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Offline Paul_Smith

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Pros (and cons) of two fingered braking)
« on: March 13, 2018, 06:08:47 PM »
This video was included in another thread and gave rise to some off topic debate so I have opened this thread. If you haven't watched it yet, the video promotes two fingered braking (which I like) and covered braking (which I don't).


The advantage of using only two fingers to brake is that it inadvertently forces you to brake progressively. If you decide that you need more braking power then two fingers can give you, you can add more fingers and since you are already on the brakes, the front tyre will already be loaded, and so will be able to take the extra brake power. 

The video advocates having two fingers on the brakes all the time (covered braking) and that is the bit I don't like. The advantage is that it reduces your physical reaction time (the time from deciding to brake to applying the brake) from (using their figures) 0.62 to 0.43 seconds. That is less the 0.2 of a second in a process they reckon takes 2.8 seconds. The disadvantages that the video warns of are forgetting to close the throttle and trapping your other fingers.

The one they don't mention is the negative effect on your posture. Having two fingers on the brake lever all the time is uncomfortable. You can get used to it, but why would you want to? One individual even said:
*Originally Posted by Sonny [+]
...Grip strength really matters for MC control...
No it absolutely does not. If you are griping, you are holding on too tight! That is restricting the bikes ability to sort itself out, as well as restricting your ability to move and your bloods ability to flow. And for what? A saving of less then 0.2 seconds out of 2.8? Your hands should rest gently on the bars and your elbows should be able to waggle freely. You will find that the friction between your your thumb and 1st finger from barely resting your hand on the grip is more then enough to control the throttle and your fingers should rest loosely over the grip. If you are gripping the throttle you hand will tend to stiffen up and the build up of tension will just tire you out. (Not to mention making it slower and harder to reach the brakes).

Use your eyes, your brain and your experience to evaluate the conditions and ride appropriatly. If you are riding in a situation where frequent small uses of the front brakes might be required (e.g. lane splitting in slow heavy traffic, navigating a parking lot etc.) then covering the brakes is an excellent idea, as is going a bit slower.  If you are cruising the intersate without a junction for miles, then the lightest gentlest grip you can manage will give you maximum control for minimum effort.

Online longdog

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Re: Pros (and cons) of two fingered braking)
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2018, 06:26:35 PM »
Good points, well made. I agree with Paul and I have to say that my riding style and use of the front brake mirrors his exactly.

Mike
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Offline Sonny

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Re: Pros (and cons) of two fingered braking)
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2018, 07:49:52 PM »
*Originally Posted by Paul_Smith [+]
If you are griping, you are holding on too tight! That is restricting the bikes ability to sort itself out, as well as restricting your ability to move and your bloods ability to flow. And for what?


You misunderstood me. Grip strength is not for a death grip on the bar or for a stiff posture. I ride loose as a goose and fully understand giving the bike its head and letting it sort itself and how that affects traction and handling.

Grip strength is for having the fingers to brake and clutch effortlessly hour after hour.

I did mention that covering the brake can produce tension in the hand. The answer to that is to relax the hand.

The reason I cover the brake even going straight down the highway is, stopping distance is long and things can happen fast: a dog, cat or deer can burst out of nowhere, an oncoming vehicle can suddenly cross the median... you can need those brakes as quickly at 70 or 80mph as you do picking through a dense urban area. You may need them instantly approaching any intersection or driveway. I stay ready.

70mph is 103 feet per second. .2 seconds is 20 feet covered, .5 seconds is over 50 feet. I might need those feet.  :notsure:
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Online powerfulpete

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Re: Pros (and cons) of two fingered braking)
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2018, 08:00:44 PM »
always use two fingers but I use middle two now as my index fingers not so good now vibration white finger.i cover brake if I need to riding in traffic etc other wise as and when

Offline Sonny

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Re: Pros (and cons) of two fingered braking)
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2018, 08:18:16 PM »
Interestingly, I play electric bass, guitar and drums for a living and the same principle applies. You want your steady state to be as relaxed as possible, and to use minimum effort for any movement. But when you want assertive movement you want as much power as is needed to easily do exactly what you intend to do. That is where strength and conditioning comes in.
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Offline Crosshairs

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Re: Pros (and cons) of two fingered braking)
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2018, 08:53:26 PM »
I cover the front brake if Im riding aggressively and more often than not, Im not even aware that Im doing it, it's just how I've always ridden...I think it's a carry over from my dirt bike days.

Offline Paul_Smith

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Re: Pros (and cons) of two fingered braking)
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2018, 10:12:32 AM »
*Originally Posted by Sonny [+]
...a dog, cat or deer can burst out of nowhere, an oncoming vehicle can suddenly cross the median.
 ...
70mph is 103 feet per second. .2 seconds is 20 feet covered, .5 seconds is over 50 feet. I might need those feet.  :notsure:
In 2.8 seconds @ 70mph, you could have covered 288 feet. Do you really think saving an extra 20 feet is worth the price that covering the brake demands? If so, you could drive at 65mph instead, or you could try the brake exercises I posted which will save you those 20 feet and a whole lot more, just from improved technique and control, and that is before you spend a shitload of money upgrading the brakes. Or you could significantly reduce the decision and reaction time (by far more then the 0.2 seconds that covering gives you) by practicing the road awareness and forward observation techniques suggested by "Motorcycle Roadcraft".  After all, cats and dogs do not appear from nowhere, they appear from somewhere, and cars do not cross the median suddenly, they cross quite slowly.

Offline TYKE

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Re: Pros (and cons) of two fingered braking)
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2018, 01:19:22 PM »
*Originally Posted by Paul_Smith [+]
In 2.8 seconds @ 70mph, you could have covered 288 feet. Do you really think saving an extra 20 feet is worth the price that covering the brake demands? If so, you could drive at 65mph instead, or you could try the brake exercises I posted which will save you those 20 feet and a whole lot more, just from improved technique and control, and that is before you spend a shitload of money upgrading the brakes. Or you could significantly reduce the decision and reaction time (by far more then the 0.2 seconds that covering gives you) by practicing the road awareness and forward observation techniques suggested by "Motorcycle Roadcraft".  After all, cats and dogs do not appear from nowhere, they appear from somewhere, and cars do not cross the median suddenly, they cross quite slowly.

Holy smoke Paul, don't you ever lighten up fella  :question:    :180: :180: :180: :180: :180:   

For me Sonny's point is made, I haven't felt a need to work out the exact feet/inches/ involved  :124:   
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Offline Sonny

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Re: Pros (and cons) of two fingered braking)
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2018, 01:36:48 PM »
Mr. Smith may take comfort that my copy of Roadcraft is now dog-eared and worn, and I apply it in the field on every ride, and anyway I am far enough away from him that he is in no danger of being run over by me...  :008:
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Offline Paul_Smith

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Re: Pros (and cons) of two fingered braking)
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2018, 01:44:00 PM »
*Originally Posted by TYKE [+]
Holy smoke Paul, don't you ever lighten up fella  :question:    :180: :180: :180: :180: :180:   

For me Sonny's point is made, I haven't felt a need to work out the exact feet/inches/ involved  :124:   
Sonny said those 20 feet might be important to him, so I gave him three other ways to gain them? He now knows four different ways to get what he wants that can be used in any combination. If one or more of them hadn't occurred to you before, then you have gained something as well. How is that a bad thing?

The title of this tread is pretty clear so you shouldn't really be surprised by the content.   :142:

P.S. Sonny's last comment just goes to show that there is some advantage to banging your head against a brick wall. Sooner or later one or other will give way.    :157:

 



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