Blog Archive
July 2015

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

So I got quite a few emails after 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...

Braking vs Engine-Braking before entering a corner

I ride two different bikes with plenty of engine-braking power each (SV650 and Vstrom 1000) so for the last few years I became lazy regarding the use of my actual brakes to set my entry speed before entering a curve; I would just roll off the throttle enough to slow down and dive into the turn. (I live at the foothills of the central Sierra Nevada so I spend lots of time in my "backyard", which is full of amazing twisty roads).

Anyway, lately, I have been trying to be more conscious of the way I set my cornering entry speed and I started using both my front and rear brakes —lightly as I am not riding at track speeds on public roads— instead of just rolling off the throttle to reduce my speed before entering the curves...