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Discussion Starter #1
The rear brake on this thing is aweful! I'm sure new shoes would help alot, but, is there a way to convert to a disc on the rear?
 

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Yup, they're on the right track... if you want a disk on the rear, you'd have to go through w/ doing a 17" conversion: Swingarm, caliper, wheel, rotor, brake line, brake lever... basically the whole rear end of a post 94 bike.

while you're at it, you might as well source a 17" front wheel & fab up the proper spacers for that as well so you dont have to worry about buying one 16" tire & one 17" tire.

Of course I can't say all this w/o saying that if a crappy rear brake is the only reason to go through all that trouble I wouldnt worry about it... Its very rare I even touch my rear brakes. If you wanna do this for better tire selection, I don't blame you... there's not alot of good 16" tires out there, nevermind good 16" tires in EX500 fitment.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OreoGaborio said:
Yup, they're on the right track... if you want a disk on the rear, you'd have to go through w/ doing a 17" conversion: Swingarm, caliper, wheel, rotor, brake line, brake lever... basically the whole rear end of a post 94 bike.

while you're at it, you might as well source a 17" front wheel & fab up the proper spacers for that as well so you dont have to worry about buying one 16" tire & one 17" tire.

Of course I can't say all this w/o saying that if a crappy rear brake is the only reason to go through all that trouble I wouldnt worry about it... Its very rare I even touch my rear brakes. If you wanna do this for better tire selection, I don't blame you... there's not alot of good 16" tires out there, nevermind good 16" tires in EX500 fitment.

...You never use your rear brake??
 

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it's a race bike, I rarely use mine as well.
but on the street always use both brakes, that's the msf instructor in me talking ;D
 

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Yup... almost never use the rear brake, race or street. And if Biggles wasn't an MSF instructor, he'd probably admit to the same thing ;D

Even on the street it's pretty rare that I use it. There's really no benefit to using it even during hard emergency braking under normal circumstances.

Only excercize my right toe is gonna get is when i'm ridin my new KX250 ;D ;D ;D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you've got traction back there...wouldn't you wanna use it? Not saying I know more than you guys, just trying to understand. I've got some track experience in a car, so I'm not a complete idiot.
 

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If you've got traction in the rear, you've got more braking capacity up front. The difference between bikes & cars is if you brake smooth and hard you can lift the rear tire off the ground before the front locks up... At that point you have zero traction in the rear, right? If the rear tire's off the ground or close to it, it certainly can't help you slow down.

When I'm racing, the goal is to use 100% of your braking force available... and that goal is achieved just as the rear is lifting off the ground.... when the rear is off the ground or close to it, needless to say it's pretty easy to lock it up.

For that reason, I rarely use the rear brake for slowing the bike down. Some racers use it lightly while in the turn to tighten up the line, but when straight up & down it's not all that useful.
 

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Well... the thing about using your rear brake is that there IS traction back there, and yeah in a straight line that's all fine and what not, but around corners, even the most shallow, could make you back it in Hayden Style.  Not such a bad thing really if you know what you're doing and you want to get around the corner as fast as you can for a good push... but that's racing.  I wouldn't try doing that on the street... or the track unless you intend on paying the consequences of messing it up... cuz you're gonna get tossed if you do.

If you're not going in a straight line, stay off the rear brake. the front is where all the action happens.
 
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I tend to favour my rear brake while riding - if I'm anticipating the stop, and it's just a slow, controlled stop at a light, etc, I favour the rear so I'm constantly remembering how much pressure I can use without locking it up.

I've locked the rear a couple times now doing the hard "idiot old man just pulled in front of me, then hit his brakes and honked at me for some reason.." brake jobs, and it sucks.
 

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Royson said:
I tend to favour my rear brake while riding - if I'm anticipating the stop, and it's just a slow, controlled stop at a light, etc, I favour the rear so I'm constantly remembering how much pressure I can use without locking it up.

I've locked the rear a couple times now doing the hard "idiot old man just pulled in front of me, then hit his brakes and honked at me for some reason.." brake jobs, and it sucks.
You ought to be "Practicing " with the front instead. When a real emergency pops up that's the one that'll save your ass. Getting so happy with the rear only means you'll tend to use it more then, find you can't stop the bloody thing.

FOG
 
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FOG said:
Royson said:
I tend to favour my rear brake while riding - if I'm anticipating the stop, and it's just a slow, controlled stop at a light, etc, I favour the rear so I'm constantly remembering how much pressure I can use without locking it up.

