Braking Tips that Can Save Your Life
Like most motorcyclists, you have mastered many riding skills – navigating curves, shifting gears, splitting lanes, etc. – by getting out there and burning rubber. But there are some skills you want to actively practice in a safe and remote setting rather than on the go. Emergency braking is at the top of the list. If and when you get into a life-or-death situation that requires you to hit the brakes hard, you want to be as ready as possible.
Like many other riding skills, emergency braking is a skill you will need to practice regularly to gain and retain the muscle memory. So practice as much as you can, preferably in an empty parking lot. Using a visual marker as an imagined obstacle, practice riding towards the obstacle and braking hard before you “hit” it, going slowly at first, then steadily increasing the speed of your approach as you progress. As you practice more and more, your reflexes will get stronger to the point where you will automatically react when faced with such a situation.
While you practice, keep these tips in mind:
- Pull the handle hard, but not with all your strength. Pulling all the way might make your tires lock up and cause you to lose control. Instead, give it a good firm pull initially, and then continue pulling harder progressively.
- Use both front and rear brakes, evenly. Put more on the front and the rear will lift, making it useless. Put more on the rear, your stopping power will drop significantly.
- Squealing tires are bad. Loosen up or you might lose control.
- Keep your arms straight and locked. This will help keep your body from being ejected over the front of the bike.
- If you can’t stop in time, do anything you can to avoid the object. Use a combination of braking and counter-steering.
This information has been provided to you by the experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm. If you ever need legal help after an accident, call us at (800) 522-7274 for immediate assistance. Our consultations are FREE and we don’t charge any upfront attorney fees.