Street braking vs. track braking? - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Street braking vs. track braking?

They say the only dumb question is one not asked, so here goes...

Is there a difference in the way the brakes are used on the track vs. the street? For the Track/Street riders is there a difference in the way you brake?

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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 01:50 PM
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Squeeze vs _______
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 01:52 PM
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Street riding: Controlled, steady application of both brakes.

Racing: Late, smooth, maybe a little harder using the back brake very judiciously.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 01:53 PM
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Yes and no.


On the track....


You apply a little brake to load the front ~1 heartbeat.
Then you ramp up to a high 95 % level.
At the end you fade off slowly to zero.


On the street....

Same EXACT thing..... just limit the middle to 70% or so
with the rest remaining in emergency reserve.


You never EVER *SNAP* the brakes on !
When the front is unloaded ( before the heartbeat...settle )
the front has limited load and traction. SNAPING the brake
on will lock the front wheel.

That;'s when the hand of god spikes your helmet to the asphalt...... WHAM!




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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 01:56 PM
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To build on the already mentioned comments,

For street riding, you typically tend to brake smoother- starting with light pressure and applying more brake as need be.

From a track/racing perspective, the initial braking is usually more sudden or dramatic. This enables the driver to focus more on accelerating through the turn as opposed to slowing for the turn.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Allow me to clarify the question a bit... I was asking more about the application of the front brake vs. the back brake on the street vs. the track.

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLARNEY View Post
Yes and no.


On the track....


You apply a little brake to load the front ~1 heartbeat.
Then you ramp up to a high 95 % level.
At the end you fade off slowly to zero.


On the street....

Same EXACT thing..... just limit the middle to 70% or so
with the rest remaining in emergency reserve.


You never EVER *SNAP* the brakes on !
When the front is unloaded ( before the heartbeat...settle )
the front has limited load and traction. SNAPING the brake
on will lock the front wheel.

That;'s when the hand of god spikes your helmet to the asphalt...... WHAM!




Tom
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 02:13 PM
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Using the rear brake..... on the track ?

I do not..... as you transfer weight to the front the back wants
to lock.... if you don't do this just right it's an issue. Sometimes
the back wheel is clear off the ground !


On the street, I occasionally use it when I am two up, but if
pushed, or rushed I use only the front brake....



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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLARNEY View Post
Yes and no.


On the track....


You apply a little brake to load the front ~1 heartbeat.
Then you ramp up to a high 95 % level.
At the end you fade off slowly to zero.


On the street....

Same EXACT thing..... just limit the middle to 70% or so
with the rest remaining in emergency reserve.


You never EVER *SNAP* the brakes on !
When the front is unloaded ( before the heartbeat...settle )
the front has limited load and traction. SNAPING the brake
on will lock the front wheel.

That;'s when the hand of god spikes your helmet to the asphalt...... WHAM!




Tom
That's it right there. Perfect explanation.

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 02:21 PM
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brakes on the track???, only for the slow

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 02:25 PM
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On the street I'll use the back brake, but at the track, only when coming to a final stop in the pit, if then, or when I've run off onto the grass, and then, very carefully.

Track = Front brake ONLY
Street = Use both brakes, Front brake 80-90% of stopping power, back 10-20% of stopping power.

This also varies by type of bike. The above is for the CBR. On the GW and FJR I tend to use the back brake more often, sooner and harder, especially with the GW. On the GW front brake only will take quite a while to stop the bike. I sometimes get reminded of that after riding the CBR and switching.

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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 02:29 PM
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on the street, On a sportbike all anyone ever really needs is the front brake. Now it's different on a cruiser.

Now me personally, for some reason modualting both front and rear together comes very naturally to me, but for most it does not. this probably comes from switching back and forth from cruisers to sportbikes and now add in dirtbikes. but having that perfect technique is very rare.




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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 02:31 PM
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Most cruisers you just squeeze both brakes as hard as you can and pray you stop in the next mile or so.

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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 02:31 PM
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To add to Tom's explanation, I like to illustrate braking as a bell curve. The y-axis being brake presssure and the x-axis being your position relative to the apex - the apex being the end of the curve. Of course the curve would be different depending on the corner, pace, etc. But it makes it easier for me to understand how the front brake lever is used smoothly from 0%-XX%-0% to get the bike to slow down and change geometry to initiate turn-in.

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drama View Post
brakes on the track???, only for the slow


Open the fucking throttle you whiny little girl.......



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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyder84 View Post
To add to Tom's explanation, I like to illustrate braking as a bell curve. The y-axis being brake presssure and the x-axis being your position relative to the apex - the apex being the end of the curve. Of course the curve would be different depending on the corner, pace, etc. But it makes it easier for me to understand how the front brake lever is used smoothly to get the bike to slow down and change geometry to initiate turn-in.


