Is it OK just to use front brake only? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 7:29 am Thread Starter
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Thumbs down Is it OK just to use front brake only?

Since installing lowering pegs to my LT, I have gotten into the habit of just using the front brake when braking. Yes, I realize that Ilium manufactures a rear brake after-market shifter. I undestand that the front brake handle incorporates both front and rear brakes. Is this a safe practice? I realize in slow situations and slow turns that one should use only the rear brake? Please advise.

Larry Seeman
Port Charlotte, FL
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post #2 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 8:03 am
 
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I almost never use my rear brake for physical reasons. It's one of the main reasons I bought an LT.

I'm just mindful that if the system fails I have to revert back to the "old way" and use both.
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post #3 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 8:07 am
 
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No, no, no . . .

Frankly, I think this is simply terrible technique that will only soon turn into a bad habit that will be hard to brake. (No pun intended.) Using both the front lever and rear pedal is the only way to ride a bike. Just remember, your next bike may not have integral brakes. Then what?

Yes, in the parking lot situations...REAR BRAKE ONLY.
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post #4 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 8:17 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
Frankly, I think this is simply terrible technique that will only soon turn into a bad habit that will be hard to brake. (No pun intended.) Using both the front lever and rear pedal is the only way to ride a bike. Just remember, your next bike may not have integral brakes. Then what?

Yes, in the parking lot situations...REAR BRAKE ONLY.

I was a little surprised at your answer knowing you also ride a sport bike. But after thinking about your answer, I agree. I came from a sport bike (VFR750) and had really gotten into the "bad habit" you talked about. My KLT is a 00' and I do not have integrated brakes. You are 100% correct in parking lot or really any slow speed situation, rear brake only. But I do use the front brake for probably 80% of my braking. I think I'm cured...

Jeff Adkins
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post #5 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 8:24 am
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Cool

If you are not using the rear breaks, you are losing a great deal of handling ability. With slow manuvers the rear break is a must. Using the rear break helps to hold the bike up when slow turning. You also wont drop it when coming to a stop with the front wheel turned.

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post #6 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 8:39 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rush1517
I was a little surprised at your answer knowing you also ride a sport bike. [snip]...
Jeff,
Sometimes, I've learned to not go into all the intricacies of an answer and just give the shortened and concise version as it relates to the LT (or the question(s) at hand). There are many times on my Ninja when I only use the front OR rear brake...but those techniques really don't apply to the LT, or luxury touring in general. I doubt that I would want the LT sliding as much as my Ninja does. I had the LT sideways once ...and I hope that's the LAST time!

The Honda VFR...love that bike. I'm just too big for it.
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post #7 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 9:14 am
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Experiment

Try this just for fun (education) but be careful. Dry, straight road; 40mph; everyone in the clear; now panic stop with the front break only, then mark your stopping distance.

Try this same experiment using front & REAR break and note the stopping distance... supprised?? much shorter using both breaks.

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post #8 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 9:37 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
Jeff,
Sometimes, I've learned to not go into all the intricacies of an answer and just give the shortened and concise version as it relates to the LT (or the question(s) at hand). There are many times on my Ninja when I only use the front OR rear brake...but those techniques really don't apply to the LT, or luxury touring in general. I doubt that I would want the LT sliding as much as my Ninja does. I had the LT sideways once ...and I hope that's the LAST time!

The Honda VFR...love that bike. I'm just too big for it.
Gotcha... And again, I agree. But it did take me a little time to transition into the "both" technique. Actually I still find myself using just the front brake while "riding hard" in the twisties on the LT. The front brakes on that bike are amazing. I've had the front tire squeal a few times under very hard, straight line braking.

I loved the VFR so much I bought two (90' - 96")... I've always loved the Vfour motor from Honda. I'm looking at buying an 02' Magna for a kick around town bike right now. Found one in OH, we'll see.....

