Brake Dancing

Nearly every rider wants more power. But power is only impressive if it can be managed with excellent braking. Done right, it’s as beautiful as a well-choreographed dance between rider and machine. Here are four ways to help you and your bike become better dance partners on the road or on the track.


1. Make it a waltz, not a jitterbug

Smooth, controlled (and fast) riding is a result of keeping the bike’s chassis stable. Quick stabs and grabs at the brakes when things seem to be going too fast actually upset the chassis and create more instability, not to mention abrupt, frantic riding. Instead, slow down the input with more progressive application of the brakes. Smooth on, smooth off. This allows the bike time to shift weight bias—and traction—from the rear wheel (under acceleration) to the front wheel (under braking) and back again. When it comes to braking, the fast riders make it a waltz, not a jitterbug.

2. Dance together, not apart

We’re taught to think of brake and throttle as separate controls. But the smoothest riders combine the two controls for ultimate smoothness. Squeeze the brakes progressively as you roll off the throttle (or even against steady throttle) and ease off the brakes as you roll back on the throttle. The result is a seamless transition between brake and throttle that makes you one with your bike. And that partnership of brake and throttle translates to greater confidence and control even on the most challenging roads or circuits.

3. Get the timing down

Musicality isn’t just for the dance floor; it’s critical to get your timing right when braking for corners. Many street riders enter curves faster than they should and rely on brakes to slow them down mid-turn. Instead, time your most aggressive braking to occur while you’re still upright and in a straight line on the approach to the corner. By the time you tip the bike into the curve, you should be easing off the brakes as you set the throttle to stabilize the chassis.

4. Select the right dancing shoes

The right set of performance brake pads can take your moves to the next level. Stock pads can often provide vague input and can even lock up unexpectedly under heavy application. Performance brake pads, like those from BRAKING®, can provide greater control and increase confidence by providing a progressive feel at the lever and brake pedal and predictable input at the threshold.

With these four techniques and some deliberate practice, you’ll be dancing in perfect sync with your bike and scoring a perfect 10 on your throttle/brake transitions like a pro.

Explore the performance BRAKING® products for your bike at sunstar-braking.com. Need help selecting the right parts for your needs? Just ask!