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Braking and wheel blocking

There is a lot of information about the methods of braking, but there is not much information about locking the wheel and your behavior at this moment. We will refresh something in our memory, and we will take note of something.

First you need to take into account that no matter how first-class ace you are, it is vitally important to clearly understand the behavior of the motorcycle at the time of emergency and normal braking.

– How to get this idea? – you ask.

It is logical that only by trial and error, but I only ask you very much, let’s not stuff the cones in the traffic of city streets! You bought a motorcycle, the first thing that appears after thousands of necessary things for inspection, registration and, possibly, replacement of consumables is to get used to it. So, the main things in training will be feeling the balance of the new bike, getting used to the grip and the capabilities of the brakes.

Practice stopping smoothly and abruptly in a separate area. You just have to know the behavior of a motorcycle at such moments, someday it can save your life and someone else’s.

So, here you have appreciated your brake pads, even taught yourself to keep your fingers on the brake lever (and if you still haven’t, I advise you to get used to driving like that), it’s time to remember the following truths. Important, that the motorcycle is more effective in braking while it is in a strictly upright position. All the songs about the fact that you did not have time to brake and therefore, three hundred meters before the obstacle, you decided to abandon the motorcycle, jump off it and watch it in the trail as it rams someone’s Toyota – a sign of inability to work with the brakes.

The motorcycle is divided into two parts – front and rear due to the design and suspension features, respectively, it has separate brakes. This is not done to confuse the pilots, although having one pedal on both wheels might be easier.

The main brake for simple driving without emergencies is the front one, but the greater the mass of your motorcycle, the more important it is for it to use the rear brake. This is especially true for choppers.

And one more subtlety: long bikes have a slower and less damping rear suspension than short bikes, so they have more rear wheel braking options.

On the fingers: where a short sports bike, when braking with the front wheel, turns into a stop or low side, a chopper on the same conditions simply due to its size and length will physically not be able to switch to a stop. Yes, the bite effect will not run away when squeezing the front brake, whatever one may say, the fork takes on an offset balance and sags. On shorter bikes, it is possible for the rear wheel to come off because of this, which means that precious grip is lost, even if you want to apply the rear brake. But such stories do not threaten long motorcycles, they are more stable under emergency braking, especially if the fork has a forward extension. It just sits down and that’s it. The rear wheel will not come off the road surface, and the driver will have the opportunity to force events with the rear wheel.

Why is the rear brake so disliked?

How to say they do not like it … Depends on the class of the motorcycle and the nature of the ride. What is the norm for a heavy and long chopper – a shock for a mega responsive sportbike.

It is because of the locking of the wheel during braking that the rear brake is so afraid to use. In fact – in vain. If you get used to and listen to the motorcycle, you can learn to ride on the verge of blocking, you can hear it by the sound of the tire or felt by the slight wobbling of the rear wheel that appears.

Moreover, I will reveal a great secret. On a really rainy day, when at speed you begin to say goodbye to the whole world out of fear that you will not have time to stop a second before … brake. Even if it’s right. Wheel blocking becomes a hindrance, makes the motorcycle less controllable, the pilot panics and falls.

What to do when the rear wheel is locked?

If you are lucky enough to catch the moment when all is not lost and you can let the wheel spin again, then SLIGHTLY release the brake. When the wheel is locked for too long, you start to drive on the road, all that will save you except for the devilish composure – balancing and steering the front wheel. We recall the first axiom that the motorcycle must be in an upright and upright position, therefore, with the rear wheel locked, this is exactly what we need to strive for. We try to keep the level position with the front wheel. Ideally, practice steering the front wheel with the rear wheel locked in order to understand the motorcycle’s behavior in such a situation and be in the 10% of riders who did manage to cope with the situation.

Locking the front wheel is a problem when you are out of balance or in a corner. If the blockage is short-term, then you can still have time to let the wheel spin and prevent the blocking from going into stall. A breakdown of the front wheel is almost always a fall, since the steering column immediately turns to the side, the motorcycle continues to move by inertia, pushes you forward and makes it impossible to return the wheel axle to a straight position.


  • Brake operation must be smooth depending on the situation. Abrupt squeezing of the front or rear brake can lead to blocking and wheel breakdown.
  • Wheel blocking is less dangerous when the motorcycle is upright and the wheels are straight.
  • Rear wheel blocking can be dealt with, front wheel blocking is dangerous due to uncontrolled stall
  • On long bikes, it is safer to perform emergency braking on the verge of blocking, as they are more stable due to the design

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