Braking a Motorcycle from Low Speed – another Cautionary Tale

Many Thanks to Mick Thacker for this short video.

I have made the same mistake on the roundabout over the M1 at Junction 29, just coming to a halt on a wet oily roundabout  traffic lights, touching the front brake, doing the splits and rolling off much to the amusement of the HGV driver behind – me with ‘Instructor’ on my back. Luckily my ‘student’ Rich was there to help me pick the bike up on a road where you could barely stand up due to the oil slick. Had I used my rear brake to bring me to a halt it would probably have meant a short rear wheel skid.

This is ‘Mick’s Stoppie’:-

Mick’s Stoppie – The Video

This usually happens on roundabouts when the vehicle in front starts to move, you look to see what’s coming, and proceed to find the other vehicle still there.

Riders almost always snatch the front brake in an emergency, and down they go irrespective of speed, even a few miles/hour. It’s easy to break a collarbone, arm or leg doing this. Thankfully Mick was OK and the bike likely saved by crash bungs.

Lessons to be learnt?

  • Consider using your rear brake when coming to a halt
  • Practise braking so you don’t snatch it, make it a two stage process, initial gentle squeeze to transfer the weight forward, then when the weight transfers to the front tyre you can usually pull on the lever all you want.
  • Be aware of setting off then stopping at junctions as you may be hit from behind.
  • Crash bungs are probably a good idea. The risk is a damaged frame or engine casing if for example the bike hits a kerb and the crash bung catches, but in this case the bike would probably be scrap anyway.



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