Braking technique

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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes 30 seconds
Here’s a thorough section about braking which will arm you with life-saving knowledge and vastly improve your riding skills. Braking on a bike must be practised well enough, especially for panic situations, to get a good idea of the grip offered by the tires and the road surface. For effective braking on a motorcycle, the road surface must be plain and dry.
NOTE: This is only an introduction and does not discuss topics like engine braking, panic braking, braking while cornering, etc.

Braking for Slowing Down

1) Leave the throttle completely (all the way back).
2) Apply both the brakes progressively.
3) Slow down to the needed speed:
a) If the speed after slowing down is too slow for the current gear, then downshift to a lower gear.
b) If the speed after slowing down is okay for the current gear, then continue riding in the same gear by adding throttle as needed.
NOTE: Never skip a gear while up-shifting or down-shifting, it may be harmful for the transmission/gearbox. When it is time for slowing down, it should be judged whether the speed is okay for the current gear or not.

Braking to slow down
Braking to slow down

Braking for Stopping

1) Leave the throttle completely (all the way back).
2) Pull in the clutch lever completely.
3) Apply both the brakes progressively (with increasing pressure).
4) While slowing down, tap down all the gears and select Neutral.
5) Stop and let out the clutch lever.

– In order to have the best traction in every road condition the rider must be in the correct gear for the given speed.
– Using both the brakes together reduces the stopping distance to a great extent.

Braking to stop
Braking to stop

Staged Braking on a motorcycle (Progressive Braking)

  1. STAGE I The rider applies the brakes where they are just on (friction point) and the bike slows down very gently, rolling to a stop.
  2. STAGE II The rider applies the brakes firmly to bring the bike to a normal/firm, smooth stop. So, Stage II is where the rider applies the brakes to Stage I (friction point) before applying a steady force at Stage II.
  3. STAGE III The rider applies the brakes with a strong pull to stop in time. So, Stage III is where the rider applies the brakes till Stage I, then onto a firm pull of Stage II before applying pressure with a strong pull at Stage III.
  4. STAGE IV This is the final stage of braking – the rider needs all the braking he/she has got. The rider has to use the maximum brake-force to stop safely. So, in Stage IV, the rider applies the brakes till Friction Point (Stage I), moves onto the firm pull of Stage II, then a strong pull at Stage III before giving it all he/she has got at Stage IV.
    NOTE: Never grab the brake levers suddenly, squeeze them progressively, modulating pressure as needed. Grabbing a handful of the brakes is a major reason for unintended skidding.
Staged braking
Staged braking

Mechanics of Braking
Mechanics of Braking is all about managing traction as a result of weight transfer. The below info graphic is self-explanatory:

Mechanics of braking, how braking works
Mechanics of braking

While braking hard, if the rear tire starts skidding (possible because of decreasing weight at the rear end), let it skid. Instead, concentrate on the front portion (it won’t skid easily because of increasing weight transfer towards the front) and stop safely.

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2 thoughts on “Braking technique

  1. Never seen a more thorough article on braking. Good.

    1. Glad you liked it! Hope you tried some of these on your bike as well.

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