Braking vs Engine-Braking before entering a corner - Part II

So I got quite a bit of emails from my last post Braking vs Engine-Braking before entering a corner from people wanting to know a bit more of the whys using both brakes before entering a turn is better than using engine braking or ever front braking alone. So, these are the reasons:

1 - By using BOTH brakes —smoothly and gently— before entering the turn, BOTH front and back suspensions compress and BOTH tires gain more traction —the bike settles and stabilizes from front to rear. You don't get that effect by only using either the rear or the front brake or engine braking alone.

2 - By keeping the throttle on —even a bit— you maintain a proper tension on the chain which prevents the "kick" that occurs when you come from a roll-off to a roll-on on engine braking. This also helps keeping the suspension and the stability of the bike smooth and unmolested.

3 - Just like on point No.2, by not rolling-off the throttle abruptly, you are also keeping tension on your throttle cable which also avoids another destabilizing kick you would get when you get back on the gas.

4 - I know I'm adventuring into trail braking territory here but it's worth mentioning that, by entering the turn while still on the brakes —even lightly— you keep the proper amount of compression on the suspension to keep the bike stable and even brake in shorter distances in case you need to make an emergency stop. This has been discussed and proven over and over on advanced motorcycle schools and books.

These effects apply to some level or another on ANY street motorcycle, no matter how firm or how soft its suspension is.

I know anyone can live a long and happy life by using only engine braking or only front brakes —I did it myself for a long time— but I want to think that everyone of us is thriving to not only do good but to do better and this is a technique worth the try.

Food for thought.



About the author

I am a graphic designer, a linguist, a software developer and a marketer — in no particular order. I am also an avid motorcyclist who's extremely concerned about coming back home in one piece after each ride and spreading the word of safe riding habits among my fellow motorcyclists.
I have been teaching motorcycling for the last few years, first as hobby and now —professionally— as an instructor and instructor trainer for Total Control Training and the California Motorcyclist Safety Program.
The ideas and opinions expressed here are my own and may not reflect the philosophies of the organizations to which I belong.
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