2 Braking Skills Every Rider Needs to Master

This week on MCrider we open up the Field Guide and look at two emergency braking skills that every rider needs to master.

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MCrider offers free motorcycle safety training in a weekly video that helps you gain more control of your motorcycle and improve your strategy on the street.

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Thanks for watching,


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Comment (34)

  1. "When did you last practice emergency braking?"…
    -About an hour ago, a mob of roos on the road as I was riding into town this morning, couple of 'em about 6-7ft adults. Pretty common occurrence so I 'practice' pretty regularly. As you might've guessed, I'm all shook up and freaked out by it… LOL.

    Had a skippy the other day that was a bit annoying, he did this little dance in the middle of the road deciding which way to go while I was braking, luckily I kinda guessed right (right) because if he'd gone left his tail may have clipped my front wheel… it was 'kind of' lucky because my intention was to 'herd' or push him that way, which thankfully he did… they don't always do what you want, they aren't exactly cattle (not that they always go where you want either).

    Cars can be worse than wildlife… because people shouldn't be so dumb and unpredictable as wild animals with their intentions, don't get me wrong there are some skippys (or deer, whatever) that just bolt out of the roadside brush like a North Korean missile threatening you with a shot over the bow, but humans are supposed to have some level of intelligence… apparently most peoples IQ is slashed in half when they get behind the wheel of a car.

  2. Kevin, great video as always. Thanks. One question though, recently you've put out several videos on trail braking, and I would think, from that material presented there that keeping slight front brake pressure as you transition to the swerve portion of the brake and escape exercise would actually increase your available traction for the serve. Shorter wheelbase, larger traction patch, etc. It seems like the parking lot practice would be the exact place to practice that so that in a real emergency the tendency to death grip the front brake could be broken, and a real escape could ensue.

  3. It seems that every time I get on my motorcycle, I am thinking of something you have taught us…..braking, cornering, awareness, Etc. Thanks for helping me in becoming a better rider.

  4. Hi Kevin, Thanks again for your weekly presentation, always interesting and informative. However in your emergency braking presentation you mentioned, when riding your 900 Yamaha, lifting the rear wheel meant you had to reduce the rear braking effort…. If your rear wheel is lifting you have applied too much pressure on the front brake, not the rear.

  5. I found Patreon way too cumbersome and difficult to navigate. Spent about 20 minutes just trying to sign back in, before I gave up, changed my password and cancelled my subscription.

  6. hey kevin

    its much easier to NOT lock the brakes when using 1 or 2 fingers

    im not an expert rider but for me using this technique helps me not to lock the front brake on my non abs bike.
    i use the pointer finger only and its always on the brake lever so i save time in emergency braking

    what say you?

  7. "Practice" every professional sports star does it just about every day you name the sport. Motorcycle riding is a sport or at least a sporty hobby so practice braking it is the most important skill.

  8. A great reminder to practice these skills. As a fairly new rider (only about 1.5 years in the Seattle area, so short riding season) I ways have every intention of taking another class or going to a parking lot to practice these skills. Guess how many times I've done either….yep! None. Just upgraded from a HD Street 750 to a HD Softtail Deluxe and had my first need for emergency breaking. It all ended well, but I think I may have skidded the back tire. I think that was from too much rear break and not enough front brake. Practicing would have helped me know how much rear break to apply.
    Another great video Kevin. Thanks for your HUGE part in keeping me safe this last 1.5 years!

  9. Always informative — I've been on motorcycles since 1971–had two blow outs one front tire the other a rear tire with a passenger on the back…How about a video on how to deal with a blow out…If you have already done one I must have missed it…After all these years on two wheels I still find something to learn from your videos..Keep up the good work….

  10. Alright its Friday and another motorcycle safety briefing! I've started practicing emergency braking on the street several times a day. If I'm coming to a stop sign with no one behind me, I practice emergency braking. I do need to practice the swerve more in an empty parking lot though. Thank you for all your help Kevin.

  11. Sad to report that a MC rider just 75 miles south of here was killed earlier this morning when a dump truck pulled out in front of him. It was a straight, mixed residential, light commercial area. I don’t know the details, but I know it was 100% preventable.

    We are so blessed to have your weekly training videos, Kevin. Thank you.

  12. Thanks Kevin. I really look forward to your videos each week. I have been ride for years and have learned a lot from them and have saved me from something bad happening to me!!!
    Kevin, my new BMW has abs brakes are great, but I did have to practice using them to get good at ir. The practice did help a lot, and does help to use them proper.

  13. I had to make my first emergency stop ever this morning. A truck pulled right out in front of me from a side street – I guess he didn't see me. Anyway, I hit the brakes and felt/heard the back tire lock up. The bike tilted slightly with the skidding of the tire, at which point I was able to let off the back brake a bit and maintain an upright position/come to a safe stop.

    What I learned is that I definitely need to be practicing emergency braking more often. A back tire lockup is something that can be avoided with practice, so I'll do more of that for sure. I also learned that the practice I had done in the past came in handy as I'm now riding on a bike without ABS.


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