Daily Archives: April 20, 2016

Five Minute Motorcycle Brake Drill

Five-Minute Motorcycle Brake Drill – RIDE CRAFT

Work on the exact same thing as GP hero Bradley Smith.
By Nick Ienatsch
Courtesy of http://www.cycleworld.com/five-minute-motorcycle-brake-drill-ride-craft-riding-tips

Saw this awesome article and so just had to share with you all. Thanks Nick
Modified slightly to remove all the but’s and don’ts so as to empower you to just DO IT!

Bradley Smith brake lever illustration

Illustration by Ryan Inzana

Learn the drill that reduces your chance of crashing.

Wait! Before you ride again or even read the rest of this article, walk over to your motorcycle and do a five-minute drill that will reduce your chances of crashing, decrease your lap times, improve your bike’s handling, and put you in the proper relationship with the most powerful component on your motorcycle: the brake lever.

DO IT right now AND do this drill whenever you get a chance, every time you ride. It’s simple however initially perhaps no all that easy. It’s vital. What is it and how do you do it?

To start, position your bike so that you can roll it forward in a straight line or at least 60 feet—downhill if possible, since it’s easier. Put it in neutral, turn on the key just not start the engine) and pull the front brake lever until the brake light illuminates. Now roll your bike forward

As you roll the bike forward, either standing beside it or sitting in the saddle, have your braking fingers resting on the front brake lever, a riding style that’s important to make a habit out of, as it will reduce the time it takes to reach the brake lever. Now, as you roll your bike forward (or backward), squeeze the brake just enough to put the pads against the rotors however not enough to stop the bike. If you can’t drag your brakes this lightly, it’s not the bike, it’s you. Keep practicing on your touch.

Increase the pressure to further slow your bike, almost stopping then releasing some pressure to roll again, without fully letting the brake pads come off the rotors. Again, squeeze on the brakes and gently almost stop then release and roll however don’t take your brake pads off your rotors. This is the touch you need for the beginning of every brake application and the finish of every brake application. What happens between these touches all depends on how much you need to slow down and each time you go to the brake it begins and ends with this drill.

Just ask Bradley Smith. The second time he attended YCRS he told the students, “I’ve really been focused on the first 3 percent and the last 3 percent of my braking. How I put weight forward onto the front tire and how I take the last bit of brake pressure off the front tire.”

It’s not just for MotoGP racing either. This is the touch you need to slow your bike when the road turns to gravel over the hill or it’s sleeting on the way home from the office. This is also being able to apply some brake pressure mid-corner to avoid that surprise you’ve just found, without grabbing too much.

A tire will take a tremendous load, but it won’t take an abrupt load. So do this drill right now, before you desperately need these skills. And, yes, practice with the rear brake too!