The most dangerous motorcycle situation is when a motor vehicle makes a left-hand turn at an intersection when a cyclist is going straight through. But don’t let accident statistics cause you to fall down on the job of honing the right braking skills. Bad braking still contributes to many accidents. Find out the secrets to safely slow or stop your motorcycle.
Beyond The Basics: To be the safest cyclist you can be while out on the road, you need the advanced skill of trail braking. Losing confidence while navigating a curve can be deadly. Here’s how trail braking gets you safely through:
- You brake through to the turn’s apex then swap to the throttle
- You get better traction. Front braking distributes more weight forward, compressing the front suspension thus creating a larger contact patch on the front tire.
- At full-lean, you are no longer braking but throttling through with confidence. Accelerating through a curve actually means greater stability on your bike.
How It Works: It’s not called trail braking because it is an off-road technique. It’s called trail braking because you gradually “trail” off, or, release braking pressure. Trail braking can make high speed, tight turns safer. You brake until you reach the actual turn-in point. As you lean, you gradually let off your brake pressure, you “trail brake”. By the time you are engaged in a full lean through the turn, you are actually off the brake. Typically, the front brake is used solo.
Get Your Skill: To develop the trail brake technique, you need to hit the track where you can train safely and have the guidance of professionals. So schedule your track time and start trail braking.