Over-reacting in an emergency situation can be as bad as under-reacting. If you have to test your brakes in an emergency, do you know how your bike is going to respond? Do you know how you will respond? If you haven’t practiced power braking in a parking lot then it probably will be uncharted territory when you need it and the outcome might not be that cool. Thousands of miles riding down the highway will not prepare you for emergency braking. Practice is the key.

In a power braking situation do not lock up the rear wheel thinking you will slide to a stop like a baseball player coming into home base. Keep your motorcycle as upright and straight as possible. Joining the "Yuup, I had to lay ‘er down" club isn’t that cool. If you are mindful of the approaching situation, like a busy intersection for example, you will have already covered the brakes and readied your mind to be cool. Quickly squeeze the front brake and press the rear brake at the same time. Increase the pressure on the front brake and use it to control the rate of deceleration. Maintain even pressure on the rear brake and hold it, but do not let the rear tire lock up. Keep a cool head, cut the gas, pull in the clutch, and start down shifting to the gear you will need when all this stopping stuff is over. All the way to first if you are coming to a full stop.

So many riders tell me it would be a sure crash if they used the front brake in an emergency; that ain’t cool. I know it would be a sure crash if they didn’t. The front brake is 75% of your stopping power and knowing how to use it will get you home. Get together with a couple buddies and practice power braking correctly in a safe and traffic free place such as a parking lot. Start braking slowly at around 20 mph, brake to a complete stop. Increase to 40 mph after you get it down and feel in-tune with your machine. After practice you will know the answers to my two questions above Grasshopper …this is very cool.


ALR Road Captain

Post 1 Omaha Ne

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