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Tips for braking safely on a motorcycle

Posted in Our Blog on October 30, 2015

Louisiana motorcyclists are at risk of suffering more severe and deadlier injuries than motor vehicle drivers. Therefore, it is important for motorcyclists to learn as many safety tips as possible. One area that motorcyclists can benefit from learning more about is braking.

Unlike car drivers, motorcyclists actually have two different brakes to choose from when slowing down – a front one and a back one. This begs the question: which brake is more effective? Generally, the front brake is the most efficient at stopping the vehicle and supplies anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of the motorcycle’s stopping power. This is because, as the bike stops, more weight is transferred to the front of the bike, making the front wheel more important for braking.

When applying the brakes, there are several things you can do to avoid skidding. For one, you can rely on your front wheel for the most stability, and if you apply your front brake in a staged or progressive way, then it is not likely to jam. It could skid but not in a way that is uncontrollable. Meanwhile, you can expect your rear wheel to lock up and skid more easily, especially under fast and hard braking, so be ready for this. If the rear wheel skids, keep looking at the horizon in front of you – basically where you want to go and not where you are going – and this will help you steer the bike in a more controlled way while minimizing fishtailing.

Knowing how to brake better can help Louisiana motorcyclists avoid unnecessary accidents and injuries caused by irresponsible and negligent motorists. However, braking on a motorcycle is not something we are born knowing how to do. Louisiana residents who want to become excellent and safe motorcyclists are encouraged to take a motorcycle braking lesson where they can practice different techniques under controlled conditions.