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post #1 of 11 Old Jul 15th, 2009, 9:44 pm Thread Starter
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Question about Brakes

I have been reading some of the brake pad wear articles and I now have a question. I have a 2003 LT. Do both brakes get applied in equal amounts when using just the front or just the back brakes? I usually use just the hand brake and it appears to brake both wheels very well. When I use just the foot brake seems the same just a lot more sensitive. Am I correct in assuming the brakes are applied equally with either or both brakes?
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post #2 of 11 Old Jul 15th, 2009, 10:53 pm
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Re: Question about Brakes

Not equally - when u break with the front lever, more braking power goes to the front (I believe like 80%), and when u break with the foot pedal, more breaking power goes to the back.
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post #3 of 11 Old Jul 16th, 2009, 8:50 am Thread Starter
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Re: Question about Brakes

Oh! Maybe that is why my front tires wear out so fast. It fells like pretty even braking. Thanks for the response.
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post #4 of 11 Old Jul 16th, 2009, 9:15 am
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Re: Question about Brakes

Allow me to get on the soapbox for a moment. Always use both brakes. It will save your life in an emergency. What you practice every day is exactly what you will do in an emergency situation so by only using the front brake you program your brain to not use the rear brake when you really need it. When that cager pulls in front of you the automatic function kicks in and nobody has time to think about using both brakes instead of just one like they usually do. I have worked a fatality accident where there didn't need to be an accident because of a rider whose normal practice was to use the rear brake only. When the car turned in front of him he put down over 100 feet of skid and died on impact. Please consider using both brakes at all times. The only exception is low speed turns (parking lots) where only the rear brake should be used.


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post #5 of 11 Old Jul 16th, 2009, 8:36 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Question about Brakes

Now that I know that both brakes are not applied equally I will start using both brakes. I feel kind of stupid not realizing. I wonder if there are others out there or just me.
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post #6 of 11 Old Jul 16th, 2009, 9:25 pm
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Re: Question about Brakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by sodbuster
Now that I know that both brakes are not applied equally I will start using both brakes. I feel kind of stupid not realizing. I wonder if there are others out there or just me.

Just you!

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post #7 of 11 Old Jul 16th, 2009, 10:20 pm
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Re: Question about Brakes

Not just you!

But you should notice that braking is a lot weaker if u just use the foot break.
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post #8 of 11 Old Jul 17th, 2009, 1:27 am
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Re: Question about Brakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey
Allow me to get on the soapbox for a moment. Always use both brakes. It will save your life in an emergency. What you practice every day is exactly what you will do in an emergency situation so by only using the front brake you program your brain to not use the rear brake when you really need it. When that cager pulls in front of you the automatic function kicks in and nobody has time to think about using both brakes instead of just one like they usually do. I have worked a fatality accident where there didn't need to be an accident because of a rider whose normal practice was to use the rear brake only. When the car turned in front of him he put down over 100 feet of skid and died on impact. Please consider using both brakes at all times. The only exception is low speed turns (parking lots) where only the rear brake should be used.
On behalf of all RiderCoaches, thank you; well said.

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post #9 of 11 Old Jul 17th, 2009, 1:49 am
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Re: Question about Brakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by sodbuster
Now that I know that both brakes are not applied equally I will start using both brakes. I feel kind of stupid not realizing. I wonder if there are others out there or just me.
During BRCs, most students with some riding experience will say they only use the rear brake due to not being taught on using both brakes or do not want to experience an unintended stoppie. As deanwoosey indicated, habits are what happen during an emergency.

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post #10 of 11 Old Jul 17th, 2009, 8:10 am Thread Starter
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Re: Question about Brakes

Yes braking is weaker with just the hand brake but far better than both brakes on any other street bike I have ever owned. I kind of assumed the foot brake just felt stronger because of the extra power of the foot. Not thinking about the power assist. I have been riding dirt bikes all my life and know the importance of both brakes but when I was using just the hand lever on the LT it felt very strong and stopped very fast .

Last edited by sodbuster; Jul 17th, 2009 at 8:16 am.
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post #11 of 11 Old Jul 17th, 2009, 8:34 am
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Re: Question about Brakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by sodbuster
Yes braking is weaker with just the hand brake ...
I assume that was just a typo: you meant rear, right? Even on integral brakes, rear does not provide the same braking power as front.

With the tremendous power of the front brake, you were justified in assuming that just the front lever is good enough - although, as others pointed out, both are better and using both is the correct technique.

For what's worth, BMW instructors teach the following emergency routine:
- clutch in
- hard on rear brake
- then, as weight is transferring forward, smoothly onto front brake.

Again as it is pointed out, you need to have the routine ingrained as result of practice. You will not act rationally in panic. The justification for clutch release is that a lot of people while applying front brake in emergency, tend to twist throttle up and add gas. Needless to say, covering front brake and clutch levers is an essential safety precaution.

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