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post #9 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 9:42 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rush1517
I loved the VFR so much I bought two (90' - 96")... I've always loved the Vfour motor from Honda. I'm looking at buying an 02' Magna for a kick around town bike right now. Found one in OH, we'll see.....
I've owned 7 Magna's in my day...so you're preachin' to the choir.
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post #10 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 9:43 am
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Larry,
The fully integrated ABS brakes on the LT are truly amazing and among the best in the industry. As such you can probably get by 90٪ of the time but that other 10٪ is gona get you. I agree with Dragon that all of us need to use both brakes every time we stop in order to develop the muscle memory so that in an emergency we don't have to think about using both brakes, it just happens. As someone else pointed out, even with the fully integrated system the shortest stopping distance is still achieved by using both brakes.

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post #11 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 10:11 am
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I use both brakes all the time with two glaring exceptions:

1. Slow speed U turns, the rear only is used to modulate throttle input, I still have a much harder time turning to the right.

2. Loose gravel, a definite rear brake only situation.

A neighbor of mine down the street that rides a certain brand of American motorcycle made in Milwaukee from Japanese parts told me that you should never use the front brake since it can throw you over the handle bars. Really.
I just shook my head and walked away.


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post #12 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 12:36 pm
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Does somebody know what is the braking force difference in '05 full integral brake system using front or rear brake levers only. As I have understood, both the handlever and foot pedal activate front and rear brakes simultaneously. Does the handbrake give more braking force to front wheel and less to rear wheel and vice versa with the foot pedal?
I guess BMW "corrected" this feature in their other new models by cutting the link from the foot pedal to the front wheel.

I have to admit that the only time I use foot brake is during a hill start and now I am also wondering what is the truth with the full integral brakes...

Still confused but on a higher level...

Ari "the Farkle-Freak-Finn" Ignatius

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post #13 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 12:40 pm
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Talking Over the handlebars

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
A neighbor of mine down the street that rides a certain brand of American motorcycle made in Milwaukee from Japanese parts told me that you should never use the front brake since it can throw you over the handle bars. Really.
I just shook my head and walked away.
Let me guess. His last bike was a Schwinn?

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post #14 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 2:19 pm
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Does it apply to the linked power brakes on my 02 model

Hello Guys,

I see you talking about using one or the other brakes.

On my Euro model 02 KLT, the brakes are linked and powered. I often try to establish which brake gives me more power, but I can only determine that they are both fantastic. So I am not so excited about which one I use.

Do you all think that even with these power linked brakes, that I am still advised to use both pedals?

Thanks

Mark

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post #15 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 4:07 pm
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Hi Mark,

on my 2005, as I understand it, it's about 60/40 - tug the front brake, and bout 40% goes to the rear, and vice versa - not a bad idea, except when you wanna use the rear only - slow speed, carparks and mountain passes when you wanna trail a rear brake only....

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post #16 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 6:16 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pozo_izquierdo

I have to admit that the only time I use foot brake is during a hill start and now I am also wondering what is the truth with the full integral brakes...
I've ridden mine the exact same way for over 20,000 miles under a wide variety of conditions and circumstances with no surprises or ill effects.

The system was designed to work that way, I trust it, don't question it, and will continue to use it the way it was designed.

Using both on an LT with fully integral brakes seems alot like pulling the parking brake lever while pushing the brake pedal on a car.
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post #17 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 6:23 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RS6654
I've ridden mine the exact same way for over 20,000 miles under a wide variety of conditions and circumstances with no surprises or ill effects.

The system was designed to work that way, I trust it, don't question it, and will continue to use it the way it was designed.

