Effective Braking for Faster Cornering

Everyone can go fast by hold the throttle pinned on the straights, but it’s when it comes time to slow down that separates the pros from the amateurs.  Next time you are at your local track, watch the fast guys around the track; they are either on the gas or braking.  Slower riders tend to have a bad habit of letting off before the corner and then braking.  However, teaching yourself to hold it on longer isn’t enough.  Learning how and when to use both brakes effectively will help take your corner speed to the next level.

Telling yourself to hold the gas on a split second longer is easier said than done, but it can be a life saver on the start.  Unlike road racing, there are no markers to tell us how close the corner is.  However, we can use simple objects like rocks, fencing or foliage.  Finding a marker can help you visualize your spot on the track and help you hold the throttle down longer.

Many people have their own theory on how to brake properly.  Some prefer just the front while others like the back.  I believe that there is no definite answer.  Each brake has different purposes.  The front brake is great for diving into inside ruts and coming to a stop quickly, while the rear keeps the rear wheel planted to the ground and keeps your momentum up.  Another interesting thing that seems to help me is to “push” the bike in the ground.  Trying to weight front or rear down will put more force on the ground to get that extra friction for added stopping power.

One thing that aids in your momentum and drive is to avoid locking the brakes.  When you lock up the rear brake, there is no control over the traction and where the wheel goes.  All of your RPMs drop and it just creates braking bumps even faster.  Your best bet is to “chatter” the rear.  This is a method where the rear wheel is spinning, but at a much slower rate.  This is great for maintaining drive in deep soil and it squats the rear end down to avoid swapping out.

Each situation is different, but remembering how your brakes control deceleration, you can utilize each one to its maximum potential.  If you have an outside line in a corner that looks good, use more rear brake than front.  For insides, you would be better off grabbing the front and getting that front end down.  Becoming comfortable with both brakes can allow you to have faster entry speed in any corner.



Posted on Dec 12 2011, under Riding Techniques | No Comments »

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