Braking is one of the most critical aspects of motorcycling and also perhaps the most misunderstood aspects. Most don’t appreciate the nuances of the front and rear brakes and how each brake is used in totally different situations to improve safety, handling, and even riding pleasure.
We’ll begin this three-part series with the front brake, a brake where most braking should ideally happen. However, in the real world, most motorcyclists use the rear brake more than the front, making braking quite inefficient. So, when exactly must you use the front brake of your motorcycle?
To keep it simple, there are three main situations where you should use the front brake of the motorcycle.
During emergency braking. Think of a situation where a dog suddenly darts across the road, giving you very little reaction time. Use your front brake, and squeeze it as hard as possible if your motorcycle is equipped with ABS. Even if your motorcycle isn’t equipped with ABS, the front brake is the one that should be used for emergency braking.
For regular stopping. Even for regular stopping, using the front brake is a good idea as long as you’re on a surface with a good grip.
For braking while reversing down a slope. In such circumstances, you may need to use both your feet to balance a motorcycle that you’re reversing. Using the front brake in such a situation is most optimum as you can control the descent in reverse, and also use your feet to balance.
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