Rear-brake on the Strom - Useless? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 34 Old 05-14-2008, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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Rear-brake on the Strom - Useless?

After locking up the rear brake on a few occasions on emergency stops in the past (on other bikes), I had just decided that the extra braking force of the rear brake just wasn't worth it since I wasn't skilled enough to modulate it when I'm in a *AHH!PANIC!AHHH!* stop with seconds to respond.

If I'm not in an emergency brake where I need 110% RIGHT NOW, then the extra force from the rear isn't really needed anyway except to make the passenger feel more comfortable if I'm riding two up.

The Wee seems to have a LOT of brake dive, surely transferring even more weight to the front tire.

Is there any point to using the rear brake on this bike, or are you just risking locking up the rear tire and losing directional control on a non-ABS?

Thoughts?

PS: Yes, I really wanted ABS, but I wasn't gunna spend $1K premium for it (theres waiting lists on em, so no discount).
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post #2 of 34 Old 05-14-2008, 02:33 AM
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Smile Not to preach, but...

The key phrase is "wasn't skilled enough." Solution: get skilled.

It's true you don't need the rear brake most of the time. But sometimes you do, and those times require you to know how to use the rear effectively (i.e., without locking it up). So your best bet is to really practice using the rear brake, and make a habit of using it all the time, so it will be automatic when you do need it.

And BTW, the degree of brake dive is more an indicator of fork spring stiffness than the effectiveness of weight transfer. The weight gets transferred whether the front dives or not.

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Last edited by The Golden Monkey; 05-14-2008 at 02:39 AM.
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post #3 of 34 Old 05-14-2008, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by The Golden Monkey View Post
The key phrase is "wasn't skilled enough." Solution: get skilled.

It's true you don't need the rear brake most of the time. But sometimes you do, and those times require you to know how to use the rear effectively (i.e., without locking it up). So your best bet is to really practice using the rear brake, and make a habit of using it all the time, so it will be automatic when you do need it.
I've been riding for over ten years, with nothing other than a motorcycle as my transportation until I turned 18, heh... I think I'm willing to accept my limitations!

And yes, if I'm practicing a panic stop, I can modulate the brakes w/o issue. Its on the OMFGWTHISHEWOOOAHHH scenarios, where I know to progressively squeeze harder and firm on the front, but letting up the back at the same time is just more than the head patting and tummy rubbing than my brain can handle.

So you never lock up the back? When I do, the tail has come around complicating an otherwise non-issue panic-stop... and I just haven't noticed how much the rear is helping reduce braking distance. What about adjusting it so full pressure isn't enough to usually lock it?

Edit: I kan not spel so gud. Fixed!

Last edited by Ducman69; 05-14-2008 at 02:44 AM.
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post #4 of 34 Old 05-14-2008, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Ducman69 View Post
So you never lock up the back? When I do, the tail has come around complicating an otherwise non-issue panic-stop... and I just haven't noticed how much the rear is helping reduce braking distance.
I do lock it up now and then, although so far I've been fortunate to let off before the tail kicks out far enough to cause problems, or I just rode it out until I stopped. I'm gradually getting better though, and don't ever lock it up in non-panic stops. And yes, it's really hard to finesse it just right when you have to stop in a hurry. Hence the practicing until you don't have to think about it.

I've experimented some with applying the rear after the front in normal stops, trying to see just how much power it has. It definitely makes the bike stop faster.

Quote:
What about adjusting it so full pressure isn't enough to usually lock it?
Interesting idea, but unless you're locking up every time you use it, I suspect you would have to adjust it to the point where it really is useless.

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"I am enthusiastic over humanity's extraordinary and sometimes very timely ingenuities. If you are in a shipwreck and all the boats are gone, a piano top buoyant enough to keep you afloat that comes along makes a fortuitous life preserver. But this is not to say that the best way to design a life preserver is in the form of a piano top.
I think we are clinging to a great many piano tops in accepting yesterday's fortuitous contrivings as constituting the only means for solving a given problem." - R. Buckminster Fuller

Last edited by The Golden Monkey; 05-14-2008 at 02:57 AM.
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post #5 of 34 Old 05-14-2008, 02:58 AM
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I have found that judicious use of the back brake makes my normal stops just a little smoother.




Previous bike...
2007 DL650 ABS, grip puppies, factory hand guards, backoff brake light modulator, givi rack with JCW 'side' cases, K&N air filter, swing arm spools...
Shopping for some new wheels now.
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post #6 of 34 Old 05-14-2008, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Fatstrat View Post
I have found that judicious use of the back brake makes my normal stops just a little smoother.
Yeah, for two-up riding I always use it... even heavier than normal as "dragging the butt" definitely keeps you flatter, which is nice and comfy for the passenger.

Hmmm... well I guess I'll practice some more, but I'm going to lower the pedal a bit juuuust to give me a little help to keep from steppin' on it too hard.

The last time I crammed on it, I got completely sideways HAHAH! An ooooooold old indian grandma (most likely fresh off the boat like all my friend's older relatives) just decided to drive straight through a T intersection where I had no stop-sign. She not only drove through her stop sign, but couldn't even make the turn!!!! She had to put it in reverse and then turn more. I followed her and got the plates and description and PROMPTLY called the cops.
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post #7 of 34 Old 05-14-2008, 03:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Ducman69 View Post
... I'm going to lower the pedal a bit juuuust to give me a little help to keep from steppin' on it too hard.
Sounds like a good idea -- basically the same as the adjustable lever for the front. When you mentioned adjusting it earlier I thought you meant reducing how much braking force could be applied, rather than just changing the angle of the pedal.

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2009 DL650A - sold

2005 DL650 - dearly departed
"I am enthusiastic over humanity's extraordinary and sometimes very timely ingenuities. If you are in a shipwreck and all the boats are gone, a piano top buoyant enough to keep you afloat that comes along makes a fortuitous life preserver. But this is not to say that the best way to design a life preserver is in the form of a piano top.
I think we are clinging to a great many piano tops in accepting yesterday's fortuitous contrivings as constituting the only means for solving a given problem." - R. Buckminster Fuller
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post #8 of 34 Old 05-14-2008, 04:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Golden Monkey View Post
The key phrase is "wasn't skilled enough." Solution: get skilled.
That is the best piece of advice anybody can give.
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post #9 of 34 Old 05-14-2008, 04:18 AM
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Hmm

I wonder if the original poster installed some of those 'grabby' brake pads in order to 'improve' braking? In normal use the rear brake can be very handy, especially in slow maneuvering. In a panic stop situation, especially one-up, you can just about lift the back tire off the ground with weight transfer, so there is very little weight on the rear tire, making rear braking power minimal. Yes, it is tricky to coordinate two separate brakes in varying circumstances. That's why the call it a skill. If riders can't/won't develop the skill, they are far more likely to have collisions and falls (almost wrote accidents, but there's usually very little accidental about it).
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post #10 of 34 Old 05-14-2008, 05:50 AM
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practice, practice, practice
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