Emergency Braking on a Motorcycle – Front vs. Rear vs. Combined

Watch our video experiment above. 

Avoiding collisions will involve, in most cases, hard braking. In most cases when you get in trouble the first reaction is to hit the brakes regardless the road conditions. A complex emergency braking must be just a natural reaction. Governing the most efficient stopping technique involves a lot of practice and getting to know your bike. 

We made a test on dry asphalt to find out which technique is the best. Our test involved front brake only, rear brake only and combined braking on with a regular bike without ABS system. We set our speed at 50 km/h (31 mph) and placed a cone to be our braking point. 

Rear Brake Only 

We first used only the rear brake. It took the bike 23 meters (75.4 feet) of sliding to come to a complete stop. This is not the efficient way of stopping your bike. When it comes to brake slides it may be the coolest way to impress your friends, but be cautious, the rear brake must be released only when the wheels are aligned, or you'll fall. 

Front Brake Only

The front brake stopped our bike in just 9 meters (29.5 feet) with a small stoppie. However, this technique may not be the safest way to stop your bike. You have to practice it a lot. Lever squeezing has to be firm, and you must use at least two fingers. Don't rush to bite hard on the lever because it may put you down instantaneously.

Combined Braking Technique

We left the combined braking at the end to see how big the gap would get. Not too big, only 4 meters (14 feet). That may be the difference between having an accident and walking away unharmed. This is the best way to stop your bike.

Every rider should know that braking power is concentrated on the front wheel. The bigger discs and calipers are not the only difference: the weight is mainly pushed towards the front wheel. 70 percent of the braking power is available on the front while the rear holds up only 30 percent. Under heavy braking, the weight comes forward. 

Braking is conditioned by two main factors: weather conditions and asphalt. The rider must adapt his riding continuously to them. You need to practice the emergency braking procedure frequently. Don't mind the first failure and wear your gear. 

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