braking with brakes while clutch engaged - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 37 Old 09-25-2013, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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braking with brakes while clutch engaged

Using only the engine brake you slow down a certain amount; if one were to brake really hard using front/back brakes with the clutch engaged (which will be braking much faster than just the engine brake) wont the brakes have to also slow the engine down? Seems like the bike would stop faster if the clutch were disengaged if braking harder than just engine braking could provide, or am I way off here?
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post #2 of 37 Old 09-25-2013, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by cellige View Post
Using only the engine brake you slow down a certain amount; if one were to brake really hard using front/back brakes with the clutch engaged (which will be braking much faster than just the engine brake) wont the brakes have to also slow the engine down? Seems like the bike would stop faster if the clutch were disengaged if braking harder than just engine braking could provide, or am I way off here?
If you brake with the clutch in, the engine is disengaged from the rear wheel.

Braking with the clutch in will retard the bike faster that engine braking alone, however, combined engine and hand/foot braking will retard forward progress sooner
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post #3 of 37 Old 09-25-2013, 11:31 PM
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With the assumption that you are able to apply maximum braking or to engage the ABS in either case on both tires, there would be no difference. The tires are still stopping the same amount of mass. While the back brakes would be worked harder with the clutch engaged, the friction that is applied to the road by either tire does not change.

If you had poor brakes and were not able to lock up the rear at all, you would be better off always using engine braking.

I try not to engine brake much during my commute, as it just wears out the rear tire faster, plus I like my brake light to come on when I slow down. I do, however, stay in the proper gear for my speed.


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post #4 of 37 Old 09-25-2013, 11:32 PM
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If I understand your question, I believe you are way off. Are you asking:

When applying the brakes during engine braking, do the brakes have to work harder than if the clutch was disengaged?

If that is your question, the answer is no.

Both the engine and the brakes are working to decelerate the bike. They are not working against each other.

Of course, as the bike decelerates it will eventually reach a speed (this speed being subject to throttle position and gear) at which the engine is no longer providing any braking force, and below this speed the engine will begin to start trying to accelerate the bike (assuming a constant throttle position). At this point, yes the engine is working against the brakes.

Thats my 2c. All the rest just boils down to good vs bad riding technique.

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post #5 of 37 Old 09-26-2013, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cellige View Post
Using only the engine brake you slow down a certain amount; if one were to brake really hard using front/back brakes with the clutch engaged (which will be braking much faster than just the engine brake) wont the brakes have to also slow the engine down? Seems like the bike would stop faster if the clutch were disengaged if braking harder than just engine braking could provide, or am I way off here?
Using this logic, why not put your car in neutral before you brake?

Engine braking plus wheel braking is more effective than wheel braking alone.
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post #6 of 37 Old 09-26-2013, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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I hear this often, that engine braking and wheel braking combined decelerates faster. But since engine braking alone can only slow the bike down so fast, when applying wheel brakes don't they also have to slow the rotating engine mass faster than it is slowing itself?
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post #7 of 37 Old 09-26-2013, 09:36 AM
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Yep, I do think that you are way off.

I will sometimes slow using the front brake only with engine braking at the rear as when the rear locks it always tries to come around and pass the front wheel, which is what causes a high side. I also run down through the gears to increase the rear wheel braking and so that I am in the right gear to accelerate away.

The harder you apply the front brake, which can do far more braking than the rear, the less weight is on the rear wheel so during emergency braking the harder you brake at the front you need to ease off at the rear to prevent rear wheel lock up.

In emergency situations I sometimes lock the rear and instinctively have to quickly ease off to regain control. Otherwise you are heading for a certain crash.
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post #8 of 37 Old 09-26-2013, 10:06 AM
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Engine braking is rear wheel braking. Your total braking force available is limited by available traction at the rear wheel.

Therefore, you can theoretically achieve maximum rear braking with a blend of engine braking and, uh, brake braking, or you can do this by using the brake alone.

However, in a real-world maximum braking situation, it's best to pull in the clutch and use the brakes -- it's much easier to balance and modulate two relatively predictable forces (front and rear brake) rather than introducing a third force (engine braking) that changes rapidly as you slow down.

In other words, using engine braking will never slow you down any faster than using the brakes correctly. Using engine braking in a maximum braking situation introduces an element of complexity that will increase your stopping distance. Also, bear in mind that you should also be clicking down through the gears as you slow so that you're ready to accelerate again if needed; your brain already has plenty to do.

That said, engine braking is still a useful tool in certain situations. In street riding, engine braking is useful for minor speed adjustments in many situations. It's also very useful off-road, such as when descending a steep hill on a loose surface -- engine braking ensures the rear wheel will keep turning whereas using the brake could cause the wheel to lock.

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Last edited by bwringer; 09-26-2013 at 10:08 AM.
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post #9 of 37 Old 09-26-2013, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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bwringer, thanks for the clear response, exactly what I was wondering.
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post #10 of 37 Old 09-26-2013, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cellige View Post
I hear this often, that engine braking and wheel braking combined decelerates faster. But since engine braking alone can only slow the bike down so fast, when applying wheel brakes don't they also have to slow the rotating engine mass faster than it is slowing itself?
If you took the engine to 5,000 rpm and let go of the throttle you will find it drops revs in a very quickly ... Much less time than it will take for the bike to slow down from the speed it would be at the equivalent revs. However, in a panic stop from high speed you might want to just brake and pull in the clutch so that you don't get sidetracked worrying about downshifting instead of handling the situation. (Ie most people's first reaction is to brake, but often riding around the problem can be a better choice.)

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