Using both on an LT with fully integral brakes seems alot like pulling the parking brake lever while pushing the brake pedal on a car.
Your statements only prove that you do not understand fully the way the LT's integral braking system works. The system was NOT designed to work in the way you suggest . . . no sir! Come ride with me, and I'll prove it to you.
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post #18 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 6:27 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn_Keen
As someone else pointed out, even with the fully integrated system the shortest stopping distance is still achieved by using both brakes.
I can't find that anywhere in my owners manual. On page 80 of mine it only reads:

"the integral braking function is activated by either the handbrake lever or the footbrake lever"
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post #19 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 6:31 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
Your statements only prove that you do not understand fully the way the LT's integral braking system works. The system was NOT designed to work in the way you suggest . . . no sir! Come ride with me, and I'll prove it to you.
Please educate me. Direct me to an official document that says something different than my owners manual.
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post #20 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 6:36 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RS6654
Please educate me. Direct me to an official document that says something different than my owners manual.
I'll look up a link to the "official description" by BMW Mottorad.

You have read one statement in the manual and have made a boatload of assumptions. The braking system is NOT linked, it's an "integral" braking system. There's a HUGE difference. But rather than me babble on & on...I'll go find the link. Prepare to have your eyes opened.
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post #21 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 6:55 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
I'll look up a link to the "official description" by BMW Mottorad.

You have read one statement in the manual and have made a boatload of assumptions. The braking system is NOT linked, it's an "integral" braking system. There's a HUGE difference.
I fully understand the difference. I don't care how it applies both brakes. Only that when working properly it does.
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post #22 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 7:00 pm
 
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I will stop trying to explain the difference as you are obviously unteachable. I hope I never arrive where you live comfortably...
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post #23 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 7:03 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
I will stop trying to explain the difference as you are obviously unteachable. I hope I never arrive where you live comfortably...
Maybe this will help:
Attached Files
File Type: pdf BMW ABS.pdf (75.6 KB, 397 views)
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post #24 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 7:29 pm
 
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Here's another explanation in a previous thread.
http://www.bmwlt.net/ubbthreads/show...apsed&sb=5&o=7

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post #25 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 7:42 pm
 
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Notice that BMW states "Integral function: deceleration of both wheels by actuating only one brake lever (fully integral function) or by applying the front brake lever (partly integral function)."

This is the statment that clearly defines that there is a difference of how the braking system operates (i.e. FULLY integral, or PARTLY integral).

I'm done talking about it . . .
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post #26 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 7:50 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
Notice that BMW states "Integral function: deceleration of both wheels by actuating only one brake lever (fully integral function) or by applying the front brake lever (partly integral function)."

This is the statment that clearly defines that there is a difference of how the braking system operates (i.e. FULLY integral, or PARTLY integral).

I'm done talking about it . . .
I believe you to be right Joe, I even felt it during a panic stop. Hit one break first, then a spit second later the other break and had even more deceleration, all with perfect control. Love these breaks, I'd of been hit for sure on the old K100-rt.

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post #27 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 9:20 pm
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And then there are those of us that have the "old" LTs without the fancy brakes. I still use only the front brake, except during slow speeds and when the coefficient of friction is low, and have been doing that on all the bikes I have owned for the 30 years I have been riding. Unless I plan on backing the bike into a corner, a la our friends in MotoGP, all of the stopping force is on the front of the bike when braking. Of course, talking about braking styles is a little like talking about oils or any other religious belief with regard to motorcycles. I have not upgraded to the newer LTs because of the type of brakes they have. I am going to ride this beast until it quits working and then buy something a little less "advanced". YMMV

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post #28 of 63 Old Mar 1st, 2006, 9:25 pm
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I think the most fascinating thing about this system is that the servo builds hydraulic pressure much faster than previously - thereby reducing reaction time. To me that is paramount and worth the price of admission.

While I applaud BMW for coming up with what is certainly a superior system compared to my 2001 "old school" ABS, I find it typically arrogant of them not to give you a simple switch to turn it on/off like on the GS.

I guess they think GS riders on the whole are more capable of deciding when/where to use it since they are on/off pavement (yeah, right...) more than the strictly pavement oriented LT.

They are probably right, but as a pilot I am used to making my decisions in the cockpit, not surrendering competely to a computer.

The other huge issue to me is that not learning how to modulate brakes is kind of a "dumbing down" of the whole experience and dare I say this: thrill -of riding a motorcycle. I love going out and practicing panic stops on this gorilla!

