By John Burns
I’m proud that I caught on pretty quick that people who say “Never use the front brake or you’ll go over the handlebars” are FOS. But now that I’ve been riding my new (to me) ’08 SV650 about six months, some pretty experienced people I know are telling me never to use the rear brake. They say it’s too easy to lock up and send you into a skid and into the weeds, and why risk that since the rear doesn’t contribute much stopping power anyway? What do you think? Why is the rear brake there if you’re not supposed to use it, is it an emergency back-up system?
The only time you shouldn’t use your rear brake is when it’s in the air, like Dani Pedrosa‘s is here. How much rear brake you can use depends on the kind of bike you’re riding: The more weight you have over the rear wheel (big cruisers and touring bikes), the more rear brake you can use of course, without locking up the tire. Sporty bikes, with their shorter wheelbases and higher center of gravity, pitch forward during braking much more dramatically, reducing the effectiveness of the rear brake.
I was never much of a rear brake guy until I started riding dirt bikes a little, specifically TT-R125 Yamahas at the local vet track. On dirt, the rear brake’s almost indispensable, as you use it to kick the rear end out going around tight corners, for slowing down with your weight slid onto the back of the seat on downhill sections, et cetera. Since the rear’s usually sliding around anyway on dirt, the rear brake is very effective, and you get used to applying it in conjunction with the front to balance the bike when you’re back on pavement.
Later, …read more
Source:: Should I Use My Rear Brake or Not?