Motorcycle Braking Tech, Tips And More

Motorcycle Braking Tech, Tips And More
By: Agencies
Updated: 06 Jul 2018 08:30 AM

Braking is one of the most important and crucial aspects of riding safely. Here are some useful braking tips and a brief explanation on modern-day braking technology

While motorcycle riding can be thrilling, the experience rounds off well only if you have good mechanical underpinnings. A motorcycle with strong deceleration is absolutely life-saving. There are many effective braking techniques to get the most out of your motorcycle. However, modern electronics have helped exploit the braking efficiency to the maximum, with a little help from the latest advancements in physics. Litre-class track bikes and multi-million dollar MotoGP speed machines are perfect examples of how far technology has come. Here are some of the most commonly used brake-enhancement technologies used in two-wheelers:

Combined Braking System:

One of the most rudimentary form of braking enhancing technology is the combined braking system. This technology essentially applies the brake force to the front brake as well when the rear brake is applied. Different manufacturers call this feature different names like Combi Brake System (Honda), Sync Brake System (TVS) and Integrated Braking System (Hero MotoCorp), but their basic function is the same. It is helpful especially when you panic brake the rear one alone (which is not recommended, but we’ll get to it later).

The Government is planning to implement this feature as a compulsory fitment on two-wheelers having engine capacity below 125cc by April 2019. Above 125cc though, they will have the safety net of ABS.

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS):

The purpose of ABS is to prevent the rear wheel from locking under hard braking. Normally disc brakes tend to lock up when the brake lever is applied with force. To overcome this, there is a ring on the inside circle of the disc using which the ABS sensor works. The sensor detects the rotation of the disc (and the wheel along with it), and constantly relays the information to the bike’s Engine Control Unit (ECU). When the wheel stops rotating, the ECU senses it and it sends down the information to the calliper, which releases the disc and bites it back again, and vice versa. This essentially slows down the rotation of the wheel instead of allowing it to skid to come to a halt. The process of grabbing and releasing the disc by the calliper happens at a very high pace - multiple times within a second.

Some of the entry-level motorcycles feature single-channel ABS. This system acts on the front wheel only. While this partly compromises on safety, it makes up by offering good value for money, particularly in affordable motorcycles. Dual-channel units on the other hand function on both wheels, thereby giving the rider a greater assurance of safety. Modern high-end motorcycles have complex ABS, which even senses the throttle position and leaning angles using an Inertial Measurement Unit, communicates with the traction control unit to measure levels of grip, and then modulates the braking accordingly.

Braking Tips:

  • Motorcycles come with either disc or drum brakes. Disc is always preferred over drum owing to its greater stopping power.

  • When braking, it is recommended to use 70 per cent of the force on the front brake and 30 per cent at the rear since the weight distribution during braking shifts forward. The downforce on the rear wheel reduces, thereby resulting in lesser traction with the ground.

  • On wet or slippery roads, the braking distance increases considerably. In this situation, it is recommended to use both the front and rear brakes at the same time, with equal distribution. More importantly, use the brakes progressively instead of slamming them. This technique helps in bringing the motorcycle to a halt gradually and safely.

Motorcycles with best braking distances based on our tests:

We’ve tested a variety of motorcycles, and here is the list of bikes with the best braking performance in the real world:

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