Where does it end, with airbags AND gyroscopes?


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post #29 of 63 Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 1:54 am
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OK, first the disclaimer. It's your bike, ride it however you want, as long as you don't crash into me.

Having said that, so far there is nothing but misinformation and misunderstandings in this thread. All of the data and marketing materials supplied by BMW talk about the advantages of the Integral brakes in terms of full-on panic stops. Even the load-sensing circuits and memory only engage after ABS is activated on one or both wheels. That makes sense, as there's no "weight sensor" on the bike to detect differences in actual load, or traction for that matter. They do talk about "reduced lever effort" and "increased braking force" which is available at all speeds, but that's just the power boost making it a bit easier to stop and has nothing to do with which lever is acting on which wheel.

The Integral brakes are not like the older linked brakes you may be familiar with from previous Hondas which were purely accomplished with plumbing tricks. The Integral ABS unit uses a sophisticated set of control circuits to sense the input from the front and rear levers, and adjust the braking force based on the proportional inputs. Note the word proportional, as it does sense the inputs on both levers at all times, and adjust actual brake application accordingly.

And the difference between Partially Integral brakes and Fully-Integral brakes is only that the Partial version does not have feedback from the rear lever to the front calipers. All else works just the same.

Now let me state this clearly: the front and rear brake levers are not identical or interchangeable. Using the front only is not equal to using the rear only is not equal to using both brake levers.

During normal riding the brakes work so well that the minor differences can not usually be felt by inexperienced riders. In those conditions, you're (hopefully) nowhere near panic braking mode, so the excellent calipers and discs combined with the booster pump stop the big beast very well. But the differences are still there.

The correct technique is to use both brake levers all the time, modulated as to the current conditions. Sure the front brake provides maybe 80% of your stopping power, but why just give up any of that extra 20%?

The only exceptions may be in excessively slippery situations or tight, slow turns where adding front brake can seriously upset the bike (and rider, for that matter). 99% of the time it won't really matter to most riders, but during that 1% panic stop, I want to know that I'm slowing down absolutely as quickly as possible under the given conditions. Saving an extra 10 feet or fraction of a second could mean the difference between an annoyance and a really bad day. That's not something you can just call up when you're in imminent danger of a collision. You have to practice it every time you ride. I've had situations where by the time I consciously recognize a threat, I also realize I've already started braking or swerving away from the danger. That muscle memory can save you one day, but not if it isn't completely natural and normal.

Technology is wonderful, and I'm continually impressed at what innovations BMW brings to the marketplace. But a German engineer isn't riding your bike, you are. So you're responsible for learning to ride it well, and safely. Sure this is a potentially dangerous pastime, and we all accept those risks and try to mitigate them as best we can. At best, using only one brake shows an incorrect understanding of the physics and forces involved in riding, and at worst it falls somewhere between laziness and a lack of riding skill.

Please note one exception. I know there are a few folks who cannot use both brakes well due to specific physical limitations. For them I'm glad the Integral brakes work as well as they do, as it offers them increased safety over a conventional braking system, though they're not quite getting the full benefits. And anything that allows you to ride instead of being stuck in a cage is a good thing.

So while it may be "OK" to use just one lever, it sure isn't correct.

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Last edited by meese; Mar 2nd, 2006 at 2:01 am.
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post #30 of 63 Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 6:17 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meese
OK, first the disclaimer. It's your bike, ride it however you want, as long as you don't crash into me.
Ken, thanks for your thorough reply and I try to stay out of your way with my bad braking habits...

However, I have read the article Ralph provided through several times and with my bad English I only understand the sentences like:

"Both the handbrake and footbrake lever act simultaneously on both the front and rearwheel brakes."

or

"While the rider was formerly required to operate the hand-brake and footbrake in full when applying the ABS brakes in order to build up maximum stopping power on the front and rear wheel with ABS operating at the wheel slip limit, BMW's new fully integral ABS only requires operation of either the footbrake or handbrake."

or



"Whenever the rider applies the brakes allout,regardless of whether he is applying the front or rear-wheel brake, each wheel is slowed down to the greatest possible extent, depending on the road surface friction."

or

"Brake force distribution is able to "learn" in an adaptive process by detecting the different ratios of brake lock pressure on the front and rear wheel when running under different loads."



