Originally Posted by -Q-
..............I have the basics of braking under my belt, but I think I am far from mastering it, so any sharing of experience on this subject would be much appreciated.............
Emergency braking is the first thing to master, because it can save your life.
Milder forms of braking are not that extreme and have room for personal preferences.
Find an empty and clean parking lot and practice this:
1) Butt as aft as possible, knees clamping the tank hard, torso and arms relaxed, head up, eyes looking far away,
balance sense in red alert.
2) Apply rear brake hard to initiate a quick weight transfer while gently squeezing the front lever, ..........feel the g-force yet?..........pull that front lever hard (but ready for a quick release and re-application if the front tire skids and you lose steering)
while releasing pressure on rear lever (partially or fully (my personal preference)).
3) Slowdown as you keep your posture, vision and balance (the rear may want to fishtail some) and while you downshift (optional but much recommended), .....feel that front suspension hitting the tops?
Practice at least 20 minutes each week !!!
There is a natural tendency to look close in front of the wheel during parking lot practices.
However, that is not good for creating the habit of looking for a escape path and much less for keeping the balance when the bike becomes unstable under really hard braking.
Keeping your eyes on the horizon and level gives your internal ears a solid point of reference for pitch, for yaw and for lateral roll of the machine under you.
Here are some very useful articles about emergency braking:
Some old but good studies on braking
Keep your controls covered while riding on the street
Stopping distance calculator
During an emergency situation, will you steer in the right direction?
Bike Crash Evasion and Mitigation
Keeping a log book where the stopping distances are recorded will show the real progress.
Once the contact patch is consistently pushed to the limit (some chattering may happens), the practice for quick release following a lock-up and brief skid of the front tire can follow.
And that is just basic braking on a straight line and dry pavement.
After some degree of proficiency is achieved, more real world braking alternatives should be practiced: while turning, on wet surface, on sand, quick acceleration before coming to a full stop, braking followed by swerving, etc.
The skill is not needed for track-days and racing, but for street riding, ........nobody should be doing that before at least mastering emergency braking.