- Written by Carole Nash Editor
- Created: 12 March 2008
If you’re doing your CBT, or getting back onto bikes after a few years away from two wheels, here’s some handy advice that might save your life.
Put simply, people usually fall off motorcycles because the tyres break traction with the tarmac, with poor braking technique being a primary cause. It is very easy on modern, twin front disc machines, to lose the front end, in wet or dry conditions, so here’s some basic advice;
Try not to brake into corners. Racers do it, but riding on the edge of tyre adhesion is their 9-5 job – for most of us, this kind of harsh, aggressive riding soon leads to a nasty `off.’
Brake extremely gently on city streets. Pot-holes, bumps, white lines, rumble strips, diesel and poor surface repairs are just a few hazards you will encounter in each mile of city riding. Typically, front tyre grip is reduced by 10-20% in the dry and about 50% in the wet, by such low surface adhesion, so ride accordingly. Be cautious when approaching busy urban junctions, as diesel, oil and water from leaky vehicles will gather in the middle of the lanes, just before the white lines.
Always leave loads of space for braking in the wet on any road – your emergency stopping distance is much, much greater than an ABS equipped car travelling in front – no matter how dozy the driver might be, or fast your reactions.
Out on the open road, be aware how hard braking can `load up’ the suspension on your bike at speed, which will affect the handling when entering corners. Take your time and be as smooth as possible, as it is generally faster – as well as safer – to go slowly into corners and exit them hard on the throttle.