.
..exactly as they are written. I don't have the better knowledge nor can I read this kind of text between the lines. Therefore, with all respect to your knowledge your statement:

"Now let me state this clearly: the front and rear brake levers are not identical or interchangeable. Using the front only is not equal to using the rear only is not equal to using both brake levers."

...still leaves me confused. Is all this fuss about integral ABS system just regular advertising bulls*** and we just have to know better not to trust them guys...??

Best regards




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post #31 of 63 Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 7:11 am
 
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I read it the same way as Ari - I'm also now confused - not difficult to achieve

Also if the brakes act on both wheels all the time - why bother having a hand and foot lever?
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post #32 of 63 Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 8:28 am
 
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Exclamation PLEASE try this experiment!

I said I was done talking about it...but since there are other players involved and more confusion, I need to add this.

At one time, I was very confused on the braking system and wanted to get to the bottom line. I went out into the garage and decided to perform a simple, yet effective experiment that will give you some idea of what Meese and I are talking about.

Here's what you do:
  1. Put the LT up on the centerstand after taking it for a short ride (you need to get the ABS lights to stop flashing).
  2. Put the LT in Neutral and let it idle.
  3. Spin the rear wheel and slowly hit the foot brake pedal (using your hand).
  4. Observe that the rear wheel stops immediately, as soon as the slightest pressure is applied.
  5. Spin the rear wheel again, but this time slowly apply pressure to the front brake lever.
  6. Notice this time that the wheel does not stop until a certain amount of pressure has been applied.
  7. Next, using a jack underneath (or a friend pressing down on the tour trunk), get the front wheel off the ground.
  8. Repeat steps 3 & 5 but spin the front wheel.
  9. Observe that the opposite is true, relatively speaking.
This simple test will prove that applying pressure to either the foot brake, OR the hand brake (but not BOTH) does NOT accomplish the same goal. Once you "buy in" to this principle and start experimenting with each brake lever will riding in the twisties and such . . . you will start to feel a huge difference in the roll that each lever plays.

I think if anyone doesn't take the time to learn when to use only the front lever, only the rear brake pedal, and both levers simultaneously, then they are missing out on taking full advantage of all that this amazing braking system has to offer.

I hope this clears some things up. If not, well . . . I tried. And sometimes, that's all one can do.
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post #33 of 63 Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 8:34 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
...I hope this clears some things up.
This subject (how/when to use either/both brakes) would be a good topic for a seminar somewhere (STC, CCR, someone's garage...). I've read through this thread and seen this cussed and discussed before, but I need to see some of this in person.

It might be second nature (or, totally obvious) to some, but it's not to all.

For now I follow the advice to use only the rear brake at slow speeds; this is very helpful. At all other times I use both brakes. I'm not pushing any kind of envelope at my level of riding ability so I don't see this as cosmic in my motorcycling life -- YET.

Howard Schisler
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AMA, IBA, BMW MOA. CCRs: Braselton 2006, Osage Beach 2007, Duluth 2012


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post #34 of 63 Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 8:58 am
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Join Droppers Anonymous yet? Use the front brake only while in a turn riding very slowly and you can become a member of that group! Good luck

John
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post #35 of 63 Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 9:16 am
 
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Originally Posted by RS6654
Obviously you are the same way.
Nope. I'm still teachable.
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post #36 of 63 Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 9:20 am
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Hey Ron, what kind of neighborhood do you live in? High-side Harry? C'mon, the proletariat need educating . . . and seats like Butt-ahhh too!