I've locked the rear a couple times now doing the hard "idiot old man just pulled in front of me, then hit his brakes and honked at me for some reason.." brake jobs, and it sucks.
You ought to be "Practicing " with the front instead. When a real emergency pops up that's the one that'll save your ass. Getting so happy with the rear only means you'll tend to use it more then, find you can't stop the bloody thing.

FOG
Sorry, should have been more clear - I do often use the front, and I feel really comfortable with it. During each ride I do what they said in the training course - get it to a good speed, and practice full out emergency braking. I do that with the front/rear combo to get the bike to a dead stop as fast as possible without any lock-ups, sliding, etc.

I just also practice with the rear a lot since that's the one that'll more htan likely get me into trouble should I stomp on it a bit too hard.
 

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FOG said:
Royson said:
I tend to favour my rear brake while riding - if I'm anticipating the stop, and it's just a slow, controlled stop at a light, etc, I favour the rear so I'm constantly remembering how much pressure I can use without locking it up.

I've locked the rear a couple times now doing the hard "idiot old man just pulled in front of me, then hit his brakes and honked at me for some reason.." brake jobs, and it sucks.
You ought to be "Practicing " with the front instead. When a real emergency pops up that's the one that'll save your ass. Getting so happy with the rear only means you'll tend to use it more then, find you can't stop the bloody thing.

FOG
exactly what i was gonna say.... just like in sports "you gotta practice like you play"... don't practice things you're not gonna do when an emergency comes up. When that car coming towards you decides to make a left turn in front of you you're gonna be using all the front brake you can. The rear won't help you a whole lot in that instance for reasons I stated above.


EDIT: Ok, I just read your response... that makes a little more sense, as long as you're practicing emergency stops & using the front..... while you're at it, see if you can do that & aaaaalmost lift the rear tire... that's when ya know you're really braking hard & that's when the real fun starts ;D
 
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I've come darn close to lifting that rear tire, but not quite yet. Maybe next season ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well that's very interesting. Everyone I've talked to has told me to use the front brake as sparingly as possible. I guess since they figure that's the one I'm least likely to kill myself with.
 

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ok, putting my MSF Instructor hat back on.
What happens when you apply the brakes? Where does the weight of the bike go?
It all shifts forward, putting more weight onto the front tire. The weight is minimal on the rear tire=very little traction. So the rear brake, while it is still helping to stop the bike, is only about 30% of your braking power. The front brake has about 70% of the stopping power. So by all means, practice using both brakes. The difference in stopping distance with just the front brake vs both brakes is only a few feet, but those few feet could mean the difference between hitting that car that just pulled out in front of you or not hitting it.

;D
 

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Very well put, Mr. Instructor Bigglesworth, Sir ;D

now what I'll add (Since i'm not an MSF instructor & can therefore share with you ;D ps, this is entirely MY OPINION, not written rule) is that as you squeeze the front brake lever, the weight transfers more & more... so when you're REALLY braking hard the ratio gets more & more skewed to front bias.... so at first it's 50/50... then 60/40... then the 70/30 that Mike mentioned....

That's about what most of us use when coming to a quick stop on your average street bike... Most people don't use their brakes much beyond that point... but if you REALLY get on the front brake it becomes 80/20, 90/10, 95/5 and eventually that rear tire can lift off the ground making it 100/0... but you gotta be REEEEAAALLY WORKIN that front brake lever... I mean REALLY squeezin hard. It's not often that I get the rear to hop & skip, but it's definitely possible. But even as you get to that point, there's still a timespan at the beginning where your rear brake will be effective both for settling the front end and slowing down the bike... so it's not completely useless like I may be making it out to be... but if you squeeze fast enough like in an emergency stop or track scenario, there's not very much use for it and it adds one more thing to worry about if you're in one of those kinds of situations.

BTW, if you do ever brake that hard... don't look down at the front tire... what you see could quite possibly make you crap yourself :D I feel the front end practically buckle underneath my bike every time i go into turn 1... I can just immagine what it's doing but I don't wanna actually see it ;)
 

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very true Pete. once the front is fully weighted, the rear brake is practically useless since there is so little traction.
 

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I never took the riders course, I opted for the road test. But the Wisconsin DOT has a booklet type thing that I read a couple times and I seem to recall it saying something to the effect of making a habit to use both brakes in every situation so that when you are faced with an extreme braking situation, you instinctively hit both. Now, in my experience, developing this habit has only successfully taught me to lock up the rear wheel and then back off on the rear brake once the back end starts to swing out.
another problem is now that I ride dirt bike, you need to really rail on the rear brake in order to get slowed down. on that bike, the front wheel is the one you'll lock up first. But that might have something to do with the fact that it doesn't stay on the ground a whole lot.
 
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