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Discussion Starter #23
Regarding how I brake, I got the idea from one of the motorcycle sites, though I can't remember which one. What the article said was that applying the front brake suddenly can cause it to skid because it has not fully deformed under the braking load. Once the tire is fully loaded and deformed then more pressure can be applied to the brake lever safely. That's why you apply pressure gradually, it gives the front tire time to deform. The article went on to say that applying the rear brake also loads the front tire. The MSF course said to apply both brakes evenly. Based on what the article said I have been applying the rear brake first, then the front. Did I misunderstand the article?

Regarding the position of the control levers, I don't think I need necessarily adjustable ones. My bicycle has levers that don't slope gradually, but have a point where they offset a bit to bring the lever closer to the bar. Surely something similar exists for motorcycles. Would that be something I can change myself or do I need the shop to do it?
 

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Regarding how I brake, I got the idea from one of the motorcycle sites, though I can't remember which one. What the article said was that applying the front brake suddenly can cause it to skid because it has not fully deformed under the braking load. Once the tire is fully loaded and deformed then more pressure can be applied to the brake lever safely. That's why you apply pressure gradually, it gives the front tire time to deform. The article went on to say that applying the rear brake also loads the front tire. The MSF course said to apply both brakes evenly. Based on what the article said I have been applying the rear brake first, then the front. Did I misunderstand the article?

Regarding the position of the control levers, I don't think I need necessarily adjustable ones. My bicycle has levers that don't slope gradually, but have a point where they offset a bit to bring the lever closer to the bar. Surely something similar exists for motorcycles. Would that be something I can change myself or do I need the shop to do it?

until you get "good" at braking, just leave the rear alone. it's extra attention and gives you no real benefit on a sportbike unless you're extremely good on the front already... Take about 1/3-1/2 of a second to get on the front brake fully.

Motorcycle Safety Site=
 

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Good write up thanks for the insight and review.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
That's a really good site. Thanks for the find. It does seem that my concerns about needing to load the front tire with the rear brake were greatly exaggerated.

However, I don't get the same takeaway about the use of the rear brake. The MSF course said to use both brakes at all times to build the habit of their combined use for use in emergency stops. Even the article you linked states "Obviously, a rider is well advised to use both brakes". So it seems to me that the admonition against the use of the rear brake is going too far. Hyperbole for effect, perhaps?

I think the braking discussion is useful but straying a bit far from the original post. Maybe we should have a riding tips section.
 

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However, I don't get the same takeaway about the use of the rear brake. The MSF course said to use both brakes at all times to build the habit of their combined use for use in emergency stops. Even the article you linked states "Obviously, a rider is well advised to use both brakes". So it seems to me that the admonition against the use of the rear brake is going too far. Hyperbole for effect, perhaps?
Kind-of.
The msf targets all bikes with generic info (cruisers, old bikes with drum brakes, sportbikes, scooters even). That site is mostly cruiser/tourer oriented. However, all bikes are not created equal.

A big cruiser even under the heaviest braking scenario has enough weight on the rear to maintain some traction (so your rear tire is providing some braking). They get the majority of braking from the front, but plenty from the rear (that 70%/30% the msf teaches)

A 70s ujm with drum brakes (think cb350) doesn't have enough front brake or tire to lift the rear.

A sportbike (in this context anything that will stoppie easily) will lift the rear tire under heavy braking (so at that point, the rear tires gives you nothing as far as braking goes).Basically, these bikes get almost 100% stopping power from the front.

The grom (and your 250) are similar in dynamic to sportbikes. With maximum use of the front, you get nothing from the rear. The reason i'm suggesting ignoring the rear, is because while it does have plenty of uses for stability, trail braking, etc. as a new rider you're not using it for those purposes. Also, your attention is now divided between two brakes. While you're playing with the rear, your brain isn't concentrating as well on the front. So as a new rider, you would be best served with concentrating on perfecting the use of the control which does all the work of slowing you down, not just 1 or 2 % of the work.

As far as squealing the front, since the nsr50 I ride is similar enough to the grom, this seems to be caused by the low weight, tiny tires, and plenty of brake power. You do need to be cautious with the front brake since the bike may tuck the front (especially in the rain, awful awful bikes for rain...). On the nsr I use 2 fingers at most on the front and usually one.
Go practice emergency stops in a parking lot with good traction, but build up braking slowly, don't just grab a handful and see what happens.

The rear also has a couple of other nasty things it may do that i'm not a fan of, but they're irrelevant for the purposes of a straight up and down braking discussion (more to do with cornering and trail braking)


I think the braking discussion is useful but straying a bit far from the original post. Maybe we should have a riding tips section.
threadjacking is the way of these forums. it's a conversation ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Hijacking your own thread still sounds a bit off to me. In either case, a riders tips section seems like a good idea.

And I totally agree about needing practice. I will usually do a couple of figure 8s if I find a desolate parking lot along the way. Guess I should add a couple of quick stops to the rotation. One of the local riders groups is having a skills practice in a couple of weeks and I plan to go out for that.
 
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