The concept of braking may seem to be an incredibly simple fundamental of riding, but there is actually a great deal to it that all riders should note. Brakes are without a doubt the most important system on any motor vehicle, especially on motorcycles, and can be difficult to master. Practicing and mastering proper usage and control of your brakes can potentially save your life in the event of dangerous road conditions.
Being conscious of using your brakes is the most important thing, specifically on forward-leaning sport bikes. Do so without bracing yourself on the handlebars. Putting your weight onto your handlebars will make it incredibly difficult or impossible to turn and your bike will handle much better while braking if you distribute your weight in other ways. The best way to brace while braking and maintaining proper control over your steering is to squeeze the gas tank with your knees and use your core muscles to hold your body upright.
Riders are also encouraged to be extra mindful of the pressure they apply when squeezing the brakes. Braking should be progressive and not sudden. Squeeze very slightly on your brakes at first and apply progressively more and more pressure as the brake continues. This manner of braking will help to allow your bike to safely shift weight to the front wheel and put pressure on the suspension making for a much more effective deceleration.
Getting comfortable with a “touch-and-go” technique of coming to a quick stop and speeding back up will help prepare riders for situations in which they need to quickly stop to avoid a collision, and then speed back up to avoid getting hit from behind. Ensure that after you slow down, you are in the correct gear to provide a quick acceleration out of harm’s way.
The most important piece of advice when it comes to braking better on a motorcycle is to take these various tips and practice them. Take time in a protected area to familiarize yourself with these techniques and find the correct rhythm so that you can perform them without even thinking next time you go for a ride.
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