Braking Habits: The Ultimate Guide to Better Braking


  • The Most Important Thing to Know About Braking

  • A Look at the Facts

  • Misinformation About Braking

  • All Articles About Braking Habits

The first and most important thing to know about proficient braking on a street motorcycle is that you should predominately use your front brake.

I’ll unpack the physics of why in the articles below. Here, I’ll simply make the point that your front brake has far more stopping power than your rear brake—especially during emergency stops when it matters most.

But getting all riders to believe this is challenging. Even some seasoned riders still believe the myth that using your front brake is dangerous.

The Facts

Just in case I lose you in all the articles below, here are three things you need to know about braking.

  1. Your front brake has a ton more stopping power than your rear.
  2. Overusing your rear brake (locking up your rear tire) is what triggers most rider-induced lowside and highside crashes.
  3. It’s a big fat myth that using your front brake will catapult you (the rider) over the front handlebar.

Using your front brake is so fundamental to reducing your chances of crashing that I used it as the tagline in my third book about motorcycles, Motorcycle Hacks.

A True Story

Several years ago, I came across a seasoned rider, Ernie, who proudly told me he had ridden over 100,000 miles without a single crash. He continued by sharing the reason why.

“My dad rode his entire life without crashing. When I started riding, he told me that he attributed his perfect riding record to three things and that I should do them, too. One, avoid riding at night. Two, don’t let someone follow behind you too closely. Three, don’t use your front brake.”

Ernie’s dad’s first two pieces of advice were solid, but his third tip was horribly wrong. This is the case even though neither of them crashed while riding for so many miles.

This sort of misinformation gets passed down from generation to generation as fact—even though riders crash every day overusing their rear brake when they could have stopped short of crashing had they used more front brake.

In the articles below, I’ll share some of the data on the topic and hopefully convince you that overusing your rear brake is actually dangerous.

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About the Author

David Mixson writes about the topics other motorcycle books gloss over. He worked as a NASA engineer for over thirty years and is the author of three books.