Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
As the bike slows down whether from using engine braking, rear wheel or front wheel braking, weight is tranfered from the rear wheel to the front. So in a hard braking situation you can progressively brake harder on the front wheel for maximum stopping power. At the same time you have to ease up on the rear brake as weight is transfered off of it, to prevent locking it up and sliding out into a potential lo-side or high-side crash. You want to gradually release the brake too. This helps keep maximun traction throughout the braking cycle.
To avoid locking the front brake, gradually apply it to maximum over a one second time period. Practice counting ONE THOUSAND AND ONE, as you brake. If the brake is full on before the finish of the count, you are "grabbing" the brake, not using a controlled "squeeze".
Cglennon is pretty close, I think, in his estimate of 70% braking power on the front wheel on a cruiser type motorcycle.
Some sport bikes with gummy tires are capapble of doing "stoppies", or reverse wheelies, which shows that they can get 100% stopping power from the front brake.
Last edited by OlHossCanada; 10-23-2011 at 12:49 PM.