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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I never use the rear brake. For one, I can't feel anything from it so get no feedback. Secondly, since I get no feedback, I'm afraid that using it too much is going to lock the rear on me, especially when hard stopping when the rear is already light. I really should learn how to use it I suppose, but it seems like the only way to learn the limits are to lock the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
yeah, I do want to take an advanced course soon. The problem is they make you use your own bike and I'd be hesitant to go all out for fear of dropping it :/ I know the benefit is that you learn the limits of your own bike, though.

Thanks for the article too, reading it now
 

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What's the point in taking and adv course on a bike you don't ride?

There's no more risk of crashing on an adv course than riding anywhere else. Heck I'd say you are more likely to crash on the open road because you have id10t drivers out there.

An adv riding course is not an open race track. They won't push you anymore than you are comfortable with.
 

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Are we talking about the MSF advanced course? Or are there other resources?
In addition to the MSF ARC, there's the Total Control Advanced Rider Course, given in various locations.
http://www.totalcontroltraining.net/
Outlaw Justice, a member here, is an instructor.

But you can just practice smooth braking in a vacant parking lot without more instruction than you can get on YouTube or with any number of the good riding textbooks available.
 

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I'm nearly all fronts until I need to avoid dying.. then the rear comes in handy. If I wanna take certain turns fast, some things can only be done with a rear brake's help.

I've locked up the rear plenty of times, and coming from a BMX background, so long as nothing goes cockeyed on you, you're still pretty ok as long as you don't mentally seize and leave it locked up.. I've also locked up the front briefly enough for their to be a break in traction.. it happens. Its like learning how long it takes your e-brake to stop your cage (something you should know!).. no way to find out short of going out and poking fate with a stick (practicing).
 

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This has been discussed a thousand times, but I say rear brake is for low traction conditions. Everywhere else it's front only. 20% of braking power from the rear is way off on a sportbike, IMO. Once the weight is on the front, it's nearly useless, and much more of a liability than an asset.
 

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I use the rear brake a lot... But only when coming to a slow stop in town or when riding dirt/gravel roads. The rest of the time, I never use it.

Every article I've ever seen written on rear brakes don't specify specific types of bikes. I just can't bring myself to believe that the rear brake on a sportbike under heavy front braking makes up 20% of the braking power.
 

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20% of braking power from the rear is way off on a sportbike, IMO. Once the weight is on the front, it's nearly useless, and much more of a liability than an asset.
This is the kind of self-affirming, factually incorrect "common sense" that leads to crashes. If you don't know how to use the rear brake, then yes, you'll never get any use out of it. If you never use it, you'll never learn to use it.
 

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This is the kind of self-affirming, factually incorrect "common sense" that leads to crashes. If you don't know how to use the rear brake, then yes, you'll never get any use out of it. If you never use it, you'll never learn to use it.
Indeed.

To anyone who thinks the rear brake is "useless" - unless you rear tire isn't riding on the pavement any more, it will most definitely provide some useful braking power.

Now, that said, there is another situation to be noted - engine braking. Engine braking affects the rear, and only the rear. If you are making use of heavy engine braking, it may be that you don't want to use the rear brake at the same time, as applying fully brake then runs a higher risk of lock-up. But if you're on a bike with less engine braking, or keeping the clutch disengaged, then not using some rear brake to stop sooner is just silly. (Because you *will* stop sooner using both brakes than just one.)


I also never understand those who say they honestly never use the rear for any reason. Why would you purposely make hill-starts harder than they need to be? Feels almost like cheating compared to say, a car, where you only have two feet and three pedals. Having two hands and a foot to operate clutch, throttle, and brake simultaneously sure makes it easy on a bike.

(I myself also prefer to hold position at a stoplight using the rear brake; makes for a good time to stretch out the throttle hand on longer trips.)
 

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I use the rear brake all the time.

I nearly won this year's slow race (4 ft. from the finish, I had to put a foot down, not knowing that everyone behind me had already put a foot down)

I have lifted and/or locked the rear tire a few times. It's not something I worry about.
 

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I use it all the time, but usually only lightly. In the very few panic stop situations I have encountered (I've only been riding since April) I used it more aggressively, but didn't lock the rear up. I find my Gladius has a lot of engine braking potential, so I use that to gradually slow for stoplights etc. In this circumstance, I ALWAYS drag the rear slightly, just to light the brake light so other people know I'm slowing down.
 

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I use the rear brake a lot... But only when coming to a slow stop in town or when riding dirt/gravel roads. The rest of the time, I never use it.

Every article I've ever seen written on rear brakes don't specify specific types of bikes. I just can't bring myself to believe that the rear brake on a sportbike under heavy front braking makes up 20% of the braking power.
It is very easy to convince yourself of this. Find a clean open parking lot. Set cones about 20-25 yds away. Accelerate to 30-35 mph and apply the rear brake only. Mark your stopping position. (Give yourself plenty of run off for the rear brake only as it takes a lot of real estate to stop with the rear only.)

Do the same thing with the front only, then with both. You'll easily stop 10' - 15' sooner with both brakes than you will with only the front. I've done it many times as its part of Reg Pridmore's braking exercise. It doesn't matter if you end in a stoppie, you'll still stop faster with both brakes than with the front only.
 

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I use it all the time when I brake I brake with both. At the track I do not touch the rear brake ever, I'm just not that good enough to risk using the eject button.
 

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to the o.p., one thing no one has mentioned: if you feel like the rear brake is doing nothing, maybe some maintenance is needed. mine felt like it was missing in action until i bled it, then it had a lot of power. i guess it just got worse and worse over time and snuck up on me. made a believer out of me regarding the change/bleed the fluid every 2 yr." rule, which i had been ignoring.
 
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