Covering the Brake: How Do You Do It? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 27 Old 05-17-2011, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Covering the Brake: How Do You Do It?

I see all sorts of techniques and non-techniques.

How doyou do it,and why? What works for you? How have you changed over the years? Do you do it differently on a V-Strom vs. other bikes?

I do the two-finger, the index and middle. Although I practice "panics", can't say I've had a real-life one, so I really don't know how much it takes to lock the front and whether I can with two fingers. A whole fist, maybe.

One thing I notice is sometimes the other fingers get in the way a tad if still on the throttle. I don't know to what extent they prevent a total lock-up, however.

What do you do?
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post #2 of 27 Old 05-17-2011, 09:44 AM
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I like covering the brake lever on bikes that can do a two finger stoppie. I can't do that with stock Stroms so I don't cover. I can get four fingers on the lever faster from all four on the grip than with two on the lever to start.

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post #3 of 27 Old 05-17-2011, 09:45 AM
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2 fingers brake
2 fingers clutch

its what I use onthe EX250, I suppose I do the same on the Wee - I don't think about that stuff anymore
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post #4 of 27 Old 05-17-2011, 10:07 AM
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I use two fingers on front brakes and three on clutch. On the highway I do not cover the levers. In curves and off road I cover the front brake with 2 fingers. I learned to cover levers while riding MX bikes so that off road I could still hold the grips while either braking or shifting (my original 2-stroke MX bike required a lot more shifting than the Wee). Since the Wee is torquey, has good engine braking, and has long gears I don't shift that much off road so I usually do not cover the clutch.

Laugh at this or not, but I also cover front and rear brakes on my mountain bike with two fingers for the same reason. I also raced BMX as a kid for years and covered the rear brake with 2 fingers so now this technique is automatic. You may notice that nicer mountain bikes, and competition quality BMX bikes, use short levers to encourage proper hand placement and facilitate rider comfort. Adjusting the travel on the lever, and the angle, can further optimize fit even on stock levers.

To assist with nice lever feel I replaced the big OEM levers on the Wee with CRG Roll-A-Click shorty levers which are highly adjustable on the fly. My upgraded brakes (GSXR 750 calipers and Galfer HH sintered pads) make two finger stops a breeze. Shorter levers also fit inside my Acerbis hand guards better.

Last edited by KevinP; 05-17-2011 at 10:10 AM. Reason: typo
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post #5 of 27 Old 05-17-2011, 10:54 AM
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I use one finger (right pointer) all the time to cover the front brake. The clutch I really don't cover.......never encountered a panic shift.


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post #6 of 27 Old 05-17-2011, 10:59 AM
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A significant portion of my commute is spent whizzing by much slower traffic in the lanes to my immediate right and it is not uncommon for some of them to unexpectedly pop out into my lane, so yes I spend a great deal of my commute covering the brake and clutch. I have largish hands, long fingers and a fairly strong grip so I tend to cover the levers with all four fingers, as I don't like having my ring and pinkie finger squashed between the lever and the grip during a sudden hard stop when needed. My thumb and palm are strong enough to maintain and adjust throttle position as needed for extended periods of time. And yes I have found out through real events that is the best *for me* and is optimum for my riding environment.

If the Wee had really strong sensitive brakes I would re-adjust to a two-fingered grip.

I also practice panic stops and swerves religously and have a gmykhana-type practice routine I go through regularly, at least once every two to four weeks, at the local DMV test range after-hours.

Last edited by Stoopy; 05-17-2011 at 11:01 AM.
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post #7 of 27 Old 05-17-2011, 11:08 AM
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"One thing I notice is sometimes the other fingers get in the way a tad if still on the throttle."

Do you have the lever adjusted all the way out to prevent pinched fingers?
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post #8 of 27 Old 05-17-2011, 11:38 AM
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MSF safety classes all teach to cover the brake with 4-fingers. My buddy teaches these classes and we got into a lengthy debate [beer fueled], about it.............I maintained that your two outside fingers [pinkie and adjacent] are very strong grippers [bio mechanically speaking], which offers better handlebar control while braking/maneuvering around and over obstacles [yes - I also mentioned the MX/mtb correlation here]. He agree'd that everything I said was true, but for one simple fact.

The MSF teaches 4-finger braking, to newbies, primarily as a safety issue. The MSF is concerned that unless all fingers are on the brake lever for braking, there is a greatly reduced possibility of a new rider holding the throttle open while braking - which he said happens occasionally in MSF classes. New riders often have difficulty with the 2-finger habit. He said it's just 'easier to teach em that way'. One less thing for the instructors to have to worry about, and the students learn to brake.

I use 2 fingers, mountain bike and moto. I also have my front brake on the right side of my mountain bike [duh!], which is a big no-no in the mtb world! Whole nuther bag o' worms there.

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post #9 of 27 Old 05-17-2011, 11:56 AM
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what is the purpose in "covering the brake"

do you cover the brake when driving a car ?

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post #10 of 27 Old 05-17-2011, 12:19 PM
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It is a good idea when/if you anticipate trouble.

Going down hill on a bad road
Jerk in front who doesn't keep a constant speed.

You do save a couple of tenths in time which at 60 is like 15 feet.
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