In two minutes let me show you how to conquer your most powerful tool, the front brake.
I’m Mark McVeigh, I’ve been riding safely on the road and racing on track for 35 years.
After working as a Moto GP engineer, I founded the motoDNA motorcycle school in Australia. Today I run the motoDNA Digital Academy, online and data driven, teaching riders all over the world.
Skill, Craft and Mind
Skill is a huge part of riding a motorcycle, together with craft and mind. The higher your skill level the better equipped you are to react safely to hazards on the road. One important skill is conquering the front brake, on most bikes it’s the most powerful tool to slow you down. Let’s have a look at the step-by-step technique for emergency braking using the front brake.
1 – Cover Your Brake
Step one is to cover your brake when risk increases like a traffic lights or junctions, if you’re worried go to the brake, this saves precious time if you need to stop quickly.
2 – The Transition
Step two is the transition, your throttle to brakes should be quick but not abrupt.
This pitches the bike forward putting weight onto the front tyre, weight the tyre before using the tyre to avoid a skid or triggering the ABS.
3 – Whats Your Rate?
Step three is the rate, so after that initial brake application, the rate is how quickly you can apply brake pressure. You can see this in the data between the coach in green and a level 20 student.
4 – Progressive
Step four is to be progressive. This means increasing your brake pressure until you come to a stop rather than being on and off the brakes, this adversely affects your grip by unloading that front tyre.
5 – How Hard To Squeeze
Step five is your peak brake pressure or G-Force, or how hard should you squeeze. Most bikes are capable of deceleration at over 1G. However, our data shows most riders cannot match their bike’s ability.
Remember it takes 10 000 hours to master any skill so go practice. Use flow plus stretch goals to level up and challenge yourself at five percent steps. Once you can repeat the drill intuitively and consistently that’s your new skill level.
So by now you’re asking, ‘but how do I do the rolling endo?’ well I’ve just showed you how. So keep practicing at those five percent stretch goal steps. With each level up in skill you’ll unload the rear tyre more and more, until it starts to come off the ground. Once you are there you will have a good understanding of your front brake.
Practise and then Practise More
The next step is to start practicing using both front and rear brakes.
The goal is to develop your skills step by step in a controlled environment, so you have those skills up your sleeve to react intuitively and quickly to the hazards on the road.
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