Braking Solutions for the Rear of the Bike
|Oh where to begin... As
I have mentioned elsewhere in various articles, forum
posts and in my Track Instruction classes I stopped using
the rear brake completely about 10
years ago so I could instead focus on using the front
brakes to their maximum potential and to my greatest
advantage which meant perfecting the art of trailbraking
to not only alter the bikes geometry to suit the chassis'
need to steer into the turn, but also increase the size
of the contact patch of the front tire during braking
manuevers to gain more traction in the most critical
areas of the turn while carrying the most speed at
relatively high lean angles, but I digress as that is a
When I was instructing every weekend I actually disconnected the rear brake line so I could prove to my students that it was not necessary to utilize a rear brake to maintain a decent pace on the track. I would tell those same students to simply NOT USE the rear brake period. "Get out of the habit of using it and you won't panic and use too much of it when the time comes". As a side note I once asked Doug Chandler if he used the rear brake and without hesitation he replied "in the paddock..."
Don't misconstrue the rear brake is an awesome tool for the elite riders of the world and mandatory for that matter at that level of riding with current level of technology and the speed derived from it, but most of us cannot and will not ever ride like those riders do. Utlization of the rear brake adds a lot more variables into the equation and diverts the focus of the rider forcing him/her to manage even more dynamic variables while riding the bike and quite frankly often leads to more trouble than the overall benefits the rear brake offers.
Recently I have found myself in quite the conundrum. I have this new cutting edge race ready & tuned ZX-10R that builds momentum like a ballistic missile and with that kind of velocity I find the need has arisen to gain every bit of braking force I can use to get it slowed down not to mention the effort it takes to keep the front end down even with the ever so intrusive "wheelie-control" that never works when you really need it and is way to intrusive when you don't! Soooo I have started to use the rear brake again. I have shunned the rear brake for so long that this is totally foreign to me. I now wish I had spent more time trying to integrate the use of the rear brake in the past, but it was just not necessary on most of the bikes I have ridden or tested because the front brakes alone were more than ample at anything less than full-on race pace.
Enter my desire to be able to modulate & feel the rear brake in a similar fashion to how I have modified the front brakes for that same task.
The components are:
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