Do You Trail Brake?

Dr Ratbagg

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Aug 27, 2018
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Jet City, WA
I see trail breaking as mainly a track method. I would never apply or recommend it in the dirt.

"Trail braking is done all the time when racing to keep the competition at bay. One advantage of trail braking is that it allows the rider to extend the time and distance used to establish entry speed. This can be a real advantage if a bit more braking is needed for a tightening turn or to avoid a mid-corner obstacle"
Google and Driver61.com
 

mobyfubar

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For me, the answer is sometimes. I am still learning the technique. We were taught it in Lee Parks' school, and I've also watched some other instructional videos and read articles from other schools.

I'm not as smooth at it as I need to be yet, but when I get it right it works great for managing weight transfer and traction.

It takes time to overcome decades of ingrained habit beaten into one by The One True MSF Way (which served me quite well). But there is power in learning new things.
 

sky4

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Jul 30, 2020
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Northern Colorado
On the S10 I do. I find the bigger motor and heavier weight than I am used to. I find I don't like the way it feels in corners while on the brakes. So I'm setting up my corners up more. I can't get away with my sloppy riding that I could with a lighter smaller bike. Also a bit of having 40,000 miles on one bike and 3000 on the other.
it's definitely key on ADV bikes.... I learned it on a KZ400 with no damping oil in it to speak of. Compress that front end before you load it with the corner or that bike would turn into a seesaw!

Continued using trail brake on my SV650 and R100GS. I'd say the tenere and the SV need it least of any of these bikes, but still, being a softer sprung longer travel machine it definitely helps.
 

WJBertrand

Ventura Highway
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Of course i have. But i dont call it trail braking when i misread a corner, i call it a mistake.

Trail braking is deliberate, not reactive.
I think having trail braking skills in your arsenal can be deliberately used to prevent a worse outcome to a mistake, no?


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gunslinger_006

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May 21, 2016
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Seattle, Washington
I think having trail braking skills in your arsenal can be deliberately used to prevent a worse outcome to a mistake, no?


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I think we agree more than it looks. I think the issue is that our definitions are off.

Yes braking while cornering is a very valuable skill.

But if you do it in response to misreading a corner, i don’t consider it trail braking and neither do instructors like Brett Tkacs.
 

jeckyll

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May 11, 2016
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Lotusland
Having trail braking skills , and practicing them on every ride and every bike,will make misjudging a corner much less impactful because the rider can respond intelligently.
 

lund

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Jul 8, 2019
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Location
Okanagan Valley, Canada.
I do trail brake when its appropriate to do so, i do believe most incidents are speed related and riding accordingly makes a much bigger difference.
It is a great skill to acquire and will add to your riding safely but so does slowing down and not over riding your visual.
I find the Tenere's control lever's poor in design and not very user friendly for trail braking. Finding a good fit for your hands in control levers makes a night and day difference on this technique.

BTW, if your finding your self trail braking all the time, maybe you need to slow down.
 
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