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font brake useage while trail riding

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I was riding the tight michigan trails yesterday (BIG "O") on my friends zuki 400. First time on a big bike, too.

Anyway, at the end of the day, we were talking about how I faired, and it came up that I don't use the front brake at all. The other guys were suprised, because I was keeping up with the pace most of the time( except for hitting a tree, dropping into a ditch, and a couple of blown turns). Anyway, I am new to tight trail riding, and would like some enlightening discussion on how I am supposed to use the front brake in loose, sand, tight trails. This is something I need to learn, because apparently I am the only off roader on earth who does not use the front brake.

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I'm completely the opposite, I use mostly front brake and alot less rear. Just go out and practice using only the front brake to stop and you will learn how to control it. Once you learn how to control it you will use it.

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I was riding the tight michigan trails yesterday (BIG "O") on my friends zuki 400. First time on a big bike, too.

Anyway, at the end of the day, we were talking about how I faired, and it came up that I don't use the front brake at all. The other guys were suprised, because I was keeping up with the pace most of the time( except for hitting a tree, dropping into a ditch, and a couple of blown turns). Anyway, I am new to tight trail riding, and would like some enlightening discussion on how I am supposed to use the front brake in loose, sand, tight trails. This is something I need to learn, because apparently I am the only off roader on earth who does not use the front brake.

If you're not using the front brake, you're not going fast enough.

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I agree. The more you ride, the more you will use the front and less the back. The rear brake is great for initiating brake slides into corners or for extra stopping force on really nasty downhills where you're trying to scrub all the speed you possibly can. The safest use of the front brake is when the bike is verticle - ie: not laid down in a corner. Just try it, you'll get used to it.

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When I bought my bike, the front brake was the only one that worked well, so that's basically all I use now. unless I'm going really fast... then I tap on both. Just practice with it and you'll get better :applause:

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I Use The Front a Lot. :eek:🙂

And I use The Rear For steering The Bike. And Traction Control.

Is This Wrong?? :applause:

Just One mans Opinion. 😛😛

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Your use of the brakes should be primarily always front (with a trailing back) and in certain situations primarily back. To bleed off the most speed your front brake will do almost it all. In soft sandy situations you want to use more back because the front will dive in and over you'll go. You'll use the back to square off corners (standing or sitting) and you should be on both if you are going very fast and need to maximise your braking and minimise braking distance - but the ratio will be 80/20 (f/:). Like they have all said ... practice it. Also you shorten your rake distance using your front brake and if you practice slow maneuvres using throttle clutch and front brake going as slow as you can you'll tighten those front slow corners even more. Make sure your front brake grabs well and you should be able to practice front wheel 'wheelies' or 'front wheel stoppies' as we call them here in Australia. Practice front wheel lockups by standing on the bike, giving some first gear throttle and then locking up the front brake - learning to control the bikes balance. It teaches you to react to the locked up front wheel situation & counter steering. Don't just go out and start using the front brake in fast situations ... unless you get me a beer first and ringside seats ... it'll make for a fun afternoon :applause:)

Good luck and with a little practice you'll find it a walk in the park ... oh sorry ... thats for grannys :eek:)

Paul

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i never use the front brake it adjusted so even if i pull it in a little it stops on a dime and over the bars i go i use the trans to slow me down i ride in the leota trails in second gear then when im about to turn shift to first and slows me down just enough to make a nice turn then shoot out

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Well, I am going to start trying it in my back 40.........far, far away from trees!

Yes, I am going slower between turns than some guys,couldn't scrub off speed fast enough. I taught myself how to ride when I was a kid( back in idaho, as a farmboy)and rode from when I was 10 until I was 18. and after a 10 year hiatus, I am learning how again. The right way. This explains how some guys can go so darn fast in the woods.

SO, bring some beer, park your butt in a lawn chair, and watch the fun!

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my rear brakes need a major cleaning, i cant even tell they grab anymore, so i am stock with front brakes alone. Ive handled the bike better with that front brake than i would have ever thought possible a year ago. Almost to the point i feel i could take the rear wheel off the ground and still move around. Its all a feeling, you'll know when you're at the limits of your stoping power.

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To go fast safely, you'll have to use both brakes to some extent. The front is able to take most of the stopping power unless you avoid using it.

If you're not going fast, it doesn't matter much on fairly flat ground. You could use all rear brake if you wanted. In deep sand, you can't grab too much front brake or you'll lose control. Experience will teach you how much is too much.

If you're going fast, brake late with both front and rear, but remain smooth. You'll be much faster and can pass slower riders easier.

Personally, I ride with one finger on the front brake lever and one finger on the clutch most of the time. I can't quite lock the front wheel on good damp dirt with one finger, but I can in sand. One finger keeps me from locking up all the time.

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For me, it was important to learn how to control the front brake, as opposed to thinking of it as an 'on' and 'off' type of application. Once I accomplished that it made me a lot faster :applause:, although maybe from a novice to a 'C'.

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I Use both the rear and the front breaks about the same probably 50/50 but I also use my engine breaking alot.

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proper brake use is the most important element in going fast safely. if you're in deep sand, you can corner with little or no front brake. the sand slows you down pretty effectively anyway, and you tend to steer with the rear wheel coming out of sandy corner. as the terrain gets more hardpacked, you can use more and more front brake. i was taught to use gentle and increasing front brake pressure (along with getting your weight forward) up to the apex of the corner. this transfers more weight to the front tire, increasing traction. done correctly, it will amaze you how well the front tire sticks. if you overdo it, the fork will rebound and the front end will break loose.

mw

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I use them both at the same time for the most part. In panic stop situations I grab all the front brake I can because it's usually on some steep down hill and I meet another rider going the opposite direction.

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I would be cautious with the front brake in sand. Any diving of the front end caused by applying the brake can cause you to cut or plow, accompanied by a bunch of awkward instability. In fact, I deliberately take my finger off the lever as a reminder not to get tossed. Throttle is the best control for sand.

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Keep your shoulders square to your handlebars when using the front brake and weight forward will help in keeping your front tire from washing out. :applause:

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