Learning to stop your motorcycle is one of those driving skills that takes lots of practice. When you find yourself in a panic situation where you need to stop now, those hours of braking practice will pay off as your body instinctively performs the steps needed to bring you to a stop quickly and safely.
The first thing to get in the habit of doing when practicing your braking skills, Cycle World explains, is to ride with one finger on the front brake lever. This will significantly decrease your reaction time should you need to brake in an emergency situation.
Next, keep in mind that your front brakes will perform the majority of your stopping action. When you need to make a stop, grip the bike with your legs to prevent your weight from shifting during the braking process. Then, apply the front brakes gradually until you feel the weight of the bike shift to the front tire. This places more of the tire in contact with the roadway and signals your readiness to move on to the next stage of braking.
Once you have begun to apply the front brake, you can begin to apply the rear brake and downshift to a lower gear to help decrease your speed. Continue to apply your front brake with steady pressure, taking care not to jam on the brake and lock up the wheel.
This is where practice pays off. Knowing how much pressure is too much and will cause the wheels to lock up, and how much is just enough, comes only from experience with your bike.
If you use only the back brake, it will not only take you much longer to stop than if you use your front brakes, it will most likely result in the locking up of the back wheel and the skidding of the bike.
Studies have shown that the most effective type of braking is to use a combination of the front and back brakes in a systematic approach like the one listed above.
When braking in an emergency, try to concentrate only on using the front brake and try to avoid jamming on the brake all at once. If you can remember, also pull the clutch and avoid using the back brake all together until you are over your panic. A controlled squeeze of the lever is your goal and concentrating on controlling your grip is essential.
When practicing, you should practice both emergency braking (without the rear brake) and regular braking, using both brakes. When riding a new motorcycle, it is important to practice in a safe and familiar area before heading out on the open road to ensure that you can properly handle the bike and brake effectively.
Always make sure your motorcycle is in good repair and service your braking system regularly. Also, make sure your tires have plenty of treads and are in good repair before setting out for even a short trip. Your brakes are all that stand between you and a collision in many situations. Find the best lawyers for motor accidents with the Bernard Law Group.
IF YOU, OR A LOVED ONE, HAVE BEEN SERIOUSLY INJURED IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT IN WASHINGTON – CALL TODAY FOR A FREE CONSULTATION!