Finger on brake lever saved me - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
Riding Proficiency Tips and suggestions for improving the rider's safety skills and riding techniques

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post #1 of 17 Old 05-26-2013, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Finger on brake lever saved me

When I raced M/X, I developed the good habit of having my index finger resting on top of the front brake lever so that I could apply the brake in an instant. That good habit saved me yesterday as I was crossing two lanes of traffic with my view of traffic coming from my right was obscured by traffic backed up at a red light. As I eased forward looking for traffic coming from my right, I was at the point where I thought it was clear only to suddenly see a speeding sub-compact coming from my right. I couldn't see it because of a large pickup truck blocking my view. If I hadn't had that finger at the ready, I most likely would have hit, or been hit. It was also a good thing that I was being so cautious and was totally aware of the blind area. It DID cause my heart rate to soar quickly because this was a near miss. My finger now naturally goes to the lever anytime I straddle the the bike without me having to think about it. I have my brake lever rotated about 15 degrees down from level so that this angle is comfortable for my hand. Anyone else do this?

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post #2 of 17 Old 05-26-2013, 07:01 AM
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I keep my index fingers resting on top of my clutch and brake levers. I picked up the habit years ago while riding mountain bikes. I've always done it unconsciously when riding my motorcycle. I've rotated my controls so that my wrists are straight when using the brake and clutch controls.

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post #3 of 17 Old 05-26-2013, 07:38 AM
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I actually cover the brake with 2 fingers (middle and ring), which I find more comfortable than the pointer. Also a holdover from mountain biking. The only time i don't is on rough terrain or other cases where I'm likely to grip inadvertently.

I've had similar experiences where that half second of getting my hand in position would have been the difference between a near miss and a bad day. Glad to hear your story was the former.

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post #4 of 17 Old 05-26-2013, 08:26 AM
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I do like yocto does, most of the time.
This is awesome! Thank you for starting this thread!
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post #5 of 17 Old 05-26-2013, 10:24 AM
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That's how I ride....and why.

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post #6 of 17 Old 05-26-2013, 10:48 AM
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I've always adjusted the grips so that the fingers fell comfortably on the controls, doesn't every one do dat? It's part of setting the bike up for the individual. The MSF has taught fingers on the controls forever.
Paying as much attention as you can to all the traffic helps, Bugger the earbuds and entertainment!
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post #7 of 17 Old 05-26-2013, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notacop View Post
I've always adjusted the grips so that the fingers fell comfortably on the controls, doesn't every one do dat? It's part of setting the bike up for the individual. The MSF has taught fingers on the controls forever.
Paying as much attention as you can to all the traffic helps, Bugger the earbuds and entertainment!
Very good point. Something that some riders, especially beginners, don't think of or may forget....I slide my control levers in about as far as I can so that I can operate both levers with one finger and that one finger is at or near the end of the lever. The leverage at the end of the lever makes the pull much lighter. The first time you do this with your front brake lever you might be surprised at how much more sensitive the front brake becomes just from the leverage. It took me quite a few stops to get used to it, but I love it. For me, when it comes to brakes, more is better.

If you use the stock levers, the clutch lever can't be moved in as far as the front brake due to the large diameter of the control assembly on the left handlebar. The clutch lever will hit the plastic housing. Make sure you have enough pull on the clutch lever to engage the safety switch.

Try it and then comment here on your experience.

-rodney

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post #8 of 17 Old 05-26-2013, 02:05 PM
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I habitually ride with my little fingers around the bar weights and my first 2 fingers on the brake lever, from there I find you can give it a good tug in an instant.
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post #9 of 17 Old 05-27-2013, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. Just today, as I sat outside at my local coffee cafe', I began watching the bikers ride by and see if they rode with a finger or two on the lever(s). Out of 28 riders that went by, only 2 had a finger or two on the brake lever. The clutch lever observation didn't mean much as my table is a short distance from a traffic light so most were accelerating and shifting anyway. Of the 28 bikes, 22 were H-D's. The other 6 were mostly Asian bikes. It's possible that more had a finger on the lever than what I could clearly see. I expected to see more riders using this simple technique.

'92 Honda Z50R
'94 Kawasaki KLX250 modded to 340cc's
'00 Yamaha YZ426F
'94 Yamaha 125 scooter
'05 Vespa E4 scooter
'68 Vespa VBB scooter (restored)
'06 Wee
'03 Honda S2000 roadster
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post #10 of 17 Old 06-10-2013, 05:16 AM Thread Starter
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As an addendum, I've been watching closely the motorcyclists as I drive by. SaDLY, I've seen only 1 rider with a finger on the brake lever,.

'92 Honda Z50R
'94 Kawasaki KLX250 modded to 340cc's
'00 Yamaha YZ426F
'94 Yamaha 125 scooter
'05 Vespa E4 scooter
'68 Vespa VBB scooter (restored)
'06 Wee
'03 Honda S2000 roadster
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