That's the 301 class right there......... .but that is a good explanation.


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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLARNEY View Post
Open the fucking throttle you whiny little girl.......
Oh it's on like donkey kong. See you this weekend.

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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLARNEY View Post
That's the 301 class right there......... .but that is a good explanation.


Tom
I figured it was overkill....

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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago Performance View Post
Most cruisers you just squeeze both brakes as hard as you can and pray you stop in the next mile or so.
Ahhhh you have ridden a Harley




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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 03:11 PM
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I usually listen to old school techno when I brake on the streets - like Rocket. It's much easier to make those robot moves to music that supports it. i usually don't brake on the track.

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post #21 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 03:14 PM
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breaks are over rated



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post #22 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTony View Post
Now me personally, for some reason modualting both front and rear together comes very naturally to me, but for most it does not. this probably comes from switching back and forth from cruisers to sportbikes and now add in dirtbikes. but having that perfect technique is very rare.
+1
when i first started riding way back when, i was told to completely ignore the rear brake. hell, remove it! i've grown extremely comfortable with using both in conjunction with the motor to do what i need to. it's amazing how much faster you can stop on the street when you've learned to manipulate all 3 at once!
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post #23 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 08:26 PM
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I would say if you wanna learn more on the street braking take the MSF class, they explain it all in easy terms as to why you would use 1 of the brakes or both, in a multitude of situations...now they don't cover any engine braking in there, which i personally have become used to using all three. so when i finally go to a track, i'm sure i'll have to "re-teach" myself how to brake properly for the track.
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post #24 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 08:47 PM
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On the track, if with maximum braking it takes say 200 feet to slow from X mph to Y mph, then your goal is to time it so you are braking for 200 feet exactly. Any more and your not going fast enough, any less and your going to be on your head.

On the street, if it takes 200 ft to slow from X to Y, you better be slowing down way before 200ft before when you need to slow down. The application of brakes is the same regardless though, I mean brakes are brakes, you squeeze, and you slow down.

In other words, leave plenty of margin on the street but leave as little as you can on the track.

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post #25 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odysseys View Post
breaks are over rated
Ken, You shoulda been a flat tracker!


According to Keith Code ( in his school and in his books) "On the track, the rear brake will get you into far more trouble than it will ever get you out of."

I was taught in advanced rider training that braking on the road should be done with a light touch on the rear brake and a slightly heavier hand on the front, adjusting front pressure as needed, using the rear brake as a stabilizer. The front brake provides 70% + of braking power. Always brake while still upright going into a curve or turn and accelerate (roll the throttle on) out...slow in, fast out...road or track.

The only time I use the rear brake on a motorcycle with any regularity is when I'm in the dirt... mostly setting up a brake slide or a broadslide (AKA powerslide).

My advice...
If you're going to ride track days or race...stay off the back brake, period. learn to use the front for all of your braking.

If you're street riding, use the back brake very lightly...the front provides most of your braking power and it's easy to lock up the rear wheel when the front brake is shifting all the weight to the front end. A locked wheel = skid = fall= SUCKS.

As you gain riding experience and familiarity with your bike, it will all become very automatic and second nature and you will gain confidence in what works for you.
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post #26 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldTimeBiker View Post
Ken, You shoulda been a flat tracker!


....
.
Flat tracking is a great way to learn how to use the rear brake properly. Its amazing how much you can learn when you're bar to bar screaming into a corner....and you had to remove the front brake lever before getting on track!

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post #27 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 12:31 AM
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The brake on a flat tracker is seldomly used for the purpose of actually slowing in the traditional sense...I started flat tracking in the "No Brakes" era, engine braking is how it's done on an oval. Even today, the best guys seldom use the brake unless they are using it to scrub off speed and set up the slide.
On cushion tracks...the brakes go untouched accept to stop in the pits.
Pitch it, blip it and grab a handfull to get 'er sideways and steer with throttle control and body english...if a rider is behind you, he doesn't exist...if he's in front of you you try to run up his exhaust until you can set up a pass!
You brake too hard and the guy(s) who are trying to run up your exhaust will be on top of you in the haybales!

But I digress....

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post #28 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 08:11 AM
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crap i think i'm braking all wrong now after reading this. i haven't been on the track yet, but on the street i use all three and once i even locked them up to avoid rear ending a vett that got cut off(cat & mouse play) kinda cool actually i kept it straight with a little wiggle and left a nice patch.

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post #29 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 09:17 AM
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post #30 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 01:12 PM
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Aside from all the front vs rear brake, the biggest differenct to remember track vs street is that on the track, everyone is expecting you to pretty much attempt hard braking.

On the street, keeping in mind that no cage can possibly stop as rapidly as your bike, you better know that you can do a max effort stop without getting rear ended.

In other words, you better have your situational awareness up to snuff before grabbing a handful of front brake on the street.

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