John
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post #37 of 63 Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 9:27 am
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Well, I really was trying to stay out of this and just follow from the sidelines, but I just can't anymore! I really don't think it should matter whether using just one lever will in fact actuate both brakes or not! For Safety's sake you should ALWAYS use both brakes in stopping ANY MOTORCYCLE! As some of our members have already stressed, you want it to be automatic and natural so the maximum braking possible will be applied in any sudden emergency stopping situation! What if you decide to borrow another LT, let alone some other Bike, that does not have Integrated or Linked brakes? Could be disastrous!

For SAFETY'S SAKE folks, adopt good habits! Unless you are physically unable to, of course.

Not an expert on the LT, but one who has managed to survive on the Highways with many different makes/models for over 40 years!

John

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post #38 of 63 Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 9:33 am
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But the exception, and it has been noted in this thread, and it takes training too: Stay off the front brake in very slow speed maneuvers if you are in any kind of a turn/front wheel not straight-ahead.

John
Jacksonville, FL (USA)
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post #39 of 63 Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 10:13 am
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Lighten up pal . . . ride the way you want to. I don't think you will find a more helpful group of people than on this site and certainly didn't see any malicious criticism of your style. If it works for you, do it!

John
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post #40 of 63 Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 10:47 am
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wait there's more...

There's the topic of how you're supposed to brake and then there's the topic of how does Integrated ABS work.

On the latter, my bike has the 'feature' of rear brake noise (it's new and I haven't gotten in there yet to fix it). When I gently apply the foot brake, I hear lots of rear brake noise. When I apply the hand brake actuator I almost never hear the noise.

On the former topic, I brake like they taught me in the MSF class and let the brake computer do whatever it does. You never know when you'll be on some other bike and need to draw on subconscious reflex.

Rich S~

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post #41 of 63 Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 11:57 am
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Circular and redundant

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
Notice that BMW states "Integral function: deceleration of both wheels by actuating only one brake lever (fully integral function) or by applying the front brake lever (partly integral function)."

This is the statment that clearly defines that there is a difference of how the braking system operates (i.e. FULLY integral, or PARTLY integral).

Not trying to be lawyerly or anything by parsing that statement, but to me it says NOTHING to differentiate "fully" vs "partially".

In the first clause, if we substitute the phrase "only one brake lever" with "The front brake lever" we get the sentance:

Integral function: deceleration of both wheels by actuating the front brake lever (fully integral function) or by applying the front brake lever (partly integral function).

How the heck does that clear anything up?!


I think it's a mistake to think the BMW braking system is a panacea for bad braking habits. It can't replace good technique. It provides a margin of safety, nothing more. How sloppy you want to be by wandering out into that margin is up to you, but it's a fool's comfort, at best.

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post #42 of 63 Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 6:55 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpalamaro
Hey Ron, what kind of neighborhood do you live in? High-side Harry? C'mon, the proletariat need educating . . . and seats like Butt-ahhh too!
Aw shucks John - you know I live in the GHETTO!


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"Like Butt-ahh!"
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post #43 of 63 Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 6:59 pm
 
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Aw shucks John - you know I live in the GHETTO!
People don't move away from Chagrin Falls, Ohio to move TO the ghetto! You big LIAR!
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post #44 of 63 Old Mar 4th, 2006, 3:00 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
Notice that BMW states "Integral function: deceleration of both wheels by actuating only one brake lever (fully integral function) or by applying the front brake lever (partly integral function)."

This is the statment that clearly defines that there is a difference of how the braking system operates (i.e. FULLY integral, or PARTLY integral).
In case this portion of my previous post wasn't clear (and to cover those "lawyerly" types ), with the full Integral brakes either lever will have some affect on both wheels, while the partial Integral brakes isolate the rear lever to the rear wheel, but still has the front lever affecting both wheels. That's what BMW was trying to say in the above quote. But since all the '02 and up LTs have full integral brakes, the partial system doesn't really apply to us (unless you're lucky enough to have several BMWs ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
I'm done talking about it . . .[/img]
Yeah, we've heard that one before.

Ken
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Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from...
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post #45 of 63 Old Mar 4th, 2006, 3:23 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pozo_izquierdo
Ken, thanks for your thorough reply and I try to stay out of your way with my bad braking habits...

