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This is my first bike with linked F/R brakes so I ask this: Am I doing any disservice or premature wear n tear by also using the rear brake when I use the front? It's a tough habit to break after all these years!
 

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The rear brake engages when you pull on the front brake lever, (linked brakes). You are not causing any problems using the rear brake. But the time that the rear brake shines when used by itself is on dirt, in the parking lot going slow and on a slippery deck of a ferry ramp or other similar situations (maybe some fancy cornering techniques). Using both together would ensure maximum stopping ability in an emergency situation. I do not know what percent of maximum pressure to the rear brake is achieved by nailing the front brake (100% effort on front brake) alone. This would be interesting to know, I suspect it is in the neighborhood of 25%. The linked pressure is not as much as when you apply the rear brake with the front or by itself. So there is certainly merit in your technique. I limit the rear brake use when it is not specifically needed in an effort to save rubber.
Here is just about the same question.
http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63243
 

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AntRT said:
.. Am I doing any disservice or premature wear n tear by also using the rear brake when I use the front? It's a tough habit to break after all these years!
You should continue doing that, to have your muscle memory remain as sharp as ever. This is for when you hop onto a non-linked bike, such as a future purchase or a rental.

You never know. Do not let your skills atrophy.
 

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A nice long article in the MOA magazine put it best... Think of it this way...Using the front brake lever is to slow you down. The rear brake is for control.

Of course this is moderated and not 100 percent accurate since the computer is allocating the braking force front to back... but it is a great way to think of it...
 

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I recently completed the MSF Experienced Rider Course (have to do it every three years to ride on base) for the first time on my '09 RT, and one of the skills we practiced was hard braking. I have to admit that I have not mastered the use of both brakes on this bike. I need to refine the technique some because every application of the rear brake (with very firm front pressure) resulted in the ABS activating on the rear. The object was to brake hard without activating ABS - the point being that you might not always be riding a bike with ABS (as pointed out above).

I had a Honda ST1300 with linked ABS brakes before this bike and had much better success. I could stop that 700+ pound behemoth on a dime consistently.

I guess my point is that no matter what technique you use (I chose to use both brakes to slow quickly), practice is required occasionally to keep the skills sharp and to understand what your bike is capable of and how it will behave.
 

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Even without linked brakes it is easy to lock the rear wheel during hard braking as the weight shifts to the front. I imagine that if you are hitting the front brake hard on the RT it doesn't take that much effort on the rear pedal get to the point were ABS intervenes. Like anything else you have to learn how much is too much.

Gerhard
 

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I too continue to use both front and rear as if they were not linked - old habits die hard. And I can feel the ABS kicking in when braking hard, especially when pointing downhill with a weight shift to the front already because of the terrain. I understand the purpose of the exercise to brake just hard enough to not activate the ABS, but that's really difficult with the linked system. So I'm inclined to not sweat it too much.

I suspect there's a bit of traditionalist in anyone who rides a boxer engine, but I happen to think that ABS is probably one of the most significant engineering improvements in motor vehicles ever (reliable electronic fuel injection being perhaps the second, I don't care if I never adjust a carburettor again). At this point in my life I'm willing to admit, even marvel, that the computer is better at braking than I am.

JayJay
 
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