BMW S1000RR Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,543 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The late comedian, Rodney Dangerfield, was always known for his "I don't get no respect..." line, and if there's an analog on motorcycles...it's probably the rear brake.

There's a good and highly informative article in the Road Racing World "Trackday Directory" supplemental issue highlighting some very interesting commentary from our own member, Dylan Code.

While for many the rear brake's benefits are probably second-nature, it's only been after several years that its subtle attributes became evident to me. For "fine-tuning" a cornering line, the rear brake is often very superior to increasing or decreasing lean angle via the handlebars. This isn't obvious, by any means, but when it impresses itself on you from trial and error practice, it is clearly a tool worth using.

Kudos to Dylan for delving into the actual data from MotoGP (see article) and divining some of the rear brake's secrets. The truly exciting thing about high-level superbike riding is that the real skill a rider possesses often comes from unexpected places. Which is more emblematic of a skilled rider..."balls-to-the-wall" throttle on a public road...or the fine application of a touch of rear brake in the middle of a corner, to set up a perfect exit? I think you can guess the answer!

Thanks, Dylan, for your research. Read the article ("Using the Rear Brake" by Michael Gougis...Roadracing World Volume 28, Number 4.5) if you have access...it is worth the time.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,200 Posts
Oddly in the early '80s his dad was a "no rear brake" advocate and I agreed with his logic and continue use no rear brake. At the last Ken Hill school, he basically said it was personal preference. He has MotoAmerica riders that use lots of rear brake and others that use none. Yet they both turn identical lap times. :surprise:

I'm thinking about employing a thumb brake for the rear to assist with turn in and wheelie control only because of this article.

http://www.s1000rrforum.com/forum/2267257-post10.html

I'll have to go through the RRW Track Day issue again. Thanks for the reminder. :smile2:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,200 Posts
Just read the article in RRW track day issue. Great article. Conclusion: 1/10th to .5/10th per lap. Only helps the best of the best. They did not mention "thumb "brake activation in their research. Wonder if there is a difference? Should be more for proper wheelie control. :confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
758 Posts
I would expect the proper application of the rear brake could help those riders who are capable enough to master it - which are few and far between - but us mere mortals have plenty of other things to work on... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,543 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I would expect the proper application of the rear brake could help those riders who are capable enough to master it - which are few and far between - but us mere mortals have plenty of other things to work on... :)
Well, I'm a mere mortal, and learning the subtle art of rear brake application is having a positive effect on my cornering skill. I think of it as a "fine-tuning" tool. Things like this are why riding is not just about speed, it's about finesse. It was the same way when I was flying...muscling an airplane around the sky is a ham-fisted way to fly...but subtle inputs here and there make for really nice aviating.

:grin2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,789 Posts
Coming from a dirt background, I've always used a lot more rear brake than most people, and I got REAL tired of "experts" looking down at me and telling me I should never use the rear brake/that's for noobs blahblahblah.....usually after they pulled up after me on a ride. I haven't been able to read the article, but I agree 100%, it's not a tool for slowing you down quickly, it's a tool to stabilize the bike and set the chassis going into and while in the corner. Also, in slower corners, I'll drag the rear brake going into the corners while still on the gas a little, because it keeps the chain tight on the top and prevents the herky-jerky chain-snatching that upsets the chassis and your line. Works great on the really tight corners we have on some roads here. In fact, there was a noob rider kid in my apt. complex who desperately needed to get his "M" (motorcycle) endorsement because he got a HUGE ticket without it on his bike and the judge was pissed and told him to get it. He failed the test in the slow really tight turns, and came to me in a panic. I told him to drag the rear brake and give the engine enough gas to pull against the brake and keep the chain tight on top.....and when he tried it he was amazed at the difference. He was able to do multiple full-lock circles in front of me in the time I spent with him.....and passed the test easily the next day.

I ride a little funny with my feet placement, I don't ride with the ball of my foot on the peg, I ride like normal no what the pace, I just turn my toes into the bike, that way I can still modulate the rear brake and shift if I want to without having to reposition my feet, never had an issue with them touching down, and it works for me. I actually thought at first that I would hate the 'RR's linked brakes, but I actually love them. It's unobtrusive, and automatically applies just about exactly the same amount of rear brake I would have to manually apply on my old Gixxer. Nice!
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
4,646 Posts
I have yet to find a guide on how to correctly use the rear brake on the track. On the street it's obvious since there is not any crazy lean angles involved or taking corners in triple digits. My main issue with rear brake is that I heel hook (ride with heel on peg for outside leg), no way to brake into left turns. Right turns it's more manageable. Rear could be a great asset.

Out of all track training schools I rode with, only Yamaha champions school teach using the rear brake. I have not done a full day with them. Just talked to one of their coaches at one event.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,067 Posts
I was wondering what those who really know how to use the rear brake think of the linked braking. I like it as I routinely use the rear brake for braking, but am confident the bike does a better job than I. I also use the rear brake while braking slowly on gravel or sandy roads.

I wish I had your dirt background. I find those who group riding dirt do a better job when the bike starts to slide. Thy do not chop the throttle, grab a handful of front brake, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,789 Posts
I was wondering what those who really know how to use the rear brake think of the linked braking. I like it as I routinely use the rear brake for braking, but am confident the bike does a better job than I. I also use the rear brake while braking slowly on gravel or sandy roads.

