How to Brake on a Motorcycle

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Knowing how to brake and come to a stop safely and effectively is an important skill to develop as a new motorcycle rider.

This page will go over the basics of braking and how to stop properly.

Basics of Stopping on a Motorcycle

Braking on a motorcycle requires both your hands and feet.

The right hand operates the front brake lever and the right foot operates the rear brake lever.

The front brake is responsible for the majority of your motorcycle’s stopping power. However, it’s still important to use both brakes at the same time so as not to lose control of the bike.

You’ll want to avoid locking up the rear wheel when you apply the rear brake. Doing so can cause the bike to skid.

As the brakes are applied, there will be a transfer of weight from the back towards the front of the motorcycle.

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Make sure to use smooth movements when applying the brakes.

Motorcycle Braking Tips

The best way to brake on a motorcycle is to operate the front brake and rear brake at the same time.

While the majority of your stopping power is provided by the front brake, using both brakes at the same time will allow you to stop more quickly and with more control.

To brake on a motorcycle to come to a stop:

  • Make sure you have enough time to come to a stop, otherwise, evasive maneuvers may be more appropriate.
  • Roll off the throttle.
  • Engage the clutch lever.
  • Gentle press down on the rear brake pedal and smoothly squeeze the front brake lever.
  • Keep an upright position with your body and the bike.
  • Once you come to a stop, place your left foot on the ground for balance.

If you need to brake when approaching a turn or a curve, be sure to apply both brakes to slow down before entering the curve. Lean, look, and accelerate through the curve.

Remember, it will take longer to brake on poor road surfaces. Be sure to give yourself enough time, space, and distance in order to brake properly.

When you’re learning to ride, it’s a good idea to find an empty parking lot to practice different braking techniques.

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