can brake slightly later.

01-08-2003, 07:53 PM
If you use a MotoGP, WSBK, or any race bike as an example of a machine that is stripped of every gram of weight that is not absolutely essential to winning the race, It would seem obvious that they would eliminate the rear brake if it was not needed. But that does not seem to be that case. It must be there for a reason. :rolling:

01-09-2003, 07:50 AM
Yeah Here is your reason. I read that Nickey Hayden was excluded from riding the Suzuka 8 Hours because he used so much rear brake the pads and rotors would be shot every hour. Too much time wasted on equipment swaps, but it proves he uses a lot of rear brake to get his bikes "hacked."

01-09-2003, 07:52 AM

01-09-2003, 01:47 PM
In MotoGP, WSBK, and all other race organization, the rear brake is left on because it is a required safety tool. The rules state that there must be a "functioning" rear brake system. Even for all the racers that never use their rear brake while racing, I'm sure as hell they will use it if their front brake system fails. I know a lot of racers who spread their pads apart before the race on their rear caliper to eliminate the drag from the rear rotor. But it makes it a little hairy when you NEED that brake.

01-11-2003, 03:12 AM
Not to mention that if you go agricultural the rear is the only thing you can touch. :tongue:

01-11-2003, 05:25 AM
WFO, You are absolutely right. I've only run off 3 times but I can tell that all 3 times this would have been me :bawling: had I not had a rear brake.

01-15-2003, 11:42 AM
Unless you have racing experience, you should only use your rear brake when riding in a straight line and even then, use it on the track only when you have too. On the street you can use it at will in a straight line.

If you race, the rear brake can be used very effectively to help you trail brake when the front end is getting close to bottoming out, such as trailing it into a banked turn, or to suddently adjust your line like in dirt track. But this requires lots of experience using the rear brake in race situations. It is not simply a matter of pressing the lever. If you have never had experience with this, I would not suggest it.

02-13-2003, 12:15 PM
Unless you have racing experience, you should only use your rear brake when riding in a straight line and even then, use it on the track only when you have too. On the street you can use it at will in a straight line.

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm still trying to learn this and the quote above is exactly the opposite of trail braking, isn't it? Isn't trail braking when you drag the rear brake through the off-throttle -- turn in -- on throttle actions?

Second question -- do you do turn in and on throttle simultaneously or do you set the lean angle THEN open the throttle?

02-13-2003, 02:00 PM
Throttle use:
The California Superbike School teaches that you get on the throttle as soon after turn in as possible. The throttle stablizes the bike. Of course the amount of throttle is important. You should add throttle smoothly through the turn... never let up on throttle.... takes weight off the rear and is not good.

02-14-2003, 02:15 AM
Ok learn to use then use like there is no tommorrow