However, I have read the article Ralph provided through several times and with my bad English I only understand the sentences like:

"Both the handbrake and footbrake lever act simultaneously on both the front and rearwheel brakes."
Don't worry about it Pozo, your English is much better than my Finnish. The above statement simply means that either lever will have some affect on both wheels, but it does not claim that the two levers are equal, nor that they act the same under all possible conditions.

The next three quotes talk about "build(ing) up maximum stopping power...with ABS operating at the wheel slip limit," "the rider applies the brakes all out," and "detecting the different ratios of brake lock pressure." All of these conditions described are when maximum braking is occuring. So BMW is saying that during a full-on panic stop, you can just grab either lever as hard as you can and the Integral ABS will apply maximum braking power to both wheels.

That is good for a full panic stop, which is what BMW is promoting in their ads and brochures. So it is true, in a limited set of circumstances, but it sounds better to say "buy our bike because our advanced technology can save your but." ABS is also an excellent safety feature, but unless you're hard braking on a slippery surface it never even comes into play. During normal riding, the ABS should never engage, but if it is needed it just may keep you from a crash and serious injury.

But none of the above quotes state that this same scenario occurs during normal braking. That's where people seem to get confused. "Since both levers operate both brakes, then I can use either lever interchangeably." This assumption is incorrect, as clearly shown by an understanding of exactly how the brake system is designed, or Joe's more practical experiments.

That's why I stated that "the front and rear brake levers are not identical or interchangeable." BMW says they are identical in a full-on panic stop but they never claim they're exactly the same under normal conditions.

And I'd still be glad to ride with you at CCR, or in your country if given the chance. I've been to Helsinki twice, but unfortunately never with a bike.

Ken
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Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from...
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post #46 of 63 Old Mar 4th, 2006, 7:07 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveDragon
You really need to practice using both the front and rear brakes simultaneously.
Use both every time to develop the muscle memory so when (not if) an emergency situation arises, you instinctively use both brakes.
Hey Dave,

When I took my last MSF rider's course (two years ago), they taught us to use both brake levers. Of course, that little 250 did not have servo-integrated brakes, either!

I think I'll follow the most experienced rider's advice and use both levers.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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Last edited by jayjacobson; Mar 4th, 2006 at 7:45 am.
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post #47 of 63 Old Mar 4th, 2006, 9:27 am
 
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My '05 has some screaching noise coming from it occassionally too and it bothers the living crap out of me. If you find a solution please fill me in.

FWIW I use both sets of brakes as often as possible. This just comes from dirt riding days where, when you use the fronts in the wrong situations (which are SEVERAL), you go boom and quickly.

If for instance you are going down huge declining hill using gearing and even TOUCH the fronts you are gone instantly.

On the pavement I just think gutters, water, leaves, oil, and it gives me the willies thinking of front brakes.

Would love to eliminate this squeal on the rears though....
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post #48 of 63 Old Mar 4th, 2006, 9:35 am
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Here's a good explanation of how all this works from Mark Neblett from the Archives.

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post #49 of 63 Old Mar 4th, 2006, 9:51 am
 
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We can post links to explanations, and techniques of way to prove how these brakes work...but I think it's simply a waste of time. There appears to be a small percentage of people that are convinced that the front and rear levers are interchangeable...and no amount of presented facts will change their minds.

It's OK. I just won't ride with them.
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post #50 of 63 Old Mar 4th, 2006, 10:08 am
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From my own experience, this is the first bike I have owned with this system and I have not changed my braking techniques. I only became aware of the system the other day. I was about to enter the road from the parking lot at our office when I had to hit the rear brake lever to stop for a car that was speeding down the street. When I did this, the front wheel was in some gravel and slid. I did not lose any control of the bike but it did make me realize that this could happen with the ABS system.
I guess the moral of the story is be prepared for the unexpected and ¨Murphy´s Law¨always applies. Don´t get to comfortable and lose good riding technique.
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