Jump to content

Back Brake On Tight Turns?


Recommended Posts


I was practicing my turns yesterday.

When negotiating a full lock or tight turn should I be giving it any back brake? I am doing this as it seems to steady the bike but reading elsewhere it seems that pushing the brake might mean my foot is in the wrong position.

Comments appreciated.



Link to comment
Share on other sites



My riding buddy / coach tells me to stay away from the rear brake and feather the front

I didn't like it because even small application of the front brake would upset the chassis by pitching it forward

I came to realize the springs were too soft for my weight, I resprung the bike and lo and behold, he was right

Maybe the same would work for you

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


I can't think of a good reason to stay of the rear brake when controling your speed, I was always told to use it to control the speed when going very slow.

You can still apply the rear brake even if your foot is tilted to one side on the peg.

Here's how Jordi Pascuet explains it in his video:

Lean your bike in to the turn.

Bend your knees but stay centered with your body over the foot pegs, don't lean forwards over the handle bars.

Control your speed by applying the clutch and brakes.

He emphasizes on practicing using the rear brake because this technique will also be usefull when climbing steap hills...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


I find that light pressure on the rear brake really helps on very tight turns. I used that technique several times today in a trial. It causes both the front and rear suspensions to compress slightly. This does stabilize the bike and puts more weight on the front tire, improving its grip.

One caution is to really sense the grip on the rear tire. If you lock the tire, it can stall the engine or cause the rear of the bike to slide to one side or the other. Sometimes it slides the right way and helps you get around the corner, sometimes it slides the wrong way.

Using the front brake on tight corners requires a very delicate touch. Too much brake and the tire locks and slides, usually followed by a dab or worse.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Where'd you ride a Trial at, Bill??

On topic, I was shown a drill to do at a Trials School once. All it takes is a "C" shaped ribbon laid out on some dirt. The ribbon is laid out in about a 11' diameter circle, or something that approximates about two wheelbase lengths for the diameter. If your bike has a wheelbase of, say, 1.5 meters, then lay the ribbon out 3 or so meters in diameter. You enter into the circle as wide as you can, and ride around the inside of the circle 3 times in one direction (without dabbing), and then ride out. Then, enter it again, and ride around the inside of your ribbon 3 times to the other direction. I really like this drill. It sorta helps me get used to the mental aspect of dealing with ribbon. Tightening it up definitely forces you to use correct technique.

You can easily make this circle smaller, to be more challenging, and I can guarantee you that lightly dragging the rear brake will make it easier to do. It is possible to work the rear brake while turning both directions, but I agree it's not easy.....

Maybe I'm too ham-fisted with my right index finger, but everytime I try to lightly use the front brake, the bike dives on me, and usually causes a dab. I like the idea of stiffer springs for my fok, like suggested by 0007, but more because I seriously outweigh my poor bike than to use the front brake in corners, hee hee.....

If I recall correctly, Bernie Schrieber recommended staying off the front brake for turns in his book......


Edited by mr neutron
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Hi Jimmie,

The trial was in Marysville, Washington in January. Rained all day, but at least no ice this year. Barry and I both took second in our classes. Should have been first but my idle was set too low and the bike died 3 times on tight turns.

We will be riding on Feb 9 at another event at the same venue. Get some buddies, car pool up and ride with us!

Here is the link to the flyer. Note the location does not have as much rock as shown in the pic.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...