Thousands of accidents happen on motorcycles each and every year, with one of the main causes being braking (or lack thereof). Let's take a look at seven tips to help you safely and effectively brake your motorcycle.
1. Buy the best brakes and brake pads for your area's climate and geography. Does it rain a lot in your area? How about snow? Knowing the different types of brake pads available and what surroundings they perform best in can ultimately save your life. Research, talk to other bikers in your area and find out what your best bet for equipment may be.
2. Practice practice practice. We all know that practice makes perfect, right? Once you've got your bike all ready to go, take it for a spin on a nice day when there are no signs of rain or bad weather. Practice braking as much as possible when all of the elements are working with you, so that you know exactly how to do it in a shiftier situation.
3. Learn about STAGED braking. This process gives you, the rider, the most control over the braking process on a motorcycle as possible. The process involves multiple steps and the use of both the front and wheel brakes and can take a while to learn, but once you learn, braking will become a much easier process every time you ride.
4. Be sure to downshift your gears for stopping and turning. As you start to brake, downshift according to the noise of your engine coming down and slowly drop the gears while braking. If turning, downshift likewise but apply the throttle while at the beginning of the turn to prevent yourself from turning to slowly and then shift gears again to get back up to your original speed after turning.
5. In an emergency, concentrate on one brake only – the front brake. The front brake gives you 80 percent of brake power. This means that if you apply pressure incorrectly and lock it up, it's possible – okay probable that you will fall off, but it also means that it's the one to concentrate on when you get a choice between the two, which is during an emergency brake situation.
6. Practice emergency braking. This process can make or break your life, ultimately. Yes the front wheel may skid if the front brake is applied wrong – so practice this as much as you can, so that you will be prepared for it if an actual emergency arises.
7. Get used to the feel of your brakes during practice runs. Some riders use the staged braking technique while others simply rely on the feel of their brakes when they're working simultaneously. Find out what works best for you and practice, practice, practice.
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