October 19, 2020

Motorcycle Racing Skills in 60 Seconds: Braking

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Ken Hill

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Motorcycle Racing Skills in 60 Seconds: Braking Image

Braking Fundamentals Explained In Under 60 Seconds

We often think the braking zone is all about just slowing our bike down, but as Blayze pro motorcycle racing coach Ken Hill explains here how we also use our brakes for direction change.

So, what are the key takeaways for perfecting our braking technique?

1) Peak Break Pressure

While there are always exceptions to every rule in racing in the vast majority of corners we want our peak brake pressure to come early in the brake zone. This does not mean we are threshold braking in every corner, it is the relative peak brake pressure of that brake zone that should come almost right away.

Our focus in the first part of the brake zone is truly speed reduction. How can we slow our bike down quickly and effectively. We typically have a little more grip the faster we go and that is why our first hit of the brakes needs to be the hardest so that we can use that additional grip to slow the bike down more effectively.

2) Direction Control

After the tip in point our goal for what we are really trying to achieve with the brakes changes. While yes, its obvious while we are on the brakes we are still slowing the bike down, but after the tip in the real goal of the brakes is to help us control our direction to hit the apex where we want with the right bike angle.

In this section of the brake zone we really need to focus on our own motor controls to be able to make the small changes necessary at the back end of the brake zone to get the bike pointed where we need it.

3) Coming Off The Brakes

One area of the brake zone that is often overlooked by riders is where we come off the brakes. In every brake zone we know exactly where we want to hit the brakes, we focus on the spot and we look at how we can move it that one bike length later. But, do you focus with the same energy on when you transition off the brakes?

If not, you should. We need to treat the first 5% of the brake zone and the last 5% of the brake zone with the same intensity.

There Are Always Exceptions To The Rules

One thing you will learn in motorsports is that there are always exceptions to the rules. For instance if we take turn 5 at Road America where we have the initial brake application coming as the track is going downhill and then towards the end of the brake zone the road flattens out and compresses.

In a corner like that we may actually increase our brake pressure near the end of the brake zone as the road flattens out. This is exactly why coaching has to be personalized to the rider, the bike, and the track.

While we hope all of our articles are helpful and find you speed, if you really want to take your riding to the next level we highly recommend trying our personalized one-on-one video coaching sessions. Learn more by click here.

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Blayze Coach Ken Hill

Ken Hill

Coach for multi-MotoAmerica Champion, JD Beach

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