Riding with one or two fingers on brake lever: for or against?
August 9, 2008 at 8:10 pm #1867
For me this is a precaution measure as you know which kind of decrease reaction time and this timing has saved me from ‘crashing’ but some people might go hard on it if panicked or well share you views…..August 9, 2008 at 9:50 pm #10175MattParticipant
I’m against it, but I don’t have a good reason why.
Part of me says “Well, OSC course said never to do it, therefore I don’t”, but more of it I think is my experience on bicycles. I’ll cover a lever when I’m expecting someone to do something stupid, the rest of the time, I want my hand firmly on the grip (not death grip, just all four fingers).
Covering just doesn’t “feel right” to me, and I suppose, at the end of the day, that the only reason I need…
“The two seconds between ‘Oh S**!’ and the crash isn’t a lot of practice time.”August 10, 2008 at 4:13 am #10186AndrewParticipant
I was covering the front brake with my last 3 fingers, thumb and first finger on throttle, during MSF. The rider coach told me not to do it because if things went wrong the lever could break or crack a finger.August 10, 2008 at 6:30 am #10192megaspazParticipant
The MSF guys are pretty much against anything not using 4 fingers for braking. My instructors were kind of inconsistent with when to cover and when not to. Depending on the drill, they would suggest to cover the brakes or not. I myself don’t cover, it just feels wierd and gives me the sense of not having more feel of the throttle. Although, if i’ve deemed an upcoming situation as sketchy via S.E.E., i instantly slow down and cover with 2 fingers and possibly brake with 2 fingers. On modern bikes, you’ll get the “same” stopping power using 2 or 4 fingers on the lever.
If there’s anything more important than my ego
around, I want it caught and shot now…August 10, 2008 at 5:47 pm #10173RabParticipant
Covering the front brake in traffic sounds like, and may well be (?), good practice. The idea being that it gives you a split second advantage to begin braking in a “panic” situation.
Personally, I don’t do it though. First of all, it feels very awkward to me, and I feel as if I have a little less control of the bike when my right hand is split like that. Also, on my bike, a two fingered pull doesn’t exert that much of a braking force, so in a panic situation, I’d have to (in a controlled and progressive manner of course), ‘”grab a handfull” anyway.
Better to ride responsibly, within your limits, trying to anticipate and avoid panic situations in the first place.
I know, I know… not always possible; especially since the advent of the cell-phone, the invasion of the untrained, unlicensed, uninsured (and uninvited and unwanted) illegal alien drivers, and the general dumbing-down of America.
If it works for you, go for it, if it doesn’t, don’t…August 10, 2008 at 6:22 pm #10201MunchParticipant
I cover only near town at the few stop lights I actually get near. The drivers here are a bit nuts and blind. Being a mechanic the supposed “effort” it takes to close the brakes with 2 fingers is a non issue. Nor is the apparent lack of control some feel they have with only 2 fingers on the throttle. On the Highway I do it from time to time just to let the air flow through my gloves a bit better. If your worried about cracking 2 fingers due to a breakage…. lol…your worried about the wrong part of the near collision.
All said and done though… its up to preference just as your style of bike is.
Matt’s signature explains it all: “The two seconds between ‘Oh S**!’ and the crash isn’t a lot of practice time.”August 10, 2008 at 7:10 pm #10205AaronMerlotParticipant
My instructors where adamant about not covering. This was a big problem for me because I was told to always cover when first riding, so needless to say I got yelled at a few times. Ever since my MSF class I do not cover, but I am still up in the air about it being good or bad.August 10, 2008 at 7:32 pm #10207
*****good and i noticed if ye wana have smooth throttle action, ride with one or two fingers(index or/and middle) on the front brake lever(put it not press it and this timing is a safety timing…) and the rest on throttle*****
TRUE OR FALSE?
uh when i first started riding i just had firm grip on the bars and later i heard and learned that a finger or two on the lever is important, see a must ‘coz it is a safety timing, imean kinda diminish reaction time (i went thru dat!) not to forget a finger on the clutch lever but mine you had to pull the lever in 100% (new bikes have a ‘stuff’ to change friction zone)… grosomodo i always have been riding with two fingaz on the brake lever but at first, i was finding that awkward but with time i got used to that and at present i find it awkward to ride w/o my two fingers on the lever but!!!!!! the fingy thing i notice it when i ride with two fingers there, i give smooth throttle action to the bike while starting and while riding but also, i have the tendency not to push the engine hard on certain gears… what i want to say is that after a few months of riding with fingers-on-lever(FOL…lol) i decided to grab the bars as i was doing it at first and i said, wow is my bike possessed or what?! imean with you hand fully wrapping/gripping the throttle, you have the tendency to open up at its most…that is what i noticed.. but i am happy that riding FOL saved my butt few times…** the FOL saved my butt several times..well i was at fault anyways but i was just eyewashing a lady in the street when suddenly i got a buzz in my head which propelled me to look ahead and spoted the car a few metres away which had stopped on the road for dunno what reasons (6th sense!!!! XDXDDDD lol) and as i had my fingers ready, i just pressed it a lil hard then minisec after i pressed the rear brake…** + etc ….. + i was happy it helped me stop just in front of a chikaz, (and not rolling over her) who smiled at me but dang her for not being attentive and bumping in front of me from dunno, where.. dropped alien… chicks here are crazy… and i mean it…
Well it might be dangerous if you are new and panic while seeing a hazardous situation because remember, FOL is kind of timing reducing reaction time and if you (not you but you in general-lol) are a panicking new rider, with your fingers-on-lever, your quick reaction will be to press the lever hard and lock the wheels but does not mean if you do not have your fingers over there this situation won’t arise. Well riding should be fun but also instructive and reflexes, instincts and experience come with frequent riding. Practice does make perfect!! You should not be afraid because that’s what gana screw things up. Be cool and chillax! It’s not the end of the world, not yet…. Well a noob rider might learn from an experienced rider and vice versa because each and every bike has their own way of riding it and every bikers have their own way of riding bikes! different riders, different perceptions but also techniques and timings and whatever that distinguish each and every rider.
