Riding with linked brakes - GL1800Riders
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Riding with linked brakes

I saw a comment in another thread that made me think. How do I ride differently because I have linked brakes on the bike? My answer is, "I don't." I've never felt the front end give way when I was using my rear brakes on less than ideal surfaces. I also don't just use the front brakes understanding that the SMC will apply the rear brakes for me.

Do any of you change the way you ride because of the linked brakes?


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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 11:41 AM
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Both of the two bikes I've ridden have had linked brakes, so I learned to ride with them. I know that the pressure is different (%-wise) to each wheel depending on which lever you use, but I generally use both brakes all the time anyway. That was the instruction given at the MSF course. It is nice to know that if I grab the front brake too hard in a panic, it will still apply the rear (hopefully reducing the chance of locking both wheels), but the idea that both brakes are applied no matter which lever I use is a comforting thing for me.
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 12:21 PM
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When the brakes are not linked, some use trail braking to help them better navigate a turn when racing. It also helps not to apply front brakes on gravel or other low traction surfaces. My last two bikes have both had linked brakes and I have not encountered any problems in any situations with either bike. I don't race or trail ride, so I rarely encounter situations we're not having them linked would help. Having them linked I think gives better braking. Like you I've never had any negative affects of having linked brakes and don't ride any different.

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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 12:44 PM
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It hasn't changed my riding style at all. I normally use the foot brake when slowing down and then I use the front brake to come to a stop.

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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 12:48 PM
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I like the brakes on my Goldwing. I think they work great. I'm not much into using the rear brake really. Of coarse I use it when it's convenient. But while rolling along on the highways, any emergency stop or slowdown always involves the right handlebar front brake first and then the back brake once I get it together.

I've been riding all my life using this technique....... one of the things that bugs me with a Spyder is no right handlebar brake...... I think that's a mistake on their part....... I feel my right foot is slow as compared to my right hand. I like be able to cover the right handlebar brake when needed while riding.
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 01:22 PM
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Good Lord, no. I am neither good enough nor operating near enough the edge of the envelope to give this any thought.

Any time you get on a new (to you) bike, you need to get a feel for what braking pressure it requires and how that progresses from routine to panic stopping. The type of bike, type of braking system, and peculiarities of that SPECIFIC bike vs. its so-called "identical" but not siblings are all in play. All of that goes in the blender, and I don't think the identicality factor is always the smallest difference as far as the taste of what comes out. I just guzzle up whatever comes out of the blender for that particular bike and try to figure it out (inputs to get desired stopping outputs) without attributing blame or reverse engineering it.

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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 01:35 PM
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I guess I would agree I never really rode any differently with linked vs de-linked. None of my current rides are linked as I de-link as part of my process. I have crashed in the past by using too much front brake so one does learn when and where to focus on rear vs front.

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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 01:53 PM
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I think it is comforting to know that technology is working in the background to help keep us safe while riding.
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 02:33 PM
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Depending on the confluence of speed, turn radius, and road surface I use the front brake to break momentum and set the front wheel when entering a turn.

Otherwise for ordinary stopping I use a balanced front/rear braking technique that I learned way back when drum brakes were on the front and rear of my motorcycle. So far, it has served me well ... since 1970, or thereabouts.

That said, my VStrom has ABS brakes and so did three of my (long-departed) BMW's. I'm a huge fan of ABS when it's there, but no ABS was not a deal breaker on the GL 18 I bought last year.
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 03:16 PM
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The only time I give the linked brakes any thought is when I'm slowing and turning into a parking space. Any other time, nope.
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