I wish I had your dirt background. I find those who group riding dirt do a better job when the bike starts to slide. Thy do not chop the throttle, grab a handful of front brake, etc.
After all the years of reading extremely negative reviews when Honda first started trying linked brakes (in the mid-'80's I believe) and the years since, I must admit I was very skeptical about BMW doing it. BUT, none of the reviews of the 'RR (or 'R) complained about it, so I figured it had to be at least unobtrusive, I just didn't expect it to be as good as it is. I really like it, and glad to have it. I'd like a little more bite out of the back, so, I'm going to try some EBC (regular) HH pads I just bought. It would have been nice if BMW had fitted a nice caliper on the back (instead of the El Cheapo), but that can be fixed too.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,789 Posts
I have yet to find a guide on how to correctly use the rear brake on the track. On the street it's obvious since there is not any crazy lean angles involved or taking corners in triple digits. My main issue with rear brake is that I heel hook (ride with heel on peg for outside leg), no way to brake into left turns. Right turns it's more manageable. Rear could be a great asset.

Out of all track training schools I rode with, only Yamaha champions school teach using the rear brake. I have not done a full day with them. Just talked to one of their coaches at one event.
I don't think there's a "guide", but you'll know it when you start doing it and it enhances your riding. Hard to describe, you just feel it subtly.

For me the pegs are ALWAYS in the arch of my foot, so I can use the shifter or the brake in any corner without moving my foot.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
4,646 Posts
I don't think there's a "guide", but you'll know it when you start doing it and it enhances your riding. Hard to describe, you just feel it subtly.
As you lean lower, I don't see how you can brake and have leverage to support your body weight with outside leg (pivot points are inside of leg on tank and foot on peg/frame). Foot won't be level with brake lever. Up to ~45 degree lean it will be fine, past that, not sure. See what I mean:

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
637 Posts
It has always seemed like a rather advanced skill to master. +1 to Cycle’s comment above - if there was a better stock rear caliper, maybe the difference would be more easily perceptible.
@flyryder how do you effectively employ it during your canyon runs? I’ll try the same this weekend and report back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,789 Posts
As you lean lower, I don't see how you can brake and have leverage to support your body weight with outside leg (pivot points are inside of leg on tank and foot on peg/frame). Foot won't be level with brake lever. Up to ~45 degree lean it will be fine, past that, not sure. See what I mean:

I'm 6'1" and have long legs, so, now that you mention it, maybe that would be impossible for short or shorter riders. I'm seeing angles of high 40's to low 50's on the street, and reach both levers just fine. Even if I were into the 60's I don't think it would be an issue.

Dunno, it just works for me!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,067 Posts
I'd like a little more bite out of the back, so, I'm going to try some EBC (regular) HH pads I just bought. It would have been nice if BMW had fitted a nice caliper on the back (instead of the El Cheapo), but that can be fixed too.....
I am running EBC HH on the street and like them, they have good initial bite and easy modulation. I suspect you will like them.

I can see running bit more aggressive bad on the back than the front if you are accustomed to rear braking. Or, as you note, replace the rear caliper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,543 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
It has always seemed like a rather advanced skill to master. +1 to Cycle’s comment above - if there was a better stock rear caliper, maybe the difference would be more easily perceptible.
@flyryder how do you effectively employ it during your canyon runs? I’ll try the same this weekend and report back.
I use it like a dimmer on a light. If it's too bright (I'm too fast or off line), I apply a touch of rear brake to correct. It's a judgment call all the way. I couldn't teach it even if I were qualified to do so, which I'm not. I'm feeling my way around corners and am finding too much reliance on the front brake is like pounding a muscle to relax it, instead of massaging it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
637 Posts
I use it like a dimmer on a light. If it's too bright (I'm too fast or off line), I apply a touch of rear brake to correct. It's a judgment call all the way. I couldn't teach it even if I were qualified to do so, which I'm not. I'm feeling my way around corners and am finding too much reliance on the front brake is like pounding a muscle to relax it, instead of massaging it.


Thanks. I like the analogy, will give it a try tomorrow and see how it goes :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
549 Posts
I just saw this now. I was on the road the entire month of May...

Yeah so often people just want to know what "the best technique is" and it's really hard to nail down for each rider and bike. For example they may have other flaws in their current technique that would be exacerbated by rear brake usage, or even perhaps the opposite and the rear brake assists them, but plugs a hole in their technique that needs attention. The bike's setup can dramatically change the rear brake results. If the bike is very much "on its nose" the rear brake can easily make the tail of the bike dance around during hard braking. Other bikes it does the opposite and provides braking stability. My brief conclusion is for the rider to contrast the techniques for themselves to evaluate effectiveness.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,573 Posts
I just saw this now. I was on the road the entire month of May...

Yeah so often people just want to know what "the best technique is" and it's really hard to nail down for each rider and bike. For example they may have other flaws in their current technique that would be exacerbated by rear brake usage, or even perhaps the opposite and the rear brake assists them, but plugs a hole in their technique that needs attention. The bike's setup can dramatically change the rear brake results. If the bike is very much "on its nose" the rear brake can easily make the tail of the bike dance around during hard braking. Other bikes it does the opposite and provides braking stability. My brief conclusion is for the rider to contrast the techniques for themselves to evaluate effectiveness.
Rear dancing around under braking... that is what happens to me but I am not applying the rear brake, the abs pump is! Pain in the butt to fix:frown2:
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top