ANY SIGN OF TRUTH OR… NONSENSE UP HERE?
Solomolo RiderAugust 10, 2008 at 8:09 pm #10209TheAbomb12Participant
Bad Habit… Especially during turns. If you accidentally pull the brake you could end up crashing/sliding.
Another reason is that its easier for you to use the brake when its unnecessary, causing you to go through brake pads quicker.
you can get away with it on lower CC bikes, but on real Sports and SS bikes, the brakes are so powerful that you don’t want to accidentally engage them, even going straight.
What is so hard about quickly reaching one or two fingers up when you need to stop?August 10, 2008 at 8:13 pm #10210
right about turns but i had quit doing that and changed my habit, front brake before turn, let go to ease the springs and backbrake during turn if necessary…but sometimes i did pressed a lil tiny mini on the front while in turns…a lil…
“””What is so hard about quickly reaching one or two fingers up when you need to stop?”””
spot a stopped car, close your eyes and keep going towards it and when you sense the breathlessfear, open! tadaaa!!
or let other hazardous situations come your way… but everyone his own way..
Solomolo RiderAugust 11, 2008 at 12:18 am #10169fotobitsParticipant
Don’t even think about it any more. A rider who would yank on the lever too hard would do so with or without the brake covered. The slight decrease in reaction may be enough to avoid a collision, so covering the brake is an excellent habit.August 11, 2008 at 12:24 am #10229fotobitsParticipant
I admit, I do not cover my brake while turning, but knowing how to brake while turning is an important survival skill. A couple of examples stand out in my mind.
1) When my wife was in college we lived 10 miles south of Kerrville, Texas. Great place for motorcycling. I could pull out of my driveway, ride 100 feet to the highway, turn left and be in the twisties. One particularly lovely Sunday morning a I jumped on my Suzuki GS650E and headed south. Less than one mile down the road, in the first good right-hander, two deer jumped out of the grass in the ditch and began running down the highway in my lane. There was, of course, a car coming around the corner in the left lane. I had no choice but to slow from 60 mph to about 20 mph while leaned over.
2) While attending Jason Pridmore’s STAR school at Thunderhill Raceway a few years ago my Honda CBR600F3 began sputtering coming out of Turn 10. I reached down and flipped the fuel lever to Reserve and stupidly diverted my attention from the track. When I looked up I was passing my usual Turn 11 brake marker. Luckily, we had just gone through a trail braking lesson earlier that day. I made the corner, and didn’t even need to clean my leathers.
One technique Reg Pridmore teaches is to cover your brake lever with your first two finders, and practice gently squeezing the lever as you roll off the throttle. Try it while sitting on your bike in the garage or driveway. You’ll see that when you roll on the throttle you naturally let off the brake. With a bit of practice this technique becomes a reflex action.August 11, 2008 at 5:34 am #10252megaspazParticipant
I do trail braking as well mainly because i take mostly late apexes out on the twisties. Since I don’t do any knee draggin, I use mostly rear brakes. I did start experimenting with front brake trail braking on a group ride today on right hande turns.
I notice today, while leading my group back, of a “bad” habit I’ve picked up which is to mainly use engine braking for slowing before turns and sometimes I come in hotter than engine braking will slow me down (thus the need for trail braking). Not to mention, if I lead, it becomes somewhat of an issue for the person following me because there isn’t that initial instant visual indication of the brake lights coming on to show that I’m slowing down which can lead to ass packing if the person following me doesn’t take a late apex line. Yes, I will be more conscious of using brakes for slowing down instead of using just engine braking…
If there’s anything more important than my ego
around, I want it caught and shot now…August 11, 2008 at 9:46 am #10254
good advice and this is true: as you throttle up, fingers let off the brake lever and when let off, i catches it…. but i admit a lil gentle front braking while in a turn does not do that harm..hm?> but i noticed w/o gloves i had the tendency to just grab the throttle but with the gloves on, it’s something different…
Solomolo RiderAugust 11, 2008 at 9:49 am #10255
i too admit had this bad habit of doing engine braking first, then the brakes but some say it is ok but some are against engine braking.. what you think? just brakes will do? also before a stop i use engine braking…not excessively to always hear the engine roaring but mildly…but i think most riders do engine braking…
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