Good Braking Reduces the Risk of a Motorcycle Accident
Brakes are not there just for stopping your motorcycle; they are among the most important safety devices on your bike. Since riding at varying speeds and terrain requires you to apply the brakes frequently, they also take the biggest amount of drubbing. So it’s only natural that braking performance deteriorates over time. The harder you push your bike, the faster the brakes deteriorate. Talk to a motorcycle accident lawyer if you are injured in an accident.
Here are some tips on how to improve braking performance.
- Change the brake fluid
If you feel that your motorcycle is not braking properly, then change the brake fluid. This is the simplest and the easiest way to improve braking performance. It is very important to keep it the brake fluid fresh if you want your brakes to work without a hitch. This hydraulic fluid transfers the force applied on the lever into pressure, amplifying the force at the same time.
Most brake fluids in use today are glycol-ether based (known as DOT 4 and DOT 5.1). They are very hygroscopic, meaning that they aggressively absorb moisture. This buildup of water decreases the performance of the fluid. This is the reason brakes fluids need to be replaced regularly.
- Replace or upgrade the brake pads
When you apply the brake, the rotors grind against the brake pads, and the resulting friction slows down the bike. Because brake pads sustain so much wear on a daily basis, they lose their bite over time and need to be replaced regularly. It is fairly inexpensive to replace or upgrade the brake pads.
There are two broad groups of brake pads: organic and sintered. Organic pads are made of softer materials and are gentler on the disk brakes. Sintered pads are made of a mixture of metal compounds and other materials. They have a higher performance, but are harder on the rotors, reducing their life span. Both have pros and cons. So your choice should depend on your riding style.
- Upgrade to steel braided brake lines
Brake lines have an important function to perform in the braking system. They carry brake fluid from the master cylinder to other parts of the brake. If you notice that they look cracked, frayed, brittle, corroded, or worn out or if you find any leak, you should attend to them immediately. Better still, you should upgrade to steel braided brake lines, if your bike has rubber brake lines.
Rubber brake lines, which are common in older bikes, characteristically expand and flex, resulting in decreased brake fluid pressure over time, which degrades the performance of the brakes. Steel braided brake lines do not expand and flex. They improve brake fluid pressure, making the brakes crisper and more precise.
- Replace or upgrade the brake discs and rotors
The quality of brake discs and rotors makes a noticeable difference in braking performance. Discs made from better higher quality steel and optimized dimensions will improve your bike’s braking performance. Better designed discs can also help dissipate heat faster, disperse water more quickly, and remove brake pad dust. So it’s a good idea to upgrade the brake discs if your motorcycle already hasn’t the latest design.
While upgrading the brake discs, you should also consider upgrading the rotors. Bigger rotors offer more braking power. However, the downside is that it adds weight to the wheel, which makes spinning heavier.
- Replace or upgrade the calipers
Brake calipers absorb a lot of the heat generated inside the braking system. This heat can weaken or destroy the seals inside the calipers. As a result, they may start leaking brake fluid, which degrades your bike’s braking performance. Therefore, calipers need to be replaced when they show signs of leaking.
Better still, you should consider replacing the calipers altogether. Higher grade calipers are made from lighter materials and offer reduced internal friction and improved heat dissipation. Even with perfect brakes, you can still get in an accident if you are not careful. If you are injured, call a motorcycle accident lawyer to find out if you can file a personal injury claim.